If you want to see Ecuador’s people, natural beauty and culture in a unique way I definitely recommend taking one of the options Tren Ecuador offers to see this beautiful country. We took a day tour, but they also offer other options. The tour started at Eloy Alfaro Train Station (commonly referred to as Chimbacalle Train Station) named after the President of Ecuador who started the railroad project in 1908.
We took Tren Ecuador for a half day tour from Quito to Machachi. The tour included an overview of the Ecuadorian rail system’s history before we got on the train and headed to Machachi. Tren Ecuador also offers other types of excursions, including some that go from the Andes (in the Sierra) to the Coast. I can’t wait to try one of those!
This train ride was spectacular. It was an opportunity to see how the city and the countryside co-exist, how the landscapes change, how fertile and lush the land around Quito is, and how warm and welcoming the people of Ecuador are.
The landscape showed farmlands with quinoa, corn, fruit… cows grazing, horses galloping. The changing landscape from the city to the countryside was colorful and showed a less-touristy, real side to Quito and its people. You could see bus depots, street art, children playing (and running to wave hello to the train!), street vendors selling their produce, construction workers hard at work.
The train stopped at a small town called Aloasi where we were able to use the restrooms (super clean!) and purchase artisanal products, as well as grab a cup of coffee or food like empanadas de morocho.
Our second stop was in Machachi where we were welcomed with folkloric dancing.
After a presentation we were even invited to dance along with the dance group.
After dancing we were invited to learn more about handmade arts and crafts and then headed over to Hosteria La Estación for a tour of an 18th century home, the farm, and a delicious lunch. Here are a few pictures, stay tuned because this place was really spectacular — I can’t wait to share more about it! I must leave you with one of the most breathtaking views while on the train Voila… El Cotopaxi volcano, standing at 5,897 meters (19,347 feet). It is the second highest point in Ecuador and one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. Isn’t it majestic? (and yes, that is some volcanic activity you see). So, if you are planning a trip to Quito, make sure that you add Tren Ecuador to your list! If you have kids, they will love it as well! I know I can’t wait to go back with my munchkin. For more information on traveling to Ecuador you can visit: Ecuador.travel
We went on @trenecuador today. This train was made in Philadephia! The train took us to #Machachi where we saw some folkloric dancing and visited an hacienda dating back 5 generations! #visitQuito #experienceQuito #ladydeelginquito #ladydeelginEcuador #QuitoHeritage A photo posted by Diana Limongi (@ladydeelg) on
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All photos by © Diana Limongi, may not be used without permission.