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January 14, 2012

Ecuador Launches New Luxury Train

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Marco Island, Florida – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

Ecuador’s national railway company, Ferrocarriles del Ecuador, presented its new line of tourist trains that will start operating in 2012 and 2013 respectively at the US Tour Operators Association (USTOA) Annual Conference and Marketplace, that took place in Marco Island, Florida in December.

Ferrocarriles del Ecuador currently operates touristic routes including the following: the Boliche (Quito – Boliche – Quito), the Machachi Festivo (Quito – Boliche – Quito), the Tren de la Libertad / the Freedom Train (Ibarra – Salinas – Ibarra), Sendero de los Arrozales / the Rice Fields Trail (Durán – Yaguachi – Durán), and the Nariz del Diablo / the Devil’s Nose (Alausí – Sibambe – Alausí).

Ferrocarriles del Ecuador are rehabilitating Ecuador’s complete railway system that will once again unite the Ecuadorian Coast to the Andean Highlands. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

In June 2013, Ferrocarriles del Ecuador will launch a new journey, a luxury steam train linking the 277 miles between the capital, Quito, with Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city and economic hub, on the Pacific Coast. This train journey is being developed exclusively for tourism and will allow passengers to travel in full comfort and enjoy the diverse scenery along the way as well as experience the different cultures and varied gastronomy of Ecuador’s towns.

The train will have four coaches with a maximum capacity for 54 passengers and offer all the services required by the most demanding of travelers. There will be one weekly departure in either direction and the full journey will take 3 nights and 4 days. Travelers will overnight in upscale accommodations in select haciendas along the way allowing them to interact with the local inhabitants for a complete cultural experience. The train will stop at diverse locations along the route allowing passengers the opportunity to join in different activities or excursions that have been specifically selected to provide them with insight into the area’s culture and history.

Packages will include a 3-night / 4-day train journey, accommodations at the different stopover towns, and all meals and beverages in typical restaurants along the route. Additionally, travelers will be able to select their preferred activities and excursions and will be escorted by bilingual guides, also included in the full cost of the journey. All of the transfers between the train stations and the overnight accommodations as well as all excursions will be done by tourist coach.

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