Tren-ing Day

Conquering the Ecuadorian Andes by Train

None 7 Photos Tren Crucero
Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to find a classic train voyage—four-star dining car, dapper conductor and all.

‪Almost. You just have to know where to look.

‪And right now, you need to look about two miles up in the Andes.

For example: Tren Crucero, a fully loaded, golden-age-of-railroads-style train snaking through 280 miles of the Ecuadorian Andes, taking reservations now.

It’s like the Orient Express, except... nowhere near the Orient. And instead of sleeping on the moving train, you’ll hop between some very old, very stationary haciendas. Here’s the rundown:

Day 1: You’ll greet your chariot-on-rails in Quito. Sit at the bar, attached to the open-air viewing deck. Because you’re ascending into a “cloud forest,” and you’ll probably want a pisco sour in that cloud forest.

Day 2: You’ll stop by a rose plantation. You’ll smell those roses and then head two miles above sea level toward the Avenue of the Volcanoes, which is exactly what it sounds like. (Don’t worry, only one is active. Probably.)

Day 3: You’ll descend a couple thousand feet. Extremely rapidly. This is the part that was once named “The Most Dangerous Railroad on Earth.”

Day 4: You’ll meet the locals. The real locals—the indigenous Shuar tribe, famous for shrinking the heads of their fallen enemies.

So maybe bring a fruit basket or something.

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