The train winds its way through beautiful countryside, with the highlight being the stretch known as the “Nariz del Diablo” (the Devil’s Nose). Teetering on the cliffs of an impenetrable mountain, this section of the Trans-Andean railroad was built at the turn of the 20th century and climbs more than 500m in less than 12km, a truly impressive yet fatal piece of engineering – many of the workers died during its construction. After the thrilling descent, the ride affords sweeping views of the narrow Chanchan gorge, and takes you back to Alausi from Sibambe. Then you’ll travel north to the ruins of Ingapirca, stopping off first at a Panama hat workshop and at Biblian, a small town which cradles the Gothic-style shrine of the Virgen del Rocio atop Zhalao Hill (on Wednesdays only). Then it’s onto the archaeological complex of Ingapirca, the largest Incan ruins in Ecuador which encapsulates the sophisticated design and diplomacy of this ancient civilisation. You’ll discover how, much unlike the European colonisers, the Incas merged their own community with that of the indigenous Cañari, forging a hybrid community that thrived here at Ingapirca. This is reflected in the two separate Temples of the Sun, dedicated to the beliefs of each culture.
“Everything about Surtrek was amazing. The hotels, the food, the tours. Everything exceeded our expectations. I cannot recommend Surtrek highly enough!”
Pick-up time: 08:30
Days Operation: Daily
“Thank you again for making our holidays in Ecuador unforgettable. Both of us will definitely recommend Surtrek as well as Cuyabeno Lodge.”