Avenue of the Volcanoes and the Devil's Nose Train

Discover the heart of the Andes on the Avenue of the Volcanoes, the great city of Quito, Cuenca, Incan ruins at Ingapirca, and ride 'the world's most difficult railway’.

from £1515.
5.0

'Avenue of the Volcanoes and the Devil's Nose Train'

What makes this trip special?

A tale of two cities

A tale of two cities

Quito

Ecuador's capital city is distinctly divided into 2 main parts, the cobbled streets and colonial buildings of the old town and the highrises and trendy cafes of the new town. Both are worth exploring.

The middle of the world

The middle of the world

The Equator

Quito sits directly on the Equator line. A sturdy monument marks the location, whilst the Inti-Nan museum next door provides some humour with spiralling water and balancing eggs on a nail.

Avenue of the Volcanoes

Avenue of the Volcanoes

Cotopaxi NP & Avenue of the Volcanoes

With over 50 volcanic peaks, the Avenue of the Volcanoes makes a stunning drive down from Quito. Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and its National Park is a good spot for walking.

Descend a precipitous rock face by train

Descend a precipitous rock face by train

Devil's Nose Train

An outstanding accomplishment of engineering, the Devil's Nose railway descends an impossibly steep rock face. One of the world's great railway experiences.

Sun-worship

Sun-worship

Ingapirca

The most important and well preserved Incan complex in Ecuador. Once used as a temple for sun-worship, at Ingapirca you can explore the ruins and visit the on-site museum.

Romance, colonial heritage and the Panama hat

Romance, colonial heritage and the Panama hat

Cuenca

Cuenca is one of Ecuador's most attractive colonial cities and surprisingly home to the Panama hat. Explore the city, its museums and be sure to buy a hat before you leave!

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Avenue of the Volcanoes and the Devil's Nose Train'

DAY 1

Arrive in Quito

You will be met on your arrival at Quito airport and transferred to a comfortable 3* hotel, your base for 2 nights

DAY 2
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Quito

In the morning your guide will meet you at your hotel and take you on a walking tour of the Old City. After lunch, visit the Equator at either the unconventional Inti-Ñan museum or the Mitad del Mundo theme park. (A ride on the Pichincha cable car is an option if time allows and conditions are good.)

DAY 3
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Avenue of the Volcanoes - Cotopaxi

Your guide will collect you from your hotel for the drive down the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Visit Cotopaxi NP, exploring the Limpiopungo Lagoon, driving part of the way up Cotopaxi with the option of hiking a further 200m to the mountain refuge, but take it slowly - the mountain air is thin. Descend to stay at Hacienda La Ciénega for 2 nights.

DAY 4
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Avenue of the Volcanoes - Quilotoa Loop

A pleasant day’s touring today, visiting the villages around the ‘Quilotoa Loop’. Your guide will help you decide whether to complete the whole loop, or to use part of the day for a walk in this beautiful Andean countryside.

DAY 5
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Avenue of the Volcanoes - Salasaca and Riobamba

Continue south this morning along the Avenue of the Volcanoes to Riobamba, pausing in the village of Salasaca to visit a simple weavers workshop. Your guide escorts you on a short city tour of Riobamba before arriving at a good quality hotel in a converted hacienda just out of town.

DAY 6
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Devil's Nose Train and Ingapirca

An early start this morning for an exciting ride on the Devil’s Nose Train, The engineers who constructed the Trans-Andean Railway between Guayaquil on the coast and Quito in the mountains faced incredible challenges of terrain. Their most outstanding accomplishment was the section completed in 1902 known as the Devil’s Nose, where the track descends an almost perpendicular wall of rock in a tight switchback—one of the great railway journeys of the world. To make the trip even more memorable it used to be the thing to travel on the roof of the train, but in these days of health & safety precautions you will be sitting inside. At present the favoured rolling stock is the ‘Chiva Express’—a traditional Latin American bus mounted on the chassis of a diesel powered rail coach. Visit Ingapirca and travel on to a characterful 3* hotel in Cuenca for a 2 night stay.

DAY 7
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Cuenca

Your guide and vehicle are at your command today for your choice of exploring Cuenca itself, walking in Cajas national park, or touring the craft villages to the south of the city.

DAY 8
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Cuenca to Quito

Your guide takes you to the airport for your return flight to Quito to connect with your international flight home or to continue your trip, perhaps to the Galápagos or the Amazon

Guide prices for 'Avenue of the Volcanoes and the Devil's Nose Train'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Guide price 2 people sharing £1,515

Prices are per person and include:

Not included:

Customer reviews for 'Avenue of the Volcanoes and the Devil's Nose Train'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.

Very enjoyable, well organised, everything to a high standard.

We enjoyed it all.

Average rating

Seasonal information for 'Avenue of the Volcanoes and the Devil's Nose Train'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Quito 15°C rainfall 117mm
2 Quito 15°C rainfall 117mm
3 Cotopaxi 9°C rainfall 83mm
5 Riobamba 20°C rainfall 37mm
6 Cuenca 18°C rainfall 67mm
7 Cuenca 18°C rainfall 67mm
8 Quito 15°C rainfall 117mm

Typical weather for January

Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Avenue of the Volcanoes and the Devil's Nose Train'

Days 1 - 2
Hotel La Rabida
Hotel dining room

Average rating 4.4 (14 ratings)

Hotel La Rabida

Quito modern part

Hotel de La Rábida is a renovated traditional Quito home which has been turned into a rather charming small Guest House. It is situated in the modern part of Quito. It has characterful lounge with log fire and small patio garden.

Day 3
Hacienda La Cienega
Public areas at hotel

Average rating 4.1 (16 ratings)

Hacienda La Cienega

Lasso

Hostería La Ciénega is a characterful hotel converted from one of Ecuador’s oldest haciendas, dating from 1580.

Set in extensive grounds it is approached along an avenue of fragrant eucalyptus trees. Its well regarded restaurant, 34 guest rooms and suites are set around a series of attractive courtyard gardens, some of which are recent additions.

La Ciénega offers rooms with colonial and 19th century furnishings and has many other reminders of its past, including a private chapel.  

Horse riding is usually available for guests.

Day 4
Abraspungo
Hotel exterior

Average rating 4.5 (17 ratings)

Abraspungo

nr Riobamba

Renovated and much extended hacienda just outside Riobamba and set in pretty rose filled gardens. The hotel has 38 spacious well-appointed en suite rooms, smartly decorated with samples of Ecuadorian art and weaving. The hotel has an good restuarant run by a Peruvian chef, who cooks up Peruvian influenced cuisine as well as Ecuadorian and internatinal dishes.

Days 5 - 6
Inca Real
Bedroom

Average rating 3.7 (3 ratings)

Inca Real

Cuenca

Hotel Inca Real is set in a restored 19th century mansion in the heart of historic Cuenca and is a good base for sightseeing on foot around the city.

The hotel was the first colonial building in Cuenca restored as a hotel and reflects old colonial style - rooms are arranged around internal patio courtyards and original murals remain on walls. Owing to the hotel's priority to conserve the architectural structure of the building all of the 25 guest rooms vary in size. Four suites are located around the first patio, 9 standard rooms are set around the second patio and 12 standard rooms are set around the third patio - these rooms are smaller rooms but located in the most peaceful part of the hotel.

The hotel is owned and run by a friendly Ecuadorian/Spanish couple who also manage the hotel tapas restaurant 'Akelarre'.