The rail way to explore Ecuador

A dramatic new Andean train journey from Quito to the coast

Image: Tren Ecuador

A Latin American country to consider visiting is Ecuador, where a new 448km switchback railway was completed earlier in January. By June it will formally link Quito, at 2,777m, to just-above-sea-level Guayaquil, taking in the llama-filled hills of Urbica, Indian villages and the dramatic views of Cotopaxi (a perfect snow-topped volcano). The hop-on, hop-off service is plied by a four-carriage train, Tren Ecuador (; pictured in the Andes), which was already running between Quito and Otavalo – host to the largest Indian market in the Andes.