The world famous Devil’s Nose Train Journey begins in Riobamba. A fantastic train ride, which passes through rich tapestries of carefully cultivated Andean lands, offering a great contrast to the vast wilderness of the high paramos. This train ride extends for 400km along the central Andean valley, named the ‘Avenue of the Volcanoes’ in 1802 by the German Explorer Alexander Von Humboldt, a magnificent and unique valley adorned on both sides by dozens of volcanoes, many of them still active and of great height with snow capped tops.
This train journey which departs from the city of Riobamba towards the south, passes through a number of small mountain villages and extensive lands, arriving at the village of Alausi from where it begins the spectacular descent along the Devil’s Nose.
Many travellers, under their own responsibility and risk, travel on the roof of the train to take full advantage of the amazing views that this splendid spot offers. The engineers that constructed this unbelievable railway had to carve into the mountain, creating a series of zigzags down its side, permitting that the train could pass from 1800 metres to 2600 metres above sea level, the train moves back and forth zigzagging along the railway ascending and descending this sheer and steep mountain. This section of the Ecuadorian Trans Andean railroad united for the first time the coastal region with the high Andes, and allowed the consolidation of Ecuador as a country, avoiding the possibility of further fragmentation into smaller nations or states.
Decades after the construction of the steep Devil’s Nose pass which was used for the transport of cargo, and as the perfect passenger transport with fixed timetables and offering a magnificent service, the railroad was eventually abandoned due to the numerous political crises affecting Ecuador. Nowadays it offers the perfect opportunity for modern day explorers looking to discover more of the impressive Ecuadorian landscapes.