Metropolitans Chiva Express

By: Eric Castro

Metropolitan's "CHIVA EXPRESS" vehicles are the highlight of the rail tours along the Ecuadorian Andes and down to the Coast.. The chivas are colorful, fun, one-car vehicles on tracks that allow guests to "ride the roof", where comfortable and safe seats have been adapted for a 360? view of the magnificent Andean landscapes-an exhilarating experience!.

Follow the same route of the historic Trans-Andean train ride, down the famous "Devil?s Nose" in three brand new 34-passenger vehicles with comfortable seating and large windows, toilet facilities and bar.

The one-day Chiva Express program departs from Quito, the capital of Ecuador, to the Cotopaxi Volcano National Park on a one-day adventure excursion along the Avenue of the Volcanoes with spectacular views of the Andes Mountains. Guests can leave the comfort of the inside to climb the outside ladder and sit on the roof for the exhilarating ride and panoramic views, protected by a guardrail, as the "Chiva Express" lollops and lurches along narrow-gauge tracks at a leisurely pace.

The two-day Quito/Riobamba/Guayaquil "Chiva Express" program goes from the Andes to the Coast, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Upon reaching Cotopaxi Volcano, the voyage continues by motorcar on a southward journey along the Andes for a visit of an Indian market. lunch and ride to Riobamba, to spend the night. The constantly changing scenery is awesome: snow-capped peaks, high treeless plateau, rushing streams, lush valleys, and steep slopes with patchworks of terraced fields and small Indian villages.

On the second day, guests board the "Chiva Express" from Riobamba to AlausÃ? and on to the famous 1,000-foot Devil's Nose switchbacks, an almost sheer cliff on which the railway track zigzags down a ledge cut into the mountainside overhanging a river gorge south of AlausÃ?. The adventure continues down the slopes of the Andes while guests experience the transition from Andean ecosystems to the lush tropical coastal vegetation: bananas, oranges, pineapples, ginger and wooden farm houses on stilts. The last leg of the "Chiva Express" ends in Bucay, and on by motorcar to Guayaquil. Guests returning to Quito can take the flight Guayaquil/Quito that same evening.

The "Chiva Express" programs also connect with an overland trip from AlausÃ? to the beautiful city of Cuenca in the south of Ecuador on three- or four-day excursions including tours, hotels, all meals, tour guide, ground transportation and transfers. Please visit www.chivaexpress.com for detailed itineraries and additional information .

For more information about Ecuador & Galapagos Cruises visit:

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