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Devil’s Nose train ride is one of the most popular tourist attractions when visiting Ecuador. Journey begins with a 90-minute dramatic descent down the mountain, with a series of switchbacks at the edge of the rocky Andean slopes. You’ll be in awe at the magnitude and shear engineering feat, that workers back in 1901 began carving into the hillside known locally as Condor’s Aerie. The section was renamed Nariz del Diablo (Devil’s Nose), due to the many workers who lost their lives. About 3000 Jamaicans, and 1000 Puerto Ricans where brought in to work on the project and about half of them died during construction.
During the 1990’s the train ride attracted thrill-seekers from all over the world. They climbed on top of the carriages for the ultimate white-knuckle ride. Today, the rails have been restored and new closed-carriages provide both comfort and safety for this unforgettable experience.
The largest known Inca ruins in Ecuador, the Ingapirca complex features a small fortress that archaeologists believe the main elliptical platform structure, called the Temple of the Sun was used for ceremonial religious purposes. The Temple of the Sun was positioned to the solstices, and at exactly the right time of day, sunlight would fall through the center of the doorway of the small chamber to the temple.
Ingapirca had long been settled by the Cañari people, who called it Hatun Cañar. The Ingapirca complex was built by the Incas around 500 years ago, on top of an old cañari settlement. It is believed that Ingapirca was a religious center, an administrative center, as well as a military fortress. The vast archeological area of the ruins includes an open fortress, courtyards, terraces, temples, houses and a castle complex, possibly the Temple of the Sun. In the middle of the Plaza of Pilaloma (the Kancha) lies the tomb of an important woman, when excavated revealed ten people accompanied her, both male and female. The tomb dates to the pre-Cashaloma era before the 10th century. The Inca influence can be identified by the use of negative imagery on their pottery, which is often lentil-shaped. The pit burial also enforces the theory that the woman was buried prior to the growth of Hatun-Cañari. A group of rooms were excavated on the east of the warehouses, and archeological remains discovered that this area was used for the production of objects required by the politico-religious elites who lived in Ingapirca.
Trip departs from Cuenca at 7:00am and heads north for a 4-hour drive through the Andes mountain scenery to Alausi, where you board the train to begin the spectacular descent through the famous Devil’s Nose section, which is classified as one of the major engineering achievements of the early 20th century. The train stops at Sibambe station and after some time to relax, the train makes its ascent back to Alausi. Total 2.5 hours.
We then head to Cañar, enjoy a box lunch on the way, and finally visit the largest Inca ruins in Ecuador.
Return to Cuenca approximately 19:00 (7:00pm)
Wednesdays -You’ll be able to observe the Biblian women knitting the straw in order to make the base form of the Panama hats, and then tour the archeological complex afterwards.
Fridays – You can visit the animal market and the pottery market prior to visiting the ruins.
Sundays – You can visit the Cañar market close by, prior to the tour of the ruins.
Following these visits, there will be a typical lunch at a local restaurant. On the way back to Cuenca, we will visit the Biblian Church, which is constructed on the top of a mountain that overlooks the town. You’ll learn about some of the tales and myths of the Biblian believers, which you may find interesting and meaningful.
Wednesday – Friday* – Sunday
Individuals or groups (2-40) Contact us for private tours
Excursion – 12 hours
Wednesday and Sunday $87 plus train ticket
Devil’s Nose Train ticket $30 (discounts may apply for children, seniors and disabled, check with our agent)
Ingapirca Ruins entrance fee $6 tourists – Ecuadorian nationals and residents with cédula $2.
Professional Tourist Guide
Transportation between places
Wednesday and Sunday $93 plus train ticket
Devil’s Nose Train ticket $32 (Except Friday Special Promotion)
Ingapirca Ruins $6 tourists – Ecuadorian nationals and residents with cédula $2
Lightweight wind/rain jacket