Nariz Del Diablo Ecuador: The Best Devils Nose Train Guide
La Nariz del Diablo Ecuador is a one of a kind adventure that you must visit during your trip to Ecuador! This historical train takes you on an epic journey through the Andes mountains and can be done before lunch!
I had a great time in Alausi and on the Devils Nose Train so I thought I’d share some of my knowledge to help out other travelers. I’ve created an in-depth guide that covers everything you need to know about the Nariz del Diablo train ride.
Table of Contents
- Why is it Called the Nariz Del Diablo?
- Where is Nariz Del Diablo Located
- How to Get to Alausi from Guayaquil
- How to Get to Alausi from Quito
- How to Get to Alausi from Baños
- Nariz Del Diablo Ecuador Train Tickets
- What to Expect
- How Long is Nariz Del Diablo?
- Best Time to Visit
- Other Things to Do in Alausi
- Nearby Sights & Tourist Spots
- Tips & Suggestions
- Ecuador Packing List
Why is it Called the Nariz Del Diablo?
La Nariz del Diablo Ecuador translates to “The Devils Nose Train”. Built in 1901, this railway was originally built to connect Ecuador’s two major cities, Quito and Guayaquil. La Nariz del Diablo was built with the purpose to make transporting goods more efficient with the hope of boosting Ecuador’s economy.
During construction many workers died. This is because they had to build the railway to go down the sides of a steep cliff to work around a large triangular mountain, hence the Devils Nose Train. Because so many workers had perished building this section of the railway the locals thought it was haunted by the devil.
Where is Nariz Del Diablo Located
The Devils Nose Train is located in a small town of Alausi in the Chimborazo province of Ecuador. Alausi is located in the south central region of the Andes Mountains between Quito and Cuenca. This area is extremely mountainous and scenic. If you’re traveling to Cuenca by road I would highly recommend you check out La Nariz del Diablo Alausi.
How to Get to Alausi from Guayaquil
Guayaquil is the closest major city to La Nariz del Diablo Ecuador. With that being said, it’s still a decent haul to get there. The trip is 110mi/177km in each direction and if you’re driving your own vehicle it should take 3.5-4 hours. We stopped for a couple of nights in Alausi to break up the trip between Guayaquil and Baños.
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It’s possible to take a bus between Guayaquil and Alausi but when we visited there wasn’t any direct busses. So we chose to hire a taxi driver for $60USD to drive us all the way there. From what I gathered, the bus ride would have taken us over 8 hours total including connections.
Definitely plan on having delays regardless of the method you choose. This is because as you get close to Alausi you gain a substantial amount of elevation. Guayaquil is at sea level and Alausi is 7677ft/2340m above sea level. We got hung up in dense fog and the drive ended up taking over 5 hours! Once in the mountains the highway is extremely dangerous, this is possibly the craziest stretch of road I’ve ever been on.
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How to Get to Alausi from Quito
If you want to visit la Nariz del Diablo Ecuador from Quito it’s still doable even though Quito is farther than Guayaquil. The drive from Quito to Alausi takes 5.5-6 hours (186mi/300km). Unlike going from Guayaquil, the majority of this drive is on the main highway in Ecuador (E35) and is not anywhere near as dangerous. Highway E35 runs from the Northern Ecuadorian border with Colombia all the way to the Southern border with Peru.
There are direct busses available for around $10USD. The busses will stop frequently but you’ll be able to stay on the same bus the entire way. I’d add an extra few hours to my travel time mentioned above. You can board any bus going between Quito and Cuenca as they all pass directly through Alausi.
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How to Get to Alausi from Baños
Getting to Alausi from Baños is pretty straight forward and it’s a good option if you’re traveling around Ecuador. If you’re going between Quito and Alausi in either direction I’d suggest stopping in Baños for a few days. We wanted to include the Devils Nose Train ride on our trip and this was the perfect time to do so.
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There aren’t any direct busses between Alausi and Baños so you’ll have to catch a bus from Alausi to Riobamba and then another bus from Riobamba to Baños. This shouldn’t cost you more than $5USD and if the connection is quick it should take around 3.5 hours total. This drive is 100mi/160km in distance and is very scenic.
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Nariz Del Diablo Ecuador Train Tickets
I’d suggest pre-booking your tickets online for the Nariz Del Diablo train. This is so you’ll be guaranteed a spot and you’ll be able to pick the best seats! It’s possible to book them in person at the Alausi train station directly in the middle of town. That’s also the point where you’ll board the train.
Tickets cost $40USD per person. La Nariz del Diablo Ecuador departs every day of the week EXCEPT MONDAY. There are two trips per day, one at 8AM and the next at 11AM. I’d suggest taking the earlier of the two to increase your chances of clear skies.
No matter which side of the train you’re sitting on you’ll be blessed with incredible views of the Andes mountains.
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What to Expect on La Nariz Del Diablo Ecuador Train
The Nariz Del Diablo Ecuador train ride is unlike any on the world. It’s a scenic ride that winds down tight corners through the mountains. You’ll start the trip at the main train station in Alausi. Once everyone is onboard the train will depart and with 5 minutes you’ll be in a totally different world.
After roughly 50-minutes on the train it stops briefly at a nice mountain viewpoint. You’ll be able to get out and walk around to check the place out. This area was really nice and I wish we could have stayed longer.
When the time is up they’ll ask everyone to get back onboard and the train ride will continue. During the ride the guides can tell you everything you’ll need to know about La Nariz del Diablo Ecuador. They were very informative and helpful.
Around 10-minutes later you’ll arrive at Sibambe Station. At this point you’ll be able to hang out for an hour and check the place out. There are some scenic vantage points nearby and also lots of historical information if you want to learn more. They have a big cultural dancing performance that you can choose to take part in.
You’ll get to spend around 1-hour in this area and can choose to do whatever you want there. Once it’s time to go everyone will be asked to get back onboard. The train will head back up the route in which it came from. Back around the Nariz Del Diablo Ecuador. The ride takes approx 30-minutes and will give you more photo opportunities along the way.
The trip ends back where it began at Alausi station. The 8am tour arrives back at the start around 10:30am. This makes it a perfect thing to do with your family in the morning. After the Nariz del Diablo Alausi we grabbed some lunch and then hit the road again to our next destination – Baños!
All in all I’d say this is must must-see attraction in Ecuador, especially if you’re in the nearby area. There may be people trying to sell you tours that include this but it’ best to just book everything yourself.
How Long is Nariz Del Diablo?
The Devils Nose Train ride will be around 2.5 hours from start to finish. The distance overall is only 12km but the train travels quite slowly. I’m glad it went slow because the views are insane!
Best Time to Visit La Nariz Del Diablo Ecuador
The best time to visit Alausi and ride on La Nariz del Diablo Ecuador is between July and September. These months have a least precipitation but they’re slightly colder than the summer months. I personally visited in January and the weather was still nice. This is definitely a year-round attraction.
Other Things to Do in Alausi
Alausi is an interesting town, it gave me a feeling like I was no longer in Ecuador, it’s not very touristy and seemed quite authentic. If you’re looking for something to do you should check out the railway trestle but be careful as it’s still actively in use. You’ll see plenty of locals walking along the tracks here.
Other things to do in Alausi besides La Nariz del Diablo Ecuador are the Saint Peter Monument and the central market. You can combine these together no problem, if you choose to do so I’d suggest visiting the monument first and then grabbing some lunch at the market.
As mentioned earlier in this article, I’d try to take the earliest departure possible (currently 8AM) because the weather tends to be clearer first thing in the morning. Check the weather forecast here.
Nearby Sights & Tourist Spots
Ecuador is loaded with awesome things to do. If you’re into waterfalls I’d suggest checking out the town of Baños and visiting the Pailon del Diablo waterfall!
If you want to get off the grid you can check out the Galapagos Islands, or if that’s not within your budget/timeframe head to the Pacific coast and visit Playa Los Frailes! I have in-depth guides on both the Pailon del Diablo Waterfall and Playa Los Frailes, give them a read!
Tips & Suggestions for Nariz Del Diablo Alausi
- Learn Spanish: Ecuador is a relatively less-traveled country. So the locals aren’t as used to having to deal with English tourists as other destinations. Learning some basic phrases will go a long way here.
- Pack Accordingly: Ecuador’s weather is very unpredictable even in the dry season. This is because it’s a mountain country so the weather patterns change frequently. A rain jacket and warm clothes are necessary.
- Get a Sim Card: Sim cards are a necessity on any trip. In Ecuador, like most other Latin American countries the dominant company is Claro and that’s what I’d recommend. You can get a sim card with a few gigs of data for less than $10.
- Bring Snacks: You never know when you’ll end up in the middle of nowhere without any food. So come prepared and pack a few snacks and some water in your bag.
- Ask for Help: The locals are very helpful and generally can answer all of your questions, so don’t be shy!
- Use Maps.Me: Having offline maps is beneficial because if you’re in remote areas without cell service you’ll still be able to see where you are and have access to all of your pins. Maps.me is the #1 offline maps app.
Ecuador Packing List
- Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack
- Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Rain Jacket
- Universal Travel Adapter
- Portable Luggage Scale
- Salomon X Ultra Hiking Boots
- Premium Packing Cubes
Final Thoughts on La Nariz Del Diablo Ecuador Train
The Devils Nose Train is truly one of Ecuador’s best tourist sites. The town of Alausi alone is worth visiting if you want to experience real culture. I hope you found value in this post and that it makes your trip to Ecuador easier!
Check out my latest posts here. If you have any questions about La Nariz del Diablo drop me a comment below! If you enjoyed this article please share it!