Devil’s Nose Train Journey in Ecuador
The Nariz del Diablo or the Devil’s Nose train ride starts off from the city of Riobamba situated in central Ecuador. Riobamba is a beautiful and lively city with cobbled streets, market squares and colonial buildings painted in a variety of pastel colors. The capital city of the Chimborazo Province provides the perfect surrounding, made up of volcanoes and mountains, from which the Devil’s Nose train departs.
The Devil’s Nose train ride leaves Riobamba and takes you to either the town of Alausi or Sibambe, depending on where you want to get off. This trip can take up to four or five hours and will carry you through the cool air of the cloud forests all the way to the hot coastal jungles of Ecuador. It’s advisable that you wear layers of clothing to accommodate these extreme weather changes. You can enjoy the beautiful surroundings from inside the Nariz del Diablo or if you are a little more adventurous you can climb onto the top of the train and enjoy the ride from the roof. Many tourists take the second option, which will be made a lot more comfortable if you bring a sleeping bag or a blanket to sit on.
The train received its name from a famous wall of rock with 45-degree decline, called the Devil’s Nose, which is part of the train excursion. Switchbacks are used to help the train make it up steep slopes. A switchback is a trail which zigzags up a steep ridge instead of going straight up. This technique helps trains climb steep hills gradually and alleviates strain on the train as it ascends steep gradients.
The Devil’s Nose train ride is a popular attraction in Ecuador and so it is recommended that passengers wanting to buy tickets purchase them beforehand. There are only forty seats available on each trip and the lines at the ticket office can be long. It is also important that you check the schedule daily as changes can be made quickly depending on the weather or mechanical problems. Fortunately, the Nariz del Diablo departs everyday of the week, so there are plenty of opportunities for one to enjoy this spectacular train ride.