| Home | 3 Guianas | Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Ecuador | Paraguay | Peru | Uruguay | Venezuela | Videos | Contact |

Alausi, Ecuador - The Devil's Nose Train To Sibambe Wasn't My Highlight

Ecuador travel blog by Mark Berman - July 2015   » View Photoset (76 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
Alausi is the town that tourists flock to so that they can ride the Devil's Nose train. The Devil's Nose train ride is made
Ecuador Photo - View upon a rocky valley with a river and train tracks, Sibambe to Alausi.
View upon a rocky valley with a river and train tracks, Sibambe to Alausi.
out to be some kind of must-do activity, but to be honest it's not that great, the town of Alausi itself is much better! I came down to Alausi from Riobamba (2hrs north), stopping at Colta Lagoon for an hour on the way. The descent into the valley to Alausi is spectacular, this is when you will first see the 14m tall monument of Saint Peter on the hill and you will continue to see it everywhere you walk while you're in town! This place is charming indeed and there is lots to see, you just need to explore to find all the treasure but most of it is in plain sight.

Let Me Take You Around Town

Of
Ecuador Photo - View of the train station and tracks in Sibambe from the top of the stairs.
View of the train station and tracks in Sibambe from the top of the stairs.
course the train station and the tracks running through town are a highlight. In fact all around the train station and tracks are attractive streets, buildings, plazas, parks, murals and streetlamps. Many of the buildings here are over 100 years old and many houses stand in colorful rows. I talked for a while with one of the elder residents, she was 90yrs old and so was her husband, she told me that her house was the very first house in the town. She also told me to walk up the road to see the bridge, which I did. Black Bridge (Puente Negro) is the railway bridge up the street from the station. I walked out to the middle to hang out with 3 kids throwing paper darts off of it and also to enjoy the views.
Ecuador Photo - The nice area around Plaza Bolivar and the beautiful hills around Alausi in the highlands.
The nice area around Plaza Bolivar and the beautiful hills around Alausi in the highlands.
I made my way to the hill of the San Pedro (Saint Peter) monument along Alausi's cobblestone streets. The views of the colorful town are great from up here and you can see everything. Views of the monument however are best from around town, once you are right up close to it, it is too tall to see. Back in the town center beside the train station is the fascinating Plaza Bolivar with it's colored wooden facades, lamps and open space. The main park in Alausi is Parque 13 de Noviembre with the great white church beside it - Iglesia Matriz, there are nice buildings around the park also and beautiful views of the green hills all around. Alausi has many indigenous Quechua folk wandering around with their colored
Ecuador Photo - Parque 13 de Noviembre, the park in the center of Alausi.
Parque 13 de Noviembre, the park in the center of Alausi.
cardigans and peacock feathers in their hats, they sell their produce at the market. Alausi has plenty of places to eat a cheap breakfast, lunch or dinner. The locals are friendly and it's nice 'n' safe around town. I enjoyed Alausi a lot, it's a magical little place.

Alausi to Cuenca 3hrs 40mins by Bus

There are buses heading regularly south to Cuenca with 'Patria' - every couple of hours during the day. They are located up the hill a little. Another company in the town center opposite Hotel Europa has 2 buses to Cuenca that leave in the morning (6:30am and 10:30am). From Alausi I headed south to Cuenca, 3hrs 40mins by bus.

The Devil's Nose Train to Sibambe

Made out to be some kind of must-do activity, must-see sight. I bought my ticket a couple of days beforehand in Riobamba for $30USD. It's $19.60USD for kids under 12 and seniors. That's expensive for a 2hr trip for 9kms that includes an hour
Ecuador Photo - Parque 13 de Noviembre in Alausi, a park in town.
Parque 13 de Noviembre in Alausi, a park in town.
stopped at Sibambe. I thought Sibambe was going to be a cute little town to walk around for a while but no, they just take you to the station in the middle of nowhere where you see a dancing performance that is put on for the tourists. Then you are supposed to buy a coffee or something to eat, there's nothing else there. As for the Devil's Nose, this is just a big rock, nothing special or specatacular about it. In fact I had to ask somebody 'Is that it?' after we stopped to see it, I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be looking at. It didn't blow me away at all, nothing but a big rock. The scenery on the journey was not mindblowing either, you see better and more beautiful scenery by traveling by bus around
Ecuador Photo - The row of colored houses side by side up the road from the train station in Alausi.
The row of colored houses side by side up the road from the train station in Alausi.
Ecuador. The bus journey from Alausi to Cuenca will show you that, as well as many other bus trips. Inside the train carriage, all the tourists (yes I was one of them and I hate that) were scrambling like hungry animals to the windows to take photos of something they thought they should be taking photos of, some amazing thing that never really happens. During the stop in Sibambe I remember I commented to somebody that I thought that the whole thing was just a big tourist scam and they agreed with me. Actually this ranks as my 2nd most hated tourist thing I have done in South America after Machu Picchu (tourist hell). It's not that the train ride is bad or anything, it's just the touristyness of the whole thing and the fact that a big rock is just not that interesting. Maybe this used to be fun when they allowed people to ride on the roofs of the train carriages, probably! But they don't allow that anymore. Come to Alausi to see and enjoy the town, not just for the train! I would be interested to experience some of the other train journeys in Ecuador in the future, there are around 7 available. All the information is available at the TrenEcuador website.

     

View all photos in the Alausi Photoset


Itineraries / Routes: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008



Distances & times (if available) from Alausi (Ecuador) to:


Map location: Alausi, Ecuador. Alausi is a charming town with a train station in the mountains! You can take the train to the Devil's Nose and see the countryside along the way.
 A : Riobamba & Colta Lagoon - Ecuador 62 kms 62 kms straight distance | 1hr 28mins 1hr 28mins by car (93 kms) | 1hr 45mins 1hr 45mins by bus (93 kms) (93 kms)
 B : Ambato - Ecuador 107 kms 107 kms straight distance | 2hrs 43mins 2hrs 43mins by car (154 kms) | 3hrs 15mins 3hrs 15mins by bus (154 kms) (154 kms)
 C : Guaranda - Ecuador 69 kms 69 kms straight distance | 2hrs 39mins 2hrs 39mins by car (156 kms) | 3hrs 10mins 3hrs 10mins by bus (156 kms) (156 kms)
 D : Cuenca - Ecuador 79 kms 79 kms straight distance | 2hrs 56mins 2hrs 56mins by car (158 kms) | 3hrs 31mins 3hrs 31mins by bus (158 kms) (158 kms)
 E : Banos - Ecuador 100 kms 100 kms straight distance | 2hrs 53mins 2hrs 53mins by car (168 kms) | 3hrs 27mins 3hrs 27mins by bus (168 kms) (168 kms)
 F : Macas to Zamora - Ecuador 78 kms 78 kms straight distance | 3hrs 25mins 3hrs 25mins by car (186 kms) | 4hrs 6mins 4hrs 6mins by bus (186 kms) (186 kms)
 G : Latacunga - Ecuador 143 kms 143 kms straight distance | 3hrs 9mins 3hrs 9mins by car (192 kms) | 3hrs 46mins 3hrs 46mins by bus (192 kms) (192 kms)
 H : Pujili - Ecuador 139 kms 139 kms straight distance | 3hrs 7mins 3hrs 7mins by car (201 kms) | 3hrs 44mins 3hrs 44mins by bus (201 kms) (201 kms)
 I : Saquisili - Ecuador 153 kms 153 kms straight distance | 3hrs 26mins 3hrs 26mins by car (214 kms) | 4hrs 7mins 4hrs 7mins by bus (214 kms) (214 kms)
 J : Puyo - Ecuador 120 kms 120 kms straight distance | 4hrs 3mins 4hrs 3mins by car (226 kms) | 4hrs 51mins 4hrs 51mins by bus (226 kms) (226 kms)
 K : Guayaquil - Ecuador 140 kms 140 kms straight distance | 4hrs 5mins 4hrs 5mins by car (228 kms) | 4hrs 54mins 4hrs 54mins by bus (228 kms) (228 kms)
 L : Machachi - Ecuador 189 kms 189 kms straight distance | 3hrs 47mins 3hrs 47mins by car (250 kms) | 4hrs 32mins 4hrs 32mins by bus (250 kms) (250 kms)
 M : Machala - Ecuador 172 kms 172 kms straight distance | 4hrs 21mins 4hrs 21mins by car (261 kms) | 5hrs 13mins 5hrs 13mins by bus (261 kms) (261 kms)
 N : Quilotoa Lagoon - Ecuador 149 kms 149 kms straight distance | 4hrs 19mins 4hrs 19mins by car (265 kms) | 5hrs 10mins 5hrs 10mins by bus (265 kms) (265 kms)
 O : Tena - Ecuador 175 kms 175 kms straight distance | 5hrs 24mins 5hrs 24mins by car (308 kms) | 6hrs 28mins 6hrs 28mins by bus (308 kms) (308 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Alausi, Ecuador:

Hotel Europa, Alausi, Ecuador - Large Photo
Hotel Europa, Alausi, Ecuador (July 2015 - 2 nights) - I chose the cheaper priced room of $10USD with shared bathroom. A room with a private bathroom is $18USD per night. Comfortable room and bed, tv and wifi. Right in the center of town, it's the big pink building, you can't miss it. Recommended, why not?

ADD A COMMENT



Pinterest - Pin it!

Alausi, Ecuador - The Devil's Nose Train To Sibambe Wasn't My Highlight. Alausi is a charming town with a train station in the mountains! You can take the train to the Devil's Nose and see the countryside along the way.

FREE APP South America Journey

Splash Screen - South America Journey Free App for Android and IOS
Popular Photos Screen - South America Journey Free App for Android and IOS
Favorite Photos Screen - South America Journey Free App for Android and IOS
Fullscreen Photo - South America Journey Free App for Android and IOS
Photos from a Place Screen - South America Journey Free App for Android and IOS

My next travel experience & photos in your inbox!