This train journey has a valuable reward: a spectacular mountain experience.

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La nariz del diablo

How the devil do we get up there?

Head south of Quito and you'll find the city of Riobamba, where you can catch the train known as 'La nariz del diablo' or the devil's nose. In 1897, a project was launched to build the most difficult rail route in the world, as this stretch of railway was known, which would cut across previously impassable sections of the Andes. The engineers working on this project would ask themselves over and over "how the devil do we get a train up there?" and the saying has stuck ever since. Today, it is the most scenic way of getting to the Alausí area, a mountainous journey famous for the sheer steepness of the tracks. There are three departures every day and the journey takes a little over two hours. Interestingly, the train stops midway along the route so passengers can take in the dizzying ascent and spectacular scenery.

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