Quito - Machachi - El Boliche Train
Chimbacalle is, without a doubt, synonymous with the train and the actual train station extends over 18.000 sq m, from where trains rumble off south to Machachi and beyond. And although the structure might have served just as a place of arrival and departure, it has become a tourist attraction in its own right.
Inside, one can admire the old engines and carriages, visit the museum, enjoy a snack at the cafe, buy a souvenir, let the children play in the playground, or even wave some passengers off. Such is its popularity, it was voted the capital's most popular monument in the locally-held Seven Wonders of Quito.
Leaving Quito from the century-old Chimbacalle Station, we watch the city fade into the Andes landscapes with its graffitied walls on the empty lots that begin marking outer-city limits.
We go through the small town of Tambillo and continue past riveting landscapes featuring mounts Ruminahui and Pasochoa as the train stops at the Machachi train station for a cultural experience. This is the first stop after Quito. The we take you to a fine mountain inn, Hacienda El Porvenir, at the cattle-ranch country of Machachi.
The station at El Boliche is set within the Cotopaxi National Park limits. This is an area dominated by introduced pine trees, but you should notice the carpet-like "almohadilla" ("little pillow") planst at your feet. There is a nice restaurant at the station and camping grounds nearby.
Activities in El Boliche
- Entrance to the Cotopaxi National Park
- Short walk in the pine forest
- Typical Ecuadorian Andes cuisine lunch.