When thinking of Ecuador, a railway is definitely not the first thing that pops up into your mind. Although the country has only one long train route, it is still one of the most remarkable in the world.
The railway connects Quito (the capital) and Guayaquil (the largest Ecuadorian city), and it was built over a century ago. The construction started in 1901, with limited technology, and over 2000 workers lost their lives during the building process.
The most attractive, and at the same time the most dangerous part of the route is the iconic Devil's Nose (Nariz del Diablo). As a steep and round mountainside with a lot of curves, Devil's Nose section was difficult to build. 3,000 Jamaican and 1,000 Puerto Rican workers were invited to help with the grandeur project, and the ones who managed to survive decided to continue with their lives in Ecuador.
Devil's Nose section connects the towns of Alausí and Sibambe. If you want to see only this part of the railroad and then you can take a half-day tour and enjoy one of the most dramatic sceneries in the country.
The zig-zag ride down Devil's Nose is more thrilling than any rollercoaster you've ever seen. At first, you will think it's fun, but then you'll get petrified of the idea that it was real people who built this masterpiece.
The cobblestone streets around the train station in Alausi will take you back in time, and make you feel like a part of a fairytale. This train ride is so far the most exciting in South America, and definitely one of the scariest in the world.
However, Devil's Nose is one of a kind experience that you can't miss if you ever visit Ecuador. Get ready for the 7.700 ft to 4.500 ft ride of your dreams. Good luck!
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