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A Guide To Visiting Alausi, Ecuador – The Home Of The Devil’s Nose


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Claire Debord



Welcome to Alausi, Ecuador – a charming town nestled in the heart of the Andes. With its picturesque landscapes, rich indigenous culture, and historical significance, Alausi has become a popular destination for travelers seeking an authentic Ecuadorian experience. From the iconic Devil’s Nose Train to the vibrant festivals held throughout the year, Alausi offers a myriad of attractions that will captivate visitors of all ages.


Located in the Chimborazo province, Alausi is surrounded by magnificent mountains and lush valleys, making it a paradise for nature lovers and avid hikers. The town itself is a showcase of colonial architecture, with cobbled streets and colorful facades that transport you back in time. Its warm and friendly atmosphere, coupled with the genuine hospitality of its inhabitants, truly makes Alausi a gem worth exploring.


One of the highlights of Alausi is undoubtedly the famous Devil’s Nose Train. This engineering marvel takes passengers on a thrilling ride through steep and winding tracks, offering breathtaking panoramic views along the way. The train journey is not only a thrilling adventure but also a historical experience, as it retraces the route of the legendary Trans-Andean railroad that once connected the coast with the highlands.


Aside from the Devil’s Nose Train, Alausi boasts a plethora of other attractions. You can visit the captivating Ingapirca Ruins, an archaeological site that showcases the rich Inca history of Ecuador. Immerse yourself in the local culture by attending colorful festivals such as Corpus Christi, where the town comes alive with traditional music, dance, and vibrant parades. For those seeking outdoor adventures, the nearby Sangay National Park offers incredible hiking and wildlife spotting opportunities.


When it comes to accommodations, Alausi has a range of options to suit every budget and preference. From cozy guesthouses to luxury hotels, you’ll find a comfortable place to rest and unwind after a day of exploration. The town is also home to a diverse culinary scene, with traditional Ecuadorian dishes and international cuisine being served in various charming restaurants.


Join us as we delve into the enchanting world of Alausi, Ecuador. In the following sections, we will guide you through the town’s top attractions, offer tips for a safe and enjoyable visit, and provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your time in this delightful destination. So pack your bags, put on your hiking boots, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in Alausi!


Getting to Alausi

Traveling to Alausi is an exciting journey that takes you through Ecuador’s stunning landscapes. While Alausi is not a major transportation hub, reaching the town is relatively easy and can be done through various modes of transportation.


If you are flying to Ecuador, the nearest international airport is Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito. From Quito, you have several options to get to Alausi. The most convenient way is to take a bus from Quito’s southern terminal. The bus ride takes approximately four hours, and the scenic route offers stunning views of the Andean countryside.


If you prefer a more private and comfortable option, you can hire a taxi or arrange for a private transfer from Quito to Alausi. This allows you to have more flexibility in terms of departure time and potentially stop at other attractions along the way, such as the Cotopaxi National Park.


Another popular route to Alausi is from Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city. Buses from Guayaquil to Alausi are available and take around six hours. The journey takes you through the breathtaking Cajas National Park, known for its majestic lakes and unique flora and fauna.


If you are already in Ecuador and exploring other parts of the country, Alausi can be easily reached by bus or van from cities such as Cuenca, Riobamba, or Baños. The roads in Ecuador are well-maintained, offering a comfortable and enjoyable journey.


Once you arrive in Alausi, the town is compact and easily navigable on foot. Most of the attractions are within walking distance from the center, allowing you to explore at your own pace. Taxis are also available for those who prefer not to walk or want to reach attractions in the surrounding areas.


As you plan your visit to Alausi, it is important to note that the weather can vary throughout the year. It is advisable to pack layers and be prepared for both warm and chilly temperatures, especially if you plan to do outdoor activities. It’s also wise to check the local weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly.


In the next section, we will delve into the thrilling experience of the Devil’s Nose Train, one of the main attractions in Alausi. So get ready for an unforgettable adventure!


Devil’s Nose Train

The Devil’s Nose Train is an exhilarating and unforgettable experience that should not be missed during your visit to Alausi. This iconic train ride is not only a thrilling adventure but also a testament to Ecuador’s engineering prowess.


The Devil’s Nose Train journey begins at the Alausi train station, where passengers board a vintage locomotive that slowly chugs its way up the steep and winding tracks. As the train starts its ascent, you will be amazed by the breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys, mountains, and canyons.


The highlight of the Devil’s Nose Train ride is undoubtedly the infamous “Nariz del Diablo” or Devil’s Nose, a section of the track that descends sharply into a deep gorge. The train slowly navigates the narrow track, providing passengers with heart-stopping moments as they peer over the edge and marvel at the sheer drop below.


Throughout the journey, knowledgeable guides provide commentary on the history and construction of the railroad. You’ll learn about the ingenuity and perseverance of engineers who built the track over a century ago, overcoming immense challenges in order to connect the coast with the highlands.


The Devil’s Nose Train ride typically lasts around two hours, giving passengers ample time to soak in the stunning scenery, capture memorable photographs, and appreciate the marvel of human achievement. The train makes a brief stop at the village of Sibambe, where you can disembark to explore the local community, interact with artisans, and learn more about the region’s indigenous culture.


It’s important to note that due to safety regulations, the train ride on the Devil’s Nose track is currently limited to a certain section. However, this does not diminish the excitement and beauty of the experience. The engineering feats and panoramic views offered by the journey are still worth the trip.


The Devil’s Nose Train is a popular attraction, so it is advisable to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. There are different ticket options available, including open-air and closed carriages, allowing you to choose the experience that suits your preferences.


As you embark on this adventure, be sure to dress comfortably, wear sturdy shoes, and bring a camera to capture the awe-inspiring moments along the way. The Devil’s Nose Train is a highlight of any trip to Alausi and offers a unique perspective of Ecuador’s natural beauty.


Now that you’ve experienced the thrill of the Devil’s Nose Train, let’s delve into the other attractions and activities that await you in Alausi.


Attractions in Alausi

Alausi is a town brimming with cultural and natural attractions that will captivate travelers of all interests. From historical sites to breathtaking landscapes, Alausi offers a wide array of experiences to explore.


One of the must-visit attractions in Alausi is the Ingapirca Ruins, located just a short distance from the town. This archaeological site is a testament to the rich Inca history of Ecuador and showcases the impressive stonework and architecture of the ancient civilization. Explore the meticulously crafted structures, including the Temple of the Sun, and learn about the fascinating rituals and practices of the Incas.


For nature enthusiasts, the nearby Sangay National Park is a paradise waiting to be discovered. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to stunning landscapes, including snow-capped mountains, lush forests, and picturesque waterfalls. Embark on a hiking expedition, spot exotic wildlife, and immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of Ecuador’s wilderness.


In the heart of Alausi, you will find the Plaza Bolivar, a charming square lined with colonial-style buildings. Take a leisurely stroll through the plaza, admire the statue of Simón Bolivar, and soak in the laid-back atmosphere of this bustling town center. The plaza is also a perfect spot for people-watching and enjoying a cup of delicious Ecuadorian coffee.


The Church of San Pedro, located near the plaza, is another architectural gem worth exploring. This impressive church boasts intricate wood carvings, religious art, and a peaceful ambiance that invites contemplation. Take a moment to admire the craftsmanship and soak in the spiritual atmosphere within its walls.


Alausi is also known for its vibrant festivals and events that celebrate the town’s rich cultural heritage. One of the most famous is the Corpus Christi festival, held in June. During this time, the streets come alive with colorful processions, traditional dances, and music, creating an atmosphere of joy and celebration. Immerse yourself in the festivities and get a glimpse of the traditional culture of Ecuador.


If you are interested in handicrafts and local art, be sure to visit the Casa de Artesanias, a market where local artisans showcase their handmade products. From intricately woven textiles to unique pottery and jewelry, you’ll find a wide range of authentic Ecuadorian crafts to take home as souvenirs.


These are just a few of the attractions that await you in Alausi. As you explore the town and its surroundings, you’ll discover hidden gems and encounter the warmth and hospitality of the local community. So, get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of Alausi!


Accommodations in Alausi

When it comes to accommodations, Alausi offers a variety of options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a luxury hotel, a cozy guesthouse, or a budget-friendly hostel, you’ll find a comfortable place to rest and recharge in this charming town.


For those seeking a touch of luxury, Alausi has a few boutique hotels that provide top-notch amenities and personalized service. These hotels often feature beautifully decorated rooms, spa facilities, and stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. It’s the perfect choice for those who want to indulge in a pampering experience and enjoy the finer things in life.


If you prefer a more intimate and cozy atmosphere, consider staying at one of the charming guesthouses or bed and breakfasts dotted throughout the town. These family-run accommodations offer a homely ambiance and personalized attention. You can expect warm hospitality, comfortable rooms, and delicious home-cooked breakfasts made with local ingredients.


For budget-conscious travelers, Alausi also has a few hostels and guesthouses that offer affordable rates without compromising on comfort. These accommodations often provide shared dormitory-style rooms or private rooms with shared facilities. They are a great option for backpackers or those looking to meet fellow travelers and exchange stories and experiences.


Regardless of your choice, most accommodations in Alausi provide basic amenities such as free Wi-Fi, hot showers, and comfortable beds. Some may also have communal areas where you can socialize with other guests, shared kitchens for cooking, and outdoor spaces to enjoy the fresh mountain air.


It’s important to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure your preferred choice. Many accommodations in Alausi can be booked online through various travel websites, making it convenient and hassle-free.


As you plan your stay in Alausi, consider the location of your accommodation. Many of the town’s attractions are within walking distance from the center, so choosing a centrally located hotel or guesthouse allows for easy exploration. However, if you prefer a quieter setting with scenic views, there are a few accommodations situated on the outskirts of town, offering tranquility and picturesque surroundings.


Regardless of where you choose to stay, Alausi’s accommodations reflect the warm and welcoming nature of its people. A comfortable place to rest is the perfect complement to your Alausi adventure, ensuring that you feel refreshed and ready to explore all that this charming town has to offer.


Dining in Alausi

When it comes to dining in Alausi, you can expect a delightful culinary experience that showcases the flavors of Ecuador’s traditional cuisine. The town offers a range of dining options, from casual eateries serving local dishes to upscale restaurants offering a fusion of international flavors.


For a truly authentic Ecuadorian dining experience, be sure to try the local specialties. Start your day with a hearty breakfast of “colada morada” and “guaguas de pan” – traditional purple corn porridge and sweet bread shaped like babies. For lunch or dinner, sample dishes such as “ceviche” – a refreshing seafood dish marinated in citrus juices, or “llapingachos” – potato patties filled with cheese and served with various toppings.


There are plenty of restaurants in Alausi that specialize in traditional Ecuadorian cuisine. They offer a variety of dishes made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients, ensuring an authentic and flavorful experience. Indulge in dishes like “locro de papa” – a hearty potato soup, or “encocado de pescado” – fish cooked in a delicious coconut sauce.


If you’re in the mood for international flavors, Alausi also has a few restaurants that offer a fusion of Ecuadorian and international cuisines. You’ll find options such as Italian pasta dishes, Mexican tacos, and American-style burgers. These restaurants often source their ingredients locally to ensure quality and freshness.


No matter where you choose to dine, don’t forget to pair your meal with a refreshing beverage. Ecuador is known for its delicious fruit juices and refreshing “jugos naturales”. Try flavors like maracuya (passion fruit), guanabana (soursop), or naranjilla (a citrus fruit native to Ecuador).


If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, keep an eye out for “fondas” or local eateries that serve homemade meals. These small and humble establishments provide a glimpse into the daily life of the locals and often offer traditional family recipes passed down through generations.


After your meal, satisfy your sweet tooth with some local desserts. Try “helados de paila” – a traditional Ecuadorian ice cream made in a copper pot and flavored with ingredients like fruit, nuts, or spices. Another popular dessert is “tres leches” – a moist sponge cake soaked in three types of milk and topped with whipped cream.


Alausi also has a few cozy cafes where you can enjoy a cup of freshly brewed Ecuadorian coffee and indulge in pastries or desserts. Sit back, relax, and soak in the charming atmosphere of these coffee shops while savoring the rich flavors of a delicious cup of coffee.


With its diverse dining options, Alausi is sure to satisfy your culinary cravings and leave you with a taste of the vibrant Ecuadorian cuisine. So, whether you’re seeking traditional delicacies or international delights, Alausi has something to please every palate.


Local Festivals and Events

Alausi is a town that knows how to celebrate, and its vibrant festivals and events are an integral part of the local culture. Throughout the year, visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere and witness the rich traditions and customs that define Alausi.


One of the most iconic and anticipated events in Alausi is the Corpus Christi festival, held in June. During this time, the town bursts with color, music, and dance as locals and visitors come together to honor the Holy Eucharist. The highlight of the festival is the procession, where participants dressed in traditional costumes parade through the streets, accompanied by lively music and captivating performances.


Another notable festival in Alausi is the Fiesta del Yamor, celebrated in September. This event pays homage to the yamor, a nutritious Andean grain, and is a celebration of blessings and gratitude for the harvest. During the festival, you can enjoy traditional music and dance performances, participate in cultural competitions, and indulge in delicious food and drinks made from local ingredients.


Throughout the year, Alausi also hosts various religious and cultural events that showcase the town’s heritage. These events include religious processions, folkloric dance performances, and concerts featuring local musicians. Attending these events provides a unique opportunity to witness the fusion of indigenous traditions with Spanish colonial influences.


If you’re lucky enough to be in Alausi during Christmas, you’ll have the chance to experience the vibrant and heartfelt festivities of the holiday season. The town is beautifully decorated with lights and ornaments, and the streets come alive with joyous atmosphere. Be sure to attend the Misa de Gallo, the traditional midnight Mass, and witness the lighting of the Christmas tree in the main plaza.


Aside from the annual festivals, Alausi also hosts cultural exhibitions, art fairs, and artisan markets throughout the year. These events provide an opportunity to discover local talent and purchase unique handicrafts, artworks, and traditional products.


Attending these festivals and events not only allows you to witness the vibrancy of Alausi’s cultural heritage but also provides an opportunity to interact with the friendly locals and learn about their traditions and customs. Be prepared to join in the festivities, try traditional foods, and dance to the rhythms of the Andean music.


It’s important to note that the dates and specific details of these festivals and events may vary from year to year, so it is advisable to check the local tourism websites or consult with the local tourism office for the most up-to-date information.


With its lively and colorful celebrations, Alausi offers a unique cultural experience that will leave you with lasting memories of your visit. So be sure to check the calendar of events and immerse yourself in the festive spirit of this vibrant town.


Shopping in Alausi

Shopping in Alausi is a delightful experience that allows you to bring a piece of Ecuador’s rich culture and craftsmanship home with you. The town offers a variety of shopping opportunities, from traditional markets to artisan shops, where you can find unique souvenirs, handicrafts, and locally made products.


One of the best places to explore for shopping in Alausi is the Casa de Artesanias, a market that showcases the work of talented local artisans. Here, you can find a wide range of handmade products, including intricately woven textiles, intricate ceramics, jewelry, and wood carvings. These beautifully crafted items make excellent gifts or mementos to commemorate your visit to Alausi.


Alausi is known for its exquisite textiles, and you’ll find an array of woven garments, blankets, and rugs available for purchase. These textiles often incorporate colorful designs and patterns that reflect the region’s indigenous heritage. Take the opportunity to admire the craftsmanship and choose a piece that speaks to you.


If you’re interested in traditional Ecuadorian clothing, head to the local boutiques, where you can find intricately embroidered blouses, ponchos, and hats. These garments are not only stylish but also rooted in the cultural traditions of the area.


To immerse yourself in the local food culture, visit the local markets where vendors sell a variety of fresh produce, including fruits, vegetables, and traditional spices. Be sure to taste the wide range of Ecuadorian chocolates, coffee, and exotic fruits.


While exploring the town, you may come across small workshops where artisans create their masterpieces. Take the opportunity to witness traditional craftsmanship in action and engage with the artists as they bring their creations to life. Buying directly from these artisans not only ensures the authenticity of the product but also supports the local economy and preserves traditional art forms.


For those interested in art, Alausi is home to a few art galleries that showcase the works of talented local artists. These galleries feature a range of artistic styles and mediums, including paintings, sculptures, and photography. Take your time to browse through the collections and perhaps find a unique piece to add to your art collection.


Remember to bargain and negotiate prices when shopping in local markets and with individual artisans, as it is common practice in Ecuador. This can be a fun and interactive part of the shopping experience, and you may even walk away with a better deal.


When shopping in Alausi, keep in mind the customs regulations of your home country to ensure that any purchased items comply with import restrictions. Some products, such as certain types of wood and animal products, may be subject to limitations or require special permits.


Shopping in Alausi allows you to support the local economy, discover unique handmade treasures, and connect with the cultural heritage of the region. So take the time to explore the markets, interact with the artisans, and find the perfect souvenirs to remind you of your unforgettable visit to Alausi.


Safety Tips

While Alausi is a relatively safe town, it’s always important to take precautions to ensure a smooth and worry-free trip. By following a few simple safety tips, you can make the most of your visit to Alausi while keeping yourself and your belongings secure.


1. Keep an eye on your belongings: Like any tourist destination, it’s essential to be mindful of your personal belongings. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and keep your valuables, such as passports and electronics, secure in a hotel safe or a hidden money belt. When exploring the town, be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your bags at all times.


2. Use reliable transportation: If you need to travel within Alausi or the surrounding areas, always opt for licensed taxis or official modes of transportation. Most accommodations can assist you in arranging reliable transportation options. Avoid hailing taxis from the street, and instead, ask the hotel or restaurant to call a reputable taxi service for you.


3. Be cautious with strangers: While the locals in Alausi are generally friendly and welcoming, it’s wise to exercise caution when interacting with strangers. Use your judgment and be cautious of anyone who approaches you with unsolicited offers or requests. If you’re unsure about someone’s intention, it’s best to politely decline and continue on your way.


4. Respect the local customs and traditions: Alausi is a town rich in cultural heritage, and it’s important to respect the local customs and traditions. Be mindful of appropriate attire when visiting religious sites or participating in festivals. Observe and adhere to any guidelines or instructions given by local authorities or event organizers.


5. Stay updated on current events: Before and during your visit to Alausi, it’s advisable to stay informed about any current events, weather conditions, or potential travel advisories. Check with your country’s embassy or consulate for any relevant information or warnings that may affect your trip. It’s also a good idea to register with your embassy or consulate, so they can reach you in case of an emergency.


6. Take care of your health: To ensure a healthy and enjoyable trip, it’s essential to take care of your health. Drink bottled water or water that has been treated and avoid consuming raw or undercooked food. Apply sunscreen and use insect repellent to protect yourself from the sun and insects when exploring outdoor areas. If you have any health concerns, consult with a healthcare professional before your trip.


7. Use common sense and trust your instincts: Lastly, it’s important to use common sense and trust your instincts while traveling in Alausi. If a situation feels unsafe or uncomfortable, remove yourself from it. Travel with a companion whenever possible and share your itinerary with someone you trust.


By following these safety tips, you can have a worry-free and enjoyable experience in Alausi, focusing on exploring the town’s beauty, immersing in its culture, and creating lasting memories.



Alausi, Ecuador is a destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and unforgettable experiences. From the thrilling ride on the Devil’s Nose Train to exploring ancient ruins and immersing yourself in vibrant festivals, there is something for everyone in this charming town.


Getting to Alausi is easily accessible from major cities in Ecuador, whether by bus or private transfer. Once you arrive, you’ll find a range of accommodations to suit your preferences and budget, from luxury hotels to cozy guesthouses. Dining in Alausi is a culinary delight, with traditional Ecuadorian dishes and international flavors to tantalize your taste buds.


Exploring Alausi’s attractions will take you on a journey through history, culture, and natural wonders. The Devil’s Nose Train offers a thrilling adventure with breathtaking views, while the Ingapirca Ruins reveal the fascinating ancient Inca civilization. The town’s festivals and events provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture.


Shopping in Alausi is a treat for art lovers and those looking for unique souvenirs. From traditional textiles and handmade crafts to locally sourced products, you’ll find treasures that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the region.


While enjoying your time in Alausi, it’s important to prioritize safety. By following basic safety precautions, such as being mindful of your belongings and respecting local customs, you can ensure a worry-free trip.


In conclusion, a visit to Alausi promises an enriching experience that will leave a lasting impression. With its breathtaking scenery, fascinating history, and warm hospitality of its inhabitants, Alausi invites you to discover the magic of this hidden gem in Ecuador’s Andes. So pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime in Alausi, Ecuador.