Alausí is a small town at 45 minutes from Guamote, and is known for the Nariz del Diablo trainride. During this tour, we hike through beautiful landscapes, following the train tracks from above to reach amazing views from on top of the famous Devil’s Nose. We continue our hike to the community Nizag, where we will have a delicious local lunch waiting for us.
After a delicious breakfast in Inti Sisa we leave with one of our guides (Dutch-, French-, or English speaking) by car to the town of Alausi. At the train station in Alausi we meet Augustina, our local guide from Nizag and we start the hike.
The first part we walk along the train tracks into the mountains. After 20 minutes the track descends and disappears into the depths, we continue our path over an almost flat terrain. Surrounded by the beautiful Andes mountains we hike up a couple of times, it is not to steep and we have plenty of time to rest for a bit and take breathtaking pictures. During the entire walk we stay at an altitude of around 2300 meter asl with slight fluctuations here and there. Along the way, Augustina, born and raised in this region, speaks passionately about local customs and legends mixed with fun anecdotes. In the valley below we will see the river Rio Alausi and the railway tracks. After about 2 hours walking, we arrive at the entrance of the condor area, from there we walk for another half hour to the impressive metal condor, called the Condor Puñana or the nest of the condors. The enormous bird, carried all the way to this point by the residents of Nizag, is a whopping 3 meters high and 6 meters wide animal and appears ready to take off. Immersed in the Andean landscape this is the ideal place for original holiday pictures! Together with the condor we then stand on top of the famous mountain Nariz del Diablo at an altitude of 2328 meter asl and see deep below us the winding river and the station of Sibambe. Far behind the Andean mountains lies Guayaquil and the ocean.
After a short break we walk to Nizag, which is about an hours walk. (for those who have walked enough we call our driver who will pick us up at the entrance of Condor Puñana and take us to the village by car). Nizag is a small Indigena village at 2523 meter asl where time seems to have stood still. Although it’s located high in the Andes, there’s a nice and warm microclimate that allows the inhabitants of Nizag to grow all kinds of vegetables and fruits like avocados, limes and even bananas. Here we enjoy a delightful local lunch. Afterwards we visit the interesting artesania project of the local women organization. These women use the Cabuya plant (Agave) to make yarn. From this yarn, they knot shigras (traditional bags) and other beautiful objects. After leaving Nizag, we visit the viewpoint of Tolte, about a 10-minute drive away, where we can enjoy the view of the famous Devils Nose mountain as a nice ending of the day. Then it’s time to return to Inti Sisa and enjoy a canelazo by the fire.
Transportation, local tourguide, tourguide Inti Sisa, hike Alausí – Nizag, lunch in Nizag, visit cabuyaworkshop, stop at viewpoint in Tolte
What to bring:
Steady shoes, rain jacket, camera
Extra’s without additional cost:
On Sundays: market in Alausí
On Saturdays; market in Nizag