Nariz del Diablo is a short train ride through the Andes from Alausi to Sibambe and back. To get to Alausi we had a driver pick us up bright and early, after a quick stop in Tumbaco we headed south on the Pan-American Highway. We stretched out the trip (with some protests) to make a couple pit-stops for snacks and a little walk around Riobamba. True to nature, there were no short stops on this trip and we got to Alausi about 12 hours after setting out. By that point some of us (ME) needed a drink and we set out to explore the very small town. It was late but luckily we inquired about an open bar to a local who happened to own a bar and he opened it back up for us! It is called Marley Bar and features red lights, hookahs, reggae and a very nice staff. We had our nightcap and headed back to the hotel for a short nights sleep. The next morning we woke up at dawn to do a little exploring before the train ride. We were staying at the Hosteria La Quinta and it was adorable, offering great views of the town and hillsides. They offered a traditional breakfast with fruit, eggs, bread and loads of coffee.
We made it to the train on time and settled in. The Nariz del Diablo ride features a zig-zag railroad down a mountain that, at the time of construction, was an engineering feat. Once down the mountain you can see the features of the area that give it it's name. It's a short 2.5 hour trip but incredible. There is a quick stop at the bottom in Sibambe where the locals show a traditional indigenous dance, give llama rides and you can shop. It's pretty touristy but beautiful and provides great economy for the area.
Once back in Alausi we walked around town for a while and had a quick, delicious lunch before heading back on the long trip to Quito. We wish we could have stayed longer in Alausi, it is such a quaint and lovely (and photogenic) town! You can now see Ecuador by train, check out the many options at www.trenecuador.com.