Day 1: Quito – International Flight – Welcome to Ecuador
After the arrival, our guide will welcome and transfer you from the airport to the hotel.
Day 2: Quito City tour – Middle of the world
At 2,800m above sea level, Quito is extended along the foot of the Pichincha Volcano. Our journey begins with a visit of the Guápulo lookout and continues towards the historical center of Quito. We will visit colonial churches, monasteries, cloisters, chapels and we will then go to the ‘’Panecillo’’, a hill offering a magnificent 360 degrees view of the city.
We will then visit the the Intiñan Museum and the middle of the world, where you will have the chance to put one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern hemisphere!
At a short distance from Middle of the World City you can observe the Pululahua Crater, a dormant volcano with changing vegetation in cultivated fields and inhabited at the crater.
Day 3: Quito – Cayambe- San Pablo – Peguche – Otavalo – Cotacachi
On our way to Cayambe we will see overlapping mountains, a green countryside and if the sky is clear we will even be able to see the Cayambe snow peak!
First, we will visit the San Pablo Lake at the footsteps of the Imbabura volcano.
Then, we will visit the town of Peguche and its waterfalls. We will see how the indigenous create their weavings then we will continue to the Otavalo Indian Market.
After lunch, we will visit Cotacachi, where its residents have structured family workshops specialized in the production of quality leather goods, and where the art of music goes together with the course of everyday.
Return to Quito.
Day 4: Quito – Cotopaxi – Quilotoa
Early in the morning our guide will pick you up from your hotel and our trip to south Andes will begin; In this amazing route we will see the most authentic colorful Andean breathtaking landscapes.
After this great experience, we are ready to visit a rose’s farm. Here, we will learn why these roses can only be produced in the Middle of the World.
Through the ‘’Panamericana’’ route, 70 km from Quito, you will observe the Cotopaxi Volcano, the highest active volcano in the world (5.897meters high altitude). Cotopaxi National Park with its magnificent perspective landscape contains a unique flora and fauna, and also an incredible display of the magnitude of volcanic eruptions. Pita River with the beautiful waterfall of the same name and the Tambo River are originated from the melting of the volcano. Then we continue to Quilotoa lake.
Day 5: Quilotoa – Baños
After breakfast, we will head to the Quilotoa Lagoon. On our way, we will see enchanting green landscapes and magnificent snow covered mountains,
The Quilotoa Lake is in a crater of 2 km in diameter and its beautiful emerald waters are related to the presence of sulfur. Thanks to the natural sound, the echo is unique and will accompany visitors on a quiet walk.
We will stop for a well-deserved lunch in the area.
We will continue our route to Baños. Located in a valley of waterfalls and hotsprings, Baños has become a popular destination for travellers seeking year-round temperate weather, a small town atmosphere, and a base for exploring the great Ecuadorian outdoors.
Day 6: Baños – Riobamba
After breakfast, we will get to know the amazing cloud forest. We will enjoy a short walk in the cloud forest and admire the “Pailon del Diablo” and “Manto de la Novia” waterfalls.
Later, we will go to a lookout point to see the Tungurahua active volcano.
In the late afternoon, we will continue our journey to Riobamba to stay overnight in a local hacienda at the foothills of the impressive Mount Chimborazo (6310m), the highest and largest mountain in Ecuador.
Day 7: Riobamba – Devil’s Nose – Ingapirca – Cuenca
After an early breakfast, we depart to the train station of Alausi.
The Devil´s Nose route is, without a doubt, the most impressive section of Ecuador´s railway: a hair-raising trip down the rocky slopes of the Andes departing from the Alausi town to Sibambe town on the way down to the Coastal Region.
Afterwards, we will continue to Cuenca. On the way we will stop at the famous Ingapirca ruins (“wall rocks of the Inca”) which are the most important and well preserved of Ecuador’s Inca ruins.
A visit to the museum will reveal further details of how life was at the end of the 15th century.
After the visit we will have time for lunch and then we will continue for about 2 hours down to the city of Cuenca.
The beauty and atmosphere of colonial Cuenca is best experienced on foot.
Day 8: Cuenca – Gualaceo – Chordeleg
After breakfast we start our walking tour of the Old Town; this tour takes you through magnificent churches, beautiful old buildings with iron balconies and carved wooden doors, flower and handicrafts markets, art galleries and workshops.
Admire magnificent historic houses perched on cliffs high above the rushing Tomebamba River, which separates Old and New Towns.
After that, driving through some modern neighborhoods you will be treated to an incredible panoramic view of the city from the vantage point of Turi.
Depending on personal preferences, your tour will conclude with a visit to a ceramic art gallery, a Panama hat factory or an artist’s workshop.
After discovering this fantastic city, we will have a nice lunch in a local restaurant.
Near Cuenca, we will visit the towns of Gualaceo (embroidery shop), Chordeleg and Sigsig (fruit market on Sundays).
During the route Cuenca – Santa Ana we will visit San Bartolomé, where there is a handmade guitar workshop.
Then we will arrive to Chordeleg where you can find beautiful handicrafts, gold and silver jewelry and much more!
Day 9: Cuenca – Cajas National Park – Guayaquil
From Cuenca, we will drive to the Cajas National Park. In the park there are about 200 lakes, which are the remains of the last ice age.
We will take a short hike through the highlands of the park.
After, we will continue to the west to the city of Guayaquil. It is Ecuador´s largest city situated at sea level and its port “Puerto Maritimo” is the main sea port of the country. It is the commercial and industrial center of Ecuador and lies on the west bank of the river Guayas.
Day 10: Guayaquil – Farewell – International Flight
Guayaquil has many points of interest, including Parque Simón Bolivar, (popularly known as Parque de las Iguanas).
The park is a delightful place for bird lovers as the abundant ficus trees here are home to some truly exotic flycatchers and arboreal Iguanas.
Experience the splendid “Palacio Municipal” and the several monuments including the architecturally grand “Gobernacion de la Provincia” building located on the waterfront Malecon Simon Bolivar along the shore of the Guayas river.
As we stroll through the attractive district of Las Peñas, amid old houses constructed from timber, we pass art galleries and cafes with beautiful views.
Heading west of Las Peñas, back to the hotel, we pass an extensive cemetery filled with remarkably ornate tombs, a vestige of times gone by, illustrating Guayaquil´s wealth over the last century.
After we will visit Guayaquil National Historic Park: This new 8,5 hectars park has three different sections. The largest, which takes up over half of the total area of the park, is a wildlife zone that has 45 species of birds and numerous animals, including iguanas and caimans. This semi-natural habitat is set amidst segments of mangrove forests. The third area of the park focuses on local traditions, with an emphasis on rural customs, crafts and agriculture.
Transfer to the airport for your international flight.
- Private transportation for excursions
- All transfers in /out
- Bilingual guide for excursions and transfers
- Accommodation in double room with breakfast
- Meals as detailed in the itinerary
- Entrance fees and taxes
- All excursions and visits detailed in the itinerary
- All necessary equipment for activities mentioned in the itinerary
TOUR DOES NOT INCLUDE:
- Additional meals
- All drinks
- Personal expenses
- VAT for Ecuadorian people and local agencies (12%)
- Personal equipment & required clothing for Andean climate (3ºC-15ºC/37ºF- 59ª)
- Any item not mentioned in the itinerary