Day 1: Quito – International Flight – Welcome to Ecuador
After your arrival, our guide will welcome and transfer you from the airport to the hotel. Overnight in Quito.
Day 2: Quito City tour – Middle of the world – Cayambe – Otavalo
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!
Our day will end heading to the Lake Province, Imbabura, for overnight in Otavalo.
Day 3: Otavalo – Peguche – San Antonio
After breakfast we will visit the town of Peguche and its waterfalls. In town we will see how the indigenous create their weavings; then we continue to the Otavalo Indian Market.
In the afternoon we will go to San Antonio de Ibarra, village of talented sculptor’s.
Day 4: Otavalo – Cotacachi – Cuicocha – Papallacta
After breakfast 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.
Then we will go to Cuicocha, a lake with the shape of a “Cuy” (guinea pig) and named after this Andean rodent. If you wish, it is possible to explore the lake in a boat ride; part of this collapsed volcanic crater is still active. It has two islets, Wolf and Yerovi. Cuicocha was a volcano that erupted 3.500 years ago, creating the actual lake.
We will leave Imbabura Province to the Amazon watershed, with scenic and biodiverse cloud forests on our minds. Our first stop en route, however, will be at a rose plantation where you will have the opportunity to see the most popular and spectacular varieties that Ecuador produces. After this it will be time to move up in elevation to the majestic, windswept paramos of Papallacta – a very tundra-like habitat. On clear days here the views of the surroundings and various volcanoes are breath-taking; a stop right up at the continental divide is one of the best spots from which to photograph the snow-capped volcano, Antisana, as it towers over the mountains below.
Day 5: Papallacta – Tena – Amazon Lodge
Early in the morning we will go to the Amazon, starting with Tena.
From Tena, we will head to an indigenous village, where a canoe will be waiting to take us on a journey down the Napo River to the Lodge.
- jungle walk
- introduction to shamanism and the indigenous culture.
Day 6: Amazon Lodge
Amazon lodge activities
Day 7: Amazon Lodge – Baños
After breakfast, our transport will take us to the towns of Puyo and Baños. This trip offers plenty of fantastic views of the rugged landscape of the Pastaza Canyon.
Continue 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 8: Baños town
After breakfast, we drive east to enter in 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.
Free afternoon in Baños where you can choose between a lot of activities such as:
- biking to the waterfalls
- trekking to the waterfalls
- relaxing in thermal baths
- exploring the town
- riding a horse
Day 9: Baños – Riobamba
After breakfast, we will continue our journey driving to Riobamba through “El Arenal”, an arid location in the slopes of Chimborazo mountain.
This gigantic mountain was included in the famous 1802 expedition led by the german scientist Alexander Von Humboldt.
This location offers amazing views of wild llamas, vicunas and alpacas.
In the afternoon we will visit the city of Riobamba.
We will stay overnight in a local hacienda at the foothills of the impressive Mount Chimborazo (6310m), the highest and largest mountain in Ecuador.
Day 10: 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 11: 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. Small rivers, whose crystal-clear waters flow into the Pacific, connect the lakes. 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 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 about 60 km from its outflow in the Gulf of Guayaquil.
Day 12: 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
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