10-day Ecuador Highlights

This tour includes:

9x Breakfast

9x Breakfast

2x Dinner

2x Dinner

4x Lunch

4x Lunch

Accommodation included: 9 nights

Accommodation included: 9 nights

Transportation: Airfare Cuenca-Quito one way,...

Transportation: Airfare Cuenca-Quito one way, airport transfers (national flights), private and comfortable land transportation, train, motorized canoe

Accommodation based on double occupancy:...

Accommodation based on double occupancy: First Class hotel in Quito, colonial hacienda in Otavalo, 5-star Spa Resort Papallacta, Itamandi Eco-lodge in the Amazon, 3 or 4 star hotel in Baños, 5-star Andean lodge in Chimborazo, 3 or 4 star hotel in Cuenca

Gear: hiking sticks, life jackets

Gear: hiking sticks, life jackets

Trip Leader: Certified AJ expert...

Trip Leader: Certified AJ expert English-speaking adventure Trip Leader and local guides

Entry/Admission - Tungurahua

Entry/Admission - Tungurahua

Entry/Admission - Mount Chimborazo

Entry/Admission - Mount Chimborazo

Entry/Admission - Estacion Ferrocarril

Entry/Admission - Estacion Ferrocarril

Activities: Indigenous Market, volcanic hot...

Activities: Indigenous Market, volcanic hot springs, encounter with indigenous people, road of the waterfalls, hiking up the glacier of Chimborazo, trekking, bird watching in the Amazon, canoeing and wildlife observation in the rainforest, Amazoonico Animal Rescue Center, chocolate making with indigenous people, train to Devil's Nose, cultural visit of Cuenca.

Not included:

My Own Room supplement

My Own Room supplement

International flights

International flights

Airport transfer (international flights)

Airport transfer (international flights)

Travel insurance (mandatory)

Travel insurance (mandatory)

Meals not described in the...

Meals not described in the itinerary

Tips for guides and drivers

Tips for guides and drivers

Start planning your experience

 

About experience

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Quito

Stop At: Adventure Journeys, Quito Ecuador
Welcome to Quito! The largest, best preserved colonial city of America -declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and is located on the equator in a valley at the foothills of the Pichincha volcano.
Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. ADVENTURE JOURNEYS can help you to organize a day trip (please request in advance). In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel’s lobby for a welcome briefing at 18:00 hours. At this time, we will discuss the details and questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an acclimation and information day.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Swissôtel Quito or similar.

Day 2: Otavalo Indigenous Market

Stop At: Otavalo Market, Plaza de los Ponchos, Otavalo 100450 Ecuador
We take an early departure from Quito and drive north through the majestic Andes. On our way we will stop at a viewpoint to admire Imbabura Volcano and Lake San Pablo. Once in Otavalo, you will have plenty of time to stroll along the narrow cobblestone streets, filled with the Otavalo Indigenous people wearing the traditional blue ponchos, white trousers and long braided hair. Learn all about their daily activities, typical food and native language. Explore their famous handicraft market, with its wonderful textiles, alpaca throws and rugs, knitted clothing native paintings, ceramics, jewelry, tapestries and more at bargain prices.

Later, we will head to Peguche, a small village located in the heart of the Andes, where you will live an unforgettable cultural experience, immersing yourself in the true spirit of the South-American highlands. You will help the local people prepare a delicious lunch using the fresh products harvested the same day from the surrounding organic fields and share precious moments of conviviality with them.

After that, we’ll drive through a unique landscape up to an elevation of 4000 m (13123 ft) through the eastern range of the Andes. This road is situated between two national reserves, Antisana and Cayambe Coca, both located in the high mountain Paramo ecosystem, known for its short vegetation and for being home to some incredible animals such as the spectacled bear, deer, puma, Andean condor, cara-cara and more. After our 2 and a half hours’ drive through the beautiful landscape, we will arrive at Papallacta Hot Springs Resort, where you can soak in the volcanic water pools surrounded by mountains and colorful flowers and birds.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
Accommodation included: Hacienda Pinsaquí or similar

Day 3: Hummingbirds Sanctuary

Stop At: Tena, Tena, Napo Province
Early in the morning, we will drive down along a curvy panoramic road towards the Amazon Rain forest; as we descend from an altitude of 3000 m to 500 m (9843 ft to 1640 ft), you will observe how the landscape and vegetation change drastically between climates. Our first stop will be the Guango reserve (entrance fee not included), where we will have the unique opportunity to see many different species of hummingbirds in the wild. These small creatures are famous for their incredible ability to flap their wings rapidly, as well as for their bright colors.

Later, we also stop at the “Guacamayos-Macaw Lookout,” located between Antisana and Sumaco National Reserves (low elevation cloud forest), to observe the magic blanket of clouds that covers the Amazon rain forest, until we finally arrive at the Arajuno River, where a motor canoe will take us 20 minutes up the river to the Eco Lodge.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Amazon Eco-lodge

Day 4: Amazon Hike and Kichwa Community

Stop At: Napo Province, Napo Province
In the morning, we will hike to explore the Tropical Rain Forest and have an interpretation from our guide and learn about medicinal plants and we will search for wildlife. Later, we will enjoy a cultural activity where an Amazonian Kichwa community will receive us and we learn about their way of life and the interaction they have with the forest. Appreciate the skills of the indigenous women manufacturing handmade pottery (ceramics). This little business helps to support the indigenous people in their daily life. Today we will also have the chance to learn how to make our own chocolate from the raw fruit.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Amazon Eco-lodge

Day 5: The road of waterfalls – Baños outdoor town

Stop At: Tungurahua, Banos Ecuador
After breakfast, we will reach to Rio Verde, located in the UNESCO World Heritage site, Sangay National Park. Here, we will hike down to the second-highest waterfall in Ecuador, the Pailon Del Diablo, where pounding water cascades on the rocks and mesmerizes you as you watch from a suspension bridge. You may also take an optional hike behind the falls. After another quick drive, we will arrive at another incredible waterfall called El Manto de la Novia, where we will ride in a cable car traversing the canyon of the Pastaza River.

In the late afternoon, we will arrive in Baños, located right on the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano, which has been active since 1999. It has some eruptions every few months which delights visitors with lava and steam displays that can be viewed from a number of safe viewpoints in the region. Here in Baños, you can also visit a spa or another place to enjoy the hot springs of the area.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Hotel Casa de Luis or similar

Day 6: Tree house – Free afternoon in Baños

Stop At: Tungurahua, Banos Ecuador
In the morning we will visit The Swing of the End of the World, where the winner of the 2014 National Geographic photo contest took his photo, you will have some time to take the amazing picture with the stunning landscape in the front.

We will have the afternoon at leisure to enjoy optional activities in this incredible town.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Hotel Casa de Luis or similar

Day 7: Chimborazo Volcano

Stop At: Mount Chimborazo, Ecuador
Early in the morning, we will drive through valleys and farming villages to reach the Chimborazo Volcano, the highest mountain in Ecuador with an elevation of 6310 m (20702 ft) above sea level; whose summit is also the furthest point from the center of the earth on the entire planet. On a clear day, the majestic peak of Chimborazo dominates the view for many kilometers. There will be a short hike for 0.9 km (0.57 mi) to reach the elevation of 5000 m (16404 ft) where the glacier begins. On the hike, we will spot a few of the animals that inhabit this volcanic wonderland such as the Andean condor, cara-cara, hummingbirds, and the timid vicuñas. Once extinct in Ecuador, they have been reintroduced and are now protected; this beautiful animal is related to the alpacas and llamas.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
Accommodation included: Hacienda La Andaluza or similar

Day 8: Devil's Nose Train and Inca Ruins

Stop At: Estacion Ferrocarril, Alausi Ecuador
After an early breakfast, we will take a scenic drive to the small town of Alausí. Here, we will board the train to the Devil’s Nose, where the tracks wind through the countryside in a zigzag formation, creating a travel experience like no other. After the train ride, we will continue our visit towards Ingapirca, the most impressive Inca ruins of Ecuador. We will spend the afternoon learning about this archaeological site, notable for its unique fusion of Inca and native Cañari architecture, as well as for its religious meaning. Later, we will head up to Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its colonial architecture.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Hotel Carvallo or similar

Day 9: Cuenca UNESCO city – Gualaceo & Chordeleg

Stop At: Cuenca, Cuenca, Azuay Province
Starting in the morning enjoy a fantastic city tour, visiting the most important buildings and notable places in Cuenca, such as Calderon Square, the New Cathedral, El Barranco, and El Turi lookout point. In the afternoon visit a famous Panama hat factory where we will understand the whole process of making this traditional Ecuadorian hat.

In the afternoon, we will visit the nearby towns of Chordeleg and Gualaceo, unique destinations that can be enjoyed on this tour. Chordeleg is well known for his jewelry, especially his silverware. And Gualaceo is a picturesque market, where locals gather to exchange their products and crafts. Here you can find traditional Macana shawls, fabrics of fabrics with intense colors, and folkloric designs.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Hotel Carvallo or similar

Day 10: Free morning - Flight back to Quito – End of the Sevices

Pass By: Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional de Quito Tababela S/N - Via, Quito 170907, Ecuador
You will have this free morning the enjoy the charming city of Cuenca and its surroundings.

Around midday, you will take a short 45-minute domestic flight back to Quito, where you will connect with your international flight. Today our trip will end. Take with you your memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador soon to experience more of this enchanted land. We wish you a "Buen Viaje"!

Meals included:
• Breakfast
No accommodation included on this day.

Tour leaving from Quito

Capital of Ecuador, declared World Heritage by the Unesco. One of its main features is the baroque architecture of the site. It has beautiful natural landscapes where the snowy volcanoes abound, one of the most famous is Cuicocha.

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