Quito │ Otavalo │ Papallacta │ Amazon │ Baños │ Cotopaxi │ Chimborazo │ Devil’s Nose │ Cuenca │Cajas │Guayaquil
After landing, your driver will pick you up at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito and take you to your hotel.
Walking through the historic part of Quito in the morning, you will learn about the Plaza Grande as well as the churches La Compañía and San Francisco. For the afternoon, you decide between two trips: Either you take the cable car up Quito’s local Mountain “Pichincha” with a height of 4,100m/13,450ft OR you can step on both hemispheres at the same time at the Equator Monument “Mitad del Mundo”!
Today you are on a daytrip to the northern part of Ecuador, driving to the city of Otavalo which is famous for its colorful and lively market. After buying your fill of souvenirs in the morning, you will explore the crater lake of Cuicocha in the afternoon which offers great views from different perspectives.
After leaving Quito you can enjoy the morning with a relaxing bath in the famous natural hot springs of Papallacta. Afterward you drive towards the rainforest to the small jungle lodge Hakuna Matata, which is hidden in the forest and offers the best way to comfortably finish your day.
Today you can choose between two different excursions:
1. Option: Hike in the jungle – animal shelter – indigenous community
In the morning you visit a native market in the province’s capital of Tena before getting to explore the Rio Napo in a motorized canoe and learn more about the rainforest while hiking for approximately two hours. You arrive at the animal shelter “amaZOOnico” which is home to more than 500 animals. Afterward you visit a small indigenous community and immerse yourself in the natives’ everyday life for an afternoon!
2. Option: Parrot clay licks – indigenous community – jungle hike
Today you are going to the parrot clay licks to watch the birds. Then you visit the Santa Barbara community, where you immerse yourself in the culture of the indigenous families and share a unique rainforest buffet. During a hike afterwards you explore the jungle’s flora before you go canoeing. Next you enjoy a typical “almuerzo” lunch in the small jungle town of Misahualli where you can watch capuchin monkeys.
In the morning you leave the rainforest for the mountains, driving through the Pastaza Canyon with its impressive valleys and waterfalls. Starting from the village Rio Verde you will explore the waterfall “Pailón del Diablo” (Devil’s Cauldron) on foot, before reaching Baños in the afternoon. You have the evening at your disposal.
In the morning you explore the Cotopaxi National Park with an area of 34,000ha/131mi² and the Cotopaxi Volcano which can be climbed up to a refuge with a height of 4,800m/15,748ft. In the afternoon you continue your journey to Lasso, where you are going to spend the night in a cozy accommodation.
On Thursdays you are offered the possibility to visit the colorful and lively market of Saquisili in the morning. Afterwards you drive through the Chimborazo Natural Reserve with an area of 58,560ha/226mi² where you can climb Chimborazo, Ecuador’s highest mountain, in the afternoon up to a refuge located at 5,000m/16,404ft. This day’s drive ends at your accommodation in Riobamba.
In the morning you take the train departing from Alausi to the “Devil’s Nose”, passing spectacular mountain landscapes. On your way to Cuenca, where you’ll spend that night, the pre-Columbian ruins of Ingapirca mark an exciting stopover offering the possibility to explore the culture of the Incas.
You spend the day in the colonial city of Cuenca, whose historic center was declared a world cultural heritage site in 1999. After a city tour with stops at the churches and the markets, you also visit a Panama hat factory at the Rio Tomebamba before having the afternoon and evening free.
Before reaching Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil, in the afternoon, today you will explore the amazing Cajas National Park with its beautiful forests and seascapes. You can also visit a banana and cacao plantation before continuing your journey!
The last day of your journey through the Andes starts with a tour exploring the city of Guayaquil, visiting the Parque Bolivar, the historic quarter of Las Peñas, and the beautiful water front at the Guayas River. The afternoon is free for you to buy some souvenirs before being picked up and taken to the airport.