|Purpose:||Ecotourism, Culture, History, Experiential Tourism|
|No. of days:||9 days - 8 nights|
|First & Last Cities:||Quito, Guayaquil|
|Other cities:||Otavalo, Cotacachi, Magdalena Community, Ibarra, Salinas, Baños, Riobamba, Cuenca|
Your Tour includes:
* Transfers and tours are on shared basis
Tour does not include:
Hotels in your Tour:
|Magdalena||Home Stay Magdalena||4|
|Magdalena||Home Stay Magdalena||4|
|Cuenca||La Mansión de Alcazar||4.5|
All hotels are subject to confirmation at the time of booking
Situated in a circle of mountainous peaks of the Andes, Quito has one of the most magnificent settings in the world. Its colonial old town was the first location in the world to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Altogether the city has to offer 86 churches and monasteries of the 16th and 17th centuries. Due to its beautiful churches and monasteries, Quito is known as the “Convent of America”. This attractive city is located only 13, 7 miles away from the “Middle of the World”, the Equatorial Line.
Riobamba is a city in the Andean highlands in the center of Ecuador. It is known locally as the "Sultan of the Andes". Riobamba sits in a valley surrounded by several large hills and snow-capped mountains.
The city of Cuenca is widely regarded as the most European city in the country of Ecuador due to its highly 16th and 17th century era Spanish colonial architecture resembling to cities and architecture throughout Spain. It is located in the highlands of Ecuador at about 8,200 feet above sea level, with an urban population of approximately 400,000. The center of the city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Trust site due to its many historical buildings. Cuenca is well known for its stunning architecture, tourist attractions, charming boutique hotels and night activities.
Ecuador’s largest city Guayaquil is the industrial and commercial center of the country and home to over 2, 5 million people. It is situated on the western banks of the Río Guayas, about 35 miles from its outflow into the Gulf of Guayaquil. The Pacific Ocean enters through the gulf of Guayaquil into the city’s harbor. Guayaquil’s port is the main door to 90% of all Ecuadorian imports as well and half of its exports. The climate is hot in the first semester of the year and a nice cool breeze blows the rest of it. In the recent past the city has seen some great changes with the construction of a beautiful riverfront promenade: Malecón 2000, green areas, and modern shopping arcades that attract tourism from inside and outside the country.
Day 1: Quito
Welcome to Quito! Upon arrival you’ll be transferred to your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure to explore the city on own.
Day 2: Quito (Colonial City & Middle of the World)
Your half day tour will take you through five centuries of history ranging from modern quarters to varied colonial facades on churches and private residences decorated and balconies built hundreds of years ago. See the gothic Basilica of Jesus’ Heart, the Independence Square developed during the past five centuries and flanked by the Presidential and the Archbishop’s palaces dated back to XVII and XIX centuries. Walk through the charming colonial quarter towards the Metropolitan Cathedral with excellent samples of the Spanish renaissance. Visit the Jesuit temple, a perfect example of baroque art considered the jewel of the crown of the colonial architecture in Quito, then continue to the Plaza of San Francisco, which displays a rich sample of artistic and cultural heritage. Your tour ends with a visit the “Middle of the world” monument situated at 0º0’0” latitude. [B]
Day 3: Quito, Otavalo, Karanki Magdalena Community
On the approximately two-hour panoramic bus ride to famous Otavalo market, you will visit the small town of Calderón, where the typical miniature bread figurines are made, admire the arid and fertile Guayllabamba gorge and village, and pass the Lago San Pablo with its great background – the rock massive Taita Imbabura. Once in Otavalo discover the worldwide known Indian handcraft market. The local Indians have achieved economic prosperity as a result of their skill in weaving a tremendous variety of designs in belts, tapestries, ponchos and other clothing items. It’s time to test your bargaining skills! Your next stop is in Cotacachi, a crater lake at an altitude of 3.000m. The small town Cotacachi itself is Ecuador’s center of leatherworks. Here you can stroll through the small streets choosing one of the various shops as your favourite. In the afternoon head to the Karanki Magdalena Community Lodge. Overnight at the Indigenous Community of Magdalena, at the slopes of the Imbabura Volcano near Otavalo. Home of Atahualpa, the last of the Inca Emperors, Karanki Magdalena is at approximately 9,842 feet above sea level with a privileged location surrounded by valleys and lagoons.
Enjoy an overnight in 6 family homes: Single, Double, Triple rooms with private bathroom, cold and hot water, hairdryer, biodegradable soap and shampoo, fireplace, board games. [B/D]
Day 4: Karanki Magdalena Community Train Ride, Salinas, Quito
Enjoy a morning activity in the countryside. You can go horseback riding, mountain biking or hiking. Then drive to Ibarra and catch the “Liberty Train”. The landscapes provide a magical setting as you pass through the tunnels, cross bridges spanning canyons and gullies, and admire a unique biodiversity. Then arrive in the Afro-Ecuadorian community of Salinas, well known for its agricultural activities. From here you will go back to Quito. [B/L]
Day 5: Quito, Cotopaxi, Baños, Riobamba
Leave Quito and cross the famous Avenue of the Volcanoes. On the way to Baños admire highest active volcano on Earth, Cotopaxi. Baños is an idyllic town featuring green mountains, waterfalls and thermal hot springs. The journey takes you through lush vegetation and some of the finest waterfalls of Ecuador. Then drive south to Riobamba for overnight. [B]
Day 6: Riobamba, Devil’s Nose Train Ride, Ingapirca Ruins, Cuenca
Start your day with a ride through some of the most picturesque indigenous areas of the country. This is an enjoyable ride through the countryside. The campesinos wearing the traditional clothes will often wave as the train goes by. Then continue your way south to the interesting Ingapirca Ruins: Located about 60 miles from Cuenca, set in the green mountains, the ruins of Ingapirca are the best preserved remains of the Inca culture in Ecuador. Walk around and learn about the area before you continue your journey to Cuenca [B/P]
Day 7: Cuenca
Stroll through the historical buildings, located along the Tomebamba River. Visit the “Todos los Santos” ruins, evidence of the Spanish and Inca civilizations in the area. Then go to the flowers market and the main square with the old Cathedral that houses a Museum for Religious Art and the new Cathedral, which took almost 1 century to be completed. Your tour ends at the Panama hat factory, a typical product of Ecuador. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy Cuenca at your pace. [B]
Day 8: Cuenca, Guayaquil
Today your depart Cuenca for a 4 hour ride to Guayaquil. En route you will see El Cajas National Park known for its beautiful landscapes, trails through evergreen cloud forests and more than 200 lakes, such as Laguna Toreadora. After lunch (not included) drive to Guayaquil for overnight. [B]
Day 9: Guayaquil, USA
At agreed time transfer to the airport to board your flight home or to your next destination. [B]
[B] = Breakfast | [B/P] = Breakfast and Box Lunch | [B/D] = Breakfast and Dinner
Rates are per person, based on number of passengers indicated on the brackets.
Services are offered for a minimum of two passengers traveling together.
Prices for single passenger traveling alone available upon request
Rates are valid from June 1st 2017 through December 15th 2018.
Special holidays and other blackout dates may apply.
Tour Code: EQ01UIO17IDM