Holidays

Wonderful Nature of Ecuador

Wonderful Nature of Ecuador

Purpose: Ecotourism, Culture, History, Adventure
No. of days: 14 days- 13 nights
First & Last Cities: Quito, Guayaquil
Other cities: Cotopaxi National Park, Quilotoa, Otavalo, Papallacta, Archidona, Hakuna Matata Lodge, Baños, Chimborazo National Park, Riobamba, Cuenca, Cajas National Park
Starting cost: $4,379
 
Day 1:  Quito
Welcome to Ecuador! Upon arrival in Quito, transfer to the hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 2: Quito
Today your private tour explores the bustling streets and squares of the largest historical center in the Americas. Visit some of its most important churches such as the impressive Cathedral, the Compañía and the iconic San Francisco church, guardians of the multi-ethnic artistic and cultural heritage found in this city. You also see the Main Square, the colonial street “La Ronda” and the “Panecillo” standing at an altitude of 9000 feet, offering breathtaking views of the old and modern city surrounded by the rolling Andes Mountains. Now you will travel to the Middle of the World located at latitude 0º0´0". This is a picture-perfect spot since you can stand both hemispheres at the same time. The monument built here is the focal point of a park and leisure area. The site occupies an important place in the solar-based Andean Cosmo vision, since ancient Andean people were aware of its significance many thousands of years ago. It’s time to go back to Quito. This afternoon you will have time to explore the city at your pace. [B]

Day 3: Quito, Cotopaxi National Park
After breakfast depart Quito for a 2-hour scenic ride though the famous Avenue of the Volcanoes towards the Cotopaxi National Park. The Cotopaxi Volcano is one of the most important landmarks in Ecuador because it is the highest active volcano in the world. Upon arrival a short hike though the park’s lush endemic flora and fauna will lead to the charming José Rivas refuge. Whilst in the National Park you can also visit Limpiopungo Lake, located near the Rumiñahui volcano (15000 ft.). In the afternoon stop at a famous rose plantation and learn about the diversity and cultivation of one of Ecuador’s main export products. Your overnight will be in a typical Ecuadorian Hacienda. [B,BX,D]  
 
Day 4: Cotopaxi National Park, Quilotoa, Quito
After breakfast head west into the heartlands of Ecuador. This route has some of the most spectacular landscapes in the country. On your way you will encounter the local Indigenous people with their colorful clothes, typical markets, and small country-side villages like Tigua: a small collection of communities that are famous for its colorful paintings of rural life. One of your stops is at the Quilotoa’s crater to visit the green-blue colored lake which many locals believe has no bottom. If you wish you can walk down to the lake border and return by mule.  In the afternoon return to Quito. [B]
 
Day 5: Quito, Otavalo
This morning you will leave Quito behind and head to the famous Otavalo Market. En route make a quick stop to admire the San Pablo Lake; one of the most beautiful in the area with species such as herons, ducks, some amphibians and many aquatic plants. In Otavalo you must see the textile market located at the “Plaza of Ponchos”. The market also offers a wide variety of crafts including tapestries made on the Spanish weaving loom, silver jewelry and even food. After some free time for bargaining with the friendly Otavaleños, you will visit the small artisan village of Peguche where you will find a folkloric music shop and also a small waterfall. Spend the night at the typical Hacienda near Otavalo. [B]
 
Day 6: Otavalo, Papallacta
Depart your hotel and drive to the Crater Lagoon of Cuicocha on the foot of the Cotacachi Volcano. And enjoy a 3-hour trek in this lovely area.  Then stop at Cotacachi, a small charming city famous for the good quality leather goods.  Proceed on your journey, pass Quito and get to the Papallacta Thermal Springs Resort. The hotel is nestled high in the Andean Cordillera at the entrance of the Amazonian jungle. Revitalize in hot springs, choose a spa treatment, or relax in one of the many pools with different water temperature, amid a breathtaking setting of the cloud forest. [B/L/D]
 
Day 7: Papallacta, Archidona, Hakuna Matata Lodge
After breakfast leave Papallacta, and drive east towards the Ecuatorian jungle (El Oriente). After a short visit and birdwatching activity at Guango Lodge, continue to the Hakuna Matata Lodge. You will be greeted with a delicious lunch.  Later this afternoon, you can choose one of the activities below offered by the hotel. [B/L/D]
  • Horseback Riding: 2:30 hrs. A professional guide leads you through small rivers over hilly spots around the property of the hotel.  
  • Nature Hike: 3:30 hr. Walk led by a professional guide that explains the medicinal properties of plants and talks about insects and animals of this area as well as the customs and legends of the jungle
  • Ecuador Chocolate Festival: Experience the production of chocolate from harvesting the cocoa, to drying the seeds and grinding them into thick natural cocoa butter.  Ecuador’s native variety of cocoa is sought after by the world’s top chocolatiers. Today you will understand why.
Day 8: Archidona, Hakuna Matata Lodge
Wake up in the early morning to enjoy the best that nature has to offer. You will drive to the calm Arajuno River to board a canoe. As the sun rises you will watch the egrets, the red-rumped cacique, and many more species of birds. After landing a short walk leads you to a salt lick. It is amazing to see the number of parrots and parakeets that come here. It’s time to meet with the indigenous community of Santa Barbara. Mingle with the people and lean about their traditions, dances and customs. Before you leave you will be invited to savor a typical lunch. The menu includes fish, vegetables, roots and fruits caught and harvested by the community. Your next stop will be at the 6,200-acre Jatun Sacha Reserve. This amazing protected area consists of tropical rain forest.  See the bamboos, the walking palms that moves up to 4 inches a year and the pampil palm. Your last stop before heading back to the lodge is at the little town Misahualli. Here you will eat a typical lunch and take a leisurely walk to the beach to be greeted by many capuchin monkeys. Later go back to the hotel for some relaxing time. [B/L/D]  
 
Day 9: Archidona, Hakuna Matata Lodge, Baños
You adventure today starts with a scenic 2:30 hr ride to Baños. Situated in a valley of waterfalls and hot springs, Baños has become a mecca for international travelers seeking year-round temperate weather and small-town atmosphere. Baños is named after its famous hot springs and thermal baths. The Tungurahua volcano is the reason for the area’s wonderful hot springs. Banos is home to dozens of falls like:  Agoyan, Puertas del Cielo, Manto de la Novia, Pailón del Diablo Machay, and many more. You will see some of them as we drive along. [B/D]
 
Day 10: Baños, Chimborazo National Park, Riobamba
After breakfast depart towards the city of Riobamba. En-route stop at the Chimborazo Wildlife Reserve. At over 18.000 feet high, Chimborazo is Ecuador's tallest mountain. It is named after the Chimborazo volcano. The reserve has an area of ​​58,560 hectares where you can find many different species of plants such as the moorland, trees and bushes of rosemary, climber flower, peppers, , as well as other endemic species from the Andes. In the late afternoon arrive at Riobamba where you will spend the night [B].
 
Day 11: Riobamba, Cuenca
Your adventure today starts with a ride on the famous Nariz del Diablo train on a journey between Riobamba and Alausi.  The ride offers spectacular views of the Ecuadorian landscape. 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]
 
Day 12: Cuenca
Today enjoy a full day city tour to discover, at a leisurely pace, the beauty and charm for which Cuenca has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site. Cuenca is Ecuador's third largest city; yet it still retains its pleasant provincial air. Its red tiled roofs, cobblestone streets, flowery plazas and museums make it very special and the city is considered by many the most beautiful in all of Ecuador. Your guide will take you on a tour of the colonial downtown area of Cuenca. Enjoy the warmth and hospitality of its people, the colorful parks and plazas, religious monuments and handcraft shops. You will also visit a Panama hat factory, which despite the name are original from Ecuador, and in the afternoon visit the towns Chordoleg and Gualaceo, famous for its crafts. [B]
 
Day 13: Cuenca, Cajas National Park, Guayaquil
Today you depart Cuenca and head to Guayaquil. En route stop at El Cajas National Park known for its beautiful sceneries, trails through evergreen cloud forests and more than 200 lakes. Enjoy one of the many different activities offered such as hiking, fishing, and bird-watching. After a box lunch back to your car. As you descend towards the Pacific shore observe a delightful change of vegetation. Once in Guayaquil take a short panoramic tour of the city before we head to your hotel. Start at the modern Malecón 2000, where the statues of Simon Bolivar and San Martin can be found. Then go to Peñas, the oldest part of the city and climb to the Cerro Santa Ana to see the amazing landscapes of Guayaquil and the river Guayas. Now it’s time to go to the hotel and relax. [B/BX]  
 
Day 14: Guayaquil, USA
At agreed time, transfer to the airport to board your flight for your next destination [B]
 
[B] = Breakfast | [B/D] = Breakfast and Dinner | [B/BX] = Breakfast and Box Lunch | [B/BX/D] = Breakfast, Box Lunch and Dinner | [B/L/D] = Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


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TOURS

Tour includes
  • Round trip transfers between airports and hotels
  • 13 nights’ accommodation at hotels of preference
    • Quito - 3 nights in
    • Cotopaxi - 1 night
    • Otavalo - 1 night
    • Papallacta - 2 nights
    • Archidona - 2 nights
    • Banos - 1 night
    • Riobamba - 1 night
    • Cuenca - 1 night
    • Guayaquil - 1 night
    • Playa Bonita - 3 nights
  • Meals
    • Daily breakfast
    • 2 Box Lunches
    • 2 Lunches
    • 5 Dinners
  • Activities as per itinerary
  • Assistance by English speaking local guides
  • Entrance fees to sites visited
  • All hotel taxes
Not included in tour
  • International or domestic air tickets
  • Early check-in or late check-out at hotels
  • Services and food not listed in the itinerary
  • Beverages during the meals
  • Hotel extras, and personal expenses
  • Tips for guides, drivers, and in restaurants

Hotels in your Tour

Category Hotel Name Room Type Tripadvisor
First Class
Quito Boutique hotel Anahi Standard 4.5
Cotapaxi Hacienda La Cienega Standard 4
Otavalo Hacienda Las Palmeras Inn Standard 4.5
Papallacta Termas de Papallacta Standard 4
Archidona Hakuna Matata Lodge Standard 4.5
Banos Hotel La Floresta Standard 4.5
Riobamba Hotel Mansión Santa Isabella Standard 4.3
Cuenca Hotel Carvallo Standard 4
Guayaquil Hotel Palace Standard 4.5
First Class
Quito Hotel Patio Andaluz Standard 4.5
Cotapaxi Hacienda Hato Verde Standard 4
Otavalo Hacienda Pinsaqui Standard 4.5
Papallacta Termas de Papallacta Suite Papallacta 4
Archidona Hakuna Matata Lodge Supreme 4.5
Banos Hacienda Manteles Standard 4.5
Riobamba Hacienda Abraspungo Standard 4.5
Cuenca Hotel Santa Lucia Standard 4.5
Guayaquil Hotel Hotel Wyndham Standard 4.5

All hotels are subject to confirmation at the time of booking


Tour Pricing

Season From
First Class $4,379
Deluxe $4,775
Rates are minimum per person sharing a room and may change without notice.
Rates may change depending on the date of travel
Prices for single room or for 3 passengers sharing a room are available on request
Valid through December 20th 2019. Not valid for Holidays and big Conventions.
Other blackout dates may apply.
 
Tour Code: EC06UIO19LT