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What you will do

Discover the magic of Ecuador. On this trip you will travel through the Avenue of Volcanoes in the high Andes Mountains, visit tropical destinations in the Amazon explore the town of Baños and the the UNESCO city of Cuenca and visit the local indigenous market in Otavalo. You will learn about various local tribes and their cultures. This trip is a combination of cultural experiences, wildlife spotting, adventure activities and natural wonders.

Places you will see

QuitoOtavaloPapallactaRio ArajunoRio NapoBañosProvincia de ChimborazoCuenca
Guide English (Optional), Spanish (Optional)
Food Breakfast (Optional), Lunch (Optional), Dinner (Optional)
Transport  (Optional)

Day 1
Quito

Arrival in Quito

Welcome to Quito! This well-preserved colonial city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. It is considered the cultural capital of South America and the second most important city of the old Inca Empire. Spend your arrival day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. 

In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel for a welcome briefing and there will be plenty of time to discuss details and answer any questions you may have regarding the adventure. 

Accommodation: Mercure Hotel Alameda

Superior Room

Mercure Hotel Alameda sits steps away from the artisan market on Quito’s most popular street, Avenida Amazonas.

Guest rooms at Mercure Hotel Alameda feature ensuite bathrooms with a bathtub, WiFi, free bottled water and a safety-deposit box. Complimentary breakfast and coffee is offered each morning. The hotel also has a fitness center. 

The fully refurbished hotel is in close proximity to many sites of cultural interest, and is a 5-minute walk to Casa de Cultura Ecuatoriana.


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Amenities
No amenities for this day 

Day 2
Otavalo

Indigenous Market & Leather Goods

Today we will have an early departure from Quito and will drive north through dramatic mountain sceneries. On our way we will stop at a viewpoint to admire Imbabura Volcano and Lake San Pablo. First we visit the indigenous Otavalo market and will continue to Cotacachi, famous for its leather goods.

 

Activity: Otavalo Market & Cotocachi's Leather

Enjoy exploring Otavalo, you will have plenty of time to stroll along the narrow cobblestone streets, filled with indigenous locals wearing the typical blue ponchos, white trousers and long braided hair. You can learn about their daily activities, typical food and native language. You will visit their famous handicraft market, with its wonderful textiles, alpaca throws and rugs, knitted clothing native paintings, ceramics, jewelry, tapestries and more at bargain prices.
Then we will continue to Cotacachi, which is famous for its leather. There anr many opportunities to view the leatherwares in the shops in town. You will have time to stop for lunch here. Finally we head to Peguche, a small village known for its waterfalls and the production of wind instruments.

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Accommodation: Hacienda Pinsaqui Hotel

Double Room

Hacienda Pinsaqui is ideally located at the flanks of the Imbabura Volcano and in the heart of Ecuador's lake province. It's a former estate that has been converted into a comfortable hotel, with warm and inviting rooms.

It is steps away from the world famous Otavalo handicraft market, Cotocachi leather town, and the small town of San Antonio renowned for their unique wooden handicrafts. 300 years of history is still remarkably visible throughout the hotel and is by far the best hotel choice in Otavalo.

The hotel is located about 1.5 hours North of Quito.

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Amenities
No amenities for this day 

Day 3
Papallacta

Soaking in Volcanic Hot Springs

Today we drive through an unique landscape to an elevation of 4000m (13,100ft) through the eastern range of the Andes.
After appreciating the amazing views this landscape offers, we arrive at Papallacta Hot Springs Resort. Here you will enjoy a blissful soak in the volcanic water pools surrounded by mountains and colorful flowers and birds.

 


Papallacta

Activity: Papallacta Hot Springs

Papallacta Hot Springs Resort if a fantastic place to relax and soak in the volcanic water pools surrounded by mountains, colorful flowers and birds.

Enroute to the hot springs we will travel along a panoramic road situated between two national reserves, Antisana and Cayambe Coca. Both reserves are part of the high mountain Paramo ecosystem, known for its short vegetation and for being home to animals including the spectacled bear, deer puma, Andean condor and the cara-cara. After appreciating the amazing views that this landscape offers,

 

 

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Accommodation: Termas de Papallacta

Standard Room

Decorated with wooden walls and gabled roofs, rooms at Termas de Papallacta are fitted with wooden furnishings. Some of the bungalows also feature seating areas with fireplaces.

Termas de Papallacta offers rooms and bungalows with free Wi-Fi.

Guests can relax in the thermal swimming pools or enjoy several beauty treatments that are available at the spa, including aromatherapy, therapeutic massages, body treatments featuring mud, clay or chocolate, individual hydro massages, and Turkish baths are also available at the Thermal Cave.

Trekking activities with native guides are can also be organized to explore the variety of unique species in the surrounding areas. 

 

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Amenities
No amenities for this day 

Day 4
Rio Arajuno

The Amazon Jungle & Hummingbirds

Early in the morning, we will descend by a panoramic road towards the Amazon jungle. As you travek from from an altitude of 3000m (9840) to 500m (1640), you will notice how the landscape and vegetation change drastically.
We will then visit the Guango reserve, to see a variety of spectacular hummingbirds, and will stop at 
Later, we will also stop at the lookout point Guacamayos Macaw to take in the panorama of clouds floating above the Amazon rainforest.

 

Activity: Hummingbirds & the Cloud Forest

Early in the morning, we will drive down a twisting, panoramic road towards the Amazon Rainforest. 
Our first stop will be the Guango reserve, where we will have the chance to see different species of hummingbirds in their natural habitat. These small creatures are famous for their incredible ability to flap their wings rapidly, as well as for their bright colors.
Later, we stop at the Guacamayos Macaw Lookout located between Antisana and Sumaco National Reserves, a low elevation cloud forest, to observe the magic blanket of clouds that covers the Amazon.  Finally we arrive at Arajuno River, where a motorized canoe will transport us for 20 minutes up the river to the Itamandi Eco-Lodge.

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Accommodation: Itamandi Amazon Eco-Lodge

Double/Twin Room

Itamandi Eco Lodge offers a 24-hour front desk, a garden and a terrace. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including hiking.is located around the Río Arajuno. It includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. 
The property also has a swimming pool and an outdoor restaurant.

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Amenities
No amenities for this day 

Day 5
Rio Napo

Amazon Canoeing, Wildlife & Culture

Today we start with a canoe ride to Amazonico, a rescue center that houses several animals, some in danger of extinction. Various species of monkeys, capybaras, caimans, ocelots, toucans, parrots and others live here in their natural environment.
Then we visit the Kichwa community where you will be able to interact with the locals and learn about their culture and how they engage with the jungle in everyday life. 
Finally we will also have the opportunity to learn how to make our own chocolate from cocoa beans.

Activity: Amazon Canoe Ride and Wildlife

In the morning, we will take a motorized canoe down the Napo River on our way to Amazonico, a rescue centre sheltering a number of different animals, some in danger of extinction. We will observe different species of animals uin their natural environment, including monkeys, capybaras, caimans, occelots, toucans and parrots,

After this dose of wildlife, we will enjoy an extraordinary cultural experience. The Amazonian Kichwa community will receive us and we will learn about their way of life and how they live within and part of the forest. We will appreciate the skills of the indigenous women who manufacturie handmade pottery and ceramics. This business supports the indigenous people in their daily life. Today we will also have the chance to learn how to make our own chocolate from raw fruit.

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Accommodation: Itamandi Amazon Eco-Lodge

Double/Twin Room

Itamandi Eco Lodge offers a 24-hour front desk, a garden and a terrace. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including hiking.is located around the Río Arajuno. It includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. 
The property also has a swimming pool and an outdoor restaurant.

Select room
Amenities
No amenities for this day 

Day 6
Baños

Hiking in Sangay National Park, A Cable Car Ride & Baños Hot Springs

Today we start by visiting Puyo, where we will have a quick look at the balsa carving shop.Then we will stop at Rio Verde at the Sangay National Park. Here, we will hike down to the Pailon Del Diablo, and El Manto de la Novia, where we will travel by cable car to traverse the canyon of the Pastaza River. In the late afternoon, we will soak in hot springs in the town of Baños. 

Activity: Road of Waterfalls & Baños Hot Springs

Today we will drive farther south to Puyo, where we will have a quick look at the balsa carving shop. Continuing our journey, we will stop at Rio Verde, located in one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Sangay National Park. We'll 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 a quick drive, we will arrive at another incredible waterfall called El Manto de la Novia, and we'll hop in to a cable car to traverse the Pastaza River canyon.

In the late afternoon, we will soak in hot springs in the town of Baños, located right on the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano which has been active since 1999. It erupts approximately every few months with incredible lava and steam. Eruptions can safely be viewed from a number of view points in the region.

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Accommodation: La Floresta Hotel

Double Room

La Floresta Hotel offers free Wi-Fi and all rooms contain private bathrooms, some with fireplaces and balconies. A buffet breakfast is served each morning. The Baños commercial area and main square are a only a few minutes away on foot.

The bus station is a 5-minute walk from the hotel.

 

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Amenities
No amenities for this day 

Day 7
Provincia de Chimborazo

Chimborazo Volcano, the Highest in Ecuador

Today we will visit the Chimborazo Volcano, the highest mountain in Ecuador with an elevation of 6310 meters above sea level, whose summit is the world farthest point from the center of the earth.
During the visit to this amazing national park includes a short hike for 0.9 km (0.57 miles) to reach the elevation of 5000m (16,400ft) where the glacier begins.

Activity: Chimborazo Volcano & Vicuñas

Early in the morning, we will drive through valleys and farming villages towards the Chimborazo Volcano, the highest mountain in Ecuador with an elevation of 6310m (320,700ft) above sea level. On a clear day, the majestic peak of Chimborazo dominates the view for kilometers.
The visit to the volcano, located in a national park, includes a short hike for 0.9 km (0.57 miles) to reach the elevation of 5000m (16,400) 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 wild Vicuñas. Once extinct in Ecuador, reintroduced and now protected, Vicuñas are related to alpacas and llamas.

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Accommodation: Chimborazo Lodge

Double Room

Located on the foothill of Chimborazo Volcano, Chimborazo Lodge offers rooms with heating, decorated with wooden gabled roofs and mountain views.

All rooms have shared bathroom facilities. Chimborazo Lodge is the only property located within the Chimborazo Natural reserve. Breakfast and dinner are served daily. 

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Amenities
No amenities for this day 

Day 8
Provincia de Chimborazo

Devil's Nose Train, Inca Ruins & Cuenca

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. After the ride, we spend the afternoon learning about this archeological site Ingapirca. We arrive in Cuenca at the end of the day.

Activity: Devil's Nose Train & Inca Ruins

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 zigzag through the countryside for a fun and eventful ride.
We continue our visit to Ingapirca, the most impressive Inca ruins in Ecuador. We spend the afternoon learning about the archeological site, notable for its unique fusion of Inca and native Cañari architecture and for its religious meaning.
After, we head to Cuenca, known for its colonial architecture and beautiful scenery. The old town of this city is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Accommodation: Victoria Hotel

Double/Twin Room

Set in a charming house with a garden and views of the city, Hotel Victoria offers rooms with free WiFi and private balconies in Cuenca. Breakfast is provided, and guests can enjoy the restaurant where local dishes are served. 
With large windows overlooking the garden and the city, rooms at Victoria are very bright. All of them have heating, private bathrooms and seating areas fitted with stylish furnishing.
Breakfast including fruits, juices, eggs, assorted breads, jam and butter is served daily. El Jardin Restaurant offers gourmet food, and there is also a bar that offers cocktails. Guests are welcomed with free drinks.
Guests can relax in the garden, which affords panoramic views of the city, or in the charming lobby fitted with antique furnishing.

Hotel Victoria is in a central locationw within walking distance to the Old Cathedral and Remigio Crespo Museum.

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Amenities
No amenities for this day 

Day 9
CuencaQuito

Cuenca City Tour & Panama Hat Factory

Today we enjoy a fantastic city tour, visiting notable sights such as Calderon Square, the New Cathedral, El Barranco, and El Turi lookout.
We will also visit a famous Panama hat factory and learn the process required to make this typical Ecuadorian hat. Finally we fly back to Quito, where we enjoy our farewell dinner.

Cuenca

Activity: Cuenca City

Today we 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.
In the afternoon we visit a famous Panama hat factory to learn the process of making this typical Ecuadorian hat. In the early evening we fly back to Quito, where we can have our farewell dinner.

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Accommodation: Mercure Hotel Alameda

Superior Room

Mercure Hotel Alameda sits steps away from the artisan market on Quito’s most popular street, Avenida Amazonas.

Guest rooms at Mercure Hotel Alameda feature ensuite bathrooms with a bathtub, WiFi, free bottled water and a safety-deposit box. Complimentary breakfast and coffee is offered each morning. The hotel also has a fitness center. 

The fully refurbished hotel is in close proximity to many sites of cultural interest, and is a 5-minute walk to Casa de Cultura Ecuatoriana.


Select room
Amenities
No amenities for this day 

Day 10
Quito

Quito Departure

You will be transferred from the hotel to the airport.

Amenities
No amenities for this day 

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