Countries visited :
TOTAL DAYS : 8 Days
STARTS IN : Quito
ENDS IN : Guayaquil
Highlights : Quito , Native Community , Otavalo market , Guayaquil
TRANSPORT : Air-conditioned vehicle , train , Foot
(Departures: Saturdays, fixed departures)
Important: Pre-night accommodation required in Quito, must arrive on Friday.
Day 1 (Sat): Quito City Tour and Equator Monument (Mitad del Mundo)
Your journey begins with a visit to the capital of Ecuador. It is located at 2,850 meters above sea level, at the slopes of the Pichincha volcano and nestled in a green Andean valley. Quito, one of the oldest cities in South America, is also one of the few cities that has preserved numerous monuments and artistic treasures of the Spanish colonial period. The colonial centre of the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978. We will begin the tour with a walk through the narrow streets to visit some of America’s oldest and most beautiful churches such as El Sagrario and La Compañia and the famous plazas of Santo Domingo, La Merced and San Francisco. We will continue to “El Panecillo” hill, to meet the winged virgin and enjoy a fascinating view of Quito. Then we will stop for lunch at the restaurant El Tianguez.
In the afternoon we will drive to the famous Equator Monument “Middle of the World”, which is located in a dry valley on the northern outskirts of Quito. Here we will visit the Museo del Sitio Inti Nan, which was built by a private anthropological foundation next to the official equator monument. This beautiful solar museum has exhibits of different indigenous culture and their traditional way of life. During this visit we will also see the startling evidence that demonstrate the exact location of the equatorial line. Overnight at Hotel Fuente de Piedra I / Hotel Mercure Alameda (-/Lunch/-)
Day 2 (Sun): Indigenous Market Pujili – Quilotoa crater lake
We will exit Quito and head south, towards the Cotopaxi province. Our first stop will be the indigenous market of Pujili, a show of smell and colors. We will continue through winding roads that pass the most beautiful landscapes of the Ecuadorian Andes, to reach the picturesque Crater Lake Quilotoa. From the crater rim it’s possible to walk down to the turquoise lake shores, a hike worth taking. No need to worry about the way back, because there are horses and mules to help with the ascension. We will have a boxlunch to help recover our strength while enjoying one the unique magic and beauty of this crater lagoon.
After this visit we will drive to the traditional hacienda La Cienega to have dinner and spend the night. (Breakfast / Box Lunch / Dinner)
Day 3 (Mon): Cotopaxi National Park – Rose plantation – Baños
In the morning we will drive to the Cotopaxi National Park to do a short hike at the feet of the snowcapped colossus and discover its diverse flora and fauna. Afterwards we will continue to an altitude of 4,500 meters, where the view changes to a bizarre and barren landscape. Here we will have the opportunity to ascend to the José Ribas refuge, at 4800 meters where there is a short path that leads to the edge of the impressive Glaciers.
Later we will visit one of the many rose plantations that have made Ecuadorian roses famous all over the world. Here we will see the different kinds of roses and learn about the whole production process. We will also have lunch at the plantation, called “Nevado Roses”, before continuing to Baños, the lively pilgrimage town with its famous thermal springs and its beautiful cathedral. Accommodations at Hotel Floresta (Breakfast / Lunch / -) / or Spa Hotel Luna Runtun (Breakfast / Lunch /Dinner).
Day 4 (Tue): Excursion to Pailon del Diablo – Baños – Riobamba
In the town of Baños, located at an altitude of 1,800 meters, prevails a pleasant climate. It is recommendable to visit the beautiful Cathedral and enjoy the extraordinary scenery before starting with the day´s adventure: “The route of the waterfalls”, which runs along the Pastaza River Gorge. The highlight of this route is located by Rio Verde, where we will have a short walk through the cloud forest t to reach the thundering waterfall known as “Pailon del Diablo” (Devil’s cauldron).
In the afternoon, our tour continues to the highest volcano in Ecuador, Chimborazo (6,310 m), where we will be greeted by a desert like landscape and herds of shy vicuñas. From here it is possible to walk to the Edward Whymper shelter that offers a great view from an altitude of 5.000 meters.
The day ends in Riobamba, where we will spend the night at Mansion Santa Isabella or in the Hacienda Abraspungo. (Breakfast /-/ Dinner)
Day 5 (Wed): Devil’s Nose train ride – Ingapirca – Cuenca
We will depart early in the morning through picturesque landscapes and small villages to reach Alausí´s train station, where we will hop on board one of the most famous train rides in the world. The ‘Devils Nose’ as it is known, is an unforgettable train ride down an almost sheer rockface; the train makes switchbacks all the way down the cliff and then back up again. After this, we will enjoy a Lunch Box on our way to the next highlight: Ingapirca archeological complex, the largest Inca site in Ecuador. We will learn about the Inca and Cañari cultures by touring through the beautiful temples and fortifications. In the late afternoon we will continue to Cuenca, where we will sat at Hotel Casa del Aguila or Hotel Santa Lucia. Before turning in for the night we will have a delicious dinner at the charming restaurant “Villa Rosa”. (Breakfast / Box Lunch / Dinner)
Day 6 (Thu): City tour in Cuenca´s colonial center.
After breakfast we will start our tour of the beautiful colonial city of Cuenca, declared World Cultural Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1999. The promenade along the Rio Tomebamba, the imposing new Cathedral and the daily flower market are just a few of highlights that this city has to offer. The Tour also includes a visit to a workshop and museum of the famous Panama hat, the finest braided hats of the world.
We will have lunch at “El Maiz” restaurant specialized in fusion cuisine. The afternoon is left free for you to explore this charming and historical city on your own. Accommodations for the night will be provided in the same hotels as the night before.(Breakfast / Lunch / -)
Day 7 (Fri): Cajas National Park – Guayaquil
After breakfast, we will head to the west to cross El Cajas National Park. This reserve, although it is mostly above the tree line, has an astounding variety of plant and animal life. In addition to rugged ridges and deeply incised, box-shaped valleys, there are nearly 240 different sized lagoons. We will drive to an altitude of almost 4,200 meters above sea level, to reach the most western watershed between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. After this our route starts descending to the coastal region, passing through beautiful and changing landscapes as the altitude drops and the vegetation grows in size and variety. We will drive through extensive cocoa, bananas, rice, and sugar cane plantations to enter the bustling metropolis of Guayaquil, the largest city in the country. Once there, we will get to our Hotel (Grand Hotel Guayaquil or Hotel Hampton Inn) to then do a city tour in Ecuador´s main Port. This city is best explored on foot, so we will start from Parque Bolivar to then continue by the Plaza de Administración, the Moorish Clock Tower and finally the “Malecón 2000” and the artist district of Las Peñas, with its spectacular panoramic view of the lazy Guayas River and its green mangrove belt. After the tour we will all gather in the evening for a farewell dinner at the traditional restaurant “Lo Nuestro”. (Breakfast / – / Dinner)
Day 8 (Sat): Transfer to the airport for your return flight or your next adventure!(Breakfast / – / – )
Note: The planned route is subject to change in case of force majeure or safety risks. The operators also reserve the right to change the Hotels within the same categories in exceptional cases.
Standard Category - 3 Stars
|Quito||T. Superior||AUD$2960||AUD$2603||On request|
Superior Category - 4 Stars or best Available
Highlights: Volcanoes, High Andes, Indegenous Community, Arts & Crafts, Gastronomy, Archaeology, Train Tour, Religious Art, Colonial Art.
Start day: Saturday on fixed dates
The different natural landscapes and the beautiful colonial cities of Quito and Cuenca are waiting for you in Ecuador. The Magical Andes will let you experience famous train rides, indigenous villages, colorful markets, the largest Inca site in Ecuador and, of course, the majestic snow-capped volcanoes. Then, this tour will take you to the coastal region through banana and cacao plantations to end in the tropical city of Guayaquil, the biggest port of Ecuador.
Departures: 2015 from Quito
|Planned Hotels or Similar|
|City or Region||Standard||Superior|
|Quito||Hostal Fuente de Piedra||Mercure Alameda|
|Cotopaxi||Hacienda la Cienaga – Std||Hacienda La Cienaga – Suite|
|Banos||Hotel La Floresta||Hotel Luna Runtun|
|Riobamba||Mansion Santa Isabella||Hacienda Abraspungo|
|Cuenca||Hotel Casa del Aguila||Hotel Santa Lucia|
|Guayaquil||Gran Hotel Guayaquil||Hotel Hampton Inn|
Tour name :
Custom-made, flexible trips to Central and South America. You tell us when, where and how you’d like to travel.
We will put together a program that best suits your needs and preferences.