Ecuador is a country both rich in heritage and nature reserves. This tour takes you on exciting places through varied landscapes including the Avenue of the Volcanoes, the Andean Highlands and the gateway to the Amazon! You have the opportunity to discover the diversity of Ecuadors’s flora and fauna while learning about the cultural variety of this multifaceted country. Discover the magnificent Cotopaxi up to the edge of its glacier and descent through the high plateau, ending at the peaceful Limpiopungo Lagoon at the foot of the Rumiñahui volcano.Descent to the impressive Quilotoa Lagoon with the snow-covered mountains peaks in the background and experience the life o an indigenous family. Get to know the high biodiversity of the Mindo cloud forest and take a refreshing dip in the waterfalls of Baños. This tour goes to a height of 4,810 m, it is important that you are prepared for this kind of altitude. We recommend acclimatizing at least two days around 3,000 m.
Mindo is a charming, yet busy town nestled in the hills, at an altitude of 1250m. Beautiful waterfalls, wild rivers, and a gorgeous premontane cloud forest make a trip to Mindo totally worth it. Prepare to be amazed by the colourful attractions of Mindo, where we’ll visit a stunning waterfall and then head to a butterfly farm where you will have the chance to encounter hundreds of different species of native butterflies. Complete your afternoon with a tubing trip down river, or an adrenaline-charged flight and superb sights above the trees of the thick cloud forest on the canopy ropes course.
Our first stop will be in Cayambe where we will taste the town’s famous bizcochos (biscuits cooked on an open fire) and admire the beautiful scenery of El Lechero, Otavalo and Lago San Pablo. Discover the most famous artesian indigenous market in Ecuador, the Otavalo, where you will have free time to explore and purchase local handicrafts, and where our guide will provide an explanation about the local indigenous culture. We continue to the town of Cotacachi, then onward to beautiful Cuicocha lagoon.
This full day cultural tour begins with a visit to a local indigenous market, Saquisili (Thursdays) or Pujili (Sundays).
The drive to Laguna Quilotoa (an amazing emerald lagoon inside a volcano crater at the height of 3,800m) displays beautiful views of the Andean mountains, passing the ancient canyon of Zumbahua and many indigenous towns and farmlands. Before lunch we will visit a local aboriginal home where you have the opportunity to interact with the inhabitants. The tour includes a steep hike down to the lagoons shore.
Back to Hosteria Papagayo Cotopaxi, a transportation will drive you to Baños.
Beautiful waterfalls and lush forest surround the tranquil town of Baños. Baños is one of the most charming and popular tourist destinations. The town and the picturesque scenery around it offer a lot of activities to do for every type of traveler. Hiking, mountain biking, shopping, driving quads, soak in the hot springs, enjoying some chocolate specialties, all this while the active volcano Tungurahua in the background brings in some (safe) feeling of adventure. The day in Baños starts with a adventurous cable car ride through the trees, to experience the beautiful nature from above, along some of the most stunning waterfalls. The tour ends with a good soak in one of the hot springs of Baños (as the name, Spanish for ‘baths’, might blow), which most of them are fed by thermal springs from the base of the active volcano.
**Please note: The schedule of this package will vary depending on which days we are running the two included tours. The meeting point on the first, second and third days is “Q Restaurant”, Quito (6:45am)