Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America yet it is packed full with incredible attractions, most of which can be experienced in a relatively short amount of time. With the Andean highlands, the Avenue of Volcanoes, the tropical jungles, the colonial cities and artisan markets, the natural wilderness and sites of cultural importance Ecuador offers travellers an array of experiences and opportunities. It is just waiting to be discovered!
This amazing tour is going to lead you to some of the best places in Ecuador. It is designed to give you a great experience in every sense. It includes adventure, culture and more!
Welcome to Quito, the capital of Ecuador and the center of the world. This beautiful city will take you back through 500 years of history, to cultural sites and views you will never forget!
Overnight in Quito
After breakfast we will start our day in “Mitad del Mundo” which is located in the northwest of Quito. There we will visit the “Equatorial line” that divides the earth into the northern and southern hemispheres. It has become one of the most touristic icons in Ecuador. The local museum offers many unique experiments which emphasize being on the Middle of the World. From there we will continue with a city tour in the old city of Quito. Here we will find a rich and attractive diversity of churches, statues and historical sites.
The Nono-Mindo route begins in the north of Quito at an altitude of 3,500m and descends to 1,800m. In this adventurous tour we will travel down from the highlands of the volcano Guagua Pichincha, to the cloud forest of Mindo. This old dirt road offers great opportunities for bird watching as well as picturesque views of the Ecuadorean landscape. During this adventurous journey, we will pass through a variety of different ecologic and climatic zones in Ecuador, making refreshment stops at scenic viewpoints where the local staff will provide information about native plants and animal life.
After resting at the butterfly farm we will wake up to the sounds of the rushing river of Mindo. We will enjoy a good local-style breakfast and have a briefing about the schedule for the day. The drive starts on a dirt track that surrounds the region of Pichincha. Today we will be climbing up to 4,700m above sea level with beautiful views overlooking the valley and the tropical region. Walking at altitude, acclimatization and the challenging drives that are involved in the days activities make it an exciting day!
This full-day cultural tour begins with a beautiful drive to Pastocalle – a small village which provides an amazing view of the mountains around the valley. From there we will head south along the “Avenue of the Volcanoes” and follow the roads where we will enjoy the views and soak up the special atmosphere of the communities in the Sierra. The drive presents a beautiful view of the Andean mountains, passing the ancient canyon of Zumbahua and many indigenous towns and farmlands. There you will have the opportunity to interact with the inhabitants and maybe learn some Quichua.
We will spend the night in Chugchilan.
Today we have the option of a breathtaking ride in the rural Andes, a visit to an Andean cheese factory and the opportunity to enjoy the location and views of this area. We start our day with a short drive to the Lagoon of Quilotoa. The tour includes a hike down into the lagoon, a sparkling emerald lake inside an extinct volcanic crater. The return hike takes approximately one hour.
Chimborazo, the highest volcano in Ecuador, was thought for a long time to be the tallest mountain in the world since it is the farthest distance from the center of the Earth. Your day’s adventure will include hiking and riding scenic park roads. We will enjoy breathtaking landscapes of glaciers and red rock, take in the life of the local indigenous communities and gaze at herds of llamas and condors. Our knowledgeable guide will tell you about the different flora, fauna and history of the park, and from there we will keep driving south to Riobamba.
Today we will ride through the Avenue of the Volcanoes and enjoy an exhilarating adventure in the central highlands of Ecuador, where you will witness the amazing scenery of the Andes. The train got its name from a famous wall of rocks with a 45 degree decline, called the Devil´s Nose, which is part of the train excursion as it zigzags its way up and down this incredible route.
Today we will explore Ecuadors most beautiful colonial city including visits to a Panama hat factory, the flower market, the Calderon Park, the new and old cathedral, the Flowers Park, the City Museum, the Modern Art Museum and the All Saints Canari-Inca Ruins. We finish our day enjoying the Tomebamba River and the quaint old town of Turi.
Treat yourself to the rare experience of visiting the ruins of an ancient Incan civilization. Set amongst the dramatic valley landscape the massive fortifications of Ingapirca include courtyards, terraces, temples, houses, and a castle thought to be the ´Temple of the Sun´.
On our drive to Ingapirca we pass through the town of Azogues, stopping by a historic church and the Saturday straw market. We also visit the astonishing Biblian cathedral, which majestically looks down on the expansive plains.
Spend all day in and around Baños enjoying its incredible sights and activities including: Tungurahua active volcano, the natural ecological zoo, the hydroelectric plant of Agoyan, beautiful waterfalls, lush forests, hiking, climbing, biking and ATV riding. The tranquil town of Baños is the gateway to the amazon region!
After breakfast we will visit interesting places in the area of Puyo, such as an orchid farm and a monkey protection center. Around noon time we will start our drive to Tena arriving at the lodge in the afternoon. After the long drive we can relax for a while in a beautiful spacious bungalow built in a rustic native design surrounded by gardens full of amazing jungle plants and flowers. A delicious dinner will be served in a romantic candlelight setting at the attractively decorated restaurant. Afterwards we will enjoy a special welcome drink, relaxing around the elegant fireplace to coordinate and discuss next days activities with the local crew. We will feel completely comfortable in this peaceful setting filled with interesting nocturnal sights and sounds of the Amazon jungle!
After breakfast we depart by canoe upstream for ten minutes, arriving at a small shore where we begin a fun and thrilling one hour walk marveling at the jungles diverse secondary-forest flora and fauna. After our short hike we will find ourselves at the breathtaking cascade “La Cascada de Latas” where we will take a refreshing bath in its clear crystal waters and enjoy the surrounding views which mixed with the jungle sounds makes for an unforgettable experience. We return along the same way to have lunch at the lodge.
After lunch we put on our “wet gear” (rubber boots & rain poncho) to start an exciting walk in the jungle’s primary forest ready to find the secret wonders of the mysterious hidden jungle.
After breakfast, we will drive to the Termas de Papallacta Spa for more rest and adventure. Whether relaxing in the thermal baths, indulging in spa treatments or walking by the Rancho del Cañón or Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve, you are sure to enjoy the Papallacta experience. On the way we will stop to see the beautiful waterfall of San Rafael.
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