It is often said that Ecuador emulates four different worlds in one due to its four highly contrasting regions. This makes for an incredible vacation, but it can also make planning your vacation a bit confusing. Have no fear, that is where Gulliver Expeditions comes to the rescue providing the ideal itinerary, hitting each spot that absolutely cannot be missed within a perfect timeframe.
The itinerary will begin in the Andes, specifically in Quito, a charming colonial city brimming with culture and rich heritage on every cobblestoned street. Quito was the first city to ever be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the best preserved and oldest historical centers in Latin America. In and around Quito are hidden gems that can only be experienced in this one-of-a-kind itinerary with Gulliver.
Also in the Andes are the highest active volcanoes and some of the most famous snow-capped peaks in South America. Giants like Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Ilinizas and Corazon seem to be placed perfectly within the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Only here you can experience one of the most famous sections of the Andes with the most visibility of various volcanoes and their stunning views; not to mention the emerald lagoon of Quilotoa tucked far away in a picturesque valley. Pictures will never do these Andean gems justice, but the memories and the experiences will last a lifetime.
We will provide you with three days exploring the Amazon jungle – the real deal! Our Amazon lodges are located deep into the jungle, mostly accessible only by canoe. Arriving is an experience all on its own. You’ll have first hand experiences into primary and secondary rainforest, with all the wildlife you can imagine. Guides have keen eyes and ears and can find even the most camoflauged species of the Amazon. Spend these three days on a magical jungle journey while enjoying the comforts of great accommodation, food, and quality service.
Welcome to Ecuador!
Upon your arrival you will be greeted at the airport and provided a transfer to your hotel accommodations. Enjoy your first night in Ecuador!.
Your guide will pick you up from your hotel to begin the day exploring Quito’s historical center. The tour will present highlights such as La Plaza de la Independencia, La Iglesia de San Francisco, and the Basilica de Voto Nacional. During this time enjoy the old-time charm of this area of the city, taking in the sights and sounds of daily Ecuadorian life. Afterwards, your guide will take you to the middle of the world, or Mitad del Mundo. You will be able to visit the famous monument and have some time for photos. While here, you will also visit the Intiñan Museum. It has interesting displays of the different regions of Ecuador and interactive experiments you can only do on the equator line and nowhere else in the world.
As one of the highest and still active snow-capped volcanoes in the world, Cotopaxi’s symmetric cone of 5,897 meters rises up from a vast plan, home to llamas, condores, and herds of wild horses. The Cotopaxi National Park tour is an exciting full day with spectacular views of the unique Andean landscapes in the middle of the “”Avenue of the Volcanoes””. During the visit you will have the opportunity to walk up to the refuge, situated at 4,810 meters just at the snow-line of the volcano. Depending on conditions, it is also possible to hike up to 5,000 meters and see glaciers nearby. ”
Ever growing in popularity and understandably so, Quilotoa is a must-see when visiting Ecuador. This volcanic crater is filled with crystal-blue water and holds a special place in local indigenous mythology for being bottomless. Along the drive to reach the crater you will pass by local markets in Saquisili (Thursdays) or Pujilí (Sundays) where you will gain an appreciation for the indigenous way of life. You’ll also pass through the canyon of Zumbahua which makes for a great photo opportunity and close to there you will visit an indigenous family. When you reach Quilotoa itself you can walk down from the rim to the water’s edge and appreciate it´s beauty up close for yourself. The hike back up is rather steep however there is always the option of renting a mule for a few extra dollars.
Beautiful waterfalls and lush forests surround the tranquil town of Baños. It is known as the “Gateway to the Amazon” as it is located on the Pastaza River in the High Amazon Basin. Baños is also known religiously across the country as Catholics say that the Virgin Mary appeared near the waterfalls once to protect the town from natural disasters, considering the towering and highly active Tungurahua volcano overshadows the town. During your time in Baños, visit the magical waterfals of Pailón del Diablo, cross the gorges in a cable car to get up close views of the Manto de la Novia waterfall, and enjoy the surprising charms of this hidden paradise.
We start our trip to Itamandi EcoLodge at the Arajuno Bridge, where we will take a motorized canoe going upstream for 20 minutes to begin our great experience in the tropical forest. On this ride you can
appreciate the magic and beauty of the Amazon rainforest driving along a zigzag river that flows in the
jungle like a giant snake, considered the vein system of the Pacha Mama (mother Earth). Once we arrive at the dock area of Itamandi EcoLodge, the resident manager will greet you with a delicious welcome drink. From there we will continue to relax in the bar area with a snack and a short briefing will be held with general information about the lodge and activities, provided by one of our naturalist guides.
According to the itinerary of the lodge, you will have a number of activities to enjoy during your time in the Amazon. The best wildlife sightings are done in the morning where the guide will take you out on either a trail excursion or canoe excursion. Return to the lodge to rest and relax, have lunch, and return out into the jungle for more wildlife viewing activities. The guides are very knowledgable and will show you the wonders of the rainforest. There will be many more activities and surprises at the lodge to enjoy, you may also have a chance to get to know the local indigenous community and their way of life.
On this day you will wake up at the lodge for a filling breakfast before departing to return to the Quito International Airport. You will be provided transportation from the Amazon lodge, as well as a transfer to the airport.
• International Flights
• Additional Entrance Fees
• Drinks and Alcoholic Beverages
• Travel Insurance
• All meals not mentioned above
Call a Travel Specialist
Or call our US Phone Line
(+1) 315 636 0940
Gulliver Expeditions is a tour operator that offers unique Ecuador and Peru tours. Specialized in adventure travel such as climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding. We offer both pre-planned packages as well as tailor-made tours that can include the Amazon rainforest, once-in-a-lifetime Galapagos cruises and expeditions to Machu Picchu.