ECUADOR CITY STOP OVERS
- Guayaquil Stop Over, 3 days
- Quito Side trip - Devil's Nose Railway, 2 days
- Quito Side trip - Otavalo Market Experience, 2 days
- Quito Stop Over, 3 days
- Anakonda Amazon Explorer, 4, 5 & 8 days
- Ecuadorian Coast - Mantaraya Lodge, 3, 4 & 5 days
- Essential Ecuador, 8 days
- La Selva Lodge - Amazon Jungle, 4 & 5 days
- Los Conquistadors, 12 days
- Manatee - Amazon River Boat, 4, 5 & 8 days
- Mashpi Jungle Lodge, 3 & 4 days
- Sacha Lodge - Amazon Jungle, 6 days
- Unique Dining Quito, 1 day
- Value Ecuador, 10 days
SELECT A REGION
- Albania (2 trips)
- Austria (13 trips)
- Belgium (6 trips)
- Bosnia-Herzegovina (1 trip)
- Croatia (4 trips)
- Czech Republic (10 trips)
- Estonia (1 trip)
- Finland (1 trip)
- France (11 trips)
- Germany (13 trips)
- Greece (3 trips)
- Hungary (7 trips)
- Ireland (1 trip)
- Italy (14 trips)
- Latvia (1 trip)
- Lithuania (1 trip)
- Monaco (4 trips)
- Netherlands (10 trips)
- Poland (6 trips)
- Russia (2 trips)
- Serbia (1 trip)
- Slovakia (3 trips)
- Slovenia (3 trips)
- Spain (4 trips)
- Switzerland (10 trips)
- United Kingdom (5 trips)
- Antarctica (12 trips)
- Argentina (28 trips)
- Belize (10 trips)
- Bolivia (10 trips)
- Brazil (28 trips)
- Chile (30 trips)
- Colombia (12 trips)
- Costa Rica (9 trips)
- Cuba (1 trip)
- Ecuador (14 trips)
- El Salvador (5 trips)
- Falkland Islands (2 trips)
- Galapagos (14 trips)
- Guatemala (11 trips)
- Honduras (5 trips)
- Mexico (3 trips)
- Nicaragua (2 trips)
- Panama (7 trips)
- Peru (36 trips)
- Uruguay (3 trips)
- Venezuela (2 trips)
Travel Idea Including Ecuador
Quito - Equator - Saquisili Market - Devils Nose Railway - Ingarpica Ruins - Cuenca - Craft Market - Guayasamin Art Gallery - Quito
Ecuador boasts an impressive range of natural environments and cultures which in combination have inspired outstanding culinary diversity. We offer you the opportunity to savour a wide variety of gastronomic creations with ingredients including fresh seafood brought daily from the coast, exotic fruits from the lowlands, and some of the wonderful variety of grains and potatoes grown in the Andes.
Trip Code: CONCQC
- Departure Dates & Extras
Day 1. Monday Arrive in Quito
Your guide will be waiting to escort you from the airport to your hotel. Overnight stay in your choice of a tourist, first class or deluxe hotel.
Day 2. Tuesday Quito City & Equator tour
Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 2, 850 m. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America. The monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compania, with their rich interiors, are pure examples of the 'Baroque school of Quito', which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art. (whc.unesco.org)
You'll set off from the modern part of the city and continue on foot through Quito's Old Town to admire the colonial art and architecture of the XVI to XVIII centuries. Afterwards you'll have the opportunity to take in spectacular views of both colonial and modern Quito from the "Panecillo Mirador" which the highest point on the valley floor. A special treat is lunch at "El Ventanal" restaurant on San Juan hill. The restaurant is characterised by a cozy atmosphere, minimalist decoration and special attention to service. El Ventanal offers an extensive selection of international gastronomy with an Ecuadorian flavour.
We then journey north to the equator where your guide will show the differences in the gravitational influence either side of the equatorial line as well as a brief over view of indigenous cultures. BLD
Day 3. Wednesday Guayasamin Art Gallery / Dining with a View
Today you'll visit the museum of Guayasamin that exhibits excellent samples of pre-Columbian, colonial and contemporary art from the private collections of the famous Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamin.
Following this, is a visit to "La Capilla del Hombre" (Chapel of Man), the inside of which is covered with a mural by the artist. It narrates the history of "El hombre Americano", but was incomplete at the time of the Guayasamin's death, and remains unfinished. The Chapel holds some of Guayasamin's work as well as that of other well-known Latin-American artists, from Pre-Columbian to contemporary. The altar of the Chapel holds an eternal flame in defense of peace and human rights.
Dinner tonight is at Rumiloma Lodge, a magical oasis of rustic luxury on the side of the Volcano Pichincha overlooking Quito, where you'll be treated to Ecuadorian-style fusion cuisine. BD
Day 4. Thursday Avenue of the Volcanoes / Saquisili Market
Early in the morning, you will travel south along the Pan-American highway to Saquisili market, one of the largest remaining indigenous markets in Ecuador. Every Thursday, the town fills with locals that come down from the mountains bringing their produce - a few onions, some carrots, potatoes, perhaps even some chickens or a pig - to sell at the various markets scattered throughout the town. Lunch will be at La Cienega, an old colonial hacienda that now functions as a restaurant and hotel.
You will spend the night at Hacienda Hato Verde, a construction from the colonial era that has been remodelled the by the current owners with original materials and techniques in keeping with the colonial rustic style of the region. For dinner you will enjoy the owner's hospitality with their tradition of fine home-style cuisine which is considered the best food of the region. BLD
Day 5. Friday Devils Nose Railway adventure Ingaprica ruins - Cuenca
Riobamba - Nariz del Diablo Train - Cuenca
The journey begins in the small city of Riobamba. Like many cities in the Ecuadorian Andes, Riobamba sits in the shadow of a giant volcano, Chimborazo, which at 6, 310 meters enjoys the distinction of being Ecuador's highest peak. The train travels south from Chimborazo through a number of small villages and large expanses of open country before arriving at the small town of Alausi.
The main attraction of the Devil's Nose ride is the series of switchbacks that engineers carved into the mountain as a way to allow trains to climb a gradient of 1-in-18 from 1800 to 2600 meters, by going forwards then backwards up the tracks. As the rail cars go forward and backward over the three or four zigzags, they will occasionally stop to allow another car to pass. A hundred years after it was constructed, the steep grade of the Devil's Nose stretch of track precludes its use as a freight or efficient passenger line, but is a way for present-day explorers to catch a glimpse of the rugged and breathtaking Ecuadorian countryside.
From you will continue your trip to Cuenca, visiting the Ingapirca ruins. They look like a small fortress. Some archaeologists think that its main elliptical platform structure (usnu), referred to as Temple of the Sun, was used for religious purposes. Its location on the Inca road that linked the northern and southern capitals of the Inca empire, Quito and Cusco respectively, suggests it may have also served as a resting point for chasquis – runners that carried messages for the royal court. The structure itself has outstanding Inca stonework. Its doorways and niches were designed in the trapezoidal shape that is the unmistakable Inca style. From here we journey through the many volcanoes to the colonial gem of Cuenca. 2 nights in a boutique hotel in Cuenca. BLD
Day 6. Saturday Colonial Cuenca
Santa Ana de los Rios de Cuenca is set in a valley surrounded by the Andean mountains in the south of Ecuador. This inland colonial town (entroterra), now the country's third city, was founded in 1557 on the rigorous planning guidelines issued 30 years earlier by the Spanish king Charles V. This is a peaceful city with colonial flair, glistening marble buildings ennobled with wrought iron balconies and huge wooden doors. Cuenca still observes the formal orthogonal town plan that it has respected for 400 years. One of the region's agricultural and administrative centres, it has been a melting pot for local and immigrant populations. Cuenca's architecture, much of which dates from the 18th century, was 'modernized' in the economic prosperity of the 19th century as the city became a major exporter of quinine, straw hats and other products. (whc.unesco.org)
Lunch is at a typical restaurant in the historic centre. Your guide will lead you on an exploration of the markets, churches, museums and craft shops for which the city is known. To the surprise of many, the Panama hat originated here. BLD
Day 7. Sunday Cuenca Crafts Market & Orchard Villages to Quito
Cuenca is surrounded by villages where skilled artisans work wonders. Among these are Gualaceo, with its markets that are especially crowded on Fridays & Sundays, where you can observe hand-woven shawls, ponchos and lots of fruits and vegetables on sale.
We also visit Bulcay for Ikat weaving and Chordeleg “chorro de oro” (waterfall of gold), a village specialized in jewelry - mainly gold and silver - with fine filigree work; hand made ceramic pottery and the chance to observe people weaving Panama hats and other items made of toquilla straw. One of the highlights on this trip is the visit to Ecuagenera, the most important orchid growing laboratory in Ecuador, which aim is to study and preserve the different species existent through time. Among their achievements, they have discovered 12 new species and 1 gender. During the visit we could observe hundreds of species and learn a bit about these amazing and beautiful plants. Lunch in a countryside hacienda.
A afternoon flight has us back in Quito. BL
Day 8. Monday Onward travels
After breakfast at leisure until you are transferred to the airport fo ryour onward travels. Continue your journey in Quito or fly to the Galapagos. B
Exchange rates differ from time to time. For the most up-to-date prices of this holiday idea please fill out our Latin America Travel Quote form.
Our Colonial Quito and Cuenca experience is a perfect pre or post Galapagos Islands add on.
- Ecuador departure tax $40.80 USD
- Local currency is USD
- Time Zone: GMT/UTC -5
- Dialling Code: 592
- Electricity: 220V, 60Hz
- Weights & measures: Metric
Quito & Cuenca Moderate boutique
Quito: La Rabida or Vieja Cuba
Cuenca: Victoria, Carvalho
Other hotel options available on request
- Airfare Quito/Cuenca/Quito
- All activities as listed
- All guides
- All accommodation
- All taxes
- Airport transfers,
- Ground transport
- Entry fees
- All meals as listed B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
- Visa fees (if required)
- Passport & Visa Costs
- Vaccination Costs
- Personal Spending Money
- Meals where not listed
- International Flights
- Travel Insurance
- Airport departure taxes
- Border taxes or fees
Please call us to inquire about departure dates
Hacienda Abraspungo, Ecuadorian Andes (hotel)
Patio Andaluz, Quito, Ecuador (hotel)
Le Parc Hotel, Quito, Ecuador (hotel)
At the time of booking we will advise you of any visas or other documentation that will be required prior to your arrival.
Costs relating to the issue of visas or related documentation are the responsibility of the traveler.
As visa requirements change it is your responsibility to ensure that the correct documentation and visas are obtained before traveling. Failure to do so may result in your not being able to join the trip.
It is a condition of booking that all clients have comprehensive travel insurance. AI can offer Travel Insurance for your trip. Please request a quote when booking.
Prices based on per person, twin/double share, unless otherwise noted, and pre-set group minimum numbers. Prices & itineraries are correct at the time of printing. Itineraries & prices may change due to currency fluctuations, local conditions or events outside the control of A.I and her local operators. Please see our booking terms & conditions for full details.