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Highlights of Ecuador

Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,234

Escape to Ecuador and explore the beauty of this country from the Andes to the coast. Starting in Quito, enjoy the best of the Andean region, including small indigenous towns and majestic volcanoes, then continue to Guayaquil "the pearl of the Pacific."


Touch down in Quito to begin this 10-day private tour of Ecuador.

The City of Eternal Spring, where the temperature rarely fluctuates, this mountainous city offers gorgeous colonial architecture to explore, including the San Franciscan Monastery and the Plaza Mayor. After a half-day tour, you’ll have time to explore on your own before a day trip to Otavalo. One of Ecuador’s undisputed treasures, this village is popular with the tourists, but with good reason. Ecuador’s indigenous culture is alive and well here, and the world-famous craft market is a must-visit. Then visit the workshop of master weaver Miguel Andrango to learn a few of the secrets behind these beautiful creations.

Just a short distance from Quito, Cotopaxi National Park is one of Ecuador’s top natural treasures, in the shadow of the awesome Cotopaxi and Antisana volcanoes. Learn about the local flora and fauna, and take a two-hour guided hike to spectacular views. A mountain bike ride completes your day, with some traditional hospitality to help you relax after an active day. Then visit another local artisan to learn about the local folkloric art, before staring into the surreal green lake of Quilotoa. If you found Otavalo’s market a little touristy, you’ll love the market you visit on this day. It will vary according to the day of your visit, but is always as important to the locals as it is appealing to visitors.

Ready for a ride on one of South America’s most memorable train journeys? All aboard the Trans-Andean for a journey across the Devil’s Nose. Learn about the engineering challenges posed by this mountain as you either climb or descend more than half a kilometre onboard the train. Then visit Ingrapirca, the most important Inca site in Ecuador, before your onward journey to Cuenca. If Ecuador’s crafts have enchanted you, this might be your favourite part of the trip. Visit the towns of Gualaceo and Chordeleg, meeting local textile-making families who preserve the methods of the Canaris people, who predate even the Inca in this region.

Your final stop is Guyaquil, Ecuador’s powerhouse largest city and port. It’s a lengthy drive, broken up with visits to a dairy farm and a cacao plantation (chocoholics, you’re welcome). With a full day in the city, take a half day tour that takes you to Simon Bolivar Park and Guayaquil’s oldest neighbourhood, ending with a visit to the Malecon boardwalk overlooking the Guayas River.


 

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Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,234

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Quito Airport to Hotel

Duration1 Hour

Casa Aliso

Casa Aliso is one of the best boutique hotels in Ecuador; full of personality and character and defined by its unique design, decor and ambiance. Delightfully secluded, Casa Aliso is well known to experienced travellers who want to be close to everything, but desire a quieter, more refined atmosphere. True hospitality is discreet and is expressed on a daily basis by a myriad of small gestures.

Meal Plan Buffet Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Casa Aliso

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    Casa Aliso



    Casa Aliso is one of the best boutique hotels in Ecuador; full of personality and character and defined by its unique design, decor and ambiance. Delightfully secluded, Casa Aliso is well known to experienced travellers who want to be close to everything, but desire a …

    Casa Aliso is one of the best boutique hotels in Ecuador; full of personality and character and defined by its unique design, decor and ambiance. Delightfully secluded, Casa Aliso is well known to experienced travellers who want to be close to everything, but desire a quieter, more refined atmosphere. True hospitality is discreet and is expressed on a daily basis by a myriad of small gestures.

    Facilities

    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 2

Quito City Tour

The place to start exploring Ecuador is Colonial Quito: a city of narrow cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed walls and, rising above, the steeples and cupolas of the city's many spectacularly decorated historic churches. The city has one of the best preserved colonial centers in all South America, and its integrity was assured in 1978 when the United Nations declared Quito a World Cultural Heritage site.

Morning visit to colonial Quito. We will walk through the Main Plaza, where you will see the Government Palace, La Compania, and some of the most important churches built around the XVI and XVII centuries, including the San Francisco Monastery which was started 5 days after the founding of the city in 1534. Then we will visit the city's famous La Ronda street, where we will learn about traditional work in Colonial Quito.

For our last stop, we will also be visiting the 'Panecillo', the hill that dominates the South of the city, and where we will be able to admire the famous statue of Our Lady of the Panecillo and enjoy spectacular views of Quito.

Duration4 Hours
Day 3

Otavalo Day Trip with Lunch

Today we will visit the Quitsato Sundial, a cultural-tourist area located on the equatorial line near the Cayambe volcano, where you will learn about the astronomical knowledge of the region's pre-Hispanic cultures.

We will then head to the town of Otavalo, This is truly one of the most interesting towns in Ecuador, where the local Kichwa indigenous culture is not only plainly visible, but on their rise.

The town's famous craft market is one of the most visited sites in Ecuador, and with good reason. The market is filled with interesting colorful and sometimes rare objects and crafts. Do remember to bargain, but only if you're interested! The market is held every day on one of the town squares at the foot of the majestic Imbabura Mountain. And to help you navigate the market, you will be given a short explanation of the market and provided with a map of the area. The Local Indian Market has been an economic and social center for more than 4000 years.

As part of our day at the market we will visit the workshop of Master weaver Miguel Andrango, in the village of Agato. Miguel's art has taken him abroad, mainly to exhibitions and fairs in the United States where the quality of his work is widely acknowledged. In the small store in the courtyard of his Tawantinsuyo workshop, the walls are covered with bright designs, most with an indigenous motif; the designs are based on Inca patterns but are the work of Miguel and his family. The workshop uses only pure wool and Alpaca; the weavers card and spin it themselves and then dye it with natural inks made from mosses (for yellow) or seeds such as 'Achiote' (for red).

In the afternoon we'll drive to the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve for a visit to the interpretation center and an outstanding view of the Cuicocha lagoon, a deep-blue crater lake on the lower southern flanks of Cotacachi Volcano. After our hike we will stop at the picturesque colonial town of Cotacachi, famous for its leather work.

Duration8 Hours
Day 4

Quito to Cotopaxi

Depart Quito early morning and head south to the Cotopaxi National Park where, weather permitting, you will be able to see the snowcapped summits of the Cotopaxi and Antisana volcanoes.

You will also visit the Interpretation center to learn about the history of this spectacular volcano's major eruptions, as well as the local flora and fauna. Then visit Lake Limpiopungo and explore the surrounding area on foot. If you feel like a longer walk, a 2-hour hike will take you to Mt. Cotopaxi's J. Ribas refuge (4,800 m) where you will be able to enjoy spectacular views of the volcano and the surrounding Andean peaks.

Later, enjoy some mountain bike riding through exclusive trails designed by mountain bikers and engineers on a fantastic journey through the heart of the Andes. You will then be escorted by mountain biking guides and be pampered by traditional hospitality during the whole trip. Tonight you stay at the Chilcabamba Lodge.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Chilcabamba Lodge

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    Chilcabamba Lodge



    Its rustic style gives it a cozy, simple and charming atmosphere. Its design is confused with the environment typical of our Andean páramos. Located at 3480 meters above sea level, Chilcabamba Lodge is located in the Pedregal, six kilometers from the Cotopaxi National Park. Chilcabamba …

    Its rustic style gives it a cozy, simple and charming atmosphere. Its design is confused with the environment typical of our Andean páramos. Located at 3480 meters above sea level, Chilcabamba Lodge is located in the Pedregal, six kilometers from the Cotopaxi National Park.

    Chilcabamba Lodge, offers rooms with private bathrooms, hot water, stoves and ponchos in each room. Every afternoon you can enjoy a bonfire accompanied by traditional canelazos, or relax in our reading and games room.

    They have a restaurant, which offers exquisite dishes of our cuisine, carefully prepared with local ingredients where they offer breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Facilities

    • Game Room
    • Reading Room
    • Restaurant

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Day 5

Cotopaxi to Quilotoa to Riobamba

Visit the workshop of local artisan, Don Alfonso Toaquiza, who welcomes you to his workshop where you can learn about local culture, and folkloric art. You will also have the chance to show off your skills in painting. You even get to keep your piece of sheepskin artwork!

After, visit the volcanic crater of Quilotoa with a serene mysterious looking green lake inside. Enjoy a boxed lunch at the lookout of Shalala, and then hike along the rim of the crater until we reach another viewpoint. Then visit an Indian market in the town of either Saquisili, Pujili, Zumbahua or Latacunga (based on day).

These markets are as authentic and non-touristic as can be found today in Ecuador today. They are important to the local indigenous people as markets are the center of their social and economic worlds.

*Markets take place on the following days: Tuesday: Latacunga - Wednesday - Sunday: Pujili - Thursday: Saquisili - Saturday: Zumbahua. Abraspungo Lodge.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Hacienda Abraspungo

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    Hacienda Abraspungo



    The Hacienda Abraspungo is located at 2,754 metres above sea level and is surrounded by the magnificence of the Ecuadorian Andes. It is named after a glacial valley which is situated between the Chimborazo Volcano and Carihuairazo, in the exact centre of Ecuador. The architectural …

    The Hacienda Abraspungo is located at 2,754 metres above sea level and is surrounded by the magnificence of the Ecuadorian Andes. It is named after a glacial valley which is situated between the Chimborazo Volcano and Carihuairazo, in the exact centre of Ecuador. The architectural style offers the best of traditional colonial design often used in the ancestral mansions and haciendas of Ecuador. Abraspungo offers 42 comfortable rooms which incorporate modern interior design elements within the framework of traditional, colonial architecture.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Games Room
    • Gift Shop
    • Laundry facilities
    • Mail and Postal Facilities
    • Massage Treatments
    • Parking
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Tennis
    • Volleyball

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 6

Riobamba to Ingapirca to Cuenca

After breakfast you will take the scenic drive to Alausi, and the train station for your train ride- Nariz del Diablo Train Journey! The biggest complication faced by the construction of the Trans-Andean railroad was the Devil's Nose, a mountain with almost perpendicular walls. To overcome this obstacle a zigzag railroad was built that climbs - or descends dependent on your direction - more than 500 meters in less than 12 km with steep ascents and descents. It remains to this day, an impressive piece of engineering. While recovering from the mind-blowing descent you will enjoy the views of the narrow gorge of river Chanchan and will have the chance to learn a bit about the traditions and worldview of the Puruhuas in Sibambe. Train departs Tuesday to Sunday and holidays.

You now drive south to Ingapirca, an Inca observatory and fortress. This is the most important Inca site in Ecuador, where the Emperor and his entourage would rest during trips to this northern segment of the Empire. Ingapirca Ruins, is the largest and best-preserved archaeological complex in Ecuador was built with stones perfectly carved and joined with natural mortar, this Temple served for ceremonies and rituals of the Canari-Inca culture and also had strategic-military purposes. After lunch continue to Cuenca.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Victoria

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    Hotel Victoria



    Hotel Victoria is located in the nestled between the hustle of Calle Larga and the serenity of Barranco: you'll have the stream of the river at your feet and the concurrence of our Historical Center just some steps away. Yet Hotel Victoria's charms are gathered …

    Hotel Victoria is located in the nestled between the hustle of Calle Larga and the serenity of Barranco: you'll have the stream of the river at your feet and the concurrence of our Historical Center just some steps away.

    Yet Hotel Victoria's charms are gathered inside: from their imposing brick-and-marble facade to decorations, cuencanas the whole of them, disposed at every room. They offer an experience that matches the host city: full of delights, with centennial distinction; but where you'll always feel as it being at home.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Laundry
    • Restaurant
    • WiFi

    More Details

Day 7

Cuenca and the Craftsman Trail

The towns of Gualaceo and Chordeleg, are located just 45 minutes east of Cuenca. In these traditional settlements, set in beautiful Andean landscapes, you will meet families who are still making textiles the way the "Canaris" (the pre-Inca inhabitants) did more than 500 years ago. Visit the workshops of a traditional jewelry makers, a guitar maker that forms part of the 'Guitar Trail', and a 'Chola Cuencana' who still makes her straw hats in the traditional manner. Along the way you will have the opportunity to visit an orchid farm that houses more than 2,000 species of orchids, one of the best in the world, as well as visiting shoemakers, jewelers and food and fruit market.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 8

Cuenca to Guayaquil

Depart after breakfast, from Cuenca to Guayaquil. This drive takes 4 hours and passes through the Cajas National Park. There is a short stop here to enjoy of the amazing view and then continue to Naranjito and Hacienca La Danesa. Located in Ecuador's tropical coastal region, only an hour from the city of Guayaquil and with the spectacular Andes Mountains as backdrop, Hacienda La Danesa is a 500 Hectares traditional dairy farm that produces about 2,000 liters of milk per day, as well as fresh cheese for guests every morning. The hacienda also has cocoa and teak plantations and breeds beautiful pinto quarter horses.

In the Olsen family for over 50 years, the exceptional service, 'deep green' environmental practices and authenticity will create an experience every guest will remember. La Danesa is also committed to improving local standards of living through tourism, and implements strict policies to create jobs in the neighboring communities, start-ups and sourcing local ingredients. Enjoy a tour at the Cacao plantation with a hands-on chocolate making experience where chocolate tasting is included. You will also enjoy a delicious 3-course lunch menu prepared by the Hacienda's expert chefs. After lunch drive to Guayaquil where services end.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch

Hotel Palace

Hotel Palace is perfectly located in the heart of Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city, as well as its main port. The hotel is close to the Province Governors Palace, City Hall and the vibrant Malecon 2000 riverside promenade.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Palace

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    Hotel Palace



    Hotel Palace is perfectly located in the heart of Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city, as well as its main port. The hotel is close to the Province Governors Palace, City Hall and the vibrant Malecon 2000 riverside promenade.

    Hotel Palace is perfectly located in the heart of Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city, as well as its main port. The hotel is close to the Province Governors Palace, City Hall and the vibrant Malecon 2000 riverside promenade.

    Facilities

    • Conference Facilities
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Parking
    • Restaurant
    • Room Service

    More Details

Day 9

Half day Guayaquil City Tour

Begin your city tour of Guayaquil with a stop Simon Bolivar Park. Learn about historical landmarks from your guide as you stroll through the main streets and avenues of the city. See the statues of Simon Bolivar and Saint Martin in La Rotonda.

Then, head over to Guayaquil's oldest neighborhood, known for its charming restaurants, art galleries and craft shops, and climb the staircase up Cerro Santa Ana (Santa Ana Hill) for a majestic view of the city from more than 1,000 feet (300 meters).

Next, travel to the southern end of Malecon 2000, a 1-mile (2.5-km) stretch of boardwalk overlooking the Guayas River (Rio Guayas) and surrounded by sculptures, ponds and playgrounds.

After your tour, your guide will drop you off at your hotel in Guayaquil.

Duration3 Hours
Day 10

Guayaquil Hotel to Airport with English Assistance

Duration25 Minutes

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Round trip airport transfers
  • 9 nights' accommodation
  • Private guided excursions of;
    • Quito
    • Otavalo
    • Cuenca
    • Guayaquil
    • The Andean Region
  • Entrance and transportation fees
  • Meals as indicated

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

DP QUITPK10DGUAEC
1 Apr 2021
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