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Wonders of Ecuador

Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,013

This introductory Ecuador tour takes you to the centre of the world, through some of the most enchanting sights and villages of the Andes. From the Equator to the sea, explore the best of Ecuador.


This 8-day Ecuador tour proves good things come in small packages.

Touch down in Quito, the city of eternal springtime and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s easy to get lost in the colonial streets and enchanting architecture, but a guided tour covering the highlights will help you get your bearings before visiting Old Town Quito. Then, head north to Latitude 0’0’0”, the very centre of the world. Not only can you take a photo straddling the equator, you’ll be amazed at the tricks gravity can play in this unique spot.

Travel along the Panamerican Highway to Otavalo, where indigenous Ecuador still thrives, producing some of the world’s most beautiful textiles. If your visit falls on a Saturday, you can enjoy the main market, but there are souvenir bargains to be had at any time. Visit a rose planation in the afternoon, before returning to Quito. Your second big Quito day trip takes you to the Mindo Cloud Forest. While this is a spectacular region in its own right, you can enhance your visit with tubing, riding a cable car, or visiting the local orchid farms, butterfly gardens, and waterfalls.

Leave Quito behind and head for an Andean Hacienda almost 10,000 feet above sea level. Surrounded by these spectacular mountains, keep an eye out for Andean Condors among other wildlife. This region presents the Andes at their most impressive with petrified lava rivers and lakes, alongside indigenous markets. Then continue on to Cuenca, home to the Ingapirca Inca ruins, a fascinating stop on the Inca road between the ancient capitals of Quito and Cusco.

Spend a day in Cuenca proper, roaming its churches, markets, and museums. Did you know the Panama Hat originated here? You do now. Another piece of Cuenca heritage is the orthogonal town plan, which has observed for four centuries now. Your journey ends in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city, with a decidedly more tropical climate than the rest of Ecuador. If you’re still hungry for adventure, consider a few days sailing the Galapagos, or head south into Peru.


 

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Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,013

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrival in Quito

Upon arrival into Quito you will be met and transferred to your hotel. A documentation kit with detailed program information will be available plus luggage and hotel registration assistance.

Duration4 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Vieja Cuba

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstar

    Hotel Vieja Cuba



    The comfortable Hotel Vieja Cuba is located in Ecuador's capital city between La Nina N26-202 and Av. Diego de Almagro streets. The hotel is settled in Quito's best commercial zone in a majestic colonial house, 26 rooms with all the services that modern life requires.

    The comfortable Hotel Vieja Cuba is located in Ecuador's capital city between La Nina N26-202 and Av. Diego de Almagro streets. The hotel is settled in Quito's best commercial zone in a majestic colonial house, 26 rooms with all the services that modern life requires.

    Facilities

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

    More Details

Day 2

Quito Colonial and The Intinan Museum

A wonderful tour through the streets and main squares of Quito's Historic Centre, the first city in the world to be declared by UNESCO as a "World Cultural Heritage" site. Narrow and sometimes steep streets surrounded by classic architecture, colonial style houses, gracious flowered balconies, charming squares and more than 50 monumental churches, convents, monasteries, cloisters and historic monuments make Old Town Quito the "Centre of it All" and an amazing experience.

A visit to the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo is part of this spectacular visit; the convent has the best exhibition of architectural and religious art in the colonial city. Treasures such as the Chapels of El Rosario and Pompeya whose walls and columns are decorated in gold with an original blend of vegetable and anthropomorphic figures are a vivid example of the world famous Quito School of Art. The Convent of Santo Domingo displays colossal doors and ceilings covered with oil paintings and gold leaf; it will take you back in time to the height of Colonial power and influence.

It is then a short drive to the north of the city of Quito where you reach Latitude 0'0'0'' - centre of the world - and where you find the the Intinan museum. Place one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other one on the southern hemisphere, watch the water gurgle down the drain in one direction then - no more than 2 inches away - see it drain in the opposite and the test of tests - balance and egg on a nail head!

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Andean Handicrafts and Markets + Rose Plantation

An early start will take you due north on a beautiful scenic drive to the province of Imbabura, a magic land of lakes and mountains of outstanding beauty. The day opens the possibility to learn about the customs of the people living in the area, learn about the relationship between the concept of the Middle of the World and all the archaeological sites found in the area.

The Northern Highlands are the home of the Otavalo Community, the Otavalos are known around the world for their weaving patterns and textiles which pre-date the Spanish conquest. The market is world known for its colorful textiles, woven on back-strap and shuttle looms, its piles of ponchos and hand-made textiles, hats, Indian jewelry and creative handicrafts. This is a unique occasion to wonder through this maze of color and enjoy some fun bargaining and buying great quality handicrafts at superb prices. Close by is the town of Peguche where some of the Otavalo Indians live and opens the possibility to see the typical houses of the area.

You will have the opportunity to visit a Rose Plantation so you can admire these beautiful Ecuadorian flowers; see the process and packaging, so they can be exported all over the world.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 4

Mindo Cloud Forest

Early departure from Quito and just hours down the road visit the Cloud Forest where nature walks could be enjoyed, where the guide will point out many species of plants (including many with medicinal properties). The area offers a waterfall or depending on your interest, the butterfly farm or the local orchid garden.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 5

Avenue of the Volcanoes - Riobamba

Drive south of Quito along the Volcanoes Avenue up to Cotopaxi Province, where the highest active volcano in the world is located (panoramic view depending on weather conditions). We will visit a traditional indigenous Market on the way, the Pujili indigenous market, a fabulous mixture of colors and traditions.

Finally in the afternoon, make your way down south to the city of Riobamba.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Hosteria La Andaluza

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstar

    Hosteria La Andaluza



    Set in a charming country estate featuring 2 restaurants and 2 bars, Hosteria La Andaluza offers rooms with free Wi-Fi and plasma TV in Riobamba. Breakfast is provided and BBQ. Volleyball and basketball courts are featured. Hosteria La Andaluza is 134.8 miles from Quito and ...

    Set in a charming country estate featuring 2 restaurants and 2 bars, Hosteria La Andaluza offers rooms with free Wi-Fi and plasma TV in Riobamba. Breakfast is provided and BBQ. Volleyball and basketball courts are featured.

    Hosteria La Andaluza is 134.8 miles from Quito and 144.8 miles from Guayaquil. Urbina Train Station is 5 miles away.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Fireplace
    • Flat Screen TV's
    • Games Room
    • Hairdryers
    • In Room Heater
    • Mini Bar
    • Room Service

    More Details

Day 6

Riobamba / Ingapirca / Cuenca

In the morning drive south to Ingapirca Complex, located approximately two hours away from the city of Cuenca; Ingapirca Fortress is without any doubt the most important archeological vestige left by the Inca Civilization in Ecuador. Despite several studies made in the area, is a mystery until today the final use of this architectonic complex. Its different spaces make us doubt if it was a fortress, a center of astronomic observation or a temple devoted to the sun and moon. Inside the complex, you will find a clear evidence of the great sumptuousness of the Canari and Inca Cultures, the different didactic areas you will find in this onsite museum represent clearly a rich cultural interchange and evident prove of the expertise hands of this pre-Hispanic communities in the ceramic, sculpture and metallurgy industries.

After this exciting experience, continue your trip to Cuenca.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Carvallo

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstar

    Hotel Carvallo



    Hotel Carvallo is set in a renovated house dating from the 19th century. Guests can enjoy 4-star décor and services. Boasting a colonial-style central courtyard, draped curtains and canopy beds, this luxurious hotel is right in Cuenca's historical district. WIFI is free. Carvallo is 1 ...

    Hotel Carvallo is set in a renovated house dating from the 19th century. Guests can enjoy 4-star décor and services. Boasting a colonial-style central courtyard, draped curtains and canopy beds, this luxurious hotel is right in Cuenca's historical district. WIFI is free. Carvallo is 1 block from Calderon Park. Guests can enquire about car rental and currency exchange services at the tour desk.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Restaurant(s)

    More Details

Day 7

Cuenca City Tour

Located at the Southern Highlands in a picturesque valley surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery we find the city of Cuenca declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site in 1989, Cuenca, known as well as "Santa Ana of the 4 rivers", was specifically built to satisfy the demands of the Spanish elite during the conquest period; today this city displays with glamour a French Neoclassic architecture represented in its nicely decorated balconies with colourful flowers, main squares and colossal churches that exalt the monumental beauty of this old colonial city.

Your excursion is an encounter with traditions, emblematic shields, culture, art and religiousness, is a walking stroll through the historic center, a special path that will allow you to admire the magnificent art and cultural diversity of the city, exploring some of the most unusual angles and perspectives.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Guayaquil

After breakfast, continue your trip to Guayaquil. This wonderful route takes you from the highlands of Ecuador to the lowlands of the Pacific Coast. Local road stalls of Potatoes, corn, bananas, coffee and more different plantations are a highlight of this beautiful scenic drive. On the way, pass through El Cajas National Park, and appreciate the vegetation of this high plateau. You reach 4000 mts / 12000 ft. before dropping in altitude and arriving into Guayaquil. On arrival to Guayaquil Airport, you will be assisted with your onward flight arrangements.

Why not continue to the Galapagos for the complete Ecuador experience or further south and join the Wonders of Peru trip for the ultimate South America experience.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017: Nov 11; Dec 2.

2018: Mar 3; Apr 21; Jun 2; Aug 4; Oct 13; Dec 1.

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 7 nights' accommodation as indicated or similar
  • Meals as indicated
  • Sightseeing with English speaking guide as per the itinerary
  • Entrance fees
  • All taxes
  • Shared transfers

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas if required
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals not specifically noted in the itinerary
  • Beverages unless specified
  • Airport taxes
  • All international and domestic airfares and airfare taxes unless specified

OTHER INFORMATION:

Group size: 30

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 enquire.

TB CONDORTQUI0117SG: WOE17
2 Dec 2017
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