This tailormade tour in Ecuador is designed to make you experience the timeless fascination of the Andes and their incredible wildlife and nature. Besides getting a close insight on the local culture of South America, you will have the chance to choose four different types of accommodations for your itinerary, from hostals to super luxury hotels.

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This tailormade tour in Ecuador is designed to make you experience the timeless fascination of the Andes and their incredible wildlife and nature. Besides getting a close insight on the local culture of South America, you will have the chance to choose four different types of accommodations for your itinerary, from hostals to super luxury hotels.

The operator reserves the right to change the itinerary without prior notice due to weather, regulations or notifications of the National Park and unforeseeable circumstances.

Prices are subject to change due to local tax updates.

Domestic flights: the airline baggage allowance is 23 kilograms per person.

Erika
Trip offered by Erika Spoken languages: English, German, Spanish Travel expert in Ecuador

Trip summary

  • Travel style Tailor-made travel
  • Departure Quito
  • End Quito
  • Countries
    • Ecuador
  • City
    • Quito
    • Otavalo
    • Machachi
    • Chucchilán
    • Baños
    • Cuenca
  • Theme Wild nature
  • Accommodation Standard, Superior, Luxury
  • Flight Excluded
  • Guide Included
  • The tour has met our standards

Detailed itinerary

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  • 1
    Quito
    Day 1 Transfer by car

    Welcome to Ecuador!

    Upon arrival in Quito your driver will pick you up, holding a sign with your name (in case of delay or any other problem, contact your agent).

     

    Visited places:
    • Quito
  • 2
    City Tour
    Day 2 Transfer by car

    Let’s explore this beautiful big city and learn something about its turbulent history! You will get to experience the new section of the city in the North with its many parks and tall modern buildings, the Avenida Rio Amazonas, the Plazas Santo Domingo, Independencia and San Francisco which are in the colonial section in the South of the city. Due to its many historical architectural monuments the UNESCO declared the old part of town a world heritage site in 1978.

    From the Panecillo hill in the South of the old part of town, where the high monument of the Virgen of Quito stands at with 43m, you have an impressing prospect. From here you have wonderful views over the red clay tile roofs of the old part of town, the skyline of Quito in the North, as well as the surrounding Andean cordilleras range with its outstanding snow-covered mountain giants. Sit down, relax and take your time to enjoy the fantastic view.

    Visited places:
    • Quito
  • 3
    Visit Mindo
    Day 3 Transfer by car

    The Mindo Cloud Forest is located at 0 00' 46'' latitude in the cloud forests of northwestern Ecuador on the edge of the Choco bioregion. It is among the most diverse places in the world. Sharp and deeply forested mountains descending to gorges with rushing waterfalls and crystalline streams form the reserve. The views stretch far away to distant volcanoes.

    Only two hours from Quito Mindo is the perfect place for adventure, relaxation and discovery of a cloud forest's birds and diversity of plant life. In this area we will meet many mixed swarms of birds including tanagers, flycatchers and several types of toucans. Due to the fauna diversity it will even be possible to see hummingbirds. The magical place of mist and mystery of Mindo has 170-recorded species of birds and the list continues to grow.

    Visited places:
    • Quito
    • Otavalo
  • 4
    Visit Otavalo
    Day 4 Transfer by car

    Early this morning, we travel north along the Pan-American Highway through astonishing mountain scenery to visit the Otavalo Indian Market. For centuries, regional markets have played an important role in Indian life, providing regular gathering places for trade and socializing. The colourful local markets of the Andean Valleys are famous for their fine handicrafts. The Otavalo Indian market dates back to pre-Inca times and is famous for its textiles woven on back strap and shuttle looms. Otavalo is South America’s most famous Indian fair.

    Here Otavaleños barter in silence, in marked contrast to the raucous noise of other markets. You will have time to visit the famous market and stroll along the narrow cobblestone streets filled with Otavalo Indians wearing blue ponchos, white trousers and long braided hair. After lunch we continue the travel visiting the waterfall of Peguche and on to the San Pablo lake.

    This area around the lake below the Imbabura volcano is the home of the Otavalo Indians. Following the ridge of the lake on an old cobblestone road through pastureland and fruitful fields we pass small villages still with Adobe houses inhabited by Indio farmers and art craftsmen. Clear mountain air and the wonderful sights on the landscape with the many small bird-rich side valleys as well as the enormous Cayambe in the background make this ride a genuine experience.

    Visited places:
    • Otavalo
    • Machachi
  • 5
    Visit Cotopaxi National Park
    Day 5 Transfer by car

    We will meet you in the morning and start this tour heading South on the "Avenue of the Volcanoes”. Following the Pan-American Highway for about two hours will bring us the Cotopaxi National Park. We will make a stop at the visitor centre Campamento Mariscal Sucre to visit the natural history museum. After that we drive to the lagoon Limpiopungo crossing the wide high plateau at the slopes of Cotopaxi volcano.

    During an easy hike around the lagoon you get to know the typical vegetation of the Andean highlands and watch out for the local birds as the Andean humming bird and the condor. After the hike you continue to the rustic mountain refuge Tambopaxi on the high plateau. Here you will eat lunch with great sights on the Lahars fields of the Cotopaxi and the wide expansion of the nature park. In the afternoon you drive over the high plain to an old ritual place of the Incas, from which you have an excellent view across the high plain and the surrounding mountains Ruminahui, Sincholagua and of course the Cotopaxi.

    Visited places:
    • Machachi
    • Chucchilán
  • 6
    Visit Quilotoa Lagoon
    Day 6 Transfer by car

    In the morning we pick you up from your hotel and head south from Quito on the Pan-American highway to start our adventure in this magnificent Andean setting. This way is named “the avenue of the volcanoes” by the famous explorer Alexander von Humboldt because from Quito until Riobamba you always have volcanoes on both sides of the road: the Pasochoa, Corazón, Illinizas, Cotopaxi, Rumiñahui, etc.

    In Latacunga you leave the Pan-American highway to the west driving into the region of Zumbahua, considerably one of the most visually astonishing places in Ecuador. In Zumbahua a small picturesque village live only 60 families in the vicinity. A short 10 km drive north we encounter the brilliant turquoise waters of the volcano lake at Quilotoa.

    This lake is one of the most beautiful volcano lakes in the Ecuadorian Andes. From the crater and on a clear day you can see the different snow topped volcanoes. A hike will lead you through this fascinating landscape and provide you with many impressions of this beautiful region.

    Visited places:
    • Chucchilán
    • Baños
  • 7
    Visit Baños de Agua Santa
    Day 7 Transfer by car

    You will start the day with a tasty breakfast and then continue your journey towards Baños (5906 ft ), a tiny village located in a beautiful green valley, with a pleasant sub-tropical climate. Famous for its thermal baths and Basilica, Baños is a popular spot for local and international tourists, because you will have the option to enjoy the all area and the beautiful landscapes.

    Visited places:
    • Baños
    • Cuenca
  • 8
    Devil Nose Train, Ingapirca and Cueca
    Day 8 Transfer by train

    We will  pick you up early morning to go to the Train Station that you will have the experience to take a ride like in the past crossing the most beautiful places and the landscape with take your breath away.

    In the afternoon you continue to the little Andean town of Cañar. In the afternoon you will reach the famous ‘Ingapirca’ ruins (Quichua for “wall rocks of the Inca”) the most important and well preserved of Ecuador’s Inca ruins situated to the North of Cuenca. There you can wander around the beautiful site and imagine the scenes prior to the Spanish conquest. A visit to the museum will reveal further details of life there at the end of the 15th Century. The last stage to Cuenca takes 2 more hours.

    Visited places:
    • Cuenca
  • 9
    Visit Cueca
    Day 9 Transfer by airplane

    The rising morning sun will surely shine a mystic light on the colonial town of Cuenca and provide a good reason to make a photo. Today you will explore the colonial part of Cuenca; the third largest city that Ecuador offers you to admire a great colonial and republican architecture. Archaeological and ethnographical sites, sacred art museums and markets, Churches, many art and craft shops and a flower market are here found.

    All this is located amongst beautiful old houses, ornately painted and decorated, in an area that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. Cuenca is considered Ecuador’s cultural metropolis, and also the arts and crafts centre of the country. The city and the surrounding countryside are fantastic places to buy ceramics, embroidery, leather goods and baskets. Explore the city and take the opportunity to look for a unique souvenir.

    At midday you will feast on local cuisine in a typical restaurant of the town, after which you will take your flight back to Quito.

    Visited places:
    • Cuenca
    • Quito
  • 10
    End of tour
    Day 10 Transfer by car

    Transfer out to the airport.

    Visited places:
    • Quito
  • Prices and conditions

    Price includes
    • Flight tickets: Cuenca -Quito
    • Transfers: Spanish speaking driver - Company transportation service; 1 airport-hotel; 1 hotel-airport
    • Accommodation: Accommodation in the hotels indicated in the itinerary or hotels of similar level, in a double room during the trip
    • Meals: breakfast
    Price does not include
    • Travel insurance
    • Extra meals
    • Personal expenses
    • Airline / local tax updates
    • Tips