The small country of Ecuador is filled with amazing and unique landscapes. In only 8 days, you can travel across the country and enjoy the amazing cultural and natural diversity of this unique and magical destination.
This tour is one of the best and most complete routes covering the most popular travel destinations in Ecuador. Dramatic mountains line the horizon as you head to Otavalo and then down through the “Avenue of Volcanoes” arriving in Guayaquil.
Day 1. Quito Arrival, city tour
We start our tour in the city of Quito, a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site. The city of Quito features one of the largest colonial districts in Latin America. And the architecture isn’t the only thing that has been preserved in this city, but its traditions and cultural heritage as well.
We will visit beautiful sites that will charm you as you fall in love with the city, like the Metropolitan Cathedral, built in 1562 – this is one of the oldest churches in the city, and even centuries after its creation the Cathedral still has a unique charm. Inside, you will be able to appreciate the unique colonial art developed in the city during the 16th century. This style is known as La Escuela Quiteña, which incorporates distinctive parts of the indigenous culture into the Spanish Catholicism.
We will then visit the beautiful squares of San Francisco Plaza and Independence Square and learn more about the Ecuadorian culture and its traditions through its legends, such as the Cathedral Rooster and the myth of Cantuña and his pact with Satan itself.
On our tour around the city, we will visit one of the most exquisite pieces of architecture of the colonial district: the Compañía de Jesús. This Jesuit church is one of the finest examples of baroque art in Latin America, with impeccably carved stone walls, intricate details on its facade, and a magnificent gold leaf interior, this church is the crown jewel of the city of Quito.
The day ends at your Quito hotel, where you can relax and enjoy a good night sleep.
Day 2: Otavalo Market, Cuicocha & Cotacachi (B,L)
On the second day of this journey we will visit the indigenous Otavalo Market. Famous for its handicrafts, this market gathers the largest concentration of artisans and indigenous merchants in Latin America. Bursting into million of colors, textures, and sounds, this market is the best representation of Andean art and culture. Here you can barter for the most amazing woven blouses, handmade alpaca ponchos, charangos, pan flutes and other amazing handicrafts.
After a delicious lunch served in one of the local Andean haciendas, you will visit the mystical Cuicocha Lake and the town of Cotacachi. A lagoon located inside the crater of an active volcano, Cuicocha is one of the many unique natural sites Ecuador has to offer, and the small town of Cotacachi is home of skilled artisans and tailors that make beautiful pieces of clothing and art. At the end of the day we return to Quito.
Day 3: Cotopaxi National Park & Andes Hacienda (B,D)
Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, will be your destination on the third day of your tour. This colossal snowed-capped volcano has a perfect conical shape that rises over the Andean landscape to give you an impressive view of what was called by Alexander Von Humboldt “the Avenue of the Volcanoes”. After visiting this national park, we will head to one of the traditional Andean haciendas close to this volcano where we will spend the night and have dinner.
Day 4: Riobamba & Andes Hacienda (B,L)
On the fourth day of this adventure in the Andean highlands, we will continue traveling south to the city of Riobamba. Once the most important city of Ecuador, Riobamba still preserves its historic charm, and the magnificent buildings of the Cathedral and the Town Hall are part of the heritage of this city.
Close to Riobamba is the one of the highest mountains in the world and also the closest point on Earth to the sun: Chimborazo Volcano; we will visit the foothills of Chimborazo and gaze at the beautiful landscape and the unique Andean páramo. We will spend the night at one of the nearby haciendas.
Day 5: Devil’s Nose Train Ride and Cuenca arrival (B, Box Lunch, D)
The Devil’s Nose is perhaps one of the most exciting and thrilling train rides you will ever take in your life. Built into the steep mountain of Condor Puñuña (The Condor’s Refuge), this narrow passage connected the Andes with the coast and was considered one of the most impressive feats of engineering of the 19th century.
After this incredible adventure, we will continue towards the city of Cuenca, but first we will make a quick stop at the Inca Fortress of Ingapirca, where you will be able to appreciate the Inca Architecture. Our day ends in the city of Cuenca, where we will prepare for our next excursion.
Days 6: Cuenca (B,D)
Cuenca was the second Ecuadorian city to be declared as a UNESCO world heritage site. This beautiful city has kept its colonial charm, and its unique and exquisite architecture blends perfectly with the Andean landscape. We will visit the Cathedral with its neo-gothic style, marble floors, and rich decoration, it gives testimony to the great artists that lived in the city.
Next, we will visit the old cathedral, the Abdon Calderon park, and the charming Plaza de las Flores, a very small market where indigenous people from the surrounding rural areas gather to sell their beautiful fresh flowers.
Day 7: Cajas National Park (B,D)
The seventh day of our adventure will lead us to the coast of Ecuador and to the vibrant city of Guayaquil. On our way to Guayaquil, we will visit Cajas National Park, a rich ecosystem with more than 30 different lagoons. Cajas has been declared a biosphere reserve, and the Andean life has found a sanctuary in this protected area. Here you will have the opportunity to visit another Andean hacienda located inside the National Park. Afterward we will continue our journey to Guayaquil.
Day 8: Transfer out (B)
After breakfast in Guayaquil you will be transferred to the airport for your flight.
Prices 2018 per Person
|Number of Passengers||Standard||Luxury||Accommodation|
|1 person||$ 4,007||$ 4,731||single room|
|2 people||$ 2,249||$ 2,633||double room|
|3 people||$ 1,741||$ 2,175||triple room|
|6-9 people||$ 1,285||$ 1,698||double room|
Private services with local English speaking guide as per itinerary
Breakfast and dinner (not in Quito)
- Box Lunch during the train trip
Entrances to Museums in Quito and Cuenca, Ingapirca and train ticket.
All transfers, Cotopaxi and Cajas National Park
Dinner in Quito
- Laundry, phone bills, or anything extra