“Adventure through the Avenue of the Volcanoes and the southern Ecuadorian Andes, winding along picturesque country sides and colonial cities that give Ecuador the charm it is known for.”
As you leave Quito, passing through farmlands and rural areas, you will find yourself in the company of one of Ecuador’s first National Parks, home to the mighty Cotopaxi volcano. A visit inside the park will allow you to discover highlights of the Andean moorlands with your guide. Further south are even more marvelous Ecuadorian gems like the Ingapirca ruins of the 15th century and the colonial city of Cuenca, another World Heritage Site. Walking in this beautiful city you will find a living and breathing indigenous artisan heritage along a backdrop of romantic rivers and bridges, with the magnificent blue domes of the Cathedral outlining the cityscape.
Shortly after leaving Quito, you will arrive at Cotopaxi National Park. The first outstanding sight is of course the active volcano, with its famous shape and glacier cover, visible from all over the region making it one of the icons of Ecuador. When entering the park, you’ll be able to enjoy the hiking trail that loops around the stunning Limpiopungo Lagoon located near the entrance. It is mainly a flat trail with beautiful views, brooks and streams, and local flora and fauna. Your guide will explain more about the different species of birds, plants, and mammals that dwell in the area such as hummingbirds, fox, deer and the Andean condor among others. An added plus of the Cotopaxi is that you can also hike up to the snowline if you wish, adding to your mountain experience. Next, you continue to the town of Riobamba, a lovely city full of beautiful French-influenced squares, murals and its beautiful Cathedral, where you will have a well-deserved rest, allowing time to admire the view surrounded by volcanoes, in particular the mighty Chimborazo.
Early in the morning, after breakfast, you will depart towards Cuenca, on the way you will see Colta Lake and also the first Catholic Ecuadorian church La Balbanera. Later on, you will visit Ingapirca, the most important pre-Columbian archeological site in Ecuador and the best-preserved Inca architectural complex. It is incredibly enriching to learn about the different construction techniques, the culture and customs of both the Cañari and Inca nations, and the precision of the solar calculation and aqueduct system they created. The day will then end at one of the most charming cities of Ecuador, Cuenca.
Cuenca is such a charismatic city and has a relaxed atmosphere that you will surely appreciate. Its marketplaces and handicrafts that are on display are a living testimony to the region’s rich indigenous and artesian heritage. While touring the city you’ll see the New Cathedral with its blue and white striped domes that can be seen from all over the city, adding to its beauty. Take mesmerizing photos in one of the four picturesque rivers that cascade into the city, flowing peacefully underneath bridges that seem to have come from a painting. You will be surprised to learn more about the Panama Hat, and the reason why this famous accessory has a misleading name, as it is born in this area and made of locally grown toquilla straw. Many workshops and factories have perfected the art, and still carry on their trade around the city. Marvel and how every color, every weave, comes from the mind of an artisan and makes it an extraordinary and functional piece of art. Once all the adventures have finished, we will take you to the airport for your flight back to Quito.
Prices Per Person
Private services with local English-speaking guide
Services and entrance fees as detailed in the itinerary
Fantastic trip to Mindo! Thanks to Patricia (guide) and Patricio (driver) for the great experience. We learned a lot about Ecuador in general, flora and fauna. On our request, the zip line was added on the day spontaneously, which was awesome.
Hi Sofia, Everything was incredible! The guides were great and so were the excursions. Thank you for all your support throughout this process. We will be back and I’ve referred my friend, Anne, to your email as well!
Sofia was great! I was worried about a wire transfer, but it all worked well. She was very helpful throughout the process and very responsive to emails. We had some issues with the boat, but Sofia stepped in and ensured everything went smoothly.