“This program is the most ideal form of exploration in the Ecuadorian Andes traveling from north to south. As you come through the highest point in Ecuador and finish at the sea level in Guayaquil”
Enjoy amazing sceneries and cultures tucked away in the highlands of Ecuador. You will experience unique places, exploring endless territories with your guide as you watch, taste and feel Ecuador through the eyes of a local.
You will begin this amazing journey driving south from Quito traveling down the Avenue of the Volcanoes, finally arriving at the Cotopaxi National Park. This massive volcano stands out impressively and can be seen from the various regions surrounding the park. Inside the park you’ll have incredible photo opportunities while experiencing the highland paramo and the different animals and flora known for existing in the park. You will have lunch after this visit and then you will continue the trip to reach the city of Riobamba where you will stay overnight.
After an early breakfast it will be time to visit the highest volcano in Ecuador, the mighty Chimborazo and its incredible landscapes. You have the opportunity to visit a local man who has become an icon of the area that has dedicated his life to protecting the glaciers of the volcano. His life’s story is so enthralling that he has made international and worldwide fame, he is known as the “Last Iceman”. The tour will finish with the visit of Ingapirca, archeological ruins from the reminiscences of the Inca empire. You will arrive in Cuenca in the late in the afternoon where you will stay the night.
It is easy to enjoy the beautiful city of Cuenca. You can see how it conserves many Ecuadorian traditions and why it was also named a World Heritage Site for its well-preserved colonial areas, historical buildings and cathedrals. The streets are teeming with history and culture, while the locals dot the streets with their artist handiworks from jewelry, scarves, knitted pieces, paintings and more. Visiting all the highlights of this city will take you to old churches, museums and culinary taste. Cuenca is also known as the original creator of the Panama hat and is also a great place to view artisanal pottery, a gift of artistry crafted from pre-incan times. You will spend the night in Cuenca.
Today you will see for yourself just how dramatic the landscapes can change so quickly from region to region in Ecuador. Leaving the highlands of Cuenca and descending to the coast will allow you to visit the El Cajas National Park. It is home to 786 lagoons ranging in size from small to large and the astounding shapes and formations of the terrain will certainly leave you speechless. The environment itself seems to have escaped from a movie, while the flora and fauna are precious to the area as many are endemic. Nearby you can enjoy the cacao and mango farms where it is possible to taste passion fruits and see where and how the chocolate is grown, produced and processed. The final stop will be in the city of Guayaquil, which is the biggest city in Ecuador and so called “Pearl of the Pacific” as an important trading and business port.
Today you will be transferred to connect with your international flight back home or to the Galapagos Islands for a cruise experience. There are many other options available in order to continue exploring the beautiful country of Ecuador.
Prices Per Person
Private services with local English-speaking guide
Services and entrance fees as detailed in the itinerary
Hello Pablo, The trip has been excellent. It was a logistically complicated trip, but having assistance at every transfer point greatly simplified things. The two guides Javier (Quito); Allan (Guayaquil), went above and beyond. The crew of Horizon was also excellent. I am grateful for all your hard work, which led to an easy and smooth trip.
Hi Sofia – Joy Wegner here — my husband Bud and I completed our Peru journey last Friday.
I just wanted to send you a personal note of thanks — everything about our Peru trip was outstanding service! People easily picked us up at airports and train stations, they were completely informed of travel plans and showed an obvious desire to ensure our safety and our health. The guides, in Lima, in Cusco, and in Machu Picchu were so knowledgeable and really on-target with their guidance for our trip. We will recommend Columbus Travel to friends.
Thank you for your part in making this trip so enjoyable for us! Best wishes . . .
Patricio our driver, was pleasant and always smiling when we saw him no matter the time. A true asset for your company to work with someone like him.
My wife and I wanted to express how this trip so far exceeded our expectations ! Your companies attention to detail is below no other that we have worked with around the world. The staff on the Ocean Spray were top of the line as well.
Please let me know where I can post a review for other folks to learn about what a great company you all are.
It was a fantastic experience, even better than we expected! Sofia and the Columbus team were excellent; they were very responsive, quickly answered any questions we had, and were available to help us navigate the logistics of our trip. They even helped coordinate some travel logistics outside of those they booked for us and solved a few issues while on our trip.
I would highly recommend Columbus and this trip to the Galapagos to anyone!