Ecuador Highlights in 10 Day

Multi-day & Extended Tours, Dann CarltonTraveler pickup is offered to Returns to original departure point

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Tour description provided by Viator

Discover the MAGIC of ECUADOR traveling through the Avenue of Volcanoes in the high Andes Mountains towards the best tropical Amazon destinations and explore outdoor town of Baños, Unesco classified city of Cuenca and local indigenous market in Otavalo. On your journey you will learn about all the different local tribes and their cultures. The Ecuador Highlights trip is the perfect combination of cultural experiences, wildlife spotting, adventure activities and natural wonders that make Ecuador one of the most mega-divers countries on Earth."Unique Experiences:"Visit a native local family in the middle of the Amazon jungle and look for the smallest monkey in the world (Pygmy Marmoset)                            Breathtaking zig-zag train ride through the rocky slopes of the Andes and the switchbacks of the Devil's Nose
ItineraryDay 1: Arrive in QuitoStop At: Adventure Journeys, Quito, Pichincha ProvinceMeet your AJ trip leader and group at 6:00pm, at the hotel lobby. Our first day is an informational and acclimation day. We have no scheduled activities. One of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel and there will be plenty of time to discuss details and to answer any questions you may have regarding the adventure. Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day relaxing or exploring Quito and the surrounding area.About Quito: Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Ecuadors capital. The city is considered The Cultural Capital of South America and the second most important city of the old Inca Empire. Due to its strategic location cradled in the middle of the Andes, fantastic day trip can be organized such as: Quito City tour, including a trip to the equator line, Mindo Cloud forest, Cotopaxi national park, Quilotoa crater lake, Otavalo indian market, Papallacta hot springs, Pululahua inhabitant crater and many more. Adventure Journeys offers many options for all types of travelers while in Quito and has incorporated outdoor activities into each experience. A sampling of our experiences for the adventurous traveler include: Cotopaxi biking, Pululahua crater horseback riding, Mindo canopy zip lines and tubing, Papallacta trekking and Jatunyacu river rafting.Please see the menu of adventures we have to offer and contact us if you are interested in further exploration in and around Quito. Duration: 1 hourNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Dann Carlton Hotel or Similar Day 2: Otavalo Indigenous MarketStop At: Otavalo Market, Otavalo, Imbabura ProvinceWe take an early departure from Quito and drive north through the majestic Andes. On our way we will stop at a viewpoint to admire Imbabura Volcano and Lake San Pablo. Once in Otavalo, you will have plenty of time to stroll along the narrow cobblestone streets, filled with the Otavalo Indigenous people wearing the traditional blue ponchos, white trousers and long braided hair. Learn all about their daily activities, typical food and native language. Explore their famous handicraft market, with its wonderful textiles, alpaca throws and rugs, knitted clothing native paintings, ceramics, jewelry, tapestries and more at bargain prices. In the afternoon, we will drive to Cotacachi to have lunch and witness the impressive leather goods of the town and enjoy the beauty of this small village. There will be some free time for you to explore the shops or simply relax while sipping on one of the best coffees in Ecuador in the main plaza. Finally we will go to Peguche, a small village known for its waterfalls and wind instruments productionDuration: 8 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • DinnerAccommodation included: Hacienda Pinsaqui or Similar Day 3: Papallacta Hot Springs Stop At: Termas de Papallacta, Papallacta, Napo Provinceof the Andes. This road is situated between two national reserves, Antisana and Cayambe Coca, both located in the high mountain Paramo ecosystem, known for its short vegetation and for being home to some incredible animals such as the spectacled bear, deer, puma, Andean condor, cara-cara and more. After our 2 hour drive through the beautiful landscape, we will arrive at Papallacta Hot Springs Resort, where you can soak in the volcanic water pools surrounded by mountains and colorful flowers and birds. Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Papallacta Hot Springs HotelDay 4: Hummingbirds in the Cloud ForestStop At: Termas de Papallacta, Papallacta, Napo ProvinceEarly in the morning, we will drive down along a curvy panoramic road towards the Amazon Rain forest; as we descend from an altitude of 3000 meters to 500 meters, you will observe how the landscape and vegetation change drastically between climates. Our first stop will be the Guango reserve, where we will have the unique opportunity to see many different species of hummingbirds in the wild. These small creatures are famous for their incredible ability to flap their wings rapidly, as well as for their bright colors. Later, we also stop at the "Guacamayos-Macaw Lookout," located between Antisana and Sumaco National Reserves (low elevation cloud forest), to observe the magic blanket of clouds that covers the Amazon rain forest, until we finally arrive at the Arajuno River, where a motor canoe will take us 20 minutes up the river to the Itamandi Eco-Lodge. Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Itamandi Lodge or Similar Day 5: Amazon Hike and Kichwa CommunityStop At: Napo River, Cotopaxi ProvinceIn the morning, we will hike to explore the Tropical Rain Forest and have an interpretation from our guide and learn about medicinal plants and we will search for wildlife. Later, we will enjoy a cultural activity where an Amazonian Kichwa community will receive us and we learn about their way of life and the interaction they have with the forest. Appreciate the skills of the indigenous women manufacturing handmade pottery (ceramics). This little business helps to support the indigenous people in their daily life. Today we will also have the chance to learn how to make our own chocolate from the raw fruit. Accommodation:Itamandi Amazon Eco-Lodge Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Itamandi Lodge or Similar Day 6: Road of the Waterfalls and BañosStop At: Tungurahua, Banos, Tungurahua ProvinceThis morning explore the “Saladero” parrots clay lick. Come back for breakfast and continue our journey driving farther south to Puyo, where we will have a quick look at the balsa carving shop. From here continue onto Rio Verde, located in the UNESCO World Heritage site, Sangay National Park. Here, we will hike down to the second highest waterfall in Ecuador, the Pailon Del Diablo, where pounding water cascades on the rocks and mesmerizes you as you watch from a suspension bridge. You may also take an optional hike behind the falls. After another quick drive, we will arrive at another incredible waterfall called El Manto de la Novia, where we will ride in a cable car traversing the canyon of the Pastaza River. In the late afternoon we will arrive to Baños, located right on the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano, which has been active since 1999. It has some eruptions every few months which delights visitors with lava and steam displays that can be viewed from a number of safe view points in the region. Here in Baños you can also visit a spa or another place to enjoy the hot springs of the area.Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: La Casa de Luis or Similar Day 7: Highest Volcano in Ecuador and VicuñasStop At: Mount Chimborazo, Chimborazo ProvinceEarly in the morning, we will drive through valleys and farming villages to reach the Chimborazo Volcano, the highest mountain in Ecuador with an elevation of 6310 meters above sea level; whose summit is also the furthest point from the center of the earth on the entire planet. On a clear day, the majestic peak of Chimborazo dominates the view for many kilometers. There will be a short hike for 0.9 km (0.57 mi) to reach the elevation of 5000 meters where the glacier begins. On the hike, we will spot a few of the animals that inhabit this volcanic wonderland such as the Andean condor, cara-cara, hummingbirds, and the timid vicuñas. Once extinct in Ecuador, they have been reintroduced and are now protected; this beautiful animal is related to the alpacas and llamas. Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • LunchAccommodation included: Hacienda La Andaluza or SimilarDay 8: Devil's Nose Train and Inca RuinsStop At: Estacion Ferrocarril, Alausi, Chimborazo ProvinceAfter an early breakfast, we will take a scenic drive to the small town of Alausí. Here, we will board the train to the Devil’s Nose, where the tracks wind through the countryside in a zigzag formation, creating a travel experience like no other. After the train ride, we will continue our visit towards Ingapirca, the most impressive Inca ruins of Ecuador. We will spend the afternoon learning about this archaeological site, notable for its unique fusion of Inca and native Cañari architecture, as well as for its religious meaning. Later, we will head up to Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its colonial architecture.Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Hotel Carvallo or SimilarDay 9: UNESCO City CuencaStop At: Old Cathedral of Cuenca, Cuenca, Azuay ProvinceStarting in the morning enjoy a fantastic city tour, visiting the most important buildings and notable places in Cuenca, such as Calderon Square, the New Cathedral, El Barranco and El Turi lookout point. In the afternoon visit a famous Panama hat factory where we will understand the whole process of making this traditional Ecuadorian hat. In the early evening we will take a short 45 minute domestic flight back to Quito, where we will have our farewell dinner. Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Dann Carlton Hotel or SimilarDay 10: End of services Pass By: Quito Old Town, Quito, Pichincha ProvinceInternational departures, end of services. Take with you memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador soon to experience more of this enchanted land. We wish you a "buen viaje"! Meals included: • BreakfastNo accommodation included on this day.

What’s included

  • 8x Breakfast
  • 3x Dinner
  • 3x Lunch
  • Accommodation included: 9 nights
  • Transportation: Airfare Cuenca-Quito one way, airport transfers (national flights), private and comfortable land transportation, train, motorized canoe
  • Accommodation based on double occupancy: First Class hotel in Quito, colonial hacienda in Otavalo, 5-star Spa Resort Papallacta, Itamandi Eco-lodge in the Amazon, 3 or 4 star hotel in Baños, 5-star Andean lodge in Chimborazo, 3 or 4 star hotel in Cuenca
  • Activities: Indigenous Market, volcanic hot springs, encounter with indigenous people, road of the waterfalls, hiking up the glacier of Chimborazo, trekking, bird watching in the Amazon, canoeing and wildlife observation in the rainforest, Amazoonico Animal Rescue Center, chocolate making with indigenous people, train to Devil's Nose, cultural visit of Cuenca.
  • Meals: 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Gear: hiking sticks, life jackets
  • Trip Leader: Certified AJ expert English-speaking adventure Trip Leader and local guides
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Entry/Admission - Termas de Papallacta
  • Entry/Admission - Termas de Papallacta
  • Entry/Admission - Napo River
  • Entry/Admission - Tungurahua
  • Entry/Admission - Mount Chimborazo
  • Entry/Admission - Estacion Ferrocarril

What’s not included

  • My Own Room supplement $350
  • International flights
  • Airport transfer (international flights)
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Meals not described in the itinerary - estimated budget USD $180 USD
  • Tips for guides and drivers - estimated budget USD $120 USD
  • Entry/Admission - Old Cathedral of Cuenca

Itinerary

Day 10: End of services Pass By: Quito Old Town, Quito, Pichincha Province International departures, end of services. Take with you memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador soon to experience more of this enchanted land. We wish you a "buen viaje"! Meals included: • Breakfast No accommodation included on this day.
Day 1: Arrive in Quito Stop At: Adventure Journeys, Quito, Pichincha Province Meet your AJ trip leader and group at 6:00pm, at the hotel lobby. Our first day is an informational and acclimation day. We have no scheduled activities. One of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel and there will be plenty of time to discuss details and to answer any questions you may have regarding the adventure. Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day relaxing or exploring Quito and the surrounding area.About Quito: Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Ecuadors capital. The city is considered The Cultural Capital of South America and the second most important city of the old Inca Empire. Due to its strategic location cradled in the middle of the Andes, fantastic day trip can be organized such as: Quito City tour, including a trip to the equator line, Mindo Cloud forest, Cotopaxi national park, Quilotoa crater lake, Otavalo indian market, Papallacta hot springs, Pululahua inhabitant crater and many more. Adventure Journeys offers many options for all types of travelers while in Quito and has incorporated outdoor activities into each experience. A sampling of our experiences for the adventurous traveler include: Cotopaxi biking, Pululahua crater horseback riding, Mindo canopy zip lines and tubing, Papallacta trekking and Jatunyacu river rafting.Please see the menu of adventures we have to offer and contact us if you are interested in further exploration in and around Quito. Duration: 1 hour No meals included on this day. Accommodation included: Dann Carlton Hotel or Similar
Day 2: Otavalo Indigenous Market Stop At: Otavalo Market, Otavalo, Imbabura Province We take an early departure from Quito and drive north through the majestic Andes. On our way we will stop at a viewpoint to admire Imbabura Volcano and Lake San Pablo. Once in Otavalo, you will have plenty of time to stroll along the narrow cobblestone streets, filled with the Otavalo Indigenous people wearing the traditional blue ponchos, white trousers and long braided hair. Learn all about their daily activities, typical food and native language. Explore their famous handicraft market, with its wonderful textiles, alpaca throws and rugs, knitted clothing native paintings, ceramics, jewelry, tapestries and more at bargain prices. In the afternoon, we will drive to Cotacachi to have lunch and witness the impressive leather goods of the town and enjoy the beauty of this small village. There will be some free time for you to explore the shops or simply relax while sipping on one of the best coffees in Ecuador in the main plaza. Finally we will go to Peguche, a small village known for its waterfalls and wind instruments production Duration: 8 hours Meals included: • Breakfast • Dinner Accommodation included: Hacienda Pinsaqui or Similar
Day 3: Papallacta Hot Springs Stop At: Termas de Papallacta, Papallacta, Napo Province of the Andes. This road is situated between two national reserves, Antisana and Cayambe Coca, both located in the high mountain Paramo ecosystem, known for its short vegetation and for being home to some incredible animals such as the spectacled bear, deer, puma, Andean condor, cara-cara and more. After our 2 hour drive through the beautiful landscape, we will arrive at Papallacta Hot Springs Resort, where you can soak in the volcanic water pools surrounded by mountains and colorful flowers and birds. Duration: 8 hours Meals included: • Breakfast Accommodation included: Papallacta Hot Springs Hotel
Day 4: Hummingbirds in the Cloud Forest Stop At: Termas de Papallacta, Papallacta, Napo Province Early in the morning, we will drive down along a curvy panoramic road towards the Amazon Rain forest; as we descend from an altitude of 3000 meters to 500 meters, you will observe how the landscape and vegetation change drastically between climates. Our first stop will be the Guango reserve, where we will have the unique opportunity to see many different species of hummingbirds in the wild. These small creatures are famous for their incredible ability to flap their wings rapidly, as well as for their bright colors. Later, we also stop at the "Guacamayos-Macaw Lookout," located between Antisana and Sumaco National Reserves (low elevation cloud forest), to observe the magic blanket of clouds that covers the Amazon rain forest, until we finally arrive at the Arajuno River, where a motor canoe will take us 20 minutes up the river to the Itamandi Eco-Lodge. Duration: 8 hours Meals included: • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Itamandi Lodge or Similar
Day 5: Amazon Hike and Kichwa Community Stop At: Napo River, Cotopaxi Province In the morning, we will hike to explore the Tropical Rain Forest and have an interpretation from our guide and learn about medicinal plants and we will search for wildlife. Later, we will enjoy a cultural activity where an Amazonian Kichwa community will receive us and we learn about their way of life and the interaction they have with the forest. Appreciate the skills of the indigenous women manufacturing handmade pottery (ceramics). This little business helps to support the indigenous people in their daily life. Today we will also have the chance to learn how to make our own chocolate from the raw fruit. Accommodation:Itamandi Amazon Eco-Lodge Duration: 8 hours Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Itamandi Lodge or Similar
Day 6: Road of the Waterfalls and Baños Stop At: Tungurahua, Banos, Tungurahua Province This morning explore the “Saladero” parrots clay lick. Come back for breakfast and continue our journey driving farther south to Puyo, where we will have a quick look at the balsa carving shop. From here continue onto Rio Verde, located in the UNESCO World Heritage site, Sangay National Park. Here, we will hike down to the second highest waterfall in Ecuador, the Pailon Del Diablo, where pounding water cascades on the rocks and mesmerizes you as you watch from a suspension bridge. You may also take an optional hike behind the falls. After another quick drive, we will arrive at another incredible waterfall called El Manto de la Novia, where we will ride in a cable car traversing the canyon of the Pastaza River. In the late afternoon we will arrive to Baños, located right on the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano, which has been active since 1999. It has some eruptions every few months which delights visitors with lava and steam displays that can be viewed from a number of safe view points in the region. Here in Baños you can also visit a spa or another place to enjoy the hot springs of the area. Duration: 8 hours Meals included: • Breakfast Accommodation included: La Casa de Luis or Similar
Day 7: Highest Volcano in Ecuador and Vicuñas Stop At: Mount Chimborazo, Chimborazo Province Early in the morning, we will drive through valleys and farming villages to reach the Chimborazo Volcano, the highest mountain in Ecuador with an elevation of 6310 meters above sea level; whose summit is also the furthest point from the center of the earth on the entire planet. On a clear day, the majestic peak of Chimborazo dominates the view for many kilometers. There will be a short hike for 0.9 km (0.57 mi) to reach the elevation of 5000 meters where the glacier begins. On the hike, we will spot a few of the animals that inhabit this volcanic wonderland such as the Andean condor, cara-cara, hummingbirds, and the timid vicuñas. Once extinct in Ecuador, they have been reintroduced and are now protected; this beautiful animal is related to the alpacas and llamas. Duration: 8 hours Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch Accommodation included: Hacienda La Andaluza or Similar
Day 8: Devil's Nose Train and Inca Ruins Stop At: Estacion Ferrocarril, Alausi, Chimborazo Province After an early breakfast, we will take a scenic drive to the small town of Alausí. Here, we will board the train to the Devil’s Nose, where the tracks wind through the countryside in a zigzag formation, creating a travel experience like no other. After the train ride, we will continue our visit towards Ingapirca, the most impressive Inca ruins of Ecuador. We will spend the afternoon learning about this archaeological site, notable for its unique fusion of Inca and native Cañari architecture, as well as for its religious meaning. Later, we will head up to Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its colonial architecture. Duration: 8 hours Meals included: • Breakfast Accommodation included: Hotel Carvallo or Similar
Day 9: UNESCO City Cuenca Stop At: Old Cathedral of Cuenca, Cuenca, Azuay Province Starting in the morning enjoy a fantastic city tour, visiting the most important buildings and notable places in Cuenca, such as Calderon Square, the New Cathedral, El Barranco and El Turi lookout point. In the afternoon visit a famous Panama hat factory where we will understand the whole process of making this traditional Ecuadorian hat. In the early evening we will take a short 45 minute domestic flight back to Quito, where we will have our farewell dinner. Duration: 8 hours Meals included: • Breakfast Accommodation included: Dann Carlton Hotel or Similar
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