The Ecuador Experience

Classic, Quito to Quito

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

If you want to sample the region’s highlights without sacrificing some of its lesser-known gems, there’s no better way to experience Ecuador's dramatic scenery and colourful people. Visit the Amazon and a shaman apprentice for an incredible introduction to indigenous culture of the jungle. Staying in simple hotels and homestays and using public transport will keep you grounded in the local customs and culture. We'll travel from the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" to relaxing Pacific beaches and mountain hot springs. This adventure offers up a great combination of must-see highlights and free time to explore on your own.

What’s included

  • Local Living: Amazon Jungle Experience, Tena Local Living: Indigenous Community Homestay, San Clemente
  • Train excursion to Devil's Nose
  • Machalilla NP stay
  • Otavalo Market visit
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Feel like a local at an amazon homestay
  • Relax on ecuador's beaches
  • Witness andean scenery
  • Ride by train to the devil's nose
  • Learn from the locals at an indigenous community
  • Shop the otavalo market

Itinerary

Day 1 Quito There are no planned activities until the evening welcome meeting. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Quito/Tena (1B) Descend into the Amazon Jungle region. Watch the scenery change dramatically heading away from the mountains into the lush, tropical Amazon rainforest. Transport: Local bus (6.00 hour(s), 189km)
Day 3 Tena (1L, 1D) Enjoy the hospitality of these wonderful people, and experience life in the jungle firsthand. Take guided hikes to learn about the natural environment and the traditional knowledge of the local people. Included Activities: Amazon Jungle Experience
Day 4 Tena (1B, 1L, 1D) Spend the day exploring the area around the Quichua community and learn more about local life in the jungle. Included Activities: Jungle Excursions
Day 5 Tena/Baños Travel to Baños and enjoy the numerous outdoor optional activities available. Opt to go hiking, ziplining, or soak in the hot springs. Transport: Local bus (3.00-4.00 hours)
Day 6 Baños Enjoy free time to experience all this adventurous town has to offer.
Day 7 Baños/Alausí Travel to Alausí via Riobamba and take in the architecture of this local town. Transport: Local bus (2.50 hour(s))
Day 8 Alausí/Guayaquil Enjoy Ecuador's most spectacular train journey. The famed Nariz del Diablo (Devil’s Nose) ride descends in a spectacular display of engineering around stunning mountain terrain. The journey returns back to Alausí after more than 1000m (3280 ft) in elevation loss. After disembarking the train, journey south to Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador. Located at the mouth of the Guayas River, Guayaquil is also Ecuador's most important port. Spend the evening exploring the city's highlights including Bolivar Park, the Old South Market, and Barrio de las Penas. Take some time to stroll along the malecon (boardwalk) dotted with shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums. Opt for a boat ride down the Guayas River. Included Activities: Devil's Nose Excursion Transport: Local bus (4.00 hour(s))
Day 9 Guayaquil/Puerto López Enjoy Puerto Lopez. Optional activities in the area include a trip to Isla de la Plata, hiking in Machalilla National Park, a visit to an archaeological site, diving, and snorkelling. Transport: Local bus (3.50 hour(s))
Days 10-11 Puerto López Other optional activities in the area include day trips to Isla de La Plata, with colonies of nesting blue-footed boobies and a number of other sea birds. Visitors usually come to view migrating whales (June to October) and dolphins around the island. Scuba diving and snorkelling are also popular activities in the area.
Day 12 Puerto López/Quito Spend another full day in Puerto López before an overnight bus to Quito. Transport: Overnight bus (9.00 hour(s))
Day 13 Quito Arrive in the morning and enjoy a free day in Quito. Opt to take a city tour, ride the cable car up the nearby volcano or relax in one of the city's many cafés and restaurants.
Day 14 Quito/San Clemente (1B, 1L, 1D) Travel to the indigenous community of San Clemente. Interact with the locals and learn about their traditional ways during a homestay. Opt to enjoy a cultural evening and show with typical food. Included Activities: Indigenous Community Homestay Transport: Local bus (5.00-6.00 hours)
Day 15 San Clemente (1B, 1L, 1D) Spend a full day here with optional hikes to learn about the area's medicinal plants or trek up the Imbabura Mountain. Interact with the locals and learn about their traditions. Included Activities: Indigenous Community Homestay
Day 16 San Clemente/Otavalo (1B) Explore the largest handicrafts market in South America. Villagers from the surrounding countryside come here every week to sell handmade goods as well as livestock, fruits, and vegetables. Included Activities: Otavalo Handicrafts Market Visit Transport: Local bus (1.00 hour(s))
Day 17 Otavalo/Quito Explore some more before travelling back to Quito in the afternoon for one final night out in the capital city. Transport: Local bus (2.00 hour(s))
Day 18 Quito (1B) Depart at any time.
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