This six-day adventure will introduce you to some of Ecuador’s most famous landmarks, national parks, markets, and cultural centers.
This is an active tour, with light to moderate physical activities available. Some of the destinations will truly take your breath away, as we will ascend to destinations in the range of 12,000-16,000 feet above sea level.
A bathing suit is a must, as we’ll have a couple of chances to swim in waterfalls and then relax in volcanic hot springs.
This is an ideal pairing to a Galapagos tour, allowing you to fit in a comprehensive Andes experience, and an islands cruise, in under two weeks.
There’s no better place to start exploring Ecuador than the capital city of Quito. Quito’s historic colonial center was built by the Spanish, and, along with the Galapagos Islands, is one of the original UNESCO World Heritage sites. We will explore beautiful plazas, cobble-stone streets, and stunning architecture.
In the afternoon we will visit the sites of the equator line. There are a couple of small museums to explore, an amazing photo-op at the monument, and some fun hands-on experiments only possible at the center of the earth.
Overnight at Hotel in Quito Meals included today: None, but we can help with suggestions
The perfectly shaped cone of this volcano makes it extremely photographic. It’s the highest active volcano in the world at 5897 meters above sea level. Its the most visited peak in Ecuador by climbers. We will take a slow and steady hike to the refuge, where we will enjoy some amazing views and possibly be able to visit the glaciers. The trek is quite short in distance, but we take about 30-40 minutes to complete the trail as the altitude will impose its will on us.
We will enjoy a pack lunch near a lake, where we will keep an eye in the sky hoping to encounter soaring condors. Its also possible to arrange horseback riding or downhill biking for those interested.
Overnight at a Hacienda near Cotopaxi Volcano Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
Get ready for a view that will take your breath away, quite literally. This crater lake is a special place in Ecuador. The caldera is what remains of the dacitic volcano. We will have the chance to walk down to the shoreline, where kayaks are available to rent. The hike back up is quite challenging due to the altitude. Locals have their trusty mules awaiting, for those who wish for an assist with the ascent. Some hearty mountain soup is recommended afterwards, to help us gather our strength and help with acclimatization. We’ll head back to our majestic Hacienda, where a cool evening stroll may be in order.
Overnight at Cotopaxi Hacienda Meals included: Breakfast
Our morning transfer will take us to the town of Baños. Along the way you will see how quickly the landscape changes, from paramo to subtropical. We will visit the valley of waterfalls, including the imposing Pailon del Diablo. Baños is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. There are options for trekking, bridge bungee jumping, rafting/kayaking, zip-lining, climbing, ATV’s, mountain biking, and more! Prefer something relaxing? Well, Baños is famous for its hot springs. Also, plenty of spas offering massages at bargain prices. There’s normally a vibrant tourist-friendly nightlife, especially on weekends.
Overnight at Baños Hotel Meals included: Breakfast
There’s so much to do in Baños! Grab a cup of world-class local coffee, and off you go. This is a free morning for you to pick an activity or two that suits your interests. After lunch will set back for Quito. It’s a scenic drive, try your best to stay awake
Overnight at Hotel in Quito Meals included: Breakfast
The day starts with an early morning departure from Quito towards Otavalo. Along the way we will stop at the panoramic lookout of the Laguna San Pablo and Imbabura volcano. The town of Otavalo is home to South America’s largest handicraft market. You will be immersed in a world of color and craft. Meander up and down the isles searching for the perfect alpaca scarf or perhaps a one-of-a-kind item will grab your attention and put your bartering skills to the test.
In the afternoon we will head a bit further north, to the town of Cotacachi. Here you will find high quality leather goods, such as jackets, luggage, and belts. This is a great opportunity to pick up a practical souvenir at a great price. We will finish the day off with a visit to Peguche, back towards Otavalo. Hand crafted musical instruments and a sacred waterfall make this village worth the visit. The tour will finish up upon arrival to Quito in the evening, where we can drop you off at your hotel or at the airport if its your final day in Ecuador.
Meals included: Breakfast
|Rates – Per Person||3-Star Hotels||4-Star Hotels|