ECUADOR 10D / 9N

Enjoy a wonderful trip around Ecuador from Quito to Guayaquil including the Amazon

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ITINERARY

Day 1: Quito IN

Arrival at Mariscal Sucre Airport, Quito. Transfer to Hilton Colon Hotel.

Accommodation: Hilton Colon Hotel 4+*

Check in – 14:00

Day 2: Quito City Line

Breakfast.

Quito city tour is perfect for seeing fascinating panoramas, churches, domes and roofs that have an important historical value. You will admire and learn about colonial art, architecture, culture, legends, and traditions. Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 9.350 feet. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic Center in Latin America. The architecture and rich interiors, are pure examples of Quito School of sculpture, which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art. After four incredible hours exploring the Old Town, you’ll understand why Quito was the world’s first city named to UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage list.

Lunch at El Crater Restaurant.

At the afternoon, you will visit: “Cuidad Mitad Del Mundo” and Intiñan Museum

  • “Ciudad Mitad del Mundo”

“Ciudad Mitad del Mundo” is the touristic, cultural, scientific and commercial smallest city of Ecuador. Its architecture is based on colonial style. An obelisk and a museum relevant to its geographical location were built at the Middle of the World site. All of this is found among the drastic landscape surrounded by nature and modern buildings. The monument is crowned by a metallic sphere that represents the Earth. It is named Equatorial Monument and it geographical orientation coincides with the four cardinal points and is located precisely at Earth’s midpoint — 0 degrees latitude, 0 minutes, 0 seconds.

  • Intiñan Museum

Since the year 1960, the Intiñan Museum in Quito has been a center for the promotion of the many aspects of Ecuador’s culture.  This museum offers interactive exhibits on how the Incas determined the middle of the earth, plus interesting science experiments such as balancing an egg on a nail.

Return to the hotel.

Accommodation: Hilton Colon Hotel 4+*

(Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 3: Quito - Amazon

Breakfast.

The first stop is in Papallacta. Papallacta is famous for its hot springs,. Papallacta is a small village in Ecuador located at an altitude of 3,300 m in the Andes just off the Eastern Cordilleras on the road from Quito which leads into the Amazon jungle. Descending from the peak to Papallacta, one passes through the portal where the ecosystems transform from alpine to tropical jungle.

There are three important reasons to visit “Termas de Papallacta”: Health, recreation & relaxation.

The thermal baths are located on the banks of the Papallacta River in a unique natural environment; here we can find nine hot thermal pools and three cold water pools. The source temperature of the thermal baths varies between 30°C and 70°C (86°F and 158°F). At the pools the temperature ranges from 36°C to 40°C (97°F to 104°F). Papallacta´s thermal waters contain sulfates, sodium, calcium, chloride and traces of magnesium which are odorless, colorless but have a slightly salty taste.

The baths’ curative properties are anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and anti-rheumatic.

Continue to Tena.

Arrival at Cotococha Lodge in the afternoon. After the drive you will enjoy a special welcome drink, also you can relax for a while in our pool or in our beautiful spacious bungalow built in a rustic native design surrounded by gardens full of amazing jungle plants and flowers. A delicious dinner will be served in a romantic candlelight-setting at the attractively decorated restaurant. Afterwards, we will be relaxing ourselves around the elegant fireplace, to coordinate and discuss next day’s activities with the local crew. We’ll feel absolutely comfortable in this lovely peacefull setting filled with nightly sights and sounds of the Amazon jungle.

Accommodation: Cotococha Lodge 3*

(Breakfast,Dinner)

Day 4: Amazon

Breakfast.

After breakfast, we depart by canoe upstream for ten minutes, arriving to a small shore where we begin a fun and thrilling one hour walk, marveling ourselves with the jungle’s secondary forest diverse flora and fauna. After our short hike, we’ll find ourselves in a breathtaking cascade “La Cascada de Latas” where we will take a refreshing bath in its clear crystal waters and enjoy the surrounding views, which, mixed with the jungle sounds, makes it an unforgettable experience. We return along the same way to have lunch at the lodge. However, you have the possibility to go back by canoe or take an exciting tube ride along the Napo River back to the lodge.

After lunch we put on our rubber boots to start an exciting walk in the jungle’s primary forest ready to find the secret wonders of the mysterious hidden jungle, finding amazing plant species with medicinal properties, which will be explained in detail by our expert native guide: their characteristics and how the jungle inhabitants used them in ancient times. We’ll also observe a great variety of insects, small groups of monkeys weaving around the giant trees; though we will need some luck to observe them, that’s why we must stay very quiet to admire these beautiful creatures. Dozens of curious colourful birds tag along with us during our walk whistling enchanted notes delighting our senses. After about three hours of walking we will arrive at the Lodge again. At night, a delicious dinner will be served and there is the possibility to do an exciting night walk, when you will observe many night insects. Afterwards, it’s time for a good and peacefull rest delighted by the nightly sounds of the jungle.

Accommodation: Cotococha Lodge 3*

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5: Amazon - Baños

Breakfast.

After breakfast we will continue to Baños.

Baños is known as “The Gate of the Amazon Region.” Baños are located on the outside of the eastern range of the Andes. It is the perfect place to relax and explore. This small town is famous worldwide for its natural crystalline waterfalls.

Accommodation: Luna Runtun 4+*

(Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 6: Baños - Riobamba

Breakfast.

Baños is known as “The Gate of the Amazon Region.” Baños are located on the outside of the eastern range of the Andes. It is the perfect place to relax and explore. This small town is famous worldwide for its natural crystalline waterfalls.

Here you can see how it is made the famous “marshmallow” (candy, which is made from sugar cane).

Baños is the main tourist attraction for adventure, there are several ways to enjoy nature through hiking, horseback riding, cycling and rafting.

We will start the city tour and the visit the waterfalls: “Agoyán”, “Manto de la Novia” and “Pailón Del Diablo” and enjoy the “Swing at the End of the World”.

Continue to Riobamba.

Accommodation: Hacienda Abraspungo 4* 

(Breakfast)

Day 7: Riobamba - Ingapirca - Cuenca

Breakfast.

After breakfast you will continue driving south to the train Station of Alausí. On your way to Alausí you will visit the church of Balbanera. Enduring the pass of time, this is one of the oldest catholic churches in Latin America built by Sebastian de Benalcazar in 1534.

At Alausí you will board the train for a thrilling adventure with a 45-degree descent by a zigzagging railway built in the ledge of the Condor Puñuña Mountain, known as La Nariz del Diablo. This engineering achievement finally allowed to connect the coast with the Andes region and brought a new era for the republic of Ecuador.

After visiting the reserve, we go to the ruins of Ingapirca. Ingapirca is the largest and best preserved archaeological site in Ecuador, is located 80 km from the city of Cuenca, in Cañar province. It was built with millions of hewn stone in the middle of the eighteenth century. In the complex you can see the different architectural units, among which stands the Temple of the Sun, which have an elliptical shape 37 feet long and 12 meters wide, was used to perform ceremonies and rituals Cañari-Inca culture. In addition, you can observed the oldest building Ingapirca Pilaloma which consists of a series of rectangular rooms.

After visiting the ruins we will go to Cuenca, here you can rest and enjoy your free time.

Accommodation: Santa Lucia Hotel 4*

(Breakfast, Box Lunch)

Day 8: Cuenca

Breakfast.

Cuenca, 2560 m. high (8400 feet), the third largest city in Ecuador and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is situated in a fertile valley in the southern highlands of Ecuador. Cuenca has kept its old-world architectural charm and its colonial ambience. The Old Town is best visited on foot. Our tour takes you along the cobblestone streets admiring the historic buildings, hanging balconies, carved wooden doors, the craft fair and colorful flower market, the main plaza with the Old Cathedral, which has been converted to the “Museum for Religious Art”, and the magnificent blue-domed Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. See silversmiths at work and handicrafts of almost every kind. You end the tour with a visit to the “Panama Hat” factory.

Accommodation: Santa Lucia Hotel 4*

(Breakfast)

Day 9: Cuenca - Cajas - Guayaquil

Breakfast.

National Park Cajas is located in the Ecuadorian Andes west of Cuenca. This is a striking name as the area is characterized by large outcrops of bedrock. This is called knob and kettle geomorphology and results in a spectacular landscape, where the outcrops alternate with lakes. The lakes and rivers are famous for their trout and pure water. The park is about twenty nine thousand square hectares large and ranges in altitude from 2800 meters to more than 4400 meters above sea level. Cajas is a National Park since 1996. Cajas was declared a National Area of Recreation in 1977. Humidity, low temperature, and high altitude with low atmospheric pressure create an ecosystem that accumulates organic material in the soil that is able to retain water. The National Park is home to a large variety of animals, some of which are endemic or highly endangered.

In the afternoon we travel to Guayaquil (3.5 hour drive). In the path we will visit a Cacao Plantation, her you can  learn everything about the process of growing, harvesting cacao and how prepared chocolate.

Lunch at Cacao y Mango Plantation.

Continue to Guayaquil

Accommodation: Wyndham Guayaquil Hotel 4*

(Breakfast,)

Day 10: Guayaquil

Transfer to the airport for your international flight.

(Breakfast)

INCLUDES:

  • Private transportation and tours with English Speaking Guide in Mainland Ecuador as described on the itinerary;
  • Shared transportation and tours with English speaking guide in Cotococha  as described on the itinerary;
  • Accommodation as listed on the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed on the itinerary;
  • Entrance fees as listed on the itinerary.

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Flight to/from Galapagos Islands;
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee / USD 100 pp (subject to change);
  • Ingala Transit Control Card / USD 20 pp (subject to change);
  • International flights;
  • Travel Insurance (opti0nal)
  • Health insurance (obligatory);
  • Tips;
  • Personal expenses;
  • Items not specified.

 ITINERARY subject to change without prior notice