The Andean and Coastal Ecuador package focuses on the two regions where most Ecuadorians live. You will explore the highlands of Ecuador. Home of volcanoes, Indian markets, colonial cities, indigenous communities, impressive landscapes, rivers and lakes. The Andean region has a cool climate and i’s a zone rich in traditions and offering beautiful landscapes throughout. When you travel, the vegetation and climate changes dramatically before your eyes, together with all other surroundings. The coastal region of the country, with its people, beautiful beaches, fishing towns and great seafood, will make you wonder if you are in a different country all together.
When you arrive in Ecuador, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your charming hotel in Quito, where you will receive your full itinerary and information about Ecuador and your trip. Accommodation Hotel Mercure
After breakfast, your will visit “Quito” the most beautiful and colonial city in South America, declared by UNESCO part of the Cultural Heritage of mankind. You will explore the colonial part of the city and you will start in the Independence square, with the presidential palace, the city hall, the Sagrario church and the Cathedral. You will then, visit San Francisco church and museum-monastery (1535), the San Agustin monastery and the finest example of baroque art in America, La Compañía church (1605) and its breathtaking gilded altars. You will then visit the art & crafts gallery of Tianguez and finally, drive up to the Panecillo hill and enjoy an amazing view of Quito from above, and admire the only winged-Virgin statue in South America. This is a great spot to take pictures above Quito;
After visiting the Colonial center of Quito you will arrive to the Middle of the World Monument and Museum, which is located 25 km north of Ecuador’s capital. There you will find the monument on the equatorial line marking latitude 0° 0´0”, where you will have the opportunity to stand in both hemispheres and take wonderful pictures. Here you can also visit the ethnographic museum on site as well.
Today you will visit the biggest and most colorful indigenous market in Latin America, the famous Otavalo. Here, you will visit its Ponchos market, famous around the world for its colorful tapestries, hand-knitted wool sweaters, native paintings, wood carvings, silver jewelry, woolen and straw hats, and much more, all at bargain prices. After a great shopping you will arrive to Cotacachi known for its leather works and San Antonio de Ibarra for its excellent woodcarvings. Lunch will be served at a typical nearby hacienda or country inn. Accommodation Hacienda Pinsaqui o Cusin (B - L).
Today you will visit Cuicocha one of the most interesting crater lakes in Ecuador. This active volcano has a lagoon inside its crater as well as 2 small islands. If you like, you can enjoy a boat ride around the crater and listen to the stories and legends of this magical place. After this, you will visit the Peguche waterfalls near Otavalo. On your way back to Quito you will enjoy the fantastic agricultural mosaic of rural Ecuadorian. Accommodation Hotel Mercure (B - L)
Your adventure will start driving south of Quito where you will admire the Cotopaxi (19,347 feet) the highest active volcano on earth, and its National Park. Upon you arrival to the park you will visit the interpretation center where you will find history about the last Cotopaxi eruption as well as information about the flora & fauna of this beautiful national park. Afterwards you will visit the Limpiapungo Lake and admire the Andean moorlands with its birds or you can start climbing up to the snow line and arrive to the first shelter of the mountain located at 15,744 ft. After lunch you will admire Ecuador’s highest mountain the snow capped Chimborazo (20,697 ft.) in your way to Riobamba which is the birthplace of Ecuador’s first constitution (1830). Here you will have a brief tour of the city, which includes its French-influenced plazas, the Cathedral, admire the city from Quito hill and learn about Ecuador’s history from its murals. Accommodation Hacienda Abraspungo (B - L)
After an early breakfast you will continue your excursion south passing by a picturesque Indian area in the highlands of Ecuador. Here you will admire the oldest Catholic chapel in the country “Balbanera chapel”. Then, you are going to arrive to Alausi train Station. If the train is available, you will experience the Devil’s nose route going from the highest Andes to the low lands. This is an unforgettable experience where you will have an opportunity to ride through the Andes and pass through several towns, rivers of the region
After a Box lunch on the road you will arrive to Ingapirca ruins, the most important religious and political complex of Inca ruins in Ecuador. Afterwards, you will continue your drive to the beautiful city of Cuenca (Ecuador’s third largest city), for an overnight stay. In the evening you can enjoy a free night to roam through this charming city in the South of Ecuador. Accommodation Hotel Santa Lucia or Carvallo in Cuenca (B - Box Lunch)
Discover one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Latin America “Cuenca” which is located at 2,500 meters above sea level in a valley surrounded by 4 rivers and mountains with a very colorful countryside. Cuenca is famous for its art and history; there you will be able to admire its beautiful marble Cathedral, its cobblestone streets, graceful wrought-iron balconies, flowered plazas and museums. The people of Cuenca are known for their great hospitality.
After lunch in the afternoon you will transfer to Guayaquil by car. Accommodation Hotel Hampton Inn (B - L)
Today you will visit Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city and one of the most important ports in the Pacific Coast of South America. Visit the living tradition of the “Las Peñas” neighborhood, walk around the riverfront Malecon 2000 with its botanic gardens, and monuments with a view to the Guayas River. Walk up to the Santa Ana hill to have a spectacular views of Guayaquil, and drive through the “9th of October” Avenue to see the “Centenario” park and discover the spirit of this cosmopolitan city and Ecuador’s economic center. After Lunch you will visit the Natural Historic Park of Guayaquil, a place where it is possible to admire local flora and fauna like Caymans, Iguanas, Arpee Eagles and a beautiful segment of mangrove forest. On the cultural side, visit a replica of a late nineteenth century Guayaquil neighborhood. Accomodation Grand Hotel Guayaquil (B - L)
Today you will continue your trip from Guayaquil to Machalilla area. There you will enjoy the Machalilla national park, beautiful place with white sand beaches like Los Frailes Beach, surrounded by primary dry forest that is full of life, you can visit the Agua Blanca archeological museum to learn from one of the native guides about pre-Columbian cultures, the local way of life and the natural history of the area. Accommodation Hosteria Nantu (B)
Between the months of June through September, Manabí receives the visit of the whales, which come from the Southern Hemisphere to mate in this area. You can see them jumping with all their majesty, offering an unforgettable show and reminding us of the magic of Mother Nature. This occurs on your way to La Isla de la Plata (Silver Island), a beautiful wildlife sanctuary known as the Little Galapagos because it is inhabited by some of the same species as in Galápagos such as the Red, Blue, Frigate birds, Pelicans, Albatross, Masked boobies, seagulls and many other birds. The island is named after the legend of pirate Sir Francis Drake whom is said to have stolen the gold from the Spanish ships and hid it somewhere on the island in a secret place that has never been found. Accommodation Hosteria Nantu (B)
Today you will visit Manta, one of the major cities of Ecuador, located in the province of Manabí. It is set on a splendid bay, which has given international port property in the Pacific Ocean. Manta is a city with great nightlife with many restaurants, karaoke, discos and casinos also has beautiful beaches nearby which are located approximately 30 minutes from the city. You will visit Montecristi Village, famous for the worldwide known “Panama Hats”. In the afternoon you will be transferred to the airport to take your flight back to Quito. Accommodation Hotel Mercure (B)
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home