This Adventure will give you the opportunity to explore two worlds of Ecuador, the tropical Amazon rainforest and the magical Andes region. Travelers will visit the Andean Region of Ecuador, with a focus on sightseeing the beauty of the highlands and learning about Ecuador’s history and culture. The trip will start in the historical city of Quito, listed as Cultural Heritage of Mankind by Unesco. You will visit the colorful market of Otavalo, and hike around crater lake Cuicocha. In the rainforest you will stay in a charming lodge, and explore this gigantic and mysterious jungle, home to a rich diversity of animals, plants and Indian communities. You will have the perfect ending of your trip when enjoying Banos, the town of hot spings and waterfalls.
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 Pinsaquí (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 in Hotel Mercure (B - L)
Today you will be transferred from Quito to La Casa del Suizo lodge in the Amazon basin. You will travel along a scenic stretch of road, which takes us out of the majestic Andes highlands, Quito - Papallacta - Baeza - Tena - Ahuano and down into the jungle. This route is 140 miles long, and during the trip there are several opportunities to stop for photographs, overlooking lush green valleys and sparkling waterfalls. Here you will enjoy rare and exotic wildlife with intriguing insects, unique species of birds and butterflies and magical sceneries. Here in the next 3 days, you will explore one of the most diverse, unique and richest rainforest environments in the world. Explore this gigantic and mysterious jungle, visit a butterfly farm, Kayak down the river, visit an authentic indigenous home on the Arajuno River, meet native communities that have inhabited this land for over 10,000 years, and you can engage in other optional activities. You will also have some good opportunities for bird-watching. Accommodation La Casa del Suizo Lodge (B - L - D) . On the morning of the 7th day, you will be transferred to Baños, the gateway of the Amazon Rain Forest. Accommodation Sangay Spa Hotel (B - L)
Today you will explore Baños, the entrance to the Amazon Rain Forest, which is located near the active volcano Tungurahua. Baños is a small town on the edge between the Andes and Amazon and it is surrounded. It offers a large number of adventurous activities, beautiful surroundings and peace and tranquility. Here you will have the opportunity to explore the Pailón del Diablo waterfall and admire the route of the waterfalls. You will have free afternoon in Baños, where you can do any adventure activity like mountain biking, rappelling, rent a motorcycle or bike and explore the area or just relax in your 5-star Spa Hotel. Accommodation Samari Spa Resort (B - L)
In the morning you will be transferred from Baños and up the Andes to the Cotopaxi Area. Here you will admire the Cotopaxi (19,347 feet) the highest active volcano on earth and it’s National Park. Upon your 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 Limpiopungo Lake and admire the Andean moorlands and its highland 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.
Lunch will be included in an historical hacienda, in the afternoon you will return to Quito. Accommodation Hotel Mercure (B - L)
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home