In this trip, you will visit the Andean Region of Ecuador, with a focus on sightseeing the Andes and learning about Ecuador’s history and culture. It includes visits to indigenous markets and a 3-day trip to the city of Cuenca, declared “Cultural Patrimony of Humanity” by Unesco. While traveling you will visit colonial towns and sightseeing some of the most breathtaking views of the Ecuadorean Andes.
When you arrive in Ecuador, you will be met by our representative and will be transferred to your charming hotel in Quito. 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. Accommodation Hotel Mercure.
Your Cotopaxi adventure will start while driving out of Quito to the south, where you will admire the Cotopaxi (19,347 feet) – one of the highest volcanos on earth and currently active - and its National Park. Upon you arrival to the park you will visit the Interpretation Center where you will learn about the history of the Cotopaxi and about the flora & fauna of this beautiful national park.Next, you can visit Limpiapungo Lake and admire the Andean moorlands and its wildlife. After lunch you will see Ecuador’s highest mountain; the snow capped Chimborazo (20,697 ft.) on your way to Riobamba. This small city is the birthplace of Ecuador’s first constitution (1830). In Riobamba you will get a brief tour through the city and visit its French-influenced plazas and the Cathedral, and you can learn about Ecuador’s history from the murals in the city. From Quito hill you will have breathtaking view on Riobamba. Accommodation: Hacienda Abraspungo (Breakfast & Lunch)
After an early breakfast you will continue your travels south, passing by a picturesque Indians area in the highlands of Ecuador. Here you will admire the oldest Catholic chapel in the country: “Balbanera chapel”.Next, you will arrive at Alausí Train Station. You will experience the Devil’s nose route going from the highest Andes Mountains to the lowlands by train. This is an unforgettable experience in which you will have the opportunity to have a unique perspective on the Andes Mountains while passing several towns and rivers. After a lunch on the road, you will arrive to Ingapirca Inca ruins; the most important religious and political complex of the Inca ruins in Ecuador. Afterwards, you will continue your driving to the beautiful city of Cuenca (Ecuador’s third largest city), for an overnight stay. In the evening you have the night free to wander through this charming city in the South of Ecuador. Accommodation: Hotel Santa Lucia (Breakfast & Box Lunch)
Discover one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Latin America: Cuenca. It is located at 2,500 meters above sea level in a valley surrounded by four rivers and mountains with a very colorful countryside. Cuenca is famous for its art and history; you will be able to admire its beautiful marble cathedral, its cobblestone streets, graceful wrought-iron balconies, flowered plazas and museums. In the late afternoon you will fly back to Quito, where you will be welcomed by a Latin Frontier´s representative. Accommodation: Hotel Mercure (Breakfast & Lunch)
Today you will visit the biggest and most colorful indigenous market in Latin America, the famous Otavalo. Its market is 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 at bargain prices. After this, you will go to the Peguche Waterfall near Otavalo, where you will arrive after a refreshing walk. In the afternoon you will return to Quito, enjoying the rural landscape. Accommodation: Hotel Mercure
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.