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Andean Treasures

9 Days/8 Nights

Package Overview

The different natural landscapes and the beautiful colonial cities of Quito and Cuenca are waiting for you in Ecuador. The Magical Andes will let you experience famous train rides, indigenous villages, colorful markets, the largest Inca site in Ecuador and, of course, the majestic snow-capped volcanoes. Then, this tour will take you to the coastal region through banana and cacao plantations to end in the tropical city of Guayaquil, the biggest port of Ecuador.p>

The landscapes, the beauty of the volcanoes and snow-capped mountains, the picturesque colors of the coast and the astonishing lines of the valleys, the equatorial sunshine, and the kindness of its people, make this the experience of a lifetime.

Ride along with us and enjoy this magical journey.

Agent Commission Starting At: $235.00

Package Pricing

Package starting at: $2350.00 PP * Prices based on double occupancy. Prices per person in USD.

Travel Itinerary

Day 1

Upon arrival at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre Airport, you will be greeted by our helpful guide. The guide will serve as a translator, help with luggage, and assist with the private transfer to your hotel.

Day 2

Quito City Tour and Equator Monument (Mitad del Mundo)

Pick up: 08:30-08:45. Breakfast in the hotel. Your journey begins with a visit to the capital of Ecuador. It is located at 2,850 meters above sea level, on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano and nestled in a green Andean valley. Quito, one of the oldest cities in South America, is also one of the few cities that has preserved numerous monuments and artistic treasures of the Spanish colonial period. The colonial center of the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978. We will begin the tour with a walk through the narrow streets to visit some of America's oldest and most beautiful churches such as El Sagrario and La Compañia, as well as the famous plazas of Santo Domingo, La Merced, and San Francisco. We will continue to "El Panecillo" hill to meet the winged virgin and enjoy a fascinating view of Quito.

In the afternoon we will drive to the famous Equator Monument "Middle of the World", which is located in a dry valley on the northern outskirts of Quito. Here we will visit the Museo del Sitio Inti Ñan, which was built by a private anthropological foundation next to the official equator monument. This beautiful solar museum has exhibits of different indigenous cultures and their traditional way of life. During this visit, we will also see the startling evidence that demonstrates the exact location of the equatorial line.

Accommodation: Hotel Fuente de Piedra I / Hotel Mercure Alameda

Day 3

Indigenous Market Pujili - Quilotoa crater lake

We will leave Quito and head south, towards Cotopaxi province. Our first stop will be the indigenous market of Pujili, a treat for the senses. We will continue along winding roads that pass the most beautiful landscapes of the Ecuadorian Andes to reach the picturesque Crater Lake Quilotoa. From the crater rim, it’s possible to walk down to the turquoise lake shores, a hike worth taking. No need to worry about the way back, because there are horses and mules (not included in the program) to help with the climb. Enjoy the unique magic and beauty of this crater lagoon.

Accommodation: Hacienda La Cienega (Standard) / Hacienda La Cienega (suites)

Day 4

Cotopaxi National Park - Rose plantation – Baños

In the morning we will drive to Cotopaxi National Park to discover its diverse flora and fauna. We will walk to limpiopungo lagoon which is located at an altitude of 3800 meters.

Later, we will visit one of the many rose plantations that have made Ecuadorian roses famous all over the world. Here we will see the different kinds of roses and learn about the whole production process. We will continue to Baños, the lively pilgrimage town with its famous thermal springs and its beautiful cathedral.

Accommodation: Hotel la Floresta / Spa Hotel Luna Runtun* Spa – Hotel Luna Runtun includes dinner.

Day 5

Excursion to Pailon del Diablo - Baños – Riobamba

A pleasant climate prevails in the town of Baños, which is located at an altitude of 1,800 meters. It is recommended to visit the beautiful cathedral and enjoy the extraordinary scenery before starting with the day´s adventure: “The route of the waterfalls”, which runs along the Pastaza River Gorge. The highlight of this route is located by Rio Verde, where we will have a short walk through the cloud forest to reach the thundering waterfall known as "Pailon del Diablo" (Devil's cauldron).

In the afternoon, our tour continues to the highest volcano in Ecuador, Chimborazo (6,310 m), where we will be greeted by a desert-like landscape and herds of shy vicuñas. From here it is possible to walk to the Edward Whymper shelter that offers a great view from an altitude of 5,000 meters.

Accommodation: Mansion Santa Isabela / Hacienda Abraspungo .

Day 6

Devil's Nose train ride - Ingapirca – Cuenca

We will depart early in the morning through picturesque landscapes and small villages to reach Alausí´s train station, where we will hop on board one of the most famous trains in the world. The ‘Devils Nose’, as it is known, is an unforgettable train ride down an almost sheer rock face; the train makes switchbacks all the way down the cliff and then back up again.

Afterward, the guide and driver will bring you to Tolte’s Community. Here you will have lunch in the restaurant in the community while enjoying a traditional dancing show. After lunch you will be able to choose among different activities during your visit-stay in the community: You can descend 330 stairs to a viewpoint, which is a perfect place to appreciate the zig-zag from Devil’s Nose and take fabulous pictures; you may choose between horse-back riding or a biking tour in the surrounding areas of the community, and you are also able to visit an organic local farm to see how the community develops agro-tourism.

After this, we will visit Ingapirca archaeological complex, the largest Inca site in Ecuador. We will learn about the Inca and Cañari cultures by touring the beautiful temples and fortifications. In the late afternoon, we will continue to Cuenca.

Accommodation: Hotel Casa del Aguila or Los Balcones/ Hotel Santa Lucia.

Day 7

City tour in Cuenca´s colonial center

After breakfast we will start our tour of the beautiful colonial city of Cuenca, declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. The promenade along the Rio Tomebamba, the imposing new cathedral, and the daily flower market are just a few of the highlights that this city has to offer. The tour also includes a visit to a workshop and museum of the famous Panama hat, the finest braided hats in the world. The afternoon is left free for you to explore this charming and historical city on your own.

Accommodation: Hotel Casa del Aguila or Los Balcones / Hotel Santa Lucia. .

Day 8

From the Andes to the Coast – Guayaquil City

After breakfast, we will head west to cross El Cajas National Park. This reserve, although it is mostly above the tree line, has an astounding variety of plant and animal life. In addition to rugged ridges and deeply incised, box-shaped valleys, there are nearly 240 different-sized lagoons. We will drive to an altitude of almost 4,200 meters above sea level to reach the most western watershed between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, where we will also make a short stop to take in the landscape and shoot pictures. After this stop our route starts descending to the coastal region, passing through beautiful and changing landscapes as the altitude drops and the vegetation grows in size and variety. We will drive through extensive cocoa, bananas, rice, and sugar cane plantations to enter the bustling metropolis of Guayaquil, the largest city in the country. Then we will continue to the hotel. This city is best explored on foot, so we will start from Parque Bolivar to then continue by the Plaza de Administración, the Moorish Clock Tower and finally the "Malecón 2000" and the artist district of Las Peñas, with its spectacular panoramic view of the lazy Guayas River and its green mangrove belt. After the tour, we will all gather in the evening for a farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Guayaquil or Howards Johnson / Wyndham

Day 9

Transfer out

Breakfast in the hotel. Check out. Transfer to the airport to take your international flight.

Additional Package Information

 Package Includes

  • Lodging, transfers, tours and described in itinerary

 Package Does Not Include

  • International airfare
  • Domestic air
  • Gratuities

 Package Notes

  • Price subject to change
  • Subject to Availability
  • To prevent any loss due to cancellation, travel insurance is recommended.
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Ecuador Package 10 of 16

 
9 Days/8 Nights Ecuador Vacation Package

General Information

  • Capital: Quito
  • Government: Republic
  • Currency: US dollar (USD)
  • Area: total: 283,560 km2, water: 6,720 km2, land: 276,840 km2
  • Population: 14,573,101 (July 2009 est.)
  • Language: Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
  • Religion: Roman Catholic 95%
  • Electricity: 110-220V/60Hz (USA & European plugs)
  • Calling Code: +593
  • Time Zone: UTC-5

Points of Interest

  • Quito City
  • Alameda Park
  • Basilica
  • Monument at the Middle of the World
  • Chimborazo volcano
  • Shuar community
  • San Rafael ranch
  • Equatorial line