Experience the ancient beauty, pristine natural landscapes, and vibrant culture of Ecuador on this locally-hosted journey
About the Tour
Ecuador is South America's best-kept secret. This small country contains all of the continent's most attractive features. In Ecuador, you'll find the towering Andes, the enigmatic Amazon rain forest, and a pristine Pacific coastline. This 9-day locally hosted tour is the perfect introduction to Ecuador's remarkably diverse landscape and vibrant culture. You'll take an incredible journey up the Devil's Nose rock face aboard a narrow-gauge railroad, visit Cotopaxi National Park, tour the beautiful colonial capital city of Quito, visit one of Ecuador's famous rose plantations, tour Inca ruins, and stand among volcanoes and waterfalls.
- 8 nights hotel accommodation
- 15 meals, including daily buffet breakfast
- Private city tours of Quito and Cuenca
- Devil's Nose train trip and visit to the Ingapirca Ruins
- Visit to Cotopaxi National Park
- Shop at the Indian Market at Otavalo
- Visit a Panama Hat factory and Pottery Studio
- Visit to a Cacao Plantation and a Rose Plantation
- Services and support of expert Local Hosts
Day 1 - Arrive in Quito, EcuadorWelcome to one of the smallest yet most bio diverse countries in South America. Ecuador offers a panorama of scenery and climates-from the Pacific Coast to the rainforest and the Amazon to the high slopes of the Andes.
Day 2 - QuitoYour included private city tour showcases the Old Town, where colonial history still permeates the air, surrounded by beautiful architecture, and religious and cultural sites. One of the highlights is a visit to San Francisco Square, where you will see the church of La Compañia, which has the most ornate and richly sculptured façade and interior. Afterward, visit the famous hill of the old town, Panecillo (“Little Bread”), where you will see the Virgen de Quito angel statue. Finish off your tour at a bustling Ecuadorian market. (B)
Day 3 - Quito & Excursion to OtavaloToday, experience the traditional ways of the Otavalo people. With your Local Host visit Otavalo’s famous Indian Market, full of textiles, clothes, vegetables, and much more. Enjoy the drive here, as it passes the often snow-capped Cayambe Volcano. The Ecuadorian Line goes directly through the glacier of the immense volcano, which is the highest worldwide point on the Ecuadorian line. Next, visit a local school in Peguche to visit with Ecuadorian children. Enjoy lunch at a local hacienda before returning to Quito. (B, L)
Day 4 - Quito, Cotapaxi & BañosJourney south with your Local Host, passing the “Avenue of the Volcanoes,” to visit Cotopaxi National Park, a highland zone protected since 1975. On a walk near Lake Limpiopungo you will have the chance to learn about the typical vegetation and fauna found in the area. Enjoy breathtaking views of Cotapaxi Volcano, standing over 19,000 feet. Next, visit a rose plantation, where you can observe the cultivation and harvest of this important export and witness the exceptional beauty of the Ecuadorian rose. Continue to Baños, known for its famous hot springs that give the area its name. Relax in the mild mountain climate at one of the hot springs at your hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Baños & RiobambaYou’ll have time this morning to view some of Baños’ impressive waterfalls before heading to Riobamba in the shadow of Ecuador’s highest volcano, Chimborazo, rising over 20,000 feet in altitude. (B, D)
Day 6 - Riobamba & CuencaAn unforgettable train trip takes you over the almost vertical wall of rock called the Devil’s Nose. This engineering marvel allows the train to transit a zigzag path cut into the mountainside that ascends and descends over 3,000 feet. Continue to Cuenca with your Local Host, stopping at the Ingapirca Ruins, Ecuador’s most important monument of pre-Spanish culture. The ruins are located on a grass-covered hill once used as a sun-worshiping temple. Even before the construction of the sun temple (1450-1480), this place had an important spiritual significance for the Incas. On a walk through the ruins, learn about Inca beliefs, rituals, and the way they constructed this place, built in the shape of a puma. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - CuencaEnjoy a private guided tour of Cuenca, the third-largest city in Ecuador and considered one of the most beautiful. See the historical buildings along the Tomebamba River, the Todos los Santos ruins, the flower market, and the main square with the old and new cathedral. Afterward, visit a Panama hat factory and a pottery studio, where you can learn more about the work of the local people. (B, L)
Day 8 - Cuenca & GuayaquilTransfer with your Local Host to the coastal town of Guayaquil, stopping along the way to visit a Cacao Plantation. Learn about the cultivation of the cacao fruit, harvesting, and the processing of this important industry for Ecuador. On to Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest and most industrial city and the key to Ecuador’s trade center. The rest of your day is at leisure to explore the city. (B)
Day 9 - GuayaquilYour vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Grand Mercure Alameda, Quito
The Mercure Grand Hotel Alameda offers comfort combined with contemporary décor. The hotel features a restaurant with regional and international cuisine, bar, laundry service, business center, and fitness center.
Hacienda Leito Los Lllanganates, Banos
This historical estate, surrounded by the volcanic mountains of the Ecuadorian highlands, is a charming and welcoming place to overnight during your visit to Ecuador. From the hotel lobby to your uniquely furnished guestroom, you'll enjoy the antique feel and the surrounding nature that characterizes this hotel. Great service, food and a relaxing ambience paired with superb views make the Hacienda Leito a true gem.
Hacienda Abraspungo, Riobamba
Hacienda Abraspungo, with its comfortable, charming and high level installations offers a personalized service in the ideal spot to enjoy the peace and beauty of the Andes. The architectural style offers traditional colonial design often used in the ancestral mansions and haciendas of Ecuador. Adorned with old photographs and illustrations of Andean landscapes, the hotel has a richness unlike any other.
Hotel Carvallo, Cuenca
Colonial design and embellishments surround you at every turn at the Hotel Carvallo, making you feel like part of its history. A fantastic city location paired with great service and modern, spacious accommodations make this hotel as memorable and enjoyable as the city itself.
Unipark Hotel Guayaquil, Guayaquil
The Unipark Hotel Guayaquil sits directly in the heart of the commercial and cultural district of the city. Providing easy access to Guayaquil's highlights, parks, the riverfront, and nearby historical sites, this is the perfect place to settle in during your journeys. The hotel also offers ideal amenities, facilities, and first-class international cuisine.
Passport & Visa Requirements
It is your responsibility to check and fulfill the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. Please visit CIBTvisas for additional information.