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Ecuador Essential 8d/7n

Day 1: Quito – International Flight – Welcome to Ecuador

After the arrival, our guide will welcome and transfer you from the airport to the hotel. Overnight in Quito. -/-/-

Day 2: Quito City tour – Middle of the world

At 2,800m above sea level, Quito is extended along the foot of the Pichincha Volcano. The journey begins with a visit to Guápulo lookout, the twentieth-century buildings, castles, the building of the Constituent Assembly, with its stone wall where by pulse it has been carved, the vast history of Ecuador.

The route continues towards down town Quito, visiting the colonial churches, monasteries, cloisters, chapels, streets; full of stories and legends that allow us to closely observe the structures that lush rose in the heyday of the Baroque, and inside many different samples stored in painting and sculpture that took shape in the hands of artists of the ‘’Escuela Quiteña’’.  Then, you will go to the ‘’Panecillo’’, a small hill with magnificent view which provides access to the four cardinal points of the city.

Ecuador, geographically positioned in the center of the globe, crossed by the equator, allows the visitor the experience of putting one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern hemisphere, so the country is considered the land in permanent spring. Visit the Intiñan Museum where it shows in a precise and a practical way the wisdom that Andean Native peoples had in relation to the Sun King.

At a short distance from Middle of the World City you can observe the Pululahua Crater, a dormant volcano with changing vegetation in cultivated fields and inhabited at the crater.

Return to the hotel. B/-/-

Day 3: Quito – Cayambe- San Pablo – Peguche – Otavalo - Cotacachi

Leaving Quito, in the north direction and along the Panamerican Highway we will see overlapping mountains, a green countryside, and on clear days when the sky is blue, the Cayambe snow peak will be our constant companion during the entire trip.

At the foot of Imbabura volcano, there is San Pablo Lake, the largest Lake in the province… then we will visit the town of Peguche and its waterfalls. In town we will see how the indigenous create their weavings then we continue to Otavalo Indian Market,  their work in cotton and wool fabric has traveled across the world, thanks to the extraordinary commercial ability and adaptation of the artisans, textile tireless workers, imaginative, who show their crafts in the popular fair of Poncho (warm coat) at the square of the same name. After lunch we will visit Cotacachi, where its residents have structured family workshops specialized in the production of quality leather goods, and where the art of music goes together with the course of everyday. Return to Quito. B/-/-

Day 4: Quito – Cotopaxi - Quilotoa

From Quito, early in the morning our guide will pick you up from your hotel and begin our trip to south Andes, In this amazing route we will see the most authentic colorful Andean breathtaking landscape.

After this great experience, we are ready to visit a beautiful rose’s farm. Here, we will learn about harvesting, post harvesting and packing, and learn about this wonderful natural product, so sublime, so perfect, full of beauty and exquisite aromas.  We will get the knowledge to understand why these roses can only be produced in the Middle of the World.

Through the ‘’Panamericana’’ route, 70 km from Quito, you will observe the Cotopaxi Volcano, the highest active volcano in the world (5.897meters high altitude). Cotopaxi National Park with its magnificent perspective landscape, contains a unique flora and fauna, and also an incredible display of the magnitude of volcanic eruptions. Pita River with the beautiful waterfall of the same name and the Tambo River, are originated from the melting of the volcano. The small lagoon of Limpiopungo reflects in their water the blue sky heaven’s color. Then we continue to Quilotoa lake. Overnight. B/-/-

Day 5: Quilotoa - Riobamba

After breakfast we go to Quilotoa Lagoon, on the route, we will see an agricultural and pastoral land of enchanting green landscapes, of cold moorlands then a magnificent snow covered mountains, reveals the population of Zumbahua, located in the heart of the Andes, whose main square and surrounding areas are invaded by traders of the area and others who come from far away to the fair, where it is exchanged in a traditional and a native way the animals and products of the region. Within walking distance there is the Quilotoa Lake that is in a crater of 2 km in diameter and whose beautiful emerald waters are related to the presence of sulfur. Thanks to the natural sound, the echo is unique and will accompany visitors on a quiet walk.

We will stop for a well-deserved lunch in the area. During our trip we might have the possibility to see a naïf artist. Naïf art is a strong characteristic of this region and it is well known throughout the world. If the artist stand is open, you could have the opportunity to purchase one of these unique paintings.

Continue to Riobamba, beautiful city near to the highest volcano Chimborazo (6310 masl). City Tour.  Accommodation. B/-/-

Day 6: Riobamba – Devil’s Nose – Ingapirca – Cuenca

Breakfast. Early in the morning depart to Alausi, arrival to train station. At 8am you will start a magnificent trip.

The Devil´s Nose route is, without a doubt, the most impressive section of Ecuador´s railway: a hair-raising trip down the rocky slopes of the Andes departing from the Alausi town to Sibambe town on the way down to the Coastal Region. Afterwards, we will continue to Cuenca. On the way we will stop at the famous Ingapirca ruins (“wall rocks of the Inca”) which are the most important and well preserved of Ecuador’s Inca ruins situated to the north of Cuenca. We can take a nice walk around the beautiful site and imagine the scenes prior to the Spanish conquest.

A visit to the museum will reveal further details of how life was at the end of the 15th century. After the visit we will have time for lunch and then we will continue for about 2 hours down to the city of Cuenca. The beauty and atmosphere of colonial Cuenca is best experienced on foot.  

Our walking tour of the Old Town takes you through magnificent churches, beautiful old buildings with wrought iron balconies and carved wooden doors, flower and handicrafts markets, art galleries, workshops and all the wonders that Cuenca offers its visitors. Admire magnificent historic houses perched on cliffs high above the rushing Tomebamba River, which separates Old and New Towns.

Depending on personal preferences, your tour will conclude with a visit to a ceramic art gallery, a Panama hat factory or an artist’s workshop. Overnight in Cuenca  B/-/-

Day 7: Cuenca – Cajas National Park - Guayaquil

From Cuenca we will drive to the Cajas National Park which is located to the west. In the park there are about 200 lakes, which are the remains of the last ice age. Small rivers, whose crystal-clear waters flow into the Pacific, connect the lakes. We will take a short hike through the highlands of the park.

After, we will continue to the west to the city of Guayaquil. It is Ecuador´s largest city situated at sea level and its port “Puerto Maritimo” is the main sea port of the country.  It is the commercial and industrial center of Ecuador and lies on the west bank of the river Guayas about 60 km from its outflow in the Gulf of Guayaquil.  B /- /-

Day 8: Guayaquil – Farewell – International Flight

After breakfast we start our sightseeing tour where we can make short stops at the Iguanas Park (Parque Seminario), The Crystal Palace, the Integration Square, Bellavista Outlook point, pass by the Malecon 2000 or go to one of the many cultural and entertainment areas Guayaquil has to offer. Transfer Out International Flight B /- /-



-  Private transportation for excursions

-  All transfers in /out

-  Bilingual guide (English / Spanish) for excursions and transfers

-  Accommodation in double room with breakfast

-  Meals as detailed in the itinerary

-  Entrance fees and taxes

-  All excursions and visits detailed in the itinerary

-  All necessary equipment for activities mentioned in the itinerary


-  Additional meals

-  Tips

-  All drinks

-  Personal expenses

-  VAT for Ecuadorian people and local agencies (12%)

-  Personal equipment & required clothing for Andean climate (3ºC-15ºC/37ºF- 59ª)

-  Any item not mentioned in the itinerary

Itinerary 1


DAY 1 Quito – International Flight – Welcome to Ecuador DAY 2 Quito City tour – Middle of the world DAY 3 Quito – Cayambe- San Pablo – Peguche – Otavalo - Cotacachi DAY 4 Quito – Cotopaxi - Quilotoa DAY 5 Quilotoa - Riobamba DAY 6 Riobamba – Devil’s Nose – Ingapirca – Cuenca DAY 7 Cuenca – Cajas National Park - Guayaquil DAY 8 Guayaquil – Farewell – International Flight


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The best vacation with Sunny Roads
Kathrin Flessner
Febrary, 2015 | Germany
[ + Visit Original Review Page ]

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