Perfect for the adventure traveler who wants to experience it all, this comprehensive Ecuador tour offers many opportunities to explore the country's history, culture, wildlife and stunning landscapes. From informative hikes in Ecuador nature reserves to the streets and markets of its colorful cities, this Ecuador adventure travel is a dream trip.
Arrival and transfer to your hotel. Upon early arrival, we can arrange optional tours of the city and surrounding sites.
The journey begins in the Imbabura Province. The first stop is the village of Calderon, known for its handmade bread dough figures. Continue traveling north, passing through Guayllabamba valley to visit South America's most renowned Indian market in the village of Otavalo. A tasty lunch will be served at one of the area's haciendas. In the afternoon, visit Cotacachi famous for its handmade leather articles by local craftsmen. End the day with a stop at the deep crater lake of the Cuicocha Volcano surrounded by striking mountain peaks. Spend the night in Otavalo. (B,L,D)
Travel to Cotopaxi National Park for a hike offering impressive views of Cotopaxi, the world's highest active volcano at 19,225 feet. Explore this diverse park from the highland plateaus, seeing Andean flora and fauna, along with wild horses, gulls, ducks and possibly a majestic condor. Visit Limpiopungo Lake and some of the nearby villages. Enjoy a marvelous dinner and spend the night at a local hacienda. (B,L,D)
In the morning, travel from Cotopaxi National Park to Baños, a colorful colonial town set in a cloud forest. Spend a pleasant morning exploring the town with the afternoon free to relax in the local hot springs, hike to surrounding waterfalls or ride horseback through the stunning landscape. Spend the night in a cozy hacienda outside Baños. (B,L,D)
Enjoy a leisurely morning at Baños with opportunities for last minute shopping and sightseeing. After lunch you travel through the scenic Andean countryside to the city of Riobamba and its famous museum in the old church of La Concepcion. Spend the afternoon touring this fascinating city. Have dinner and stay overnight at a hacienda. (B,L,D)
After an early breakfast, take a scenic drive to Alausí. Next, board the train at Devil's Nose, where the tracks wind through the countryside in a zig-zag formation, creating a travel experience like no other. After the train ride, continue the trip by bus to visit Ingapirca, the most impressive Inca ruins of Ecuador. Spend the afternoon learning about this archeological site, notable for its unique fusion of Inca and native Cañari architecture and religious beliefs. Continue on to your hotel in Cuenca, a beautiful colonial city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. (B,L,D)
Today you'll be exploring El Cajas National Park, an impressive area of seventy-two thousand acres located about twenty miles west of Cuenca. Wildlife will be the focus on this comfortable hiking terrain. You may spot all types of Ecuadorian creatures, and bird life guarantees to be abundant. You will enjoy a lunch in route and transfer back to Cuenca. (B,L,D)
In the morning, a scenic tour of Cuenca allows time to explore the city's numerous sights including impressive colonial buildings, museums and markets. Transfer to the airport for an afternoon return flight to Quito where you will be taken to your comfortable hotel for the night. (B)
You'll be transferred to the international airport for your departure home, marking the end of Southern Explorations' services. If your schedule permits, Galapagos adventures, trip extensions to other regions or extra days in Quito can also be arranged. (B)
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