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10 Days/9 Nights
Day 1: Quito (International Arrival).
Upon arrival to 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 car transfer to your hotel. Accommodations: As per request -/-/-
Day 2: Quito (Colonial Old Town + Equatorial Line).
Explore the bustling streets and squares of the largest historical centre in the Americas, visiting some its most important churches such as the impressive Cathedral, majestic Compañía and iconic San Francisco, guardians of a stunning multi-ethnic artistic and cultural heritage. We begin the tour the quirky Guapulo quarter; take in the Congress building, before heading to the Old Town. We finish the day at the “Panecillo” hillside with its breathtaking views of the old and modern city surrounded by the rolling Andes Mountains. As an addition to the Quito Colonial City Tour, we travel to “La Mitad del Mundo” complex. Its monument is located at latitude 0º 0´0", and provides for once-ina-lifetime opportunity to straddle both hemispheres, or hop between the two in the blink of an eye. The monument forms the focal point of a park and leisure area with gift shops and restaurants. The site occupies an important place in the solar-based Andean Cosmo vision, since ancient Andean people were aware of its significance many thousands of years ago. The Ethnographic Museum at the complex provides a fine overview of Ecuador’s varied cultures and geography. Lunch will be served in a local restaurant. Accommodations: As per request B/-/-
Day 3: Otavalo & Cotacachi.
This morning you will leave Quito with your tour guide, heading to Otavalo, the town famous for its weekly artesian market. On route on the Panamerican Highway we will stop at Calderon, a town where the famous masapan dolls are made, continuing on through Guayllabamba town where you can sample its typical fruit the cherimoyer. We will also stop on the highway to admire the beautiful landscape and snow-capped mountains in the area. We continue on, making a short stop at San Pablo Lake before arriving in Otavalo. Here we will visit the textile market located at the “Plaza of Ponchos”; this is one of the most famous markets in South America. You will find all kinds of handcrafts including tapestries made on the Spanish weaving loom as well as the indigenous backstrap loom. After which you will enjoy some free time for bargaining and buying with the friendly Otavaleños. Enjoy lunch before going to the small artisan village of Cotacachi and then we will return to Quito late afternoon/ early evening and you will be taken to your hotel. Accommodations: As per request B/-/-
Day 4: Cotopaxi Volcano and National Park – Baños.
We will depart from Quito heading south through the famous “Avenue of the Volcanoes.” Around midday we will arrive in the National Park, which is located 60km away from the city of Quito. The Cotopaxi Volcano is one of the most important landmarks in Ecuador because it is the highest active volcano in the world. Lush endemic flora and fauna of the area can be observed, including: one of the most representative species is the Chuquiragua (also known as the mountaineer’s flower) wild horses, deers, llamas, and more. Whilst in the National Park you can also visit Limpiopungo Lake, located near Rumiñahui volcano (4757 meters), or go hiking to observe birds. Later heading to the town of Baños. Here you will have an evening at leisure to enjoy as you please. Accommodations: As per request B/L/-
Day 5: Baños Waterfalls
Situated in a valley of waterfalls and hot springs, Baños has become a mecca for international travelers seeking year -round temperate weather, a small town atmosphere, and a base for exploring the great Ecuadorian outdoors. Baños or bath in English is named after its famous hot springs and thermal baths. There is lots on offer from waterfalls to horse riding and don´t miss the active Tungurahua volcano which is visible from anywhere in Baños Upon arrival in Baños we will take a short tour and visit the center. The city enjoys a pleasant subtropical zone climate. Later, we begin the route of waterfalls, including Agoyan, Heavens Door (Puertas del Cielo), Weddings Veil (Manto de la Novia), Devils Pan (Pailón del Diablo), Machay, and many more. Starting the evening we will enjoy free time in this beautiful town. Accommodations: As per request B/-/-
Day 6: Chimborazo National Park
Today you will spend the day exploring the beautiful landscapes of the area. In the Chimborazo province around Abraspungo, there are many trails perfect for hiking and expeditions through various ecosystems such as paramos, lakes, mountains and Andean forests. Chimborazo, (6,310 meters/20.697 feet above sea level) is Ecuador’s highest mountain. Its name comes from Quechua: Chimborazo, razo,rasu = snow and chimbo probably from chimbana = to cross, since three snow covered passes surround the mountain. Lush endemic flora and fauna of the area can be observed, including: one of the most representative species is the Chuquiragua (also known as the mountaineer’s flower) llamas, bird as well as experiencing the the unique environment of the Andean paramo. Accommodations: As per request B/-/-
Day 7: Riobamba / Alausí / Devil’s nose train ride / Cuenca.
After an early breakfast the second day of the tour begins departing Riobamba to the south, as we head for Alausi where we will board the train to the “Devil’s Nose”. En-route we will make several stops, visiting the Balbanera Church, Colta Lake, and the indigenous town of Guamote (Note, Thursday is market day). Mid-morning we will arrival at the town of Alausi where we will begin our adventure on Ecuador’s famous “Devil’s Nose” train. About a four hour ride, we will return to Alausi in the early afternoon. Our bus will be waiting to take us to Ingapirca, and tour members are more than welcome to pack a box lunch to enjoy along the journey. Continuing on, we will pay a visit the Ingapirca fortress, located at 3100m above sea level. These ancient ruins are the most important in the country. Their true history is still a mystery, as studies state they could have been a fortress, an observatory or a temple. After visiting the ruins we will finish our trip on the road to Cuenca, arriving in the early evening for an optional dinner and free evening. Accommodations: As per request B/-/-
Day 8: Cuenca City Tour.
Cuenca is Ecuador's third largest city; yet it still retains its pleasant provincial air. Its red tiled roofs, cobblestone streets, flowery plazas and museums make it very special and the city is considered by many the most beautiful in all of Ecuador. Today we will enjoy a city tour to discover, at a leisurely pace, the beauty and charm for which Cuenca has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site. This is a walking tour in the colonial downtown area of Cuenca, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the warmth and hospitality of its people, the colourful parks and plazas, religious monuments and handcraft shops, plus an explanation of Cuenca's history. We will also visit a workshop where Panama straw hats of the best quality are made and then you will be transferred to your hotel. Accommodations: As per request B/-/-
Day 9: Cuenca-Cajas National Park-Guayaquil
Just after breakfast, the tour will depart, heading northwest towards Cajas National Park. After a short drive, arrival in Cajas National Park will allow us to take part in different activities such as hiking, fishing, bird-watching, viewing flora and fauna, and so on. We can visit the Interpretation Center placed in La Toreadora Lake (the biggest and the most important in the whole complex). Here we will see pictures and interpretations of the park. In the afternoon we will make the journey to Guayaquil. On the road we will find mountain scenery and a delightful change of vegetation as we encounter the glorious Ecuadorian coastline. Accommodations: as per request B/-/-
Day 10: Guayaquil -Out back home
At agreed time transfer to the airport for your return flight back home. B/-/-
1. All Transfers and tours are private with English speaking driver-guide 2. Rates are based on the number of passengers shown above. We would like to remind you that, in the case this number changes, all prices are subject to change to conform to actual number of travelers 3. Meals as per the itinerary 4. Breakfasts are included at all hotels, unless otherwise stated 5. All entrance fees
This proposal and program do not include:
1. International flights and airport taxes 2. Beverages at any time or during meals, unless otherwise stated 3. Alcoholic drinks 4. Early check in or late check out at hotels 5. Bank fees, this should be covered by the client on date of payment 6. Tips, personal expenses 7. Travel and medical insurance