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Activities & Transport
- City Tour
- Meet the Locals
- Wildlife Watching
- Car with driver
Main travel focus
Ecuador Highlights and Nature Tour
- Day 2: Sample famous bizcochos before heading to the market to explore and purchase local handicrafts
- Day 4: Hike down into an extinct volcano crater to Quilotoa Lagoon, a sparkling emerald lake
- Day 6 - 8: Sleeping in your spacious bungalow built to a rustic native design surrounded by a vibrant jungle
- Day 5: Visit the "Devil's Bowl" and "Wedding Dress" waterfalls near the tranquil town of Baños
This 10 day adventure package brings you from the highest snow caped active volcano Cotopaxi into the Jungle of the Tena Area. Experience the indigenous life on the Otavalo market and wander around in the Cotopaxi National Park. Challenge yourself with the steep hike up from the Quilotoa Lagoon and enjoy yourself in the tranquil town of Baños de Agua Santa. Stay two nights in the misterious ecuadorian rainforest. Admire the animals in their habitat. For a quick change stop at the Termas de Papallacta and enjoy Spa treatments or walk around the natural reserves in the area. Your last day you´ll spend in the mystic cloud forest of Mindo where you will have the chance to encounter hundreds of different species of native butterflies.
- 9 breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 2 Dinners
- Private Service
- All trip related and airport transfers
- Bilingual guide for tours: Otavalo, Quilotoa, Cotopaxi, Mindo
- Spanish speaking driver for days without a guide
- Comfortable transportation
- Entrance Fees: Mitad del Mundo, and the Intiñan museum; Quitsato; Pailón del Daiblo y Tarabita; Termas Papallacta
- Accommodation in the hotels stated in the itinerary or of similar standard, in a double room
- Drinks and alcoholic beverages
- Travel Insurance
- Local Tax update
- International flights
- Downhill biking in Cotopaxi National Park
- Canopy in Mindo
- Tubing down river in Mindo
Example Trip to customize
Otavalo Indigenous Market
Otavalo will be this morning's enchanting destination. Your first stop will be in Cayambe, where you will taste for yourself the town’s famous bizcochos (biscuits cooked on an open fire) and be blown away by the beautiful scenery of El Lechero, Otavalo and Lago San Pablo. Otavalo is also Ecuador's best indigenous artesanal market, and here you'll have free time to explore, purchase local handicrafts, and here your trusty guide will share insights into the local indigenous culture. After you've shopped yourself sufficiently silly, you´ll make your way to the town of Cotacachi, near the truly beautiful Laguna Cuicocha.
A lagoon in a volcano crater
Your day begins in the right way with a visit to the local market at Saquisili / Pujili (Thursday - Sunday). Then, as you're treated to the captivating views of the Andes on your drive to Quilotoa lagoon, you’ll pass through the ancient canyon of Zumbahua, along with a bunch of towns and farmlands. Here you'll be invited into an indigenous home, giving you the opportunity to share the local way of life. An exciting option presents itself here: why not have a hike down into an extinct volcano crater to the Quilotoa Lagoon, a sparkling, unique emerald lake? The return hike, taking about an hour is quite steep; but you do have the option of renting a mule to make it all a breeze.
A towering snow-capped volcano
Ecuador is home to one of the highest active snow-capped volcanoes in the world, and today you will come face-to-face with Cotopaxi’s symmetric cone as it rises from a vast plain home to llamas, condors and thundering herds of wild horses. This amazing adventure includes hiking and scenic drives through this park’s majestic landscape, as your guide imparts fascinating tidbits about the different fauna, flora and history of the park around you. Cotopaxi has its own micro-climate - this makes the weather very unpredictable, so it's best to pack some warm clothes for this trip.
The tourism-loving town of Baños
Crisply bubbling waterfalls and lush forests surround the tranquil town of Baños. No wonder it's one of the most popular cities for tourism and adventure. Baños, located on the Pastaza River in the High Amazon Basin, isn't called the “Gateway to the Amazon” for nothing. It's also a major religious center, as the local Catholics say that the kindly Virgin Mary appeared nearby the waterfalls to protect the city from natural disasters. Intimately linked with the highly active Tungurahua volcano, the city itself boasts a beautiful central park, as well as waterfalls, including the magical “Devil's Bowl” and “Wedding Dress”.
Your Amazon retreat
Welcome to the Jungle. Fun and games will be had as you arrive to your own amazing Amazon lodge this afternoon. After the long, spectacular drive, try out the relaxing atmosphere of your very own rustic bungalow surrounded by gardens full of amazing jungle plants and flowers. Tonight, you'll be invited to the swanky hotel for a romantic candle-lit dinner. Afterwards you'll find yourself kicking back around an elegant fireplace, sipping your wonderful welcome cocktail, while chatting about the next day's jungle jaunts with the local crew. You'll feel absolutely at home in this beautifully tranquil retreat amongst the nocturnal sights and sounds of the mighty Amazon jungle.
Explore the Jungle and its enchanting views!
After breakfast, you depart by canoe upstream for ten minutes, arriving to a small shore where you begin a fun and thrilling one hour walk, marveling yourselve with the jungle's secondary forest diverse flora and fauna. After our short hike, you'll find yourselve in a breathtaking cascade "La Cascada de Latas" where you will take a refreshing bath in its clear crystal waters and enjoy the surrounding views, which, mixed with the jungle sounds, makes it a unforgettable experience.
After lunch you put on your "wet gear" (rubber boots & rain poncho) to start an exciting walk in the jungle's primary forest ready to find the secret wonders of the mysterious hidden jungle, finding amazing plant species with medicinal properties, which will be explained in detail by our expert native guide: their characteristics and how the jungle inhabitants used them in ancient times. You'll also observe a great variety of insects, small groups of monkeys weaving around the giant trees; though you will need some luck to observe them, you must stay very quiet to admire these beautiful creatures. Dozens of curious colorful birds tag along with us during our walk whistling enchanted notes delighting your senses. After about three hours of walking we come back and arrive to the Lodge. At night, you have dinner and gather around the fireplace. It's time for a good and peaceful rest delighted by the nightly sounds of the jungle.
Enjoy yourself in the Termas de Papallacta
Today you will leave the amazing rainforest and drive back to Quito. On your way you will stop at the Termas de Papallacta where you can enjoy spa treatments or walk at the Rancho de Cañon in the Cayambe- Coca Ecological Reserve. Whatever your decision, you will sure enjoy the Papallacta experience.
Before arriving back to your hotel, you will make a brief city tour through the old town of Quito. The old city of Quito contains a rich and attractive diversity of churches, structures and historical sites, such as “La Plaza De La Independencia”, “La Iglesia De San Francisco” and of course, the mighty “Basilica de voto Nacional”.
Mindo Cloud Forrest
Before you will head to Mindo you'll find yourself at the very middle of the world, on the Equator itself! Take your picture at the Mitad Del Mundo as you stand in both the Southern and the Northern Hemispheres at the exact same time. Delve into Ecuador's rich culture at a visit to the national museum. During your stop at Museum Intiñan, you can witness the bizarre uniqueness of this part of the world for yourself: watch water swirl down the drain both clockwise and anti-clockwise, or defy gravity by balancing an egg on the tip of a nail.
Afterwards you should be prepared to be amazed by the colorful attractions of Mindo, where you visit a beautiful waterfall and then head to a butterfly farm where you will have the chance to encounter hundreds of different species of native butterflies. Complete your afternoon with a hike to the local waterfalls.
At a pre-agreed time, you'll be picked up from your hotel for a transfer to the airport, and return home significantly changed by your out-of-this-world experience. See you next time in Ecuador!!