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On the 12-Day Ecuador Complete Tour, enjoy the best of Ecuador, Forests, snow-capped mountains, rivers and endless number of spectacular sites, near or far from the big cities, Ecuador is a wonderful country that summarizes on its compact territory all the beauties of the South American Region, the Ecuador Complete Tour itinerary was designed with the best local tourist destinations that will allow the visitor to live a one in a life time travel experience.
Ecuador is mega-diverse, you will have the opportunity to meet wild, reptiles, birds, plants and more, we encourage you to plan your next vacation in Ecuador which will be a wonderful adventure.
Start in Quito and end in Guayaquil
To be confirmed on booking
To be confirmed on booking
Highlands: Fleece jacket, wind proof rain jacket, hoodi, beanie, gloves.
In the morning we start with the exploring of one of the largest and best preserved historic centres during a city tour in Quito. After lunch we will be heading towards Otavalo, an indigenous town only 2 and half hours away from Quito. This trip will be a great mix of culture and beautiful landscapes as you will be surrounded by three impressive peaks; the Imbabura, Cotocachi and Mojanda volcano.
Before we get there we will make two interesting stops. The first one will be at the equator line, where you will find yourself at the Middle of the World. The second one will be at the San Pablo viewpoint, where you will have a stunning view over the San Pablo Lake and Imbabura volcano. After arriving to Otavalo you will have the afternoon for yourself. Accommodation in Otavalo.
he people from Otavalo are especially known for their great capacity to weave textiles, which are sold along musical instruments, leather and jewelry on of the most famous handicrafts market in Ecuador. Besides it is amazing to witness the Otavaleños in their still traditional clothing. You will also visit the surrounding towns like Cotacahi, better known as Ecuador’s leather capital and Peguche, known for the beautiful 18 meters high waterfall. In the afternoon we will be heading back to Quito to continue our journey south. Accommodation in Quito.
Today we will be heading towards Tena, our launching point for our jungle experience in the amazing tropical rainforest. But on our way we will first stop by Papallacta, a small town at an altitude of 3.300 meters high and located on the road to the Amazon Rainforest. The scenic drive from Quito will only take about 2 hours and offers incredible views of surrounding mountains and glaciers before the ecosystems changes from alpine into tropical jungle. Our main reasons to visit Papallacta are the Hot Springs, where a high level of relaxation is offered in one of the 9 thermal baths.
Upon arrival at the lodge you will be greeted with a refreshing ice tea and lunch. A short briefing will be given about your stay at the lodge and your activities. In the afternoon you will be making a hike through the rainforest under towering tress where the guide will enlighten us with his knowledge on life in the forest and medicinal plants that were already used by locals for centuries. It is good to bring your bathing suit as you will be going on a fun river tubing excursion from the private river beach at the lodge. At night you can enjoy from the sounds of the jungle while having your welcome dinner. Accommodation in jungle lodge.
You’ll awake to birdsong and the soothing sound of the river. Head over to the main lodge for a hearty breakfast of homemade bread, tropical fruits, yogurt, eggs, pancakes, cheese, homemade granola, juice, coffee and tea complemented by a rainforest view.
Today the guided hike will lead you across muddy swamps on log bridges, through the dense jungle of natural tree fall gaps, and beneath the under story shade of pristine rainforest. Along the way you will learn about medicinal plants, taste edible fruits and insects and discover how to weave traditional palm-fiber bags while visiting one of the waterfalls of the area.
We will stop by Misahualli as well, better known for the monkeys that live inside the town. During a visit with an indigenous Kichwa community we can learn more about their ancient customs and everyday life. You will also have the opportunity to buy crafts, local products and souvenirs.
The rest of your time you can spend relaxing at the swimming pool or enjoy from a nice cocktail at the bar. At dinner you can try another great local dish. Accommodation in jungle lodge.
After another great breakfast – you will learn how to harvest cacao and then learn how to create some of the world’s highest quality chocolate in the world of our Kichwa Kitchen. Following your successful chocolate recipe, it is time to pack and check out of the Lodge and continue our way to Baños, one of the most popular tourist attractions of Ecuador. Accommodation in Baños.
Baños de Agua Santa offers a great mix of lush forest, several waterfalls and thermal hot springs. Visiting this town you can appreciate the pretty cathedral, try Baños’s famous ‘Melcocha’ candy made out of sugar cane, observe the three biggest waterfalls of the area during the waterfall route and relax in one of the hot springs, which have the reputation of having healing properties due to various minerals. Accommodation in Baños.
Today we will visit the Quilotoa Lake, which is a water-filled caldera, located about 3 hours from Baños. With a visit to the viewpoint you will have a stunning view of the 3-kilometre wide greenish lake and the surrounding mountains. This will also be your starting point for a fun hike downhill towards the Quilotoa Lake. After hiking back up or taking one of the mules we will continue our journey to Chugchilan, a tiny authentic Andean village offering you a breathtaking scenery. Accommodation in Chugchilan.
From Chugchilan we will go further north to make a visit to a still active and almost perfect strato volcano with an altitude of 5.897 meters above sea level. A track goes up from the Cotopaxi national park entrance all the way to the parking lot located at 4.600 meters. On your way you will pass by the Limpiopungo Crater Lake, from where you will have an incredible view over the Cotopaxi and the surrounding rustic Andean landscapes. The Jose F. Ribas Refuge is situated 200 meters higher and is a perfect spot to reach while making the unique hike up the volcano.
After our visit we will be heading further south towards Riobamba, which is a great place to spend the night as we will be already closer to the starting point of our next day adventure by train. Accommodation in Riobamba.
Today it will take us only one hour and a half to get to Alausi, where we can explore the Andes like never before! On a zigzag railroad we wil descend more than 500 meters in less than 12 kilometres by train while having amind-blowing view of the narrow gorge of river Chanchan and the Devil’s Nose mountain. After this exciting ride we will be heading further south toCuenca, a beautiful city with colonial Spanish architecture. On our way we will visit Ingapirca, the largest and most important Inca ruins of the Country. Here we can observe as well the remains of the earlier settlements of the Cañari indigenous people. The most significant building of Ingapirca is definitely theTemple of the Sun, which was constructed around a large rock in the typical Inca way. Accommodation in Cuenca.
Our day begins at the Riobamba station where we will board a train. This train passes through the Cajabamba and the Colta lagoons, and Guamote village. It climbs to a little picturesque town in the highlands called Alausí. Next comes the most exhilarating part of the journey: The train zigzags up and down 45-degree gradient called “Nariz del Diablo” (Devil’s Nose). After this spectacular ride the train goes backwards, and then returns to Alausí. After the train trip we will continue to the Ingapirca ruins, located in the Cañar province. Ingapirca, which means “Incas stone wall” is believed today that worked both a religious and administrative center, as well as a fortress. The Incas built the complex on top of an old Cañari tribe settlement and consists of a roofless fortification, courtyards, terraces, temples, houses and a “castle” considered to be the “Temple of the Sun”. After Ingapirca we will continue to Cuenca.
Upper Class Hotel: Hotel Carvallo
Today we will be trading in the Andes landscapes and climate as we will be heading towards the coast and visit the largest and most populous city of Ecuador; Guayaquil. One of the most notable places is the Malecon 2000, which is a boulevard mixed with green areas and shopping offering you a great view over the river Guayas. Another interesting place that you can’t miss visiting is the Seminario Park, also better known as the Iguana Park, because it is home to many iguanas often fed by tourists and locals. There is also a pond filled with turtles and fish and sometimes a curious squirrel pays a visit as well. Accommodation in Guayaquil.
We will transfer to the airport for your International flight or to your Galapagos tour extension.
END OF SERVICES.
All itineraries are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control including but not limited to weather, road, trail, sea conditions flight schedules adjustments or cancellations, local authorities orders.
important note: Itinerary subject to availability, lodging changes might occur but the route will remain (route will only be modified due to mayor force reasons).