This is the opportunity to discover the marvelous Ecuador mainland
ECUADOR MAINLAND 9 Days/8 Nights
Arrival to the Capital of Ecuador (2850mts.). Your guide and transport will be waiting for you at the International Terminal of Quito´s Airport to take you directly to your hotel. After one hour drive, you will be accommodated at your hotel. Overnight. (-,-,-)
Today, you will have a visit to downtown Quito, one of the most beautiful and historical cities in South America, which was declared by UNESCO a “World Cultural Heritage”. You will start the tour visiting modern and colonial districts. You will start the tour visiting modern and colonial districts. First, the “Balcon Quiteño”, the Legislative Palace, the colonial center, the Independence Plaza, the Caron¬delet Palace (Government Palace) the Metropolitan Cathedral, “La Compañía” and “San Francisco” churches and a drive to “El Panecillo”. Here, you will have the best views of Quito and the surrounding snowcapped volcanoes!
You will continue towards the Middle of the World. There, you will find a monument, where you can put one foot in the North Hemisphere and the other foot on the South Hemisphere. Just outside the Middle of the World, there is an interesting open-air museum called Inti-Ñan. It explains the solar system, the effect of the equator position has on gravity and ancient cultures and their peculiarities. This is definitely worth a visit!. Overnight. (B,-,-)
In the morning, you will be picked up from the hotel. In about two hours you reach Otavalo. This town is famous for its weaving, music and culture. The Otavalo´s indigenous community is one of the most prosperous in Ecuador. Nowadays, you find their handicrafts and music all over Ecuador and the world. The town of Otavalo is the heart of their culture and at the marketplace you will find all possible souvenirs at cheap prices. On Saturdays, there is also an animal market taking place just outside town.
In the afternoon, you will visit the main sites in the surroundings of Otavalo and the town of Cotacachi, famous for its leather products. Afterwards, you will visit the Lake of Cuicocha. This lake is situated in an old crater of a still active volcano. There, you will have beautiful views of the Imbabura and Cotacachi volcano, as well as, the surrounding valley with the cities of Otavalo and Ibarra. Overnight. (B,-,-).
You will be driven by a private transport towards the Volcano Avenue. The first stop will be the Cotopaxi National Park, this natural reserve lies at the foot of the world’s highest active snow-capped volcano (5897 m.). You will continue your way into the park and stop at the Limpiopungo Lake at 3800 mts., here you can make an acclimatizing walk while observing semi-wild horses, a variety of ducks and hummingbirds and the Andean gull and lapwing. On clear days you have the most incredible views up here. Enjoy the incredible picture opportunities and the spectacular scenery at walls of ice and deep crevasses. In the afternoon, you will visit a nice Rose Plantation. At this farm, you will see the famous Ecuadorian rose and its entire lifecycle. This is an opportunity to learn not only about all the diversity and colorful roses that Ecuador produces; but also a chance to see all the interaction that companies have with the communities. Finally, you will be driven to Baños. Overnight. (B,-,-).
Today, you will visit one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Ecuador, “El Pailon del Diablo”, which is located through the “Route of the Cascades”. Baños is the entrance of the Amazon region and the temperature is already changing after 15 minutes. You will visit the Agoyán waterfall; the ports of heaven, which is a symbol for the entrance to the jungle, the waterfall and tarabita “Manto de la novia” (the veil of the bride) and the tarabita of San Pedro. Baños has a nice center to stroll around, look for souvenirs, or simply enjoy a delicious meal in one of its many restaurants. This marvellous town has also healthy thermal baths to relax. In the afternoon, you will travel to Riobamba. The city is surrounded by mountains and while sitting at the foot of Chimborazo volcano, one gets the world’s highest view from the center of the Earth. Riobamba is an important historic and cultural landmark of Ecuador. It was the first city founded by the Spaniards in what is now Ecuador, founded in 1530. Riobamba was completely destroyed by earthquake in 1797, but rebuilt a few years later 14 km (9 miles) away from its original location, near a village named Cajabamba. Overnight. (B,-,-).
Early in the morning, you will travel to Alausi where the train experience start. Several plans were made to build the railway from Guayaquil to Quito, since 1860 until 1874, this project was called at that time “the most difficult railway built in the world” because the tracks reached a huge obstacle, an almost perpendicular wall of rock, called the “Devil´s Nose”. Many lives were shed in the building of what until now is called a masterpiece of railway engineering: a zig-zag carved out of the rock, which allows the train, by advancing and backing up, to reach the necessary height to the town of Alausí.
After the train experience, you will continue to visit the Ingapirca ruins, located in the province of Cañar. Ingapirca means “Incas stone wall”. It is believed today that Ingapirca was both a religious and administrative center, as well as a fortress. The Incas built the complex on top of an old Cañari settlement. The vast archeological complex of the ruins includes a roofless fortification, courtyards, terraces, temples, houses and a “castle”, possibly the “Temple of the Sun”. Finally, you will continue to Cuenca. Overnight. (B,-,-)
Early in the morning, you will start a city tour through the Colonial Cuenca. This city is one of Ecuador’s colonial jewels, with orderly classified cobblestone streets, houses and buildings characterized by their elegant and unique metal balconies, adorned with abundant spring plants. Typical markets and stores show the region’s cultural wealth, a heredity of its Indigenous ancestors. Cuenca is one of Ecuador’s most visited cities. You will admire lovely balconies, tiles, pink marble stone and wood with which most of its fantastic houses are built. The city tour ends with a walk around the ancient city, where you will find enchanting churches, cloisters, museums, and houses. Overnight. (B,-,-)
A day tour through one of Ecuador’s most impressive areas covered by mysterious lakes and enchanted forests!. You will notice the change of vegetation, leaving the valley of Cuenca and crossing Andean cloud forests which lead you to the high and abandoned moor with many grass, crystalline streams and rocky peaks. You will start on one of the highest points in the park from where you will descend through the diverse vegetation with many colourful flowers such as gentians and chuquiraguas. Further on you will get to a small Polylepis forest extension. The Polylepis tree, with its funny paper-like barks of a red-brownish color, is one of the oldest and highest growing tree species in the world. Once in the forest you will have the feeling to be in the middle of fairy tale like surroundings.
On the way, you will stop on a cocoa farm to know more about its production. The cocoa beans from Ecuador are very famous for its specific fine aroma. Cocoa plays a very important role in Ecuador´s history and economy due to this country produces the 4% of the world production, however from the fine upper class cocoa, the country is responsible for 70% of the world production. Cocoa is a symbol product of Ecuador, since it has been part of the history since 1800´s. On this visit you will observe the process of transforming the fermented, dried cocoa almonds into fine chocolate bars.
Then, you will be driven to Guayaquil. This is a populous city in Ecuador; and the nation’s main port. The Malecón 2000 is a restoration project of the historic Simon Bolivar Pier. It will be a symbolic center of the city, a mix of green areas and shopping. Las Peñas Neighborhood in the northeast corner of the city’s center, is the artistic center of the city. Many of the area’s 400-year-old houses have been converted into art galleries and several notable artists have studios in the area. Overnight. (B,-,-)
Transfer to the airport for individual flight.
|Day 1||Quito (Airport) – Arrival transfer( Highlands)|
|Day 2||Quito City Line|
|Day 3||Quito – Otavalo|
|Day 4||Otavalo – Cotopaxi National Park – Baños|
|Day 5||Baños – Riobamba|
|Day 6||Riobamba – Alausí – Devil´s Nose Train – Ingapirca – Cuenca|
|Day 7||Cuenca City Tour|
|Day 8||Cuenca – Cajas National Park – Guayaquil|
|Day 9||Guayaquil – Transfer out|
|GROSS RATES PER PERSON IN DOUBLE ROOM IN DOLLARS|
|Number of passengers||2 PAX||4 PAX||Single Supplement|
|Price per person in double room||$1519||$1263||$ 299|
|Supplement for German Speaking guide||$182||$92|