You arrive at Quito, Ecuador’s capital, from where we will start with the program. Your guide will be waiting in the airport to pick you up and to bring you to your hotel. (-/-/-)
After breakfast we will start exploring the city. In the morning we will visit the historic city center which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978. While walking around, your guide will show you the most beautiful colonial buildings and churches.
In the afternoon we will visit the Middle of the World (“Mitad del Mundo”), the place where in the 18th century the Equator was determined to cross – the French scientists missed it only about 180 meters. There you can visit the famous monument and various exhibitions. At Inti Ñan Museum – close to the village at the actual Equator – you can participate in different experiments that demonstrate the Equator’s effects. In the evening you return to your hotel in Quito. (B/-/-)
Early in the morning we will leave Quito and head to the dry forest of Jerusalem, a unique place due to its microclimate and biodiversity. Afterwards you will visit one of the main rose plantations of Ecuador to learn about the process of production and exportation of the flowers. In the end we will arrive at Otavalo, a city north of Quito and famous for its indigenous market where you can find everything from spices to handicrafts and clothes. You will spend the night in Otavalo. (B/-/-)
Early in the morning we will leave to discover the forest of Frailejon, this is an endemic species we will enjoy a full day of activity. Return to Salinas de Ibarra in the afternoon (B/-/-)
This day is dedicated to enjoy Ecuador’s beauty by train. We will start in Tumbabiro and will go to train station. Salinas is an attractive destination with a dry and warm climate and is home to an important Afro-Ecuadorian population. Our excursion will be from Salinas to Otavalo.
After breakfast, we will head to the famous Cuicocha Lagoon, a crater lake at the foot of Cotacachi volcano, located in the Cotacachi-Cayapas Reserve. In the afternoon we will continue our journey to Mindo, a small village in the heart of Ecuador’s cloud forest, overnight in Mindo (B/-/-)
Mindo is one of the places on Earth with the biggest biodiversity and is popular especially among birdwatchers. It is located at 1250 meters above sea level and surrounded by approx. 19.000 hectares of protected forest, named Mindo Nambillo. Around 500 different types of birds and 90 species of butterflies call this place their home. Besides, it offers a variety of outdoor sports such as hiking, tubing or canopy. (B/-/-)
We will leave Mindo early in the morning and make your way to Pululahua reserve. Pululahua is a big, inhabited volcano crater close to Quito with rich flora. The crater was formed by the successive eruptions of Pululahua volcano more than 2000 years ago.
After visiting Pululahua crater we will continue through the Andean highlands until we get to Machachi. Overnight in Machachi. (B/-/-)
The Cotopaxi volcano is located approximately 45 km south east of Quito and is the highest active volcano in the world. We will visit the Limpiopungo lagoon from where you have – on clear days – a beautiful view of other volcanoes like the Sincholagua, Rumiñahui and Quilindaña.
After visiting Cotopaxi National Park you will head to the famous Quilotoa lagoon. It has a diameter of almost nine kilometers and in the sunlight its color can change from blue to green due to the minerals that exist in the water.
Overnight in Quilotoa (B/-/-)
After breakfast you will visit Quilotoa lagoon, we will drive to Baños de Agua Santa, a great spot for various outdoor activities. Besides participating in activities such as rafting, cannoning, canopy or trekking, you can also enjoy a relaxed day in hot springs. We will spend the night in one of the several beautiful hotels in town. (B/-/-)
Today we will have the whole day to explore Baños and its surroundings. We will visit different waterfalls, the famous tree house where you can “swing above the world” and other attractions the area has to offer. (B/-/-)
We will head towards the Ecological Reserve of Chimborazo; this reserve is home an important population of vicuñas reintroduced from Peru and Chile. Here also live 38 indigenous communities; they grow potatoes, beans, barley, mellocos and geese in the lower parts of the reserve. They were “Hieleros of Chimborazo”, people who were engaged in cutting large blocks of ice from the glacier that wrapped in straw moor and transported to Riobamba and the Coast.We will continue our trip to Alausí. Overnight in hotel. (B/-/-)
Today we will have an exciting tour by train known as Devil´s Nose, singular training on which the railway zigzags to overcome surly Andean geography. This was biggest obstacle faced the work of Ecuadorian railroad.
Then we will go to the archeological complex of Ingapirca, it is an authentically Inca construction made at the beginning of XVI century, this place was considered by Incas as observatory of the sun and moon shortly before the arrival of the Spaniards to this area.We will continue our trip towards Cuenca. (B/-/-)
Its Historical Center was declared Patrimony of the Humanity by UNESCO in 1999; here will make a tour of the main attraction such as: museums, squares and we will also visit craft workshops where developed handicrafts, weaving, embroidery, ceramics, and silverware among other attractions.
If we have enough time, we could visit Chordeleg famous place for making finest jewels made in gold and silver.
Overnight in Cuenca (B/-/-)
Cajas reserve is a natural step between the Sierra and the Coast and was used by Cañaris who inhabited the area before Incas and Spanish invasions. The Incas built a way of which today can explore a small stretch that connected Cuenca and the Coast. There are many routes in this area but we will tour the most picturesque and easily accessible. (B/-/-)
Our activities begin with the visit to Kichwa indigenous community of Saraguros, this community that has remained customs, rites, and festivities inherited from their ancestors even with the conquest of Spaniards their traditions were not affected.
After this our trip will continue to Loja city where we will visit the main historical places of this city.
Overnight in Loja (B/-/-)
After breakfast we will drive to Podocarpus National Park, its name due to a species of native of Ecuador called Podocarpus, here we will a hike we can admire the benefits this ecosystem provides. Then we will drive to get Vilcabamba known as the valley of longevity because her inhabit older people of Ecuador, they are attributed a good health for drinking water form rivers surrounding this valley being able to eliminate cholesterol and cure rheumatism.Overnight in Vilcabamba (B/-/-)
Today will be an interesting day to explore this beautiful valley; we will have some options such as: ascent to Madango hill, visit farms and learn about the coffee crops the most exquisite in the area or visit the grindings where there is processed juice of cane and guarapo (brown sugar loaf -cane liquor) (B/-/-)
This day our destiny will be towards Zaruma, it is one of oldest cities of Ecuador and it preserves still an important architectural patrimony, Zaruma was declared as Cultural Patrimony of the Humanity by UNESCO in 1998. It city was populated by the attractive mining activity that develops and the majority of population is dedicated to the extraction of gold.
We will visit the mine EL Sexmo, this place was important in XV and XVI centuries for Royal Audience of Quito; also the history says that from this place was extracted gold to rescue Atahualpa.Overnight in Zaruma (B/-/-)
After breakfast we drive to the petrified forest of Puyango, this is a protected area of 2569 hectares, its main attraction of this area in the number of petrified logs considered as one of collections of this type in the world; these fossils belong to marine organisms and also has an important flora and fauna endemic.
Then we will continue to Machala to perform a panoramic visit of the city, Machala is known as “Capital Mundial del Banano” because from here through Puerto Bolivar is exported this precious fruit to the entire world. (B/-/-)
Banana tour teaches visitors the whole process of banana production – everything from panting bananas until the day the harvest, and then we will continue to Guayaquil, we will take a night tour along Malecon. (B/-/-)
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