Quito / Cotopaxi / Baños / Riobamba / Ingapirca / Cuenca / Guayaquil

Highlights:

  • City tours of Quito and Cuenca – both UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Tour the Middle of the World Monument
  • Hike in Cotopaxi National Park – see diverse flora and fauna
  • Ride the famous Devil’s Nose train
  • Travel to Chimborazo – the highest volcano in Ecuador

ACCOMODATIONS

CITYNIGHTSHOTELS
Quito1Reina Isabel/ Fuente de Piedra 1 (Standard Room)
Cotopaxi1Hacienda La Cienega (Standard Room)
Baños1Hotel Floresta (Standard Room)
Riobamba1Mansión Santa Isabella (Standard Room)
Cuenca2Hotel Casa del Aguila (Standard Room)
Guayaquil1Grand Hotel/ Unipark
DAY 1
Arrival in Quito

Welcome to Quito! Upon arrival you will be met and taken to your hotel. Then enjoy a walking tour of the historical city center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where you will see beautiful churches and famous plazas. In the afternoon, head to the Middle of the World Monument. In the afternoon we will drive to the famous Equator Monument “Middle of the World.” (L)

DAY 2
Quito | Cotopaxi

Head south to the Cotopaxi province. Stop along the way at an indigenous market which sells everything from handcrafts to fresh picked produce. Then continue along winding roads that pass the most beautiful landscapes of the Ecuadorian Andes to reach the picturesque Quilotoa crater lake, where you can walk down to the turquoise lake shores. (B,L,D)

DAY 3
Cotopaxi | Baños

Morning drive to Cotopaxi National Park to do a short hike at the foot of the snow-capped colossus and discover its diverse flora and fauna. Afterwards you will continue to an altitude of 4,500 meters, where the view changes to a bizarre and barren landscape. Then ascend to the José Ribas refuge, at 4,800 meters, from where is possible to see the impressive glaciers. Later, visit one of the many rose plantations, see the different kinds of roses and learn about the production process.(B,L)

DAY 4
Baños | Riobamba

Tour “The Route of the Waterfalls”, which runs along the Pastaza River Gorge. The highlight of this route is located by Rio Verde, where you will have a short walk through the cloud forest to reach the thundering waterfall known as “Pailon del Diablo” (Devil’s cauldron). In the afternoon, continue to the country’s highest volcano, Chimborazo (6,310 m), where you will be greeted by a desert-like landscape and herds of shy vicuñas. (B,D)

DAY 5
Riobamba | Ingapirca | Cuenca

Depart early in the morning through picturesque landscapes to reach Alausí´s train station, where you will board one of the famous Devil’s Nose train. It is an unforgettable train ride down an almost sheer rock face, making switchbacks all the way down the cliff and then back up again. Next, visit the Ingapirca archaeological complex, the largest Inca site in Ecuador. Learn about the Inca and Cañari cultures by touring the beautiful temples and fortifications. (B, L, D)

DAY 6
Cuenca

Tour the beautiful colonial city of Cuenca, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The promenade along the Rio Tomebamba, the imposing new cathedral and the daily flower market are just a few of the highlights along with a visit to a workshop and museum of the famous Panama hat, the finest braided hats in the world. Enjoy lunch at another local restaurant which specializes in fusion cuisine. The afternoon is yours to explore on your own. (B,L)

DAY 7
Cuenca | Guayaquil

Morning drive to Guayaquil, through El Cajas National Park, see an astounding variety of plant and animal life, rugged ridges, box-shaped valleys and nearly 240 lagoons. At the most western watershed between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, you will make a short stop to take in the landscape and shoot pictures. As your route starts descending to the coastal region, the vegetation grows in size and variety. You will see extensive cocoa, bananas, rice, and sugar cane plantations. Later tour Guayaquil on foot, visiting Parque Bolivar, Plaza de Administración, the Moorish Clock Tower and many other attractions. (B,D)

DAY 8
Depart Guayaquil

Transfer to the airport for your return flight. (B)

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