10 days Andes + 4 days Amazon – Classic

10 nights in Andes /
3 nights in Amazon /

Itinerary

day 1 arrival in Quito + transfer to Otavalo
day 2 Acclimatization – indigenous market – Peguche
day 3 Journey around Lake Cuicocha and to Papallacta
day 4 Laguna de Baños and to Quito
day 5 (flight) to Amazon – day 1 Amazon
day 6 day 2 Amazon
Day 7 Day 3 Amazon
day 8 day 4 Amazon – (flight) to Quito
day 9 city tour of Quito with visit to equator museum and to Cotopaxi.
day 10 excursion to Cotopaxi National Park and to Riobamba
day 11 visit to Chimborazo volcano and to Guamote
day 12 visit villages around Guamote and via Ingapirca to Cuenca
day 13 visit National Park Cajas
day 14 Cuenca city visit and to Guayaquil – return flight

• all excursions with English speaking private guide
• all transfers with private cars!
• For info and support, you can always contact our English-speaking co-worker in Ecuador.

Including

* All hotel nights with breakfast, transfers, domestic flights and excursions as mentioned in the program.
* Lunch and dinner in accordance with the program if stated.

Exclusive

* Drinks, tips and expenses of a personal nature.
* International flights to and from Ecuador.
* Travel or cancellation insurance.

This is an example trip. You can adapt the order of the trip and the choice of hotels and excursions to your wishes. For example, you can combine this trip with another example trip or a subsequent cruise to the Galapagos Islands. The extensive range of hotels, excursions and cruises can be found elsewhere on this website.

DAY 1

Arrival in Quito.

Transfer from Quito to Otavalo in private car (SP-speaking driver)
You will be picked up by a Spanish-speaking driver at the hotel (or airport) and transferred in a private car to the hotel in Otavalo. This ride through the
Andes takes about 2 hours.

DAY 2

Acclimatization – we suggest two activities that one can do on one’s own:

Otavalo – visit to the indigenous market (on your own)
This market in the Plaza de Ponchos is without a doubt the most famous indigenous market in Ecuador. You will find a huge selection of artesanate. The best day to visit this market is on Saturday. There are 4 markets going on simultaneously in different parts of the city. But the artesanate market now also goes on the other days of the week – it is much quieter then. This in turn has its advantages.

Hike to Peguche waterfall (on your own)
The 18-meter-high Peguche waterfall is located 4 kilometers south of Otavalo in a beautiful natural park… The local population of Otavalo celebrates the solar festival of Inti Raymi there on June 21. During several days purification rituals are held here. But also during the rest of the year the park is worth a visit.

DAY 3

Hiking around the crater lake of Cuicocha
Cuicocha is one of the most famous lakes in Ecuador. With a private car we drive to the entrance of the reserve Cotacachi-Cayapas, where we start a 5-hour hike that goes between 3100 and 3500 meters above sea level. Along the way we enjoy the biodiversity, the views of the picturesque Lake Cuicocha with its two islets and the view of the peaks Cotacachi, Imbabura and Cayambe.
Difficulty: moderate
Duration: approximately 7 hours
Included: English speaking local guide, private transport, meal or packed lunch
Required: good walking shoes, sun protection, mosquito repellent, fleece or pullover, water (min. 1 liter)
Recommended: camera, binoculars, rain jacket, reasonable physical condition also at altitude

Transfer from Otavalo to Papallacta in private car
You will be transferred from Otavalo to Papallacta. During this 3-hour drive through the Andes, just after Cayambe you will pass a small equator monument and the El Quinche pilgrimage site, known for its cathedral and typical Indian cemetery.

DAY 4

Hike – The Lakes of Baños (Papallacta).
This hike takes about 3 hours and starts at the entrance of the thermal baths in Papallacta. By car we drive 15 minutes steep up the mountain to the entrance of the National Park Cayambe-Coca at 3800 meters above sea level. From here we walk to the lakes of Baños. On a clear day you have a beautiful view of the Antisana volcano. Along the way we look out for the spectacled bear, mountain deer, mountain tapir, paramo wolves etc.
Included: local guide with limited knowledge of English, transportation by private car H/T from the entrance of the thermal baths.

Transfer from Papallacta to Quito in private car (SP-language driver).
You will be picked up at the hotel and taken to Quito in a 2 hour private car ride

DAY 5

Transfer from hotel to Quito airport in private car (SP-language driver).
You will be picked up at the hotel and transferred to the airport.

Flight from Quito to Coca.
You will be met at the airport by a representative of the lodge who will help you check in. After a 30-minute flight over the peaks of the Andes, we land at the small airport of Coca from where we take a small van to the pier on the Rio Napo.

Canoe trip from Coca to the lodge
A large comfortable covered motor canoe now takes us in a 2.5 hour trip to the pier of the Napo Wildlife Center (NWC). Along the way we take a packed lunch. During this trip you can already spot several local bird species (herons, kingfishers,…). At the pier of the NWC we refresh ourselves and then continue for about 1.5 hours by tree canoe, paddling along a narrow creek, under the trees to the lodge on the other side of the lake. Along the way there is a good chance of seeing monkeys, and several larger bird species such as parrots, toucans and macaws. In the late afternoon you arrive at the lodge on the edge of the beautiful Añangu Lake. You will have a welcome drink and get to know the lodge and its people. After dinner there is the opportunity to participate in the search for caimans around the lake.

If you go to Cuyabeno Lodge (standard) you don’t fly to Coca but to Lago Agrio.

DAY 6

Day 2 Amazon.
You will follow the program of the lodge where you are staying.

DAY 7

Day 3 Amazon.
You will follow the program of the lodge where you are staying.

DAY 8

Dag 4 Amazone
You will follow the program of the lodge where you are staying.

Flight from Amazon to Quito
The canoe and plane will take you back to Quito from the lodge in a few hours.

Transfer from Quito airport to hotel in private car
You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel.

DAY 9

Colonial Quito and the Equatorial Museum
First, with the English-speaking guide, you visit the historic colonial center of Quito, its churches and squares, the modern city and the panoramic point the Panecillo hill. Then we drive to the monument to the equator Mitad del Mundo and the Intiñan museum, where various tests show that we are indeed on the equator line. Also fun for children!
Included: English speaking guide and transportation in private car.
Not included: entrance to museums and meals on the road.
Duration: 5 to 6 hours

Transfer from Quito to Cotopaxi in private car (SP language driver).
You will be transferred to the hotel in Cotopaxi. This is a 1.5 hour drive through the mountains.

DAY 10

The Cotopaxi Volcano.
The driver will pick you up at the hotel in the morning. The National Park is an hour’s drive from Quito. On cloudless days you can admire the mountain from afar. After a short stop at the Mariscal Sucre information point, where you get some information about the region and the volcano, we drive up to 4500 m altitude. From here we go to the refuge which is 365 meters higher. It is a very steep walk that takes us at least an hour considering the high altitude. Then we descend to the Limpiopungo lake which lies at the foot of the volcano. This lake is fed by a volcanic glacier; you often see wild horses grazing and Andean foxes hunting here. Then we return to the hotel by car.
Difficulty: light-moderate.
To bring: protection from the sun and rain, water, sport shoes, camera and warm clothes.
Duration: 6 hours
Includes: English speaking guide, transportation and lunch box

Transfer from Cotopaxi to Riobamba in private car (SP-language driver).
The driver will pick you up at the hotel and take you to the hotel in Riobamba. This drive through the mountains takes about 2 hours.

DAY 11

Visit to the Chimborazo Volcano .
A guide will take you to the National Park. The white peak of Chimborazo (6310 meters) is the center of the nature reserve of the same name. The chances that you will encounter vicuñas (a relative of the llama) are high. There is a first mountain hut at 4800 meters from where you can start walking to the second hut which is located at 5000 meters. You can optionally combine this beautiful day trip with a spectacular descent by mountain bike (20 USD pp – min. 2 pers).
Includes: guide (English spoken); transportation; warm jacket; packed lunch; entrance to National Park.
Duration: 5 hours without the bike – 7 hours with the bike

Transfer from Riobamba to Guamote in private car (SP-language driver).
You will be picked up by a local driver at the hotel and transferred to Guamote in a private car.
Duration: 1 hour

DAY 12

Visit to the indigenous villages around Guamote – private excursion
Today we take a closer look at how the indigenous people live here in this region. After visiting the center of Inti Sisa in Guamote, we head into the mountains. We visit an indigenous school where the children explain how they are taught here. We visit a local weaver who makes ponchos out of alpaca wool and end at an indigenous family who tells about their life in the village. Along the way, you’ll get info on the history of the area and the local culture. Those who wish can then return to Guamote on foot (1.5 hours).
Duration: 4 hours.
Included: English speaking guide; snack and drink.

Transfer from Guamote to Cuenca with on the way visit to Ingapirca (SP-language driver).
From Guamote you will drive in a private car to Cuenca. On the way you will visit the most famous Inca ruins from Ecuador.
Duration: 5.5 hours (3.5 hours driving and 2 hours visit to Ingapirca)
Excluding the entrance to the ruins to be paid on the spot: 6 USD.

DAY 13

Visit to Cajas National Park – private excursion
Cajas National Park has about 200 lakes and lies between 3200 and 4600 meters above sea level. We leave Cuenca in the morning and first visit the lower areas of the National Park, called Llaviucu, which is located at about 3200 meters above sea level. We hike here for about an hour and a half before moving on to the higher ground. There, one of the most beautiful and largest lakes in the park, called La Toreadora, rises. On the shores of this lake grows the Polylepis or paper tree. We hike here for about two hours and a half and then head back towards civilization for lunch in a restaurant that offers typical dishes of the region.
Difficulty: light – moderate.
Bring with you: protection from the sun and rain, camera, water, warm clothes and sturdy walking shoes.
Duration: +/- 7 hours
Includes: English speaking guide, transportation and meals

DAY 14

City tour Cuenca (half day) – private excursion
With an English speaking guide we visit the most beautiful spots of the city. We walk through the San Sebastian district and visit the most beautiful squares, streets and small churches. We make a stop at the Museum of Modern Art and then continue to a workshop where the famous Panama hats are made. We visit the panoramic point of Turi where we have a beautiful view over the city and then return to the hotel. The guide will gladly adapt the visit to your interests and preferences.
Duration: +/- 4 hours
Includes: English speaking guide and transportation
Excluding: entrance museums.

Transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil in private car (SP-language driver).
On this scenic drive, you will drive with a local SP-language driver from Cuenca to Guayaquil. The road descends gradually from the Andes Mountains to the coastal plain.
Duration: +/- 4 hours.

Remarks

* All transfers are done with private car and Spanish-speaking driver unless otherwise stated
* Mentioned trips and excursions are examples from a wider range. Check out our website for more options.
* This travel proposal is based on double standard rooms, unless stated otherwise. Surcharges for single rooms or deluxe rooms are on request.
* This travel proposal is without obligation, depending on the travel period and subject to availability.
* In the final travel program, certain fixed days of activities must be taken into account, such as Indian markets, departure dates of cruises and flights, etc. We do everything possible to optimally integrate the mentioned activities into the program.

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