Otavalo: two nights + excursion to Cuicocha
Quito: an overnight stay + city tour Quito
Cotopaxi: overnight stay + visit to the volcano
Guamote: three nights + excursion indigenous villages around Guamote, lakes of Ozogoche, Condor walk and visit to Inca ruins
Cuenca: two nights + excursion Cajas National Park and city tour Cuenca
All transfers with private car!
* 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.
* 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.
Arrival from Belgium in Quito
Transfer from Quito to Otavalo in private car
You will be picked up by a Spanish-speaking driver at the hotel (or the airport) and taken to the hotel in Otavalo in a private vehicle. This drive through the Andes Mountains takes approximately 2 hours.
Acclimatization: we suggest two activities that you can do on your own:
Otavalo – visit to the indigenous market (under your own steam)
This market in the Plaza de Ponchos is without a doubt Ecuador’s most famous indigenous market. You will find a huge range of artesanate there. The best day to visit this market is on Saturday. At the same time, 4 markets take place in different places in the city. But the artesanate market now also continues on the other days of the week – it is then a lot quieter. That also has its advantages.
Hike to the waterfall of Peguche (under your own steam)
The 18 meter high waterfall of Peguche is close to the hotel. The local people of Otavalo celebrate the Sun Festival of Inti Raymi on June 21. Purification rituals are held here for several days. The falls are located in a small nature reserve.
Hiking tour around the crater lake of Cuicocha
Cuicocha is one of the most beautiful lakes in Ecuador. In a private car we drive to the entrance of the Cotacachi-Cayapas Reserve, where we start a 5-hour walking tour that runs between 3,100 and 3,500 meters above sea level. Along the way, we enjoy the biodiversity, the views of the picturesque lake of Cuicocha with its two islands, as well as the panorama of the mountain peaks of Cotacachi, Imbabura and Cayambe. Difficulty: moderate Duration: approx. 7 hours Included: English speaking local guide, private transport, meal or packed lunch Mandatory: good walking shoes, sun protection, mosquito repellent, fleece or pull, water (min.1 liter) Recommended: camera, binoculars, rain jacket, reasonable condition also at height
Transfer from Otavalo to Quito in private car
You will be picked up at the hotel by a Spanish-speaking driver and taken to Quito in a private vehicle. This drive through the Andes Mountains takes approximately 2 hours.
For this private excursion, the guide will pick you up by car from the hotel. We visit the old and the new Quito: the parliament, the presidential palace, the Plaza de Independencia and the churches of San Francisco, La Compania and the cathedral. Then we go to El Panecillo, the statue of the angel and panoramic point that sits high above Quito. The guide provides information about Quito and Ecuador. The entrance to the listed attractions is subject to opening hours. Included: English speaking guide and private transport. Not included: possible meal, entrance to museums and churches. Duration: 4 to 5 hours.
Transfer from Quito to Cotopaxi in private vehicle
You will be transferred to the hotel in Cotopaxi. It is a 2-hour drive through the mountains.
Day trip Cotopaxi National Park
After breakfast we drive into the national park. In the morning the chance of seeing the snowy volcano top clear of clouds is considerably higher than in the afternoon. We make a stop at Lake Limpiopungo where you can take beautiful pictures. Then we drive on to the parking lot at the foot of the volcano. From here we move on at foot. It is only a short distance to the refugio but due to the height it is quite a climb. At the refugio we enjoy the beautiful view of the National Park and some other volcanoes. Then we hike a little further to the 5000 meter altitude, where the glacier starts. If the height plays tricks on you, you descend back to the car. Included: transport in private car, English speaking guide and lunch box.
Transfer from Cotopaxi to Guamote in private vehicle (SP-speaking driver)
Guamote indigenous market (Thursdays only)
As you drive into Guamote from the mountains on Thursday morning, you will see a sea of red ponchos: thousands of indigenous farmers and craftsmen come from around the area to buy and sell their animals, vegetables, fruits and other wares. This ancient market is perhaps the most authentic of the Ecuadorian Andes. There are several squares inside and outside the town (with animals, vegetables, …). Very early on it is very busy. You will be dropped off at a meeting point in the market and picked up again two hours later.
Visit to the indigenous villages around Guamote
Today we take a closer look at how the indigenous people live here in this region. After visiting Inti Sisa’s own center in Guamote, we head into the mountains. We visit an ans school where the children explain how they are taught here. We visit a local weaver who makes alpaca wool ponchos and end up with an indigenous family who talk about their life in the village. Along the way you will receive information about the history of the region and the local culture. If you wish, you can then return to Guamote on foot (1.5 hours). Duration: 4 hours. Included: English speaking guide; snack and drink.
One day trekking Atillo-Ozogoche
The day begins with a short drive of about an hour from Guamote to the Lakes of Atillo. We start the tour with a short walk to the viewpoint where we can admire the lakes. Afterwards the tour starts that will lead us along various mountains and lakes for four to five hours. We climb from 3800 meters to 4100 meters and after that a considerable descent starts. The landscape mainly contains beautiful expanses of grass with small and large lakes in between. Around noon we arrive in Ozogoche where we have a nice lunch and then the drive back to the hotel begins. Difficulty: average. Duration: 7 hours. Included: English speaking guide, return transport, boots (if desired), midday stomach, snack and water, contribution to the community, above-mentioned activity. To bring: sun and rain protection, water bottle, photo camera, sturdy walking shoes, gloves and hat.
Transfer to Cuenca incl. Condor’s nest walk and Ingapirca
We leave Guamote in the morning and drive about 40 minutes to Alausí where our hike begins. Once in Alausí we start a 7 kilometer walk where we can enjoy the impressive environment that the Ecuadorian Andes has to offer. The first 2 kilometers we walk on the train tracks of “el Nariz del Diablo”. When this train track begins its descent, we continue along a small hiking trail that takes us deeper into the Ecuadorian Andes. During the entire walk we can see the train track, down in the valley. We are accompanied by a local, English speaking guide, who gives us more information about the area and its legends. After 2.5 hours of walking, we arrive at the viewpoint “Condor Puñuna”, loosely translated from Kichwa “the nest of the condor. From here we have a beautiful view over Sibambe train station. We are standing on the head of the Devil’s Nose at an altitude of about 2,250m. Very exceptionally we can observe Condors here. After the walk we have lunch in the local restaurant on top of the devil’s nose. After lunch, the driver will be waiting for us to continue our journey to Cuenca with a stopover in Ingapirca, the oldest Inca ruins in Ecuador. Duration: all day. Included: English speaking guide, transport, entrance Condor Puñuna, lunch, water and a snack. To bring: sun and rain protection, water bottle, camera and sporty footwear.
Cajas National Park: day trip with private guide
Departing from Cuenca we first go to Llaviucu – that is the “lower” part of the National Park (3160 meters) – where we visit the lake and take a hike of about 1.5 hours. Then we retreat to the bus and go to the higher part of the park (3800 – 4000 meters). Here we visit 3 medium-sized lakes (Toteadora, Totoras y Patoquinuas) and 2 smaller lakes. From here the hike goes down and takes about 3 hours. Before we drive back to Cuenca we eat lunch in a restaurant. Duration: 8 hours. Included: transport, bilingual guide, lunch.
City tour Cuenca (half day) with private guide
With an English-speaking guide you will visit the most beautiful places in the city: San Sebastián (the square, the church and the museum of modern art), Cruz del Vado Condamine, the market 10 de Agosto, the Plaza San Francisco, the Parque de las Flores , the new cathedral, the Parque Calderon (with the old cathedral, the palace of justice and the Casas Aledañas), the Panama hat factory of Homero Ortega, Barranco and the panoramic point of Turi. Duration: 4 hours. Included: transport, bilingual guide. Not included: entrance to museums.
Transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil in private vehicle
During this beautiful ride you drive (with local SP-speaking driver) from Cuenca to Guayaquil. The road gradually descends from the Andes Mountains to the coastal plain. After four hours of driving you will arrive in Guayaquil.
* 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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