14 days Andes + 4 days Amazon + 4 days Coast – Classic

14 nights in Andes /
3 nights in Amazon /
3 nights in the Coast

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 and visit to the equator museum. To Mindo
day 10 the waterfalls of Mindo
day 11 hiking Yellow House Path and to Cotopaxi
day 12 excursion National Park Cotopaxi and to Baños
day 13 Baños free day – we suggest hiking to Luna Volcan
day 14 route of the waterfalls and to Riobamba
Day 15 Visit Chimborazo volcano and to Guamote
day 16 visit villages around Guamote and via Ingapirca to Cuenca
day 17 visit National Park Cajas
day 18 Cuenca city visit and transfer to Puerto Lopez
day 19 Machalilla National Park: Los Frailes
day 20 Machalilla National Park: Isla de la Plata
day 21 to Guayaquil and 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.
You will be picked up by a Spanish-speaking driver and taken in a private car to the hotel in Otavalo. This drive through the Andes Mountains 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 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
5-hour hike 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 fitness also at altitude.

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

DAY 4

Hiking tour – 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, the mountain deer, the 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 drive by private car.

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

Day 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 you visit with the English-speaking guide 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 en route.
Duration: 5 to 6 hours

Transfer from Quito to Mindo in private car
This ride with SP-language driver in private car takes about 2 hours.

DAY 10

The waterfalls of Mindo
By car, after 20 minutes of driving through the forest, we reach the entrance to the park. Here you cross a valley 530 meters wide by cable car. Once across, there are trails that lead to seven different waterfalls. It is a beautiful hike with opportunities to swim and with beautiful views. However, it can be quite busy on weekends.
Duration: 4 hours. Included: transport, english speaking guide and entrance.

In the luxury version you follow the program of the lodge.

DAY 11

Hiking along the Yellow House trail
This vast private forest – 500 acres in size – features well-maintained trails that lead you high into the forest and offer beautiful views of the valley. Along the path you’ll find butterflies, birds and beautiful flowers. And if you’re lucky you might see armadillos, porcupines, anteaters, and maybe even the Andean spectacled bear. The trail is a five-minute walk from town but is a world apart. The hike takes about three hours.
Included: transportation, entrance Yellow House and English speaking guide

In the luxury version you follow the program of the lodge.

Transfer from Mindo to Cotopaxi in private car
This ride in private car with Spanish-speaking driver takes about 3 hours.

DAY 12

The volcano of Cotopaxi
The driver will pick you up at the hotel in the morning. The National Park is an hour’s drive from Quito. On clear 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 Baños in private car
The Spanish-speaking driver will pick you up at the hotel and take you to the hotel in Baños. This drive through the mountains takes about 2 hours.

DAY 13

The town of Baños
Due to its location at the foot of the active volcano Tungurahua and surrounded by natural and medicinal hot springs, Baños has quickly developed into an all-round tourist town with many restaurants, hotels and numerous opportunities for relaxation. You can set up wonderful hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, rafting and rainforest excursions in and around Baños, then finish an active day with a visit to the thermal baths. Don’t forget to visit the beautiful church in the central square (a local pilgrimage site).

We suggest this activity that one can do on one’s own:

Hiking from Luna Runtun (2350 mts) to Baños (1800 mts) – on your own.
At the back of the hotel (near Cafe del Cielo) is a nice walking path that descends to Baños. The walk takes about an hour. You end up in Baños at the end of Avenida Maldonado. If you feel like it, you can walk back; otherwise, take a cab.

In the deluxe version, you make the hike in reverse: you leave from Luna Volcan.

DAY 14

The route of the waterfalls by car (you can also do part of this trip by bike).
Today the guide will let you discover, by car, several beautiful places in and around Baños. You will visit the beautiful waterfall El Pailon del Diablo, cross the Pastaza with a cable car and visit la Casa Del Arbol, where the famous swing is located.
Includes: transportation, English speaking guide, snack and entrance fees
Duration: 7 hours

Transfer from Baños to Riobamba in private car.
This 2-hour drive through the Andes will take you to Riobamba. You will drive with a Spanish-speaking driver past the active volcano Tungurahua.

DAY 15

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 of encountering vicuñas (a relative of the llama) there 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 taken to Guamote in a private car.
Duration: 1 hour

DAY 16

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 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 visit to Ingapirca on the way (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 Ingapirca)
Excluding the entrance to the ruins to be paid on the spot: 6 USD

DAY 17

Visit to Cajas National Park 
The 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 are 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 18

City tour Cuenca (half day) 
With an English-speaking guide, we visit the most beautiful places in the city. We stroll 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 Puerto Lopez in private car (SP-language driver).
This scenic drive takes you from Cuenca with a local driver through the highest peaks of the Andes to sea level. You will pass all types of climate and vegetation on the way. You leave in the morning from the paramo vegetation and eucalyptus trees (around 4000 meters above sea level) to reach the beach in the afternoon between banana plantations, kapok trees and sugar cane plantations.
Duration: 7 hours
Not included: meal along the way

DAY 19

The beaches of Los Frailes and Agua Blanca
Today you will visit Ecuador’s most beautiful beach. You can get to the beach by car or by bike. Los Frailes is about three kilometers away from Puerto Lopez. At the beginning of the hike you will first get some explanation about the area. The hike then leads you to La Tortuguita, a beach with black sand, a lookout with a view over the coast to finally reach a beach with beautiful white sand. Here you can stay for a while before we leave for Agua Blanca. Agua Blanca is an archaeological site in the middle of a nature reserve. Here you can immerse yourself in a lake that has medicinal properties due to its volcanic origin. Then we return to the hotel.
Difficulty rate: light.
Duration: approximately 6 hours.
Included: English speaking guide, transportation, entrance to the archaeological site and lunch.
Bring with you: protection from the sun and rain, sport shoes and swimming gear.

DAY 20

Isla de la Plata or little Galapagos
During this excursion you will visit this beautiful island, also called little Galapagos. It is located 25 km (about 1.5 hours by boat) off the coast of Puerto Lopez. You will find, besides frigate birds and tropicbirds, blue-footed, masked and red-footed boobies and even some Galapagos albatrosses. The island can only be visited with a guide from the park and you may not deviate from the official paths. You take a 2 hour and a half hike there with the nature guide. Then you return to the boat where you can spot turtles. Then you can snorkel in the bay for an hour among sea turtles and colorful fish. On the way to the island you can spot humpback whales between June and September, which use the area in large numbers as a nursery.
Level of difficulty: light.
Duration: 7 hours approximately.
Included: English speaking guide, transport, lunch box and snorkelling equipment. Excluded: entrance to National Park 1 USD pp.
Bring with you: windbreaker for the boat, sneakers, water bottle, protection against the sun, swimming gear and camera.

DAY 21

Transfer from Puerto Lopez to Guayaquil airport in private car (SP-language driver).
You will be transferred from the hotel in Puerto Lopez to the airport in Guayaquil (drive of +/- 4 hours).

Return flight from Guayaquil.

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 standard double 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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