Otavalo: two nights + excursion to Cuicocha
Mindo: two nights + two morning excursions in the cloud forest
Quito: two nights + excursion Equator monument, city visit and Papallacta thermal baths
Cotopaxi: overnight stay + visit to the volcano
Baños: two nights + excursion to the waterfalls
Riobamba: overnight stay + excursion to the volcano
Guamote: two nights + excursion to Ozogoche and indigenous villages around Guamote
Cuenca: two nights + excursion to Inca ruins, Cajas National Park and city visit
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 at the hotel (or the airport) by a Spanish-speaking driver 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 the most famous indigenous market in Ecuador. 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 in turn 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 vehicle we drive to the entrance of the Cotacachi-Cayapas Reserve, where we start a 5-hour walking tour that runs between 3100 and 3500 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 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 Mindo in private car
On this 3-hour drive through the Andes Mountains, you will traverse the valley of Guayllabamba and pass the equatorial monument of Mitad del Mundo.
Waterfalls of Mindo
After a 20-minute drive through the forest, we reach the entrance of the park by car. Here you cross a valley of 530 meters wide with a cable car. Once across the road, there are trails leading to seven different waterfalls. It is a beautiful walk with an opportunity to swim and with beautiful views. Duration: 4 hours. Included: transport, English speaking guide and entrance.
Free afternoon in Mindo
This small town of 2500 inhabitants on the western flank of the Pichincha volcano is an excellent base for activities such as hiking, horse riding, bathing in waterfalls, bird watching, etc. Over 450 bird species have been spotted here. The area is known for its orchids, colibris fly everywhere and the whole surrounding zone consists of many reserves.
Walking along the Yellow House path
This vast private forest – 500 hectares in size – has well-maintained paths that lead you high into the forest and offer beautiful views of the valley. Along the path you will 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 path is a five minute walk from the city but is a world apart. The walk takes approximately three hours. Included: transport, entrance Yellow House and English-speaking guide
Transfer from Mindo to Quito incl. Visit Equator Museum
After about an hour’s drive we arrive at the equator. There we make a stop at the Intiñan museum where you get information about the different indigenous peoples of Ecuador, the traditions and also do some tests that show that you are at the real equator. Afterwards we also make a short stop at the old monument of the Equator where you can take some pictures. Incl: transport in a private car. Not included: entrance to museums and meal on the way. Duration: 4 to 5 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.
Quito – free afternoon
Hiking tour Sendero de la Chorrera (Papallacta)
This tour takes about 3 hours and starts at the guard’s house next to the public baths of Papallacta. This trail is located in the buffer zone of Cayambe Coca National Park and the Thermas Papallacta Private Reserve. It is a beautiful mix of high mountains and cloud forest, ideal for nature photography. At the end of the tour you will come to a waterfall that forms in the course of the Pailón river. Included: local guide with limited knowledge of English.
Transfer from Papallacta to Cotopaxi in private vehicle
You will be picked up at the hotel and taken to Cotopaxi in a 3-hour private car ride.
Day trip Cotopaxi National Park
After breakfast we drive into the national park. In the morning, the chance of seeing the snowy volcano top unclouded 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 Baños in private car (SP-speaking driver)
The 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.
The town of Baños – free day
Due to its location at the foot of the active volcano Tungurahua and surrounded by natural and medicinal hot water baths, Baños has quickly developed into an all-round tourist town with many restaurants, hotels and countless possibilities for relaxation. You can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, rafting and rainforest excursions in and around Baños, and then end an active day with a visit to the thermal baths. Don’t forget to visit the beautiful church on the main square (a local pilgrimage site).
Cycling in Baños: the route of the waterfalls
You leave Baños by bike and follow the road to Puyo through forests, through tunnels and along rivers and waterfalls. An English-speaking guide accompanies you permanently by bicycle. On the way you will see the Agoyan waterfall, the Manto de la Novia where you go by cable car and finally the impressive waterfall Pailon del Diablo where we make a nice hike. We return to Baños by car. We choose to have a snack at the end point in Rio Verde or on return to Baños. Duration: 5 hours. Included: equipment, English speaking guide, cable car entrance, Pailon del Diablo entrance, snack and return transport.
Transfer from Baños to Riobamba in private car
This 2-hour drive through the Andes Mountains will take you to Riobamba. You drive along the active volcano Tungurahua.
Visit to the Chimborazo volcano (private)
A guide will take you to the National Park. The white peak of the Chimborazo (6310 meters) is the center of the eponymous nature reserve. There is a good chance that you will encounter vicuñas (a relative of the lama). There is a first mountain hut at 4800 meters from which you can go hiking to the second mountain 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). Including: guide (in English); transport; warm jacket, balaclava and gloves; packed lunch with coca tea; entrance National Park. Duration: 5 hours without cycling – 7 hours by bike
Transfer from Riobamba to Guamote in private vehicle (SP-speaking driver)
You will be picked up at the hotel by a local driver and taken to Guamote in a private vehicle. Duration: 1 hour
Hiking on the lakes of Ozogoche
Located 55 km from Guamote, this small indigenous village is surrounded by the 45 beautiful lakes of Ozogoche. Here we go for a walk with a local guide who explains the nature, legends and habits of the Indians. Every year, hundreds of migratory birds plunge into the icy water to commit suicide, a unique natural phenomenon that remains a mystery to researchers today. You follow adventurous paths and wade through small mountain rivers. After the walk we eat trout straight from the river and return to Guamote in the evening. Duration: 8 hours. Difficulty: moderate. Included: return transfer, guide, meal and snack.
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.
Transfer from Guamote to Cuenca with a visit to Ingapirca on the way
From Guamote you 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 site: 6 USD.
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 hats 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 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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