Quito: three nights + walk to Pasochoa nature reserve and pararmo of Papallacta incl. visit to the thermal baths of Papallacta.
Otavalo: two nights + hike to Fuya Fuya mountain and Mojanda lake and hike around Cuicocha lake
Mindo: two nights, one in a tent en route to Mindo + two-day trek from Quito to Mindo
Cotopaxi: two nights + excursion to Cotopaxi National Park and hike around Lake Quilotoa
Guamote: an overnight stay in a hotel and two nights in a tent + three-day trek Inca trail
Cuenca: two nights + visit to Cajas National Park
All transfers with private car!
Quito: Antinea Hotel – Junior Suite
Otavalo: Casa Sol – superior room
Mindo: La Bicok – standard room
Cotopaxi: Papagayo South- superior room
Guamote: Inti Sisa – standard room
Cuenca: Posada del Angel – standard room
* All hotel stays 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 Airport to Hotel in Private Car
You will be met at the airport and taken to the hotel.
Hiking to Pasochoa Volcano
This nature reserve is located 25 km southeast of Quito between 2700 and 4200 meters altitude, along a mountain river against the flanks of an extinct volcano near the white top of the Antisana mountain. There are walking routes of 30 minutes to 8 hours in this park, which you can follow yourself. You will find a wide variety of flora and fauna. You will find more than 120 bird species here. We make a tour with a guide. Difficulty: easy to moderate. Duration: about 5 hours. Included: English speaking guide, transport and packed lunch. Not included: Park entrance (5 USD to be paid locally).
Walking Tour Agua y Vida de Papallacta
This walking tour of 5 to 6 hours takes place between 3800 and 4300 meters above sea level. In the morning we leave Quito by car and drive to “La Virgen”. The hike starts here at its highest point: from here we descend slowly to Papallacta. On clear days you have a view of some snow-capped volcanoes: the Cotopaxi, Antisana and Cayambe. Along the way we look out for the spectacled bear, the mountain deer, the mountain tapir, paramo wolves and small mustelids. You will find partridges, the chimborazo hummingbird, the Andean gull, ducks, eagles and curiquingues, even condors and other species typical of this ecosystem. A little after noon we arrive at the hot water baths of Papallacta, where you can regain your strength. Here is a fine restaurant. In the evening a car will pick you up in Papallacta and take you to Otavalo.
Included: local English speaking guide, transport by private car H/T, lunch box.
Transfer from Papallacta to Otavalo in private vehicle
You will be taken from Papallacta to Otavalo in a private vehicle by a Spanish-speaking driver. This drive through the Andes Mountains takes about 3 hours. Along the way you pass the pilgrimage town of El Quinche known for its cathedral and just before Cayambe a small equatorial monument.
Hiking Tour of Mojanda Lakes and Fuya-Fuya Mountain
To visit these beautiful lakes, we first trek from Otavalo to Lake Karicocha at an altitude of 3715 meters. Then we continue to Mount Fuya-Fuya which reaches up to 4263 altitude. At the top we rest and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Includes: transport, bilingual guide (Spanish – English) and lunch box. Duration: 6 hours Difficulty: Intermediate
Hiking Tour Around Cuicocha Crater Lake
Cuicocha is one of the most beautiful lakes in Ecuador. With a private car we drive to the entrance of the Cotacachi-Cayapas Reserve, where we start a 5-hour hike that takes place between 3100 and 3500 meters above sea level. Along the way we enjoy the biodiversity, the views over the picturesque Lake Cuicocha with its two islets, as well as the panorama of the mountain peaks Cotacachi, Imbabura and Cayambe. Difficulty: moderate Duration: approx. 7 hours Includes: English speaking local guide, private transport, meal or packed lunch What to bring: good walking shoes, sun protection, mosquito repellent, fleece or pullover, water (min. 1 litre)
Recommended: camera, binoculars, rain jacket, reasonable condition also at altitude
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 car. This drive through the Andes Mountains takes about 2 hours.
Trekking Lloa-Mindo – Day 1
This is a two day tour departing from Quito to Lloa, a small town a few kms from the south of Quito at the foot of the Pichincha Volcano. Here we enter the forest along the huayrapungo”, which in Quechua means “door to the wind.” The Mindo-Nambillo reserve is crossed by many fast-flowing rivers but there are also open fields and swamps. We walk through an old lava flow, a reminder of the eruptions of the Pichincha volcano that took place between 1999 and 2002. You can only do this walk with a local guide; the paths are not marked: when crossing the open areas it is very difficult to find where the path starts again on the other side. It is a beautiful walk, full of variety of flora and fauna and with breathtaking views. You cross rivers on cable cars, you slog through muddy swamps, and cut your way with the machete along overgrown paths.
On the way you prepare food in the forest and at night you look for a place to camp. Includes: transportation to Lloa, native guide, lunch and dinner on the first day, breakfast and lunch on the second day, tent and cooking utensils, dinner at El Quetzal restaurant on arrival in Mindo on the second day, accommodations in Mindo with hot water and a private bathroom. Bring: four liters of water, three pairs of socks and two pairs of underwear per day, knife, sleeping mat, rubber boots, walking shoes,
mosquito repellent, hat or cap, towel, toiletries, rain poncho, and a flashlight with extra batteries. Attention: You must be able to carry everything you bring with you during the entire tour
Day 1: The guide picks you up at the hotel, you drive with the guide to the foot of the Pichincha. The guide briefly goes over the journey and afterwards the trek of two days towards the cloud forest of Mindo begins. Along the way you stop for lunch and in the evening the tents are set up to spend the night.
Trekking Lloa-Mindo – Day 2
You get up early to continue the journey. Breakfast is served and afterwards the tour is resumed. As you approach Mindo you will feel how the climate changes to tropical cloud forest and the vegetation changes along with it. You will arrive in Mindo around noon and here you will have a nice lunch to regain your strength. You can then relax at the hotel or explore the village which has enough cafes and terraces to make it a relaxing afternoon.
Free afternoon in Mindo
This small town of 2,500 inhabitants on the western flank of the Pichincha volcano is an excellent base for activities such as hiking, horseback riding, bathing in waterfalls, bird watching, etc. More than 450 bird species have been spotted here. The area is known for its orchids, colibris fly everywhere and the entire surrounding area consists of many reserves.
Free morning in Mindo
Transfer from Mindo to Cotopaxi in Private Car
This private car ride takes about 3 hours.
Cotopaxi . National Park Day Trip
After breakfast we drive into the national park. in the morning, the chance to see the snow-capped volcano top clear of clouds is considerably greater than in the afternoon. We make a stop at the Limpiopungo Lake where you can take beautiful pictures. Then we drive on to the parking lot at the foot of the volcano. From here we continue on 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 over the National Park and some other volcanoes. Then we continue a little further to the 5000 meters altitude, where the glacier begins. If the altitude plays tricks on you, descend back to the car. Included: transport in private car, English speaking guide and lunch box.
Quilotoa Crater Lake Tour (incl. private transport, English speaking guide and lunch box)
High in the mountains, 12 km from Zumbahua, is this well-known deep blue crater lake with a diameter of 3 km and 3 lava peaks that reach up to 3800 m. In clear weather, the view of the surrounding mountains is spectacular. In the morning you will be taken by car with a local indigenous guide to Lake Quilotoa. From there you walk along small paths all the way around the lake. We then return to the hotel by car. Duration: 6 hours. Included: round trip transfer between the
hotel and the lake, English speaking guide, entrance and lunch box.
Transfer from Cotopaxi to Guamote in private vehicle (SP-speaking driver)
Inca Trail 3D/2N – day 1
The road network, Qhapac Ñan in Kichwa, of the Incas stretched from Chile to Colombia. It was the main artery of the Inca Empire (1470-1534), politically, economically and socially. This network was still used during the Spanish rule (1534-1822). They called it “El Camino Real”, or the Royal Road, but today only a few parts remain
kept. One of the best preserved routes is between the village of Achupalas and Ingapirca. This region was known for its large amount of gold during the Spanish rule. Many small towns were founded along this road by the Spaniards but were always destroyed by the local population. Now it is best known as the Inca trail, a 3-day trek. Throughout the trek we are accompanied by a local guide. Our luggage is carried by a horse. Duration: 3 days. Difficulty: medium. Included: English speaking and local guide, transport h/t, meals from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day, snack and water, pack animal, camping equipment (sleeping bag, sleeping mat and eating utensils), boots, visit Ingapirca. Bring: sun and rain protection, thermal clothing, water bottle, camera, walking shoes and extra clothing.
On day 1 we depart from Guamote towards Achupallas, a drive of one and a half hours. The starting point of the trek is at 3,300m. The first day we hike for 4 hours to our first camping site at an altitude of about 4,000m. We set up the tents and make a nice evening meal to sleep afterwards to continue the next day.
Inca Trail 3D/2N – day 2
On day 2, a walk of about 7 hours is planned. After 2-3 hours of walking we arrive at the highest point of the trek. From here we have a beautiful view over Lake Sansahuín. After another 4 hours of walking we arrive at our second camping site at an altitude of about 3,800m. During the tour we can see several ruins of old Spanish settlements.
Inca Trail 3D/2N – day 3
On the last day, after 4 hours of walking, we arrive at the ruins of Ingapirca (3,160m). Here we get a tour by a local guide. After visiting the ruins we return to the hotel.
Transfer from Guamote to Cuenca in private car
From Riobamba you will drive through the Andes Mountains in a private vehicle with a local driver to Cuenca. Duration: 3.5 hours
Cajas National Park: Full-Day Tour 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 pull back to the bus and go to the higher part of the park (3800 – 4000 meters). Here we visit 3 medium lakes (Toteadora, Totoras y Patoquinuas) and 2 smaller lakes. From here the walk goes down and takes about 3 hours. Before we drive back to Cuenca we eat a
lunch in a restaurant. Duration: 8 hours. Included: transport, bilingual guide, lunch.
Transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil in Private Car
During this scenic drive you will drive (with a 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 arrive in Guayaquil.
* All transfers are done with a private car and Spanish-speaking driver unless otherwise stated
* Listed trips and excursions are examples from a wider range. Check out our website for more choice.
* This travel proposal is based on 2-person standard rooms, unless stated otherwise. Surcharges for single or deluxe rooms
rooms are on request.
* This travel proposal is without obligation, depending on the travel period and subject to availability.
* Certain fixed days of activities must be taken into account in the definitive travel program, such as inemse
markets, departure dates of cruises and flights, etc. We do everything possible to optimally incorporate listed activities in the program
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I’m Tom from Belgium and I’ll make sure your trip to Ecuador or cruise in Galapagos goes as smoothly and pleasantly as possible. I have been living in Ecuador for a decade and have been working in tourism for 8 years now. Before that, I obtained my guides diploma in Ecuador. Traveling and discovering new places is my passion.
Together with the local travel agency Descubre-Ecuador, we offer tailor-made tours in Galapagos and on the Ecuadorian mainland. Over the years, Descubre-Ecuador has built a reliable partnership with the best hotels and the best nature guides in Ecuador. Our small-scale way of working ensures easy accessibility and a lot of flexibility when traveling.
Customer satisfaction is the essence for us. And even in those rare moments of unforeseen difficult circumstances, we make sure that we are there to make sure your trip runs smoothly.
Explore Ecuador and Galapagos!
In South America, Ecuador is one of the smaller countries, but the country is hugely diverse in terms of geography, climate and population. You can visit the Andes, the Amazon rainforest as well as the tropical coast without taking extremely long domestic flights or transfers. And then you have the Galapagos Islands, a once in a lifetime experience. The diversity of flora and fauna per square mile is enormous. Ecuador is South America in a nutshell. Moreover, the country is relatively safe and little visited. The national currency is the USD and you have a wide choice of direct flights to Quito and Guayaquil from Europe and the United States.
Ik ben Tom uit België en zorg ervoor dat jullie reis naar Ecuador of cruise in Galapagos zo vlot en aangenaam mogelijk kan verlopen. Ik woon al een tiental jaren in Ecuador en werk nu 8 jaren in toerisme. Daarvoor heb ik in Ecuador mijn gidsen-diploma behaald. Reizen en nieuwe plaatsen ontdekken is mijn passie. Samen met het lokale reiskantoor Descubre-Ecuador, bieden we reizen op maat in Galapagos en op het Ecuadoriaanse vasteland aan. Descubre-Ecuador heeft door de jaren heen een betrouwbare samenwerking opgebouwd met de beste hotels en de beste natuurgidsen van Ecuador. Onze kleinschalige manier van werken zorgt voor een vlotte bereikbaarheid en veel flexibiliteit bij het reizen. De tevredenheid van de klant is voor ons de essentie. En ook op die zeldzame momenten van onvoorziene moeilijke omstandigheden zorgen we dat we er zijn om jullie reis toch perfect te laten verlopen. Ontdek Ecuador en Galapagos!