ECUADOR: FROM THE ANDES TO THE AMAZON - 2017
Tour Code -
Explore Ecuador, one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, from the Andes to the Amazon. Begin in the capitol city of Quito, where colonial history still permeates the air and you are surrounded by beautiful architecture, as well as religious and cultural sites. Head north to the Andean town of Otavalo to visit its famous Indian market, full of textiles, animals, vegetables, and handicrafts. It’s a true glimpse into traditional Ecuadorian culture, which continues during your cooking class and overnight at a local hacienda. Tour a working rose plantation, Ecuador’s main export, before relaxation time in the volcanic hot springs of Papallacta. Also spend two nights immersed in Ecuador’s Amazon jungle on the banks of the Napo River. Your time in the Amazon basin will be filled with Naturalist-guided nature walks in search of the vast flora and fauna found in the area, canoe rides, night walks, and much more! From here, continue to the town of Baños, surrounded by the Andes and famous for its year-round temperate weather, beautiful hot springs, and waterfalls. End your vacation with a drive through the “Avenue of the Volcanoes” to Cotopaxi National Park with one of the highest active volcanoes of the same name rising above you.
From ancient cities and natural wonders to the Amazon wilds and the impressive Andes, this vacation to Ecuador has it all! So, grab your camera and be prepared for the trip of a lifetime.
In Quito, Cochasqui, Otavalo, Papallacta, Ecuador's Amazon, Banos, and Cotopaxi.
- SCENIC HIGHLIGHTS
Quito, Cochasqui, Otavalo, Papallacta, Ecuador's Amazon, Banos, and Cotopaxi.
Local Guides for sightseeing in Quito, Otavalo, Papallacta, Ecuador's Amazon, Banos, and Cotopaxi; services of a professional Tour Director.
Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.
Twin-bedded rooms with private bath or shower, hotel taxes, service charges and tips for baggage handling.
- INSIDE VISITS as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Personalise your tour ahead of time with additional excursions.
9 breakfasts (B), 1 lunch (L), 4 dinners (D).
Day by Day
Welcome to one of the smallest yet most biodiverse countries in South America. Ecuador offers a panorama of scenery and climates-from the Pacific Coast to the rainforest and the Amazon to the high slopes of the Andes. Upon arrival in Quito, you will be met by your Cosmos representative, who will help you get acquainted with this fascinating city near the equatorial line.
Begin your day with a city sightseeing TOUR that showcases colonial Quito, one of the best preserved historic areas in South America. A walk through Old Town Quito with your guide introduces you to the first city named a UNESCO World Heritage City back in 1978. Stop in Independence Square to see the Government Palace and Archbishop's Palace as well as the cathedral. In San Francisco Square, see La Compania Church, one of the most beautiful in Quito with its ornate facade and San Francisco Church. Your afternoon is free to explore on your own; your Tour Director is sure to offer suggestions. (B)
Depart Quito and head north past often snow-capped Cayambe Volcano, rising 5,790 metres (19,000 feet) in altitude. In fact, the Equatorial Line crosses the slope of this immense volcano, which is the highest and only point worldwide that the Equatorial Line is covered with snow. Visit COCHASQUI RUINS, the largest Pre-Columbian archaeological site in Ecuador, believed to be a ceremonial and astronomical site dating back to 900 AD. During your tour, learn about the theories on this site, where 15 pyramids and 21 tombs have been uncovered. Continue to Otavalo's famous INDIAN MARKET, considered one of the best in South America, full of textiles, clothes, vegetables, and much more. Stay at a traditional hacienda, and enjoy a COOKING CLASS to learn about Ecuadorian specialties before dinner. (B,D)
Head to the Andean village famous for its healing hot springs, Papallacta, where hot water naturally flows from the Andes. First, stop at the working ROSE PLANTATION, where Ecuador's main export is harvested year-round. The combination of volcanic soil, natural hot springs, equatorial sun, and cool nights makes this region a perfect place for growing the world's most beautiful roses. Continue to your lodge and relax in one of their nine thermal pools and three coldwater pools. Heated from the Earth's core due to its proximity to nearby volcanoes, these thermal waters are known for their curative properties. (B)
Crossing over the Andes, follow in the footsteps of Francisco de Orellana, the first European to see the Amazon. Descend the eastern slope of the Andes into the jungle to the banks of the Napo River, where you will board a short CANOE RIDE downstream to your lodge, Casa del Suizo. Arrive at this tranquil Amazonia refuge, surrounded by tropical rainforest, and enjoy a welcome drink by the pool before dinner. (B,D)
This morning, cruise down the Napo River on a dugout CANOE with your Naturalist to an area for a NATURE WALK to search for tropical birds, monkeys, capybaras, and other animals commonly found here. Also visit the AMAZOONICO, a rescue centre developed to rehabilitate rainforest animals. Here, you can see coatis, tapirs, monkeys, snakes, and birds. Later, take a WALK on a river island to search for a variety of plants and insects. Also visit the BUTTERFLY HOUSE to learn about their metamorphosis. (B,L,D)
Depart the Amazon region this morning for Banos, known for its famous hot springs that give the area its name. Banos is also called "Gate to the Orient" since its vegetation and climate are almost tropical due to its proximity to the rainforest. Small street cafes, restaurants, and gift shops invite you to enjoy a stroll around the town. Check into your hacienda and relax in the mild mountain climate. (B)
Today you will enjoy a free day at leisure. Banos is the perfect spot for outdoor activities. Your Tour Director will be happy to help you choose the right one. (B)
Pass through the "Avenue of the Volcanoes," which winds its way through the Andean Mountain chain to COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK, a highland zone protected since 1975. On a WALK near Lake Limpiopungo you will have the chance to learn about the typical vegetation and fauna found in the area. Enjoy breathtaking views of Cotapaxi Volcano, standing more than 5,790 metres (19,000 feet) in elevation. Stay overnight in a typical hacienda found in the area, and enjoy a farewell dinner hosted by your Tour Director this evening. (B,D)
Transfer to the Quito International Airport, where your holiday ends. (B)
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||31 Dec 2017
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||31 Dec 2017
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