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An adventure through Ecuador, this tour ventures through the contrasting landscapes of the Andes and the coast. See beautiful mountain scenery, enjoy time in thermal baths and marvel at ancient Inca ruins and colonial architecture.
Fly overnight to Ecuador's historic capital, Quito, where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Spend the day at leisure until this evening's welcome dinner.
Discover Ecuador's capital with a stroll through the UNESCO-recognised colonial quarter, visiting some of South America's most ornate churches and cathedrals. From the church domes, take advantage of the 360 ̊ panoramic views of the historic centre and the surrounding mountains. Enjoy a traditional Ecuadorian lunch while overlooking the Andean landscape.
Travel through dramatic mountain scenery to Otavalo, home to one of South America's most famous textile markets. Visit an indigenous village community and learn about their weaving techniques before heading to a local hacienda for lunch. Continue to the town of Cotacachi before heading back to Quito stop at Cuicocha Lagoon and enjoy a short boat trip to learn about the local flora and fauna.
Travel on the Cinnamon Trail, the route Spanish Conquistador Francisco de Orellana took in 1542, when he crossed the Andean mountain range. At the entrance of the Amazonian jungle, we find Papallacta, home to several thermal spring pools where you can relax and revitalise your body. In the afternoon enjoy a nature walk alongside pristine mountain streams.
Travel along the Avenue of the Volcanoes and colourful Ecuadorian highlands to reach the Cotopaxi National Park, an ecological sanctuary. Continue to Limpiopungo Lagoon for a short walk where a variety of birds and occasional wild horses can be spotted. On clear days, the Cotopaxi Volcano is a magnificent backdrop. Continue on to Riobamba, stopping for lunch at a local hacienda.
This morning spend time visiting the Inca fortress of Ingapirca, an important remnant of a Cañari site later occupied by the Incas. There are very few pre-Hispanic remains as impressive as these ancient ruins, which in Kichwa mean “wall of the Inca”. Later continue to the city of Cuenca.
Spend a full day discovering the city of Cuenca. Visit artisan and flower markets before continuing to the Museum of Modern Art. Stroll on the cobble stone streets of the old town main square, dominated by the imposing blue-domed cathedral, and admire the city's historic riverside houses. After lunch, take a short drive to a ceramics handcraft shop, followed by a visit to a Panama Hat factory. This evening, head to Turi Hill lookout and enjoy a refreshing local drink with views of the city.
Travel to Cajas National Park, located in the western part of the Andes, home to 235 lakes of glacial origin. Stop and stroll around for views of Llaviucu Lake and La Toreadora Lake. Later this afternoon, descend to the vibrant coastal city of Guayaquil.
Travel along Ecuador's fertile tropical coast to a cacao plantation. Learn about the history of the family owned property along with the process they use to obtain the best cacao powder in the world. Enjoy lunch at the plantation before returning to Guayaquil.
Enjoy a day sightseeing in Guayaquil, admiring colonial and modern architecture. Also visit the popular Iguana Park, where wild iguanas roam freely. Continue to Guayaquil's waterfront esplanade to see its monumental palace and plazas. Continue to Barrio Las Peñas, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Guayaquil, whose wooden constructions have been beautifully restored and now house many art galleries. Later this evening, enjoy a farewell dinner.
Transfer to the airport and fly to the UK, arriving home the following day. Any time before your transfer is at leisure to explore Guayaquil independently.
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.
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There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.
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