Discover a country of astonishing contrasts where cultural riches are surpassed only by breathtaking landscapes. Travel through the heart of Ecuador’s dramatic Avenue of the Volcanoes and rest by night in historic haciendas. Explore the charming colonial towns of Quito and Cuenca and be awed by gorgeous scenery in the Cajas National Park.

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Why We Love It

Discover charming Cuenca and Quito, two of the most beautiful colonial cities in Latin America.

Visit Otavalo, an indigenous town with one of the most well-known and colourful artisan markets in South America.

See the breathtaking, snowcapped Cotopaxi Volcano in the Avenue of Volcanos, one of Ecuador's most recognisable sites.

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Day by day Itinerary

Authentic Ecuador

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Day 1

Quito

Arrive in the beautiful city of Quito, the world’s first city to be declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to a heritage boutique hotel in La Ronda, a traditional neighborhood within the historic colonial quarter, offering a glimpse into the city's vibrant history and creativity.

Day 2

Quito

Today, explore Quito's colonial quarter, a treasure trove of culture and colonial architechture. You will explore a charming maze of cobbled paths and picturesque squares, and discover Independence Plaza, the Cathedral, San Francisco church and La Compañia de Jesus church - one of Ecuador's most opulent religious structures.

Along the way, savour some authentic Andean bites, including tamales and quimolitos. Perhaps try a more refreshing option of "helado de paila" - a frozen treat and Ecuadorian favourite, crafted using a traditional "paila" - a large metal pan.
 
Concluding your Quito journey is an ascent to the 3,016m-high hill, offering breathtaking panoramas of the city and surrounding volcanoes. (B)

Day 3

Quito - Otavalo Market - Quito

Today you will drive north from Quito, across the colorful valleys of Guayllabamba and Cayambe, to the traditional Andean town of Otavalo. 

Otavalo's artisan market is one of the most well-known and colour indigenous markets in all of South America. Renowned for it's rich cultural heritage, traditional crafts, and vibrant atmosphere. For visitors, the markets offer the possibility of interacting with locals as you bargain on the variety of woven goods, textiles, and jewellery, or simply appreciate the skill, elegance and beauty of the clothing and handicrafts. You’ll be given your own piece of Otavalo on arrival to Quito, a traditional toquilla hat or alpaca scarf, made by local Otavalo artisans. 

Enjoy a traditional Andean lunch before returning through the countryside back to Quito. (B)(L)

Day 4

Quito - Cotopaxi - Baños

Today you'll have an early departure from Quito south, along the Avenue of the Volcanoes to Cotopaxi National Park. The breathtaking snow-capped Cotopaxi Volcano dominates the landscape and is the highest active volcano in the world. 

Continue along a series of temperate valleys through charming villages of Latacunga, Salcedo and Ambato before turning east and heading to the picturesque and bustling town of Baños. Nestled amidst mountains, at the foot of Tungurahua Volcano, Baños is well known for its thermal baths and impressive array of adventure sports.   

Your accommodation for the night is Hacienda Leito. Surrounded by majestic mountains, Hacienda Leito is located at the entrance to the Los Llanganates National Park, where for centuries the Incas hid their most valuable treasures from the Spanish conquistadors. (B)(L)(D)

Day 5

Baños - Riobamba

After breakfast visit beautiful Agoyan waterfall, the gateway to the Amazon. Travel by road along the Pastaza River canyon to the so called "Route of Waterfalls" where you'll find Cascada de la Virgen, the Brides Mantle, Machay and Pailondel Diablo waterfalls, all of which lie along the riverbed of the Pastaza surrounded by lush green vegetation. At the tallest waterfall, Pailon del Diablo (the Devils Cauldron) you'll have the option to walk down to observe the waterfall from a breathtaking suspension bridge.

In the afternoon, pass by the foothills of Chimborazo Volcano, the highest summit in Ecuador, to the city of Riobamba where you will spend the night at the delightful Hacienda Abraspungo. A traditional ranch, Hacienda Abraspungo offers a unique blend of traditional charm, modern comfort, and stunning natural surroundings. (B, L, D)

Day 6

Riobamba - Guamote - Ingapirca Ruins - Cuenca

This morning, you'll embark on a scenic journey through the generous valleys of the austral Ecuadorian Andes. Head south from Riobamba to Guamote, a small town with a 95% Indigenous population. Guamote and its surrounding mountain communities host one of South America's largest and most traditional markets every Thursday. Here, indigenous people come to sell a variety of items, creating a sensory overload of colors, sounds, and friendly faces.

Afterward, continue south to Alausi, a centuries-old indigenous settlement. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before exploring the Ingapirca archaeological ruins, Ecuador's most significant Incan relic. The Solar Temple and surrounding buildings showcase Incan construction techniques. Visit the archaeological site and its museum displaying pottery and metal artifacts. Finally, make your way to the charming colonial city of Cuenca, your home for the next two nights. (B)(L)(D)

Day 7

Cuenca

Cuenca, Ecuador's gem, boasts UNESCO status as a stunning city with historic red-tiled roofs, picturesque plazas, and well-preserved cobblestone streets. Along the Tomembamba River, Cuenca offers top-notch dining, art galleries, cafes, and bars.

Today's city tour covers the Cathedral, Main Square, flower market, San Francisco and Santo Domingo churches, and the Central Bank Museum, housing archaeological, anthropological, colonial, and republican art collections. You'll also visit a Panama hat factory, showcasing a variety of "toquilla" fiber products. Finally, take in panoramic city views from Turi Viewpoint. (B)(D)

Day 8

Cuenca - Cajas National Park - Guayaquil

Travel from Cuenca to Guayaquil, stopping en-route at the magnificent El Cajas National Park, located in the western Cordillera of the Ecuadorean Andes. The park is a photographer's dream, covering an area of of 28,544 hectares and boasting no less than 235 spectacular lakes - two of which you will visit, Llaviucu Laguna and Laguna La Toreadora . Arrive in Ecuador’s second largest city, Guayaquil, late in the afternoon where your journey ends. (B)(L)

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