Antarctica & Arctic
Explore all that Ecuador has to offer - from haciendas to the Devils Nose. Immerse yourself in local culture and soak up the beautiful scenery.
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Seven nights accommodation, meals as per itinerary, sightseeing with a bilingual local guide and all transfers
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. Descend the exhilarating Devil’s Nose on a train ride, explore the charming colonial towns of Quito and Cuenca and be awed by gorgeous scenery in the Cajas National Park.
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Hop on one of the most thrilling train rides on South America, the Devil's Nose Ride, and zigzag across the Andes.
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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Arrive in the beautiful city of Quito, the world’s first city to be declared a
UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Standing at an altitude of 2,850m, Quito is the
second-highest capital in the world after La Paz in Bolivia. The first three nights of your
journey will be spent here.
Today is dedicated to exploring the lives, beliefs, cuisine and traditions of Old Town Quito. Today is all about ‘living Quito like a local’, visiting shops, exploring markets, meeting local herbal healers, wandering the streets, learning skills from artisans, and enjoying a lunch of great Ecuadorian cooking at the sophisticated Casa Gangotena Hotel. (B)(L)
Today you will drive north from Quito to the
traditional Andean town of Otavalo. Along the way, you will be able to spot the two Andean
Cordilleras (mountain ranges) that run parallel through Ecuador from north to south,
offering an impressively varied topography: active volcanoes, snow-capped mountains,
green valleys, farmland, and historic haciendas. Discover Otavalo’s artisan market, one of
the most well-known and colourful indigenous markets in all of South America. Countless
stalls are piled high with ponchos, woollen goods, tapestries, hats, sweaters, indigenous
jewellery and much more. Enjoy lunch at Hacienda Pinsaqui, an enchanting 300 year old
colonial hacienda where you will sample some of the best Andean cuisine around. (B)(L)
Drive south from Quito to the Cotopaxi National Park. The
breathtaking snow-capped Cotopaxi Volcano dominates the landscape. At 5,897m above
sea level, rising majestically above the Andean mountains, Cotopaxi is Ecuador’s second
highest mountain and is also considered by many to be the highest active volcano in the
world. With its almost perfectly symmetrical cone shape, the Cotopaxi Volcano is one of
Ecuador’s most recognisable sights. From here, you will continue on to the small town of
Patate, where you will spend the night at the beautiful 300 year old Hacienda
Today you will journey by road along the Pastaza
River gorge to the picturesque and bustling town of Banos, located at the foot of the
spectacular Tungurahua Volcano. Banos is well known for its thermal baths, impressive array
of adventure sports and incredible waterfalls, including the 100 metre Pailon de Diablo
waterfall. Continue on your journey to the scenic and old-fashioned town of Riobamba
where you will spend the night at the delightful Hacienda Abraspungo. (B)(L)(D)
Travel to the town of Alausi, where you will hop on the
Devil’s Nose Train Ride, one of the most thrilling train rides on the continent. As you zigzag
dramatically through the Andes Mountains, you are rewarded with breathtaking views.
Continue south to the fascinating site of Ingapirca, the country’s largest known Inca ruins,
before ending a wonderful day in the colonial jewel of Ecuador, the city of Cuenca. (B)(L)
Cuenca’s red-tiled roofs, flower-filled plazas and narrow cobble stone streets
are reminiscent of a splendid past, while it’s many museums, cloisters, markets and churches
are all testimony to a rich historical legacy. Cuenca is known as the jewel of Ecuador for good
reason, and it is arguably the country’s most beautiful city. An impressive setting along the
Tomembamba River, world-class restaurants, and a variety of art galleries, cafes and bars all
add to Cuenca’s charm. (B)
Travel from Cuenca to Guayaquil,
stopping en-route at the magnificent El Cajas National Park. The park, which is located in
the western Cordillera of the Ecuadorean Andes, covers an area of 28,544 hectares and
boasts no less than 235 lakes of glacial origin. At an altitude of 3,200-4,000 metres above
sea level, the park’s humid Andean cloud forests act like a sponge and the park is a vital
water source. With its incredible scenery, it is also a photographer’s dream. You will stop at
two of the park’s lakes, Llaviucu Laguna and Laguna La Toreadora, where you can take some
amazing photos. Arrive in Ecuador’s second largest city, Guayaquil, late in the afternoon
where your journey ends. (B)(L)
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