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Playing a charango at the local market in Otavalo, Ecuador

Andes and Amazon

Example 15 Day Tour
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Ecuador offers visitors some of the most stunning natural beauty and cultural diversity on the continent. Wander the cobblestone streets of colonial Cuenca, tasting new foods and bargaining with local vendors. Spend three nights discovering the diversity of the rainforest from your jungle lodge and river raft to the Amazon port town of Tena. Conclude your trip with a night at Ecuador's finest hacienda in the shadow of Imbabura Volcano--a journey of discovery fit for everyone. This is our most comprehensive Ecuador travel option!
Beautiful Church - Otavalo tripBoat ride to Sacha LodgeA young monkey in the AmazonCrossing the suspension bridgeAt the Parrot Clay LickBraving the rapids!Kayaking awayRaul declares Land Ahoy - Ruth confirms!Making friends in the AmazonExperiencing culture A view from the deck of the MV AquaCotopaxi Volcano with snowMonkey business in CocaZipline in MindoRoad to QuitoRafting down the Rio ToachiOwl monkeys peer at usTree frog spotted in the AmazonSquirrel Monkey in the AmazonLines of Otavalo-Market panhandlerPlaying a charango at the local market in Otavalo, Ecuador
Highlights
  • Explore Cuenca's markets, grand churches, and charming villages
  • Visit the homes of local Cañaris weavers
  • Hike through the shadowed jungle canopy
  • Raft continuous Class III rapids down the Jatunyacu River
Trip Type:
  • Independent
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive Quito

Day 2-3: Cuenca

This morning fly south to the delightful city of Cuenca to begin your Ecuador travel experience. Considered the most colonial city in all of the Americas, red clay rooftops stretch throughout the city of Cuenca and baroque churches stand on the corners. The time is yours to explore however you like. You might visit the city's markets and grand churches or head to the charming villages of Gualaceo and Chordeleg. There's also Cajas National Park, which offers a great day trip of hiking.

Day 4: Ingapirca and Canar Province

Ecuador's most famous Inca ruin, Ingapirca, lies two hours north of Cuenca. Following old dirt roads into the countryside, pass a checkerboard of small farms growing corn, beans, potatoes and other Andean staples. Spend the day exploring the ancient citadel and the surrounding area of Cañar. The indigenous people of this area, Cañaris, are well known for their textiles, and you can hope for an invitation into the homes of some local weavers. This evening you overnight at a 17th Century hacienda to enjoy an evening of old world charm.

Day 5: Avenue of Volcanoes | Banos Free Day

Today head north through the Avenue of Volcanoes to continue your Ecuador travels. This is a fairly long trip with spectacular scenery along the way. Arrive to the subtropical town of Baños by mid-afternoon.

Day 6: Banos Free Day

Baños is a favorite destination for Ecuadorians and foreigners. Relax in the town's thermal baths, bicycle downhill towards the Amazon, or rent horses for a tour of the lush cloudforest or the high páramo of Sangay National Park. For those looking to explore Andean culture, your Adventure Life tour leader can help introduce you to the indigenous people of Salasaca and their colorful markets. Baños is also famous for its fun nightlife, so hit the town this Friday--don't forget to try the local cuy (roasted guinea pig)!

Day 7-9: Rainforest Lodge

  • Hotel
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Today descend into the Amazon basin to begin a jungle adventure! Located along the mighty Napo River, your cabañas offer a tremendous panorama of the surrounding jungle and three nearby volcanoes. During your jungle stay at Casa del Suizo, hike through the shadowed jungle canopy learning about the medical uses of various plants, or visit the celebrated animal shelter, AmaZoonico, where you can get better acquainted with the local exotic wildlife. Your time in the rainforest can also include a float down the peaceful Rio Arajuno. At night, relax on the private terrace, or take a cool swim in the lodge's pool.

Day 10: River Rafting in the Amazon

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Head upriver to a higher elevation on the green slopes of the Andes. Pass the day on continuous Class III rapids of the Jatunyacu River, moving through the stunning scenery of the upper Amazon basin. This evening, enjoy the nightlife of the jungle town of Tena to complete your Amazon tour adventures

Day 11: Papallacta Hot Springs

In the morning, catch a bus to climb into the Andes. Your destination is the hot springs of Papallacta. Surrounded by steep mountains covered in lush green forest, overnight in thatched roofed cabañas and soak in the thermal baths. For the adventurous, this area offers excellent short hikes into the high páramo.

Day 12: Colonial Quito

A short ride over the Eastern Cordillera brings you back to Quito for the afternoon. If the weather is clear, you are treated to views of glacier-covered Cayambe and Antisana Volcanoes. This afternoon, explore colonial Quito’s narrow streets, baroque churches, and busy plazas and markets with your Adventure Life tour leader.

Day 13: Hacienda Pinsaqui

Nestled in the Otavalo Valley in the shadow of Imbabura Volcano, the 200 year-old Hacienda Pinsaqui was a favorite haunt of the revolutionary General Simon Bolívar. The thick whitewashed walls seem to whisper stories of a by-gone era. From the hacienda, go mountain biking in the countryside, visit the white city of Ibarra and the leather shops of Cotacachi, or explore Cuicocha Lake. Pinsaqui, with its gardens and old textile shops, is yours to explore.

Day 14: Otavalo Market

Finish your Ecuador travels at the Otavalo market, South America’s most famous market. The Otavaleños are one of the most friendly and business savvy Indians on the continent. Saturday is the day that Indians from the surrounding mountains descend into Otavalo to trade goods and socialize with friends and family from around the valley. After a day of testing your wits against the local vendors for tapestries, paintings, scarves and sweaters, its time to head to Quito for a final farewell to your newfound friends.

Day 15: Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast

Accommodations

Casa Del Suizo

Casa Del Suizo
Relax in your own hammock at Casa del Suizo
Casa Del Suizo

Hacienda Pinsaqui

Hacienda Pinsaqui
Hacienda Pinsaqui
Hacienda Pinsaqui

Papallacta Hotsprings Lodge

Papallacta Hotsprings Lodge
Papallacta Hotsprings Lodge
Papallacta Hotsprings Lodge

Hostal Los Yutzos

Tastefully decorated rooms
Balcony view of the Pano River
Lush gardens of native vegetation

Posada Ingapirca

Posada Ingapirca
Posada Ingapirca
Posada Ingapirca

Quito - Hotels

Cuenca - Hotels

Banos - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$4,424

Notes

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Included
  • 12 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • 14 Nights Accommodations
  • 13 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Internal Flight: Quito - Cuenca

Map

When to Go

Jan
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Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
Karen Snider

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