Celebrate world-class wilderness and biological curiosities as you visit Ecuador, one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world!
Adventure abounds as you kayak, trek, mountain bike and snorkel in close proximity of giant tortoises, sea lions, iguanas, boobies, rays and a variety of tropical fish species, among many thousands of other creatures. If you are lucky, you might even make a friend or two!
Our socially and environmentally responsible adventure tour of Ecuador lets you explore the diverse ecosystems while contributing to the good of local communities in a sustainable manner. As our tour guides are avid naturalists passionate about the land, your journey will be integrated with learning about the unique wildlife, history, and development of the country, giving rich context to your experience.
ARRIVING IN QUITO CITY
Bienvenido a Quito! You are now setting foot on the most elevated capital city in the world. What’s more, this well-preserved colonial capital was also the first city (alongside Kraków) to be declared the World Cultural Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1978. Quito is considered the Cultural Capital of South America, having played a significant role in both the old Incan empire and the Spanish colonial empire that succeeded it.
Upon arrival, you will be greeted by our representative, who will take you on a quick tour of the city. Afterward, we can help you organize a day trip or you can spend the remaining part of your day exploring the old town and its surrounds.
The first day is an acclimation day, and there will be a welcome briefing in the evening. Our trip leader will also take this opportunity to discuss the tour details with you and answer any questions that you may have. As the day draws to a close, we will head to a charming restaurant where you will be served a good traditional meal. What better way to prepare for the adventure that lies ahead?
OTAVALO INDIGENOUS MARKET
Departing early, we will head north. During the trip, you will get to enjoy the glorious mountainscape. We will also stop at a vantage point to enjoy the spectacle of Imbabura Volcano and Lake San Pablo.
Once we arrive at Otavalo, we will take the time to learn about the lifestyle, food, and language of the indigenous people. You’re likely to be charmed by their lovely blend of classic blue ponchos, white trousers, and long braided hair.
As you stroll the narrow, cobbled streets, you will get a firsthand look at the vibrant handicraft market filled with a wide selection of colorful textiles, rugs, alpaca throws, tapestries, local art, knitted clothing, ceramics and more – at bargain prices!
We will then grab lunch at Cotacachi, a place known for its leather goods and other articles. Our last destination will be Peguche, a small, peaceful settlement famed for its breathtaking waterfalls and native Andean music. While in Peguche, we will speak with the locals and explore their unique wind instrument production.
Papallacta – Hot Springs
PAPALLACTA HOT SPRINGS
At an altitude of 4,000 meters in the Andes near the Eastern mountain range, we will embark on a journey to the magical Papallacta Hot Springs. The journey will take us between Antisana and Cayambe Coca, two spectacular national reserves in the Paramo ecosystem.
Paramo is a biodiversity hotspot known for its vegetation and for being home to some of the most magnificent creatures such as the Andean condor (also called “king of the Andes”), the spectacled bear, the mountain caracara, deer, and puma.
It won’t be long before you reach the Papallacta Hot Springs Resort and start soaking in its volcanic water pools, accompanied by intimate nature under the expansive skies of the Andes.
Amazon Itamandi Eco – Lodge
HUMMINGBIRDS IN THE CLOUD FOREST
Shrouded in legend and mystery, the Amazon rainforest is home to many folk tales. We will travel to this enigmatic, age-old forest in the morning. Taking a curvy mountain road, we will travel down from an altitude of 3,000 to 500 meters. The pace of floral and scenic change will leave you marveling at nature’s mercurial way.
First, we will stop at Guango reserve to see and learn about the different species of hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are lovely little creatures. Bright and lively, they hover in mid-air flapping their wings at rapid rates and high frequencies that are audible to humans. In the reserve, you will get to know them in their natural habitat where they are most comfortable.
Located between Antisana and Sumaco National Reserve is our next stop, the “guacamayo-macaw” lookout. In this low-altitude forest, you will experience the joyous sight of the magic blanket of clouds casting over the great Amazon. Finally, as you reach the Arajuno River, a motorized canoe will pick you up. Hop on. It will take you up the river to Itamandi Eco-Lodge in twenty minutes.
Amazon Itamandi Eco – Lodge
AMAZON CANOE RIDE AND WILDLIFE
On day five, we will take the canoe down the Napo River (the largest river in Ecuador) to “Amazoonico”. It is a rescue center that shelters animals, some of which are endangered species. We will come into close encounters with the varying species of Capybaras, Monkeys, Toucans, Ocelots, Caimans, Parrots and more.
Later in the afternoon, we will be welcomed by an Amazonian Kichwa community. There will be cultural activities where we will learn about their way of life and their intimate relationship with the forest. The indigenous women play a big role in supporting the community economically. You will get a chance to appreciate their skills in producing handmade, ceramic potteries. Lastly, learning will not be complete without getting to make your own chocolate!
ROAD OF WATERFALLS TO BAÑOS
We will start our journey by traveling down south to Puyo. There, we will pay a quick visit to a balsa shop to appreciate the native, intricate art of carving. Afterward, our sight is set on the majestic Pailon Del Diablo, the second highest waterfall in Ecuador. To get there, we will travel to one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Sangay National Park where Rio Verde is situated.
Upon arrival, we will take a hike down (or you may take an optional route behind the falls). Guided by the thundering voice of the waterfall, you will reach a suspension bridge. And there, standing before you is a thudding waterfall with gushing water cascading through the rocks. The experience is mesmerizing yet humbling.
Continuing our adventure, we will then head to another beautiful waterfall, El Manto de la Novia where you will traverse the canyon of the Pastaza River via cable car.
For our last stop, we will enjoy the hot springs in Banos, a town located right in the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano. It erupts approximately once every few months and has been active since 1999. It brings with it delightful steam and lava displays that intrigue many visitors and can be viewed from a number of safe spots.
HIGHEST VOLCANO IN ECUADOR AND VICUÑAS
On a clear day, the Chimborazo volcano rules the scene. It is the highest mountain in Ecuador with a peak elevation of 6,310 meters. Its location along the equatorial bulge also makes its summit the world’s farthest point from the Earth’s center and can be seen from as far as 140 km away.
Today, we will begin our adventure there. We will start with a short (0.9 km) hike up to around 5,000 meters in elevation where the glacier begins. As we hike, we will get an opportunity to see the many incredible animals that inhabit this volcanic wonderland. One such creature to look for is the once extinct, timid Vicuñas. Protected and reintroduced in Ecuador, this beauty is related to the alpacas and Illamas.
Devil’s Nose Train – Inca Ruins – Cuenca
DEVIL’S NOSE TRAIN AND INCA RUINS
In the morning, we will travel to a small town of Alausi where we will board a train to the Devil’s Nose. We will be taken on a thrilling ride, zigzagging our way from tropical lowlands up to the Andean highlands for epic panoramic views.
After the scenic feast, we will discover Ingapirca, the most remarkable Inca ruins in Ecuador. As you immerse yourself in its unique blend of Inca and native Cañari architecture, you will also learn about the religious and historical richness of the archeological site.
Finally, we will reach Cuenca, a city with spectacular colonial architecture and gorgeous scenery. Not surprising, the old town of this city is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Cuenca City – Cuenca
UNESCO CITY CUENCA
After a morning breakfast, we will take a tour of this beautiful city, visiting important places we don’t want to miss. We will first explore the Calderon Square, El Barranco, the New Cathedral, and the El Turi lookout.
Then, we will visit a famous Panama hat factory to discover the secret process behind the iconic Ecuadorian hat. Later in the early evening, we will take a 45-min domestic flight back to Quito where we will join everyone for a farewell dinner.
Quito – Departure
END OF SERVICES
International departures, our journey ends here. Take with you all the enriching and unforgettable experience. Let this enchanted land holds a special place in your heart. Come back soon. But for now, we wish you, “un Buen Viaje”!
Minimum age: 6 years old
Group size: maximum 15 people
Travel style: Classic Journeys
We intend to adhere to the itinerary. However, due to our travel style, on occasions, it may be necessary or desirable to make minor changes. Unpredictable local circumstances and weather conditions may also prompt us to make changes to the route and/or travel times. Hotels and flight schedules might change according to availability. Any mention of specific wildlife in the itinerary or trip details is not a guarantee that it will be seen during the trip.
From 2 to 3 hours driving average from place to place.
From 500 to 5000m (1,600 to 16,500 ft).
Day 15-34 ºC / 59-93 ºF
Night 12-17 ºC / 53-62 ºF
Easy. This program will run from the high Andean Mountains to the Tropical Rainforest of the Amazon. It involves hiking in flat areas of the Amazon, down to the Pastaza canon and the Pailon Del Diablo waterfall for 1 km. Optional 5,000m hike up to Chimborazo Volcano Base Camp.
Life jackets, hiking sticks.
Guides are certified as Wilderness First Aid Responders. We carry a complete first aid kit.
All prices are based on double-occupancy. For solo travelers, we will match you with another participant of the same gender. If you prefer, we can also arrange a single room for you at an extra cost, please contact us prior to your departure.
Traveling with us, you will get a chance to taste traditional food and snacks. Your guide will help suggest the best places to eat. Some meals are not included in order to give you some flexibility about where, what and with whom to eat. You have the option to share these meals with the group; however, there is no obligation to do this. If you have any allergies or food restrictions, please inform us in prior to your departure.
SUSTAINABLE ECO AND CULTURAL TOURISM
Clients will receive a conservationist interpretation of the ecology of the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest and its areas of concern. To support responsible ecotourism, we strive to promote long-term conservation as a sustainable alternative to surrendering to the oil industry’s destructive appetites. We recycle all non-organic garbage.
After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.