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7-Day The Best of Ecuador

Discover the secrets of the Ecuadorian Andes and cloud forest regions with a full-immersion in the cultural and natural wonders that make Ecuador one of the countries with the biggest biodiversity in the world.

Enjoy waterfalls, butterflies, bird watching and chocolate making in the tropical paradise of Mindo, then take a spectacular drive through the cloud forest to reach the coffee valley of Intag, where you will visit a coffee plantation. Back to the highlands, visit Cuicocha crater-lake, the world-famous indigenous market of Otavalo and then live an unique experience sharing an organic lunch prepared side by side with local people in the very heart of the Andes.

"Unique Experiences:"

Organic cooking lesson with traditional fresh ingredients, side by side with local people in the heart of the Andes

Take a scenic drive in the valley of Intag and taste the organic fair-trade coffee produced in the area

per adult from

$1,510

AUD

Duration

7 days

Pickup

Hotel pickup available

Voucher

Mobile ticket

Select Date and Travellers

No tour options available.

  • What's included :
    • 6x Breakfast
    • 1x Lunch
    • Accommodation included: 6 nights
    • Activities: Equator Line museum tour, Hiking to waterfalls in the cloud forest, Visit Butterfly farm and chocolate factory, Organic fair-trade coffee tasting in Intag Valley, Visit Otavalo indigenous market, Organic lunch cooking with local people, Hike and boat ride at Cuicocha crater lake, Volcanic hot springs, Visit Cotopaxi National Park
    • Accommodation based in double occupancy: First class hotel in Quito, cloud forest lodge in Mindo, hacienda in Otavalo, luxury spa resort in Papallacta.
    • Transportation: Private and comfortable land transportation.
    • Out-door gear: Hiking sticks
    • Trip Leader: Certified AJ expert English-speaking adventure trip leader and local guides
    • Entry/Admission - Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest Reserve
    • Entry/Admission - Otavalo Market
    • Entry/Admission - Termas de Papallacta
    • Entry/Admission - Cotopaxi National Park
    What's excluded :
    • International fligts
    • My Own Room supplement
    • Travel insurance (mandatory)
    • Airport transfers ( International flights)
    • Meals not described in the itinerary
    • Personal expenses
    • Tips

  • Day 1: Arrival in Quito City

    Pass By: Quito Old Town, Quito Ecuador
    Meet your AJ trip leader and group at 6:00pm.

    Welcome to Quito! The largest, best-preserved colonial city of America - declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and is located on the equator in a valley at the foothills of the Pichincha volcano. Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. ADVENTURE JOURNEYS can help you to organize a day trip (please request in advance). In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel’s lobby for a welcome briefing at 18:00 hours. At this time we will discuss the details and questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an acclimation and information day.

    No meals included on this day.
    Accommodation included: Swissôtel Quito or similar

    Day 2: Mindo Cloud Forest and The Equator Line

    Stop At: Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest Reserve, Mindo Ecuador
    On the first day of our adventure, we will drive north of Quito to witness the equator monument complex. Visiting the middle of the world is a mandatory stop once you are in Ecuador, you’ll have the opportunity to be able to stand on both sides of the hemispheres, north and south, at the same time and feel the neutral forces of the equator. On our way, we will also stop for a view of the Pululahua crater, the third largest inhabited volcano crater in the world, hosting more than 400 people. After, we will reach the little town of Mindo, nestled into the cloud forest. This area is filled with a wide variety of plants and animal life – perfect for a nice introduction to the diversity of Ecuador. Mindo and its surrounding cloud forest are a birdwatcher's paradise, especially for hummingbirds! In the afternoon we will visit a chocolate distributor, where you can take a tour of the process of the cocoa, from harvesting the seed to the final product, like as a delicious brownie or a cup of real hot cocoa.
    Duration: 8 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    Accommodation included: Séptimo Paraíso Lodge or Similar

    Day 3: Hiking to the Seven Waterfalls

    Stop At: Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest Reserve, Mindo Ecuador
    We will explore the pristine cloud rain forest of Mindo, crossing cable cars and hiking along waterfalls, surrounded by a lush green forest filled with toucans, hummingbirds and colorful birds. In the afternoon, you will have some free time to enjoy the several optional outdoor activities offered in this area. You can go whitewater rafting or "tubing" (several large inner-tubes tied together) as our steely-nerved guides steer you through thrilling rapids. Or try a canopy zip-line (sailing along with one of 13 zip-lines over the beautiful canopy of the cloud forest.) One of the highlights of today is the visit to the butterfly nursery, where we watch gargantuan butterflies dry their wings after emerging from their jewel-like cocoons. You can dip your fingers into a banana concoction and then be thrilled as butterflies the size of birds land on your hands for a snack.
    Duration: 8 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    Accommodation included: Séptimo Paraíso Lodge or Similar

    Day 4: Otavalo Market

    Stop At: Otavalo Market, Plaza de los Ponchos, Otavalo 100450 Ecuador
    Drive back up into the highlands and reach the Pan-American Highway heading north on the way to the famous indigenous town of Otavalo. Here, admire the endless number of handicrafts from the local people. Take time to stroll along the narrow cobblestone streets, which are filled with Otavalo indigenous people wearing the traditional blue ponchos. Visit their handicraft market, with its wonderful textiles, native paintings, ceramics, jewelry, tapestries and more at bargain prices. In Otavalo, there will be enough time for shopping and cultural interaction. In the afternoon, we will drive to Cotacachi to witness the impressive leather goods of the town and enjoy the beauty of this small village. There will be some free time for you to explore the shops or simply relax while sipping on one of the best coffees in Ecuador in the main plaza. Later we will arrive at the beautiful, historical hacienda of Pinsaqui where we will stay overnight. Enjoy a typical Andean cocktail as welcome, and learn about the history of this place.
    Duration: 8 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    Accommodation included: Hacienda Pinsaqui or Similar

    Day 5: Cuicocha Crater Lake and Papallacta Hot Springs

    Stop At: Termas de Papallacta, Km. 65 vía Quito - Baeza, Papallacta 150753 Ecuador
    Today we will first visit Cotacachi Cayapas ecological reserve to see the breath taking scenery of the crystalline-clear waters of this active volcano and the amazing surrounding landscapes. At the end of an hour long hike along the rim of the Cuicocha Crater Lake, we will take a boat ride to the center of the crater to observe the activity of this volcano, watching bubbles coming up from the center of the caldera.

    Later, we will head to Peguche, a small village located in the heart of the Andes, where you will live an unforgettable cultural experience, immersing yourself in the true spirit of the South-American highlands. You will help the local people prepare a delicious lunch using the fresh products harvested the same day from the surrounding organic fields and share precious moments of conviviality with them.

    In the late afternoon, we will reach the luxury volcanic hot-springs resort of Papallacta, where you will have the chance to relax at the spa resort surrounded by the view of the majestic Andean mountains.
    Duration: 8 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    Accommodation included: Papallacta Spa Resort or similar

    Day 6: Cotopaxi Active Volcano

    Stop At: Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador
    After breakfast, following a last dip in the open-air hot springs, we will drive south on the Pan-American Highway to the highest active volcano in the world, Cotopaxi. The snow-capped volcano is surrounded by the national park, home to abundant plant life, rich fauna and Inca ruins. We will begin our visit at the interpretation center at the entrance of the park, before continuing our drive across the páramo to the Limpiopungo Lake. During a short walk around the lake, we can observe a variety of birds and enjoy the stunning views of the almost symmetrical cone of the Cotopaxi volcano. Afterward, drive back to Quito for our last dinner.
    Duration: 8 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    Accommodation included: Swissôtel Quito or Similar

    Day 7: End of services

    Pass By: Quito Old Town, Quito Ecuador
    International departures, end of services. Take with you memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador soon to experience more of this enchanted land. We wish you a "Buen Viaje"!

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    No accommodation included on this day.
  • Departure Point :
    Swissôtel Quito, Ave 12 de Octubre 1820, Quito 170143, Ecuador
    Traveler pickup is offeredAirports
    • Mariscal Sucre Airport, Quito Ecuador
    Departure Time :
    8:00 AM
    Return Detail :
    Returns to original departure point
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Wheelchair accessible
    • IMPORTANT DETAILS
    • It is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described; however, due to our travel style, on occasions it may be necessary or desirable to make small changes. Weather conditions and unpredictable local circumstances may lead us to make alterations to the route and/or travel times. Hotels and flight schedules might change according to availability. Any mention to specific wildlife in the itinerary or trip details is not a guarantee that it will be seen during the trip.
    • 2 – 3 hours driving a day.
    • From 3 to 4 hours a day. Please check the maps and full biking information in the full itinerary.
    • All year
    • Pichincha, Imbabura, Napo, Cotopaxi
    • Highlands and tropical rainforest in Ecuador.
    • From 1510 meters (4,950 ft.) to 4000 meters (12,631 ft.
    • Day 15-34ºC / 59-93ºF - Night 12-17ºC / 53-62ºF
    • Easy. This program will run from the high Andean Mountains to the cloud forest, involving some short hikes.
    • High quality MTB (Disk brakes and front suspension), Shimano Deore parts, gloves, helmets. For canyoning: harnesses, waterhelmets, ropes, wetsuits, watershoes and carabiners.
    • All prices are based on double-occupancy. If you are travelling solo, you will be matched with another participant of your same sex. If you prefer to have a single room, please contact AJ prior to your departure to arrange your accommodation at an extra cost.
    • Travelling with Adventure Journeys you will have the possibility to experience and taste local food and snacks. Your guide will help you identify typical food and suggest the best places to enjoy it. 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 AJ prior to your departure.
    • All AJ guides and trip leaders are highly experienced, licensed to operate in Ecuador and certified as Wilderness Adventure First Aid responders. We always carry a complete first aid kit in our trips.
    • In some location and for some activities, local guides join the trip leaders to provide an added service. In the Galapagos Islands, minimum 4 participants for the AJ trip leader service are required.
    • Clients receive interpretation and education about the ecology and conservation of the Andes, Amazon Rainforest and Galapagos Islands, and learn about the factors that threaten it. We aim to promote long-term conservation of both local people cultural identity and the environment. We transport out and recycle all non-organic garbage and we prefer to work with local suppliers. Your visit will encourage the local communities to support responsible eco-tourism as a sustainable alternative for their living.
    • Stroller accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Near public transportation
    • Infant seats available
    • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
    • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
    • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
    • Face masks required for guides in public areas
    • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
    • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
    • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
    • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
    • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
    • Guides required to regularly wash hands
    • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

Language

English - Guide

Age Req.

-

Fitness Req.

None

Group Size

15

Organised by Adventure Journeys

Activity ID: V-59685P13

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