The Best of Ecuador

15 nights

Priced from £6700 per person

A note about pricing

An itinerary with a great combination of haciendas and hotels, each of which is the best in the area and staying in the best rooms.  It is a diverse holiday where you will visit cloud forests, volcanoes, visit shaman and colonial towns as well as making a journey into the Amazon.

As a guideline, the itinerary outlined below would cost approximately £6,700 per person based on two people travelling and includes all activities on a private basis, private transfers, internal flights in Ecuador, accommodation and taxes and meals where mentioned.

Please note that the itinerary does not include any international flights

Day 1 Fly to Quito.  Met on arrival by our representative and transfer to the Patio Andaluz for the night in a standard room on a b&b basis.
Day 2 Met and transferred (2 ½ hrs) to the Mashpi lodge with a stop at the Tulipe Observatory. Arrival to the entrance of Mashpi Reserve, where you will board the buggies to the lodge. The afternoon is dedicated to rainforest fauna, with visits to the serpentarium and saparium (snake and frog vivariums). After lunch, visit the Butterfly Vivarium and bird watch at a lek. 2 nights in a wayra room on a full board basis, including all activities.
Day 3 In the morning, explore the rain forest canopy with the Aerial Tram; options include a jungle walk and/or a dip in the Mashpi River. Visit plantations and harvest regional produce, which will be prepared for lunch at Casa Campesina by a local family. In the afternoon, back to the lodge via the Aerial Tram.
Day 4 Met early in the morning for your transfer to Patate in the heart of the ‘Avenue of Volcanoes’. The drive south passes through valleys and mountains before arriving at the Cotopaxi National Park, which surrounds the magnificent Cotopaxi Volcano.  You will have a chance to take a short walk through this Andean paramo habitat and its unique flora and fauna, where you should be able to see a number of high-altitude birds around Limpiopungo Lagoon, and occasionally wild horses.  On clear days, the perfect snow-capped cone of the Cotopaxi Volcano is quite a sight!  Transfer to the hacienda San Augustin de Callo for 2 nights in an Inca suite on a half board basis.
Day 5 A free day for personal exploration and relaxation.  The hacienda has a variety of activities, all of which can be arranged and paid for locally.
Day 6 After an early breakfast depart by road, skirting the flanks of the Andes, along bridging ravines and river gorges.  Ride through Indian villages and cultivated fields; here is where most of the cereals in Ecuador are grown, among them, the quinua, considered the perfect grain for its nutritional value.  Continue south, visiting the Inca Fortress of Ingapirca where you will have lunch. Transfer to Cuenca in the late afternoon and the Mansion Alcazar hotel for 3 nights in the Cielo suite on a b&b basis
Day 7 Cuenca is Ecuador’s third largest city; yet it still retains its pleasant provincial air.  Its red tiled roofs, cobblestone streets, flowery plazas and museums make it a unique place.  Met for your half day city tour, where if time allows you will visit; the Plaza of San Sebastian, a colorful artisans market, where handicrafts are sold.  Then, visit the Museum of Modern Art, featuring an excellent collection of contemporary fine art.  Next visit to the flower market at the small plaza in front of the carved stone entrance to the church of El Carmen de la Asunción.  From here, a stroll to the main square, surrounded by the imposing blue-domed Cathedral, the Court of Justice, the Municipal Palace, the Governor’s Palace and the Church of El Sagrario.  Afternoon free for personal exploration.
Day 8 Met for your full day tour to Gualaceo, an amazingly colorful and rich town. Here you will visit the vibrant market, the orchids’ farm with more than 5000 different species from Ecuador and several other places in the world and the “Ikat” weaving workshops, make this tour a unique opportunity to experience the Andean culture. After lunch you will visit the village of Chordeleg as well, famous for its jewelry and the Panama hat weavers. Lunch included at a traditional Hacienda.
Day 9 Met and transferred to the airport for your internal flight to Quito, depart on EQ 172 at 08:30 arrive 09:15.  Met on arrival and transferred north to Otavalo.  You will stop en-route to visit the bird of prey sanctuary centre which overlooks the San Pablo Lake.  In the afternoon you will visit the town of San Antonio de Ibarra, famous for the woodcarvings, the town of Cotacachi, an entire town dedicated to selling fine leather products, and the town of Peguche where textiles are woven in old fashioned looms. Continue to the Hacienda Zuleta for 2 nights in a standard room on a half board basis.
Day 10 Met for your visit the famous market of Otavalo, piled high with ponchos, woollen goods, tapestries, the original “Panama” hat, sweaters, Indian jewellery and many other peculiar handicrafts.  In the afternoon you will visit a local shaman where you will have an insight into their medicinal practices and way of life.
Day 11 A day for personal exploration and relaxation, where you can go horse riding – arranged by you. Met in the late afternoon and transferred to Quito and the Patio Andaluz hotel for the night in a standard room on a b&b basis.
Day 12 Met and transferred to the airport for your flight to Coca, gateway to the Ecuadorian Amazon.  Met on arrival and transfer to motorised canoes for your 2 hour journey up the Napo river.  On arrival at the Napo wildlife reserve you will switch to a canoe where you will be paddled up the black water creek to the lodge. 3 nights in a suite on a full board basis including all excursions.
Day 13-14 2 full days of excursions supplied by the lodge including; canoe rides across the lake, walking trails, medicinal trails and nocturnal excursions.
Day 15 Met after breakfast for your return journey by dugout canoe, foot and motorised canoe to Coca where you will transfer to the airport for your return flight to Quito.  Met on arrival and transfer to the Patio Andaluz for the night in a standard room on a b&b basis.
Day 16 Met and transferred to the airport for your return international flight

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