Handpicked Ecuador

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.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Quito

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.

Day 2: Quito

Begin exploring this vibrant mountain city. Packed with architectural treasures, Quito’s exquisite Centro Historico is the largest and most well-preserved historic centre of any Latin American city. Picturesque plazas and baroque 17th century cathedrals contrast spectacularly with the snow-covered peaks beyond. Visit the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, and the impressive La Compania Church which, with its ornate golden altars and perfect symmetry, is one of South America’s greatest baroque masterpieces.

Day 3: Quito – Otavalo Market – Quito 

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.

Day 4: Quito – Cotopaxi – Baños 

Travel to Baños and en route visit Cotopaxi National Park. The breathtaking snow-capped Cotopaxi Volcano dominates the landscape.

Day 5: Patate – Baños – Riobamba 

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.

Day 6: Riobamba – Alausi – Cuenca

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.

Day 7: Cuenca

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.

Day 8: Cuenca – Cajas National Park – Guayaquil

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.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Quito on selected dates:$3,895.00Price on Application

Inclusions 
Meals: 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 2 dinners
Transport:Airport Transfers & Modern air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation: 7 nights accommodation
Guide: Local English Speaking guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Ecuador Adventure

Discover a treasure trove of natural and cultural wonders in Ecuador, on South America’s Pacific coast. Immerse yourself in its soaring capital city and stroll through the cobblestone plazas. Wander through nature’s playground in the rainforest at Mashpi. Stay awhile to meet Andean villagers in markets and workshops, and delight in the traditional life of a hacienda. There’s a whole world to explore in these Andean peaks.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Quito

Touchdown in Quito, the second highest capital in the world at 2,850 metres, after La Paz Bolivia, and one of the most endearing. Receive your A&K welcome and enjoy a private transfer to your boutique accommodation in the historic centre. After time to relax and refresh, take a short private visit to nearby Carmen Alto cloister, which dates to the 17th century. Spend time with the Carmelite nuns who still live there and sample their traditional sweet treats before returning to the hotel.

Hotel: Casa Gangotena, 2 nights

Day 2: Quito

Delve deeper into Ecuador’s captivating capital and learn first-hand how it earned its status as one of the first UNESCO World Heritage sites. Meander through colonial streets and cobblestone plazas amongst flowering balconies and intricate woodcarvings. Linger in the San Francisco Church, the bustling Independence Plaza and La Compañía, where seven tonnes of gilded shimmering walls will take your breath away. Spend the afternoon at leisure. Head to the hotel’s terrace and enjoy a drink as you soak up the views across San Francisco square. Alternatively explore more of the city brimming with friendly locals, hearty foods, colonial architecture.

Day 3: Quito – Mashpi Reserve

A private journey north to the Equator at the Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World) and experience the bizarre sensation of standing in both hemispheres at once. Spend some time learning about the unique astrology and science of the Equator in the Intiñan Museum. Continue over the pass towards the Pacific Ocean and arrive at Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve, one of the world’s most important biodiversity hot spots, home to thousands of plant species and more than 500 species of bird. Be hypnotised by the lively flying machines at Hummingbird Viewpoint before arriving at your luxury hideaway. Following lunch, meet your expedition leader and discuss the menu of unique eco-adventures led by expert naturalist and local community guides. Pedal over gorges and treetops on a sky bike. Meander through forest trails. Or take a dip in the nearby waterfalls. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the wilderness by night on a guided walk.

Hotel: Mashpi Lodge, 2 nights

Day 4: Mashpi Reserve

Discover, experience and cherish the wonders of Mashpi. Rise early to hear the choir of birds welcome the day. Venture into the forest and navigate trails of wondrous wildlife, with ferns towering above and a carpet of mushrooms underfoot. Seek out waterfalls and wade through refreshing rivers, all while learning the secrets of the forest. Visit the Life Centre to discover more about your surroundings, or simply laze in a hammock with a cup of locally-grown java, mesmerised by the vivid butterflies and birds. Climb the observation tower for a birds-eye vista.

Day 5: Mashpi Reserve – Otavalo

Enjoy a final activity this morning before leaving this secret wonderland and heading north into the dizzying heights of the Andes, to a family-run hacienda and your home for the next two nights. Hear stories of this 1600-hectare farm, which has been in the family of the late Galo Plaza Lasso, a former president of Ecuador, for more than 100 years. Then, seek out your favourite spot for a glass of wine before dinner.

Hotel: Hacienda Zuleta, 2 nights

Day 6: Otavalo

Rise early to glimpse rare species of birds on a gentle walk around the property. Take a hike on any of the self-guided paths around your hacienda. Visit the Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation, which has set up a wild condor rehabilitation project on the estate, or you may enjoy exploring the hacienda’s organic garden and cheese factory, with an opportunity to even try your hand at milking a cow.

Day 7: Otavalo – Cotopaxi National Park

Depart for the bustling small town of Otavalo. Meet the friendly Otavaleños and discover strange-looking produce at the world-famous market (Saturday is the main market day) that’s been gathering since pre-Incan times. Continue your morning filled with talent and artistry in the small mountain village of Peguche. Step inside a music-filled home where your talented hosts craft and play traditional instruments, then learn the ancient art of weaving. Enter a world of delicate colour in the rose plantation of Hacienda La Compañía which originally belonged to the Jesuit order and is now home to one of UNICEF’s Flowers for Kids educational initiatives where you will enjoy a delicious local lunch. Continue your journey south along the aptly-named Avenue of Volcanoes to Cotopaxi, the highest of Ecuador’s volcanoes at almost 6,000 metres. Arrive at your historic hacienda for an unforgettable stay.

Hotel: Hacienda San Agustin del Callo, 2 nights

Day 8: Cotopaxi National Park

Spend time today in the park on a gentle walk to the beautiful Laguna Limpiopungo, at the base of Volcán Rumiñahui, home to local and migrating waterfowl. Return to the hacienda and enjoy the afternoon at leisure soaking up the splendid views of the perfectly cone-shaped Cotopaxi. For the more active, head out on a horse ride, explore by mountain bike or visit nearby rose plantations.

Day 9: Cotopaxi National Park – Riobamba

Journey this morning along the mountainous spine dotted with villages and farms to the Andean crater lake of Laguna Quilotoa. Visit the nearby villages of Tigua and Pujili and browse artisan crafts. Continue to Riobamba, once the capital of Ecuador and now a vibrant town brimming with colonial treasures. Meander through the old town, enjoy religious art in the Concepción Convent and expand your knowledge in the Natural Science Museum.

Hotel: Hacienda La Andaluza

Day 10: Riobamba – Alausí – Cuenca

Rise early for the iconic rail journey down the Devil’s Nose, an incredible feat of engineering. Head first to the city of Alausí to board your train. Drink in the Andean peaks from your carriage as you climb up the cliffs. Then, descend the Devil’s Nose, a series of switchbacks designed to let the train traverse a 45-degree rock slope. Stop awhile to explore the charming museum, before riding back to Alausí. Following a simple lunch at a local restaurant, head to the complex Inca ruins of Ingapirca, a place of extraordinary historical significance and a site that was originally used as a political and religious centre. Later continue your adventure to historic Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage site and your boutique colonial hotel.

Hotel: Mansion Alcazar, 2 nights

Day 11: Cuenca

Immerse yourself in the “Athens of the Andes” and discover why it’s hailed the hidden treasure of Ecuador and considered the most beautiful city in the country. Meander along cobblestone streets and through flowery plazas to the striking cathedral with three blue domes. Be sure to peek inside at the jaw-dropping gold altar. Later, enjoy the quirky Homero Ortega Panama Hat factory before swapping the city charm for the creative villages of Santa Ana Valley. Meet the guitar-makers of San Bartolomé, visit jewellery workshops in Chordeleg and seek out gems in the colourful markets of Gualaceo.

Day 12: Cuenca – Depart Guayaquil

Begin the day with a private journey over the continental divide to the El Cajas National Park, a UNESCO-protected site on Cuenca’s doorstep. Take some time to explore the park, with its rolling lakelands, ancient woods and sprawling cloud forest set against a jagged skyline of rocky peaks. Continue to Guayaquil, the nation’s principle port and gateway to the Galapagos Islands. End your journey here or continue to the Galapagos Islands.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Quito daily:$14,555.00Price on Application

Inclusions 
Meals: 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 7 dinners
Transport:Airport Transfers & Modern air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation: 11 nights accommodation
Guide: Local English Speaking guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Serenata en Quito

Few cities have a setting to match that of Quito, the second highest capital in Latin America after La Paz, Bolivia. Set in a hollow at the foot of the Pichincha Volcano, which stands at 4,794 metres. Quito was an Inca city, discovered by the Spaniards in 1534 and its charm lies in its colonial centre, with steep and narrow cobbled streets.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Quito

Transfer from Quito International Airport to your hotel.

Day 2: Quito

Tour to the old and new city with a Shopping tour in the afternoon.

Day 3: Depart Quito

Transfer to Quito International Airport.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Casa Gardenia:$655.00$1,172.00
Mansion Del Angel:$699.00$1,326.00
Relicario del Carmen (Boutique Hotel):$830.00$1,015.00
Patio Andaluz (Boutique Hotel):$853.00$1,151.00
Plaza Grande (Boutique Hotel):$1,291.00$2,093.00
Casa Gangotena (Boutique Hotel):$1,603.00$2,708.00
Inclusions 
Meals: 2 Breakfasts
Transport:Airport Transfers & air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation: 2 nights accommodation
Guide:Excursions with bilingual guides
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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