Selected one of National Geographic Traveler's 50 Tours of a Lifetime 2013 
 

ITINERARY

WONDERS OF ECUADOR TOUR
Quito – Otavalo - Cotacachi – Baños – Ingapirca – Cuenca – Guayaquil

11 Day Tours of Ecuador from only $TBD

Land cost per person: $TBD
11 days (6 nights haciendas & 4 nights hotel)

Not offered in 2013

Land cost. $TBD
Single Supplement, if requested.

$TBD

TRIP FEE INCLUDES:

• All airport transfers and ground transportation as scheduled on itinerary.

• If you are traveling alone, are willing to share accommodations, and reserve at least 180 days in advance, we will not charge a single supplement, even if we can't find you a roommate. If you reserve later we will try our best to find a roommate and if that is not possible we will only charge you half of the single supplement. If you prefer single accommodations, they can be requested at a supplemental cost.

• All accommodations in Ecuador are in fine hotels and beautiful haciendas. Based on double occupancy, rooms are shared by two people.

• All meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Vegetarian meals can be accommodated (please request in advance).

• All sightseeing tours and park entrance fees to destinations on the itinerary.

• The services of professional tour guides.

NOT INCLUDED:

• International airport departure tax in Quito (approx. $32.00 U.S), travel insurance, passport fees, excess baggage fees, gratuity to professional tour guide/leader. All items of personal nature such as: sleeping bag, personal gear, laundry, telephone calls, beverages, bottled water, etc.

Note: All itineraries are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control including, weather, road or trail conditions and flight schedules.

EXTENSIONS:

The following extensions are available (contact us for details):

  • Galápagos Islands
  • Jungle & Rainforest
  • Climbing volcanoes

Andes Adventures travel, trekking and running in Peru - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Ausangate, Huayhuash, Cordillera Blanca
1323 12th Street, Suite F
Santa Monica, CA  90401

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Phone (310) 395-5265 
FAX (310) 395-7343

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© 2000-2014 Andes Adventures, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

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Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Plan your 2015 Travel Adventure today!

Day 1: USA/Quito/Hacienda Pinsaquí

Depart the USA on a morning flight to Quito.

We arrive late morning in Quito, the Andean capital of Ecuador, located at 9,350 feet in an Andean valley between the lush base of Volcán (Volcano) Pichincha to the west and the canyon of the Machángara River to the east. After lunch, we leave on a guided exploration of the architectural monuments of the colonial sector of Quito and other sites including: the stone-carved façade of Ecuador’s House of Congress, the Independence Square, the Presidential Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral. The tour also includes the monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañía. All the rich interiors are examples of the “Baroque school of Quito,” which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art. We continue our drive through the highlands to the historic Hacienda Pinsaquí built in 1790. This uniquely restored hacienda was originally a textile workshop and its famous fabrics were exported to the United States in the late 1800s.

Overnight: Hacienda Pinsaquî.
Meals: L,D.

Day 2: Otavalo/Cotacachi/Hacienda Pinsaquí

This morning we visit the most famous and largest handicraft fair in South America, the market at Otavalo. Otavaleños are most famous for their weavings such as tapestries, sweaters, blankets, ponchos and other woolen goods. You will also find paintings, ceramics and jewelry.

After lunch we continue to Cotacachi. The small town of Cotacachi is well known for its leather goods. You will find jackets, coats, hats to saddles and almost anything made in leather. You will not find an open market like in Otavalo, but a street with many shops where they sell the various leather articles. We visit the Cotacachi-Cayapas ecological reserve and the sapphire-blue Cuicocha Lake (Guinea Pig Lake), a volcanic crater in the flanks of Volcán Cotacachi. We enjoy views of several volcanoes, including Imbabura, Cayambe (18,996’).

We spend the afternoon relaxing and sightseeing the surroundings of the beautiful Hacienda.

Overnight: Hacienda Pinsaquî.
Meals: B, L, D.

Day 3: Zuleta/Hacienda Cusin

A short drive takes us to Hacienda Zuleta (9,600’), a 300-year-old historic retreat. The hacienda built in 1691 is a 4,000-acre working farm that thrives under the supervision of former Ecuadorian President Galo Plazo Lasso’s descendants. The farm produces a wide range of products including: milk, cheese, barley, quinoa, potatoes, wheat, organic vegetables and compost. It also boasts a wide variety of livestock, dairy cows, sheep, horses and purebred horses. The farm includes an organic garden, tree nursery, trout farm, embroidery workshop and the Andean Condor Rehabilitation project. We enjoy a delicious lunch at the hacienda and visit this historical site accompanied by one of its owners. We spend the night at the renowned Hacienda Cusin (9,500’), a restored 16th-century estate surrounded by 7 acres of beautiful gardens and fountain courtyards.

Overnight: Hacienda Cusin
Meals: B, L, D.

Day 4: Cotopaxi/Hacienda La Ciénega

Today we will see very dramatic changes in climate and vegetation. Our route begins at Hacienda Cusin and passes through several climatic zones before ending at the “Middle of the World Equatorial Monument.” This monument was built to commemorate the French geodesic expedition in the 18th century that determined the location of the equatorial line.

We drive through several Andean towns. Our stop today is in Cotopaxi National Park, stopping along the way to visit a herd of llamas and a small museum about the park. From the camping and picnicking area at Laguna de Limpiopungo (12,464'), we’ll enjoy views of Volcán Cotopaxi (19,347'), known as the world’s highest active volcano and celebrated for the symmetrical perfection of its cone. We may see Andean lapwings, caranculated caracara, the endemic Ecuadorian hillstar and possibly condors and may catch sight of wild horses, llamas and deer.

We continue south along the Avenue of the Volcanoes and visit the traditional Saquisili market which takes place every Thursday.

We arrive at Hacienda La Cienéga. Alexander Von Humboldt lived in the historic hacienda in 1802 while studying the Cotopaxi volcano; the world’s highest active volcano that is recognized for the symmetrical perfection of its cone. Several other important celebrities resided at the hacienda in the 1700s.

Overnight: Hacienda La Ciénega
Meals: B, L, D.

Day 5: Baños

Departure from Cotopaxi to the picturesque city of Baños at 5,700 feet, situated in a valley of waterfalls and hot springs. The climate here is subtropical and tropical fruits are cultivated in this region. We will have superb views of active Volcán Tungurahua, also known as "The Black Giant”, the largest volcano in Ecuador.

Baños has become a mecca for international travelers seeking year-round temperate weather, it has a small town atmosphere and it is a base for exploring the great Ecuadorian outdoors.

Overnight: Monte Selva or similar
Meals: B, L, D.

Day 6: Riobamba

We drive for about an hour to Riobamba and arrive to Hosteria Abraspungo located in a residential suburb in the city of Riobamba. Its architectural style is “mestizo” typical of the Ecuadorian countryside, representing the type of architecture used in the ancestral manors and mansions as well as the housing of the country men of Ecuador. Stylishly decorated, with all types of ancestral objects used in farming and very illustrative photographs of native landscapes and cultures, you can appreciate the richness of the natural resources of Ecuador. Abraspungo is also the name of the valley between the volcanoes of Chimborazo and Carihuairazo (16,470’).

Overnight: Hosteria Abraspungo
Meals: B, L, D.

Day 7: Ingapirca

We head south to Ingapirca located in the Cañar Province. Ingapirca is the most important archaeological complex in Ecuador and it is the most extensive site this far north from the Inca strongholds in Peru. The Ingapirca site is nestled amidst a patchwork of pastoral green landscape. The remains include religious chambers, cemeteries, observatories, terraces, roads, storage rooms, plazas and the site’s most impressive structure the “Temple of the Sun," which was an important ceremonial and ritual center for both the Cañari and Inca cultures. We will have time to relax and wonder around before dinner.

Overnight: Posada Ingapirca
Meals: B, L, D.

Day 8: Cuenca

We continue to Cuenca, Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca is set in a valley surrounded by the Andean mountains in the south of Ecuador. This colonial town, now the country's third largest city, was founded in 1557. Cuenca's architecture, much of which dates from the 18th century, was 'modernized' in the economic prosperity of the 19th century as the city became a major exporter of quinine, straw hats and other products. The Historic Center of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca was declared a UNESCO World heritage site in 1990, because Cuenca illustrates the successful implantation of the principles of Renaissance urban planning in the Americas.

After lunch we go on a sightseeing city tour of Cuenca. For visitors from all over the world and Ecuadorians as well, Cuenca is a colonial jewel, reminiscent of Europe with its narrow cobblestone streets, its quiet demeanor and its charmingly old-fashioned ambience. The many sights of interest here include the city’s main cathedral, numerous other churches, Inca ruins and more.

We will visit the Panama hat factory (Cuenca is the largest center of hat production in Ecuador) and Pumapungo "Puma’s Door" neighborhood. This was the first development zone of the Inca city of Tumipamba. The architectural elements of the ruins of this neighborhood shows that it was a religious, military, political and administrative center. The archaeological site of Pumapungo include walls, channels, cobble stoned corridors, isolated enclosed areas, an enormous channel 1,050 feet long internal bathrooms, a mausoleum inside a tunnel, etc. All this is surrounded by terraces that were used for agriculture. The complex is complemented with gardens of native plants.

Overnight: Inca Real Hotel
Meals: B, L, D.

Day 9: Cuenca and surroundings

We will visit markets around Cuenca including Gualaceo, a small community outside Cuenca situated on the banks of the Rio Gualaceo. The slightly lower elevation makes it ideal for growing such fruit as peaches, apricots, apples, cherries, cherimoyas, etc. We will also visit Chorgeleg, an old pre-Inca Cañari town that has a variety of artisans: poncho weavers, paja toquilla hat and basket weavers, potters and jewelers.

The rest of the day is for relaxing, shopping, sightseeing and enjoying Cuenca.

Overnight: Inca Real Hotel
Meals: B, L, D.

Day 10: Cajas/Guayaquil

A short visit to the “Cajas National Park” is planned provided time allows. Cajas has an extension of about 71,000 acres and there are about 230 glacial lakes in the park; here you will find quinoa and a variety of vegetation like paramo grasses, wild rosemary, other and a variety of birds as well as mammals like the wolf, gazelle, deer, bear, trout is also found on the lakes.

We continue to Guayaquil, the capital of the province of Guayas and the main port and economical capital of the country. Upon arrival we enjoy a walk at the new Malecon 2000 prior to our farewell dinner.

Overnight: Gran Hotel Guayaquil
Meals: B, L, D.

Day 11: USA or Extension

Morning in Guayaquil. Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on extension to Galapagos or rainforest.


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Andes Adventures travel, trekking and running in Peru - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Ausangate, Huayhuash, Cordillera Blanca
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Selected one of National Geographic Traveler's 50 Tours of a Lifetime 2013

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Note: All itineraries are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control
including, weather, road or trail conditions and flight schedules.