"Mountains are earth's undecaying monuments"
AVENUE OF THE VOLCANOES
COTOPAXI-QUILOTOA- BAÑOS- CHIMBORAZO-TRAIN TO DEVIL'S NOSE-INGAPIRCA INCA RUINS-CUENCA,
DAY 1 ARRIVAL TO QUITO
UNESCO World Heritage city, capital of Ecuador. Upon your arrival to Quito, you will be transferred to your hotel. Most international flights to Ecuador arrive late at night. Overnight hotel at Garden Hotel San Jose or similar w/breakfast.
DAY 2 QUITO CITY TOUR
Pick-up from your hotel at 9:00 am. You'll start with a visit to the Old Town Quito. Here you'll visit Iglesia de la Compañia (the most representative church of the Spanish baroque art), the main square, Plaza San Francisco and the most outstanding sights that have made this part of the city so famous.
We will move on to El Panecillo, an ancient strategic point and probably the best look out on the city, from where, in a clear day, all the peaks that conform the famous avenue of the volcanoes can be seen.
Later you'll head on to La Ronda, one of the most traditional neighborhoods in the city. This emblematic pedestrian street takes you back in time. The narrow houses, with their balconies and interior courtyards give you a perspective of the Spanish influence in Ecuador. During colonial time, La Ronda marked the city’s limits. Painters, poets, musicians, writers and other influential characters of the city have been drawn to this street, where the colonial architecture, music, art, and food added up to the unique identity of the city. Later you will enjoy lunch in a restaurant that serves the finest traditional food. Overnight at Casona de la Ronda.
TOUR INCLUDES: Pick-up at your hotel, private guide and transportation, all activities and entrance fees, lunch with soft drink, overnight at Casona de la Ronda (breakfast buffet included)
DAY 3 COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK
Only an hour and a half trip south from Quito, Cotopaxi National Park is one of the most impressive national parks in Ecuador. An early departure at 7:30 am ventures you into the Ecuadorean Andes through the Panamerican Highway admiring the diverse ecosystems of the route know as the "Avenue of the Volcanoes", as a clear sign of the majesty of the Andes. Continue to the Cotopaxi National Park, arriving at the foot of the impressive active volcano.
Established in 1979, it includes Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world with 19 348ft above sea level. An ecological reserve of 33 393 ha surrounds the volcano, located on the border between the provinces of Pichincha and Cotopaxi.
Many sources claim that Cotopaxi means "Neck of the Moon" in native indigenous language. This stunning park possesses both natural wonders and a fascinating history. There are a variety of vegetation zones within the park, from massive glaciers high up the volcano, humid Mountain Forest dominates the low elevations, and paramo grasslands surround the Lake Limpio Pungo. Other volcanoes in the area are Rumiñahui, Quilindaña and Sincholagua. Overnight in Tambopaxi, the only ecolodge and acclimatization center situated in the heart of the Cotopaxi National Park which offers a pleasant restaurant.
TOUR INCLUDES: Private guide and transportation, all activities and entrance fees, lunch and dinner with soft drink, overnight at Tambopaxi breakfast included
DAY 4 QUILOTOA - BAÑOS
Quilotoa Lake is a 3km wide water filled caldera formed by the collapse of the volcano's crater after a massive eruption. Here it is possible to either hike around the edge of the caldera or do the hike towards the lake. There are kayaks available in the lake for rent, that will add a sense of adventure to your visit to this breathtaking site. You’ll have lunch in a local restaurant and head towards Baños in the afternoon. Overnight in Baños.
TOUR INCLUDES: Private guide and transportation, lunch, entrance fees, optional kayaks, overnight in Baños -includes breakfast.
DAY 5 BAÑOS
Today you’ll explore the valley of the waterfalls. Baños de Agua Santa (Spanish for Baths of Holy Water), is named after the hot springs located around the city which have a reputation of having healing properties due to their content of various minerals. Visit the Pailón del Diablo, which is one of the largest and most spectacular Ecuador’s falls. Baños it’s also known as the "Gateway to the Amazon", as it's the last big city still located in the mountains before reaching the rainforest in the lowlands and other towns that are located in the Amazon River basin. Is located on the northern foothills of the Tungurahua volcano, at an elevation of 1,820 metres (5,971 feet) whose activity has been characterized by frequent powerful ash explosions and lava flows, this volcano is being monitored by the Geophysics Institute. Prepare for the whole day of possibilities and maximum flexibility in the visits that you would like to make, including a visit to “The Tree House” at the best lookout to the Tungurahua volcano, horseback riding, canopy, hot springs etc. Overnight in Baños at La Floresta Hotel.
TOUR INCLUDES: Private guide and transportation, entrance fees to Pailon del Diablo, lunch, overnight in Baños -includes breakfast.
DAY 6 CHIMBORAZO
Chimborazo was once considered the highest peak in the world, and it is, if measured from the center of the Earth, due to the Equatorial bulge. This reserve preserves one of the most magnificent landscapes and the largest population of Vicuñas in Ecuador's highlands.
Glacier-clad, 6310-m-high Chimborazo, Ecuador's highest volcano, anchors the southern end of the country's "Avenue of Volcanoes" 30 km NW of the city of Riobamba. The dominantly andesitic-to-dacitic structure is mostly of Pliocene-to-Pleistocene age. The volcano collapsed about 35,000 years ago, producing a major debris avalanche, whose deposits underlie Riobamba and temporarily dammed the Río Chambo, producing an ephemeral lake. Subsequent eruptions have been dominantly andesitic and constructed three edifices along an east-west line, the youngest and westernmost of which forms the current summit of Chimborazo.
TOUR INCLUDES: Private guide and transportation, lunch, overnight at Estrella de Chimborazo lodge -includes breakfast.
DAY 7 ALAUSI - TRAIN TO DEVIL'S NOSE - INGAPIRCA RUINS
After an early departure from Riobamba, you’ll head towards Alausi, to catch the 8 am train that covers the route known as Nariz del Diablo. This is, without doubt, the most impressive section of Ecuador´s railway. It is a trip down the rocky slopes of the Andes, that departs from Alausi to the town of Sibambe, and then brings you back to Alausi. Following this adventure you'll start your way towards the largest Inca archeological complex in Ecuador, Ingapirca. Here you can admire the Inca Temple of the Sun, an elliptically shaped building constructed around a large rock. Overnight in Cuenca.
TOUR INCLUDES: Private guide and transportation, train tickets, lunch, entrance fee to Ingapirca complex, overnight in Cuenca (Posada del Angel or similar- includes breakfast).
DAY 8 CITY TOUR CUENCA
Cuenca is widely regarded as the most European city in the country of Ecuador due to its 16th and 17th century era Spanish colonial architecture resembling cities and architecture throughout Spain. The city of Cuenca is located in the highlands of Ecuador at about 8,200 feet above sea level. The dominant features of the city's geography are also the source of its name in Spanish: the four rivers of Cuenca meaning a basin made by a confluence of rivers. The Old Town of the city is listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site due to its many historical buildings. Today you'll have a guided city tour in the most important and interesting sites of this charming city.
TOUR INCLUDES: Private guide and transportation, lunch, entrance fee to Pumapungo museum, overnight in Cuenca (Posada del Angel or similar- includes breakfast).
DAY 9 CAJAS NATIONAL PARK
El Cajas National Park is 70,000 acres (29,000 ha) in size with as many as 250 lakes and ponds located within the park, making it a vital water source in the region. It is home to a large variety of animals, some of which are endemic or highly endangered. The park provides the chance to see unique breathtaking landscapes and several options of trails to hike with varying levels of difficulty. After a delicious box lunch you'll continue your way to Guayaquil . Overnight in Guayaquil.
TOUR INCLUDES: Private guide and transportation, box lunch, overnight in Guayaquil ( breakfast included)
DAY 10 GUAYAQUIL
Guayaquil is Ecuador´s largest city and most important port. This day you will explore this beautiful city in the company of a certified guide, that will show you to the most important sites, enjoy the warmth of Guayaquil´s people and admire the beautiful sights. If not joining the available trip extensions , you will be transferred to Guayaquil's international airport for your flight back home.
TOUR INCLUDES: Private guide and transportation, lunch, transfer out.
This is a sample itinerary subject to change due to weather conditions, safety, and particular interests of guests. Changes and additions are made in order to maximize your experience, wilderness enjoyment and cultural interaction with local people.
PRICE PER PERSON: Group from 2 or more participants. Solo travelers please contact us for more information.
-Accommodations in double or triple rooms.
-Private bilingual guide
-Meals listed in the itinerary with soft drink.
-All excursions and activities listed in itinerary
-Entrance fee to all the reserves and activities
-Dinners not mentioned in the itinerary.
-Any other item not specified
PLEASE ASK FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES AND DESTINATIONS TO EXTEND YOUR TRIP.