|Quito - Amazon Jungle - Riobamba - Cuenca - Otavalo - Cotopaxi
(14 days, 13 nights)
Day 1: Quito
Arrival in Quito, reception and transfer to the 4* Sheraton four points Hotel.
Day 2: Quito
After breakfast, a half day visit of colonial Quito, declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1978. A visit to the middle of the world monumnet concludes the day. Before dinner, the itinerary will be discussed in detail. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 3: Quito - Jungle lodge
After breakfast, private transfer to the jungle lodge, located close to Misahualli, Napo Province, over 200 km from Quito. On the way, you will pass through some wonderful Andes scenery, the highest point being 4000m. From here you descend through the subtropical cloud forest to the jungle.
The Lodge is surrounded by 330 acres of protected rainforest. After lunch, walk the suspended bridge over the Misahualli River. Crossing the bridge, you will visit the Quichua Comunity “Del Alto Pununo”. Here you can learn about the Quichua culture and their customs.
Day 4: Jungle lodge
After breakfast, a hike through the the primary rainforest. You may see toucan, oropendulos, parrots and monkeys. You will also see native houses and learn more about the native people.
After the hike a lunch in a typical indian hut, board the canoe forn a ride upstream to visit the village of Misahualli and see several monkey species along the way. Learn about the life cycle of butterflies at the butterfly farm. Visit the local witch-doctor and learn about the medicinal plants, see a "cleaning ceremony" and experience the blow pipe, a traditional form of hunting. Return to the Lodge by canoe.
Day 5: Jungle lodge
Today you will visit the silicone mine, where you can see the oldest geological formations in the region. Return to the Lodge.
Day 6: Jungle lodge - Riobamba
After breakfast, we travel through Puyo at the border of the jungle and then head west towards Baños. We will go through the valley of the Rio Pastaza, with many waterfalls and arrive in the fabulous small town of Baños. Relax in the hot springs in the presence of the Tungurahua volcano. In the late afternoon we continue to Riobamba, and stay at the Abraspungu Hosteria.
Day 7: Riobamba - Cuenca
After breakfast transfer to the train station in Riobamba, for a spectacular journey through the beautiful high country to Chanchan and through the famous "devil's nose ride" journey, with the giant Chimborazo 6,310m ever present as we pass by. Continue the journey to Cuenca and to the famous Inca ruins of Ingapirca, the most important and the best-preserved Inca ruins of Ecuador. Visit to a local nearby museum. Overnight in Cuenca at the 4* Hotel Crespo.
Day 8: Cuenca
A sightseeing tour through colonial Cuenca, the most beautiful city in Ecuador. With many beautiful churches and handicraft stalls as well as the famous flower market. Cuenca is also the cultural and arts centre of Ecuador. Home to many beautiful buildings with fabulous façades and splendid balconies. Overnight in Cuenca.
Day 9: Cuenca - Quito
From Cuenca, we travel to the Cajas national park, where there are many lagoons, remains of the last ice age. After a short hike through the park, return to Cuenca in the afternoon. Transfer to the airport for the flight to Quito passing above many volcanoes. Transfer to your hotel.
Day 10: Quito - Cayambe
Today we head further north to the small village of Calderon. Through the Guayllabamba valley and on to the small town of Cayambe at the foot of the volcano of the same name. A short hike in the area before dinner and accommodation at a local hacienda.
Day 11: Cayambe - Otavalo
Today a visit to the colourful Indian market of Otavalo, with its many impressive arts and crafts of the local people. The market dates back to pre-inca times when jungle products from the east were traded with highland products. Traditional dress is observed throughout the market. In the afternoon, a visit to the crater lagoon Cuicocha from where there is a magnificent view of the highlands. Afterwards, a visit to Cotacachi, famous for its leatherwork.
Return in the evening to the Hacienda, at the foot of the Imbabura volcano.
Day 12: Otavalo - Reserva Ecologica El Angel - Quito
Today we continue the journey to the Valle del Chota before arriving at the protected Reserva Ecologica El Angel. With many lagoons, this wet forest landscape is the home of the Frailejones Gigantes, endemic plants which cover large areas of this reserve. After a small hike through this unique landscape, we return back to Quito.
Day 13: Quito - Cotopaxi - Quito
A final drive south to the Cotopaxi national park. During the small hike, you will enjoy a spectacular view of the Cotopaxi volcano. In the afternoon a trip to the Hacienda La Cienega, for lunch. Return to Quito along the fabulous volcanoes road. Last night in Quito.
Day 14: Quito
After breakfast, free day before your transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
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