|Quito - Riobamba - Cuenca - Loja - Guayaquil
(12 days, 11 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 monument concludes the day. Before dinner, the itinerary will be discussed in detail. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 3: Quito - 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 return to Quito.
Day 4: Quito - Riobamba
After breakfast, we travel south through the spectacular avenue of the volcanoes towards Riobamba. Accommodation at the Abraspungu Hosteria.
Day 5: 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 6: 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 7: Cuenca - Loja
From Cuenca, we travel further south to Loja, a beautiful city surrounded by lovely countryside. Afternoon free option of relaxing or a site-seeing tour of the town. Accommodation at the 3* Hotel Podocarpus.
Day 8: Loja - Podocarpus National Park
After breakfast, a visit to the Podocarpus National Park. A biodiverse area home to tapirs, spectacled bears and numerous bird species.
Day 9: Loja - Vilcabamba
Today a visit to the lovely village of Vilcabamba. Opportunities for horseriding or just relaxing and enjoying the pleasant location. Return to Loja.
Day 10: Loja - Guayaquil
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Guayaquil. Transfer to your hotel. Afternoon city tour to the district of Las Peñas, containing the city’s oldest buildings which were reconstructed after the great fire of 1896.
A visit also to Santa Ana hill with its colourful little houses. The uniforms, tools and first motorized pumps on exhibit at the Firemen’s Museum testify to the fires that have marked the life of this city.
A trip to Santo Domingo, the oldest church in the city before visiting the Malecón 2000 seafront promenade, filled with bridges that simulate sailboats, towers, gathering spots and grassy areas.
Return to your hotel, the 5* Unipark Hotel.
Day 11: Guayaquil - Quito
Free morning before transferring to the airport for the return flight to Quito.
Day 12: Quito
After breakfast, free day before your transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
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