|Amazon Jungle - Riobamba - Cotopaxi - Santo Domingo rafting
(12 days, 11 nights)
Day 1: Quito
Arrival in Quito, reception and transfer to the 4* Sheraton Four Points Hotel. Before dinner, the itinerary will be discussed in detail. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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 Hosteria La Andaluza.
Day 6: Riobamba
Free day of horseriding, fishing at Laguna de Colta, trekking around the area with Mount Chimborazo (6310), the highest mountain in Ecuador looming above you or just relaxing and enjoying the beautiful setting of the hotel.
Day 7: Riobamba - Saquisili - Quilotoa volcano
Today we head a little further north to Saquisili to visit the the indigenous market there followed by an excursion to Quilotoa crater. This extinct volcano crater holds a vivid green lake and has a diameter of 2 km with a depth of 500 m.
We walk down the 30 minute path to the pristine lake, with a steep 1 ½ hour return climb. After the walk, we will enjoy a picnic of typical food before returning to our comfortable hotel, Cuello de Luna. Dinner.
Day 8: Cotopaxi
After a good breakfast, transfer to the Cotopaxi National Park. Visit to the natural history museum before starting our ascent to the refuge at the base camp of Cotopaxi mountain. Once at the refuge (4600m), lunch and enjoy time on the glacier before returning to your hotel. (Option for those with some climbing experience to ascend the summit. For this you will require an extra day). Return to your hotel.
Day 9: Cotopaxi - Santo Domingo rafting
Today we head further north towards the costal lowlands near Santo Domingo. The road winds through dense Andean cloud forests and descends approximately 2500m. After a safety briefing at our put-in, we will navigate 40kms of the Toachi River (class III), the best whitewater west of the Andes. Depending on water levels, our rafting adventure will take us between four and five hours. Later in the afternoon we will arrive at our hotel. Dinner will be served in the lush tropical setting.
Day 10: Santo Domingo rafting - Quito
After breakfast, we will begin our westward descent on the Upper Blanco River, which later joins the thunderous Toachi River where thrilling rapids and intense paddling will fill the bulk of our adventure. Beautiful jungle landscapes and a variety of bird life will surround us all day. At the end of our run we will enjoy a nutritious riverside lunch. Return to Quito.
Day 11: Quito - Pululahua mountainbiking
After breakfast, depart from Quito heading north, crossing the Equatorial Line (Latitude 0º) near the town of Calacali. After a safety briefing, we start the descent via a dirt road into the cloud forest. Fabulous vegetation and interesting bird life are the main attractions as we follow the Guayabamba Canyon at the impressive gorge carved by the Guayabamba river. Along the way, we visit a traditional sugar cane Hacienda where a local drink called “Puntas” is distilled.
At this point you have descended approximately 400 metres before we stop for a picnic lunch. Return to Quito in the afternoon.
Day 12: Quito
After breakfast, free day, or a Quito city tour option before your transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
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