Ecuador Uncovered

Otavalo, Amazon, Quito, Avenue of Volcanoes, Cuenca, Guayaquil

From £6600 Per Person in low season
From £7600 Per Person in high season

based on 14 nights & selected experiences

Price Guide:

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  5. May
    Mid
  6. Jun
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  7. Jul
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  8. Aug
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  9. Sep
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  10. Oct
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  11. Nov
    Mid
  12. Dec
    High

* Pricing is a guideline only and excludes special offers. Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.

Price includes:

  • International economy flights and taxes subject to availability

  • Internal flights

  • Accommodation

  • Private transfers

  • Shared transfers

  • Selected experiences

Based on 2 adults sharing

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At a Glance

  • This all-encompassing itinerary really gets under the skin of mainland Ecuador’s staggering geographical diversity and is packed full to the brim with the country's best experiences and most spectacular sights.

  • Explore the majestic and colonially influenced cities of Quito and Cuenca, UNESCO World Heritage sites where the cobbled streets and architecture hark back to a rich historical and cultural past.

  • Get a real sense of remoteness as you paddle along winding rivers and watch the sunrise over the jungle canopy in the Amazonian rainforest, keeping your eyes peeled for monkeys swinging through the trees and colourful birds flying overhead.

  • Travel along the epic road and rail network known as the Avenue of Volcanoes, criss-crossing the dramatic Andes mountain range, passing through picturesque hilltop villages and mixing with locals at colourful markets.

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

All year round destination. Due to its position on the equator and its altitude, the temperature in the Ecuadorian highlands varies greatly between night and day. Daytime temperatures average 23-25ºC, while at night temperatures drop to around 10ºC. In general, days are clear in the morning and cloud over in the afternoon, with rain common in the afternoon. The drier season runs from the end of May to the end September, with another brief summertime in early December (which coincides nicely with the city’s fiestas).

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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. To start planning your holiday

Itinerary

Uncover Ecuador’s multitude of phenomenal natural landscapes, from pristine dense jungle in the Amazon to dramatic snow-capped mountains and volcanoes, whilst also discovering the country’s historical background and cultural influences as you pass through colourful hilltop towns and colonial urban areas.

  1. Fly to Quito

  2. Days 1-4: Otavalo

    Upon arrival into Quito airport, shun the busy capital city and instead head straight out into the beautiful Ecuadorian countryside, staying at a traditional colonial hacienda. Tucked into a lush mountain valley, set amongst luscious gardens and with views out over the snow-capped mountains and Cotocachi volcano, your base for the next few days is ideal for exploring the surrounding area.

    The nearby town of Otavalo is renowned for its spectacularly colourful market, one of the largest indigenous markets in Latin America, full of brightly coloured textiles, wooden carvings and stands heaving under the weight of locally grown fruit and vegetables (and even livestock on certain days!), it is a must-do during your stay. Other highlights of the region include horse-riding, mountain-biking, hiking the nearby nature trails and visiting shimmering crater lakes flanked by impressive mountainous and volcanic peaks. As the evenings draw in, relax on your terrace with a good book or cosy up to the roaring fireplace and enjoy a delicious homecooked meal, featuring lots of the local produce you will have seen at the market or picked from the garden. For those who’d like to learn more about traditional Ecuadorian cuisine a cooking tutorial can be booked onsite.

    Accommodation: Hacienda Zuleta (3 nights)

  3. Days 4-7: Ecuadorian Amazon

    The adventure continues as you swap the highlands for the depths of the Amazon Rainforest. It’s just a short 30-minute flight to Coca, where you’ll board a boat and head down the mighty Napo River before arriving at your jungle retreat the next few days. Sacha Lodge is a beautifully constructed wooden lodge, perched beside a huge blackwater lake and surrounded by pristine rainforest, it boasts comfortable cabins and excellent facilities. Its main draw is the 300m long, 30m high canopy walkway and observation tower, which provides a unique perspective of the canopy layers, its resident wildlife and an amazing bird’s eye view over the dense jungle.

    Embark on a variety of explorations and discoveries, accompanied by an English-speaking naturalist guide and a native guide with expert local knowledge. There are numerous activities on offer and programmes are flexible to suit your interests. Paddle in silence through blackwater creeks in search of giant river otters and spot playful groups of monkeys swinging through the canopy. Visit a clay lick, where brightly coloured parrots gather to feed each morning and walk along forest trails amongst the huge trees as your guide explains the medicinal purposes of indigenous plants. At dawn listen to the loud chorus and watch the sunrise as the jungle is at its most active and in the evening head out with a headtorch to spot nocturnal insects and frogs. All meals, most of which are taken out on the floating platform on the lake, and guided excursions are included throughout your jungle stay.

    Accommodation: Sacha Lodge (3 nights)

  4. Days 7-9: Quito

    Return to Quito and check-in to your hotel located in the heart of the colonial old town. At 2,850 metres above sea level it is one of highest capital cities in the world and the first to be named a UNESCO Wold Heritage site. Enjoy a unique guided tour around Quito, where with the help of a friendly guide you’ll get an appreciation for the city from a more local perspective. Wander around the cobbled streets and picturesque main plazas, visit interesting galleries and museums and stop in at several workshops, where you will encounter local craftsmen willing to share their knowledge and expertise. Whilst many of the workshops focus on traditional crafts such as paintings, ceramics, and pottery there is also an opportunity to learn about the production of chocolate using the best Ecuadorian cacao, which naturally includes a tasting session.

    Accommodation: La Casona de la Ronda (2 nights)

  5. Days 9-10: Cotopaxi

    Leaving the city behind once more, head into the Andes, where you'll spend the night at one of our favourite lodges nestled on the edge of Cotopaxi National Park. Surrounded by volcanoes, it is the perfect place for those who love the great outdoors and want to experience a traditional slice of Ecuador. Known for its picturesque location and friendly hospitability, there are plenty of activities on offer including walking and horse-riding. Enjoy easy hikes to nearby waterfalls and visit local communities, more strenuous treks to the snowline can also be organised for those that way inclined (although you might need an extra day or two to acclimatise to the altitude). In the evening, sit down to a hearty meal next to the log fire, accompanied by a cool beer or glass of wine.

    Accommodation: Chilcabamba Lodge (1 night)

  6. Days 10-11: Riobamba

    Today transfer to Riobamba, along spectacularly scenic mountain roads, stopping on route to explore one of the bustling indigenous village markets of Saquisili, Pujili or Latacunga (dependent on the day of travel). Afterwards, visit a rose plantation (one of Ecuador’s main exports) to learn about the production of roses and other local products, which is actually far more interesting than it sounds!

    Overnight at Hacienda Abraspungo, a comfortable and charming ranch style property that blends a distinct old-world ambience with modern comforts. For those with more time, this is an excellent place for expeditions to Chimborazo Volcano and the surrounding mountains and lakes.

    Accommodation: Hotel Hacienda Abraspungo (1 night)

  7. Days 11-13: Cuenca

    This morning board a train at the town of Alausí and embark on an exhilarating rail journey down the famous Devil's Nose. The railroad was originally built to connect the Andes with the coast, and the route goes up and down several steep slopes, along river valleys and must negotiate a series of dramatic switchbacks. It’s an unforgettable journey and you’ll want to have your camera ready and fully charged to capture the sweeping panoramic vistas.

    Once you disembark the train, continue south to Ingapirca which is an Inca astronomical observatory and fortress. This is the most important Inca site in Ecuador, where the emperor and his entourage would rest during trips to this northern part of the Inca Empire. Finish the day in Cuenca, a beautiful 16th-century colonial town, built on the site of an ancient Inca settlement, and recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The climate here is temperate and there is a peaceful relaxed atmosphere, perfect for just strolling around and enjoying a drink at one of its pavement cafes and rooftop bars. The colonial centre has been lovingly restored and you’ll have a chance to explore the city’s highlights on a walking tour with a private guide.

    Accommodation: Hotel Cruz del Vado (2 nights)

  8. Days 13-15: Guayaquil

    From Cuenca, drive through the barren landscapes of Cajas National Park, where you can stop to admire the rugged, high-altitude wilderness of grasslands, jagged hills and glacial lagoons. The scenery changes dramatically as you leave behind the Andean highlands towards the more hot and humid tropical lowlands.

    Your final two nights will be at Hacienda la Danesa, a real gem of a property where you’ll enjoy luxurious and stylish accommodation and first class hospitality. The hacienda is a family owned working dairy farm and was originally established as a cacao plantation, it offers a great insight into rural life in Ecuador and is the perfect place to recharge your batteries before returning home.

    There are a number of activities included in your stay, from signposted nature trails and hikes to waterfalls, river-tubing adventures, horse and bike-riding opportunities, cooking workshops and even cacao tours where you can pick the fruit fresh out of the tree and even make your own chocolate to take home. With a strong ethos on farm to table, you’ll enjoy locally harvested tropical fruits and vegetables, fresh seafood and gastronomic experiences with an Ecuadorian influence. Of course, this is also a chance to relax, so why not book a sumptuous massage treatment and finish that holiday read you’ve been carrying around the whole trip!

    Accommodation: Hacienda la Danesa (2 nights)

  9. Fly home from Guayaquil

    Make the most of your last day, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, before transferring to Guayaquil airport to check in for your flight home. You could also add on time in the Galapagos from here, with easy flight connections departing from Guayaquil.  

Location

Otavalo, Amazon, Quito, Avenue of Volcanoes, Cuenca, Guayaquil

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. To start planning your holiday

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