SECRETS OF ECUADOR 9 DAYS FROM $2,066 US Details below or
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Ecuador's colours and contrasts are featured on this incredible exploration: Otavalos outdoor market, Cotopaxi National Park, Devil's Nose Train and UNESCO World Heritage sites like Cuenca.
You'll enjoy Insider moments like…3,000 roses filling the Jarrin family's hacienda, as you join them for local treats like ‘llapingachos', cheesy potato cakes, after exploring their rose plantation. It's staying at a restored 17th century hacienda once owned by King Phillip III of Spain.
ARRIVE QUITO – OTAVALO (2 NIGHTS) Welcome to Ecuador, a colourful country featuring dramatic topography, diverse climates and undeniable charm. A local host greets you at the airport for a transfer to your lovely hotel in the village of San Pablo del Lago, just outside Otavalo, ideally situated at the base of the Imbabura Volcano. Hacienda Cusin, founded in 1602, is one of the oldest haciendas in all of Ecuador. Enjoy the rest of your day to relax and get settled.
Hotel Hacienda Cusin (Authentic Accommodation)
Depart mid-morning to meet a local family who introduces you to the Andean tradition and A Local Speciality of futemaking, including a musical interlude using the handmade instruments. You’ll even get the chance to try playing the instruments yourself! Enjoy a Welcome Reception lunch with your Travel Director and fellow travellers at a traditional hacienda. Visit the public market alongside native Otavalenos and put your bartering skills to the test. Stroll through the diferent vendor stalls ofering a variety of handcrafted items in search for the perfect keepsake.
Full Breakfast,Welcome Reception,Dinner
OTAVALO – CAYAMBE – QUITO (2 NIGHTS)
Your morning is at leisure before heading to Cayambe where you will meet a local family for a A Be My Guest lunch at the Hacienda La Compania, a beautiful home and rose plantation. Tour the grounds including the charming chapel and learn about the aromatic roses grown here before indulging in a delicious meal of Ecuadorian specialities. Arrive in Quito and enjoy the evening to relax.
Full Breakfast,Be My Guest Dining
QUITO SIGHTSEEING – EQUATORIAL LINE MONUMENT
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Quito, Ecuador’s capital city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site dotted with colonial treasures. Learn all about the religious and cultural infuences of this bustling city, located just 14 miles (22 kilometres) from the Equatorial Line. Visit a candy shop to watch a third generation candy-maker create a traditional Ecuadorian candy called colaciones, a A Local Speciality. Stroll along La Ronda, one of the oldest streets in Quito and an artist mecca during the 1930s. Eat lunch at a local restaurant and try another A Local Speciality, canelazo, a delicious spiced cinnamon rum drink. Continue to the Equatorial Line Monument and don’t miss the chance to stand in both the northern and southern hemispheres at the same time! Later, meet a A Local Expert, an organic Ecuadorian chocolate-maker, who tells you all about the production process and brings samples for all to enjoy. Indulge in a Regional Meal this evening featuring delicious local cuisine and live entertainment.
Full Breakfast,Lunch,Regional Meal
QUITO - COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK - RIOBAMBA
Travel south along the Panamerican Highway, through stunning landscapes of valleys and mountains before arriving at Cotopaxi National Park, the site of an active volcano standing 19,642 feet (5,987 metres) high. Meet a A Local Expert who shares his knowledge and passion for this spectacular natural wonder. Continue on to Limpiopungo Lake where you’ll observe a great number of high-altitude birds, and occasionally, wild horses. Return to the valley where lunch awaits at a 300-yearold hacienda. Venture back to the main road and continue along the “Avenue of the Volcanoes.” Riobamba awaits as you continue alongside massive Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador.
RIOBAMBA - ALAUSI - INGAPIRCA - CUENCA (2 NIGHTS)
Head south to the train station in Alausi where you board the Devil’s Nose Train, an engineering feat of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The railway allows you to discover the topographic obstacles of Ecuador’s diverse landscape as you zigzag down the steep mountainside. Disembark at Sibambe to visit the local museum built and run by the Nizag community. See the display of local handcrafts, fruit and medicinal plants and try the local cofee. After your train journey, enjoy a picnic lunch and then visit the Inca ruins of Ingapirca, considered the most important archaeological site in Ecuador.
CUENCA SIGHTSEEING AND FREE TIME
Discover the charm of Cuenca with a Local Specialist and admire the red-tiled roofs, cobblestone streets and flowery plazas. Founded as a Spanish settlement in 1557, the beauty of its landscape combined with the harmony between old and modern architecture has prompted UNESCO to name Cuenca a World Cultural Heritage Site. Today's highlights include the Todos los Santos ruins, flower market, and the main square surrounded by the imposing blue-domed Cathedral. Then visit a few surrounding communities including an arts and crafts village for a Cultural Insight into the ancient weaving process of Panama hats and other items made of toquilla straw using traditional methods that date back to pre-Columbian cultures. Enjoy the chance to watch pottery making while visiting a local pottery maker. The evening is yours to explore.
CUENCA - EL CAJAS NATIONAL PARK - GUAYAQUIL
Journey to Guayaquil through El Cajas National Park. Watch the ever changing fora and fauna as you travel through the beautiful cloud forests to the coast for a visit to a cacao plantation. Here, learn all about growing and harvesting of cacao and enjoy a delicious lunch. Arrive in Guayaquil and enjoy a short city tour. Tonight, toast an unforgettable holiday during a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
Full Breakfast,Lunch,Farewell Dinner
Your Ecuadorian adventure comes to an end with a transfer to the airport for your fight home, or extend your stay in Guayaquil at the Hotel Oro Verde.
Hacienda Cusin, Otavalo, Ecuador Stay at this Authentic Accommodation, featuring beautifully decorated guest rooms carefully preserving the historic ambiance, and be sure to stroll its lush gardens.
Be My Guest
in Cayambe at a rose plantation.
Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.
Learn about the production process of organic Ecuadorian chocolate from a local chocolate-maker.
For included sightseeing in Cotopaxi National Park and Cuenca.
8 full breakfasts
6 lunches (including Be My Guest)
With a chocolate maker and in Cotopaxi National Park and Cuenca.
With traditional Andean flute-making and weaving, candy making with a local candy maker, try a delicious cinnamon rum drink and witness the art of Panama hat weaving.
City tour in Quito and Cuenca
Visit Otavalo's outdoor market, Equatorial Line Monument, Riobamba and artisan villages near Cuenca
View the Cotopaxi Volcano
Scenic drives along the “Avenue of the Volcanoes” and El Cajas National Park
Iconic Train Journey aboard the Devil's Nose Train
Cajas National Park
Departure Dates Jan – March
June – July
November – December
Prices From approx $2,066 US
per person double
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