Andes – Amazonia – Coast


15 Days|14 Nights



Explore the Andes, the Amazonia and the Coast

Visit Quito, the capital of Ecuador the first city declared by UNESCO a World Cultural Site; the Amazon Rainforest wit it is unique fauna and flora; travel through the Avenue of the volcanos with beautiful green valleys and a wide variety of ethnic groups each with different cultural customs; La Plata Island located in the northern Pacific Coast and the small but picturesque villages of the Andes and the Pacific Coast.

Highlights of the Program

Quito, declared by UNESCO a World Cultural Site

The Amazonia, mysterious and biodiversity

The Central & Southern Andes

The Ingapirca Fortress, the most important Inca remains in Ecuador

Cuenca also called the jewel of the southern Andes

Guayaquil, the largest city in the country

The route of the Sun and the coastal town of Puerto Lopez

La Plata Island with its unique and fascinating flora & fauna

Montecristi, the cradle of the straw hats also called ¨Panama Hat¨

Map tour

Day by Day

DAY 1: Quito

Meet and greet at the airport in Quito outside of customs. Assistance and transfer to the selected hotel. (Distance between Quito airport and the city 45 minutes approximately).

DAY 2: Quito city tour (half day excursion)

This sightseeing excursion offers the best of Quito with its rich cultural legacy, ornate facades, and dazzling gilt altars. Quito’s Historical Center, the largest and best preserved in Latin America was built over the ruins of the Inca’s northern imperial seat. A fabulous example of colonial architecture and art blended with indigenous styles. Quito, founded in 1534 became the first city in the world to be declared by UNESCO in 1978 a World Cultural Heritage site. The visit will take you to iconic places such as the Plaza Grande or Independence Square to have a view of important colonial buildings: The Archbishop’s Palace, The Metropolitan Cathedral, The Government Palace, as well as other representative examples of colonial art and architecture as the Santo Domingo Convent. Afternoon: At leisure to explore Quito at your own pace, we suggest to visit the National Museum, Guayasamin gallery or the Middle of the World.

DAY 3: Andean Handicarfts & the Otavalo Market – Northern Highlands

An early start departing from Quito will take you due north on a beautiful scenic drive to the province of Imbabura, a magic land located at 2530 m.a.s.l. surrounded by lakes and mountains of outstanding beauty. The day opens the possibility to learn about the customs of the Otavalos when visiting Peguche, a small town where its inhabitants are famous for their weaving abilities and the Otavalo market a local fair where the handicrafts made in the area as well as the vegetables, fruits and cereals produced in the area are displayed.

DAY 4: Quito - The Amazon Rainforest

At proper time be transferred to airport in Quito to take the domestic flight to the Amazon rainforest. Upon arrival to the airport in the Amazon region, you will be transported to the selected eco-lodge to start the adventure in the Rainforest.

DAY 5 - 6: In the Amazon Rainforest

This is one of the earth’s hot spots of biological diversity which attracts nature oriented tourists and visitors just as much as it does to scientists and explorers. This is the perfect venue to discover, to learn and to respect the wonders of nature. There is a wide variety of Eco-lodges in the area to select; among the activities offered we can highlight bird watching and observation of wildlife, walk in the jungle trails, navigations on the river, visit to local communities and much more…. And all of them are provided with specialized native guides.

DAY 7: The Amazon - Quito

At the scheduled time transfer from the Eco-lodge to the airport to take the flight back to Quito, upon arrival to Quito transfer to the selected hotel in Quito.

DAY 8: The Antisana Area & Riobamba - Central Highlands

Depart from Quito direction Riobamba. During this trip we will go through the Andean Region, covering approximately 400 km. This 400 Km. stretch of the Andes is rightfully known as “The Avenue of the Volcanoes” (German scientist - Alexander von Humboldt -1802). It is a breathtaking natural boulevard flanked by impressive volcanoes, both active and inactive, and giant peaks covered with glaciers and perpetual snow, towering well above 5 and even 6 thousand meters above sea level. During this overland trip from Quito to Riobamba a stop at the Antisana Ecological Reserve is included where there might be the possibility to see the famous Andean Condor. Learn about the Andean Páramo (moorlands), enjoy on a clear day beautiful panoramic views of the Antisana volcano (stratovolcano), a large glacier which at 5,704 m is the fourth highest volcano in Ecuador; the next stop will be in the highest point of this route at a mountain acclimatization lodge where you will learn about the tallest mountain in Ecuador, the Chimborazo, which at 6.268m due to its location near the equator, arguably is the farthest point from the earth’s center.

DAY 9: Riobamba - Ingapirca - Cuenca

Depart from Riobamba direction south to Cuenca. The route offers beautiful panoramic views of the highlands and a good opportunity to see the changes in the scenery of the highlands. Great opportunities to take pictures will be present in a couple of stops made during the route before reaching Ingapirca, a name given by the Incas, to the fortress and complex, which are by far the most important archaeological sites left by the Inca Empire in Ecuadorian territory. The Temple of the Sun is by far the most significant building in the complex. It was constructed in the Inca way with careful consideration of their beliefs, being sun and moon worshipers, and their knowledge of the cosmos. The Temple built high in the mountains at an elevation of 3.200 m is positioned in such a way so that at the right moment of the day, the sunlight would shine through the center of the doorway of the chamber at the top of the Temple.

DAY 10: Cuenca, half day city tour

Visit Cuenca, the city is third largest in size, population, and a main icon of the southern Andes. Cuenca has preserved its rich colonial past, beautifully shown on its narrow streets, white houses with flowerpot balconies, impressive churches, with their majestic domes and towers. Not far from each other we encounter convents, museums, plazas covered with flowers and monuments, all surrounded by the scenery of green hills, mountains and the presence of four rivers that cross the city. For all its beauty and well-preserved historical buildings, Cuenca was also declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1999.This is a walking tour in the Colonial area of Cuenca to discover the beautiful churches and house facades; visit a few the of artisan centers where there is the opportunity to learn about the ceramic items, the famous Panama hat, gold and silver jewelry and embroidery which are some of the handicrafts for which Cuenca is also known. Afternoon: At leisure to discover Cuenca at your own pace

DAY 11: Overland transfer from Cuenca – Guayaquil city tour

Overland transfer from Cuenca to Guayaquil, this transfer will give the opportunity to enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the Southern Highlands as well as the drastic change in the climate and the vegetation when we start descending to the lowlands. Upon arrival to Guayaquil check-inn at the selected hotel and relax before the scenic tour of Guayaquil prepared for the afternoon. The Guayaquil scenic excursion includes the visit to a number of historical places by car like the Centenario, a neighborhood established in 1915, which counts with many houses of historical heritage or to the picturesque Las Peñas neighborhood, full of brightly painted homes, cafes. Stroll along the Riverfront or Malecon, the Moorish Tower; either way by car or on foot, Guayaquil offers great variety of sites and for that constitutes another great place to discover!

DAY 12: Overland transfer Guayaquil – Puerto Lopez

Early morning departure from Guayaquil to travel by the seacoast towards Salinas where we will have the first encounter with the archaeology and history of the Coast of Ecuador at the only Paleo-Indian site found in Ecuador which dates c.a. 700 BC; during the visit to the Museum we find the “Lovers of Sumpa” a millenary burial site where an open tomb shows the skeletons of a young man and woman lovingly intertwined on an eternal embrace… This site is important as it gives information about Neolithic burial practices previously unknown. In the afternoon continue towards Puerto Lopez, a small coastal town; the route presents beautiful panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.

DAY 13: Puerto López - Isla de la Plata - Puerto López

Early in the morning navigate to Isla de la Plata, located at 28 miles (45 kilometers) from the coast of mainland Ecuador. This is a small volcanic island of approximately some 8 square kilometers of surface, emerging from the Pacific bed floor. The Island, due to its relative proximity to the coastline, seems to have been an important religious, ceremonial and trade center for the Bahia Culture (500 years B.C.). The excursion requires a good physical condition as it involves a rather demanding hike of approximately 400 stairs to reach to the top plateau of the islands where noisy blue footed boobies and Nazca boobies as well as magnificent frigates will welcome us. A light lunch will be provided before coming back to Puerto Lopez. The rest of the day will be free to explore the nearby areas of Puerto Lopez.

DAY 14: Puerto López - Montecristi - Manta - Quito

In the morning departure from Puerto Lopez to visit the village of Montecristi, famous for the weaving of straw hats known as “Panama hats” and then continue to Manta directly to the airport to take the flight back to Quito. Upon arrival to Quito assistance and transfer from the airport to the selected hotel. The rest of the afternoon at leisure to relax or maybe take an optional excursion to the Old Colonial Quito which offers a beautiful view of its monuments, convents and houses illuminated with different colors of lights.

DAY 15: Quito

At the scheduled time transfer from the hotel to the airport to take your departure flight. (Distance between any of the hotels in Quito to the airport approximately one hour)