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Ecuador Adventure

• Quito • Cuenca 
• The Highlands  • The Jungle  
From the magnificent landscape of the Andes Mountains, to the intense bio-diversity of the Amazon jungle, and the delightful Pacific coastline, Ecuador is a land of incredible beauty, and is emerging as one of South America’s most popular tourist destinations. 
We begin in Quito, Ecuador’s capital, which has South America’s largest concentration of Spanish colonial architecture. Its location high in the Andes gives it one of the most beautiful natural settings of any world capital. 

From Quito we travel to the Highlands, where we’ll take in the incredible scenery, picturesque villages, indigenous people and the famous handicraft market of Otavalo.  
Then we travel to the jungle of the Ecuadorian Amazon, one of the world’s richest eco-systems. We will stay in a comfortable jungle lodge in the rainforest, where there are countless species of birds, animals and flora in the jungle.

Next is the beautiful colonial city of Cuenca - a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and birthplace of the Panama Hat. The city features cobblestone streets, winding rivers, graceful ironwork balconies and beautiful gardens.

We finish at the seaside village of General Vallamil, with an excursion to the EL Morro water channel and the famous Bird Island to see a wide variety of tropical birds.  
Tour Highlights:

   • Quito’s colonial centre - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
   • Equatorial Museum
   • Devil’s Cauldron Waterfall
   • Amazon Rainforest
   • Visit with a Native community 
   • Andes Mountains
   • Cable car ride across the Zamora river canyon 
   • Cuenca - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
   • Beautiful seaside village of General Vallamil

* Suitable only for the fit and adventurous traveller.

Itinerary / Excursions

We depart for Quito via Miami. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel.
Our tour of Quito includes the colonial center, the Compania Church (one of the richest in the Americas), Independence Square, the Government Palace and the main Cathedral. We also visit the Equatorial Museum which depicts the culture of the indigenous groups around the world who live on the Equator. At the museum you can stand with one foot in each hemisphere.
We travel through changing landscapes to the city of Otavalo, to stroll through the famous colourful handicraft market. We visit a weaving workshop in Peguche then continue to Cotacachi to shop for fine leather goods.
We travel on the Pan-American Highway to the Mindo Rainforest. Passing through small villages and grazing lands, we will stop at the Pululahua Volcano reserve, to view the world’s largest inhabited volcano crater. We arrive at the Sachatamia Raniforest Lodge, and will enjoy our first guided rainforest walk. With a bit of luck, we might see howler monkeys!
A tour highlight! Our native guide will walk us through the rainforest and show us the jungle’s incredible variety of flora, fauna and medicinal plants.
This morning we’ll enjoy the facilities of our lodge and spend more time in the jungle with our nature guide. This afternoon, we’ll visit a Butterfly farm with its many species of butterflies and hummingbirds.
We first visit the beautiful Cotopaxi National Park, where we enjoy incredible views of highest active volcano in the world. We’ll walk around Limpiopungo Lake to discover the variety of plants and animals of the high Ecuadorian mountains - a great contrast from the rainforest. We continue to Baños, a city famous for its proximity to one of the most important volcanoes of Ecuador - the mighty Tungurahua.
Today we visit one of the most beautiful waterfalls in South America, the “Pailón del Diablo”, where an easy walk in the middle of the cloud forest will take us to the view point of this hidden jewel. Afterwards, we enjoy a cable car ride across the Zamora river cannon for some beautiful views. We continue onto Riobamba, perched up in the Andes and surrounded by volcanoes.
We travel south to Cuenca, stopping en route at Nizag indigenous community project. The community is known for keeping their ancestral traditions alive despite the onset of modern times. We will learn about the community’s history, agriculture, industry, clothing, culinary traditions, and other customs. This afternoon we visit Ingapirca, Ecuador’s most important Inca site.
Our tour of Cuenca begins with a stroll through the cobbled streets of this beautiful UNESCO World Cultural Heritage city. This colonial jewel has many picturesque squares, balconies, churches, an incredible pink marble cathedral and people wearing traditional colourful costumes - a feast for the photographer! We will enjoy a museum visit, a panoramic view of the city from Turi Hill and a visit to a factory that makes the traditional Ecuadorian hats - a symbol of the country.
A day at leisure to explore Cuenca. The cobblestone streets are lined with beautiful colonial houses and scenic squares, so this city is ideal for strolling and exploring. Your Tour Manager will be on hand for suggestions.
We drive to El Cajas National Park, world renowned for its 300 lakes. We’ll stop at the highest point to view the beautiful landscapes before descending to sea level. You will be amazed by the rapid and contrasting change of landscape and weather as we pass from the highlands to the cloud forest and then through tropical banana plantations. We arrive in General Vallamil, a lovely seaside village, for a 2-night stay.
This morning we depart in our private boat to explore the mangrove area of the EL Morro water channel. On this boat ride we will see dolphins, tropical cormorant, pelicans, Nazca boobies, roseate spoonbill and many others. We stop at the famous Bird Island for a leisurely walk to watch the birds in their natural habitat.
/ Depart for Home. A day at leisure to enjoy the beach and the town. Tonight we will depart for the Guayaquil Airport for our late night departure back to Canada.
We fly home via Miami.
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