Organized by: Tour Operator with 27 years of experience and expert in tailor made Tours in Ecuador, Galapagos Islands and South America.
ECUADOR PROGRAM IN COMMUNITY HOMES AND ECO-LODGES
Day 1. ARRIVAL IN ECUADOR: QUITO
Arrival in Ecuador, in Quito, the capital at 9,186 feet. Transfer to a charming hotel or at a local dweller home in the historic center or in the countryside. Welcome typical drink. Overnight stay.
Day 2. QUITO ~ "MITAD DEL MUNDO" ~ MINDO CLOUD FOREST
Visit on foot to Quito’s historic center, classified by UNESCO as: “World Cultural Heritage” then transfer to Panecillo hill to appreciate a great panoramic view of Quito and the Andean mountain range. Then transfer to “la Mitad Del Mundo”, a tour of the Equatorial line village and Monument. Visit the interesting Ethno-Scientific Inti ñan Museum. And a short drive to Mindo cloud forest, famous for its birds, butterflies, waterfalls, chocolate and adventure sports. Coffee or chocolate break at an observatory of hummingbirds. Accommodations and relaxing time at an Eco chalet surrounded by nature, at the foot of cloud forest with a small river. Delicious Pizza dinner. Overnight stay.
Day 3. MINDO CLOUD FOREST ~ OTAVALO ANDEAN REGION
Early Bird-watching or visit to a butterfly forest and tubing down the river or canopy above the forest or visit to a botanic tropical garden. “Tilapia” lunch. Visit to a small chocolate factory and brownie and chocolate tasting or visit to a coffee workshop and coffee tasting. Then drive towards the North by the Pan-American highway up to the beautiful Andean region of Otavalo, famous for its volcanoes, lakes, condors and Indigenous traditions and handicrafts. Panoramic stop at San Pablo Lake. Arrival at an Indigenous community, welcome by a family, dinner and overnight stay at their home.
Day 4. OTAVALO
With a member of the indigenous family, visit the Otavalo typical livestock market then visit the most well-known Indigenous market in South America: Otavalo, which exhibits all the Ecuadorian textiles and handicrafts. Walk around the splendid Cuicocha Crater Lake or visit a Condor park or other activity. Transfer back to the Indigenous community. Tour and meeting with its farmers and artisans. And possible workshop, time with this family and learn about their ways of living, handicrafts etc. Dinner, overnight stay at the family home.
Day 5. OTAVALO ~ COTOPAXI VOLCANO REGION
Transfer to Ibarra train station and great travel by train across the Andean region of Cayambe volcano to the subtropical Chota valley. Arrival at an Afro community village. Cultural presentation. Then drive to the Avenue of the Volcanoes to the Cotopaxi volcano region. Dinner and overnight stay at an Eco-tourist hacienda or a mountain inn at the foot of the Cotopaxi.
Day 6. COTOPAXI VOLCANO ~ QUILOTOA LAKE
Meeting with the local cowboys, the “chagras” and join them for great and soft horse-back riding at the foot of the Cotopaxi and Ruminahui volcanoes. Tour of the Cotopaxi National Park with an Indigenous local guide and possible hiking around a lagoon and/or up to the refuge (not recommended for children under 11).
Then a short drive to the amazing Quilotoa Crater Lake. Possible tour of its Indigenous village. Dinner and overnight stay at a community or country inn.
Day 7. QUILOTOA LAKE ~ BAÑOS
Possible walk down the border of Quilotoa Lake or around it.
According to the day, possible visit to a typical Indigenous market.
Drive up to the charming thermal town of Baños, located at the foot of the active Tungurahua Volcano. City tour and hot spring bath or Swimming at the “End of the World” to enjoy a great view of Tungurahua volcano. Overnight stay at a family hotel in Baños.
Day 8. BAÑOS ~ PUYO
Soft Mountain biking along the Waterfall road or canopy across Pastaza River. On the way, stop to cross in a “tarabita” the Pastaza river. Walk to the spectacular “Pailon Del Diablo” waterfall, one of the biggest of Latin America. Then short drive to Puyo, “the gateway to the Amazon”. Arrival at a botanic and Eco Park. Vegetarian lunch. Tour of the park on foot to know about the local great variety of tropical plants, trees and the ones in extinction. Canoeing tour. Possible swimming in the river and mud bath. Talk, the presentation about the local ecosystem and the ecological park projects. Vegetarian dinner, on request massage or chiropractic therapy and overnight, stays at the Eco lodging in a room with private or shared bathroom.
Day 9. PUYO ~ AMAZON
Possible yoga or meditation. After breakfast, drive to the Amazon region of Tena. Stop at Misahualli village, where monkeys live freely or walk and swim at a waterfall. Arrival at Napo River, a tributary to the Amazon or Arajuno River then canoe transfer up to an Ecolodge in the middle of the jungle or transfer to a Kichwa Community lodge. Lunch. Leisure time or possible tour. Possible night walk in the forest to observe insects or other small animals. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Day 10. AMAZON FOREST
After breakfast, walk in the primary and secondary forest to observe its flora, medicinal plants, giant trees, insects, monkeys, birds etc. Or take a tour of Anaconda Island, watching caimans and ancient “Hoatzin” birds. Then possible swim in the river. Return to the lodge, lunch. Leisure time.
Then cultural activity and exchange at a Kichwa Indigenous community, meeting with its inhabitants who will show you their way of living, their tropical plantations, orchards and how to make their ancestral “chicha” beverage or visit to an animal shelter and a small museum of Kichwa handcrafts, possible confection of handcraft with the women and possible purchase of souvenirs (or other activity according to the lodge). Dinner and overnight stay at the lodge.
Day 11. AMAZON ~ JATUN YACU RAFTING ~ PAPALLACTA HOT SPRINGS • QUITO
Last breakfast in the rain forest, then transfer to Jatun Yacu River (level III or a softer one) and a rafting security briefing and Rafting down this river.
Then drive back to the Andes.
On the way, possible stop to enjoy the well-known hot spring pools of Papallacta. Overnight stay in a hotel in the center of Quito or in a country in close by the airport.
Day 12. QUITO ~ FLIGHT BACK HOME OR FLIGHT TO GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
Transfer to Quito airport then flight back home or
On option and request apart or after purchase:
Flight to the Enchanted Galapagos islands for an Island Hopping tour
Or a cruise of 5 or 8 Days
Or 5 day Journey to the Pacific Coast in Canoe or Ayampe region, at an Ecolodge