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Tuesday, 26 September 2017
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COLORFUL ECUADOR - 15 DAYS

COLORFUL ECUADOR

Hot spots: Quito - Otavalo - Papallacta – Jungle – Baños - Riobamba – Ingapirca – Cuenca – Cajas Nacional Park – Guayaquil – Puerto Lopez – N.P Machalilla – Manta - Cotopaxi

ITINERARY DAY BY DAY

DAY 1: TRANSFER AIRPORT – HOTEL
Transfer from the airport to hotel. Overnight in Quito.
Hotel San Francisco de Quito or similar (subject to availability)

 

DAY 2: CITY LINE (QUITO COLONIAL + MIDLE OF THE WORLD)
We’ll visit some of the most famous squares, churches and colonial buildings. La Plaza de la Independencia with its Presidential Palace, the Archbishop Palace, the Municipal building, the Independent Statue and the Cathedral. We’ll continue to the Sagrario, and la Compania churches, and then San Francisco church and convent. We’ll have a look inside the church and will be amazed by the exuberant gold used to decorate the oldest church in Quito. The driver will to take us to the Panecillo and the statue of La Virgin de Quito. From here we’ll have the best views of Quito and the surrounding snowcapped volcanoes! We’ll continue towards Mitad del Mundo where we’ll have lunch first. Mitad del Mundo is one of Quito’s most famous attractions, situated about 10 km to the north of Ecuador’s capital. There is an interesting open-air museum called Inti-Ñan.
It explains the solar system, the effect the position of the equator has on gravity and ancient cultures and their peculiarities. This is definitely worth a visit! Afterwards we’ll be taken back to Quito and dropped off at our hotel.
Hotel San Francisco de Quito or similar (subject to availability) (B/-/-)

DAY 3: COTOPAXI FULL DAY
Pick up from hotel in Quito by guide and driver. Drive by private transport towards the entrance of the Cotopaxi in approximately one hour and a half. We pay a short visit to the little museum which tells about the park, its nature, the wildlife and eruptions of the centerpiece of the park; the Cotopaxi volcano of 5897 mts. high. 
We continue our way into the park and stop at the Limpiopungo Lake at 3800 mts. Here we can make an acclimatizing walk while observing semi-wild horses, a variety of ducks and hummingbirds and the Andean gull and lapwing. Drive to the parking lot at 4600 mts. from where it’s just a 45-minute strenuous walk to the José Ribas refuge at 4800 mts. On clear days you have the most incredible views up here. Once we are above, we’ll go for a short break in the refuge before continuing to the nearby glacier. Enjoy the incredible picture opportunities and the spectacular scenery at walls of ice and deep crevasses. 
Hotel San Francisco de Quito or similar (subject to availability) (B/-/-)

DAY 4: TERMAS DE PAPALLACTA – COTOCOCHA LODGE
Breakfast. After that we will take towards the east of Quito. Our first stop will be the Terms of Papallacta, this beautiful spa with Hot Springs where you can relax and enjoy the thermal pools. (Pools entrance fee NOT included) We will continue the trip to the jungle to Tena and then to Cotococha Lodge. At our arrival we will receive a welcome cocktail then we move into your bungalow. If you feel like, you can go for a swim on a sandy beach at the Rio Napo. A delicious dinner at the lodge will be served and the manager of the place will explain about the next day activities.
Cotococha Lodge or similar (subject to availability) (B/-/D)

 

DAY 5: COTOCOCHA LODGE
We will start with a canoe ride down the imposing Napo River crossing the enchanted Ecuadorian jungle. Soon we arrive at the village of Misahualli, where we’ll have to make a short stop for routine inspection by the local Marine officers. With a stroll through this tranquil little town we will be able to see a group of Capuchin Monkeys. We continue our canoe ride until we reach the Arajuno River. Here we will visit the animal rescue center “AmaZOOnico”. This is a specialized organization dedicated to the rescue of wild animals and restoring them into their natural habitat. We will observe a great variety of species such as toucans, parrots, all kinds of monkeys, ocelots, capybaras and much more.
After our visit to this beautiful sanctuary, we’ll enjoy a scrumptious picnic by the river shore. Afterwards, we can swim in the refreshing river waters or simply rest ourselves in the peaceful surroundings.  
We’ll head back to our lodge, making a short stop in one of the many local indigenous communities by the Napo River. One of the native Quichua families will show us their ancestral costumes like gold washing, pottery techniques, the making of the typical drink “chicha” made of yuca and blowpipe hunting. After this fascinating cultural exchange with the Quichuas. Dinner
Cotococha Lodge or similar (subject to availability) (B/L/D)

DAY 6: COTOCOCHA LODGE
Secondary Forest - Waterfall Las Latas - Quichua Family 
After breakfast, you depart by canoe upstream for ten minutes, arriving to a small shore where you begin a fun and thrilling one hour walk, discovering the jungle’s secondary forest diverse flora and fauna. After the short walk, you will get to the breathtaking waterfall Las Latas where you can take a refreshing bath in its clear crystal waters and enjoy the surrounding views, which mixed with the jungle sounds, makes it a unforgettable experience. Then you will return to have lunch at the lodge. In the afternoon you will visit a Quichua family and learn about their millenary culture and traditions such as gold rinse in the river shoreline, traditional pottery making, making of typical drink “chicha” made of yuca (a traditional Ecuadorian manioc), and the use of the “serbatana”  (blowpipe for hunting use). After this amazing encounter with Quichua culture, you return to the lodge by foot over secondary jungle pads. Upon arrival enjoy a snack. At night after dinner, you will have the usual meeting around the fireplace to share the day’s experiences.  
Cotococha Lodge or similar (subject to availability) (B/L/D)

DAY 7:  COTOCOCHA – PUYO – BAÑOS 
Today, after breakfast we will travel to Puyo and Baños. Free afternoon to visit the zoo or just relaxing near of the hot springs in Baños.
Hotel Posada del Arte or similar (subject to availability) (B/-/-)

 

DAY 8: BAÑOS FULL DAY   
Breakfast. That day you have visit the surroundings of the town. We will take the “road of the waterfalls” where you will visit the different waterfalls in the area and do some trekking to get to “El Pailon del Diablo”; a beautiful waterfall where we can have a chance to walk through the cloud forest. Time for lunch at the town (not included) and time for relax during the afternoon
Hotel Posada del Arte or similar (subject to availability) (B/-/-)

 

DAY 9: BAÑOS - RIOBAMBA -  INGAPIRCA - CUENCA 
We will enjoy the visit to some beautifull places such as Ambato and Riobamba, and also some parts of the one of the most interesting and legendary "Andes-train" over the famous devil's-nose (3 hours aprox). Our Trip continues to the most important Inca archeological Complex of Ecuador, the fortress of Ingapirca. In the surroundings, we will see how the famous artisans make the “Panama Hats”. After this interesting visit, we go to Cuenca.
Hotel Posada del Angel or similar (Subject to availability) (B/-/-)

DAY 10: CITY TOUR IN CUENCA – GUALACEO – CHORDELEG
City tour around the city visiting the most important churches and monuments of this important city, cultural heritage of the humanity. Then we will visit El Turi, a natural hill where we can have an amazing overview of the city. At the afternoon we wil visit the Gualaceo and Chordeleg, two of the most important towns near of the city famous for their handcarfts made using gold and silver, and for thier colonial traditions.
Hotel Posada del Angel or similar (Subject to availability) (B/-/-)

 

DAY 11: EL CAJAS NATIONAL PARK– GUAYAQUIL CITY
Depending of the weather conditions, you will have a excursion to El Cajas National Park or to Gualaceo valley and then we will travel to Guayaquil. El Cajas National Park has several small lagoons (more than 230). They are the remains of the last ice age. The lakes are connected by small rivers, whose crystal-clear waters flow into the Pacific. We will have a short hike through this protected area. We will continue the trip to Guayaquil. 
Hostal Quil or similar (subject to availability) (B/-/-)

 

DAY 12: GUAYAQUIL – MONTANITA -  PUERTO LOPEZ
In the morning, you drive through the "Ruta del Sol". In Ballenita, you have a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean from a high cliff. Small fishing villages can be visited during the complete journey and beautiful and mostly rustic beaches will join us during our trip. Salango, and Montanita. Then we continue to Manta 
Hotel Cabanas Balandra or similar

 

DAY 13: MANTA – SANTO DOMINGO - QUITO 
This day we will do a trip to Santo Domingo and then to Quito.
Hotel San Francisco de Quito or similar (subject to availability) (B/-/-)

 

DAY 14: OTAVALO INDIAN MARKET
In about two hours we reach Otavalo. The town of Otavalo is the heart of their culture and at the marketplace we will find all possible souvenirs at cheap prices. There is also an animal market taking place just outside town. Be part and witness the trading in between the Otavalo indigenous people. In the afternoon we’ll visit the main sites in the surroundings of Otavalo and the town of Cotacachi, famous for its leather products. Clothing, bags, belts, 
wallets, sandals, in Cotacachi we’ll find the best variety at the lowest prices. Afterwards we’ll visit the Lake of Cuicocha. This lake is situated in an old crater of a still active volcano. We can make an optional boat ride across the lake and watch the fumaroles. 
Hotel San Francisco de Quito or similar (subject to availability) (B/-/-)

 

DAY 15: TRANSFER OUT
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer from the hotel to the airport. End of our services. (B/-/-)

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ECUADOR GREEN TRAVEL AND TOUR OPERATOR
Address: Ulpiano Paez N21-74 y Robles, Valladolid building, Of. 504 
Tel/Fax: (593-2) 2566172  / Mobile: (593-9) 99256096
E-mail: info@ecuadorgreentravel.net
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Quito – Ecuador

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