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Monday, 24 July 2017
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18 DAYS TOUR

If you want to sample the region’s highlights without sacrificing some of its lesser-known gems, there’s no better way to experience Ecuador's dramatic scenery and colourful people. Visit the Amazon and a shaman apprentice for an incredible introduction to indigenous culture and the exotic wildlife of the jungle. Staying in simple hotels and homestays and using public transport will keep you grounded in the local customs and culture. We'll travel from the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" to relaxing Pacific beaches and mountain hot springs. This adventure offers up a great combination of must-see highlights and free time to explore on your own.

ITINERARY

 

Day 1 Quito

Arrive at any time.

Day 2 Quito/Tena

Head down winding roads to the Amazon Basin and spend the night in Tena.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3 Tena

Enjoy a free day in Tena with options like visiting an animal rescue centre, caving, and whitewater rafting.

Later, head for 2 nights with a local Quichua family at a homestay in a small Amazonian village.

Enjoy nature walks and visits with the local shaman.

Meals included: Lunch | Dinner

Day 4 Tena

Spend the day exploring the area around the homestay, learning more about local life in the jungle.

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 5 Tena/Baños

Travel to Baños and enjoy numerous outdoor optional activities available like hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking or soaking in the hot springs.

Day 6 Baños

Enjoy free time to experience all this adventurous town has to offer.

Day 7 Baños/Alausí

Travel to Alausí via Riobamba and take in the architecture of this local town.

Day 8 Alausí/Guayaquil

Board the train for an included excursion bound for the Devil's Nose. After, continue by bus to Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador.

Day 9 Guayaquil/Puerto López

Head to the beach town Puerto Lopez and Machalilla National Park. There are tons of activities in the area to take part in over the next few days.

Days 10–11 Puerto López

Enjoy free time to explore. Optional activities include a day trip to Isla de la Plata, hiking in Machalilla National Park, snorkelling or relaxing on the beach. Opt to go whale watching (when in season).

Day 12 Puerto López/Quito

Spend another full day in Puerto López before an overnight bus to Quito.

Day 13 Quito

Arrive in the morning and enjoy a free day in Quito. Opt to take a city tour, ride the cable car up the nearby volcano or relax in one of the city's many cafés and restaurants.

Day 14 Quito/San Clemente

Travel to the indigenous community of San Clemente. Interact with the locals and learn about their traditional ways during a homestay. Opt to enjoy a cultural evening and show with typical food.

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 15 San Clemente

Spend a full day here with optional hikes to learn about the area's medicinal plants or trek up the Imbabura Mountain. Interact with the locals and learn about their traditions.

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 16 San Clemente/Otavalo

Head to Otavalo, famous for its market. Opt to visit the Peguche Waterfall and Cotacachi leather market or hike around Cuicocha Lake.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 17 Otavalo/Quito

Explore some more before travelling back to Quito in the afternoon for one final night out in the capital city.

Day 18 Quito

Depart at any time.

Meals included: Breakfast

. .

Day 1 Quito

Arrive at any time.

There are no planned activities until the evening welcome meeting.

 
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
1h18:00

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore, but make sure you're back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour.

Accommodation

 
Hotel Eugenia (or similar)

Day 2 Quito/Tena

Head down winding roads to the Amazon Basin and spend the night in Tena.

Descend into the Amazon Jungle region. Notice the scenery change dramatically heading from the mountains into the lush, tropical Amazon rainforest.

 
Local bus
Quito – Tena 6h 189km

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3 Tena

Enjoy a free day in Tena with options like visiting an animal rescue centre, caving, and whitewater rafting. Later, head for 2 nights with a local Quichua family at a homestay in a small Amazonian village. Enjoy nature walks and visits with the local shaman.

Stay with a Quichua family. Enjoy the hospitality of these wonderful people, and experience life in the jungle firsthand. Take guided hikes to search for wildlife and learn about the natural environment.

Free Time
Tena Full Day

Enjoy the optional activities around Tena.

Amazon Jungle Homestay
Tena

Learn about local traditional beliefs and customs on this amazing homestay in the Ecuadorian Amazon close to Napo River. Stay with a friendly Quichua family near the community of Cando. They've introduced countless visitors to local living and a completely different way of doing things — one that may give you a different perspective on life.

Take part in a number of amazing activities. Hike through the rainforest, plunge into waterfalls, and learn the uses of tropical plants. Experience local tradition, and learn about Quichua history and culture.

Optional Activities - Day 3

Whitewater Rafting
Tena

Hit the rapids in the Amazon, and enjoy the thrill of a lifetime! Enjoy amazing scenery as you paddle past rainforests on this wild ride.

Accommodation

Cabanas Pimpilala (or similar)

Meals included: Lunch | Dinner

Day 4 Tena

Spend the day exploring the area around the homestay, learning more about local life in the jungle.

Jungle Excursions
Tena

Go for walks or canoe rides through the Tena area on the Napo River to learn more about the way of life in the region. Learn how the locals use the plants and fruits of the jungle on this cultural excursion.

Accommodation

Cabanas Pimpilala (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 5 Tena/Baños

Travel to Baños and enjoy numerous outdoor optional activities available like hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking or soaking in the hot springs.

Local bus
Tena – Baños 4 hours

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

Optional Activities - Day 5

Horseback Riding
Baños
25USD per person

Hop in the saddle and explore Baños’ beautiful countryside by horseback. Check out the unique vegetation in the region, and, perhaps, trot over to Tungurahua Volcano for amazing views.

Hot Springs
Baños

Soak weary muscles in the thermal baths that Baños is famous for. Head to hot springs at the base of Tungurahua Volcano, which means “little hell” in Quichua, or try some of the baths fed by the melt waters of Tungurahua's glaciated flanks. Rise before the sun for an early soak – watching the sun peak over the mountains while relaxing in the warm waters is definitely worth the early start.

Accommodation

Hotel La Floresta (or similar)

Day 6 Baños

Enjoy free time to experience all this adventurous town has to offer.

Optional Activities - Day 6

Hiking
Baños
Free

Head to the mountains for some amazing treks; Baños provides the perfect natural setting for outdoor adventure.

Horseback Riding
Baños
25USD per person

Hop in the saddle and explore Baños’ beautiful countryside by horseback. Check out the unique vegetation in the region, and, perhaps, trot over to Tungurahua Volcano for amazing views.

Mountain Biking
Baños
10USD per person

Hop on your bike and explore the amazing scenery surrounding Baños. Pass by mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and changing vegetation – depending on what path you take. Enjoy the cool wind on downhill stretches, but be sure to bring sunblock; the sun can be strong.

Hot Springs
Baños

Soak weary muscles in the thermal baths that Baños is famous for. Head to hot springs at the base of Tungurahua Volcano, which means “little hell” in Quichua, or try some of the baths fed by the melt waters of Tungurahua's glaciated flanks. Rise before the sun for an early soak – watching the sun peak over the mountains while relaxing in the warm waters is definitely worth the early start.

Canyoneering
Baños
25USD per person

Take the opportunity to go canyoneering in this prime place for outdoor adventure. Get fitted with gear and go with the group to explore waterfalls, rock formations, and the area’s amazing natural beauty, all from a unique (and fun-filled) perspective.

Accommodation

Hotel La Floresta (or similar)

Day 7 Baños/Alausí

Travel to Alausí via Riobamba and take in the architecture of this local town.

Local bus

Baños – Alausí2h30m

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

Free Time
Alausí Afternoon

Spend time getting to know this city.

Accommodation

Hotel San Pedro (or similar)

Day 8 Alausí/Guayaquil

Board the train for an included excursion bound for the Devil's Nose. After, continue by bus to Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador.

Enjoy Ecuador's most spectacular train journey. The famed Nariz del Diablo (Devil’s Nose) ride descends to the coast in a spectacular display of engineering around stunning mountain terrain. The journey returns back to Alausí after more than 1000m (3280 ft) in elevation loss.

After disembarking the train, journey south to Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador. Located at the mouth of the Guayas River, Guayaquil is also Ecuador's most important port.

Spend the evening exploring the city's highlights including Bolivar Park, the Old South Market, and Barrio de las Penas.

Take some time to stroll along the malecon (boardwalk) dotted with shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums. Opt for a boat ride down the Guayas River.

Devil's Nose Excursion
Alausí

Head out on an excursion on the famed Nariz del Diablo (Devil’s Nose) train ride, which descends to the coast in a spectacular display of engineering around stunning mountain terrain. Witness how the railway winds its way around curves and tunnels over a distance of only 26km (16 mi), but the drop in elevation is significant, well over 1,000m (3280 ft)! The train manages the descent through a series of switchbacks before returning to Alausí.

Local bus
Alausí – Guayaquil4h

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

Free Time
Guayaquil Evening

Explore this lively city.

Optional Activities - Day 8

Guayas River Boat Ride
Guayaquil

Head out on the Guayas River by boat to get a new perspective on this area. See many sights you can miss on shore.

Guayaquil City Highlights
Guayaquil

Spend some time exploring the city's highlights, including Bolivar Park, the Old South Market, and Barrio de las Penas, and get a feel for this evolving city.

Accommodation

Hotel Alexander (or similar)

Day 9 Guayaquil/Puerto López

Head to the beach town Puerto Lopez and Machalilla National Park. There are tons of activities in the area to take part in over the next few days.

Enjoy Puerto Lopez. Optional activities in the area include a trip to Isla de la Plata, hiking in Machalilla National Park, a visit to an archaeological site, diving, and snorkelling.

Local bus
Guayaquil – Puerto López3h30m

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

Accommodation

Hotel Pacifico (or similar)

Days 10–11 Puerto López

Enjoy free time to explore. Optional activities include a day trip to Isla de la Plata, hiking in Machalilla National Park, snorkelling or relaxing on the beach. Opt to go whale watching (when in season).

Other optional activities in the area include day trips to Isla de La Plata, with colonies of nesting blue-footed boobies and a number of other sea birds. Visitors usually come to view migrating whales (June to October) and dolphins around the island. Scuba diving, snorkelling, and horseback riding are also popular activities in the area.

Free Time
Puerto López

Get active or get lazy— the choice is yours.

Optional Activities - Days 10–11

Day Trip to Isla de la Plata
Isla de La Plata

Explore Isla de la Plata, affectionately known as the “poor man’s Galápagos.” Be sure to bring your camera to this wildlife watching haven. Meet colonies of nesting blue-footed boobies and a number of other sea birds. View the migrating whales (June to October) and dolphins around the island.

Machalilla National Park Hike
Machalilla

Go trekking at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador’s only coastal national park, which covers more than 40,000 ha of tropical dry forest and cloud forest as well as 20,000 ha of Pacific Ocean. Explore the park's coastline, which contains the country’s only coral formations (just off the mainland). Get your blood pumping with some day hikes to soak in the beautiful scenery and learn about the area. Be sure to keep an eye out for local wildlife.

Horseback Riding

Puerto López

Saddle up and head out on horseback for a new perspective of this fascinating seaside village.

Snorkelling
Puerto López

Grab a mask and fins and hit the surf. Discover the coral reef around Isla de la Plata, and keep an eye out for turtles, manta rays, and, a wide range of marine life.

Accommodation

Hotel Pacifico (or similar)

Day 12 Puerto López/Quito

Spend another full day in Puerto López before an overnight bus to Quito.

Overnight bus

Puerto López – Quito9h

Curl up and catch a snooze en route to the next stop.

Optional Activities - Day 12

Machalilla National Park Hike
Machalilla

Go trekking at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador’s only coastal national park, which covers more than 40,000 ha of tropical dry forest and cloud forest as well as 20,000 ha of Pacific Ocean. Explore the park's coastline, which contains the country’s only coral formations (just off the mainland). Get your blood pumping with some day hikes to soak in the beautiful scenery and learn about the area. Be sure to keep an eye out for local wildlife.

Snorkelling
Puerto López

Grab a mask and fins and hit the surf. Discover the coral reef around Isla de la Plata, and keep an eye out for turtles, manta rays, and, a wide range of marine life.

Day 13 Quito

Arrive in the morning and enjoy a free day in Quito. Opt to take a city tour, ride the cable car up the nearby volcano or relax in one of the city's many cafés and restaurants.

Free Time

Quito Full Day

Get out and explore this capital city.

Optional Activities - Day 13

Quito City Tour
Quito

Take a tour of Quito to learn more about this amazing city and local culture. Visit the Old Town of Quito, with stops at Compania Church, San Francisco Square, and the Panecillo view point.

Accommodation

Hotel Eugenia (or similar)

Day 14 Quito/San Clemente

Travel to the indigenous community of San Clemente. Interact with the locals and learn about their traditional ways during a homestay. Opt to enjoy a cultural evening and show with typical food.

Local bus

San Clemente5h-6h

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

Indigenous Community Homestay
San Clemente

Make new friends and memories on this homestay. Interact with the locals in this indigenous community and learn about their traditional ways of living. Opt to enjoy a cultural evening and show, and enjoy regional food.

Optional Activities - Day 14

Cultural Show
San Clemente

Watch a cultural show to learn more about this indigenous community and their way of life.

Accommodation

Cabanas San Clemente (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 15 San Clemente

Spend a full day here with optional hikes to learn about the area's medicinal plants or trek up the Imbabura Mountain. Interact with the locals and learn about their traditions.

Free Time

San Clemente Full Day

Head out and explore.

Indigenous Community Homestay
San Clemente

Make new friends and memories on this homestay. Interact with the locals in this indigenous community and learn about their traditional ways of living. Opt to enjoy a cultural evening and show, and enjoy regional food.

Optional Activities - Day 15

Nature Walks

San Clemente

Take the opportunity to learn about local flora. Head out for walks around the area to learn more about medicinal uses for the area's plants.

Imbabura Mountain Trek

Imbabura

Trek to Mt Imbabura, a volcano in northern Ecuador. Get in some activity as well as a better feel for the nature in this area. See slopes extensively farmed with high altitude meadows, and stunning cloud forests that add to the beautiful landscape.

Accommodation

Cabanas San Clemente (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 16 San Clemente/Otavalo

Head to Otavalo, famous for its market. Opt to visit the Peguche Waterfall and Cotacachi leather market or hike around Cuicocha Lake.

Explore the largest handicrafts market in South America. Villagers from the surrounding countryside come here every week to sell handmade goods as well as livestock, fruits, and vegetables.

Local bus

San Clemente – Otavalo1h

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

Otavalo Handicrafts Market Visit
Otavalo

Discover some amazing local art, tapestries, and textiles at Otavalo’s famous artisan market, the largest handicraft market in South America. Wander the stalls to meet local artists, and find one-of-a-kind souvenirs. Try to arrive early for the best bargains (it starts at dawn), and try your hand at haggling – it’s expected for every purchase. A good negotiator could get at least 20 per cent off the starting price.

Optional Activities - Day 16

Peguche Waterfall Visit

Otavalo

Enjoy a stroll to the famous Peguche Waterfall nestled within a gorgeous protected forest, Bosque Protector Cascada de Peguche. Take in the beauty of this natural wonder that’s also a sacred Indigenous ceremonial site used for purification baths.

Cuicocha Lake Hike

Laguna de Cuicocha

Trek around this volcanic crater lake located at 3,246m (10,650 ft) above sea level. Take in amazing scenic views of the deep blue lake and its two lava islands.

Cotacachi Visit
Cotacachi

Visit the mountain town of Cotacahi, known for its leather goods and handicrafts. Wander the streets of the scenic town and watch craftspeople make handmade leather goods. Take in local living, and be sure to pick up some goods and souvenirs.

Accommodation

Hotel Santa Fe (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 17 Otavalo/Quito

Explore some more before travelling back to Quito in the afternoon for one final night out in the capital city.

Local bus

Otavalo – Quito2h

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

Optional Activities - Day 17

Peguche Waterfall Visit

Otavalo

Enjoy a stroll to the famous Peguche Waterfall nestled within a gorgeous protected forest, Bosque Protector Cascada de Peguche. Take in the beauty of this natural wonder that’s also a sacred Indigenous ceremonial site used for purification baths.

Cotacachi Visit

Cotacachi

Visit the mountain town of Cotacahi, known for its leather goods and handicrafts. Wander the streets of the scenic town and watch craftspeople make handmade leather goods. Take in local living, and be sure to pick up some goods and souvenirs.

Cuicocha Lake Hike

Laguna de Cuicocha

Trek around this volcanic crater lake located at 3,246m (10,650 ft) above sea level. Take in amazing scenic views of the deep blue lake and its two lava islands.

Accommodation

Hotel Eugenia (or similar)

Day 18 Quito

Depart at any time.

Meals included: Breakfast

.

Introduction

If you want to sample the region’s highlights without sacrificing some of its lesser-known gems, there’s no better way to experience Ecuador's dramatic scenery and colourful people. Visit the Amazon and a shaman apprentice for an incredible introduction to indigenous culture and the exotic wildlife of the jungle. Staying in simple hotels and homestays and using public transport will keep you grounded in the local customs and culture. We'll travel from the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" to relaxing Pacific beaches and mountain hot springs. This adventure offers up a great combination of must-see highlights and free time to explore on your own.

  • Feel like a local at an Amazon homestay
  • Relax on Ecuador's beaches
  • Witness Andean scenery
  • Ride by train to the Devil's Nose
  • Learn from the locals at an indigenous community
  • Shop the Otavalo Market
Duration: 18 days
Start/Finish City: Quito to Quito
 

What's Included

Amazon Jungle homestay and cooking demonstrations (2 nts). Baños stay. Train excursion to Devil's Nose. Machalilla NP stay. Indigenous community homestay (San Clemente). Otavalo Market visit. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Feel like a local at an Amazon homestay, relax on Ecuador's beaches, witness Andean scenery, ride by train to the Devil's Nose, learn from the locals at an indigenous community, shop the Otavalo Market.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

THE TURGURAHUA VOLCANO
Please note this tour travels to Banos. The Tungurahua volcano in the area around Banos is constantly active. G Adventures have operated countless tours to the Banos area over the years without incident. However, we are obligated to point out that travel to the area is at your own risk, to exercise caution when travelling in the area. Further, we urge you to check your insurance coverage with your insurance provider prior to travel to the Banos area.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 12

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with us you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. On truck trips in Africa, aboard the expedition ship Explorer or our Galapagos yachts, while trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport

Public bus, truck, train.

Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Simple hotels (12 nts), Amazon community stay (2 nts), overnight bus (1 nt), indigenous community homestay (2 nts, multi-share).

My Own Room Exceptions

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops, with the following exceptions: Nights 3-4 Amazon Jungle, Night 12: overnight bus, Nights 14-15: San Clemente.

What our clients said in TripAdvisor

 

Our address

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E-mail: info@ecuadorgreentravel.net
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