Ecuador is one of the most fascinating destinations because of its extreme landscapes. From the Amazon rainforest to the ice fields beyond 5,000 meters, you will enjoy spectacular landscapes which exude a serene harmony and hospitable people.
Within two weeks, you will discover the altiplano from north to south and the high volcanoes, the Amazon tropical forest. But in addition we explore the southern region, the charming city of Cuenca and the Inca ruins of Ingapirca, the best preserved in the country.
The highlights of this trip
- A spectacular trip from the glaciers volcanoes to the heart of the Amazon Selva
- Various activities for simple and unforgettable pleasures.
- The most beautiful historical centers and archaeological sites in Ecuador
Day 1: Quito - City Tour - Cochasqui - Otavalo
Tour operates on a set of green hills, Quito enjoys a delightful climate. Swarming with activity, it is one of the most beautiful cities in South America. Visit of the archaeological site of 15 truncated pyramids built by ancient civilizations. Transfer to the Indian village of Otavalo.
Day 2: Otavalo market - Peguche - CotopaxiPungo
On Saturday it happens in Otavalo and nowhere else! The whole region is present in this weekly appointment to which has devoted a large part of the village, to trade all that one can imagine. Before the transfer to the door of Cotopaxi National Park, we visit the Peguche sacred waterfall and place of purification for the Indians of the province of Imbabura.
Day 3: Cotopaxi National Park - Papallacta
Discover the famous volcano Cotopaxi and its glacier slopes. We can observe wild herds of horses galloping on large areas of the Andean highlands. Under the gaze of the condors we enjoy a walk to admire the reflection of the Cotopaxi volcano in Laguna Limpiopungo. Transfer to Papallacta.
Day 4: Papallacta - Amazon
Relaxation in the pools of warm waters of this little paradise. In a magical setting surrounded by Cayambe-Coca and Antizana ecological reserves mountains, we enjoy these natural treasures to experiment with different temperature baths with the volcano Antisana in the background. By late afternoon we drive to the Amazon.
Day 5: Discovery of Amazon
This morning, we leave for a forest hike, where we can observe a variety of flora, birds, insects and animals of all kinds, colors and shapes! In the afternoon, different activities are possible depending on the group's wishes: a visit of a rescue center for animals, an Indian community, bathing in a river, boat ride ..
Day 6: Amazon - Waterfalls road - Baños
We leave the lodge in the Amazon to reach the spa town of Baños. Located in a subtropical zone at 1,800 meters in altitude, this charming little town is the perfect place to try outdoor adventure activities. On our way, we visit the spectacular Waterfalls Road, with no less than twelve waterfalls to discover.
Day 7: Baños - Refuge Chimborazo - Riobamba
Quite a challenge for the day: exceed 5,000 meters! In the early morning transfer by car to the end of the track, then walk to the Whymper refuge, one of the highest in the world. Finally for the bravest and if the weather allows it, climb to the needles of Whymper, located at 5,300m. Back to the vehicle and down to Riobamba.
Day 8: Riobamba - Andean Train - Ingapirca - Cuenca
Transfer to Alausi to ride the train of the Andes towards the Devil's Nose, a unique rail route in the world through breathtaking landscapes. An exceptional adventure and chills guaranteed along a 765 meters cliff. The afternoon will be spent visiting the archaeological site of Ingapirca, a great example of Inca and Cañari architecture .
Day 9: Cuenca
Considered to be the most beautiful city in Ecuador, Cuenca has an indefinable charm. Its center is declared World Heritage by UNESCO and is a treasure trove of colonial art. We can discover the cathedral, the panorama from the belvedere, El Turi, flowered squares, the panama factory, churches and traditional markets.
Day 10 Cuenca - Guayaquil
In the morning we take the road towards Guayaquil through the Cajas National Park, located some 30 kilometers west from Cuenca. We can admire the many lakes at 3,500 meters above sea level (the national park has more than 200) the Andean paramo with rich flora and llamas.
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- Accomodation in double rooms
- Full pension (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Free drinking water
- All entries to national parks, churches and activities as mentioned in the intineray
Andes & Amazon
In the field
- English speaking tour guide
- A driver for driving the vehicle
- Private bus reserved for the group for the entire trip
Throughout your stay, accommodation is varied:
- Hostels 3-4 stars in cities (local standards).
- Homestay (basic comfort)
- Family inn or cozy guest room
- Lodge in the Amazon
- Breakfast served at the accommodation
- At noon picnic for hiking, restaurant meal the other days
- In the evening, restaurant meals or prepared food at accomodation
Ecuadorians products help ensure varied menus and good quality.
The luggage transport
During the excursions and activities, each participant carries a light backpack containing only personal belongings needed for the day (water bottle, camera, protective clothing, ...). Luggage transport is ensured by vehicle.
- Passport and photocopies
- Photocopy of certificate of insurance / assistance contract
- Vaccinations record and medical indications
- Currency, credit card => The ideal is to carry personal papers and money in a discreet travel pouch worn under his clothes.
- Universal Adapter
- Flashlight (frontal ideal) and extra batteries
- Sun protection (sunglasses and bag, sunscreen SPF 30 minimum, cap / hat)
- Personal pharmacy (see below)
- Tissues / toilet paper
- Travel alarm
- Toiletries and towel (microfiber type)
- Protective plastic bag (cloth, paper ...)
- Swimsuit (pools Baños)
- A backpack 30L / 50L: this capacity lets you take all you need for a day of travel: rain clothes, warm clothes, small pharmacy, water bottles, snacks, and possibly part of the picnic
- Cream / ointment after sun
- Antibiotic broad spectrum (paracetamol, aspirin ...)
- Disinfectant for wounds (type Hexomedine)
- Set bandages, tape, scissors, blister dressing
- Hyadroalcoholic gel
- Survival blanket
- Long and light clothes (for mosquitoes protection). Avoid black clothes which attract them more
- Anti-mosquito (type Tropic) and anti-itch cream
- Poncho or rain jacket
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No visa is required for nationals of countries of the European Union, Switzerland, USA and Canada for a stay of less than 90 days. A passport valid at least 6 months after the travel date in Ecuador is enough.
Travelling with children
The foreign minors are subject to the same obligations as adults. They must hold a passport valid at least six months after the travel date.
We do not offer international flight booking. To plan your route in Ecuador, several international airlines provide transportation to Quito (or Guayaquil), such as Air France (via Bogota or Caracas), KLM, Iberia and Lan (via Madrid), American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Lufthansa, etc ...
No mandatory vaccine.
But vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory if you have previously been to a country situated in endemic areas.
We strongly recommend to update the classic vaccinations: diphtheria-tetanus-polio +/- whooping cough, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, hepatitis A and B.
Yellow fever vaccination is highly recommended if you go to the Amazon or to a province east of the Andes below 2,300 meters in altitude.
Malaria occurs below 1,500 meters, mainly in the Amazon area: classification 3 (high resistance). Antimalarial treatment is necessary. Consult your doctor.
The risk is moderate in the coastal provinces. It is recommended to protect yourself in some areas: Baños, on the Pacific coast and the Galapagos Islands.
Make sure you have in addition preventive personal protection against mosquito bites (repellents, loose and covering clothes).
Ecuador is affected by the Zika virus disease transmitted by bites of Aedes mosquitoes.
In case of pregnancy, the hypothesis of a causal relationship between the event of outbreak of fetal or neonatal microcephaly and infection Zika virus in the mother is likely. It is therefore recommended for pregnant women or for those having a project of pregnancy to consider postponing their stay or to first consult a doctor to be informed about the complications that can occur during infection by Zika virus.
Acclimatization and preventive treatment of acute mountain sickness
We recommend you before your trip to Ecuador to visit a doctor to check your ability to stay at high altitude. Andean reliefs are very marked and altitudes are significant (Quito already at 2,800m above sea level).
Whether on adventure, discovery, trekking or mountaineering tours, routes include acclimatization steps and time required for the body to adjust naturally to the altitude. By following a few simple tips especially the first days (drink regularly, avoid alcohol, overeating, too abrupt efforts ...), you will facilitate the acclimation process and avoid the most common symptoms (headaches, shortness of breath ...).
For more information, visit the Association for Research in Environmental Physiology (www.arpealtitude.org) or the International Medical Service (www.smi-voyage-sante.com)
The currency is the US dollar. Exchange rates (indicative price): 1 € = $ 1.12 or US $ 1 = € 0.89.
Most credit cards (MasterCard, Visa ...) are accepted in Ecuador in department stores. It is possible to make withdrawals * directly to distributors in major cities you will be going to during your trip (Quito, Otavalo, Guayaquil, Riobamba, Baños, Cuenca ...). Plan ahead among the major steps to not run out of cash for personal expenses (souvenirs ...). Moreover, it is better to have small denominations (5, 10, 20 $) because the businesses rarely have the exchange.
For stays in Galapagos, only the islands of Santa Cruz and Santa Cristobal are equipped with distributors.
NB: it is difficult to change euros, the exchange is only possible in major cities in banks (limited opening hours) and exchange offices ("casa de cambio").
* Before departure, it is best to consult your bank to know your conditions / fees abroad to avoid inconvenience.
Ecuador is located in the equatorial zone where there is no clear-cut seasons. It is possible to travel throughout the year in Ecuador. The climate is however very variable and unpredictable!
It is generally cool in Quito (15 ° to 25 °), very mild in Cuenca (18 ° to 30 °) and very hot in the Amazon or on the Pacific coast (27 ° to 40 °). Galapagos, the heat is tempered by the winds that cool constantly the islands (20 ° to 35 ° C).
Ecuador is considered to be one of the safest countries in South America. However, we advise you to avoid, as far as possible, to carry valuables. The risk of theft exists, avoid displaying wealth, be vigilant in crowded places (markets, city centers ...) and leave whenever possible valuables and significant amounts of money in the safes of hotels. Do not hesitate to ask your guide in which places it is necessary to pay particular attention and which ones to avoid.
Each participant must be aware of the fact that the tour chosen may include activities (rafting, hiking, ziplining, biking ...) which may be risky. The service providers selected for those services were chosen for their professionalism and the quality of supervision and equipment. Each activity will begin with a reminder of the safety instructions.
Language & some useful words
In Ecuador, Spanish is spoken by all the population. The Quechua language and local dialects are used in remote locations. English is practiced by persons in relation to tourism (hotels & restaurants of higher category).
We recommend that you bring an adapter because the plugs are flat type 110 volts, as in the United States.
Ecuador is located on the GMT -5. The time is the same in all the country except the Galapagos (- 1 hour).The sun rises around 6am and night falls around 6pm, all year.