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Ecuador Nature Discover

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Ecuador Nature Discover

per person

Discover the Highlights of Ecuador, whilst enjoying the beautiful changes in landscapes between the highlands and the lowlands. Beautiful landscapes, impressive colonial and inca remains form part of this program. The itinerary includes a visit to Quito and Cuenca two cities declared World Heritage sites by Unesco in recognition for their well-preserved historical buildings; the Amazon Rainforest one of the most diverse ecosystem in the world and the amazing Galapagos Islands, a showcase of rare endemic animal species, and as Darwin described it, a “little world within itself”

  • Destination
  • Included
    Ecuador Nature Discover
    English-speaking local guide
    Double accommodation
    Meals as described in this itinerary
    All entrance fee
1
Day 1: Quito – arrival transfer
Meet and greet at the airport upon arrival outside of customs. Assistance and transfer to the selected hotel. Overnight in: Quito Meals included: none
2
Day 2: Quito, a world Cultural Heritage Site
Quito's Historical Center, the largest and best-preserved in Latin America, boasts a captivating fusion of cultures and architectural styles, declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1978. This monumental city, founded in 1534, showcases 16th and 17th-century churches and buildings, offering a rich cultural legacy and stunning colonial art. Explore its ornate facades and visit iconic landmarks like Independence Square and the Metropolitan Cathedral on this half-day excursion. Overnight in: Quito Meals included: breakfast and lunch
3
Day 3: Quito - Papallacta - Misahuall
Early in the morning departure from Quito to Papallacta, located to the west  of the city, known for its thermal waters and health benefits. After this visit, we continue the journey to Misahualli in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The trip offers incredible landscapes in the descent from the Andes towards the Selva, panoramic of an extensive forest that lodges many species of birds, ants, butterflies and other species of the place. Overnight in: Misahualli Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner
4
Day 4: In Misahualli
You start the day with an early breakfast. Walking through paths of primary and secondary forests, you can observe different species of birds and insects, as well as a great variety of trees and medicinal plants. The guides explain how plants are used not only in medicine, but also in construction and in the midst of local activities. Along the way, there are several opportunities to join the adventure factor, with hanging bridges and tree vines to swing. Overnight in: Misahualli Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner
5
Day 5: Misahualli - Puyo - Baños
We'll start our journey with an early departure from Misahualli to Puyo, an Amazonian town offering insights into traditional life before modernization. We'll also explore "La Casa de la Balsa" to learn about balsa wood craftsmanship and visit an Orchid Garden showcasing endangered orchids. Then, we'll continue to Baños, renowned for its waterfalls and sub-tropical mountainous landscape, with a highlight being the breathtaking 100-foot "Pailon del Diablo" waterfall on the Rio Pastaza. Overnight in: Baños Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch
6
Day 6: Baños - Salasaca - Riobamba
After breakfast, we depart from Baños towards Riobamba, a city nestled in the Andes, surrounded by volcanoes. Along the way, we visit the Salasaca Artisan Center, a community rooted in Aymara origins from the Inca society. They settled in Ecuador's highlands, and here, you can discover their handwoven tapestries depicting various aspects of life. Riobamba, with an average temperature of 12 degrees Celsius, holds a pivotal role as a crossroad between the coast and the jungle. It boasts a rich history, being the first Spanish settlement in Ecuador in 1534, and a brief visit allows you to admire its colonial architecture. Overnight in: Riobamba Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch
7
Day 7: Riobamba - Ingapirca - Cuenca
Leaving Riobamba, head south to enjoy stunning highland panoramas and capture picturesque moments at various stops along the way. Our first stop is Colta, home to the historic Balbanera church, constructed in 1534 as Ecuador's first Catholic church. As we drive through the former Cañari culture territory, we'll delve into the Inca Empire's expansion into Ecuador. Our ultimate destination is Ingapirca, an Inca-named archaeological marvel showcasing the Temple of the Sun, meticulously aligned with cosmic beliefs for sunlight to grace its chamber. Located two hours from Cuenca, Ingapirca offers a rich blend of Cañari and Inca architecture, with an onsite museum housing artifacts from these ancient civilizations. Explore the site to learn about their lifestyles before continuing to Cuenca, Ecuador's third-largest city, renowned for its exquisite colonial architecture, convents, churches, and charming squares. Overnight in: Cuenca Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch
8
Day 8: Visit Cuenca & San Joaquin Valley
In the morning, explore San Joaquin Valley, situated 7 kilometers west of Cuenca. It's known for its lush landscapes adorned with vegetable, flower, and fruit gardens, nourished by the Yanuncay River. Discover the local artisan traditions, with visits to their centers offering decorative items and diverse baskets woven from vegetable fibers. San Joaquin showcases unique customs and celebrations, featuring traditional attire, folk dances, music, and fireworks. Returning to Cuenca, Ecuador's third-largest city, you'll be captivated by its well-preserved colonial heritage: charming streets, white houses with flower-bedecked balconies, grand churches with majestic domes and spires. The city also boasts convents, museums, flower-filled plazas, and monuments, all against a backdrop of green hills and rivers. Cuenca's historical significance led to its UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site designation in 1999. Embark on a walking tour through Cuenca's Colonial district, admiring beautiful churches and facades, and visiting artisan centers to explore ceramic art, the renowned Panama hat, gold and silver jewelry, and embroidery—some of Cuenca's famed handicrafts. Enjoy free time in the afternoon. Overnight in: Cuenca Meals included: Breakfast
9
Day 9: Cuenca - Guayaquil
After breakfast, take a 4-hour drive to Guayaquil, enjoying scenic views of the Southern Highlands and a noticeable shift in climate and vegetation as you descend into the lowlands with banana, tropical fruit, and cacao plantations. Upon arrival in Guayaquil, check in at your chosen hotel. Known as the "Pearl of the Pacific," Guayaquil is Ecuador's largest port. Founded in 1538, it's now a dynamic cosmopolitan city offering a rich history as a Spanish port and shipbuilding center, modern shopping districts, and delightful cuisine. Explore historical sites like Las Peñas, stroll along the Malecon, and visit the famous Caraguay Fish Market (open in the morning). Guayaquil is an exciting place to discover, whether by car or on foot. Overnight in: Guayaquil Meals included: Breakfast and lunch
10
Day 10: Guayaquil - Galapagos Islands
Assistance and transfer in Guayaquil from the hotel to the airport to take the regular flight to the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival in Galapagos and after completi ng the procedure required by the Galapagos National Park to pay the entrance tax upon departure, the program or cruise staff will provide the transfer. Overnight in: San Cristobal & Santa Cruz Islands Meals included: it depends on the selected program – Please inquire information
11
Day 10-14: In the Galapagos Islands – “Galapagos on your own” program
Exploring the unique ecosystems of Galapagos is a unique experience in the life of every person who comes to the islands. Their daily experiences can range from walks between colonies of blue-footed or red-footed boobies nesting or performing their nuptial courtship without fear of humans, or crossing hundreds of curious prehistoric-looking marine iguanas. Alternatively, maybe swimming or snorkeling among playful sea lions, curious penguins and hundreds of colorful fish or sea turtles can be unforgettable moments for the visitor. In Galapagos, every day is different and rich in new and fascinating experiences... Overnight in: San Cristobal & Santa Cruz Islands Meals included: it depends on the selected program – Please inquire information
12
Day 14: Galapagos Islands – Guayaquil or Quito
Assistance and transfer from the selected program or cruise to the airport in the Galapagos Islands to take the flight back to mainland Ecuador. At the airport in Quito or Guayaquil assistance to connect with the international flight Meals included: Breakfast

ECUADOR

Ecuador