Ecuador: The diversity of Ecuador

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Adventure trip to the cultures and highlights of the smallest Andean country

  • Adventure trip to the cultures and highlights of the smallest Andean country
  • Colonial old towns and traditional markets
  • Visit to a Kichwa community and gain insight into the life of the indigenous tribe
  • Snow-capped volcanoes, scenic crater lagoons, lush rainforest and more
  • Visit to the cultures of the Andes and the Amazon Basin

For centuries, Ecuador has been home to diverse cultures. One of America’s first sedentary cultures, the Valdivia culture, made its home here. Also, the arm of the Inca did not reach all the way to the north, which allowed many cultures to retain their independence. Today the descendants of 13 different ethnic groups still live in Ecuador. They were able to preserve many of their original traditions and customs, which are just as diverse as the scenic regions of Ecuador. This trip takes you into this multifaceted nature and culture. From the high Andes you travel down to the Amazon lowlands. Once surrounded by snow-capped Andean peaks, now the lush green of the rainforest dominates. Just in time to attend a waterfall ceremony in the Amazon, A short time later, admire the different, colorful costumes at a highland market. Come with us and experience the fascinating diversity of the small Andean country.

Travel Program

Welcome to the equator! Upon arrival at the airport, you will be taken to your accommodation.

Accommodation: Casa Sol (or similar)

Overnight hotel (-/-/-)

The start of our trip is the beautiful old town of Quito, which for many is one of the most beautiful in Latin America. Our city tour takes us through the small streets, across magnificent squares and into venerable churches before we head north. Only a few kilometers away is the “Mitad del Mundo”, the middle of the world with the equator monument, our next destination. Here you can stand with one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other foot in the southern hemisphere. At the neighboring Sun Museum we learn more about the cultures at the equator and then we continue our journey north to Otavalo.

The dinner together offers a wonderful opportunity to get to know your fellow travelers better and the tour guide gives an introduction to the trip.

Activities included:
– City tour of Quito
– Visit to the Equator Monument & Sun Museum

Accommodation: Hotel Santa Fe (or similar)

Overnight hotel (B/-/D)

After the historical start, we now go out into nature: A 4-5 hour hike takes us through the Andean landscapes around the Cuichocha Lagoon, the guinea pig lake and one of the most beautiful crater lakes in Ecuador. This is at an altitude of 3,200 meters at the foothills of Mount Cotacachi. A typical local lunch gives us strength again, before we can nibble on some of the colorful fruits of the highland market in Otavalo for dessert. Depending on the season, physalis, cherimoya, pitahaya or Andean berries are offered.

Activities included:
– Hike around the crater lagoon (4-5 hrs)
– Visit to the Otavalo market

Accommodation: Hotel Santa Fe (or similar)

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

Today’s first excursion takes you to the municipality of Kachiviro (San Rafael), where you will witness the process of processing the Tortora plant – this aquatic plant that grows on Lake San Pablo and is the main material for many families to make their handicrafts. Afterwards you will visit the Peguche Waterfall, an important place for the local people, where you will have a short walk and be enlightened about the importance of this sacred place. In order to gain a deeper insight into the local culture, you will then visit other arts and crafts workshops (e.g. wool processing, workshop for musical instruments), where you can also make your own souvenirs! To top off the day, immerse yourself in the use of medicinal medicinal plants.

Accommodation: Hotel Santa Fe (or similar)

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

Otavalo is home to the Otavaleños, who are one of the few indigenous cultures to have made it to prosperity in the world. The rich and colorful textiles for which they are known have helped in particular. We can get an idea of ​​​​this today when we visit the well-known market and browse through the gigantic range. With this colorful visit we leave the north of Ecuador and drive down over the Andes. The highest point is reached at 4,050 m and a short time later we reach Papallacta. The small town is particularly known for the most beautiful bathing facility in the country, which is fed by the hot thermal water. But not only the springs fascinate, also the environment in which the evergreen paramo vegetation defies the altitude and the peaks of the Andes stretch into the air. We are now moving further and further away from them. The landscape seems to change around almost every curve and it is not uncommon for a fantastic view of the wide green sea of ​​leaves of the Amazon lowlands to open up. Here in the fringe area between the Andes and the Amazon, the lodge and base for the next few days is located in the middle of a private protective forest.

Activities included:
– Visit to the Otavalo Handicrafts Market
– Entrance to the Public Thermal Baths

Accommodation: Hakuna Matata Jungle Lodge (or similar)

Overnight hotel (B/-/D)

On a hike we discover the protected rainforest of the lodge. First we hike up through secondary forest and soon reach the untouched primary forest. Even if our European eye can see little difference in the vast green, our nature guide will show the peculiarities of the forest with his trained eye and point out the importance of different plants e.g. B. as a remedy. We then experience how the fruits of the jungle can taste during a typical lunch. Dessert is also provided, so we learn from the experts at Pacari how strong chocolate is made from local cocoa beans. Of course, the end product can also be tasted.
The rest of the afternoon is then dedicated to relaxation: take a refreshing dip in the pool or swing in a hammock. If that is too relaxed for you, you can also explore the area around the lodge on one of the signposted paths.

Activities included:
– Rainforest hike
– Introduction to chocolate making

Accommodation: Hakuna Matata Jungle Lodge (or similar)

Overnight hotel (B/L/D)

Already at dawn we start today – we canoe along the Arajuno River to explore the awakening nature. We keep an eye out for herons, tanagers and many more along the banks. We can observe numerous parakeets, but also parrots – assuming a bit of luck with the weather – at a salt lick. Continue by canoe to the indigenous community of Santa Barbara, inhabited by 23 Quichua families. In addition to an insight into the life of the Quichua in the Amazon today, we also get a small taste of the local culinary specialties – freshly caught fish, fried yuka (cassava) and madura bananas, salad from palm hearts, guayusa tea, fruits and cocoa can be tasted. Everything is homegrown and freshly caught or harvested.
From the small community we continue to the jungle town of Misahualli, where you will be served a typical “Almuerzo” – lunch – in a small restaurant. After a short walk we return to the lodge in the afternoon.

Activities included:
– Rainforest excursion by canoe
– Visit to Misahualli

Accommodation: Hakuna Matata Jungle Lodge (or similar)

Overnight hotel (B/L/D)

Our journey takes us to Puyo in the south. We visit the sanctuary “Yanacocha”, where we can discover some of the otherwise very shy jungle dwellers, such as ocelots, parrots and caimans. With your visit you support the important work of this project, while at the same time you can observe some of the most beautiful animals of the rainforest, which are otherwise very difficult to spot in the dense green of the jungle. While most travelers leave the Amazon lowlands here and head back up into the Andes, we travel further south. Our drive takes us past distant Andean peaks like Sangay that tower over the Amazon lowlands. We reach the tranquil jungle town of Macas and a little further our next accommodation.

Activities included:
– Visit to a sanctuary

Accommodation: Hosteria Luzcelinda (or similar)

Overnight hotel (B/L/D)

After the Quichua, today we visit another indigenous people who live in the Amazon lowlands of Ecuador – the Shuar. Once feared as belligerent and bizarre due to their shrunken-head tradition, the Shuar are now a thing of the past. They have retained a deep bond with their homeland and so we explore the forest with a Shuar guide and hike to a waterfall, including a protective symbol against the evil spirits of the forest and a waterfall ceremony. We can enjoy a typical lunch before returning to the Andean highlands. Our journey past the lagoons of Atillo and the active Sangay on one side and the green treetops of the Amazon region on the other side will be promising.

Activities Included:
– Shuar Waterfall Hike

Accommodation: Inti Sisa Art Guesthouse (or similar)

Overnight hotel (B/L/D)

In the early morning experience the traditional Andean market of Guamote. This market is now one of the last authentic markets in the Andes, where farmers from the surrounding mountains come together to exchange goods and news. Around 95% of Guamote and the surrounding communities are still inhabited by the indigenous Kichwa population, descended from the local Puruha tribes. You explore the surroundings of Guamote and visit one of the small villages to gain an insight into the life of the population. The activities depend on the daily life of the community on that day. In the afternoon drive to Riobamba, the provincial capital of Chimborazo, surrounded by the mountains of Chimborazo, Carihuayrazo,

Activities included:
– Visit to the Guamote market
– Visit to one of the villages in the area

Accommodation: Hotel Mansión Santa Isabella (or similar)

Overnight hotel (B/L/-)

Today’s tour takes us high up. Theoretically, the Chimborazo with its 6,310 m is even the highest mountain on earth. The reason for this is the elliptical shape of the globe, which means that the Chimborazo – measured from the center of the earth – would be the highest elevation in the world. But we don’t want to go that high, the Carrel Hut at 4,800 m is enough for us. If you want, you can also climb to the Whymper Hut, 200 meters higher, but we especially want to enjoy the picturesque Andean landscape on the slopes of the Chimborazo. Let’s also keep an eye out for llamas, alpacas and the shy vicuñas! In the late afternoon you will reach the small town of Latacunga.

Activities included:
– Visit to the Chimborazo Conservation Area

Accommodation: Villa Tacunga (or similar)

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

A short drive takes us to the community of La Victoria, known for its traditional ceramic production. Visit one of the many small art workshops where the ceramics are still made by hand. We continue to the Andean market of Zumbahua and immerse ourselves in the market activity, which seems loud and chaotic to us. The journey continues to the crater lagoon Quilotoa in the eastern Andes Cordillera. Arrived at the crater lagoon, which is considered one of the most beautiful lagoons in Ecuador and South America, we continue on foot. On our hike we can admire the changing views of the mountain landscapes with the crater lagoon, which shimmers blue, green or turquoise depending on the position of the sun. Overnight in the nearby community of Chugchilan.

Activities included:
– Visit to Zumbahua Market
– Hike at Quilotoa Crater Lagoon

Accommodation: Hostal Mama Hilda (or similar)

Overnight hotel (B/L/D)

We return to the Panamericana, where two highlights await us: First, we immerse ourselves in colonial history with a visit to the 400-year-old Hacienda La Cienega. The colonial main building is magnificently situated surrounded by the flower garden and mighty trees. Walking through the hacienda, it is easy to think back to the colonial era. Then it goes to the most beautiful volcano in Ecuador – the Cotopaxi. With an almost perfect cone shape, the second highest in Ecuador rises from the Andes Cordillera. We drive to the Limpiopungo National Park and Lagoon, where we can not only hike through nature but also enjoy the views of the mighty volcano when the weather is good.
Finally we return to Quito.

Activities included:
– Visit to Cotopaxi National Park

Accommodation: Casa Sol (or similar)

Overnight hotel (B/L/-)

This brings our journey through the multifaceted Ecuador to an end. Depending on your departure time, you have the morning until you are picked up to explore the Ecuadorian capital on your own before you are taken to the airport. Visit yet another world of Ecuador with the Galapagos Islands!

Overnight hotel (B/-/-)

Included meals: B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner

What's Included

Services included in the prices:

  • Ecuador round trip according to program
  • Accommodation and meals according to the program
  • All transport and transfers as described
  • Excursions, activities and visits including entrance fees as per itinerary

Not included:

  • Meals and drinks not mentioned
  • Optional excursions and activities
  • Personal expenses, tips

Prices & Dates

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— JUL 2023 / — AUG 2023

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FROM/TO

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TRAVEL STATUS

— JUL 2023 / — AUG 2023

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» Additional dates available upon request
» Rates may vary from July 26th to 31th for the national holidays

Prices (per person):

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Deposit for reservations: — USD (– EUR) ✓ Full payment 40 days before. No refund if you cancel less than 30 days!

Places: 🟢 *Available
Trip-code: Number ►ECU-
Duration: 14 days
Participants: Minimal: 4 Maximal: 12
Members: We don’t have an open group to join – We can open a new group – Contact us!
Country / Location: Ecuador
Mountain Guide: Eric Albino Lliuya
Other dates / additional info: Contact us!

3% early bird discount when booking 6 months prior to departure 2023

Legend Booking-information:
EZZ Single room supplement
🟢 On this trip, places are still available.
🟡 On this trip, only a few places left.
🔴 This trip is sold out / closed.

Eric Raul Albino Lliuya

Expert guide certified by AGOMP
General Sales Manager of Peru Expeditions

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