Jewels of the Andes | Andes Essences

This 9 day trip to in the Andes will give you the chance to really get to know the amazing mountains and villages. Our small nation on the equator offers you a great variety of landscapes as well as nature and cultural highlights, which you will be able to...
This 9 day trip to in the Andes will give you the chance to really get to know the amazing mountains and villages. Our small nation on the equator offers you a great variety of landscapes as well as nature and cultural highlights, which you will be able to observe on this fully guided tour. From the capital Quito, which was one of the first cities declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, you will go to Guayaquil passing through Cuenca to experience the breathtaking Ecuadorian essences. You will visit impressive volcanoes in the Andes and get to see colourful indigenous communities.
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Services

Included
  • Adventure program in private and small groups
  • Accommodation in selected hotels
  • 8x Breakfast,  7 x Lunch, 5x Dinner
  • English - Spanish speaking certified guide
  • All activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All entrances fee included
  • Train tickets round trip Devil´s nose
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Excluded
  • Personal expenses
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Activities not specified in the program
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Tips
Optional (Available upon request)
  • Vegetarian meals or preferences
  • Certified guides in German or French
  • International flights
  • Transfer services
  • Extension programs in the Andes or Amazon Jungle packages in Ecuador or Perú
  • Additional night accommodation to fit the program with international or Galapagos flight connection.

Tour Details :

Quito City Tour + Teleférico + Mitad del Mundo

This tour is a full day tour which includes Old Distric of the city.  After walking through the colonial streets, you will then stop at the Independence Plaza to admire the Cathedral and the Government’s Palace. Then you will visit The Company Church, Santo Domingo´s Church, The Sagrario´s Church and San Francisco´s Church, which was built during the 17th century. Then you will visit La Ronda Street, where you can enjoy the experience of cocoa and chocolate, history, process and live tasting of this delicious and unique delicacy of the gods, all of these inside Cheztiff chocolate store. After visiting the historical site, you will go to the Teleférico. This is one of the best ways to enjoy the city with views of beautiful valleys, snow-capped mountains and the capital Quito. From a point of more than 13,000 feet (4000 m) high, you will enjoy magnificent views. In the afternoon, you'll will go to Mitad del Mundo which is located fifty minutes from the northwest of Quito (Ecuador). You will visit the current equatorial line and straddle the two hemispheres. In addition you’ll have the chance to participate in several experiments at the Intiñan Museum. Things like watching water go down a drain in a different direction only inches away from either side of the equator, or balancing an egg on a nail, or using an ancient sun dial are some examples of what you can experiment here. Overnight in Quito
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Entrance fees included: La Compañía Church, Inti ñan Solar Museum, Teleferico, chocolate store.
Day 1

Otavalo Market – Peguche Village – Cuicocha Lake

In the morning, we begin this trip from Quito, heading north along the Pan-American Highway and making a brief stop in the town of Miralago for a superb view of Lake San Pablo. During this stop, you will also have a chance to taste delicious bizcochos, a type of cookie or bread baked in a clay oven and covered with local cheese or caramel sauce. From there we will head to the town of Otavalo, home to Ecuador's largest indigenous market and one of the best known in all of Latin America. The market sets up every day, allowing you to spend a few hours wandering through this bustling handicrafts center, in addition to its food stalls. Later, it will be up to you if you'd like to go for a short hike around beautiful Lake Cuicocha or do a bit more Otavalo shopping and people watching. We can also visit a family of weavers who not only have amazing wares but will actually demonstrate how they weave on their traditional back-strap looms and show you their techniques for making striking colors from local plants. After lunch in Cotacachi town, we will drive back to Quito.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Entrance fees included: Cuicocha Lake
Day 2

Termas de Papallacta Spa – Hummingbird Garden – Relaxation

A full day tour that goes through the valley of Tumbaco and reaches Papallacta Hot Springs, just in the southeast side of the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve famous place by its thermal water pools in Napo province. On the way we will visit a local roses farm where you will learn about why Ecuador produce the best to export around the world, you will also observe the final product in the most varied colors and types of roses for exporting, visiting important areas for the production. After this visit we will go back to the thermal waters and enjoy a delicious bath taking advantage of the medicinal benefits that this place spring offers. Overnigh in Cotopaxi
Meals: Breakfast, dinner
Entrance fees included:Termas de Papallacta Spa, roses plantation
Day 3

Cotopaxi National Park – Hike – Interpretation Center

Departure in the morning to reach the Cotopaxi National Park in Cotopaxi province where we will visit the Interpretation Center and Limpiopungo lagoon; posibility to take a short hike in the surrounding of Limpiopungo valley, then we will drive up to 4.500 meters and walk up to Padre Rivas Refuge (4.830 meters). Stop for a drink in the refuge, after that if you are in a good shape try to get to the glacier (5.050 meters. After lunch we will drive to Chugchilan. Overnight in Chugchilan
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Entrance fees included:Cotopaxi National Park
Day 4

Andes Landscape – Hike – Local Communities – Lake

On the way to Quilotoa we will stop to visit and indigenous local house from the “Paramos”, we will observe their clothes and customs, but the most important thing is that we are going to be with them in a typical indigenous house made of straw. we will share with them a short moment talking, watching and learning from them, about their life and how they prepare the soil to sow. We will also visit the town of Tigua, famous for its naive paintings. We will continue up to the Quilotoa volcano, where you will be able to descend to the lake located inside the crater or just walk around the crater. Prepare yourself to enjoy an unforgettable experience by mule back riding! Enjoy of the most beautiful landscape in the highlands and traditional indigenous villages!
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Entrance fees included:Quilotoa Loop
Day 5

Pintoresque Waterfalls – Hot Springs – Village Scenery

A full day of exploration of the town of Baños and the picturesque Valley of the waterfalls. The Pailon del Diablo, is the largest and most spectacular Ecuador´s falls but other smaller ones are also impressive. There is also an opportunity to visit the hotsprings after which the town has been named. Our driver is at your disposal for the whole day to give you maximum flexibility in the visits that you would like to make such as: Visit to The House Tree, rafting, rest in the hotel, etc. In the afternoon we will drive to Riobamba. Overnight in Riobamba.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch , dinner
Entrance fees included:Pailon del Diablo & Manto de la Novia waterfalls, tree house
Day 6

Train Travel – Andean Sceneries – Incas Ruins

After breakfast, early in the morning we will depart to Alausí, beautiful old town with one hundred houses. Time to take the spectacular train, considered the most difficult train of the XX century. You will descend gradually from the highlands to the lowlands, at times zigzagging, or hugging the cliffs. In the descending at the lowest point the incredible devils nose an interesting rock will appear in the horizon. The train descends and then returns to Alausí again. Then we will depart to visit the indigenous market of Cañar before reaching the ruins of Ingapirca for a complete tour of the ruins and archeological museum, during the visit you will see the vestiges of Incas. Overnight in Cuenca
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Entrance fees included:Devil`s nose train tickets, Ingapirca ruins
Day 7

Cajas National Park – Hike – Cuenca

We’ll head to Cajas National Park, which is located 30km east of Cuenca. In this area there are about 200 recreational lakes propagated between 3,150 m 4,450 m. The lakes are connected by small rivers and crystal clear waters flowing into the Pacific. 3 hours hike in the National Park. At noon, we will return to Cuenca to walk around and learn about its history, sacred art museums, fantastic colonial architecture, archeological sites, and ethnographic museums. We’ll visit The New Cathedral, Central Park, Old Cathedral, Plaza de las Flores, The Hat Factory, Museum, Mirador de Turi, Barranco, etc. Overnight in Cuenca.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Entrance fees included:Cajas National Park
Day 8

Cajas National Park – Hike – Cuenca

Early in the morning we will depart to Guayaquil, on the way to this beautiful city we will visit a nice Hacienda to learn about the cocoa beans cultivation process, tasting and enjoy of all the tropical products that this big farm plantation offers. In the afternoon, we will have an optonal walking tour around “Malecon 2000” and “Las Peñas” neighborhood. Optional: Morgan Cruise (not included).
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Entrance fees included: Cacao farm
Day 9

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