ECUADOR HIGHLIGHTS

11 nights or more starting at $4135 per person, double occupancy, including Quito, Otavalo, Riobamba, Cuenca and a three night Galapagos cruise (or longer)

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INCLUDES:

  • 4 nights at the Dann Carlton in Quito (or similar) with breakfast, round trip airport transfers.

  • Full day Colonial Quito & the Middle of the World Tour

  • Full day tour to Otavalo Indigenous Market, nearby villages, and Lake Cuicocha

  • 1 night at the Karanki Magdalena Community with dinner and breakfast in a local Quechua home (simple, but comfortable accommodations)

  • Train ride to the Afro-Ecuadorian community of Salinas, with lunch

  • Tour to Cotopaxi Volcano on the way to Riobamba

  • 1 night in a traditional Spanish-style Hacienda in Riobamba

  • Ride on the Devil's Nose train from Riobamba into the Chimborazo Forest Reserve and Sangay National Park.

  • Tour of the Ingapirca Ruins, which includes Canari and Inca archeological sites.

  • 1 night in Cuenca at the Hotel Boutique Carvallo with breakfast

  • Tour of the colonial center of Cuenca.

  • Tour of El Cajas National Park and the La Toreadora lagoon.

  • 1 night in Guayaquil at Hotel Oro Verde with breakfast, transfer to airport

  • 3 nights (or more) Galapagos Islands cruise including full board, 2 daily excursions with a trained naturalist guide, island activities such as snorkeling (gear provided), lectures, and briefings.

  • Accommodations in a Standard Plus Cabin

  • English-speaking guides throughout

11 night package (with 3 nights cruise)

$4135 per person, double occupancy

12 night package (with 4 nights cruise)

$4885 per person, double occupancy

15 night cruise (with 7 nights cruise)

$6613 per person, double occupancy

Additional cabin upgrades and extensions available upon request.

ITINERARY

VALIDITY

Valid 2021. Prices may be higher during holiday and peak seasons.

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Day One:

Arrive in Quito

Upon arrival, meet with your guide and transfer to your hotel. It is best to allow some time for rest in order to acclimate to Quito's high altitude.

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Day Two

Colonial Quito and the Middle of the World

Take a walking tour of Colonial Quito and its charming, historical center with its many ornate churches and other buildings. Then, head to the Middle of the World Complex which is situated at 0 latitude to be one foot in Northern Hemisphere and one foot in the Southern Hemisphere! You will also learn about the strange effects of being on the equator, and more about Ecuador and it's culture.

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Day Three

Otavalo Indigenous Market & the Highlands

Visit the famous indigenous Otavalo open-air market to see the stunning handicrafts of the Quechua people of Ecuador, including hand-made textiles, Andean musical instruments, and more. From there you can visit other local towns famous for their handicrafts, including Peguche -known for its talented weavers- and Cotacachi -known for its leather work. From there head to Lake Cuicocha, a crater lake that is home to some rare wildlife like the silver grebe.

Then drive to the Karanki Magdalena Community for an overnight with this unique indigenous village. Enjoy a dinner with your host family and spend the night in their home in the Andes mountains.

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Day Four

Karanki Magdalena & Salinas

Enjoy the morning with the Karanki Magdalena villagers on the slopes of the Imbabura Volcano, learning about their way of life. You can enjoy horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking for an additional cost (paid directly to the villagers). From there, head to Ibarra to take the Liberty train through the Andes highlands to the Afro-Ecuadorian town of Salinas. Enjoy a traditional performance and learn about the town's unique heritage before enjoying lunch there. Afterwards, return to Quito.

Image by Simon Berger

Day Five

Cotopaxi to Riobamba

Drive through the highlands to Baños with a visit to Cotopaxi National Park, where you can take a short hike. Upon arriving in Baños,  enjoy an adventure tour or a dip in the thermal waters (optional) before continuing on to Riobamba. Stay in traditional, Spanish-style hacienda overnight.

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Day Six

The Devil's Nose Train & Ingapirca

Head to Alausi to catch the Devil's Nose Train. A feat of engineering, the train zigzags between the mountains to reach Cuenca, passing through some of Ecudaor's most scenic spots, including the Chimborazo Forest Reserve and Sangay National Park. Upon arriving in Cuenca, explore the Ingapirca Ruins, which include two complexes from the Inca culture and their contemporaries, the Cañari people. Though the Inca wished to conquer the Cañari, they fought back and the Inca were forced to live side by side with them at Ingapirca, both cultures keeping their separate traditions and practices. Overnight in Cuenca.

Image by Juan Ordonez

Day Seven

Charming Cuenca, El Cajas National Park, and Guayaquil

Start your day with a tour of the colonial city of Cuenca, which has been declared a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. The city is the third largest in Ecuador, and contains over 20 churches in different styles as well as several archeological remains from the Inca and the Cañari cultures. Afterward, drive to El Cajas National park to visit the famous La Toreadora Lagoon and walk around the park. From there, drive to Guayaquil and overnight there before heading to the Galapagos.

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Day Eight

Fly to the Galapagos Islands

Take a flight to the Galapagos and board your cruise ship. After getting situated on board, you will head out for your first excursion on one of the nearby islands. Enjoy lunch and dinner on board.

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Days Nine & Ten

Exploring the Galapagos

These fun-filled days will have you visiting different islands and getting up close with amazing animals like the blue-footed boobies, Galapagos tortoises, iguanas, sea lions, and many more!

Weather permitting, there will be opportunities to snorkel, kayak, or even take a glass bottom boat tour.

Enjoy all your meals onboard, including an alfresco barbecue dinner under the stars. In the evenings, there will be lectures and other activities.

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Day Eleven

One Last Day in Paradise

Take a final morning excursion onto the islands before disembarkation. Fly back to the mainland, and transfer to your hotel in Quito.

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Day Twelve

Fly Home

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination.

International and domestic airfare available upon request.

Optional tours and extensions also available upon request.

INCLUSIONS
Accommodations, transfers, tours, and meals as listed in the itinerary

3 night cruise with full board, twice daily excursions, and activities

Transfers in/out

Local English-speaking guides

EXCLUSIONS

Personal expenses

Travel insurance

Gratuities for guides, drivers, waitstaff, bellhops, etc.

Services not listed on the itinerary
Optional Tours

International Flights

Galapagos Park fees (approximately $120)

Cruise fuel surcharges

VALIDITY

Valid 2021. Prices may be higher during holiday and peak seasons.