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Colourful Trails of Ecuador 2014

  • Duration: 10 Days
  • Rating: Read Reviews
  • Brochure: South America 2014
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  • Style: Regional
  • Description: Experience all that charming and diverse Ecuador has to offer. Visit must-sees like the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" and Cotopaxi National Park. Ride the Devil's Nose Train through zigzagging through Ecuador's dramatic topography. Filled with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, National Parks, local touches and insider experiences, this experiential holiday is not to be missed! You can customise this trip with the following extension: Galapagos Island Cruises.
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Trip Itinerary

  • Day 1

    ARRIVE QUITO – OTAVALO (2 NIGHTS)

    Welcome to Ecuador, a colourful country featuring dramatic topography, diverse climates and undeniable charm. A local representative will greet you at the airport for your transfer to your lovely hotel in Otavalo, ideally situated at the base of the Imbabura Volcano. Hacienda Cusin, an Authentic Accommodation, is one of the oldest haciendas in all of Ecuador, founded in 1602. Featuring beautifully decorated guest rooms carefully preserving the historic ambiance, and lush gardens. Enjoy the rest of your day to relax and get settled.

    Hotel: Hacienda Cusin (MF)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 2

    OTAVALO SIGHTSEEING

    Depart mid-morning to meet a local family who introduces you to the Andean tradition and Local Speciality of flute-making, including a musical interlude using the handmade instruments. You'll even get the chance to try playing the instruments yourself! Enjoy a Welcome Reception and lunch with your Travel Director and fellow travellers at a traditional hacienda. Visit the public market alongside native Otavalenos and get ready to put your bartering skills to the test. Stroll through the different vendor stalls offering a variety of hand-crafted items in search for the perfect keepsake.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Welcome Reception / Dinner)

  • Day 3

    OTAVALO – CAYAMBE – QUITO (2 NIGHTS)

    Enjoy your morning at leisure before heading to Cayambe where you will meet a local family for a Be My Guest lunch at the Hacienda La Compania, a beautiful home and rose plantation. Tour the grounds including the charming chapel and learn about the aromatic roses grown here before indulging in a delicious meal of Ecuadorian specialities. Arrive in Quito and enjoy the evening to relax.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Be My Guest Dining)

    Hotel: Hilton Colon (SF)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 4

    QUITO SIGHTSEEING – EQUATORIAL LINE MONUMENT

    Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Quito, Ecuador's capital city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site dotted with colonial treasures. Learn all about the religious and cultural influences of this bustling city, located just 14 miles (22 kilometres) from the Equatorial Line. Visit a candy shop to watch a third generation candy-maker create a traditional Ecuadorian candy called colaciones, a Local Speciality. Stroll along La Ronda, one of the oldest streets in Quito and an artist mecca during the 1930's. Eat lunch at a local restaurant and try another Local Speciality, canelazo, a delicious spiced cinnamon rum drink served hot. Continue to the Equatorial Line Monument and don't miss the chance to stand in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres at the same time! Later, meet a Local Expert, an organic Ecuadorian chocolate-maker, who tells you all about the production process and brings samples for all to enjoy. Indulge in a Highlight Dinner this evening featuring delicious local cuisine and live entertainment.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Lunch / Highlight Dinner)

  • Day 5

    QUITO – COTOPAXI – PATATE

    Travel south along the Panamerican Highway, along stunning landscapes of valleys and mountains before arriving at Cotopaxi National Park, the site of an active volcano standing 5,987 metres (19,642 feet) high. Meet a Local Expert who shares his knowledge and passion for this spectacular natural wonder. Continue on to Limpiopungo Lake where you'll observe a great number of high-altitude birds, and occasionally wild horses. Return to the valley where lunch awaits at a 300-year-old hacienda surrounded by the Andes most magnificent snow-capped peaks. Venture back to the highway and continue along the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" toward the valley of Patate for your overnight stay.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

    Hotel: Hacienda Leito (MF)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 6

    PATATE – BAÑOS – RIOBAMBA

    See some of the tallest and most beautiful mountains and volcanoes in the Andes today as you continue to Baños. Often called the “Gateway to the Amazon,” the city is located in the Amazon River basin and is filled with lush vegetation. Enjoy the Local Speciality of melcocha, a famous sugary candy of Baños; participate in the making of these delicious treats. Stop for a visit to one of the top five waterfalls in Ecuador, Pailón del Diablo. Riobamba awaits as we continue travelling up the mountain and alongside massive Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador. Gather this evening for dinner at the hotel with your travel companions.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Dinner)

    Hotel: Hacienda Abraspungo (MF)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 7

    RIOBAMBA – ALAUSI – INGAPIRCA – CUENCA (2 NIGHTS)

    Head to the train station where you board the Devil's Nose Train, an engineering feat of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The railway allows you to discover the topographic obstacles of Ecuador's diverse landscape as you zigzag down the steep mountainside. Disembark to visit the local museum, Condor Puñuna, built and run by the Nizag community. See the display of local handcrafts, fruit and medicinal plants and try the local coffee. A picnic lunch is served as you head high up into the Andes to visit the Inca ruins of Ingapirca. Built by the Cañaris, then conquered and rebuilt by the Incas several hundred years before the Spanish arrived, Ingapirca is considered the most important archaeological site in Ecuador. Check into your hotel in Cuenca and relax for the evening.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Lunch)

    Hotel: Hotel El Dorado (MF)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 8

    CUENCA SIGHTSEEING & FREE TIME

    Discover the charm of Cuenca with a Local Expert. Admire the red-tiled roofs, cobblestone streets, flowery plazas and museums. Founded as a Spanish settlement in 1557, the beauty of its landscape combined with the harmony between old and modern architecture has prompted UNESCO to name Cuenca a World Cultural Heritage Site. Today's highlights include the Todos los Santos ruins, flower markets, and the main square surrounded by the imposing blue-domed Cathedral. Visit some small surrounding communities including an arts and crafts village for a Unique Insight into the ancient weaving process of Panama hats and other items made of toquilla straw. Watch craftsmen create these traditional hats using a method that dates back to pre-Columbian cultures. Also, enjoy the chance to create your own pottery while visiting a local pottery maker. The evening is yours to explore the main square and choose from a variety of local restaurants.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Lunch)

  • Day 9

    CUENCA – EL CAJAS NATIONAL PARK – GUAYAQUIL

    Journey to Guayaquil through El Cajas National Park, in the western Cordillera of the Andes. Watch the ever changing flora and fauna as you travel through the beautiful cloud forests to the coast for a visit to a cacao plantation. Here, learn all about growing and harvesting of cacao and enjoy a delicious lunch. In Guayaquil, follow the main streets and avenues and enjoy a short city tour. Tonight, gather one last time with your newfound friends to toast an unforgettable holiday during a Farewell Dinner at local restaurant.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Lunch / Farewell Dinner)

    Hotel: Oro Verde (SF)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 10

    DEPART GUAYAQUIL

    Your Ecuadorian adventure comes to an end with a complimentary transfer to the airport for your flight home, or extend your stay in Ecuador at the Hotel Oro Verde.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

What's Included

Insider Experiences

  • Hidden Treasure Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director.
  • Be My Guest Join your hosts in Cayambe as they welcome you to Hacienda La Compania, their lovely home and rose plantation, for lunch and a tour of the grounds.
  • Local Speciality Witness the traditional Andean art of flute-making.
  • Local Speciality Try colaciones, a favourite Ecuadorian candy, and learn how it's made.
  • Local Speciality Try canelazo, a delicious spiced cinnamon rum drink.
  • Local Speciality Taste melcocha, a famous sugary candy of Baños.
  • Local Expert Learn about the production process of organic Ecuadorian chocolate from a local chocolate-maker.
  • Local Expert For included sightseeing in Cotopaxi National Park and Cuenca.
  • Unique Insight Visit an arts and crafts village in a small surrounding community of Cuenca to try your hand creating pottery and watch the art of hat making through ancient weaving techniques.
  • Authentic Accommodation Stay at Hacienda Cusin, a restored 17th century Andean estate.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • OtavaloSee the sights of the city; stroll the public markets and learn about traditional crafts.
  • QuitoSee the dozens of colonial landmarks that dot this UNESCO World Heritage Site; visit the Equatorial Line Monument.
  • Cotopaxi National ParkSee an active volcano; learn about the animal and plant life at the park museum.
  • BañosSee some of the largest mountains and volcanoes of the Andes in the “Gateway to the Amazon.&rdquo
  • Devil's Nose TrainTake in Ecuador's diverse landscape while zigzagging down a steep mountainside
  • CuencaSee the sights of this UNESCO World Heritage Site including distinct architecture, flower markets, the main square and the Governor's Palace
  • Cajas National ParkDescend down in elevation, taking in the changing flora and fauna.

Dining

  • 9 full breakfasts
  • 7 lunches:
    • Welcome Reception and lunch with wine and your Travel Director in Otavalo
    • Be My Guest lunch with wine in Otavalo
    • 5 lunches
  • 5 evening meals:
    • Highlight Dinner with wine in Quito
    • 3 three-course dinners
    • Farewell Dinner with wine in Guayaquil

Travel Highlights

  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and an on-board restroom.
  • First Class hotel accommodation featuring twin rooms and private facilities.
  • Audio Headsets provided throughout your holiday to enhance your included sightseeing experiences.
  • Complimentary keepsake photo and map.
  • The services of a professional Travel Director throughout your journey.
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
  • Airport transfers are provided on the first and last day of your guided holiday
  • 9 nights First Class accommodation

Airport Transfers

  • For full details on transfers, please click here.
Disclaimer
  • These prices are LAND-ONLY and are correct at the time of the website going live, however prices are subject to confirmation at the time
    of booking.
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  • Hotels are subject to change.
Notes
  • * For single travellers purchasing the twin-share option, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 
  • ^Twin-share option not available for trips to South America., Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey.

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