Tours

Best of Ecuador

BEST OF ECUADOR 9D/8N

Ecuador is a country straddling the equator on South America’s west coast. Its diverse landscape encompasses Amazon jungle, Andean highlands and the wildlife-rich Galápagos Islands. In the Andean foothills at an elevation of 2,850m, Quito, the capital, is known for its largely intact Spanish colonial center, with decorated 16th- and 17th-century palaces and religious sites, like the ornate Compañía de Jesús Church.

VALID UNTIL NOVEMBER 2019

 

 

ITINERARY

 

DAY 1     SUNDAY                              QUITO

Transfer airport – hotel

Upon arrival at the international airport of Quito transfer from the airport to the hotel.

Middle Class:

Overnight at Alameda Hotel Mercure 4* or similar (standard room)

Comfort Class:

Overnight at Hotel Hilton Colon 5* or similar (deluxe room)

 

DAY 2     MONDAY                            QUITO

Meals: Breakfast

Half day city tour incl. Equatorial monument (5h 30min)

Today you will enjoy a sightseeing-tour of the city of Quito which leads you through the historical centre of Quito for a walk through the culturally diverse history of this city.

We will pass the church of La Compañia, which has the most ornate and richly sculptured façade and interior, the Independence Square with the Government Palace and the Cathedral including a visit. Afterwards, we will visit the famous hill of the old town, Panecillo (little bread) where you will see the angel statue “Virgen de Quito”.

Afterwards visit of the Equatorial Line Monument called “Middle of the World” where you get a truly rare experience to stand in both, the Northern and Southern Hemi­spheres simultaneously. The Equatorial Monument marks the spot where an 18th century French scientific expedition established the exact position of the Equator. The area has been built as a typical colonial town, with restaurants, gift shops and Post Office with philatelic sales. Visit the monument and Ethnographical Museum, which shows the history of the Indian cultures of Ecuador.

Return to the hotel.

Middle Class:

Overnight at Alameda Hotel Mercure 4* or similar (standard room)

Comfort Class:

Overnight at Hotel Hilton Colon 5* or similar (deluxe room)

 

DAY 3     TUESDAY             QUITO – OTAVALO - QUITO

Meals: Breakfast

Free at leisure

Optional: Visit of the Indian market Otavalo

In the morning you will discover the worldwide known Indian handcrafts market Otavalo. The town consists of rather functional buildings with the Plaza de los Ponchos as the centre. The local Indians have achieved economic prosperity as a result of their skill in weaving a tremendous variety of designs in belts, tapestries, ponchos and other clothing items. Here you will enjoy the unique variety of handicrafts and textiles that offer this giant colourful market and certainly, you will be able to carry some new souvenirs with you.

Drive back to Quito.

Middle Class:

Overnight at Alameda Hotel Mercure 4* or similar (standard room)

Comfort Class:

Overnight at Hotel Hilton Colon 5* or similar (deluxe room)

 

DAY 4     WEDNESDAY                     QUITO – COTOPAXI 

Meals: Breakfast

Transfer Papallacta – Cotopaxi

Visit of the Cotopaxi National Park and of a flower plantation

After breakfast you will drive to “Cotopaxi National Park”. The highland zone, protected since 1975, belongs with its 33.000 ha wide area to one of the most attractive ecological reserves of the country. On a walk near the shallow lake „Laguna de Limpiopungo” at an altitude of almost 4.000 m, you will have the chance to learn about the typical vegetation of the so-called “Páramo” and will gaze in wonder at the beautiful view of Cotopaxi (5897m) in the background. To take a picture here makes photographers’ hearts beat faster!

Today you will also visit a beautiful flower plantation where the friendly staff will explain you everything about their work. The plantation shows a great variety of flowers.

Middle Class:

Overnight at Hacienda La Ciénega 2-3* or similar (standard room)

Comfort Class:

Overnight at Hacienda La Ciénega 2-3* or similar (suite)

 

DAY 5     THURSDAY  COTOPAXI – RIOBAMBA

Meals: Breakfast

Visit of an Indian market and the volcanic lake of Quilotoa

Transfer Cotopaxi – Riobamba

After breakfast you will visit a colourful and original Indian market.

Continue about 14 km on to Quilotoa, the famous volcanic lake with beautiful views. In the late afternoon you will continue on to Riobamba, which is the capital of the province of Chimborazo, where a great number of indigenous communities live. Close to Chimborazo, the highest mountain of Ecuador, you will spend the night in one of the atmospheric Hosterías this region offers.

Middle Class:

Overnight at Hacienda Abraspungo 3* or similar (standard room)

Comfort Class:

Overnight at Hacienda Abraspungo 3* or similar (suite)

 

DAY 6     FRIDAY  RIOBAMBA – CUENCA

Meals: Breakfast, Lunchbox

Train ride (non-SAT exclusive service)

Transfer to Cuenca incl. visit of Ingapirca

After an early breakfast you will be taken to the train-station in Alausí to board the train for the famous Devil’s Nose ride.

Enjoy the fascinating landscape of the Andes. This is for sure a very special way to know the country! Lunchbox is included.

Note: Due to weather conditions or technical problems of the train, train ride is subject to reconfirmation!

You will start the approximately 2 hours drive to the City of Cuenca.

On your way you will stop at the Inca ruin site of Ingapirca, the most important monument of pre-Spanish culture in Ecuador. The ruins are located on a grass-covered hill at an altitude of about 3.100 m. On a walk through the former place where the Incas lived and hold their ceremonies, you will learn about their beliefs and rituals as well as about the way they constructed this ordination place, which has the shape of a puma.

After arriving in Cuenca, you will check in at your hotel.

Middle Class:

Overnight at Hotel San Juan 3-4* or similar (standard room)

Comfort Class:

Overnight at Hotel Mansion Alcazar 4* or similar (standard room)

 

DAY 7     SATURDAY     CUENCA

Meals: Breakfast

Half day city tour

After breakfast, you will visit the sights of Cuenca, the third largest city of Ecuador. In Cuenca, founded in 1557 on an Inca settlement valley, you still breathe the colonial air of Ecuadorian history. For most Ecuadorian inhabitants – and also for travellers – this centre of art, ceramic, panama hats as well as products of silver and gold is the most beautiful city in Ecuador. Due to the special atmosphere and early 19th century architecture Cuenca was declared “Cultural Patrimony

of Mankind” in November 1999. During the city tour you will see the historical buildings, located along the Tomebamba River, the “Todos los Santos” ruins, the flowers market and the main square with the old and new Cathedral. Furthermore, you will be led to a Panama hat factory.

The afternoon will be at leisure. You may walk around the narrow cobble stoned streets with the whitewashed houses and noble façades to explore the beauty of this town on your own.

Middle Class:

Overnight at Hotel San Juan 3-4* or similar (standard room)

Comfort Class:

Overnight at Hotel Mansion Alcazar 4* or similar (standard room)

 

DAY 8     SUNDAY     CUENCA – GUAYAQUIL

Meals: Breakfast

Overland transfer to Guayaquil (approx. 5h) including visit of a cacao project enroute

Short city tour

This day we will travel on to Ecuador’s largest city Guayaquil, which is the industrial and commercial centre of the country. It lies on the western banks of the Río Guayas, about 56 km from its outflow into the Gulf of Guayaquil. Towards the coastal area the road loses height and the land is more intensively farmed. The Guayas lowlands are characterized by mangroves and ever increasing banana plantations.

Enroute visit of a cacao project. During a guided tour through the cacao plantations visitors can learn everything about the cultivation of the cacao fruit, the process of harvesting and the cacao bean treatment. The Ecuadorian cacao is famous and popular for its very high quality.

Upon arrival in Guayaquil short sightseeing tour of the city.

Middle Class:

Overnight at Hotel Unipark 4* or similar (standard room)

Comfort Class:

Overnight at Hotel Oro Verde 5* or similar (standard room)

 

DAY 9     MONDAY               GUAYAQUIL - DEPARTURE

Meals: Breakfast

Transfer hotel – airport

Transfer to the airport for your departure flight to your country or extension flight to the Galápagos Islands.

 

 

End of our Services

 

 

*RATES ARE NOT VALID DURING CARNIVAL, EASTER, CHRISTMAS, NEW YEAR, PUBLIC HOLIDAYS, CONGRESSES AND EVENTS!

 

IMPORTANT: THE GALÁPAGOS PORTION IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE ABOVE PACKAGE RATE. PLEASE SEE SEPARATE DOCUMENTS FOR THE GALÁPAGOS PROGRAMMES.

 

 

WHEN THE ADDITIONAL NIGHT(S) ARE BOOKED VIA SAT, THE TRANSFER ON DEPARTURE DAY IS INCLUDED IN THE ROUNDTRIP RATE FROM 2 PERSONS ON. IN CASE FURTHER TRANSFERS ARE NEEDED, THE FOLLOWING COSTS WILL APPLY: