Ecuador Mainland Best Value: From the Highlands to the Amazon Basin

Ecuador Mainland Best Value: From the Highlands to the Amazon Basin

8 days /
7 nights

Price: $3,741 / person

Based on 2 people All Pricing Info
Destinations
QUITO, OTAVALO, SAN CLEMENTE, COCA

Discover the wonders of Ecuador from highlands to Amazon on a captivating expedition. Explore Quito’s UNESCO heritage, Otavalo Market’s crafts, and Andean landscapes. Then, venture into the Amazon rainforest, witness parrot clay licks, and immerse in Kichwa culture. An unforgettable journey awaits!

 

 

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Itinerary

DAY;

1

Welcome to Quito, Ecuador & Private Transfer to Your Hotel

Welcome to Quito, Ecuador! Upon your arrival at Quito airport, you will be greeted by your English Speaking Driver who will provide a private transfer to Hotel Mama Cuchara, where you will be staying for the next two nights. Relax and settle in, as tomorrow we embark on a journey through the wonders of Quito.

Optional Activities:

Overnight Hotel Mama Cuchara

Meals

DAY;

2

Quito City Tour & Leisure Time

Begin your day with a private guided city tour of Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Immerse yourself in the rich history and cultural heritage of this vibrant city as you explore its historical center. Visit Plaza San Francisco and Church, Plaza Grande, Calle La Ronda, and the exquisite Iglesia de la Compania, among other sites of interest. Delve into the fascinating world of Pre-Columbian art at the El Alabado art museum. A delicious lunch is included in this enriching experience. Afterward, take the rest of the day to leisurely explore the city at your own pace.

Optional Activities:

Overnight Hotel Mama Cuchara

Meals B,L

DAY;

3

From Quito to the Northern Highlands & Lake District

Depart from Quito in the morning, driving through the majestic Cordillera de Los Andes. Admire the snow-capped Cayambe volcano and visit the charming town famous for fresh biscochos with cheese and "dulce de leche." Explore the renowned Otavalo Market, showcasing vibrant handmade crafts representing nature. Enjoy lunch at a local hacienda afterwards a visit to Cotacachi town and Cuicocha Lake, formed by Cotacachi volcano's eruption is planned.

Optional Activities:

Overnight Hotel Otavalo

Meals B,L

DAY;

4

Explore the Ecuadorian Andes: Condor Park & San Clemente Community

After breakfast, start exploring the Ecuadorian Andes. First, head to the local Condor Park. At this Dutch-owned foundation, you will get an up-close view of Andean condors and eagles, owls, falcons, and hawks since the foundation rehabilitates these and other birds of prey. Here, you will also be able to enjoy a free flight demonstration. Afterward, you will drive to San Clemente Community (Indigenous Community Project) in La Esperanza town (approx. 1 hour) to have lunch with an indigenous family. After lunch, be accompanied by indigenous community members and enjoy a nice walk with an explanation of the Andean calendar about cultivations and plants.

Optional Activities:

Overnight Hotel Otavalo

Meals B,L

DAY;

5

Early Transfer out to Quito for Flight to Coca- Start Your Adventure in the Ecuadorian Amazon Basin

Your guide and private driver will take you back to Quito on time for your flight to Coca. Fly to Coca and embark on a scenic 2-hour boat ride along the Napo River to reach Napo Cultural Center. Experience the first class comforts of our facilities blended with traditional Kichwa architecture. Enjoy a three-night stay at Napo Cultural Center, nestled within Yasuni National Park. Begin your adventure from Coca's "La Mision" river port, where our staff greets you. Meet your guide and fellow travelers for a briefing overlooking the Napo River. Board our comfortable motor boats for a scenic two-hour ride, enjoying clear waters and rainforest views. Spot herons, kingfishers, and other birds along the way. Arrive at Napo Cultural Center, welcomed by the Kichwa Añangu community with a traditional drink. Settle into your rainforest-view room and embark on an afternoon hike to encounter diverse wildlife. Optionally, kayak for 45 minutes to witness a vibrant sunset on Napo River. Enjoy dinner and fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the Amazon..

Optional Activities:

Overnight Napo Cultural Center

Meals B,L,D

DAY;

6

Parrot Clay lick and Visit to the community

Enjoy an early breakfast before embarking on a motor boat to witness the captivating parrot clay lick along the Napo River. Use your binoculars to observe various parrot species and even mammals. Take a 30-minute walk to a forest blind for an up-close view of the parakeet clay lick, encountering up to 11 parrot and parakeet species. Visit the intercultural interpretation center to learn about Kichwa culture. After lunch, hike to the observation tower for bird and wildlife spotting. End the day with dinner and a unique ancestral catamaran activity on Napo River.

Optional Activities:

Overnight Napo Cultural Center

Meals B,L,D

DAY;

7

Paddle around Añangu Creek

Indulge in a sunrise breakfast and engage with sustainable community projects, exploring the Kichwa worldview. Embark on the Mama Kuna trail, encountering diverse wildlife and unique vegetation. After a delightful local lunch, paddle through the Añangu creek, observing monkeys, caimans, and possibly giant river otters. Enjoy a traditional dinner with local flavors, including grilled fish wrapped in bijao leaves and chontakuru grilled worms. Conclude the day with a flashlight night walk to spot insects, reptiles, and nocturnal mammals.

Optional Activities:

Overnight Napo Cultural Center

Meals B,L,D

DAY;

8

Wayusa Ritual and departure

For a memorable last day, participate in the optional wayusada ritual with a Kichwa family. Experience the sacred wayusa ceremony, where ancient knowledge is passed down through traditional chants and dream readings by the wise mamakuna. After breakfast, return to El Coca on our comfortable motor boats, savoring the final views of the rainforest. Arrive in Quito before midday, with the option to continue exploring Ecuador or catch your return flight.

Optional Activities:

Overnight

Meals B

DAY 

2

Quito

This morning, you are picked up for your half-day private guided tour of Quito, including a walking tour of its historical center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, the afternoon is at your leisure to spend relaxing or exploring the city further on your own.

Optional Activities:

Private tour of Quito’s colonial churches or insider’s look at the country’s finest Pre-Columbian art collection

Spectacular horseback ride in the high Andes near Quito

2-3 hour hike and birdwatching with Naturalist guide through nearby cloud forest to see hummingbirds and flora

Overnight Casa Gangotena, Plaza Grande, or similar

Meals B

IMPORTANT: We reserve the right to omit any part of this itinerary, to change the order of the places visited, or to alter reservations without prior notice due to weather conditions or road closures, safety concerns, national park policies, or other outside forces that may necessitate revisions to the itinerary. These decisions are based on the traveler’s welfare or are made in the interest of conservation. Please travel with an open mind and a willingness to embrace the spontaneity of your adventure.
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