Day 1 Arrival in Quito (-)
Your guide from EPR Travel will meet you at Mariscal Sucre International airport to assist you and transfer you to your hotel of choice in Quito. You have free time in the afternoon to rest and adapt to the altitude. Quito is located at 2800 mtrs above sea level. Your guide will give you an evaluation form.
Day 2- 5 Jungle Tour 4 days /3 nights (B,L,D)
After breakfast we leave for the airport to catch our flight to Lago Agrio. There, a bus will take you to the entrance of the national parc, where you have to pay the entrance fee. We take a motor canoe that will bring us down river to the selected lodge in Cuyabeno. In the afternoon we take a walk in the forest.
Cuyabeno is a spectacular system of lakes and tropical forest, with an immense biodiversity. It is only accesible in the rainy season, when the forest is inudated. You can see monkeys, caymans, pink dolphins and a great diversity of birds. Among the activities you will undertake are walks in the forest, boattrips at night to see the caymans, a visit to a local community to learn about the culture, bird watching, piraña fishing, etc.
On day 4 you return to Quito.
Day 6 Otavalo Indígenous market (B)
Today we will see some of the most beautiful scenes the northern Andes has to offer. We visit the viewpoint of Lake San Pablo and continue to indígenous market of Otavalo and its well known Plazas de Ponchos where the indígenous sell brightly coloured tapestries, ponchos, jewellery, hats and local handicrafts from the region. We continue to Peguche, a small town, known for its hand woven and coloured fabrics. We also visit a house where the local musical instruments are made. Lodging in a local hostería.
Day 7 Otavalo – San Antonio – Quito (D)
After breakfast we leave for San Antonio de Ibarra, a small community with approximately 14.000 inhabitants.San Antonio is known for its woodcrafting. You can find the most elaborately made wooden furniture and handicrafts there. They still use the techniques from the Quito School, from 500 years ago. After this we will visit the town of cotacachi where you can buy beautiful ítems made of leather, from outstanding quality. We return to Quito.
Day 8 Visit to the historic centre - Middle of the World (B)
In the morning we tak a walk in the hstoric centre of Quito. The city was built upon the ruines of the northern Inca capital and is very well conserved. Quito was the first city that was named for Cultural Heritage by Unesco in 1978.
The city is built on the slopes of Pichincha volcano. The walk will take you to see colonial houses, churches and convents, such as San Agustín church, the cathedral, the Compañía de Jesús church, the Basílica, the Virgen of Panecillo and finally the Intiñan museum.
Day 9 Quito – Papallacta (B)
Breakfast. The hot springs of Papallacta are about 60 km from Quito, in an andean dale that is also the Gateway to the Ecuadorian Amazon región. The resort offers health, recreation, adventures and relaxation. You can take a walk along one of the many paths in the vicinity of the resort.
Day 10 Ecological Reserve Antisana (B)
About one hour south of Quito is the Reserve Antisana. This reserve has a great variety of birds, among which the Andean condor. The road there will take us about 4000 mtrs above sea level. We will spend the night at the reserve at one of the hosterias there. (L)
Day 11 Quilotoa Lake – Baños de Agua Santa (B)
We continue to Quilotoa volcano, 14 km from the town of Zumbahua. Quilotoa is a very small town that exists because of the tourism to this spectacular place. The lake and the cráter are very impressive, with its deep azul and turqouise waters, that you can see from the craters rim. The volcano is active, but quiet at this time, although sometimes you can see some steam. We go on to Baños de Agua Santa, named afrter the many waterfalls you find around the town, and the Virgin in its main church. Lodging.
Day 12 Avenue of the waterfalls – Riobamba (B)
Baños is situated on the slopes of Tungurahua volcana that is actually erupting. The town is protected by natural barriers so that it is not affected by the eruptions. Here you can tke a walk along the Avenue of the waterfalls and see the biggest one of them, the Devils Pot. It gets its name because of the way the water falls, creating waves. In the afternoon you can go to a spa for a massage or a treatment with hot rocks. After that, we go on to Riobamba.
Día 13 Train to the Nariz del Diablo – Ingapirca – Cuenca (B)
We start the day early to be able to take the train to ‘Devil’s nose’. This train track is said to be the most difficult one on the planet. From the train you can see the different flora and fauna of the Andes and the lower regions, as we will descend to the coastal region. We continue our trip to Ingapirca, the most important archeological site of Ecuador with ruins from the Cañaris-Inca period. The temple was a solar-lunar observatory. After observing the sun and moon, the time for planting crops was decided. It was also a fortress and a watchtower. We go on to the city of Cuenca. B/L/-
Day 14 Cuenca (B)
Cuenca is the third most important city in the country and the second most important in the Sierra region. It was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco on December 1st 1999. The city centre has many examples historic buildings from the 16th and 17th century. Cuenca was founded by the Spanish conquistador Gil Ramírez Dávalos in the mid 16th century and was built on the remains of the Inca city of Tomebamba, birthplace of the Inca Huayna Capac, who was the father of the last Inca, Atahualpa. This day we will visit the city, see the old and new Catedral and the Central Bank Museum tht has a fine display of the many different aspects of Ecuadorian culture.
Day 15 Cuenca - Vilcabamba (B)
Breakfast. We leave Cuenca, enjoying the Andean landscape, and head for Vilcabamba or, in English, the sacred valley. Vilcabamba is also known as the ‘Valley of long life’. Since the 1970s studies are being made of the unusual long life of its inhabitants, who often live to be 100 years old or even 120. This valley is full of energy and vitality and is a Paradise for relaxation and adventure. Lodging.
Day 16 Vilcabamba- Petrified forest of Puyango – Zaruma (D)
We visit the petrified forest of Puyango. This is a very special experience; nowhere in the world will you find a bigger collection of petrified trees. Free time in the afternoon.
Day 17 Zaruma – Portovelo – Guayaquil (B)
Zaruma is a beautiful city, located at the top of a mountain. The name is a combination of the Kichwa words saramaiz and uma, which means corncob. We continue to Guayaquil. We pass the city of Portovelo on the way and we will make a short stop there.
Day 18 – 22 Galapagos Islands (B, L,D)
Transport from your hotel to the airport in time for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival, transport to your ship or hotel.
Visiting Galápagos is a once in a lifetime experience. The direct contact with the wildlife guarantees an unforgettable experience. The islands are inhabited by numerous endemic species among which are sea lizards, penguins and all sorts of birds. The crystal clear waters enable you to see all kinds of fish, sea turtles, sea lions and sharks.
You can do a tour of the islands by boat, small or bigger, or do a combination of hotels and boats. Meals are included from lunch on the day of arrival to breakfast on the day of departure.
Day 22 (B)
Return flight to Quito or Guayaquil. Lodging.
Day 23 (B)
Transfer to the airport to catch your flight home.