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7 Days$1790USD

  • 7 days adventure touring
  • 6 nights hotel/hacienda
  • 1 Lunch
  • 6 Breakfasts
Adventure touring

Traveller Rating



Trip highlights

  • Admire Quito's colonial architecture
  • Enjoy spectacular Cotopaxi National Park
  • Explore the UNESCO World Heritage listed city centre of Cuenca
  • Marvel at the Inca ruins of Ingapirca
  • Relish in the fascinating landscapes and wildlife
  • Shop for handicrafts at the markets of Otavalo
  • Visit a Cacao Hacienda and taste the famous Ecuadorian chocolate

Why Book With Us

  • Explore the highlights of Ecuador on this jam-packed itinerary
  • Stay at comfortable 3 and 4 star hotels and haciendas
  • Experienced private guide and private transportation throughout the trip

This jam-packed trip is an ideal introduction to Ecuador and a perfect accompaniment to any Galapagos cruise. This well paced 'mini trip' incorporates Quito, the Indian markets of Otavalo, the volcanic spine of Ecuador, Cotopaxi National Park, the ruins at Ingapirca and the UNESCO world heritage listed colonial city of Cuenca.

Trip Code: ECU

On arrival in Quito we will be met and transferred to the group hotel. This afternoon we will take a tour of this fascinating city. There are features of interest in both the new and old parts of the town. Our tour may include San Agustin Monastery, Independence Plaza, La Compania Church and a view of Quito from Panecillo Hill. In the evening, you are free to sample some of the wonderful local seafood or grilled meats in one of the city's many fine restaurants. Overnight Casona de la Ronda or similar.

Meals:  Nil

We will drive north through beautiful Andean countryside to the famous market town of Otavalo. The markets here date from pre-Incan times when people came from jungle areas to trade their produce with those of the highlands. This is still the case today, as well as offering many crafts and wares for tourists. It is considered by many to be one of the best markets for textiles and crafts in South America. Time permitting we hope to have the opportunity to visit the surrounding area around Otavalo. The main market day is Saturday; but Wednesday, Friday and Sunday are also good. Overnight Las Palmeras or similar.

Meals:  B

This morning, we will head south past Quito towards the foot of Cotopaxi volcano. Nestled in the foothills of Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world, our hacienda accommodation provides the perfect setting for those wishing to enjoy this unique countryside (3500-4000m approx). This afternoon and tomorrow morning, we shall have the opportunity to visit Cotopaxi National Park, or simply relax and enjoy the historic hacienda with its pretty gardens and eucalyptus grove. Overnight Hacienda la Cienega or similar.

Meals:  B

This morning we will visit Cotopaxi National Park. In the afternoon, we will be transferred south through the Avenue of the Volcanoes. This route offers great views of various volcanoes, including Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Chimborazo, Sangay and Altar. Overnight Hosteria Abraspungo in Riobamba or similar.

Meals:  B

This morning, we will embark on a scenic land journey through the generous valleys of the austral Ecuadorian Andes. On the route, you will stop for a visit to a small indigenous community where you will learn about the planting and harvesting process of Quinoa, a protein-rich grain that has fed Andean people for thousands of years, and has just recently been adopted by high cuisine worldwide. The local women will take you to the plantations to show you the ins and outs of the harvesting process. Next, we will reach the town of Alausi, an indigenous settlement that has not changed much in centuries. Here we will go to a panoramic lookout from where to observe a segment of the famous Ecuadorian interregional railroad. Built in 1861, it is considered a masterpiece of railway engineering, commonly named “the most difficult railway in the world”. Sadly it has stopped operating, but we can admire its complex layout in the rocky cliffs. Our journey continues to Ecuador’s most significant Inca site of Ingapirca at 3160m. Though famed as a classic Inca site, Ingapirca, actually translates to “Wall of the Incas”, but is thought to be sacred to the Canari Indians prior to the Inca’s. Ingapirca was strategically positioned on the main ancient highway from Quito to Cusco and soldiers would have settled here to maintain order in this region. The highlight here is the elliptical Temple of the Sun, which crowns a rocky hillock that was considered a sacred place by ancient tribes. Mysterious tombs are silent witnesses of the fierce power disputes that occurred here before the final Spanish invasion in the 15th century. From Ingapirca we will then be transferred to our hotel in Cuenca. Overnight Los Balcones in Cuenca or similar.

Meals:  B

This morning after breakfast, we will enjoy a city tour of Cuenca, the third largest city in Ecuador and UNESCO World Heritage listed. Perhaps because of its isolation, Cuenca has kept its old-world architectural charm and its colonial ambience, with its cobbled streets and many buildings of interest. Many visitors consider it to be the most beautiful city in the country, as well as the centre of arts and crafts, such as jewellery making and ceramics. This afternoon we will drive 5 hours to Guayaquil. On our way we stop at a Cacao Hacienda for a delicious coastal lunch in a peaceful and cozy atmosphere. We will also visit the plantation and learn about the production process from the cacao bean to the end product 'chocolate'. This visit wouldn't be complete without a chocolate tasting! You will also see mangos, papayas and other species from the Dry Tropical Forest at the Hacienda. After this visit we continue our way to Guayaquil for our last night in Ecuador. Overnight Unipark Guayaquil or similar.

Meals:  B,L

Transfer to Guayaquil airport, where trip concludes

Meals:  B



The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


  • 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch
  • 3 star hotels and haciendas (upgrade option to 4 star hotels at additional cost)
  • Airport transfer on day 1 and day 7 of the trip
  • Experienced bilingual driver/guide
  • Private transport throughout
  • Entrance fees

  • International flights
  • Airport and departure taxes
  • Visa costs
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Bottled water, aerated and alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, postage etc
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips

Departure dates

Departs every day except Thursday year round


Surcharges apply over Christmas, New Year and Easter. Please ask us for details.

Dates don't fit?
Create a Private Trip

If you have your own group, talk to us about turning this itinerary into your own private adventure.

Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Ecuador Experience - hotel upgrade to 4 star throughout per person based on twin roomUSD$100
  • Ecuador Experience Single Supplement Surcharge (3 star hotels)USD$340
  • Ecuador Experience Single Supplement Surcharge (4 star hotels)USD$480
  • Single Traveller Surcharge (3 star hotels)USD$1310
  • Single Traveller Surcharge (4 star hotels)USD$1420
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Ecuador Experience trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

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Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Our vision is to leave the world a better place by following our sustainable active outdoor travel charter. All our adventures are 100% carbon offset and our Regenerative 2030 Project aims to integrate ‘regenerative’ projects into every one of our global operations by 2030.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

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