Ecuador Encompassed

From Quito
  • Ecuador
  • Custom
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Tour Description

Take a 10 day snapshot tour of the wonderful country of Ecuador. Starting in the lively city of Quito, we explore the colonial centre, the Equatorial Monument and take a tour to the colourful market town of Otavalo. Then it’s on to Mindo cloud forest and Cotopaxi National Park. Take a ride on the famous “Devil’s Nose” train from Alausi before heading to Cuenca and Cajas National Park.

Viva's Best Bits...

A visit to Otavalo's famous market is a perfect way to experience the Ecuadorian culture and traditions, and finding some very memorable souvenirs by local artists that you won't find elsewhere.

Travel to the valley of Mindo, nestled in the cloud forest and abundant in species of plants, birds, butterflies, reptiles, mammals, and waterfalls

Wander around the historic centres of Quito and Cuenca, both listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Tour Itinerary

Customisable ? This tour can be customised to suit your tastes and timing. Enquire here for more information.
Day 1
Quito

Sitting at 2,850 metres above sea level high in the Andean foothills lies Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city, Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centres in the Americas. It was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1978.
Arrive & transfer to your accommodation
Overnight in Quito

Day 2
Quito - City & Equator

Embark on our colonial city tour of Quito exploring the bustling streets and squares of the largest historical old town in the Americas. Visit important churches such as the majestic La Compañía and iconic San Francisco which have stunning multi-ethnic designs and cultural heritage. Continue by road to the Equatorial Monument, 25km (16 miles) north of Quito, which marks the exact middle of the World, Latitude 0º, where you can stand with a foot on each hemisphere. A certificate for having crossed the Equator is issued to each guest. The surrounding, volcanic scenery is stunning and you can choose to either visit the Ethnographic Museum or the Inti Ñan Museum, both located near the site of the monument. On completion of the tour, you will be returned to your hotel. Please note this is a private tour that includes a local English speaking guide.
Overnight in Quito

Day 3
Otavalo Market

We head 1.5hrs north of Quito to visit the Otavalo indigenous market; the most important indigenous market in South America. On the way, we pass by small villages, the snow capped volcano Cayambe, the San Pablo Lake, and the Imbabura Volcano. In the city of Cayambe, we make a quick stop to try the traditional biscuits before continuing to Otavalo. The market is the largest of its kind in South America, offering many different kinds of arts and crafts from local communities. Return to Quito
Overnight in Quito

Day 4
Mindo

Northwest from Quito is the valley of Mindo, nestled in the cloud forest and abundant in species of plants, birds, butterflies, reptiles, mammals, and waterfalls. We will see some of this unique flora and fauna using the town’s cable car and visit Mindo’s butterfly sanctuary or orchid garden. We will return to Quito in the late afternoon
Overnight in Quito

Day 5
Cotopaxi National Park

We will depart from Quito early after breakfast, heading south through the famous “Avenue of the Volcanoes.” We will arrive at the National Park, which is located 60km away from the city of Quito. The Cotopaxi Volcano is one of the most important landmarks in Ecuador because it is the highest active volcano in the world. Lush endemic flora and fauna of the area can be observed, including one of the most representative species - the Chuquiragua (also known as the mountaineer’s flower), wild horses, deer, llamas, and more.
Overnight in Chucchilán

Day 6
Cotopaxi – Quilotoa – Riobamba

In the morning, we will take a route called Pujilí’s Way, passing through Quilotoa, stopping at Pujili’s Market (only Wednesdays and Sundays), the little village of Tigua with its artesian paintings. This route has some of the most spectacular landscapes of Ecuador.
Arriving at Quilotoa’s crater we will get a chance to visit the green-blue colored lake inside. Attendees will be allowed to walk down to the lake border and return up again by mule. Later we will continue until Riobamba.
Overnight in Riobamba.

Day 7
Riobamba - Devil's Nose - Ingapirca - Cuenca

After an early breakfast we depart Riobamba to the south, as we head for Alausi where we will board the train to “The Devil’s Nose.” En-route we will make several stops, visiting the Balbanera Church, Colta Lake, and the indigenous town of Guamote. Mid-morning we will arrival at the town of Alausi where we will begin our adventure on Ecuador’s famous “Devil’s Nose” train. After about a four hour ride, we will return to Alausi in the early afternoon where our bus will be waiting to take us to Ingapirca. Continuing on, we will pay a visit the Ingapirca fortress, located at 3,100m above sea level. These ancient ruins are the most important in the country. Their true history is still a mystery, as studies differ as to whether they were a fortress, an observatory or a temple. After visiting the ruins we will finish our trip on the road to Cuenca, arriving in the early evening
Overnight in Cuenca

Day 8
Cuenca

Breakfast in the morning prepares you for a city tour of Cuenca, considered by many the most beautiful city in all of Ecuador. Our walk will include a visit to the flower market, the cathedral, Calderon Park, the church of La Merced and its convent, among other attractions
Overnight Cuenca

Day 9
Cajas National Park

Just after breakfast, the tour will depart, heading northwest towards Cajas National Park. After a short drive, arrival in Cajas National Park will allow us to take part in different activities such as hiking, fishing, bird-watching, viewing flora and fauna, and more. We can visit the Interpretation Centre placed in La Toreadora Lake (the biggest and the most important in the whole complex). Here we will see pictures and interpretations of the park.
Overnight Cuenca

Day 10
Cuenca Depart

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport for your onward flight.
*If you wish to extend your stay or travel on to other Latin America destinations, please be sure to ask us.

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 9 nights in standard accomodation
  • Included Copy 31 Hotel upgrades available
Food
  • Included Copy 20 Breakfast daily, and other meals as outlined in the included sightseeing tours
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 All transfers, mostly on a private basis
  • Included Copy 20 Entrance fees & National Park fees (except to Cotopaxi national park USD 10 pp)
  • Included Copy 20 Sightseeing on a shared basis as outlined in the tour itinerary with English speaking guides
  • Included Copy 7 Flights not included.
Transportation
Land, Air, Ship, Train ...

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Duration

10 days

Price from

$2,315 USD

Per person, twin share

Daily departures
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