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Ecuador touring holidays:
Avenue of the Volcanoes and the Devil’s Nose Train
A one week itinerary to discover the heart of Ecuador's Andes along Humboldt’s ‘Avenue of the Volcanoes’, and its great colonial cities of Quito and Cuenca. Ride ‘the most difficult railway in the world’ and pause to see the Incan ruins of Ingapirca.
Day 1 You are met on arrival at Quito airport and transferred to a comfortable 3* hotel, your base for 2 nights.
Day 2 BL In the morning your guide will meet you at your hotel and take you on a walking tour of the Old City. After lunch, visit the Equator at either the unconventional Inti-Ñan museum or the Mitad del Mundo theme park. (A ride on the Pichincha cable car is an option if time allows and conditions are good.)
Avenue of the Volcanoes
Day 3 BLD Your guide will collect you from your hotel for the drive down the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Visit Cotopaxi NP, exploring the Limpiopungo Lagoon, driving part of the way up Cotopaxi with the option of hiking a further 200m to the mountain refuge - but take it slowly, the mountain air is thin. Descend to stay at Hacienda La Ciénega for 2 nights.
Day 4 BLD A pleasant day’s touring today, visiting the villages around the ‘Quilotoa Loop’. Your guide will help you decide whether to complete the whole loop, or to use part of the day for a walk in this beautiful Andean countryside.
Day 5 BL Continue south this morning along the Avenue of the Volcanoes to Riobamba, pausing in the village of Salasaca to visit a simple weavers workshop. Your guide escorts you on a short city tour of Riobamba before arriving at a good quality hotel in a converted hacienda just out of town.
Devil’s Nose Train and Ingapirca
Day 6 BL An early start this morning for an exciting ride on the Devil’s Nose Train.
The engineers who constructed the Trans-Andean Railway between Guayaquil on the coast and Quito in the mountains faced incredible challenges of terrain. Their most outstanding accomplishment was the section completed in 1902 known as the Devil’s Nose, where the track descends an almost perpendicular wall of rock in a tight switchback–one of the great railway journeys of the world.
To make the trip even more memorable it used to be the thing to travel on the roof of the train, but in these days of health & safety precautions you will be sitting inside.
At present the favoured rolling stock is the ‘Chiva Express’ – a traditional Latin American bus mounted on the chassis of a diesel powered rail coach.
You leave from the small station at Riobamba. The single track journey twists and turns through Andean villages and pretty valleys, carrying you over bridges and across steep ravines as you descend to the village of Alausí.
From here you descend the Devil’s Nose switchback, pause, then ascend and return to Alausí.
Day 7 BL Your guide and vehicle are at your command today for your choice of exploring Cuenca itself, walking in Cajas National Park, or touring the craft villages to the south of the city.
Guide price £1,140
Starts and ends in Quito. 8 days / 7 nights.
Designed to start on any day except Wednesday.
Includes: all travel in Ecuador, services of a private English speaking local guide throughout, all accommodation, most meals (except for 5 dinners - allow £50 spending money for these).
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Geodyssey brings you an exclusive selection of thoughtfully designed holidays in amazing locations throughout our destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our holidays focus on what is natural, authentic, comfortable, stylish and affordable, and on what works best in each country. Our tailor-made holidays are individually designed by our experienced team on the basis of in-depth knowledge, a real enthusiasm for our destinations, and a desire to make sure we get it right for each and every customer. All our customers have 100% financial protection. All the land-based holidays on this website are exclusive to Geodyssey. Geodyssey is an independent company managed by its owners, based in London, founded in 1993.