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'Ecuador Adventures'

What makes this trip special?

Spectacular views

Spectacular views

Quito

The teleferico cable car rises above the city of Quito to the top of Pichincha volcano, giving fabulous views of the city and the mountains all around.

The kingdom of Quito

The kingdom of Quito

Quito - old city

Quito's historic centre of cobbled streets and white washed colonial buildings is one of the most important in Latin America. Wander through the narrow streets, watch lively events in the plazas and visit historical landmarks.

Thermal pools amongst the mountains

Thermal pools amongst the mountains

Papallacta

Termas de Papallacta is a delightful lodge with spa and outdoor thermal pools high in the Andes mountain range.

Action in the jungle

Action in the jungle

Cotococha Jungle Lodge

Overlooking the Napo River, at Cotococha jungle lodge guests can visit local communities, take hikes in the rainforest and boat trips on the river.

Ecuador's adventure playground

Ecuador's adventure playground

Banos

From Rainforest to high mountain passes and active volcanoes, the region of Banos encompasses it all. There are a number of soft adventure activities on offer including hiking, rafting and horse-riding.

Outdoor action amongst an active volcano

Outdoor action amongst an active volcano

Cotopaxi National Park

Rising gracefully from the plains, Cotopaxi volcano and its National Park provide ideal terrain for mountain biking, hiking and horse-riding.

Itinerary map for Ecuador & Galapagos 'Ecuador Adventures' holiday

Itinerary

  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Quito
  • 2 Quito
  • 3 Papallacta
  • 4 Cotococha Amazon Lodge
  • 5 Cotococha Amazon Lodge
  • 6 Patate
  • 7 Patate
  • 8 Cotopaxi
  • 9 Cotopaxi
  • 10 Quito
  • 11 Quito
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Ecuador Adventures'

DAY 1

Quito

You are met on your arrival at the airport and transferred to your hotel in a modern district of Quito for 2 nights on a B&B basis.

DAY 2
BL

This morning you are collected from your hotel by your English-speaking guide for the ride on the Teleferiqo cable car which rises high above Quito for wonderful panoramic views over the city. The ride begins on the city’s western fringes, climbing the flanks of the massive Pichincha Volcano from 3,000 up to 4,000 metres. You then visit the Museo de la Ciudad dedicated to the social history of Quito, set in a restored colonial building. After lunch you explore the Old City on a walking tour with your guide.

DAY 3
BLD

Papallacta hot springs

Your are collected from your hotel for the drive up the eastern cordillera of the Andes, crossing the highest mountain pass in Ecuador. It can be foggy up here but with clear skies there are magnificent views of Antisana volcano and the surrounding paramo. Travel on to Termas Papallacta, a comfortable mountain lodge set around thermal springs where you stay the night on a full-board basis. Your guide takes you on a hike on a short trail just to stretch your legs, or a longer one if you prefer. You can also take the plunge in the hotel’s many thermal pools, steaming and bubbling in the open air. Steam rooms, massages, mud wraps and other spa treatments are at reasonable extra charges.

DAY 4
BLD

Cotococha Jungle Lodge

In the morning continue east by road through the cloud forests pausing at a lodge known for hummingbirds, including the sword-billed hummingbird whose slender beak is longer than its body. You can do a short hike here before continuing to Cotococha Amazon Lodge, on the shores of the Napo River. After lunch at the lodge there is a choice of activities: a 3 hour walk in the rainforest, or a visit to a local community reached by a short canoe trip. For the walk you don rubber boots provided by the lodge. Your guide will help you identify medicinal plants, and explain their characteristics and how traditional communities use their medicinal properties. You should also find a great variety of insects, birds and small groups of monkeys weaving through the trees. After about 3 hours you return to relax, freshen up and have dinner. To visit a local community you take a short canoe trip downriver to a Shiripuno village which is pleased to invite visitors to experience a traditional way of life in the Amazon forest. Local ladies will receive you and chat about their traditions and lifestyle, show you how they cook and weave cloth, and how dance features in their lives. A huge stone marked with ancestral petroglyphs expresses their nature-oriented beliefs. You can return to the lodge or continue a short distance upstream to a river beach to walk (1hr approx) through secondary rainforest to the lovely ‘La Cascada de Latas’ waterfall, take a dip perhaps and return the same way.

DAY 5
BLD

After breakfast you are taken by canoe through the rainforest to a regular checkpoint at Misahualli village, where there is often a troupe of capuchin monkeys in the trees, then on to the Arajuno river. Here you stop to visit a rescue centre that is usually caring for a variety of toucans, parrots, monkeys, capybara, and sometimes even ocelots. After a riverside picnic you stop at a river landing where a family with contacts with the lodge demonstrate traditional gold panning, making pottery, brewing ‘chicha’, and hunting with blowpipes. You return to the lodge on a forest trail.

DAY 6
BLD

Baños region

You continue to the Baños region, breaking the journey at Puyo at a small balsa wood workshop for brightly painted gifts. The road climbs the gorge of the Pastaza River declared ‘A Gift to the Earth’ by WWF, a 50km corridor from rainforest to high mountain passes. There is a spectacular waterfall at El Pailón del Diablo (Devil’s Cauldron). You stay 2 nights full board at a 300-year old hacienda tucked into the mountains in the village of Patate.

DAY 7
BLD

Lots of soft adventure options today based around the hacienda, including hiking, mountain-biking and horse-riding (all at reasonable extra cost). There is also a heated indoor swimming pool, a spa and gym. Your guide is at your disposal for a trip into Baños or elsewhere in the area.

DAY 8
BLD

Cotopaxi

Time to turn northwards along the Avenue of the Volcanoes to visit Cotopaxi NP. Cotopaxi (p9) is the highest active volcano in the world, and one of the most beautiful. You drive up to 4500m, with wonderful views when the weather is clear. If you are responding well to the altitude you might walk (slowly) the short distance to the mountain refuge at 4800m, and maybe a little further to touch the lowest tongues of the glacier’s blue-white ice. Herds of wild horses and llamas come to drink at the beautiful Limpiopungo Lagoon below the volcano. There are vestiges of Incan stone walls and the ruins of an Incan fortress. Descend to spend 2 nights full board at a characterful hacienda with an accent on outdoor action.

DAY 9
BLD

Free day at your hacienda for options that include walking, horse-riding, mountain-biking and canopy tours, all at reasonable extra cost. Your guide returns to Quito today.

DAY 10
B

Quito

On your transfer to Quito by road you might be able to call at a local market, such as at Saquisilí. On Thursdays, the big market day, four separate markets take place–an early morning animal market, a handicraft market, a fruit and vegetable market, and a market for clothes and costumes in the local style. Back in Quito, you stay the night in the ‘La Mariscal’ area.

DAY 11
B

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos or back to the UK.

Guide prices for 'Ecuador Adventures'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Guide Price 2 people sharing £2,435
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel in Ecuador
  • all accommodation
  • meals as indicated B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
  • all excursions as described
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • travel insurance
  • airport and departure taxes
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • any optional excursions you may buy locally

Customer reviews for 'Ecuador Adventures'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.

Average customer rating 100%

rating

Galapagos - absolutely amazing and fantastic. Cotopaxi volcano was beautiful. Rafting in the Amazon was great fun.

rating

Impossible choice! Mindo? Galapagos? Everything was good.

rating

Everything!

rating

Every aspect of the Napo/Amazon; incredible wildlife of Galapagos.

Seasonal information for 'Ecuador Adventures'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Quito 15°C rainfall 117mm
2 Quito 15°C rainfall 117mm
3 Papallacta 12°C rainfall 84mm
8 Cotopaxi 9°C rainfall 83mm
9 Cotopaxi 9°C rainfall 83mm
10 Quito 15°C rainfall 117mm
11 Quito 15°C rainfall 117mm

Typical weather for January

rainchart

Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Ecuador Adventures'

Days 1 - 2

Hotel Quito

215 bed room local 4* hotel with all amenities inc. an outdoor swimming pool and fabulous views. In one direction these face over the cliff edge down upon Guapulo church in the valley below. In the other direction they look out over the city of Quito. Roof top restaurant. Casino.

Hotel Quito
Garden
Day 3

Termas de Papallacta

Papallacta
rating

Average rating 4.4 (39 ratings)

Situated high on the paramos (moors) 40  minutes drive east from Quito this is a delightful lodge with outdoor thermal pools and spa. It has a total of 32 rooms dotted about in its garden, including 13 cabins which also have living rooms and fireplaces. Accommodation is about 300m from the main block which houses the restaurant and spa. Guests have thermal pools, never more than a few footsteps from their room. Here on a clear night it is lovely to slip into the warm water after dinner and admire the moonlit snowcapped summit of distant Antisana volcano. All rooms have private bathrooms and there are self-guided hiking trails on the paramos behind the hotel where there are opportunites to see hummingbirds. There are also much larger thermal pools which are open to the public which are very popular at weekends when day-trippers visit from Quito. Room prices are higher at weekends when the lodge is busiest so aim to stay mid-week.

Termas de Papallacta
Thermal pools
Days 4 - 5

Cotococha Lodge

Amazon
rating

Average rating 5.0 (1 ratings)

Cotococha Lodge is located in the upper Amazon basin overlooking the majestic Napo River. The lodge has 22 spacious wooden bungalows, which are scattered over 4 hectares of jungle. There is no electricity at the lodge. In the evenings light is provided by oil lamps, which illuminate the paths and bungalows. There is a swimming pool and jacuzzi.

Cotococha Lodge
Cabin
Days 6 - 7

Hacienda Leito

Patate

Hacienda Leito is a family-run hacienda located in the small village of Patate in the heart of the Andes. There are 24 standard rooms and 4 family suites (with fireplaces) and facilities include a bar, restaurant, living area, spa, indoor swimming pool and sauna and gardens.

 

Hacienda Leito
Hacienda exterior
Days 8 - 9

El Porvenir

isolated behind Cotopaxi
rating

Average rating 4.6 (9 ratings)

Hacienda El Porvenir is a characterful adobe and thatch building set in extensive grounds at high elevation in the foothills of the Rumiñahui volcano, behind Cotopaxi. There are a choice of bedrooms style. Some are en-suite. The restaurant serves local Ecuadorian food. There are a wide variety of active and adventure excursions available at additional cost such as helping out on the farm, horse-riding, hiking and mountain biking.

El Porvenir
Corazon suite
Day 10

Nu House Hotel, Quito

on Plaza Foch Mariscal

Nü House Hotel has a prime location on Plaza Foch in the trendy heart of Quito's vibrant tourist and entertainment district, La Mariscal. There are lots of restaurants, bars, lounges and discos all about. Here the cool youths of Quito come to be seen in the pavement cafes. The hotel has smart modern boutique style rooms incorpora, stone, glass and steel. Amenities include 32" LCD flat panel cable TV, telephone, high speed internet, digital secure box, minibar, hairdryer.

 

Notes: Excellent value for money but perhaps best avoided on Fri and Sat nights as despite double glazing street noise from the plaza below can be heard until late (or bring ear plugs). We stayed on a wet Monday night and had our best nights sleep in Ecuador.

Nu House Hotel, Quito
Luxury suite