Andes and Amazon Program | Ecuador Trip
4 Days - 3 Nights
Quito + Papallacta + Amazon + Baños + Cotopaxi
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Day 1: Departure from Quito
We leave Quito in the morning and start with a drive up the Eastern Cordillera, where we will go over a 4065 m. high mountain pass. It can be foggy up here but when the weather is clear we will be amazed by the magnificent views of the Antisana volcano and the surrounding paramo wetlands. Within two hours we will reach Termas de Papallacta, Ecuador's most beautiful thermal hot springs Resort and Spa, located in between spectacular mountain forests of the Eastern Andes slopes.
We will enjoy a very nice morning hike through the surrounding mountain forests and grassy paramo near our resort. This ecological reserve is managed by a local foundation and harbors many peculiar species of flora and fauna (more than 160 bird species, mountain tapirs, spectacled bears and many other species).
In the spa we have free time to dip into the amazing hot springs or enjoy some of the optional health and beauty treatments in Termas de Papallacta.
The spa and hydrotherapy area offers a variety of different sensations from streams of water, water hydro massage or hydro massage with air bubbles. It has been certified that the thermal waters of Termas de Papallacta have medicinal properties that guarantee healthy benefits!
After lunch continue to Cabañas San Isidro’s lodge and lush cloud forest reserve. San Isidro lies right between two large national parks, so ‘getting lost’ is part of the fun, and discovery is a daily event. Amazing cuisine, cooking clases, primary forest trails, mammal watching, birding, and archaeology are some of the activities waiting for you here!
Day 2: Birdwatching Cloud Forest | Monkeys Beach | Amazon
After Breakfast, in the morning we will walk through the lush and green cloud forests of the Eastern Andes, where we can observe many species of hummingbirds. It is really amazing to see these small birds flying around us at a very close distance. Moreover we will have the opportunity to see the famous sword-billed hummingbird, which has even a longer beak than its body! If time permits we can also make a short hike before we continue our journey through the last hills of the Eastern 'Cordillera' towards the great Amazon basin. At midday we will arrive at Misahualli river beach, where can enjoy playing with the wild monkeys. Then continue to Suchipakari Amazon Eco-Lodge, a lovely retreat located on the shores of the Pusuno River, offering very spacious and comfortable rooms, built in native design.
After lunch we put on our rubber boots to start an exciting walk in the rainforest ready to find the secret wonders of the mysterious hidden jungle, finding amazing plant species with medicinal properties, which will be explained in detail by our expert native guide: their characteristics and how the jungle inhabitants used them in ancient times. We'll also observe a great variety of insects and small groups of monkeys weaving around the giant trees;
Our reserve offer 262 species colorful birds tag along with us during our walk whistling enchanted notes and delighting our senses. After about three hours of walking we will arrive at the lodge again. In the afteroon prepare for swimming or floting in the quite amazon river. At night, the amazing jungle sounds, moon and the stars, create a unique and romantic atmosphere at Suchipakari Amazon EcoLodge. Enjoy a typical dinner.
Day 3: Baños de Agua Santa | Waterfalls Route | Tree House
After our delicious breakfast we cross the Napo River, arriving at the Shiripuno community, where we will pay a visit to the Quichua indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon village.
The local women will receive us and give us explanations of their ancient lifestyles with different demonstrations such as food preparation, weaving techniques and typical dances.
Moreover a huge stone has been found nearby hiding various petroglyphes, different ancient designs made by the ancestors of the local indigenous expressing their nature-oriented beliefs. After this enriching cultural experience we will continue our journey to Baños.
After Puyo we will enjoy spectacular views of the Pastaza gorge, the surrounding cloud forests with thousands of orchids, dramatic waterfalls, cliff side farms and untouched views of Sangay and Llanganates National Parks. This spectacular stretch through the Pastaza Corridor has been declared by the WWF 'A Gift to the Earth', a transition from rainforest to the Andean Mountains in less than 50 kilometers.
Near Baños, On waterfalls route we will make a short stop in the Pailón del Diablo, then we will cross the valley by cable car to visit the “Manto de la Novia” waterfall after which we will continue with an excursion to the majestic “Swing of the End in the Tree House". Surely we will be enjoying the magnificent views of Baños deep below in the valley, the active Tungurahua volcano (5016 m.) and the Llanganates National Park, the inaccessible mountains that hide the lost gold of the Inca Emperor Atahualpa.
In the beginning of the evening we will reach Baños, and arrive at Monte Selva Resort & Adventure SPA, spectacularly located on a hill above Baños nestled within the Sangay National Park, which has been declared a World Natural Heritage Site.
Dinner Free. City by Night in Baños
Day 4: Cotopaxi Volcanoe | Museum | National Park
In the morning we will leave Baños for another day full of diversity driving along the 'Avenue of the Volcanoes', through the central Andean valley. On our way we will come first along the Salasaca community, where we will have a look at the many tapestries and other woven products made by the local indigenous people who still maintain many ancient traditions. Afterwards we continue towards the central valley where with clear weather we will be able to see at least 11 of Ecuador's 55 volcanoes.
Arriving in the park we will pay a short visit to a little museum which informs about the park; its nature, geology, history and the eruptions of the centerpiece of this park; the Cotopaxi volcano (5897 m.), the world's highest active and snowcapped volcano! We continue our way into the park and stop at the Limpiopungo lake at 3800 meters altitude. Here we can make a short walk while observing semi-wild horses, a variety of ducks, hummingbirds and the Andean gull and lapwing. If we feel fit enough we can continue our drive to the parking lot at 4600 m. from where it is a strenuous 45 minute walk up to the José Ribas refuge at 4800 m., a mountain refuge halfway the volcano. Here we will have some incredible picture opportunities and spectacular sceneries at the immense ice walls and deep crevasses of the glaciers above us as well as the surrounding countryside of the Ecuadorian Andes with its many volcanoes and lovely green valleys filled with patchwork cultivated fields. Afterwards we return to our vehicle for our drive back to Quito.
Then we will arrive at an ancient hacienda, for lunch in Machachi Town. Continue to Quito City, end of the tour
Price Per Person $500
All Inclusive from Quito
- Comfortable Accommodation with private bathroom & hot shower: Double / Matrimonial/ Family
- All meals according with the itinerary (Excluded: Dinner Free on Baños City)
- Equipment (Rain Boots, Life Jacket)
- Professional Guide (Spanish & English)
- Transfers, excursions, entrances and site visits included in itinerary
- Entrance fees of the reserve and use of its facilities.
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- Professional Drive
- Confortable 4x4 Full
- These vehicles are maintained to a high standard and are fully equipped with first aid kits, fire extinguishers and emergency tools.
What to bring?
Light wool is ideal and a warm jacket is usually necessary in the highlands after the sunset. Shoes for walking, or good hiking boots, a thick sweater and a jacket. Remember that the higher you are, the colder the weather will be. Temperature Range: 5º-25ºC (41º-77ºF). For the Jungle: Lightweight & clothing with long sleeves/pants, swimwear, shorts, comfortable & supportive walking shoes, sandals, flashlight, rain gear, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellant, camera and extra batteries and not forget your passport. Temperature Range: 23º to 26º C (72º to 80º F)
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