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Ecuador Rainforest, Andes to the Sea Multi-Adventure

Diverse Natural Wonders: Mountains, Forests and Sea

 

Ecuador, one of the jewels of South America, is home to incredible cultural and biological diversity in an area the size of Colorado. Crossed north to south by the Andes mountains, the country is divided into three main regions: the Amazon basin, the high Andes, and the coastal Pacific lowlands, each with unique geography, cultures, and fauna. Glacier-capped volcanic peaks over 20,500-feet high are surrounded by treeless moorlands, subtropical valleys, deserts, lowland rainforests, orchid-laden cloud forests growing in steep slopes of both cordilleras, coastal savannas, and mangroves. All of this creates a mosaic of microclimates resulting in a biodiversity we normally encounter in entire continents. Ecuador is a must for anyone who loves nature and active travelling.

  • Experience the three main ecosystems of South America in one small but incredibly diverse country

  • Enjoy a private farm-to-table cooking lesson from one of Ecuador's top chefs using market-fresh ingredients

  • Soak in natural hot springs at the base of one of Ecuador's most impressive volcanoes

Arrive:

Quito, Ecuador

Depart:

Guayaquil, Ecuador

Duration:

11 Days

Activity Level:

3

Departures:

See Dates

Price: from $5,995

  • Arrive in Quito, Ecuador

    Day 1

    Welcome to the historic city of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. An MT Sobek representative will meet you outside customs at the airport and escort you to your hotel. Due to late arrivals flights, our welcome dinner is on night two.

    Accommodation: Swissotel Quito

    One of the city's top five-star luxury hotels, Swissotel Quito is conveniently located in the Floresta neighborhood of Quito - both a commercial and residential area only 45 minutes from Mariscal Sucre International Airport. Each of its 232 elegant guest rooms is air-conditioned and features modern design.

  • Tour of Quito & Papallacta Hotsprings

    Day 2

    Explore Quito's Historic Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the best-preserved historic centers in South America. Head to the eastern Andes along the route that led to the official discovery of the Amazon River by the Europeans. Drive over the Papallacta Pass (13,000') and descend into the cloud forests through spectacular snow-capped volcanos, mountains, and pastoral valleys. Spend the night at 10,800' at the Papallacta Hotsprings enjoying the magnificent views of Antisana, and a festive welcome dinner.

    Accommodation: Termas de Papallacta

    Its proximity to Quito, a beautiful high Andes landscape and the benefits of the thermal water, make this a magical place to spend the night. The 35 hotel rooms are made of preserved wood, with private bathroom and floor heating.

    Transportation: 1-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Enter the Amazon Rainforest

    Day 3

    Begin the day with a 2- to 3-hour hike into the Cayambe National Park through High Andes grasslands and moorlands. Head into the Amazon rainforest, descending to stop for lunch at the Guango Reserve and enjoy the beautiful hanging orchids and hummingbirds visiting the feeders. Continue into the Amazon plains, arriving at Hamadryade Lodge with time to relax.

    Accommodation: Hamadryade Lodge

    Hidden in the Ecuadorian jungle and overlooking the Napo River, Hamadryade offers stylish bungalows with amazing views of the forest and an outdoor pool. Bungalows feature a sitting area and the large doors can be opened to provide panoramic jungle views. Activities include: nature walks, rafting, birdwatching, and visits to local Indian communities.

    Activity: 2-3 hours/4 miles hiking

    Transportation: 2.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore the Upper Amazon Rainforest

    Day 4

    Begin the day experiencing the most diverse ecosystem in the world. Take a nature walk in the jungle and enjoy the pristine rain forest and its many species of birds and flowers. Learn about the medicinal use of local plants with a native guide. Visit an Indian community and learn about their cultures, cuisine, crops and the challenges they face. Enjoy a night walk in search of nocturnal creatures.

    Accommodation: Hamadryade Lodge

    Hidden in the Ecuadorian jungle and overlooking the Napo River, Hamadryade offers stylish bungalows with amazing views of the forest and an outdoor pool. Bungalows feature a sitting area and the large doors can be opened to provide panoramic jungle views. Activities include: nature walks, rafting, birdwatching, and visits to local Indian communities.

    Activity: 2-3 hours/2-3 miles hiking

    Transportation: 15-minute private transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Trace the Amazon Back to the Andes

    Day 5

    After breakfast, take a nature walk in the forest to observe the wildlife. Later, depart from Hamadryade and travel south to the city of Puyo as we make our way back to the Andes along the deep Pastaza Valley. Here we begin today's hike to the Pailon del Diablo (Devil's cauldron), one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the valley. Our hike takes us through evergreen cloud forests to get to the place where the Rio Verde falls into a deep narrow gorge, producing a deafening sound and a permanent mist. Along the way, look for toucans, tanagers, hummingbirds and other tropical birds, and views of the nearby Tungurahua Volcano.

    After lunch, continue to Riobamba, a peaceful city surrounded my majestic volcanos, including Chimborazo (20,550'), the highest peak in Ecuador and The Altar (17,500'), arguably the most beautiful mountain in the country.

    Accommodation: Hosteria Andaluza

    Hosteria La Andaluza - located in a rural area near the town of Riobamba - occupies a mansion that has been declared a Cultural Heritage site. Several centuries of history have turned this hacienda into one of the most important in the Ecuadorian Andes. The cozy rooms are decorated with old style furniture and artifacts, and the views of Chimborazo volcano are breathtaking.

    Activity: 2 hours/2 miles hiking

    Transportation: 4-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Journey on the Devil's Nose Train to Ingapirca Ruins

    Day 6

    Experience one of the most extreme and wonderful train rides in the world, built a century ago through the Andes to link Guayaquil and Quito. Zigzag along the 7-mile route, rapidly gaining altitude to roughly 3.000-feet. Continue on a drive south to Ingapirca, the largest Inca ruins in Ecuador and largest north of Peru, featuring the elliptical Temple of the Sun. Head on to Cuenca, one of Ecuador's most charming and scenic towns.

    Accommodation: Hotel Mansion Alcazar

    This beautiful boutique hotel in the historic center of Cuenca, tastefully decorated with antique wood furnishings, offers comfortable rooms and patios where you can enjoy beautiful trees, flowers and a vast array of birds.

    Transportation: 2.5-hour train ride, 4-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Cuenca

    Day 7

    Discover Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of the best-preserved historic centers in South America. Explore its iconic monuments and churches, walk its narrow cobblestone streets and visit small local markets. Participate in cooking lessons and pick ingredients before preparing a delicious market-to-table meal alongside one of Cuenca's best chefs.

    Accommodation: Hotel Mansion Alcazar

    This beautiful boutique hotel in the historic center of Cuenca, tastefully decorated with antique wood furnishings, offers comfortable rooms and patios where you can enjoy beautiful trees, flowers and a vast array of birds.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike El Cajas National Park

    Day 8

    Enjoy a 3- to 4-hour hike in Cajas National Park, home to beautiful trails and dramatic landscapes, dotted with hundreds of glacial lakes and the tundra-like scenery reminiscent of Scottish moorlands. Be on the lookout for Andean hummingbird species, condors, and even pumas.

    Drive to the coastal lowlands, to Hacienda la Danesa, as the landscape transforms from cold barren grasslands to banana plantations and rice fields.

    Accommodation: Hacienda la Danesa

    Located in the coastal region of Ecuador at the base of Andes, Hacienda La Danesa offers a meaningful exchange between the traveler and the host. Hacienda La Danesa is conveniently located 1:20 h hour drive from Guayaquil in one of the most productive agricultural areas of the country. The 1.200 (500 hectares) acres estate is surrounded by beautiful fields, forests and rivers.

    Activity: 3-4 hours/4 miles hiking

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Enjoy Hacienda La Danesa

    Day 9

    Begin the day birdwatching, on the lookout for some of the hundreds of species that make the property's forests their home. Choose from a wide variety of activities, including biking the paths inside the hacienda, hiking its extensive trail system, horseback riding, or massage. Learn about the process of making chocolate and create your own chocolate bars with the guidance of an expert chocolatier.

    Accommodation: Hacienda la Danesa

    Located in the coastal region of Ecuador at the base of Andes, Hacienda La Danesa offers a meaningful exchange between the traveler and the host. Hacienda La Danesa is conveniently located 1:20 h hour drive from Guayaquil in one of the most productive agricultural areas of the country. The 1.200 (500 hectares) acres estate is surrounded by beautiful fields, forests and rivers.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Guayaquil

    Day 10

    Head to lively and cosmopolitan Guayaquil, the economic center of Ecuador, principal port and largest city. Visit the city center's most iconic parks, the Malecon by the Guayas river, and the barrio Las Peñas, a traditional riverside neighborhood and the oldest section of the city.

    Accommodation: Hotel del Parque

    This luxury boutique hotel, built within a 125-year-old historic wooden structure, was rescued from the center of Guayaquil and transported to its exclusive setting within the Parque Historico Guayaquil. Located along the river, the Hotel offers visitors a connection to the Ecuador coastal area's rich history, nature and culture.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart Guayaquil

    Day 11

    After breakfast, transfer to the international airport for flights home.

    Accommodation:

    Meals: Breakfast

Ecuador Rainforest, Andes to the Sea Multi-Adventure

Detailed Itinerary

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What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek has been exploring Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands since 1970 - we are the experts!

Reason #02

Our expert naturalist guides hold advanced degrees, and will maximize the amount of bird and wildlife encounters.

Reason #03

Our mainland Ecuador trip is one of a kind, designed specifically for the active and curious MT Sobek traveler.

Meet your guides

Luis Die

Luis Die

Luis was born in Seville, Spain, and graduated from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid with a degree in Environmental Biology. He is fluent in Spanish, English, and French and has guided in Galapagos since 1999. In addition to being a professional nature photographer, Luis has a Master's Degree in Geographic Ecology and is active with conservation groups. A born teacher, he enthusiastically shares his knowledge of Galapagos with people of all ages. He lives in Quito with his wife, twin sons, and daughter and is MT Sobek's head naturalist guide.

Activities

Hikes and nature walks, with optional activities that include horseback riding or bicycling. Many birdwatching and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Lodging

Nightly stays in luxury spa and boutique hotels, eco-lodges, and authentic haciendas.

Climate

The coastal lowlands of western Ecuador are typically warm with temperatures around 77°F. Quito has a subtropical highland climate with average temperatures around 70°F. There are two seasons in Ecuador: dry and wet. The dry season (winter) runs from June to September, and the wet season (summer) is from October to May.

FAQ

When and where should I arrive?

Arrive in Quito, Ecuador on Day-1. An MT Sobek representative will meet you outside customs at the airport and escort you to your hotel.

When and where should I depart?

Depart out of Guayaquil on Day-11.

How challenging are the hikes?

Hikes along the tour are considered by most to be easy, but can become more challenging with rain and slippery conditions. Terrain may be varied and uneven so good balance is necessary.

What is the cuisine of Ecuador?

The cuisine of Ecuador is varied and delicious. Enjoy warm, hearty dishes of the highlands such a locro, and stew with potatoes, cheese, corn and avocado. Closer to the sea, dine on seafood such as ceviche and encocados, and traditional dish of fish served over coconut sauce.

When is the best time to visit Ecuador?

There is no bad time to visit Ecuador. As Ecuador is located on the Equator, there is very little variation between seasons.

  • 2021
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom

2021

Scheduled Dates

Additional costs

  • $1,800 Single Supplement

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation
  • Arrival and departure day airport transfers

Price does not include

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Airport transfers if arriving or departing outside of Day 1 and Day 11
  • Optional travel protection

Contact An Expert

1.888.831.7526

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Thank you, one of our specialists will be contacting you shortly.

Go Private

Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private Trip.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Private Trip Pricing:

6 to 7 guests from $6,895 per person double occupancy

8 to 12 guests from $6,395 per person double occupancy

	

Take Over One These Dates

Make Your Own Dates In These Months

Additional costs

  • $1,800 Single Supplement

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation
  • Arrival and departure day airport transfers

Price does not include

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Airport transfers if arriving or departing outside of Day 1 and Day 11
  • Optional travel protection

Contact An Expert

1.888.831.7526

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Thank you, one of our specialists will be contacting you shortly.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.