Experience Ecuador and The Amazon

Main destination Ecuador 9 Days Tour

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Experience Ecuador and The Amazon
Welcome to Ecuador. On this 9-day exploration, you will have a chance to visit the vibrant city of Quito, the Northern Amazon. Enjoy a city tour featuring some of the must-see landmarks, while also spending time with the indigenous people in the outskirts of the countryside. Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring landscape and natural beauty of Ecuador as we search for waterfalls during one of the many hiking trails made available throughout the journey. Each evening, enjoy leisure time to soak in the hot springs, relax in the thermal saunas or book aromatherapy massages as you take in the Ecuadorian lifestyle.

Included:

  • Accommodation based on standard double room including breakfast
  • Transportation on the days mentioned
  • English-speaking driver/guide or drive + guide on the days mentioned

Not included:

  • Excursions not mentioned in the program
  • Meals not mentioned in the program
  • Drinks, tips and personal expenses
  • Domestic Flights
  • International Flights
  • Visa Fees if required

Hotels:

  • Hotel Cultura Manor
  • Hotel Sachaji
  • Itamandi Lodge

All hotels are subject to availability.


Day 1

Quito

Welcome to Quito, the capital city of Ecuador constructed on the foundations of an ancient Incan city. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check in. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to rest and explore the area.
Accommodation: Hotel Cultura Manor
GettyImages-975466144.jpg
Day 2

Quito

Begin your morning with breakfast and a wonderful Tai Chi class at the Botanical Garden of Quito.
In the heart of the city, the Botanical Garden of Quito offers a beautiful ecosystem with samples of wetlands, cloud forests, and dry forest, alive with a profusion of tropical flowers and denizen hummingbirds.
After our visit, continue with a city tour to learn about the history of Quito. The tour includes visits to Plaza Grande, the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, and Archbishop's Palace. From here, visit the imposing San Francisco de Quito Church, known for being the largest religious complex in South America. The church houses masterpieces of talented indigenous artists from the famous Quito Art School. Our last stop is a visit to the vibrant and colorful San Francisco market followed by an interactive experience at the Intinan Museum. Upon return to the hotel, the rest of the evening is at your leisure.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Cultura Manor
GettyImages-635800934.jpg
Day 3

Quito – Cotopaxi National Park– Cooking Class – Quito

After a leisurely breakfast, enjoy a yoga class on the terrace of your hotel with a stunning and peaceful view of Quito. After we freshen up, we head south towards the Avenue of Volcanoes. Cotopaxi National Park is home the to Cotopaxi Volcano which stands at 5,897 meters making it one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and a highlight to see when visiting Ecuador.
Upon arrival, the guide will explain the unique fauna and flora of the areas along with giving you history of the volcano. Subsequently, we continue to the Limpiopungo Lake where we will enjoy a hike through the stunning landscape where we may see hummingbirds, wild horses and other animals.
Shortly after the hike, you will be treated by a hands on cooking class by native women who will inspire you and teach you their culinary secrets and local techniques. The class starts with cooking lessons of the famous cheese empanadas, followed by the elaboration of aji. Aju or chile sauce is a very important part of the Ecuadorian cuisine. While the recipe varies from home to home, we will lean how to make it the traditional way, on a stone mortar and seasoned with various herbs and spices. At last, you will learn how to prepare the delicious canelazo, a traditional hot drink that is served on celebrations on the Highlands of Ecuador.
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Accommodation: Cultura Manor Hotel

GettyImages-950899656.jpg
Day 4

Quito- Otavalo - Peguche

After a leisurely breakfast, enjoy a yoga class on the terrace of your hotel with a stunning and peaceful view of Quito. After we freshen up, we continue our journey to the Northern highlands of Ecuador. Our first stop of the day is a visit to Otavalo city, famous for its Indigenous market! As you meet some of the friendly locals, you will be amazed by the detail of the showcased handcrafted arts. Next, we visit the indigenous Quechua community in Imbabura province just north of Otavalo. This stunning community is surrounded by towering mountain ranges, inactive volcanoes, parks and enchanting waterfalls.
After out visit to the Peguche Waterfall, you will have the chance to partake in a shamanic ceremony. Traditional alternative medicine has a long history in Ecuador, especially in rural areas. This ceremony will be performed by a local healer called 'shaman' who uses ancestral healing methods of the indigenous people of Ecuador. The tour will start with a short walk towards a sacred and energetic place of the Calera Community. Once there, he will use medicinal plans such as ortiga and chilca among other plants with the combination of water. After that, you will be invited to enter a small pond where you can get rid of the bad energies and absorb the good ones.
Upon check in at your hotel, the rest of the evening is yours at leisure.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Sachaji

GettyImages-1165827468.jpg
Day 5

La Esperanza- San Pablo

After a leisurely breakfast and wellness activity at the hotel, we set out to explore San Clemente. Experience the day to day lives of the indigenous people who are part of this community while you interact with them and learn about their culture. The guide will show you the Andean calendar and daily agricultural responsibilities. Take in the natural scenery on a stroll around the community where you can simply be part of the daily activities of the community like learning how to prepare a traditional Ecuadorian meal. After a fun filled day, arrive back at your hotel for some well-deserved relaxation.
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel Sachaji
GettyImages-1018398736.jpg
Day 6

Cochasqui - San Pablo Lake

After a wellness activity at the hotel followed by breakfast, we will travel to Cochasquí, the largest pre-Incan archaeological site in Ecuador that was constructed by the Quitu-Cara people.
Upon arrival, your guide shows you around while telling you about the history of the interesting of Ecuador’s pre-Inca people. It is not exactly clear why this site was built, however, archaeologists do know that at least one of the fifteen pyramids - all built between 950 C.E. and the Spanish conquest - has served to observe the starts and the sun. Cochasquí offers its visitors the unique opportunity to learn more about the Ecuadorian cultures before the Incas and the Spanish arrived in this beautiful country. Besides the archaeological treasures and the beautiful environment, you can also enjoy visiting the small museum on site.
Enjoy the afternoon at leisure upon returning to the hotel.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Sachaji
GettyImages-906880134.jpg
Day 7

Papallacta - Puna Ahuano

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and wellness activity at the hotel. After check out, you will drive over the Eastern Cordillera, up to an impressive altitude of 4065 meters, before arriving at the small town of Papallacta (3300 meters). On a clear day, you get amazed by magnificent views of the Antisana Volcano and the surrounding paramo highlands.
Upon arrival in Papallacta, you visit the thermal hot springs of Papallacta that are naturally heated by the volcanic activity in the area. Thanks to the volcanoes, this water contains minerals that make bathing here benefiting your mind and body. With this tour you will experience ultimate relaxation in a beautiful environment. While entrance is included, additional treatments are available at an additional cost.
We will continue our journey to the Itamandi Lodge which was built with a balance between nature, comfort and wellbeing of customers
You will start this trip to Itamandi EcoLodge on the Arajuno Bridge, where you will take a motorized canoe that goes upriver for 20 minutes to begin this great experience in the rainforest. On this boat trip, you can appreciate the magic and beauty of the Amazon rainforest traveling along a river that flows in a zigzag through the jungle like a giant snake, considered the main ecosystem of the Pacha Mama (Mother Earth). Once you get to the pier area of Itamandi EcoLodge, the staff will welcome you. From there you will continue to relax in the lounge with a fresh tropical snack and a briefing that will contain the general information about the accommodation and activities, provided by one of our naturalist guides, and thus proceed to lunch.
This evening you can either relax at this lodge or take part in an optional night walk. A flashlight and camera are the most important tools on this night excursion, which allows guests to listen to and capture the nocturnal sounds of fishermen bats, owls, insects, tarantulas, toads, and frogs. On a clear night, you will have the opportunity to observe hundreds of stars above you.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation: Itamandi Ecolodge (Main House)



GettyImages-1127273910.jpg
Day 8

Itamandi Lodge

Start the day with a peaceful breakfast as you listen to the sounds of nature all around you. Today, we start our morning with a canoe ride for 15 minutes upstream early in the morning to visit a parrot clay lick (Saladero). You will appreciate a unique site where parrots and parakeets gather in order to obtain the minerals that will help them to digest the fruits or seeds they have consumed. Hundreds of parrots and parakeets will approach the treetops and later will come down to the clay bank to eat this soil rich in minerals. It is essential to have binoculars to enjoy it.
Afterwards, we will head out for a hike through the primary and secondary Rainforest. Our expert naturalists teach you about the ecology and flora and fauna of the rainforest along the trail. You will observe a great variety of insects, a diversity of birds flying around us and with some luck reptiles or monkeys. This activity takes about 2 ½ -3hours.
In the afternoon we will eat lunch at the lodge before heading out to enjoy a cultural activity. An Amazonian Kichwa community will welcome you with open arms and give you the opportunity to learn about their way of life and the interaction they have with the forest. This encounter is going to show you that part of the Amazonia that you do not find on the maps: the Amazon people. Part of this visit to the community involves the demonstration of the famous “Chicha”, a fermented manioc drink that has become part of their festivals and daily use. You will take part in the preparation of this beverage and also try some of the local cuisine. You will finish the visit with a traditional dance performed by the kids in this community and you also have some time to buy some handicrafts, made by local people. This little business helps to support the indigenous people in their daily life. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Itamandi Ecolodge (Main House)

GettyImages-854515924.jpg
Day 9

Itamandi Lodge - Departure

After a final wellness activity and breakfast, check out and jump on the motorized canoe ride for 20 minutes to the Arajuno Bridge. Drive back to Quito across the eastern range of the Andes as we bid farewell to Ecuador and make out wait to the airport for our flight home. 
Meals: Breakfast

The activity Level for this tour is:

Itinerary

Day 1

Quito

Welcome to Quito, the capital city of Ecuador constructed on the foundations of an ancient Incan city. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check in. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to rest and explore the area.
Accommodation: Hotel Cultura Manor
GettyImages-975466144.jpg
Day 2

Quito

Begin your morning with breakfast and a wonderful Tai Chi class at the Botanical Garden of Quito.
In the heart of the city, the Botanical Garden of Quito offers a beautiful ecosystem with samples of wetlands, cloud forests, and dry forest, alive with a profusion of tropical flowers and denizen hummingbirds.
After our visit, continue with a city tour to learn about the history of Quito. The tour includes visits to Plaza Grande, the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, and Archbishop's Palace. From here, visit the imposing San Francisco de Quito Church, known for being the largest religious complex in South America. The church houses masterpieces of talented indigenous artists from the famous Quito Art School. Our last stop is a visit to the vibrant and colorful San Francisco market followed by an interactive experience at the Intinan Museum. Upon return to the hotel, the rest of the evening is at your leisure.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Cultura Manor
GettyImages-635800934.jpg
Day 3

Quito – Cotopaxi National Park– Cooking Class – Quito

After a leisurely breakfast, enjoy a yoga class on the terrace of your hotel with a stunning and peaceful view of Quito. After we freshen up, we head south towards the Avenue of Volcanoes. Cotopaxi National Park is home the to Cotopaxi Volcano which stands at 5,897 meters making it one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and a highlight to see when visiting Ecuador.
Upon arrival, the guide will explain the unique fauna and flora of the areas along with giving you history of the volcano. Subsequently, we continue to the Limpiopungo Lake where we will enjoy a hike through the stunning landscape where we may see hummingbirds, wild horses and other animals.
Shortly after the hike, you will be treated by a hands on cooking class by native women who will inspire you and teach you their culinary secrets and local techniques. The class starts with cooking lessons of the famous cheese empanadas, followed by the elaboration of aji. Aju or chile sauce is a very important part of the Ecuadorian cuisine. While the recipe varies from home to home, we will lean how to make it the traditional way, on a stone mortar and seasoned with various herbs and spices. At last, you will learn how to prepare the delicious canelazo, a traditional hot drink that is served on celebrations on the Highlands of Ecuador.
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Accommodation: Cultura Manor Hotel

GettyImages-950899656.jpg
Day 4

Quito- Otavalo - Peguche

After a leisurely breakfast, enjoy a yoga class on the terrace of your hotel with a stunning and peaceful view of Quito. After we freshen up, we continue our journey to the Northern highlands of Ecuador. Our first stop of the day is a visit to Otavalo city, famous for its Indigenous market! As you meet some of the friendly locals, you will be amazed by the detail of the showcased handcrafted arts. Next, we visit the indigenous Quechua community in Imbabura province just north of Otavalo. This stunning community is surrounded by towering mountain ranges, inactive volcanoes, parks and enchanting waterfalls.
After out visit to the Peguche Waterfall, you will have the chance to partake in a shamanic ceremony. Traditional alternative medicine has a long history in Ecuador, especially in rural areas. This ceremony will be performed by a local healer called 'shaman' who uses ancestral healing methods of the indigenous people of Ecuador. The tour will start with a short walk towards a sacred and energetic place of the Calera Community. Once there, he will use medicinal plans such as ortiga and chilca among other plants with the combination of water. After that, you will be invited to enter a small pond where you can get rid of the bad energies and absorb the good ones.
Upon check in at your hotel, the rest of the evening is yours at leisure.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Sachaji

GettyImages-1165827468.jpg
Day 5

La Esperanza- San Pablo

After a leisurely breakfast and wellness activity at the hotel, we set out to explore San Clemente. Experience the day to day lives of the indigenous people who are part of this community while you interact with them and learn about their culture. The guide will show you the Andean calendar and daily agricultural responsibilities. Take in the natural scenery on a stroll around the community where you can simply be part of the daily activities of the community like learning how to prepare a traditional Ecuadorian meal. After a fun filled day, arrive back at your hotel for some well-deserved relaxation.
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel Sachaji
GettyImages-1018398736.jpg
Day 6

Cochasqui - San Pablo Lake

After a wellness activity at the hotel followed by breakfast, we will travel to Cochasquí, the largest pre-Incan archaeological site in Ecuador that was constructed by the Quitu-Cara people.
Upon arrival, your guide shows you around while telling you about the history of the interesting of Ecuador’s pre-Inca people. It is not exactly clear why this site was built, however, archaeologists do know that at least one of the fifteen pyramids - all built between 950 C.E. and the Spanish conquest - has served to observe the starts and the sun. Cochasquí offers its visitors the unique opportunity to learn more about the Ecuadorian cultures before the Incas and the Spanish arrived in this beautiful country. Besides the archaeological treasures and the beautiful environment, you can also enjoy visiting the small museum on site.
Enjoy the afternoon at leisure upon returning to the hotel.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Sachaji
GettyImages-906880134.jpg
Day 7

Papallacta - Puna Ahuano

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and wellness activity at the hotel. After check out, you will drive over the Eastern Cordillera, up to an impressive altitude of 4065 meters, before arriving at the small town of Papallacta (3300 meters). On a clear day, you get amazed by magnificent views of the Antisana Volcano and the surrounding paramo highlands.
Upon arrival in Papallacta, you visit the thermal hot springs of Papallacta that are naturally heated by the volcanic activity in the area. Thanks to the volcanoes, this water contains minerals that make bathing here benefiting your mind and body. With this tour you will experience ultimate relaxation in a beautiful environment. While entrance is included, additional treatments are available at an additional cost.
We will continue our journey to the Itamandi Lodge which was built with a balance between nature, comfort and wellbeing of customers
You will start this trip to Itamandi EcoLodge on the Arajuno Bridge, where you will take a motorized canoe that goes upriver for 20 minutes to begin this great experience in the rainforest. On this boat trip, you can appreciate the magic and beauty of the Amazon rainforest traveling along a river that flows in a zigzag through the jungle like a giant snake, considered the main ecosystem of the Pacha Mama (Mother Earth). Once you get to the pier area of Itamandi EcoLodge, the staff will welcome you. From there you will continue to relax in the lounge with a fresh tropical snack and a briefing that will contain the general information about the accommodation and activities, provided by one of our naturalist guides, and thus proceed to lunch.
This evening you can either relax at this lodge or take part in an optional night walk. A flashlight and camera are the most important tools on this night excursion, which allows guests to listen to and capture the nocturnal sounds of fishermen bats, owls, insects, tarantulas, toads, and frogs. On a clear night, you will have the opportunity to observe hundreds of stars above you.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation: Itamandi Ecolodge (Main House)



GettyImages-1127273910.jpg
Day 8

Itamandi Lodge

Start the day with a peaceful breakfast as you listen to the sounds of nature all around you. Today, we start our morning with a canoe ride for 15 minutes upstream early in the morning to visit a parrot clay lick (Saladero). You will appreciate a unique site where parrots and parakeets gather in order to obtain the minerals that will help them to digest the fruits or seeds they have consumed. Hundreds of parrots and parakeets will approach the treetops and later will come down to the clay bank to eat this soil rich in minerals. It is essential to have binoculars to enjoy it.
Afterwards, we will head out for a hike through the primary and secondary Rainforest. Our expert naturalists teach you about the ecology and flora and fauna of the rainforest along the trail. You will observe a great variety of insects, a diversity of birds flying around us and with some luck reptiles or monkeys. This activity takes about 2 ½ -3hours.
In the afternoon we will eat lunch at the lodge before heading out to enjoy a cultural activity. An Amazonian Kichwa community will welcome you with open arms and give you the opportunity to learn about their way of life and the interaction they have with the forest. This encounter is going to show you that part of the Amazonia that you do not find on the maps: the Amazon people. Part of this visit to the community involves the demonstration of the famous “Chicha”, a fermented manioc drink that has become part of their festivals and daily use. You will take part in the preparation of this beverage and also try some of the local cuisine. You will finish the visit with a traditional dance performed by the kids in this community and you also have some time to buy some handicrafts, made by local people. This little business helps to support the indigenous people in their daily life. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Itamandi Ecolodge (Main House)

GettyImages-854515924.jpg
Day 9

Itamandi Lodge - Departure

After a final wellness activity and breakfast, check out and jump on the motorized canoe ride for 20 minutes to the Arajuno Bridge. Drive back to Quito across the eastern range of the Andes as we bid farewell to Ecuador and make out wait to the airport for our flight home. 
Meals: Breakfast
Have Questions? Email Us or call us at 754-457-9870
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