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Classic Ecuador

Overview

Choose this Tailor-Made itinerary or customise to create your own unique journey. Departs daily to suit your travel plans. Price based on Standard accommodation. Superior or Deluxe also available.

Take a 10 day snapshot tour of the wonderful country of Ecuador. Starting in the lively city of Quito, we explore the colonial centre, the Equatorial Monument and take a tour to the colourful market town of Otavalo. Then it’s on to Mindo cloud forest and Cotopaxi National Park. Take a ride on the famous “Devil’s Nose” train from Alausi before heading to Cuenca and Cajas National Park.

Trip Code: CLA-ECU

Travel Style: Tailor-Made Journey

Location: Ecuador

Flights: Internal flights included in itinerary. Ask us to help book your flights to/from South America.

WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS ITINERARY

  • You will begin this adventure in Quito, where you will discover a wonderful blend of traditional Ecuadorian culture. unique culinary experiences and the historic 'Old town', a UNESCO world heritage site. 

  • This itinerary is perfect for combining experiences featuring the Galapagos or the Ecuadorian Amazon, demonstrating the unique bio-diversity of Ecuador.

  • You will pay a visit to Cuenca a charming colonial town of cobblestone streets, traditional crafts and a geranium-filled balconies. 

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

On arrival, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. This service includes a driver and local English speaking guide, who will provide you with any useful information needed for your stay. He/she will be holding a sign with your name on it.

Should you not be able to locate them, please refer to the front of your itinerary for emergency contact details of our representative office.

Arrival transfer in Quito

Sitting at 2,850 metres above sea level high in the Andean foothills lies Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The city, a short distance from the Equator and with an amazing backdrop of snow-capped mountains, is known for its stunning colonial architecture and art-work. Founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city, Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centres in the Americas. It was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1978.

Quito

This morning you will be collected from your hotel to commence a colonial city tour of Quito exploring the bustling streets and squares of the largest historical old town in the Americas. Visit some of its most important churches such as the majestic La Compañía and iconic San Francisco which have stunning multi-ethnic designs and cultural heritage. We then travel by road to the Equatorial Monument, 25km (16 miles) north of Quito, which marks the exact middle of the World, Latitude 0º, where you can stand with a foot on each hemisphere. A certificate for having crossed the Equator is issued to each guest. The surrounding, volcanic scenery is stunning and you can choose to either visit the Ethnographic Museum or the Inti Ñan Museum, both located near the site of the monument. On completion of the tour, you will be returned to your hotel. Please note this is a private tour that includes a local English speaking guide.

Quito - City Tour and the Equator

We head 1.5hrs north of Quito to visit the Otavalo indigenous market; the most important indigenous market in South America. On the way, we pass by small villages, the snow capped volcano Cayambe, the San Pablo Lake, and the Imbabura Volcano. In the city of Cayambe, we make a quick stop to try the traditional biscuits before continuing to Otavalo. The market is the largest of its kind in South America, offering many different kinds of arts and crafts from local communities.

Quito Otavalo Market Excursion

Northwest from Quito is the valley of Mindo, nestled in the cloud forest and abundant in species of plants, birds, butterflies, reptiles, mammals, and waterfalls. We will see some of this unique flora and fauna using the town’s cable car and visit Mindo’s butterfly sanctuary or orchid garden.

We will return to Quito in the late afternoon.

Quito Private Mindo Excursion

After an early breakfast we depart Riobamba to the south, as we head for Alausi where we will board the train to “The Devil’s Nose.” En-route we will make several stops, visiting the Balbanera Church, Colta Lake, and the indigenous town of Guamote. Mid-morning we will arrival at the town of Alausi where we will begin our adventure on Ecuador’s famous “Devil’s Nose” train. After about a four hour ride, we will return to Alausi in the early afternoon where our bus will be waiting to take us to Ingapirca. Continuing on, we will pay a visit the Ingapirca fortress, located at 3,100m above sea level. These ancient ruins are the most important in the country. Their true history is still a mystery, as studies differ as to whether they were a fortress, an observatory or a temple. After visiting the ruins we will finish our trip on the road to Cuenca, arriving in the early evening.

Riobamba - Devil's Nose - Ingapirca - Cuenca

Breakfast in the morning prepares you for a city tour of Cuenca, considered by many the most beautiful city in all of Ecuador. Our walk will include a visit to the flower market, the cathedral, Calderon Park, the church of La Merced and its convent, among other attractions

Cuenca: Full Day Private City Tour

Just after breakfast, the tour will depart, heading northwest towards Cajas National Park. After a short drive, arrival in Cajas National Park will allow us to take part in different activities such as hiking, fishing, bird-watching, viewing flora and fauna, and more. We can visit the Interpretation Centre placed in La Toreadora Lake (the biggest and the most important in the whole complex). Here we will see pictures and interpretations of the park.

Cuenca: Cajas National Park

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Transfer to the airport fot onward destination

This is a suggested itinerary. All Tailor-Made journeys can be customised to suit. Add in additional highlights, spend more time in areas of particular interest to you, or extend your journey to visit other regions of Latin America or Antarctica.

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ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Why not add on a tour to the Galapagos at the end of your South American journey, spending 4 days exploring the beautiful archipelago that abounds with fascinating wildlife? Amidst spectacular volcanic scenery you will see a myriad of birds and animals from lava lizards to blue-footed boobies, Galapagos penguins, frigatebirds and giant tortoises. Find out more

  • Upgrade your Ecuador experience by experiencing the wonders of the Amazon. Stay in a luxurious eco-lodge tightly nestled in the Ecuadorian corner of the Amazon rainforest. Explore by canoe or on foot, search for colorful wildlife including toucans, parrots, monkeys or elusive giant otters. Experience the most diverse set of species on the planet. Find out more.

  • Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the archaeological marvel that is Machu Picchu. Discover the traditional rural life of the Lares region. Experience the evolving role of the original Andean people as you move from unique lodge to lodge, experiencing daily hikes with panoramic views of waterfalls, snow peaks and turquoise lakes and discovering breathtaking sites of ancient Inca civilisation. Find out more.

WHY TAILOR-MADE?

  • Personalise your itinerary
  • Access to great flight deals
  • Choose your accomodation
  • Tailored travel insurance options
  • Choose your preferred dates
  • Cater to your travel needs

Pricing & date

Travel Style Departing Duration PRICE FROM
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Important Information

  • Private airport trasnfers
    Internal flights as mentioned in itinerary 
    Accommodation with breakfast daily
    Sightseeing with local English-speaking guide
    Other meals where stated

    Exclusions

    International flights 
    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable) 
    Travel insurance
    Beverages
    Personal expenses
    Gratuities for tour guides/drivers
    Any items not mentioned as included

  • Available upon request, contact us for more details.

  • All entrance fees are subject to change without prior notice.

    This is a Tailor-Made itinerary which can be customised to create your own unique journey. Contact us to discuss your travel plans.

  • Season and availability

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore remain culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE