Andes to Amazon

Andes to Amazon
Andes to Amazon
Andes to Amazon
Andes to Amazon
Chimborazo Volcano, Andes, Ecuador
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Reviews
  • Dates
  • Exodus

The best of mainland Ecuador: wildlife, jungles, volcanoes and the coast

Stunning Andean scenery, colonial architecture, fascinating Indian markets and verdant cloud forests are just the start. Follow the Avenue of the Volcanoes with great views of snow-capped volcanoes such as Cayambe and Chimborazo, before boarding the 'Devil's Nose' train to switchback down the western Andean slopes. In the Amazon Rainforest we discover the jungle and its incredible biodiversity, before ending at the Pacific coast to discover the mangroves by boat and visit a cacao plantation.

Highlights
* Visit colonial Quito, the Otavalo Indian market and Cuenca's UNESCO Heritage Reserve * Overnight in the peaceful Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve * Two nights to soak up the sounds of the Amazon Rainforest * Ride the famous 'Devil's Nose' train * Visit the ruins of Ingapirca and Cajas National Park * Take a mangrove boat trip by the Pacific Coast and visit a Cacao plantation
Food

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 3 dinners are included. Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style with toast, cereal, eggs, fruits and tea/coffee all available. For lunch and dinner, the tour leader will recommend various options in convenient locations, usually booking restaurants and eating with the group. Vegetarians can be catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests.

Destinations
  • Devil's Nose Train
  • Ingapirca
  • Quito
  • Chimborazo
  • Guayaquil
  • Otavalo
  • Cuenca
  • Banos
  • Adventure Holidays in South America
  • South America
  • Ecuador
  • Andes
Tour Types
  • Wildlife
  • Cultural
  • Snow Activities
  • Natural Wonders
  • Adventure
  • Scenic
  • Active
  • Winter
  • Singles
Day 1 : Start Quito.

The group flight usually arrives into Quito this evening and clients will be met and transferred to the start hotel. Land Only clients can make use of our free airport transfer to the start hotel today - please read the joining information for more details. *Accommodation: Hotel Vieja Cuba (or similar)* * *

Day 2 : Quito city tour; Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve.

This morning's short walking tour of Quito is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers. The heart of old Quito is a colonial masterpiece and the capital is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in South America, as well as being a UNESCO site. Leaving Quito behind we drive towards the North-Western slopes of the Andes where Bellavista Cloud Forest is located. Situated at the top of the Tandayapa Valley, Bellavista is a private reserve bursting with orchids, bromeliads, toucans, tanagers and hummingbirds. The area is a paradise for naturalists with a vast network of hiking trails. *Accommodation: Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve & Lodge (or similar)** *

Meals: breakfast,dinner

Day 3 : Spot birds in Bellavista; to hacienda.

An early start this morning to appreciate the diversity of Bellavista and spot some of its many bird species. The reserve has previously won awards for its high bird count - there are 20 different species of Hummingbird to look for! Following this morning's excursion we drive towards Northern Ecuador and the beautiful hacienda that will be our home for the next few nights. *Accommodation: Hosteria Pantavi (or similar)** *

Meals: breakfast,lunch,

Day 4 : San Clemente Indigenous Community.

After breakfast we travel towards the foothills of the Imbabura Volcano where the indigenous community of San Clemente is located at 2900m. The community consists of a number of local indigenous families whose main livelihood comes from farming and agriculture. We have a guided tour by one of the families, who will introduce us to a number of native and medicinal plants, explain traditional embroidery techniques, tell us about their culture and show us the day to day activities that take place within the community. A traditional lunch will be prepared using locally grown produce. This afternoon we drive back to our hacienda with the rest of the afternoon free to relax in the beautiful gardens of Pantavi. *Accommodation: Hosteria Pantavi (or similar)*

Meals: breakfast,lunch,

Day 5 : Walk at Cuicocha Crater Lake; visit Indian Otavalo.

Drive to Cuicocha Crater Lake at approximately 3000m. This beautiful caldera (volcanic crater) is about 2 miles/3km wide and was formed over 3000 years ago by a massive volcanic eruption. We start a scenic walk along one section of the lake (up to 3 hours duration) to take in the impressive scenery, before continuing our journey to Otavalo. Otavalo is situated in a valley at 2250m, the town is well known for its bustling Indian Market. There are many of stalls and locals wear traditional colourful clothes - a fantastic introduction to Andean life and a good place to pick up some souvenirs. We have some time to soak up the atmosphere before continuing our journey. Overnight in a 400-year old colonial hacienda. *Accommodation: Hacienda SuMerced (or similar)*

Meals: breakfast,

Day 6 : Visit Papallacta Hot Springs; to Amazon Rainforest. 

A short journey driving over the dramatic (and breathless at 4069m!) Papallacta Pass. Located east of Quito, the Papallacta Hot Springs are regarded as the nicest of all Ecuador. We have some time to bathe in both hot and cold pools as the snow-capped Antisana Volcano (5758m) looms over the horizon.  We continue our journey, driving around the flanks of the Antisana Volcano before the descent into the Amazon Basin to our rainforest lodge. After a short briefing we take a night walk to discover our new surroundings - there are fantastic night time sounds to listen out for, a wonderful experience amidst the humidity of the rainforest.  *Accommodation: Liana Lodge (or similar)*

Meals: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 7 : Rainforest exploration; AmaZoonico Animal Rescue Centre.

Discover the Amazonian basin on foot. The incredible biodiversity of the rainforest environment will be explained by our indigenous guide, who will show us the most interesting and medicinal plants. There is a good chance of seeing kingfisher, parrot, oropendula and other bird species. Squirrel and Capuchin monkeys can be seen in this area, although other larger mammals are considerably more shy and harder to spot. The insect life is also fascinating, with beautiful butterflies flashing by and Army ants and Leaf-cutters on patrol. Visit the AmaZoonico Animal Rescue Centre where we can see some of the forest's larger inhabitants such as tapir, capibara, pecari and various species of monkey. *Accommodation: Liana Lodge (or similar)* * *

Meals: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 8 : To Banos; visit Devil's Couldron waterfall.

Begin the wonderfully scenic drive west along the 'Road of the Waterfalls' with spectacular views of the upper Amazon Basin and the Andes towering above. The climb back to the highlands is mesmerising as we watch the ecology change and the many waterfalls cascade from the high peaks into the lush valley of the Pastaza River. There are good photo opportunities along the way, including a visit at the Pailon del Diablo (Devil's Cauldron) waterfall. We pass through Banos, a picturesque hot spring and pilgrim town adjacent to the 5000m high volcano of Tungurahua. There is some time to explore Banos before we drive to our hacienda in Patate.   *Accommodation: Hacienda Leito (or similar)* * *

Meals: breakfast,

Day 9 : Walk in Chimborazo N.P.; to Riobamba.

Drive to the region of Chimborazo for a short walk (around one hour) in Chimborazo National Park, located at approx. 4600m. Due to the equatorial bulge the summit of Chimborazo is the furthest place from the centre of the earth! In the national park there are good possibilities to observe vicuñas, a relative of the llama. This afternoon our journey continues towards Riobamba where we stay overnight. *Accommodation: Hacienda Abraspungo (or similar)* * *

Meals: breakfast,

Day 10 : 'Devil's Nose' train ride; to Ingapirca and Cuenca.

Today involves a colourful train ride across the Andes through the steep and famous 'Nariz del Diablo' or 'Devil's Nose' - one of the most difficult railways to have been constructed. If the weather is clear, we can see volcanoes as we chug slowly down a steep series of switchbacks with impressive drops. Afterwards visit the incredible Inca architecture at Ingapirca, the largest Inca ruins in Ecuador. The Inca Empire stretched along the Andes north through Ecuador into Colombia and south through Peru and deep into Chile. Ingapirca has fine examples of their famed brickwork as well as a solar observatory. We descend from the highlands to colonial Cuenca where we stay for the next two nights. *Accommodation: Hotel Santa Lucia, Hotel Victoria, Hotel Carvallo (or similar)** *

Meals: breakfast,

Day 11 : Half day city tour of Cuenca.

Like Quito's old centre, Cuenca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a charming place to explore. A guided tour this morning takes in the remarkably intact old town, where many artisans have taken up residence amidst the narrow colonial streets and famous landmarks. The afternoon is free to discover the town at your own leisure. *Accommodation: Hotel Santa Lucia, Hotel Victoria, Hotel Carvallo (or similar) *

Meals: breakfast,

Day 12 : Walk in Cajas N.P.; to Los Chorreras.

A short drive this morning brings us to Cajas National Park, otherwise known as the 'Gateway to the Snowy Mountains' in local Quichua. This is a stunning area of lofty peaks, lagoons, lakes and rivers amidst pristine paramo vegetation. During a walk of around 2 hours we may encounter some of the 125 bird species recorded here, such as Yellow-billed pintails, Ecuadorean hillstar or Violet-throated metaltail. With good weather we are rewarded with stunning views of this well preserved national park during our walk. We stay in a hotel close to Cajas National Park for our last night in the Andean Highlands before we descend towards the coast.  *Accommodation: Hosteria Dos Chorreras (or similar)* * *

Meals: breakfast,

Day 13 : Mangrove boat trip; visit cacao plantation.

Today we descend towards the Pacific and visit the Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve where we take a boat excursion through the incredible mangrove forest. This important eco-system has both Red and Black mangrove species and provides opportunities for seeing a number of aquatic birds and other wildlife along the many small river inlets. In the afternoon we visit a cacao plantation to learn about the production of one of Ecuador's biggest exports. After this we travel to Guayaquil, the main port town in Ecuador, for our final evening together. *Accommodation: Grand Hotel Guayaquil (or similar) *

Meals: breakfast,lunch,

Day 14 : Depart Guayaquil.

The trip comes to an end today after breakfast and it's time to bid Ecuador and the rest of the group goodbye. Free transfers to Guayaquil airport are available to all clients today. Those on group flights will fly this evening and arrive in the UK the following day. 

Day 15 : Arrive London.

**

Included

All transport and listed activities
Tour leader throughout
Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Airport arrival transfers

Excellent trip with great variety

We loved our holiday to Ecuador because of the very varied itinerary, the stunning scenery, a very friendly group and because Eddy was a capable and enthusiastic tour leader. In addition, the quality of the food and accommodation exceeded our expectations. Our favourite place was the Chimborazo National Park with the walk down from base camp being exceptional for the tundra like scenery and the fabulous view of the snow-capped high peaks of the Andes. In addition, the Amazon Rain Forest was brilliant for the boat journey to the lodge, the fascinating night walk, the animal rescue centre, visit to a local family and the wonderful wellies which were a necessity! People were friendly everywhere, the hotels wonderful, with some providing whirlpool baths and food was great with good variety. Nowhere seemed too busy and we didn’t see too many tourists. Eddy, our tour leader, worked hard throughout, conveying his enthusiasm for the country which, combined with his warmth, made him one of the best guides we’ve had. All in all, a fabulous trip that I would recommend to anyone.

Rating: 5




Excellent trip with great variety

We loved our holiday to Ecuador because of the very varied itinerary, the stunning scenery, a very friendly group and because Eddy was a capable and enthusiastic tour leader. In addition, the quality of the food and accommodation exceeded our expectations. Our favourite place was the Chimborazo National Park with the walk down from base camp being exceptional for the tundra like scenery and the fabulous view of the snow-capped high peaks of the Andes. In addition, the Amazon Rain Forest was brilliant for the boat journey to the lodge, the fascinating night walk, the animal rescue centre, visit to a local family and the wonderful wellies which were a necessity! People were friendly everywhere, the hotels wonderful, with some providing whirlpool baths and food was great with good variety. Nowhere seemed too busy and we didn’t see too many tourists. Eddy, our tour leader, worked hard throughout, conveying his enthusiasm for the country which, combined with his warmth, made him one of the best guides we’ve had. All in all, a fabulous trip that I would recommend to anyone.

Rating: 5




Excellent trip with great variety

We loved our holiday to Ecuador because of the very varied itinerary, the stunning scenery, a very friendly group and because Eddy was a capable and enthusiastic tour leader. In addition, the quality of the food and accommodation exceeded our expectations. Our favourite place was the Chimborazo National Park with the walk down from base camp being exceptional for the tundra like scenery and the fabulous view of the snow-capped high peaks of the Andes. In addition, the Amazon Rain Forest was brilliant for the boat journey to the lodge, the fascinating night walk, the animal rescue centre, visit to a local family and the wonderful wellies which were a necessity! People were friendly everywhere, the hotels wonderful, with some providing whirlpool baths and food was great with good variety. Nowhere seemed too busy and we didn’t see too many tourists. Eddy, our tour leader, worked hard throughout, conveying his enthusiasm for the country which, combined with his warmth, made him one of the best guides we’ve had. All in all, a fabulous trip that I would recommend to anyone.

Rating: 5




Fantastic and Stunning!

A stunning first trip for us to South America - Ecuador has it all. This trip took us on a journey through all the ecosystems of this beautiful Country, from the turbid Amazon with it's humid jungle to winding mountain roads overlooking houses clinging impossibly to the slopes from where a living was hewn from fields bathed in cloud. Subtle changes in the costume of indigenous residents highlighted this varied community, whilst equally subtle changes became the norm as one climbs from the rain through the cloud forests to the highlands with vegetation that appears barren until you look closely at the beauty of the tiny alpine flowers and plants.

Rating: 5




You’ve got to see Ecuador

If you want variety then look no further; this trip had it all and more. Scenery (stunning), history, wildlife and culture. Boat trips, train rides, walking, easy hiking, wildlife spotting. Volcanoes, Rain Forest, Cloud Forest, the Andes, sugar and cocoa plantations. I even learnt how to use a blowpipe. Great weather throughout the two weeks; only rained for one day (in the rain forest, so expected).

Rating: 5




Andes to Amazon

Gret indroduction to ecuador (Land)

Rating: 5




Stunning beauty in a geologically active area.

Ecuador is a fascinating, varied and often stunningly beautiful. Apart from high up on some volcanoes, it is very green, with deep valleys dissecting the layers of rock formed of volcanic ash. The people are very friendly and the " indigenous " (as they are known) still live in traditional houses in some mountain areas and have colourful fresh food markets. The programme was well planned, taking in cloud forest, rain forest, the high Andes and the coastal plain. There were activities to appeal to various tastes including bird watching, exploring geologically active areas and wandering in the old colonial centres of towns like Quito and Cuenca. I enjoyed watching the scenery on the long coach journeys (occasionally obscured by rain, it being the wetter season). The hotels, especially the haciendas and the Santa Lucia in Cuenca, were comfortable and large portions of food usually tasty. With so many places included in the itinerary, the pace of the tour was fast with little "spare" time, but that enabled us to see and experience so much.

Rating: 5




The Pluses and Minuses

This is a nice tour with some highs and low points. Highs: Sachatamia Lodge for birds and I mean lots of different types and numbers. Chachimbiro Hots Springs, excellent We got onaly a 10 minutes and a 30 minute boat ride in the Amazon River Basin. Cajabama Indian Market, great local color of locals selling and buying fruit, vegetables, plants. Hiking in Cajas National Park for animals viewing and great scenery Churute Eloological Reserve for mangrove swamp boat ride to see many birds and bird species. Lows: San Clemente Indigenous Community, slow moving and boring. Papallacta Hot Springs, over crowded Not enough boat on the river time in the Amazon Basin. Should be at least 2 hours per 2 days. Banos, over rated town

Rating: 5




An excellent but busy trip

This is an excellent tour in a country where variety really is the spice of life. You go from the Andes highands, in fairness this is most of the trip with heights, not including the peaks of 2600 to 3600 metres, to the cloud forest, rain forest and the hot and very humid coastal belt. It is very well designed but there are some long coach days. For example on day ten (to Cuenca) we did not finish until after dark having had two long coach rides. It also helps to be reasonably fit if you are to enjoy the more strenuous walks at Chimborazo and Cajas national parks. There are things I would leave out if I was designing the itinerary. For example there is the AmaZoonica Animal rescue centre which says it is not a zoo but it is really and a crowded and disorganised one at that. The Ingapirca ruins were really a non event and mostly reconstructions. One disappointment was the Mangrove boat trip. It did not happen. This was January 2nd and the boatmen simply did not turn up.

Rating: 5




Excellent Trip

We flew in 3 days early to see more of Quito, which was a good idea as had altitude headache first day. Could easily spend more time in Quito. Tour is full on, varied and really good. Poundland ponchos came in useful for showers, even in the hailstorm as we weren’t cold because we were walking. Spent $300 in total. Would recommend to anyone of reasonable fitness. Excellent holiday

Rating: 5



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Dates Price Single Availability
02-Apr-2021 for 14 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
02-Apr-2021 for 13 Nights Land only Visit Website
30-Jul-2021 for 14 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
30-Jul-2021 for 13 Nights Land only Visit Website
03-Sep-2021 for 14 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
03-Sep-2021 for 13 Nights Land only Visit Website
17-Sep-2021 for 14 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
17-Sep-2021 for 13 Nights Land only Visit Website
22-Oct-2021 for 14 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
22-Oct-2021 for 13 Nights Land only Visit Website
05-Nov-2021 for 14 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
05-Nov-2021 for 13 Nights Land only Visit Website
17-Dec-2021 for 14 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
17-Dec-2021 for 13 Nights Land only Visit Website

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tour details

This tour is operated by Exodus

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Group Size:6 - 16
Suitable For: 16 to 99
Difficulty:Leisurely / Moderate
Meals:12 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners.
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