Ecuador Highlights and Jungle Adventure

  • Destination:
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Price: Customized Vacation Package: Call for Pricing

8 Days / 7 Nights Customized Tour Package

Ecuador is one of the hottest vacation destinations in the world because it literally offers something for everyone. On this trip of a lifetime you will experience the rich history, fascinating culture, and old world charm of Colonial Quito, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. You will have a chance to browse the traditional Otavalo Artisans Market, the largest and most famous in South America. Marvel at the majestic natural beauty of the Ecuadorian Andes on a trip along the “Avenue of Volcanoes” as you make your way to Cotopaxi National Park for your amazing trek on top of a glacier. Then fly to the small town of Coca in the Amazon River Basin for your river adventure to the Sacha Lodge. There you will take exciting hikes in the rainforest, trips by canoe, and exhilarating canopy walks high in the tree tops to witness some of the world’s most diverse flora and fauna!

Day 1

Welcome To Ecuador!

Upon arrival in Quito you will pass through immigration, then customs, and through the doors to find your guide holding a sign with your name on it.  You will then be transferred to your hotel in the Colonial District of Quito.

Night at Hotel Patio Andaluz – Standard Room (B)

Day 2

Full Day Colonial Quito Guided Tour

Transport will be provided from your hotel to Quito’s old town.  The tour begins with a visit to the Independence Square, where the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral and El Sagrario Church are located. We will also visit the Church of La Compañia (1605), with its amazing gilt altars. This is considered as one of the finest examples of baroque art in America, and the Moorish influence can also be noted in the intricate designs carved on the magnificent red and gold columns and ceilings.

Afterwards we will take you to the church and monastery of San Francisco (1535). This is the oldest Ecuadorian church and the main altar inside is a spectacular example of baroque carving. There is also a fine collection of artwork, including paintings, sculptures and furnitures dating back to the 16th century.

Finally, we will drive up to the highest viewpoint of the city, “El Panecillo” hill from where we will have a spectacular view of Quito. After we will go to Quito’s Skyrail – Teleferico  Teleférico is located at the eastern end of the city, at the height of the boundary between the north and center of Quito. The Quito’s Teleferico is the perfect place for walking or trekking into one of the main peaks of the Pichincha volcano, Rucu Pichincha. Besides it offers one of the majors views of the city of Quito.

Night at Hotel Patio Andaluz – Standard Room (B)

Day 3

Full Day Guided Tour to Otavalo Market

Driving northwards from Quito, your trip begins in the town of Calderon, where the famous bread-dough figures and decorations (“masapan”) are made. We will then head for Cayambe, where we invite you to try the local specialty: biscuits or “Biscochos” before we arrive in the province of Imbabura, also known as “the Province of Lakes”. We will visit The Quitsato Sundial is a cultural-touristic place located at La Mitad Del Mundo, near to Cayambe, 47 km at North of Quito. It was built in 2006 and inaugurated in 2007 as an independent, non-profit project in a 24756 ft² (2300 m²) area. Its main goal is to share crucial aspects of the astronomical knowledge of the pre-hispanic cultures of the region. The expositions are carried out by community members as a self-sustaining project. As we approach Otavalo, you will have stunning views of the San Pablo Lake with the high peak of Imbabura Volcano behind it.

Next we’ll head for Cotacachi, a town renowned for its handmade leather goods.  If time allows, we’ll also visit Cuicocha, an ancient, eroded volcanic crater famous for the deep lake found within it. After lunch (on your own) in one of the local haciendas, our next stop is the town of Otavalo, home of the largest indigenous market of its kind in South America. You’ll arrive just in time to bargain for beautiful tapestries, local paintings, hand-knitted wool sweaters, socks and gloves, wood carvings, silver jewelry, embroidered blouses and straw hats, to name only a few of the items on offer. Then we will visit Condor Park and return to Quito.

Night at Hotel Patio Andaluz – Standard Room (B)

Day 4

Full Day Guided Tour to Cotopaxi Park

The tour begins with a 2-hour drive southwards along the Pan-American Highway, also known as “The Avenue of the Volcanoes”, to Cotopaxi National Park. You can simply enjoy the views of the world’s highest active volcano and the natural surroundings or take pleasure in a 1-hour trek to the José Rivas refuge at 4800m above sea level. Afterwards we invite you to enjoy a delicious lunch.

Night at Hotel Patio Andaluz – Standard Room (BL)

Day 5

Transfer to the Amazon Rainforest and the Sacha Lodge

Depart Quito´s airport at 11:00am and take the 30 minute flight over the Andes Mountains leads you to a bustling oil town called Coca located in the Amazon Basin. A quick lunch in Sacha´s private house and then its off to the town docks where you will board Sacha´s private canoes for the 2 hour journey down river to Sacha´s Lodges property.

A 30 minute hike through the rainforest  leads you to lake Pilchicocha.  Here, you are met by native workers to paddle you across the lake to your final destination. Arrive at Sacha Lodge around 15:30 or 16:00 pm (subject to change).

Swim in Lake Pilchicocha, which is a black water lake home to many species of fish and animals. A refreshing swim after arriving may be just what you need after being in the equatorial heat all day. Bird observing from the mini tower offers guests an excellent opportunity to view several species of birds common around the lodge. Also a great place to watch the sun set. Visit the butterfly house with  your  naturalist  guide  to view the beautiful colors of many different species of butterflies.

After dinner, accompany your naturalist guide on a night walk through the rainforest to view the hundreds of different species of animals that can only be found at night. Or maybe a canoe ride on the   lake   to   view   the   spectacled   and   black caimans with their glowing orange eyes as you silently  paddle  across  the  lake  to  get  a  closer look.

Night at Sacha Lodge – Standard Room (B/L/D)

Day 6

Day in the Amazon Rainforest

Today you will begin the morning activity between 6:00 and 7:00. Start with a walk along the Liana Chica Trail and arrive at the canopy walk where you will find spectacular views of the rainforest canopy and the many different species of vibrantly colored birds. Designed to be a self-standing rigid suspension canopy walk, it is one of only a few in the world! Located within Sacha´s private reserve, 2 miles from the shores of the Rio Napo and 1 mile from the lodge, the bird walk gives guests the opportunity to get an up close and personal view of the rainforest canopy.

Two of the three towers have observation decks every 12 meters making towers accessible for everyone.  The canopy walkway is at 36 meters high and 275 meters long, giving guests a “birds eye view” of all the wonders and beauty the tropical rainforest has to offer.  The canopy walk is designed as a sturdy walkway enabling guests to casually move along while enjoying the spectacular views.

After the canopy walk, you will take the Liana Grande through terra firma and igapo   forest habitats where native guides will explain many different species of medicinal plants that have been being used in their culture for hundreds of years.  The Liana Grande will turn into the trail Higueron, which will take you through pristine primary forest with huge Kapok and Fig trees towering hundreds of feet above your head.

After lunch, you may choose to take a leisurely hike along the Rio Napo, or choose a little more challenging hike on the trail Leoncillo to try and spot the elusive dusky titi monkey.   Either way the trails will lead you back to the main boardwalk for your final hike and canoe ride back to the lodge.

Night at Sacha Lodge – Standard Room (B/L/D)

Day 7

Hiking and Canoeing in the Flooded Amazon Rainforest

Leaving the lodge after breakfast, you begin your hike on trail Lagartococha.  This trail offers you the chance to learn more about the native people and their relationship with the forest. Learn about the trees where native people believe the spirits of their ancestors live, and the mysterious “dwende” or devil-man of the forest.

After arriving at lake Lagartococha, take a tranquil canoe ride through a natural swamp, which is the home of anacondas, caimans, and capyba- ras. After the canoe ride, a walk on the other side of Largatococha may give you the opportunity to spot capuchin or squirrel monkeys playfully jumping through the trees.

Return from the walk or canoe trip and head back to the lodge for a refreshing dip in the lake, or a nice relaxing nap in your personal hammock on your private balcony.

After lunch, your native guide will teach you how to fish for the infamous razor-toothed piranha. Keep in mind that piranhas will never attack a person and swimming at the same time is perfectly safe and fun!

Around 15:30 you will begin what many think is the best trail at Sacha, a silent canoe ride through the flooded Amazonian forest where you have a good chance of being surrounded by troops of squirrel, capuchin, and howler monkeys.  Keep your eyes peeled for the shy and elusive river otter as well as the incredibly well camouflaged three-toed sloth!

After your eye-popping ride through the flooded forest, you will arrive at Sacha´s 135-foot wooden tower built around an ancient Kapok tree.  Get close up views of vibrantly colored birds through Sacha´s powerful scopes, and watch the sun set with an amazing view of Mount Sumaco, a volcano, and possibly a view of the snow-covered caps of the Andes!

Leaving the tower just before or after sunset will be an experience not soon forgotten.  A canoe ride back through the flooded forest at night will be an awe-inspiring experience. Listen to the symphony of frogs and insects as you navigate through the narrow flooded forest trail, keeping your eyes open for caimans.  Watch the several species of bats flying over your heads and listen to the many species of nocturnal birds making their eerie nighttime calls.  Finally, after your mesmerizing canoe trip through the Amazon, you will arrive back at lake Pilchicocha and the welcoming lights of Sacha lodge.

Night at Sacha Lodge – Standard Room (B/L/D)

Day 8

Return to Quito and Final Night in Ecuador 

Breakfast then a departure from the lodge at 07:30 a.m.  One last walk on the boardwalk to the river, and from there a 2 hour canoe ride back to Coca for your 35 minute flight back to Quito. Arrive Quito at 12:30 p.m. Transfer from airport to Hotel in Quito and have the remainder of the day at leisure.

Night at Hotel Patio Andaluz – Standard Room

 

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