An Example Itinerary

Andes Mountains and Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador

Ecuador

10 Day Itinerary

Guide Price

£6000pp

$7200pp

Experience Ecuador’s diverse highlights by blending Quito’s colonial architecture with the natural spectacles of the Amazon and the Andes. Venture to the Amazon rainforest for birdwatching, river trips and nature trails, then uncover Cotopaxi National Park’s breathtaking natural wonders, including waterfalls and volcanoes.

Highlights

  • Spend a full day exploring the colonial architecture of Quito
  • Stay in a remote lodge in the Amazon rainforest
  • Birdwatching, river trips and nature trails
  • Explore the Cotopaxi National Park in the Andes Mountains
  • Discover waterfalls, volcanoes and sleepy Andean towns

Day 1 - 2: Quito, Ecuador

Explore the history and architecture of Ecuador’s capital city.

Stay in a stylish hotel in Quito’s Old Town neighbourhood.

Quito is the highest constitutional capital in the world. Surrounded by volcanoes and Andean peaks, this was the first city to be declared a UNESCO world heritage site. With beautifully preserved colonial architecture and vibrant markets, this is an excellent starting point for any trip to Ecuador.

With two nights at Casa Gangotena, our favourite boutique hotel in Quito, you will have a full day to explore this exciting city. We will arrange for our guide to meet you at the hotel in the morning and take you for a gentle overview of the city’s history and most impressive sites. The morning will be designed to suit your personal interests and will include the unmissable colonial architecture this city is famous for.

Day 3 - 6: The Amazon Rainforest

Get above the treetops on suspended walkways above the jungle canopy

Kayak and swim in the Amazon river in search of river otters

Sacha Lodge sits within a 5,000-acre ecological reserve in the Ecuadorian Amazon on the banks of the black water of Pilchicocha lake. ‘Sacha’ is the Quechua Indian word for forest, and the name sums up the experience of this remote jungle lodge.

There are over 60 species of mammals within the Sacha Reserve, from the tiny pygmy marmoset to the 17-pound red howler monkey. Take a canoe trip down the Napo River to the edge of Yasni National park, where you will find a parrot lick frequented by hundreds of technicoloured parrots. The butterflies in this forest are mesmerising, and Sacha Lodge is home to one of the largest butterfly farms in Ecuador. Designed as a live exhibition conservatory, the Butterfly House is now successfully breeding nearly 40 endemic butterfly species.

Follow in the footsteps of expert nature guides as they mimic the sound of wildlife in the trees, coaxing them out of hiding for you to see. Climb to the top of Sacha’s 135-foot observation tower or along the 940-foot walkway fixed above the treetops for an opportunity to spot dozens of animals seldom seen from the ground.

Each of the 26 en-suite bungalows is built with high thatched roofs with a ceiling fan to keep the rooms cool and private shaded terraces with hammocks. The Balsa lounge is at the heart of the lodge with views over Pilchicocha Lake where otters play and birds search for fish. It is the perfect place to read a book, spot wildlife and enjoy a sundowner at the end of a day of adventure.

At the end of your stay in the Amazon fly back to Quito for international flights home or continue the wildlife adventure and fly to the Galapagos Islands.

Day 7 - 10: Cotopaxi, Central Highlands

Stay at a hacienda on the site of an Incan Palace

A short drive from the Cotopaxi Volcano and National Park

San Agustin de Callo sits on the site of one of Ecuador’s most important archaeological sites. The 15th-century hacienda has served as an Incan fortress and an Augustinian Monastery. We love the deep sense of history rooted in this carefully preserved family-run home where Incan walls and 21st-century comforts blend seamlessly together.

On your doorstep, explore miles of Andean landscape on foot, on bikes or from the saddle. Included in your stay is a private visit to the foothills of Cotopaxi Volcano. Enjoy gentle walks with views of the volcano and a good chance of spotting the Andean condor, the world’s largest flying bird swirling in the thermal breezes. Lunch will be at a local mountain lodge before returning to San Agustin de Callo in the afternoon.

We have also included a drive through the famous ‘Avenue of the Volcanoes.’ Start with a visit to the small and colourful town of Baños. The Andean town of Baños is located on the cusp between the highlands and the Upper Amazon basin. From this charming Andean town, you will enjoy views of the Tungurahua volcano. Then drive to the ‘Devil’s Cauldron’ and ‘Manto de la Novia’ waterfalls for a hike through these beautiful forests that transition from highland to jungle flora. Then return to Baños for a walk through the cobbled streets. Taste some delicious homemade toffee and visit local workshops. Enjoy lunch at the home of one of the best Ecuadorian rock climbers with incredible stories recounted around the kitchen table.

What is typically included

2 nights with breakfast at Casa Gangotena
4 nights full board at Sacha Lodge
3 nights full board at San Agustin de Callo
Domestic land transfers
Shared guiding experiences at Sacha Lodge
Private guiding at Casa Gangotena and San Agustin de Callo

Andes Mountains and Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador

10

Day Itinerary

Guide Price

£6000pp

$7200pp

$7200pp

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