Welcome to Ecuador. From its sunny beaches to mesmerising landscapes, cultural destinations and historical towns, Ecuador is an ideal destination for anybody who wants to experience the best of South America. Once you have landed in Quito, we will arrange a pick up from the airport to drive you to the accommodation. We prefer if you arrive in the morning so that we can plan out the day to its fullest. Once you have checked in and freshened up after your long flight, get ready for one of the most exciting lunches you would have ever had; at the “Ciudad Mitad del Mundo” (Middle of the world). The grounds here contain the Monument to the Equator, which highlights the exact location of the Equator (from which the country takes its name). Here, the non vegetarians can sink their teeth into the traditional guinea pig along with other traditional food that suits both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Post this, we will visit Ecuador’s mythic statue, honouring the geologist’s discovery of what they thought was the middle of the world. From here we will move to the actual middle of the world, a few meters next to the touristic place, where travellers will learn scientific facts about the power of the earth through the equator. As a demonstration, they will put an egg on a nail, where it will stand more easily thanks to the gravity difference that exists right on the equator line. The night ends with another cultural dinner where you will learn a lot more about life in the capital city. Retire to your rooms to rest the night away.
Otavalo And Peguche Waterfalls
Post breakfast, we will depart for Otavalo. This town, in the Andean highlands, in northern Ecuador is most well known for its market in the central Plaza de Ponchos, where traditionally clad indigenous townspeople sell colorful textiles and handicrafts. This is because the region is largely made up of the Otavalo indigenous group. Enjoy your walk through hundreds of artisanal products, each full of colour and rich in culture. If time permits, we can visit the Tejidos El Obraje Museum which is famous for its textile exhibits and weaving demonstrations. Once we have wrapped up with lunch, we will immediately proceed to the famous Peguche waterfall. 18 m in height, the waterfall is a beautiful and spiritual ritual site. The night before the Inti Raymi eve, a traditional religious ceremony of the Inca Empire in honor of the god Inti, people come to the waters of the waterfall for a holy bath to prepare themselves spiritually and celebrate the holidays. The waterfall can be admired from either side, but we also know a secret path! Dinner will be served back in town and you have the night to do your own explorations around.
Get ready to ride up the highest cable car in the world. After breakfast, we will be leaving for the Pichincha Volcano, an active stratovolcano that rests by Quito. It will bring you 12,943 ft high so you can start trekking up to Pichincha Volcano (15,413 feet high). For those of you who don’t know, Pichincha Volcano is one of the most popular hikes in Ecuador. From here you can admire the whole city of Quito and get panoramic views that are truly unique to this region. The path gets tighter and tighter when getting closer to the top, which adds an intensified feeling to this trek. Climbing the Pichincha Volcano is a very common acclimatization hike. It is roughly 10 kilometres in length and takes around six hours to complete, depending on the experience of the hiker. Usually, the hike will take 4 hours to the peak, and another 2 returning. There are two groups that will be led on different trails depending on their fitness levels:
Advanced group: Taken to the top of Pichincha.
Starters group: Go around the mountain and discover some caves while getting the chance to admire different viewing points.
Once the group is reunited, we have the choice to ride a bike down the Pichincha or take back the cable car. Lunch will be eaten during the trek and travellers will then be driven to their hotel.
Quilotoa Crater Lake
This gorgeous deep blue lagoon in the heart of an active volcano, right in the midst of the Andes, is a sight for sore eyes. You cannot leave Ecuador without visiting this natural wonder. This 3-km wide crater is filled with deep blue water which, on sunny days, reflects the light and the surrounding cliffs. You can take a walk to the heart of the Quilotoa crater (12 841 feet high) which has been made from a volcano, and discover it in a unique way – by kayaking on its lake! It is also possible to set up camp at the lake for the night, or you can choose to head back to your hotel. Once we have had our time here, we will drive to Baños, where everyone can get a much deserved rest at the hotel after these strenuous days of hiking.
Baños de Agua Santa
Finally a day that spells relaxation. On this day we will be heading deep into the Ecuadorian wilderness to a place known as Casa del Arbol. Located 2,600 metres above sea level, you will be rewarded with a great view of the grand Mt. Tungurahua, a nearby active volcano. The treehouse itself makes for an attraction, but the real star of the show is a swing hanging from one of the tree’s skinny branches. With a seat belt to hold you in place, the swing arcs riders out into the air over the canyon. You can also indulge in a bunch of activities like ziplines, balanced displayed as a wooden log up to the water, and more. After this, we’ll set out for a walk deep into the forest which will lead us to a huge waterfall called “Pailon del diablo”, which translates into Devil’s cauldron. A tributary of the upper Amazon river basin, it is a massive 80 metres tall. This powerful waterfall is always in full flow because it rains all the time in this region of Ecuador. You will also get to see different waterfall along the track and the impressive bridges that lead up to them. In the evening, we can look forward to experiencing a ceremony of rituals conducted by the indigenous communities of Ecuador while enjoying their local meal. Following this, we will move back to our hotel and rest after a day well spent.
Baños de Agua Santa
Begin your day with an adventure! You’ll love white water rafting along the Pastaza river. These are a range of class III and IV rapids where you can enjoy a few minutes of cruising along peacefully, but these rapids do provide a great deal of adrenaline. Our next step will be to divide ourselves into two groups depending on everyone’s individual preferences:
Adventurous group: These group members will be going to “Parque de Aventura” (adventure park), where they can indulge in a host of activities like ziplines, wall climbing, a moving bridge and many other outdoor adventurous activities.
Nature lovers group: The second group will be taken on a wonderful waterfall tour, horseback riding and an easy mountain hike. It’s the best way to explore Ecuador’s nature.
After this the guests will be driven back to Quito.
Our Ecuadorian adventure officially ends today. If you aren’t flying out early in the morning, then you have the rest of the day to visit a few more attractions around the city like the Metropolitan park or Centro Historico. We hope you had a great experience that will leave you with a smile on your face and memories for a lifetime.