In our 14-days roundtrip Highland and Jungle you will experience a wonderful journey with lots of excitment.
GO FOR IT!!!
Today you arrive in Quito and our driver will welcome you at the airport Mariscal Sucre. Quito is the capital of Ecuador and at an altitude of 2850 meters above sea level. With a population of 2 million Quito is the second largest city in Ecuador, after Guayaquil. The driver will bring you to the hotel in Quito were you will spend the night.
After breakfast the guide will meet you in your hotel and you will start with a city tour in the historic center of Quito. The guide will explain you all about the history of Ecuador and the capital. The historic center of Quito is declared by UNESCO. You will visit Plaza San Francisco, Plaza Grande and the famous church La Compañia.
In the afternoon you are going to the equator at Mitad del Mundo. In museum Inti Nan you are learning about history and all figures and facts about the Equator. With various experiments you will see that you are on the Equator, like putting an egg on a nail!
Afterwards the guide will bring you back to your hotel in Quito were you will spend the night.
Cotopaxi National Park tour is an exciting day that begins with spectacular views of the unique Andean landscape in the “Avenue of the Volcanoes”. Inside the national park we hike up to the refuge which is situated at 4800m` on the Cotopaxi snowline. Depending on conditions we will then hike up to 5000m where it can be possible to see the glacier. Lunch is served with spectacular views to the valley below and surrounding volcanoes, followed by a safety briefing to commence our downhill descent on mountain bikes! There are two sections to the mountain biking, the first of which we recommend to experienced riders. The journey finishes at the beautiful lagoon at the base of Cotopaxi. This tour goes to a height of 4800m`, it is important that you are prepared for this kind of altitude. We recommend acclimatizing at least two days around 3000 m`.
This full day cultural tour begins with a visit to a local indigenous market, Saquisilí (Thursdays) or Pujilí (Sundays).
The drive to Laguna Quilotoa – an amazing emerald lagoon inside a volcano crater at the height of 3,800m - displays beautiful views of the Andean mountains, passing the ancient canyon of Zumbahua and many indigenous towns and farmlands. Before lunch we will visit a local aboriginal home where you have the opportunity to interact with the inhabitants. The tour includes a steep hike down to the lagoons shore. It is important that you are well prepared for 3800m’, so we recommend acclimatizing at least one day around 3000m’.
Our 4-hours horseback riding tour is a super way to experience the atmosphere of the Andes and gain views of the volcanoes. We offer well cared for horses which are well-trained and are ideal for novice to expert riders.
The tour begins with instruction in a safe enclosure with the help of an experienced guide, to allow riders to gain confidence with the horses. The trail begins from the Hostería PapaGayo and heads toward the many volcanoes in the area such as Corazon and the Ilinizas. From the trail you have great views of the famous Cotopaxi and Rumiñahui.
The extinct volcano of Pasochoa 4,199m is one of the best places to see the famous Andean Condor. The climb offers super views to the mighty Cotopaxi and surrounding volcanoes, and inside the crater you can see the last remnants of primary Andean forest. The hike takes approx. 3-5 hours reaching a height of 4,199m and going back. It is important that you are prepared for this kind of altitude, we recommend acclimatizing at least one day around 3,000m. This is a perfect first hike. Return to Quito.
Free Day in Quito
Mindo is a rural parish just 2 hours from Quito (80 km – 48 miles), located in Los Bancos canton in the province of Pichincha. Mindo is known for its famous growth in ecotourism based in the Mindo – Nambillo Protected Forest. The beautiful landscapes and the exuberant flora and fauna of this cloud forest attract all types of
travelers and adventurers. Mindo is located between a high altitude zone and the rain forest which gives excellent biodiversity characteristics. You can find more than 500 spp. of birds, orchids, bromeliads and more than 40 spp. of butterflies. The temperature fluctuates around 15ºC – 24ºC (60ºF – 75ºF).
We start early in Quito taking the Mitad del Mundo – Calacalí – Los Bancos – Esmeraldas highway. When we get to Mindo we visit the butterfly farm and go on ecological walks to the rivers and waterfalls.
The Otavalo cultural tour is a wonderful way to discover and combine the famous artesian indigenous market in Ecuador, and some of the amazing views outside Otavalo.
The tour begins with a scenic drive north of Quito through the Sierra highlands, and our first stop will be at Quitsato Mitad del Mundo, and then onto Cayambe, where we can taste and learn about the town´s famous biscochos (local biscuits). We then arrive at the famous Otavalo Market where you will have time to eat lunch and buy handicrafts. The main market day in Otavalo is Saturday; however this tour can operate throughout the week.
Our professional guide will provide an explanation on the indigenous people of this area, such as the Quitu – Cara and other pre-Inca groups, and some information on the city. After exploring the market and having lunch we will depart Otavalo and make a stop at Laguna Cuicocha, which is located in a volcano crater, and contains two green islands. We´ll then visit Cotacachi. This town is famous for its leather goods – a great place to pick up a bargain! After that we will make our way back to Quito.
This tour leads us to Termas de Papallacta SPA, Resort and Convention Center, which is located 60kms east of Quito, the capital city of Ecuador in the heart of South America. In Papallacta, perched on a high Andean valley, at the entrance route to the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle, you are free to decide whether you prefer relaxing in the thermal baths or indulging in pampering spa treatments. The resort offers its visitors health, recreation, and adventure. On our way to Papallacta we will have the chance to stop at incredible viewpoints on the Antisana Reserve, before entering the Hot Springs. After relaxing and enjoying the magical Hot Springs of Papallacta we will return to Quito with a rejuvenated new body!
In the morning you fly from Quito to Lago Agrio
Meet in Lago Agrio at 10:00 am, where we will take private transportation to the entrance of the Cuyabeno Reserve where we will have a box lunch. At this point the visitors have to register in the Reserve’s office and pay the entrance fee. Here our Naturalist Guide will give information about the Reserve, important recommendations and other tips to begin the two hour canoe ride on the Cuyabeno River to Jamu Lodge. During the canoe ride you will get a first glimpse of the amazing plants and wildlife found in the jungle. You may also be able to see a variety of monkeys and other jungle animals, depending on the time and weather conditions. We will arrive at Jamu Lodge at around 4:30pm. At that time you will be shown to your rooms and can relax. After a siesta we will leave the camp for a swim in the lagoon and to watch a beautiful sunset. You will then return to the camp for dinner and can finish your first day in the jungle relaxing in a hammock or having a drink at the bar.
Cuyabeno Primary Forest. After breakfast we will take a trek in the primary forest for 3 to 4 hours where your guide will explain how this complex tropical ecosystem works. You will learn about medicinal plants and might be able to see some exotic birds or monkeys. We will then return to the camp for lunch and a siesta. In the afternoon, we will go piranha fishing, have a swim in the lagoon and watch the sunset. With a little luck you can observe the pink river dolphins or an anaconda sunbathing in a tree. You will return to the camp for dinner, and then take a night canoe ride to look for caimans.
Cuyabeno Siona Community Puerto Bolivar. After breakfast, we head to the Siona Community of Puerto Bolivar, the largest ethnic group in the Reserve. During this tour you will learn their customs, traditions and way of life. You will be part of the preparation of Casabe, a local dish made of yucca (carbohydrates are the principal food of the community). During the 2 hour canoe ride to the community, you can admire the existing fauna along the Rio Cuyabeno such as: birds, monkeys, snakes, pink dolphins and tortoises. A visit to the Shaman, the healer of the community, is also included. This is a full day excursion with lunch in the Community. After returning to the lodge, we will go for a short nocturnal hike through the primary forest in search of insects, spiders, geckos or scorpions, and listen to the night sounds of the jungle. Dinner.
Cuyabeo – Lago Agrio – Quito. Early in the morning, before breakfast, a bird-watching excursion is optional. Back at the lodge we will have breakfast and then return to Lago Agrio to take the bus or flight back to Quito.