9 Day: Andes to Amazon Adventure


    Experience the diversity of Ecuador. Towering Andean peaks, steam belching volcanoes, tropical rainforests and fast moving river currents await you. Appropriate for guests 12 years and older.

    • From: $2,490pp for 8 nights.
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    Highlights: Whitewater rafting in the Amazon - Cruise two miles by canopy zip-line.

     

    Andes to Amazon Adventure Itinerary


    Day 1: Arrive Quito

    Surrounded by forested mountains and volcanoes at 9,350 feet above sea level, Quito is the second highest capital city in Latin America. Quito's elevation gives it a wonderful spring-like climate year-round. Upon evening arrival, you will be met by Andean Discovery staff and transferred to your hotel to rest before beginning your adventure.

    Overnight: Mercure Hotel Quito



    Day 2: Quito | Mindo Cloud Forest | Equator Monument

    After breakfast, travel with your guide by private vehicle to Mindo Cloud Forest in the Andean foothills. Cloaked by swirls of mist, the landscape is dominated by waterfalls and thick jungle. This is a bird-lover’s paradise – bring your binoculars to look for more than 20 species of hummingbirds, rare golden-headed quetzals, and orange-colored cock-of-the-rocks.

    Climb into a zip-line harness and soar over two-miles of treetop canopies. Then lower yourself into an inflated tube for a leisurely mile-long float down the gentle Mindo River. Keep your eyes peeled for the flora that flourishes here, including more than 170 orchid species.

    Refuel with a lunch of local favorites before heading to the Middle of the World Monument where you can straddle the Equator line. At the nearby Intinan Solar Museum try balancing an egg to test the unique physical forces of zero-degree latitude. Head back to Quito and enjoy dinner on your own at one of the city's many fine restaurants.

    Overnight: Mercure Hotel Quito (B, L)



    Day 3: Cotopaxi National Park

    Travel south along the Ecuadorian Sierra, known as the “Avenue of Volcanoes," to Cotopaxi National Park. The second highest mountain in the country, Cotopaxi is also one of the world’s most active volcanoes.

    The Inca considered Cotopaxi a sacred place and built a palace into its foothills. On that ground your hotel for the evening, Hacienda San Agustin de Callo, stands. Also a working farm and important archeological site, the hacienda’s history expands through the conquistadors to the early days of Ecuador’s republic.

    Following lunch, travel the old Inca paths by horseback. Pine scented forests lead the way to towns and villages inhabited by early native and European descendants. Upon your return, enjoy dinner at the hacienda. Savor the cheese and potato soup, called “locro,” served with swimming wedges of green avocado. Or opt for the tamales wrapped in achira leaves, quinoa croquets, or maize patties.

    Overnight: Hacienda San Agustin de Callo (B, L, D)



    Day 4: Cotopaxi | Banos

    Cotopaxi is calling and you will need a hearty breakfast for the morning’s 1-2 hour hike to Refugio Jose Rivas. From this base camp at nearly 16,000 feet above sea level, mountain climbers stage their summit. An optional additional ascent rewards you with views of glacial ice sparkling in the sunshine.

    Descend the volcano by vehicle and head to Lake Limpiopungo. This high altitude lake, ringed by mountains, welcomes year-round and migratory wildlife. Continue on to the cloud forest town of Banos. Situated at the base of ever-belching Tungurahua Volcano, Banos’ thousands of native orchids sweeten its air. Arrive at the beautiful Samari Spa and Resort, your home for the next two nights.

    Overnight: Samari Spa and Resort (B, L, D)



    Day 5: Banos | Tungurahua Volcano

    Enjoy a free day to explore Banos on your own. Opt to relax at the famous thermal hotsprings, stroll into the foothills, visit the neo-Gothic church, or book a spa appointment at the hotel. Revive with a bite of Banos acclaimed melcocha. Sugar cane taffy has a sweet taste that is an Ecuadorian favorite. Watch it being made by slapping the sugar against sturdy door frames.

    Overnight: Samari Spa and Resort (B, L, D)



    Day 6: Amazon Basin | Pailon del Diablo | Napo River

    An early breakfast and departure begins the exhilarating descent by private vehicle into the Amazon Basin. Stop at the thundering Pailon del Diablo waterfall, which can be observed from a suspension bridge.

    Travel down the Napo River by dugout canoe to your lodge. Climb into a hammock and enjoy expansive views of the river and rainforest.

    Overnight: La Casa del Suiso (B, L, D)



    Day 7: Napo River | White Water Rafting

    Today’s adventures include whitewater rafting on the Upper Napo River’s Class 3+ rapids. No experience is necessary – professional rafting guides will lead you along this unforgettable 15-mile journey. Take a short rainforest walk during a riverbank lunch stop and swim in calmer waters before hitting the final take out spot near the town of Tena.

    Overnight: La Casa del Suiso (B, L, D)



    Day 8: Ecuador's Paramo | Papallacta

    Searching for eco-expeditions takes you over the Eastern Andes and through thousands of microclimates from the tropical jungles to the alpine grasslands. Respect and conservation are keywords for the fragility of Ecuador's Paramo. Where once herds of wild llamas roamed now live white tailed deer, the Andean fox and the spectacled bear. With a pair of binoculars you might spot them or any of the close to 5,000 indigenous plants scattered across the plains. Combine relaxation with wondrous views at the natural hot springs of Papallacta. Heated from the thermal waters of surrounding volcanoes, the nearby snow-peaked top of Antisana pokes through clouds. Your Amazonian adventure comes to a close upon your arrival back in Quito’s La Mariscal neighborhood. The evening is open to shop for souviners from silver and leather goods and savor your last taste of quinoa soup.

    Overnight: Mercure Hotel Quito (B, L)


    Day 9: Quito, Ecuador | Home

    Transfer to the airport for your flight home.



    Included:
    • Private tour with professional guides.
    • Accommodations based on double occupancy.
    • All activities, transfers, and entrance fees as per itinerary.
    • Most meals as per the itinerary.


    Not included:
    • International round-trip airfare to Quito. (please ask for a quote)
    • Fees for passport and travel insurance.
    • Gratuities.

     

    To book or customise this itinerary call: 01227 671 154


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    From the UK

    Call: 01227 671 154

    From the USA

    New York: (646) 513-4227

    From South Africa

    Cape Town: 021 300 2166