A land of contrasting landscapes Ecuador is captivating in it’s scenery, history, culture and wildlife. From the Pacific coast, Andean mountains and Amazon forest, visitors to Ecuador will experience pristine beaches, volcanic hot springs, lakes, jungles, rainforest and mountains.
Quito is the Ecuadorian capital and the first city in the world to be recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site. The historic city is set in the Ecuadorian highlands covering an area of 324 km2. The characterful and charming centre of Quito is however compact enough to travel by foot and is full of cobbled streets and whitewashed colonial buildings.
With mountain views, parks and it’s own cable car system Quito is a beautiful city to explore. It is also an excellent base for exploring the surrounding areas such as the Pichincha volcano and the Andean village of Otavalo, best known for it’s richly coloured textiles.
Quito is also the gateway to the Avenue of the Volcanoes which runs south to Riobamba. With 7 volcanoes lining the route including Chimborazo the highest peak in Ecuador and the perfectly conical Cotopaxi volcano, the Avenue is a scenic extravaganza with crystal clear lagoons and lush green valleys. Dotted with traditional Andean villages each with their own character and most with a local market the avenue immerses you in Ecuadorian life and culture.
From the Avenue of the Volcanoes, Baños known as the adventure capital of Ecuador can be easily accessed. A small city lying to the south of Quito, Baños is a gateway to the nearby Amazon basin with natural hot springs and treks to the active volcano Tungurahua. With white water rafting, hiking there is something to whet even the most adventurous traveller.
Cuenca lies nearer the end of the Avenue and is another beautiful colonial city full of museums, plazas and churches.
For nature and wildlife enthusiasts the ‘Cloud Forest’ is a must. Just an hour and a half outside Quito, the Cloud Forest is a subtropical rainforest teaming with endemic wildlife and fascinating flora and fauna. The rainforest can be experienced from either the fertile forest floor or the lofty heights of the jungle canopy. With toucans, hummingbirds, spectacled bears, elephant ear plants and numerous other species of plants and animals there is sure to be something that will fill the explorer full of wonderment.
To the east of Ecuador lies the Ecuadorian Amazon which can be accessed from either Coca by boat or motorised canoe or by road from Lago Agrio. Staying in a range of lodges dotted deep within the jungle travellers will be able to spot capybaras, pink dolphins, jaguars and monkeys on guided tours. Activities such as piranha fishing, jungle treks and bird watching.
In Guayaquil modern meets traditional with modern hotels, multiplex cinemas combining with neighbourhoods such as Las Penas, which are full of cobbled streets and brightly painted wooden houses. Sitting on the River Guayas, Guayaquil has a rich maritime history and is also the official gateway to the Galapagos archipelago. There have been recent projects to rejuvenate the city, one of which is result with the Malecon 2000, a 2.5km walkway way which runs along the riverside and provides access to a number of the city’s attractions.
To fully savour the delights of Ecuador a private tour is recommend. The below is an excellent example of what can be covered in 19 days including the infamous Galapagos Islands
Quito 2 Days
Avenue of the Volcanoes 4 Days
Baños 2 Days
Riobamba 1 Day
Cuenca 2 Day
Guayaquil 1 Day
Galapagos Islands 7 Days
Of course this is your dream so anything is possible. The trip can be lengthened, shortened, durations at locations changed or another country can be added such as Peru. All you need to do is ask and we will provide you with tailored options.