NOTE : DUE TO CORONA ALL OUR CYCLING / HIKING / ADVENTURE PACKAGES ARE CURRENTLY ON REQUEST PLEASE FOR MORE INFORMATION OR DEPARTURES PLEASE CONTACT OUR CONCIERGE TEAM AT CONCIERGE@ABOVE-5.COM
This is a privately operated first class catogory tour - you will not be combined with another group
Ecuador may be relatively small, but in addition to its many giant volcanoes, Amazon destinations, beach towns and cloud forest resorts, the mainland offers exclusive access to a true natural wonder of the world: the unique Galápagos Islands. Train routes pass through the dramatic highlights of the Andes, including the impeccably preserved colonial centers of Quito and Cuenca, then descending thousands of feet towards the coastal metropolis of Guayaquil. Several points of access to the rainforest, and its mighty rivers, lead to the treasured Yasuni jungle reserve and its mega-biodiversity.
Regions to discover
Quito, the capital of Ecuador, resides high in the Andes at 2,850m above sea level, tempting visitors with even higher peaks. It is flanked by the active Pichincha volcano, accessible via cable car. Its primary attraction is a beautifully preserved historic quarter, where grand colonial-era churches and the presidential palace are all situated within a dozen square blocks of narrow streets and various public squares. Further north are Quito's best parks and a new botanical garden,
while to the east is the trendy, bohemian community of Guapulo and its spectacular views down to the other valley. Also within an hour of downtown is the Middle of the World monument, right on the international Equator line.
Cotopaxi province, volcano and National Park are within easy reach of Ecuador's capital, and at 5,897 meters above sea level, the active volcano is one of the highest in the world — visible from most parts of Quito. When not billowing ash and smoke, climbers can practice in optimal conditions from December to April, with rented crampons, pick and a local guide. Spectacular summit views include many other majestic peaks, while the surrounding protected area features condors, falcons, llamas, deers, foxes, pumas and with some luck, Andean speckled bears. Latacunga, the capital of the province, and Saquisilí a short drive away, offer authentic markets, festivals, cuisine and highland culture. Cotopaxi is recommended for pure relaxation and adventure.
The Quilotoa Loop, one of Ecuador's most stunning attractions, can be enjoyed in a single afternoon's ascent, or a leisurely week-long hike around the high rim of this extinct volcanic lagoon. With an approximate diameter of 3km, the water's captivating emerald green hues (often blending with blues and yellows) combine with paranoramic views outward onto Andean landscapes and, on a clear day, the snow-capped peaks of Cotopaxi and Illiniza volcanoes.
Comfortable lodges around the volcano crater provide both rustic and luxurious facilities to accommodate hikers of all ages. Traditional highland villages such as Chugchilan and Tigua offer rich arts & crafts, as well as excellent horseback riding opportunities around scenic mountain ridges and pristine cloud forest.
Tungurahua province (and volcano, over 5,000m above sea level) is best-known for the peaceful valley town of Baños, at the foot of the active volcano. The spectacular waterfall route can be hiked, biked, bussed or buggied — with high-adrenaline zipline options along the way! Enjoy thermal baths, river rafting, and epic views from luxury hotels and swimming pools perched on the mountaintops high above Baños. Accommodation in the town itself is a better option for
enjoying the vibrant nightlife, and a wide selection of restaurants. Visitors to nearby Llanganates National Park can encounter llamas and alpacas in the dry, hilly section of the park, and a rich diversity of plants and animals in the lower, cloudy areas.
DAY 1 : Quito Airport - Quito - Colonial Quito - Quito
DAY 2 : Quito - Middle of the World - Quito - Colonial Quito - Quito
DAY 3 : Cotopaxi National Park - Chaupi - El Pedegral - Cotopaxi
DAY 4 : Quilotoa lagoon - Baños - Patate - Baños
DAY 5 : Baños
For more information please contact our concierge team at firstname.lastname@example.org