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Home > Travel Destinations > Ecuador > From the Highlands to the Amazon

From the Highlands to the Amazon

10 Days / 9 Nights

Package Overview

We have carefully designed a very complete experience across the highlands and trekking deep into the Amazon Basin. Prepare for snowcapped volcanoes, the colorful Andean markets, exquisite local gastronomy, colonial cities, truly communitarian experiences, and the greenest jungle you will ever see.

Agent Commission Starting At: $322.50

Package Pricing

Package starting at: $3225.00 PP * Prices based on double occupancy. Prices per person in USD.

Travel Itinerary

Day 1

Upon arrival at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre Airport, you will be greeted by our helpful guide. The guide will serve as a translator, help with luggage, and assist with the private transfer to your hotel.

Day 2

After an early morning breakfast, the tour will depart towards the city center of downtown Quito, or Centro Histórico, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.

We will start with a panoramic view of Alameda Park and the Basilica, followed by a walk down the street of the Seven Crosses. The trip will continue with a walking tour, starting at Independence Square. From here, we will visit the presidential palace, the main cathedral, the gold-plated La Compañía Church, San Francisco Church and San Francisco Plaza.

Around midday the tour will head north to the equator for a trip to the monument at the Middle of the World. You may choose to visit either the Ethnographic or the Inti Ñan Museums, both located near the site of the monument. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.

After seeing these incredible sites, the tour will head back to Quito, where you will return to your hotel.

Breakfast and lunch are included.

Day 3

We take you to small Andean villages to see artisan family workshops and to bargain at the Otavalo indigenous market. We arrange stays at historic haciendas, country inns or with indigenous families.

Enjoy breakfast before we depart Quito early in the morning for this tour. Heading north to the town of Calderon, less than 20 minutes from the city, we will see how bread products, specifically dough figures, are made.

We will continue northbound on the Pan-American Highway, passing the town of Tabacundo, where we can catch a view of the beautiful rose plantations on both sides of the road. We will make a short stop at the scenic lookout point at Miralago to see the San Pablo Lake, which lies at the Imbabura Volcano’s foothills.

The tour will drive around San Pablo Lake to the town of Agato, where we will visit a weaver’s workshop to learn the whole process for making two-sided tapestries. We will see the process from start to finish, beginning with carding the yarn to producing natural color dye and then preparing the indigenous backstrap loom, in the workshop of master craftsman Andrango.

Near midday we will arrive at the world-famous Otavalo artisan market. Here we will visit the textile market located at the “Plaza of Ponchos;” this is one of the most famous markets in South America. You will find all kinds of handcrafts including tapestries made on Spanish weaving looms as well as indigenous backstrap looms. You will enjoy some free time for bargaining and buying with the friendly Otavaleños.

After lunch we will discover small artisan villages such as Cotacachi and fine leather workshops like Peguche. We will also see the making of musical instruments and weaveries in San Antonio de Ibarra as well as wood carving, or Ilumán, afelt hat workshop, and Shaman rituals.

We will return to Otavalo in the early evening, settle into our accommodations and enjoy dinner and a free evening.

Day 4

Day two of this tour allows us to visit Cuicocha, a volcanic crater lake and its small surrounding indigenous villages. There will be time for lunch before heading up to the Cotopaxi Volcano area. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.

Day 5

The Cotopaxi Volcano is one of the most important landmarks in Ecuador because it is the highest active volcano in the world. Lush endemic flora and fauna of the area can be observed, including one of the most representative species, the Chuquiragua (also known as the mountaineer’s flower), wild horses, deer, llamas, and more. While there, you can visit Limpiopungo Lake, located near Rumiñahui volcano (149.96 meters), or go hiking to observe the birds. We can also visit the ruins of Incas del Pucara de Salitre, set on Cotopaxi’s mountainside.

In the afternoon, return to Quito. Breakfast and lunch are included.

Day 6

Pick up from your hotel around 6:00 am. Arrive in Shell. Guests will be welcomed by our Achuar representatives and will be assisted onto small planes. The 50-minute flight from Shell will pass over unbroken pristine rainforest, arriving at the airstrip of the local Achuar community. There you will be welcomed by Kapawi guides, who will escort you on the final leg of your journey, a beautiful 30-minute canoe ride into the majesty and tranquility of the rainforest.

Lunch at Kapawi Ecolodge and Reserve. After lunch, guests will have the opportunity to relax, unpack, and familiarize themselves with the surroundings.

In the afternoon we will have a quiet activity where guests can walk along one of the Pastaza River beaches. Here, our guides will give guests an introductory orientation session with information about the rainforest and the Achuar culture, while enjoying a beautiful sunset.

At night after dinner, we will explore the Kapawari River in search of nocturnal animals such as monkeys, alligators and birds. All this coupled with a fantastic starry sky!

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

Day 7

In the early morning, our guides will escort guests on a 30 minute motor boat ride to reach one of the best natural attractions, the Claylick, where guests will see different species of parrots, macaws, and parrots such as the Cobalt-Winged Parakeet, Chestnut-Fronted Macaw, and Yellow Crowned Amazon.

After breakfast, guests can take a walk, approximately two hours with stops, where they will learn about medicinal plants of the area and tropical forest ecology.

Lunch at Kapawi Ecolodge and Reserve, then time to rest. In the afternoon, guests will be able to explore, via kayak, the Kapawari River and its connecting lagoons, while looking at the local wildlife such as the pink river dolphin. As the river is quite calm, swimming is completely safe.

After dinner, guests can partake in a spectacular night walk, observing the many different kinds of insects and amphibians that are found around the hotel.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.

Day 8

In the early morning, guests will have the opportunity to spot the great variety of birds that the southeast Rainforest of Ecuador offers, like Hoatzin, Aninga, Speckled Chachalaca, White Eared Jacamar, Cocoi Heron, Neotropical Cormorant, and the Great Egret.

After breakfast, depart for a full day of activities. Our guides will escort guests along the Pitzacocha or Pama trail. During this time, guests can learn about the forest and its benefits for the Achuar people. Our guides will also teach guests about Achuar hunting techniques and Arutam, the spirit of the forest.

We will enjoy a picnic lunch in the forest, then after lunch, guests will visit one of the Achuar communities that is located close to the lodge. This is one of our most popular activities offered in Kapawi, because of the significant cultural contribution to the Achuar people. Guests will have a chance to see a community and its members and purchase some traditional handicrafts. Return to the lodge followed by dinner.

After dinner, take part in cultural activities, such as learning about legends in the hammock house, or about traditional greetings.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

Day 9

In the early morning, our guides will bring the guests to specific points near the hotel, in order to locate various species of birds. Eat breakfast and prepare for departure.

In the last few hours before departure from the Achuar territory, guests can participate in a blowgun contest to demonstrate who is the best hunter among the guides and guests. Guests will also be able to learn the art of Achuar face painting and how it relates to their different activities.

Fly to Shell. Boxed lunches will be provided. Return to Quito. Upon arrival, welcome and transfer to your hotel.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.

Day 10

At the agreed time, transfer from your hotel to the airport for your return flight back home.  

Breakfast is included.

Additional Package Information

 Package Includes

  • Lodging, transfers, tours as described in itinerary
  • Meals as described in itinerary
  • English Speaking Guide on Tours
  • Daily bottled water
  • Domestic air fare

 Package Does Not Include

  • International airfare and airport taxes
  • Meals not mentioned in Itinerary
  • Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities

 Package Notes

  • Price subject to change
  • Seasonal price changes apply
  • Sequence subject to change
  • To prevent any loss due to cancellation, travel insurance is recommended.
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Ecuador Package 7 of 18

 
10 Days / 9 Nights Ecuador Vacation Package

General Information

  • Capital: Quito
  • Government: Republic
  • Currency: US dollar (USD)
  • Area: total: 283,560 km2, water: 6,720 km2, land: 276,840 km2
  • Population: 14,573,101 (July 2009 est.)
  • Language: Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
  • Religion: Roman Catholic 95%
  • Electricity: 110-220V/60Hz (USA & European plugs)
  • Calling Code: +593
  • Time Zone: UTC-5

Points of Interest

  • Centro Historico
  • Monument at the Middle of the World
  • San Pablo Lake
  • Otavalo artisan market
  • Cuicocha
  • Cotopaxi Volcano
  • Kapawi community