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Home > Travel Destinations > Ecuador > Folklore, Adventure, and Tradition In The Andes

Folklore, Adventure, and Tradition In The Andes

5 Days/4 Nights

Package Overview

The Andean Range, with its majestic landscapes, peaks soaring over 5,000 meters high, and its diverse and rich culture, has amazed visitors since the first nomads arrived from the north.

The indigenous inhabitants with their vibrant Ponchos add color to the landscape. Near their communities you'll find various markets where locals trade. For nature lovers, there is also a great variety of places to visit; from fertile valleys and cloud forests to amazing moorlands and snow-capped mountains.

The Highlands are rich in History, which is evident in the Pre-Inca and Inca Fortresses and later in time, the Colonial Haciendas, built more than three centuries ago.

Forget the outside world and explore the Andes via an itinerary providing a unique mix of experience and sensation, evoking a memorable glimpse of historical culture.

Agent Commission Starting At: $174.50

Package Pricing

Package starting at: $1745.00 PP * Prices based on double occupancy. Prices per person in USD.

Travel Itinerary

Day 1

After a two hour trip south, we reach El Porvenir. Located on the slopes of Rumiñahui Volcano in a truly privileged position, Hacienda El Porvenir is the ideal spot to start our excursion.

The farm house is located in a very scenic spot at an altitude of 3,600m and it is surrounded by four volcanoes, one of which is Cotopaxi. Our guests can enjoy their stay in a comfortable setting. The farmhouse is made from local building materials, with classic colors and styles typical to this region for hundreds of years, preserving the Andean essence and spirit. The stables, saddle room, and corrals add the touches of a real working farm.

We drive on to the Private Ecological Reserve of Hacienda Santa Rita (a 30 minute trip, about 18 km.) where we will stop at the Park Visitors Centre and prepare for our spectacular zip lining adventure.

This consists of five zip lines ranging from 180 to 480 meters long crossing the canyon of El Salto River. This is a high adventure activity with low environmental impact; letting people with little or no knowledge of climbing techniques have a unique, and exciting experience.

Depending on the size of the group, the five-zipline tour takes two to three hours. In the afternoon we enjoy a well-prepared rustic lunch and then visit Condor Machai waterfall.

Overnight accommodations. Lunch and dinner are included.

Day 2

After a wholesome country breakfast at El Porvenir, our guides will give us a brief riding lesson before we start out on our horses. Wearing the typical dress of the “chagra” (Ecuadorian cowboys), we ride out across the slopes of the extinct volcano, Rumiñahui. A legendary chagra from the area will come with us and share some of his deep knowledge of the country life. Back in the farm house, a tasty local lunch will be ready upon our return.

Afterwards, we head to our next Hacienda. It was built on the site of an Inca palace, one of the two most important archaeological Inca sites in Ecuador, and the point furthest north from Cuzco of Imperial style construction. This working farm offers an unrivaled glimpse into Ecuador's rich and colorful past.

Overnight accommodations in a hacienda. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

Day 3

Since the 15th century, San Agustin de Callo has served as an Incan fortress, Augustinian convent, and temporary home for the French Geodesic Mission whose scientific results helped to determine the true shape of the planet. Famous visitors include Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa who were appointed by the King of Spain to host the Geodesic Mission in 1736.

Cotopaxi National Park is one of the world's highest active volcanoes (5,897 meters). Our journey to Cotopaxi includes traveling across the Pan-American Highway. Our first stop is in the Interpretation Center in order to better understand the geology, history and wildlife of the area. Cotopaxi is home to several bird species such as the Andean Condor, Andean Seagulls, different types of humming birds, blue billed ducks, White-throated Caracara and mammals like the Andean rabbit, deer, llamas, moorland wolf, and the spectacle bear. We continue to Limpiopungo, a glacial 3,800 meter lake for a moderate walk admiring the beautiful moorland and geological formations. We stop off for lunch in a local hacienda or restaurant.

After lunch, we head to the surroundings of the majestic Tungurahua Volcano, a cone shaped active volcano. If weather and nature permits, we will witness the vapor clouds rising from the depths of the crater. Upon arrival to Patate, Hacienda Manteles awaits us with a warm, welcoming atmosphere in one of the most beautiful hotels / haciendas in Ecuador. Located 20km from the town of Baños and offering stunning views of the active Tungurahua Volcano, the hacienda has become a ‘must see’ during any trip to Ecuador.

The surrounding environment of Hacienda Manteles are remarkable, with wonderful gardens and a 200 hectare area of protected primary forest through which one can reach the entrance to the mystical Llanganates National Park.

The surrounding peaks of the Andes provide the perfect back drop for an unforgettable visit.

After check in, we begin a moderate hike to Payacucho waterfall. Located inside the property, it is part of a private Cloud Forest reservation. Our hike will last one and a half hours across the cloud forest.

Overnight accommodations in a hacienda. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

Day 4

Hacienda Manteles has a privileged location between Sangay National Park and Llanganates National Park, an area which is claimed to contain the hidden treasure of the Inca King Atahualpa. The legend of this treasure's existence provides an aura of magic and mystery.

While lodging at Hacienda Manteles, there are outstanding chances to observe incredible views of the Andes and its surroundings. After an early breakfast, our guests will enjoy a moderate walk to “La Cuchilla,” a volcano observatory. From this point, if weather permits, the peak of Chimborazo Mounts, as well as Carihuayrazo, the Illinizas, Tungurahua, Altar Volcanoes can be seen in the horizon.

We will return to the hacienda for lunch. In the afternoon we will depart to Cotopaxi and to Hosteria La Ciénega.

The terrain on which the hacienda is located was bought by landowner Don Mateo de la Escalera y Velasco in 1695. The hacienda has played host to a number of historical, social, political, scientific events on a national and international level. The wise French intellectual Carlos Maria de la Condamine arrived in Quito with Luis Godin y Pedro Bouger in 1736. Six years later, after two hundred years of inactivity, Volcano Cotopaxi erupted, causing the scientists to move closer to the outskirts of the volcano.

Carlos Maria took up residence in La Cienega, resulting in the beginning of a long and meaningful friendship with Marquez de Maenza.

Geological activity as a result of the eruption was extremely powerful, destroying a number of towns and communities. Amidst the earthquakes and aftershocks, the hacienda remained intact, most likely thanks to the solidity of the structure with its two meter thick walls.

The hacienda's first guest was Sir Alexander von Humboldt, who stayed there while carrying out a series of scientific investigations in 1802.

The Marques family, romantic and strong archetypes of the colonial period, whose manorial house covered an astonishing six thousand meters (sixty-five feet), were fervent defenders of Simon Bolivar and the libertarian cause. Family members such as Manuel Matheu y Herrera, Francisco Xavier, and Jose Xavier de Ascazubi were Heroes of the Independence, a number of whose activities took place within the four walls of the hacienda.

Mariscal de Ayucucho, Antonio Jose de Sucre, and several presidents of the republican period such as Juan Jose Flores, signed the important Treaty of La Cienega here in the hacienda. Gabriel Garcia Moreno, Leonidas Plaza Gutierrez, and Jose Velasco Ibarra are historical figures of the country who have resided at the hacienda. Generation after generation, the hacienda has been inhabited by great personalities and historical figures, leaving the residence glowing with an aura of grandeur.

Overnight accommodations. Breakfast, lunch, and are dinner included

Day 5

Today, our excursion takes us to an old volcanic caldera. The Quilotoa volcano is a dormant volcano, which last erupted in 1280 and produced an ash layer of 10 cm over an area of around 35,000 km. This was one of the largest explosive eruptions in the world during the last 1000 years. The caldera of Quilotoa has become filled with water and now has a deep crater lake, which is greenish in color due to the minerals it contains. After our visit to Quilotoa, we continue to Hacienda La Carriona for a delicious lunch.

La Carriona's thick adobe walls have witnessed significant events in Ecuador's history. It was constructed by the Carrion family in the late 18th century, and in the mid 1800s, belonged to the distinguished Fernandez Salvador family. In 1830, the patriarch of this family, Don Jose Fernandez Salvador, was appointed president of the first Constitutional Assembly. This Assembly laid the foundation for both the Ecuadorian constitution and the nation. The hacienda has maintained much of its historic heritage for the enjoyment of its guests. After lunch, return to Quito.

Breakfast and lunch are included.

Additional Package Information

 Package Includes

  • English speaking guide
  • Private transportation
  • Entrances to National Parks
  • Double accommodation in selected haciendas
  • Excursions are provided in private

 Package Does Not Include

  • Beverages
  • Gratuities
  • Meals or personal expensese

 Package Notes

  • The Operator reserves the right to change itineraries
  • Prices are subject to change without prior notice.
  • To prevent any loss due to cancellation, travel insurance is recommended.
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Ecuador Package 5 of 18

 
5 Days/4 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

  • El Porvenir horse back riding
  • San Augstin Del Callo archaeological Inca site
  • Cotopaxi National Park
  • La Cuchilla volcano obsrvatory
  • Quilotoa volcano