An adventure through Ecuador, this tour ventures through the contrasting landscapes of the Andes and the coast. See beautiful mountain scenery, enjoy time in thermal baths and marvel at ancient Inca ruins and colonial architecture.
Our Ecuador Highlights tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.
Stroll through the colonial quarter, A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Travel on the avenue of the volcanoes and admire the colourful fields
Discover the city of Cuenca and its old town charm
Enjoy sightseeing in the costal city of Guayaquil
Our Ecuador Highlights Tour has been thoughtfully designed and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.
Get a birds eye view of Quito from the domes of one of the most ornate churches in Quito, La Compania Church.
Visit a family owned historic Cacao Plantation and learn about the process they use to obtain the best cacao powder in the world and have a taste of their excellent cuisine.
Submerge in the warm waters of Papallacta and take advantage of the curative properties of its crystalline waters
Fly to Peru's capital Lima, arriving the same day. Remainder of the day at leisure.
Fly to Ecuador's historic capital Quito. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure before an evening welcome dinner.
Today, enjoy a tour of Ecuador's capital and its surrounds. Stroll through the colonial quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and visit some of South America's most ornate churches and cathedrals including San Francisco and La Compañía. From the church domes take advantage of the open, 360˚ panoramic views of the Historic Centre and its surrounding mountains. Later continue to the Equatorial Monument, which marks the exact Middle of the World latitude 0º. Visit the Ethnographic Museum located inside the monument. Continue to a nearby colonial-style town, complete with main square, church, post office & bullring. End the tour with a traditional Ecuadorian lunch while overlooking the Andean landscape.
Travel through dramatic mountain scenery to Otavalo, home to one of South America's most famous Indian textile markets. Visit an Indian village community and learn from a local family the techniques of weaving before heading to lunch at a local hacienda. Continue to the town of Cotacachi famous for its natural and cultural beauty. Before heading back to Quito stop at Cuicocha Lagoon, a crater lake, located in the Cotacachi Cayapa ecological reserve and enjoy a short boat ride to learn about the local flora and fauna.
Travel on the Cinnamon Trail, the route the Spanish Conquistador Francisco de Orellana took in 1542, when he crossed the Andean mountain range in search of spices and gold, only to discover the Amazon River. Here, at the entrance of the Amazonian jungle find Papallacta, home to several thermal spring pools where you can relax and revitalize your body. In the afternoon enjoy a nature walk along the marked paths alongside pristine mountain streams.
Travel along the Avenue of the Volcanoes and admire the colourful fields that cover the Ecuadorian highlands to reach the Cotopaxi National Park, an ecological sanctuary. There, the guide will provide an overview of the Andean habitat. Continue to Limpiopungo Lagoon for a short walk where a variety of birds and occasional wild horses can be spotted. On clear days, the Cotopaxi Volcano is a magnificent backdrop. Before continuing to Riobamba stop for lunch at a local hacienda.
This morning spend time visiting the Inca fortress of Ingapirca, an important remnant of a Cañari site later occupied by the Incas. There are very few pre-Hispanic remains as impressive as these ancient ruins, which in Kichwa mean 'wall of the Inca'. Later, continue to the city of Cuenca.
Spend a full day discovering the city of Cuenca. Visit a colourful artisan market followed by a visit to the Museum of Modern Art. Next visit a flower market on the small plaza in front of the carved stone entrance to the Church of El Carmen de la Asuncion. Stroll on the cobblestone streets of the old town main square, surrounded by the imposing blue doomed cathedral. Later travel along the city's riverbank admiring the historic houses. After lunch take a short drive to a ceramics handcraft shop, followed by a visit to a Panama Hat factory to observe the manufacturing process of this famous toquilla straw hat. Later this evening travel to Turi Hill lookout and enjoy a local beverage while overlooking the city.
Travel to Cajas National Park, located in the western part of the Andes, home to 235 lakes of glacial origin. Stop and stroll around for views of LLaviucu Lake and La Toreadora Lake. Later this afternoon descend to the vibrant coastal city of Guayaquil.
Travel along Ecuador's fertile tropical coast to a cacao plantation. Learn about the history of the family owned property along with the process they use to obtain the best cacao powder in the world. Enjoy lunch at the plantation before returning to Guayaquil.
Enjoy a day sightseeing in Guayaquil, admiring colonial and modern architecture. Also visit the popular 'Iguana Park', here iguanas roam undisturbed and perch on the treetops, blending perfectly with the green leaves. Beside the park is the neo-gothic Metropolitan Cathedral. Continue to Guayaquil's ravishing Malecon 2000 to see the Crystal Palace, the Integration Square, the Plaza of the Flags and the Plaza Olmedo, which are together, at the beginning of a 2.5km waterfront, running parallel to the River Guayas and featuring historical, cultural and entertainment areas. Then on to Barrio Las Peñas, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Guayaquil, whose wooden constructions have been beautifully restored, housing many art galleries. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Later this evening, enjoy a farewell dinner.
Fly to Australia via Santiago, Chile, arriving home two days later.
Places Visited: Lima (1N) - Quito (3N) - Cotopaxi (1N) - Riobamba (1N) - Cuenca (2N) - Guayaquil (3N)
All of our tour departures (Excluding Antarctica and Australia tours) include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.
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There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.
Extend your holiday or break up your journey with one of our extensions and stopovers. Choose from city breaks or some beach time, or spend more time in your chosen destination.