This is a real explorer’s trip with a balanced combination of activities to really highlight some of the amazing adventures that Ecuador has to offer.
Day 1: Quito – Cotopaxi – Hacienda Leito
Heading south down the "Avenue of the Volcanoes” will bring you to the Cotopaxi National Park. On our way through the park we will make a stop at the visitor centre Campamento Mariscal Sucre to visit the informative natural history museum before we head on to the lagoon Limpio Pungo as well as the Inca ruins ‘El Salitre’ located in the highlands of the park. We’ll then have lunch at the Tambopaxi mountain refuge with simply stunning views of the glacier of Cotopaxi volcano.
In the afternoon we continue heading south on a 3 hour journey with many superb views offered by the “Avenida de los Volcanos”; small little villages line the road as overbearing mountains loom in the distance.
In the evening you will arrive to the Hacienda Leito, which is situated in the valley of Patate, well known for its picturesque location. After having dinner, you’ll spend the night in one of its comfortable guest rooms, the cosy atmosphere guaranteeing a good rest.
Day 2: Welcome to the jungle: Hacienda Leito - Baños – Las Cascadas
You will start the day with a tasty breakfast and then continue your journey towards Baños (1800m), a tiny village located in a beautiful verdant valley, with a pleasant sub-tropical climate. Famous for its thermal baths and Basilica, Baños is a popular spot for local and international tourists. Driving on east we will follow the Rio Pastaza on its way through the valley of the same name, passing a number of waterfalls until we reach Puyo, known as “The Gateway to the jungle”, that has sprung to life as a trading post for jungle communities. After another 40 kilometres to the east, along rustic dirt roads, we reach the Las Cascadas Jungle Lodge; located in the middle of the rain forest, any journey-induced weariness will soon be shaken, as the fresh aroma of fragrant plants will stimulate your senses. Your cabaña will provide a more than comfortable stay, with firm orthopaedic beds, hot and cold showers and some arresting views out across the canopy. In this wonderful ambience you will enjoy a delicious home cooked dinner and then be lulled to sleep by the soothing sounds on the night air. B/L/D
Day 3: Las Cascadas –Jungle Excursion
Let’s start the day with a huge and fantastic breakfast, with the surplus of local fruits underlining the exotic character of your surroundings. Afterwards you’ll take a hike to the beautiful and impressive waterfalls of Las Cascadas. Your accompanying local guide will share his knowledge on local plant and wildlife species, to impress home the enormous diversity of this tropical world.
If you are lucky you will see monkeys, parrots, sloths and armadillos and having worked up a sweat passing through the virgin jungle, there will be nothing quite like a bath in the natural pools below the spectacular waterfall from which Las Cascadas derived its name. Lunch will be eaten in this amazing location, where the mind wanders as did the explorers of many years ago.
Back from your hike through the rainforest you can relax in a hammock on the veranda and enjoy a tropical cocktail followed by a traditional Ecuadorian barbecue. B/L/D
Day 4: Las Cascadas – Río Napo – Casa de Suizo
After breakfast and a 2 hour drive we will reach Punta Ahuano, a tiny port town on the north bank of the Napo River, where canoes await for a late-afternoon 15-minute ride downstream to la Casa de Suizo. After lunch you will take a canoe tour down a small tributary, where you can observe several animals and plants at a close distant, as you glide silently through the waters.
On the way you will visit an animal farm (AmaZOOnico), dedicated to the release of captured species back into the jungle; it provides a great opportunity to see some of the hard to spot characters from the area. Afterwards you continue by canoe on Rio Arajuro when you launch yourself downstream on a big inner tube. ”Tubing” sounds and actually is great fun! The light current will carry you down the river as you enjoy the sounds emitted from the depths of the bordering jungle. After all the water-action a fabulous dinner will be served in the Casa de Suizo and the rest of the evening is free. B/L/D
Day 5: Casa de Suizo – Las Termas de Papallacta
After breakfast you will continue your journey north back towards the Andes, passing through Tena, the capital city of the Napo province, and on to the little village of Baeza, located in attractive pastoral hills between three large, richly forested reserves (Cayambe-Coca, Sumaco-Napo-Galeras and Antisana). In the early afternoon you will arrive at Papallacta, a quiet highland town famous for its excellent hot springs. The marvellous Hotel Las Termas de Papallacta Spa & Resort is located at an altitude of 3,220 meters (10,800 ft.) above sea level and offers comfortable rooms located around individual bathing pools. You’ll have lunch and then be free to take advantage of all the relaxing activities available. A gentle walk along the river and through native high altitude forest is a splendid way to stretch your legs before a well earned soak in the scenic pools, when you may spot the ice giant Volcano Antisana (5.758m) as the clouds roll over the valley. B/L/D
Day 6: Papallacta – Otavalo - Quito
After another excellent breakfast, you will be heading to Otavalo, one of South America's most famous Indian markets. For centuries, regional markets have played an important role in Indian life, providing regular gathering places for trade and socializing.
The colourful local markets of the Andean Valleys are famous for their fine handicrafts and the Otavalo Indian market dates back to pre-Inca times and is famous for its textiles woven on back strap and shuttle looms. Witness Otavaleños barter in silence (!), in marked contrast to the raucous noise of other markets. You will have time to visit the famous market and stroll along the narrow streets filled with Otavalo Indians wearing blue ponchos, white trousers with long braided hair. After lunch in a typical Otavaleñan restaurant we will return to Quito in the afternoon. B/L/-
B: Breakfast / L: Lunch / D: Dinner
USD 1040, - per person with 2 people
With 1 person: US$ 1765.-
Single supplement $155.-
All transfers, all activities and excursions mentioned in the program, accommodation in the mentioned hotels or hotels of the same category (double room with private bath), all meals mentioned in the program, English-speaking guide and entrance fees.
International flight, beverages, international airport tax, personal expenses, tips and travel insurance.
Monday, Tuesday and Friday