Have a look at out authentic-travels to Ecuador & Galápagos

 

Crossing from the north to south of Ecuador!

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Antoine’s word over this trip

This 14-day self-guided tour, without a guide or driver but with your own rental vehicle equipped with a GPS, will allow you to have a beautiful and broad overview of Ecuador. Between Otavalo and Guayaquil, with your vehicle, you will travel to spectacular sites such as the magnificent Cotopaxi Park and Chimborazo Reserve. Besides, at the heart of your trip to Ecuador, you will share unique moments with the local population thanks to the discovery of the Andean and Amazonian Kichwa population. In the middle of your stay, you will stop in the Amazon where you will observe unique biodiversity that is radically different from what you have seen until then. Keep in mind that you will need to be patient! The journeys are sometimes long and can be adventurous without knowing the destination … But rest assured, you will always find your way in the end!

Physical Difficulty

Culture and Visits

Nature and Activities

Recommended for

Tour highlights :

Autotour in Ecuador with charming accommodation.
– Visit the colonial cities of Quito and Cuenca at your own pace.
– Extraordinary natural sites: Chimborazo reserve and Cotopaxi National Park as well as the Cuicocha and Quilotoa lakes.
– 2 nights in a Amazon rainforest charming lodge.

Indicative route :

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Explore in more detail :

Day by day :

Day 1 : Transfer-in to Quito

Arrival transfer to Quito, first night in Ecuador.

Day 2 : Quito free day

Visit Quito on your own. We recommend Churches, the Cathedral, the Government Palace, El Panecillo, and museums.

Day 3 : Quito > Otavalo > Cuicocha > Otavalo

After collecting the rental vehicle, you will drive to Otavalo town (2h / 2h30 drive). You can visit the Otavalo market where you will find local crafts. You will then head towards the Cuicocha Lagoon which is one of the three craters of the Cotacachi volcano. You can, if you wish, do the tour of this lagoon (4h / 5h) approximately.

Day 4 : Otavalo > Peguche > Cayambe > Cotopaxi National Park

In the morning you will meet the former “mayor” of the Peguche Kichwa community. You will visit an Otavalo handicraft factory. You will then take the road to Cotopaxi Park and after having traversed the path of the volcanoes, a hacienda at the gates of the park will be waiting for you to rest there.

Day 5 : Cotopaxi National Park > Tigua

In the morning, you will explore the Cotopaxi National Park. You can climb to the José Ribas refuge at 4,864m, which is higher than “the roof of Europe”. You will take the road back to the village of Tigua where a rural inn will be waiting for you.

Day 6 : Tigua > Quilotoa > Baños

Transfer of approximately 45 minutes to reach the Quilotoa lagoon. This lagoon is a (sleeping) volcano crater that you can walk around (4-5h). You will then take the road to the town of Baños, a spa town where restaurants and bars will delight you.

Day 7 : Baños > Pailón del Diablo > Tena > Amazon rainforest

On the way to the Amazon, you will stop at the “Pailón del Diablo” waterfall, a waterfall that is impressive for its strength. Next, head to the Amazon at a lodge in the Tena region.

Day 8 : Amazon rainforest

You will enjoy the activities planned by the lodge in which you will be staying.

Day 9 : Amazon rainforest > Tena > Riobamba

If you wish, you can go rafting in Tena before heading back to Riobamba city.

Day 10 : Riobamba > Chimborazo > Salinas de Guaranda > Riobamba

Visit the Chimborazo reserve (6,310m), you can climb to the refuges (5,000m). In the continuation, you will visit a semi-autonomous community not far from Chimborazo. You will spend a second night in your accommodation in Riobamba.

Day 11 : Riobamba > Alausí (Nariz del Diablo) > Ingapirca > Cuenca

Departure to the south of the country with the first stop in Alausi town where you will take the famous Andes train, the Nariz del Diablo. You will continue to the most beautiful Inca site in Ecuador -Ingapirca-, finally arriving at the most beautiful city in the country, Cuenca.

Day 12 : Visit de Cuenca

Visit one of the most beautiful towns in Ecuador. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we recommend that you visit the churches, the flower market, the museums, the Panama Hat making -Which is Ecuadorian- and go to the Turi viewpoint.
* the visit to Cuenca should be avoided on Sunday. Indeed, many sites are closed to the public that day.

Day 13 : Cuenca > Guayaquil

Transfer to Guayaquil where you will drop off the car and visit the Malecón (estuary) and the typical and festive district of Las Peñas.

Day 14 : Departure transfer

Transfer with driver to Guayaquil International Airport.

B: Breakfast
L: Luch
D: Dinner

Guidance

– Self-drive tour with your own vehicle from day 3. With the exceptions indicated above, all visits will be -without a guide- by your own means.
=> vehicle type Hyundai Tucson, KIA Sportage, Grand Vitara SZ, or equivalent.

Transfert : arrival and departure transfers included. Transfers are private with a Spanish-speaking driver.
Quito : the Quito visit on day 2 will be free. The rental vehicle will not yet be available.
Amazon rainforest : transport and group visits with a local bilingual English-speaking naturalist guide.

Required level

Physical: since the tour consists of a few easy steps, there are no physical constraints. We still advise you to go to your doctor to prevent any physical problems due to the altitude.

Technical: no technical level is necessary. You will not have climbing or ice climbing. We recommend walking shoes.

Equipment

Clothing :

-1 or 2 light walking trousers
-1 or 2 warm walking trousers
-2 Fleece jackets
-1 breathable warm jacket(type Softshell)
-1 waterproof jacket (type Gore-tex)
– light t-shirts
– hike shoes
– casual shoes
-1 pair of gloves for high altitude walks
-1 warm hat for high altitude walks
– beach clothing -if necessary-
– cap

Additional :

-1 water bottle
– sunglasses
– solar cream
– hiking bag (between 25 to 45L)
– hike sticks
– camera
– binoculars

Accommodation

Two possible options:

“Comfort” option: comfortable, charming 3 *** accommodation, offering a service adapted to a European and American clientele and single rooms.

“Superior” option: superior type 4 **** accommodation offering quality and personalized service. The bedrooms are spacious and tasteful.

=> the luxury option (4/5 *****) is also available on request.

Observations

– Transfers and visits times are indicative.
– For every not included meal, foresee between $5 -popular- and $50 -gourmet- per person.