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Between the volcanoes alley and the Amazon rainforest

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Laetitia feeling about this trip

In 17 days, our stay in “Picturesque South Ecuador” will allow you to complete your stay with the most picturesque region of the Ecuadorian Andes. This beautiful and authentic region will make you see the little exploited other side of Ecuador. The climate is milder there, the city of Vilcabamba attracts many North Americans in search of quietness for retirement. You will twice have the opportunity to visit Podocarpus Park, on the Zamora side and the Vilcabamba side. You will also discover the colonial Loja town which is an example of cleanliness and recycling, a pioneer town in Ecuador.
You will pass, during your stay, through Zaruma town which is a mining town. You will immerse yourself in ancient gold mines in the heart of Ecuador’s most beautiful village
The south is not the most visited region, but it is one of the nicest surprises you will have on your trip to Ecuador.

Physical Difficulty

Culture and Visits

Nature and Activities

Recommended for

Tour highlights :

Completely private tour in the country, with English-speaking guide.
– Visit the colonial towns of Quito, Cuenca, and Loja.
– Discovery of 3 isolated and picturesque Indian markets.
– 5 days in the extreme south of the country which is an authentic region with very little tourism.
– 2 nights in the Amazon in a 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 .

Day 2 : Quito visit

Visit the UNESCO Quito Historic Center with its squares, churches, and magnificent colonial streets.

Day 3 : Quito > Cuicocha lake> San Clemente

Transfer of 2 hours to reach the Cuicocha lagoon. You can go around if you wish (4-5 hours of walking). You will then join the community where you will spend the night.

Day 4 : San Clemente

A day with your family in the San Clemente community. You will take part in daily activities such as cooking, planting, etc …

Day 5 : San Clemente > Cayambe > Sangolqui > Cotopaxi National Park

You will take the road to the south. You will make a stop in Cayambe in a “rose garden” where you will have scientific explanations. You will continue your journey to Cotopaxi Park where you will spend the night.

Day 6 : Cotopaxi National Park > Tigua

You will visit the Cotopaxi National Park: You will climb to the José Ribas refuge (4864m) and you will go around the Limpiopungo lagoon. At the end of the afternoon, you will reach the Tigua village. You will stay in a hostel owned by a former Ecuadorian dictator’s relative.

Day 7 : Tigua > Zumbahua > Quilotoa > Riobamba

Short transfer to visit the Zumbahua Andean Indigenous market. You will then reach the Quilotoa lagoon (you can go around the lagoon – around 5 hours). You will then reach the city of Riobamba.

Day 8 : Riobamba > Chimborazo reserve > Guayaquil

You will visit the Chimborazo reserve where the volcano of the same name culminates with its 6310m. You will then reach the largest city in the country, Guayaquil.

Day 9 : Guayaquil > Manglares Churrute > Zaruma

You will go towards Churrute mangroves where you will go by canoe through this very special biotope. You will take the road to the famous mining town of Zaruma.

Day 10 : Zaruma > Vilcabamba

Visit the city and the gold mines of Zaruma. In the afternoon you will reach the town of Vilcabamba which is famous for its hiking trails.

Day 11 : Vilcabamba

Free day in Vilcabamba. Many trekking paths are marked from your lodge.

Day 12 : Vilcabamba > Zamora > Podocarpus national park> Loja

This morning, transfer to Zamora town in the heart of the tropical forest. You will have the choice between various hikes in the Podocarpus Park heart. You will take the road to sleep in Loja.

Day 13 : Loja > Cuenca

Transfer to the colonial city of Cuenca. You will have a free afternoon in this city.

Day 14 : Cuenca > Ingapirca > Cuenca

You will head to Ecuador’s largest Inca site, Ingapirca. You will return to Cuenca in the afternoon.

Day 15 : Cuenca

Visit of Cuenca, a city classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 16 : Cuenca > Cajas park > Guayaquil

Short transfer to Cajas Park. You will take a short hike in the heart of this sublime reserve. You will reach Guayaquil in the afternoon.

Day 17 : Departure transfer

Transfer to Guayaquil airport.

B: Breakfast
L: Luch
D: Dinner

Guidance

Andes (2/3 people.): Private transport with a local private driver/guide unique bilingual Spanish / English (vehicle type 4 × 2 or space).

Andes (4+ people): private transport with Spanish-speaking driver and private local bilingual Spanish / English guide (space vehicle, minibus, or bus)

Amazon rainforest : transport and private tours. Bilingual Spanish / English naturalist guide.

Required level

Physical: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 (gore tex type)
-1 waterproof jacket (type kway)
– 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 accommodation, 2/3 * type, clean and offering a service adapted to European and American customers and single rooms.

“Superior” option:=> 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 $40 -gourmet- per person.
– Tips: we recommend between $ 10 and $ 20 per worked day for a guide, and between $ 5 and $ 10 per worked day for a driver.