Feel like a local at an Amazon homestay, relax on Ecuador's beaches, witness Andean scenery, ride by train to the Devil's Nose, learn from the locals at an indigenous community, shop the Otavalo Market
If you want to sample the region’s highlights without sacrificing some of its lesser-known gems, there’s no better way to experience Ecuador's dramatic scenery and colourful people. Visit the Amazon and a shaman for an incredible introduction to indigenous culture, and witness lush jungles and exotic wildlife. Staying in simple hotels and homestays and using public transport will keep you grounded in the local customs and culture. We'll travel from the Avenue of the Volcanoes to relaxing Pacific beaches and mountain hot springs. This adventure offers up a great combination of must-see highlights and free time to explore on your own.
- Amazon Jungle homestay (2 nts). Baños stay. Train excursion to Devil's Nose. Machalilla National Park stay. Indigenous community homestay (San Clemente). Otavalo Market visit. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners. (Allow USD305-400 for meals not included.)
- Simple hotels (12 nts), Amazon community stay (2 nts), overnight bus (1 nt), indigenous community homestay (2 nts, multi-share).
- Public bus, truck, motorized canoe, train.
- Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
- Small group experience; Max 16, avg 12
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Day 1 Quito
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 Tena
Head down windy roads to the Amazon Basin. Optional activities include visiting an animal rescue centre, caving and whitewater rafting.
Day 3-4 Amazon Homestay (2B,2L,2D)
Spot wildlife on nature walks, visit a local shaman, learn about local Quichua history and cultural traditions while on a homestay.
Day 5-6 Baños
Time to get active with outdoor optional activities such as hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking or relaxing in the nearby hot springs.
Day 7 Alausí
Arrive to Alausí via Riobamba and take in the architecture of this local town.
Day 8 Guayaquil
Board the train for an included excursion bound for the Devil's Nose. Take advantage of some free time to explore the city or try a boat ride on Guayas River.
Day 9-12 Puerto Lopez/Machalilla National Park/Quito
Optional activities include a day trip to Isla de la Plata, hiking in Machalilla National Park, a visit to a local community reforestation project, snorkelling or relaxing on the beach. Opt to go whale watching (when in season). On Day 12 return to Quito by overnight bus.
Day 13 Quito
Free day in Quito. Opt to take a city tour, ride the cable car up the nearby volcano or relax in one of the city's many cafés and restaurants.
Day 14-15 San Clemente (1B,2L,2D)
Optional hikes to learn about the medicinal plants or trek up the Imbabura Mountain. Interact with the locals in this indigenous community and learn about their traditional ways. Optional cultural evening and show with typical food.
Day 16-17 Otavalo/Quito (1B)
Optional activities include a visit to Peguche Waterfall, Cotacachi leather market or hike around Cuicocha Lake. Explore the Otavalo handicraft market for shopping. Final night out in Quito.
Day 18 Quito
Depart at any time.
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