from $740per person
Journey along the Andes from Quito to Cuenca or Guayaquil, visiting Cotopaxi, Baños and Riobamba, plus the Devil’s Nose train ride.
Imagine this. In just four days you can enjoy the best of Ecuador’s southern Andes, including the splendor of snowcapped volcanoes, a multicolored rose farm, hot springs, lush cloud forests and one of the most exciting train rides you can conceive. Then, you can either continue to the city of Cuenca or Guayaquil, both with a lot more sites and activities to enjoy. These are the main attractions, though there are many more surprises that await you – just by taking that first step!
NOTE: This tour starts and ends in different cities.
DAY 1. QUITO / MT. COTOPAXI / ROSE FARM/ BAÑOS
Morning departure to the slopes of Ecuador’s most iconic snowcapped volcano, Cotopaxi, offering a “text-book” account of how this amazing central Andean plateau came about, with an abundance of plant life and birds. Next is a rose farm with all the colors of the rainbow displayed in its countless varieties that are grown and exported throughout the year. We then journey into the contrasting world of the lush eastern valleys and the striking Pastaza River Canyon that after hundreds of miles empties its water into the Amazon River. It is here where we might get a glimpse of another of Ecuador’s most active volcanoes, Mt. Tungurahua. We will overnight at a small, cozy hotel in the quaint town of Baños. (Lunch)
DAY 2. BAÑOS & SURROUNDINGS
Early rise for an invigorating dip at thermal springs in the outskirts of town. After breakfast, we spend most of the day enjoying the lush sub-tropical cloud forests to the east, via easy treks, zip-lining, cable car and other means of exploration. Another feature is a tree house high above the town with stunning views of the valley and town below. And for the more intrepid, optional adventures can be arranged to bungee jump off a bridge or to raft some of the nearby rapids. In short, the possibilities are vast, hence this additional overnight in Baños. (Breakfast / Lunch)
DAY 3. BAÑOS / MT. CHIMBORAZO / GUAMOTE
Today we backtrack to the main road and head towards the lowers slopes of Mt. Chimborazo, a snowcapped giant that surpasses Mt Everest from the earth’s center by 6 meters (10 feet), geodetically speaking! Here we can catch glimpses of small herds of vicuñas (in the llama family) and wildflowers whose blossoms are visited by many species of birds. Continue further south to Guamote, a delightfully small village whose indigenous people still maintain their traditions, duly displayed in their exquisite handcrafts and delicious culinary dishes. Overnight at a lodge run by the local community. (Breakfast / Box lunch / Dinner)
DAY 4. GUAMOTE / DEVIL’S NOSE TRAIN / CUENCA OR GUAYAQUIL
If it happens to be Thursday, you can witness one of the most impressive local markets, where people from far and wide come to negotiate the best prices for their cattle. Then we continue south to reach the famous Devil’s Nose railway segment in the town of Alausí. This incredible engineering feat, completed in the early 20th century, uses three switchbacks to descend more than 300 meters (1,000 feet) in just a few miles of track. After catching our breath and emotions, we continue by road to either Cuenca or Guayaquil, depending on your travel agenda. (Breakfast / Lunch or Box lunch)
Option 1: To Cuenca *
The journey continues further south towards the remarkable city of Cuenca, the country’s second World Cultural Heritage Site. On the way there is a possibility of stopping at the archaeological site of Ingapirca, where you can find Inca-Cañari ruins. For further ideas on what to do in and around this city, please visit the link to this section at “Cuenca & Surroundings”.
Option 2: To Guayaquil *
We turn west to descend into the coastal city of Guayaquil, Ecuador’s most important seaport, enjoying en route truly dramatic changes in scenery, from the brisk Andean highlands to the warm and tropical Pacific lowlands. For more information on what to do in and around this city, please visit the link to this section at “Guayaquil & Surroundings”.
*We will gladly assist you in putting together all activities, features and necessary fine-tuning for your best personalized itinerary.
2018 Rates (per person; minimum 2 people)
- A 30% deposit is required to confirm the booking.
- Balance payment is due 30 days before departure.
- If cancellation is made 90 to 61 days before departure, the deposit will be refunded.
- If cancellation is made 60 to 45 days before departure, 50% will be charged.
- If cancellation is made 44 to 30 days before departure, 80% will be charged.
- If cancellation is made less than 30 days before departure, full payment will be charged. The tour may be rescheduled to a later date, plus administrative costs.