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The Ecuador Experience
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If you want to sample the regions highlights without sacrificing some of its lesser-known gems, theres no better way to experience Ecuador's dramatic scenery and colourful people. Visit the Amazon and a shaman apprentice for an incredible introduction to indigenous culture and the exotic wildlife of the jungle. 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.

Latin America
  • Duration: 18 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Not Rated%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: REE/126480
  • Starts: Quito, Ecuador
  • Finishes: Quito, Ecuador
You will Visit
  • Quito

Itinerary

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Day 1: Quito

Arrive at any time.
There are no planned activities until the evening welcome meeting.

02

Day 2: Quito/Tena

Head down winding roads to the Amazon Basin and spend the night in Tena.
Descend into the Amazon Jungle region. Watch the scenery change dramatically heading away from the mountains into the lush, tropical Amazon rainforest.

03

Day 3: Tena

Enjoy a free day in Tena, opt to visit an animal rescue centre or go whitewater rafting. Later, head to a local Quichua community in a small Amazonian village to spend two nights in rustic jungle huts. Enjoy nature walks and visits with the local shaman.
Enjoy the hospitality of these wonderful people, and experience life in the jungle firsthand. Take guided hikes to learn about the natural environment and the traditional knowledge of the local people.

04

Day 4: Tena

Spend the day exploring the area around the Quichua community and learn more about local life in the jungle.

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Day 5: Tena/Baños

Travel to Baños and enjoy the numerous outdoor optional activities available. Opt to go hiking, ziplining, or soak in the hot springs.

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Day 6: Baños

Enjoy free time to experience all this adventurous town has to offer.

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Day 7: Baños/Alausí

Travel to Alausí via Riobamba and take in the architecture of this local town.

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Day 8: Alausí/Guayaquil

Board the train for an included excursion bound for the Devil's Nose. After, continue by bus to Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador.
Enjoy Ecuador's most spectacular train journey. The famed Nariz del Diablo (Devil's Nose) ride descends in a spectacular display of engineering around stunning mountain terrain. The journey returns back to Alausí after more than 1000m (3280 ft) in elevation loss.

After disembarking the train, journey south to Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador. Located at the mouth of the Guayas River, Guayaquil is also Ecuador's most important port.

Spend the evening exploring the city's highlights including Bolivar Park, the Old South Market, and Barrio de las Penas.

Take some time to stroll along the malecon (boardwalk) dotted with shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums. Opt for a boat ride down the Guayas River.

09

Day 9: Guayaquil/Puerto López

Head to the beach town Puerto Lopez and Machalilla National Park. There are tons of activities in the area to take part in over the next few days.
Enjoy Puerto Lopez. Optional activities in the area include a trip to Isla de la Plata, hiking in Machalilla National Park, a visit to an archaeological site, diving, and snorkelling.

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Day 10: Puerto López

Enjoy free time to explore. Optional activities include a day trip to Isla de la Plata, hiking in Machalilla National Park, snorkelling or relaxing on the beach. Opt to go whale watching (when in season).
Other optional activities in the area include day trips to Isla de La Plata, with colonies of nesting blue-footed boobies and a number of other sea birds. Visitors usually come to view migrating whales (June to October) and dolphins around the island. Scuba diving and snorkelling are also popular activities in the area.

11

Day 11: Puerto López

Enjoy free time to explore. Optional activities include a day trip to Isla de la Plata, hiking in Machalilla National Park, snorkelling or relaxing on the beach. Opt to go whale watching (when in season).
Other optional activities in the area include day trips to Isla de La Plata, with colonies of nesting blue-footed boobies and a number of other sea birds. Visitors usually come to view migrating whales (June to October) and dolphins around the island. Scuba diving and snorkelling are also popular activities in the area.

12

Day 12: Puerto López/Quito

Spend another full day in Puerto López before an overnight bus to Quito.

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Day 13: Quito

Arrive in the morning and enjoy a 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.

14

Day 14: Quito/San Clemente

Travel to the indigenous community of San Clemente. Interact with the locals and learn about their traditional ways during a homestay. Opt to enjoy a cultural evening and show with typical food.

15

Day 15: San Clemente

Spend a full day here with optional hikes to learn about the area's medicinal plants or trek up the Imbabura Mountain. Interact with the locals and learn about their traditions.

16

Day 16: San Clemente/Otavalo

Head to Otavalo, famous for its market. Opt to visit the Peguche Waterfall and Cotacachi leather market or hike around Cuicocha Lake.
Explore the largest handicrafts market in South America. Villagers from the surrounding countryside come here every week to sell handmade goods as well as livestock, fruits, and vegetables.

17

Day 17: Otavalo/Quito

Explore some more before travelling back to Quito in the afternoon for one final night out in the capital city.

18

Day 18: Quito

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Local Living: Amazon Jungle Experience, Tena Local Living: Indigenous Community Homestay, San Clemente
    • Train excursion to Devil's Nose
    • Machalilla NP stay
    • Otavalo Market visit
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Simple hotels (12 nts), Amazon community stay (2 nts), overnight bus (1 nt), indigenous community homestay (2 nts, multi-share)
    • 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
    Transport
    • Public bus, truck, train
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • 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


Reviews (30)
Simon p. Posted on: 

loved it,its a great tour.an extra daz in banos would have been good as there is alot to do and see.

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Morag C. Posted on: 

great trip,really showed the variety ecuador has to offer,busy but enjoyable

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Henry R. Posted on: 

Our leader, Giovanny, was fantastic. The other group members were great. The trip was a whole lot of fun. Overall, a wonderful trip!

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Aideen G. Posted on: 

This tour was excellent in every way. It was well-organised, diverse, perfectly timed and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

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Robyn F. Posted on: 

What an amazing experience! Ecuador is such a beautiful place and this trip gave us a taste of everything! I couldn´t have had a more fabulous time

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William L. Posted on: 

Good overview of life in Ecuador with the opportunity to take part in some great activities and to opt out if we wanted to.

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Alex R . Posted on: 

Luis was an excellent tour leader, who combined a huge amount of knowledge with a great deal of common sense. The trip was excellent, particular highlights being the jungle and Mantanita.

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Matthew M Posted on: 

The Ecuador Experience! It certainly has been. We´ve witnessed wild and stunning landscapes, met wonderful people, and taken breathtaking bus rides. Definately a good sample of the variety that Ecuador offers. The sublime jungle visit with our welcoming Quichua hosts surpassed any possible expectations. Baños, Otavalo, Aluisi, Quito, Puerto Lopez all had a great deal to offer anyone with a desire to explore. The Chimborazo village visit was very interesting. The weather even cooperated. We´ve had warm, sunny days, cool evenings, and only scarce showers. The Devil´s Nose train excursion was a thrill. Canyoning down waterfalls and Isla del la Plata snorkelling were great new experiences. There has not been a single hitch that our guide hasn´t been able to either foresee and prevent or immeadiately recognise and circumvent. Giovanny, above all else, has made this Ecuador Experience oustanding!

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Lisa F Posted on: 

The trip was a complete success, we got to do lots of different acttivities and try many things. the tour leader was always helpful and on hand. -

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Robert M Posted on: 

a brilliant, well planned trip that went off without a hitch thanks to our great leader giovanny!

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Jennifer S. Posted on: 

Ecuador is a beautiful country-very scenic. Our tour leader was well-organized, trip went very smoothly. Generally food was good. These type of tours really let us experience the culture of the ordinary people of Ecuador.

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Ken S. Posted on: 

I really enjoyed the culture and the scenery. Great fishing,great waterfalls, hiking on Chimborazzo was great. -

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Aideen G Posted on: 

The tour was totally amazing! It contained everything that i ever wished to experience in life.

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Nadine B Posted on: 

This tour was really well organized and everything worked excellently. This trip shows you Ecuador with all his beauty in only 18 days. It's incredible!

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Alyssa S. Posted on: 

The trip was great.. the days in the jungle were full of new things and we learned a lot about the culture.. etc. -

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Brian S Posted on: 

excellent experience highlight especially the jungle stay and the trip to chimborozo fun group -

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Christopher S Posted on: 

I really enjoyed the whole trip, the jungle especially and the activities. I had enough bus rides to last for a while (lol) but it was nice to see the country. Our leader was very outgoing which was quite nice especially for things to do at night.

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Helen R. Posted on: 

Very well organised. Excellent tour leader- thoughtful, knowledgeable & great fun! -

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Kathryn T. Posted on: 

It was a really great way to experience a new culture in a short period of time. A lot of variety!! Being able to see so many different areas of the country allows you to develop an appreciation for its diversity

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Robert M Posted on: 

a brilliant, well planned trip that went off without a hitch thanks to our great leader giovanny!

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Mona B Posted on: 

Great tour leader, helpful and knowledgeable beyond expectation s he was Ecuadorian.

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Adrienne K. Posted on: 

Everything about the tour was great! Giovanny did a fabulous job of getting us around, keeping us safe, and making us laugh though the whole trip. All accommodations were fine. The itinerary was good too. We definitely got to experience the different climates and lifestyles of the country. -

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Sarah R. Posted on: 

the tour was good. a lot of experience and different landscape. -

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Ashlee K. Posted on: 

Overall the trip was fantastic. Got to see the many highlights of Ecuador that one might not consider without a guide. -

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Maree Posted on: 

I really enjoyed my compact journey in Ecuador covered a good varied section of the country and a great chance to met the locals and interact with them

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Kimberly D Posted on: 

e had an amazing time! The trip was great in that we were able to see a lot of the main highlights of the country. Carlos, our guide, was fantastic and really fun to be around. -

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Duy N Posted on: 

I know the places I visited would never been possible for without the help and organization of this tour.

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Kimberly R Posted on: 

This trip was fantastic! Marcello was an excellent tour guide and provided us with all the information we needed. There was tons of variety and we got a great feel for Ecuador!

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Gary R Posted on: 

The trip was amazing. Marcelo provided great insight and flexibility in the itinerary. Accomodations and transportation exceeded my expectations. It was a fulfilling and rewarding experience.

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Michelle Posted on: 

Excellent. Loved every minute of it! One minute we´re in the jungle, the next we´re canyoning down waterfalls or climbing volcanos and the next we´re whale watching on the coast! Ecuador is underrated!! -

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