15 day tour of Ecuador's highland and Amazonian regions. This amazing trip loops around this country allowing you a glimpse of the wonder of it.
Click on photo above to see full photos!!!
We designed this tour to included everything our guests wanted and also those things they didn’t know they wanted! Local guides speak English at an advanced level as well as being experienced with a talent for making the tours both fun and informative. We have you picked up and dropped off at the airport, taking care of everything in between. Safety, fun, time for relaxation, good food, soft beds, great and unique experiences, on a route that doesn’t add needless hours on the road were all priorities. We can easily customize this tour to your interests, notching the adventure aspect up or down depending on preference. You just can’t help but have a great time! So come on over and
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EXPLORE and EXPERIENCE
Ecuador's Beauty, Culture and Diversity.
Contact us for a pdf of the day by day blow. Below find tour highlights and prices.
Traveling over the Andes Mountains by car, train and foot, and through the jungles of the Amazon by car, motor canoe and foot.
You’ll see monkeys, butterflies, birds, rainforest frogs, insects of all kinds, and more, depending on the day, in their natural settings. You'll also see jungle animals in an animal rehab center along the Napo River; llamas and condors in the high Andes. And that’s just some of the fauna, there’s lots of beautiful flora all around as well!
You’ll get to meet a range of Ecuadorians who will let you get a glimpse of their life and show you what they do; making music, rugs out of wool or clothing out of alpaca, chocolate from cacao, chicha (an indigenous drink); and the mayhem of them bartering with each other at the Saturday morning Otavalo Animal Market. There's even an Ecuadorian style cooking class.
You’ll get a taste of history in a number of places, including through tours of Cuenca and Quito’s historical districts (both UNESCO world heritage sites) and a visit to a museum dedicated to an Ecuadorian master painter and sculptor. At Quito’s Central Bank Museum, you’ll learn all about Ecuador’s history through archaeological finds, cultural items and pre-Columbian and Inca art…all the way to contemporary works.
Other highlights include hot springs and hot tubs in alpine settings, a train that zig zags down a 800 meter cliff (it’s recently refurbished), traditional dancing and a community tour to an indigenous village in the Sierra, a stopover at the Nate Saint House in Shell (where missionaries featured in “The End of the Spear” lived), and a stay at a gorgeous centuries old mansion up in the Andes under the shadow of Mount Chimborazo.
You’ll get to go rafting or inflatable kayaking down a jungle river, walk through the "paramo", moorlands in the high Andes, see the birds at dawn in the jungle (and just about everywhere else), and for those who like an adrenaline rush, you’ll have an opportunity to go zip-lining across a deep canyon in Baños and/or swing out over the edge of a mountain top treehouse.
You'll also get to do some shopping. Right at the end of your tour, we’ll hit the famous Plaza de Ponchos in Otavalo for beautiful handicrafts and the leather shops in Cotocachi. (Optionally, you may hike Mt. Fuya Fuya in Otavalo instead of shopping in Cotocachi if that's not your thing!) There are also a few other opportunities along the route where you can find Ecuadorian craftsmanship for sale.
That’s the tour in a nutshell, now onto prices.
Cost through to the end of 2016. $2000 per person for 4, a little more for 5 and less for each additional person up to 8; $2225 per person for 3. (See all prices at bottom of page, there's also a review down there).
SPECIAL DEAL: We can go up to 10 on this tour. In fact, we have a really great discount for anyone who wants to be a trip leader on groups of 10. Leaders get a fantastic discount! A leader mostly gathers up interested participants and collects the deposits. Please contact us if you want to be a leader.
Included in price:
All ground and water transportation, except for taxi rides to a couple on your own dinners in Tena. Local English speaking, professional yet fun loving guides. Raft guides and safety kayakers and all the equipment for kayaking or rafting on day 5, all entrance fees and expected donations on activities (except for a few optional things: the hot springs, tram, or zip-lining activities in Baños, the optional cooking class in Guamote, and the optional hike to Mt. Fuya Fuya in Otavalo).
Lodging: Price includes double occupancy in hotel rooms, with a double or bigger bed or 2 beds. The single rate would add $400 per person for those wanting their own rooms. Please note that paying the single rate does not guarantee a private room on the night of the jungle lodge. There is limited space at that great place! Think of it like camping but in cabins with comfy beds, screens on the windows, nets on the beds, hot showers, and great meals served up on real plates.
Airfare from and to Quito is not included. There is also a flight on the tour between Cuenca and Quito. We will make the arrangements. Since it is not possible to accurately predict the price, we include a base price in the cost of the tour, but it may end up as much as $30 per person higher. The difference of up to $30 per person will be added to the balance due. Participants will be consulted if that difference will be more than $30.
Most meals in restaurants and optional activities: Seven lunches and 9 to 10 dinners are not included in order to allow our guests to order whatever they want off menus. Figure between $4-6 for lunches and $5-7 for dinners and about $2 more at a couple of places. You have the option of going to a $10-20 per plate lunch at a place in Quito by the Panecillo with fabulous views of the city. (You can figure a total of between $75 and $125 for meals not included). Drinks beyond the 1 drink provided on all meals and any snacks or drinks in between and alcoholic drinks are not included. Grande Pilsners are generally available for $1.50 to $1.75 (up to $3 at the jungle lodge). Participants will be provided an opportunity to tram or go zip-lining over a canyon in Baños. That usually runs about $10 and is not included as we are sure that not everybody will want to do it! The hot springs in Baños is a short walk from the hotel and an option for those interested, the entrance fee is not included and our guides will only be pointing the way the night before, not actually going. The other not included optional activities are a cooking lesson at the guesthouse in Guamote and a hike to Mt. Fuya Fuya in Otavalo, those need to be signed up for in advance. The cost of the cooking class is $10 per person for 1 or 2, $5 for 3 or more. The cost of the hike is subject to change, but as of March, 2016 is $27 per person including a packed lunch. Participants will also want to bring extra cash for things like the animal rehab center gift shop, souvenirs, etc.
For tours with 4 or less participants: We use a rental car to keep the cost down on these smaller groups (instead of having a car and driver). But with car rentals, like airfares, it is not possible to accurately predict the price that we will get. So we include a base price in the cost of the tour, covered by the deposit, but it may end up as much as $50 per person higher. The difference of up to $50 per person will be added to the balance due and participants will be consulted, first, if that difference will be more than $50.
Payment may be made with a credit card (add 6% for this option), via PayPal (add 4% for this option), or by a cash deposit in our US or Ecuadorian Bank accounts.
Call or write us for availability. There are a few things that must fall into place for this tour to be a go. Please write us with your dates before booking your flights to be sure we can put the whole tour together at the time you are ready to book. Start days are always a Sunday in order to hit everything at the optimal time.
**Please understand that a lot of people and businesses are involved in a tour like this. Also, a lot of (wo)man hours go into the organization process. For this reason, a deposit and then full payment shortly thereafter is required in order to confirm the reservation and it is not refundable. We strongly suggest buying travel insurance that will cover any reason you may need to cancel after booking. If you are purchasing this tour as an expat that lives in Ecuador, you will have trouble with this. We have the solution, just send an email or call me for that info.
***Cost per person for 8 or 9 is $1600; 7 is $1765; 6 is $1890; 5 is $1750; 4 is $2000; 3 is $2225; and 2 is $2700 and 1 is just too outrageous to mention!
This is a review from a couple who took the tour in Feb/March of 2016
Let us say first that we had a wonderful time on our trip to Ecuador! We engaged is such a wide variety of activities on this tour - from feeding the monkeys to river rafting, zip-lining, a stay in the jungle to hiking and sightseeing in major cities. That variety really kept us moving from both one activity to another and from one place to another. Favorite activities for Roger were the animal market and the hikes he took. For Barb, favorites include the meetings with indigenous peoples, the markets, and the zip-line. We saw a lot of Ecuador - a real plus for a 15-day trip- and really enjoyed ourselves.
The Guayasamin Museum was amazing! The setting itself is beautiful and the paintings are amazing. I'd never heard of Gauaysamin before, so that was a real education for me. The Folkloric Ballet was breathtaking; it was so fantastic! We had great seats right in the front row and even got pulled into some dancing at the end. The fact that we couldn't understand a word of what was said did not diminish our enjoyment. The dances and acting told the stories so well. The weaving demonstration in Otavalo was wonderful, detailed and with so many wonderful wall hangings for sale.
Tarquino was a great guide! He's very easy to be with and has a great sense of humor! We did a lot of laughing, and he guided us well.
The hotels were terrific! La Andaluza was our favorite. The Rose Cottages were cute as could be and very comfortable, the hot tub was fantastic! We enjoyed soaking in it, and the view was breathtaking.
I hope you soon have others signing up for the 15-day tour. The tour showcases so much of Ecuador and gives a wide variety of experiences. I'm so glad we took the tour!