Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO
Otavalo - Indian market, horseback riding und waterfalls
After breakfast, you will head towards north to Otavalo. The ride takes about two hours and leads through deep ravines, fertile valleys with rose plantations as well as along the lake San Pablo. On the way you can take a detour to the leather market in Cotacachi or go to the lagoon. The inhabitants of Otavalo - the Otavaleños - are true masters of the art of the weaving. Their bags, ponchos, hanging mats and carpets are sold all around the world. We check into the hotel early in the afternoon and explore Otavalo on the same day.
Accommodation at Hotel Casa Mojanda
Casa Mojanda is just outside of Otavalo and has a restaurant. This beautiful lodge offers spacious cottages with daily breakfast, private parking and Wi-Fi.
Each cottage has a private balcony with a view to the surrounding mountains. They include a seating area, a private bathroom, towels and bed linen.
The Casa Mojanda offers horse riding excursions to the surrounding area. The Hotel has a spa which offers different treatments. Pure relaxation.
Along the road of volcanoes to Baños
You leave early, circle around Quito and come to the Cotopaxi National Park, after a three hour ride. At the park you drive up to the hut and take a small hike. The next stop is the Hacienda Cienegra, where Alexander Humboldt lived and there you will strengthened yourself with a healthy soup. Then you continue to Ambato, where you can taste guinea pigs from the grill. In the late afternoon you will drive to Baños. In this charming location, at the foot of the active volcano Tunguraha, you will stay two nights.
Baños - Puyo and Shaman
The lively town of Baños is located at the foot of the Tungurahua Volcano. Since 1998 he is active and regularly spits lava and ashes. For the visitors, this is a grand natural spectacle. In Baños there are all-year-round springlike temperatures. The center of this town offers many artisan shops, small restaurants and the possibility to buy sweets from sugar cane. From Baños you can take a trip to Puyo, the gateway to the Ecuadorian rainforest. Here you will meet for lunch with the shaman and Shuar chief Tzamarenda Naychapi to taste girdle soup. Afterwards you will experience a cleaning ritual at a waterfall. In the late afternoon you return to Baños. In the evening you can stroll by yourself through the town center.
Day 2 - 3
Hotel Posada del Arte
A very creative hotel is the Posada del Arte in Baños. Everything is colorful and cozy here. The center of the city is within walking distance and that makes this hotel the ideal place to discover Baños.
Along the Chimborazo to Riobamba
Today you drive to the highest mountain of Ecuador - the Chimborazo. You stop at the foot of the mountain, at the gate to the national park and there you eat lunch with a view to the mountain. In the afternoon you continue to Riobamba. You arrive in the early evening and take a city stroll.
Hotel Mansión Santa Isabela
The hotel Mansión Santa Isabela is located in the historical center of Riobamba, two streets from the famous train station and 300 meters from the Cathedral. The hotel, an old Spanish colonial house, has been carefully restored. The rooms are comfortably equipped with modern luxury. They have a bathroom, some with bathtub, safe and cable TV.
The hotel has a spa area (Jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath, rooms for massages) to relax after an eventful day.
The on-site restaurant serves fusion cuisine, an international touch with classic Ecuadorian ingredients from the region.
From Riobamba to Cuenca
You drive to Alausí - the most famous train station in Ecuador. Here you get on the train and drive down the breathtaking railway line along the Devil's Nose - and up again. In the early afternoon we continue to Cuenca. If you are early enough, visit the Incapirca cult site and enjoy the sunset at this magical place. From here you continue to Cuenca, where you stay two nights.
Cuenca and the Cajas National Park
In the morning you will stroll through Cuenca and visit the cathedral and the market. Cuenca has a beautiful old town, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At noon you drive up to the Cajas National Park where you can take a small hike to the nearby lake district.
Day 5 - 6
Hotel Casa del Aguila
We stay in a historic colonial house, converted into a boutique hotel. It is located in the colonial town center of Cuenca, restaurants and bars are in the immediate vicinity.
From Cuenca via Loja to Vilcabamba
We drive on the Panamericana to the 180 km distant Loja, the capital of the southernmost province of Ecuador, one of the most enchanting cities in the country. On the way, we take a stop at Saraguro, where one of the most proud Indian tribes lives, once forcibly moved from the area of Lake Titicaca by the Inca ruler Huayna Capac. From Loja the journey goes on to Vilcabamba.
Valley of Longevity
In the morning you explore Vilcabamba in the "Valley of Longevity". Some of the inhabitants suppose to be already up to 125 years old. The reason for this is the infection-free climate, the lack of stress and a balanced organic diet. At noon you will go on an excursion to the Podocarpus National Park, the largest connected mountain cloud forest in South America, with its species-rich birdlife. There is an approximately three-hour hike on the program. Accommodation Vilcabamba.
Day 7 - 9
Villa Beatriz Lodge
Located in Vilcabamba, at the foot of the Mandango Mountain, the luxurious Villa Beatriz Lodge offers spacious rooms, a restaurant and a bar. Free Wi-Fi is available as well. The outdoor pool is equipped with an ozone disinfection system. Each spacious room in the villa has a work desk, a private bathroom and a balcony with an outdoor seating area and a view to the garden. The daily breakfast is served in the communal kitchen of Villa Beatriz Lodge.
From Vilcabamba to Zaruma
After a scenic drive along the winding road through the southern Ecuadorian highlands, you reach the small gold mining town of Zaruma, declared a World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO. In the afternoon you will visit a gold mine. Overnight at Hotel Florecer in Zaruma.
Zaruma - Puyango - Machala - Guayaquil
In the morning you will take an excursion to the Puyango National Park and a visit to the "stone forest". Subsequent drive into the tropical lowland via Machala, the center of the Ecuadorian banana industry, and we continue along the Pacific coast to Guayaquil. We will arrive early in the evening at your hotel.