7-Day Tour: Fascinating Ecuador

Tour from Quito to Guayaquil, Ecuador

About this activity

From Quito to Otavalo, Papallacta, Cotopaxi, Cuenca and Guayaquil

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Nature reserve Pahuma - Otavalo

Today you will go to the Pahuma Nature Reserve, where you will go on a two-hour hike. Continue to Otavalo and overnight at Hacienda Cusin.

Day 2

Indian market in Otavalo

After breakfast you will visit a rose farm, where you will learn more about the country's biggest exporter. You will continue to the waterfall in Peguche and finally visit the famous Indiomarkt in Otavalound on the Plaza del Poncho, where carpets, bags, brightly colored hats and, of course, the namesake of the place - the selection of handmade textiles are offered. Overnight at Hacienda Cusin.

Day 3

Cuicocha lagoon - thermal springs Papallacta

In the morning, take a small hike at the Lake of Cuicocha, at an altitude of 3,500 meters, in a spectacular landscape at the foot of the volcano Cotacachi. Then a breathtaking trip to Papallacta, since the vegetation changes constantly. After about 1.5 hours driving time you reach the high plateau. Enthusiastic hikers can take a two-hour march, with a beautiful view of the volcano Antisana, down to Papallacta. Otherwise you will be driven to Papallacta. Once there, you will get your rooms and have time to bathe extensively in the hot springs. Overnight in Termas de Papallacta.

Day 4

Drive to Cotopaxi National Park

On the Avenue of the volcanoes you will pass the volcanoes Antisana, Illiniza and other snow-capped giants and visit the highest active volcano in the world, the Cotopaxi. At the foot of the volcano, you walk through the national park to the Limpiopungo lagoon at 3800 m height. When the view is clear, the Cotopaxi is reflected in the lagoon, a magnificent photo-motif. In the afternoon you will reach Riobamba. Overnight at Hacienda Abraspungo.

Day 5

From the Devil's nose over Ingapirca to Cuenca

In the morning drive to the train station of Alausí and take the famous train to the "Nariz del Diablo" or Devil's Nose - a 100 m high rock formation over the Chanchan Gorge. An elaborate construction and arrangement of the tracks allows the train to climb in zigzags the almost vertical wall of the Devil's Nose. Then you will visit the Inca-site Ingapirca. (Kichwa: "Inca wall"), also Hatun Kañar (Hatun Cañar ="Great-Cañar")). The exact purpose of the site, which has been described by the Spanish chroniclers as a "castle" (castillo), has not yet been deciphered. But it has now become clear that it was not just a fortress, but also a Kañari cave , which was later used by the Inca as well. The construction of the jointless stone blocks is similar to that of the Inca ruines preserved in Cusco. According to the current interpretation, the complex includes a sun temple, an observatory for observing the sun and the moon, storage rooms, rituals baths, tombs, streets and squares. You will continue in the direction of Cuenca, overnight at the Hotel Carvallo.

Day 6

Visit the city of Cuenca

Today you will spend the day in the beautiful city of Cuenca - the cultural metropolis in the south of Ecuador. The cozy and nostalgic atmosphere is underscored by the cobblestone pavement, flower-bedecked squares and noble facades with their ornate iron balconies. In the afternoon you can enjoy the city on your own. Overnight at Hotel Carvallo.

Day 7

Hike through the Cajas National Park

Today you will reach the Cajas National Park. About 200 lagoons are spread over an altitude of 3,150 to 4,450 meters. After a short hike you will continue over a pass to Guayaquil. On the journey you will experience the magnificent change of vegetation from 4,000 meters down to the sea level. Arrival in Guayaquil in the early evening. During a short city tour you will get an overview of the this harbour town.

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