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Duration: 18 days
Trip code: REE
This 18-day group tour brings together the best of Ecuador’s unique culture, rich wildlife and dramatic landscapes in one exciting package! Beginning and ending in the vibrant capital, this tour takes in everything from bustling city streets to small seaside towns and isolated indigenous villages. Follow your guide and learn about local culture with a homestay experience in the Amazon rainforest, ride the incredible Devils Nose train that snakes up the slopes of the Andes, and walk among the fragrant trees and cacti that populate the Machalilla National Park. There are also chances to soak up modern Ecuadorian life with its colourful markets and lively city nightlife. In each location there are a huge variety of optional activities for you to choose from, including hikes, horse rides and relaxation in natural springs! This trip is the perfect way to meet new people while exploring some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in the world.
Please note: This is an open-aged trip.
Day 1: Quito. Arrive into Quito at any time. Head to the starting accommodation for your welcome meeting with your group and guide.
Day 2: Quito/Tena. Travel through the winding roads towards Tena and the Amazon Basin. Arrive into the beautiful town of Tena and soak up the relaxed atmosphere.
Day 3: Tena. Enjoy free time in Tena and choose from a variety of optional activities, including a visit to the animal rescue centre and exploration in Jumandi caves. Then head over to a traditional jungle homestay and stay with a welcoming Quichua family for 2 nights!
Day 4: Tena Experience a full day as a jungle resident. Learn more about local life, take a canoe down the Napo River, and enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner with the people from the village.
Day 5: Tena/Baños. Travel south to Baños, a lively town that combines late night bars with some of the most idyllic spots in South America. The best of both worlds!
Day 6: Baños. Spend the day making the most of this fantastic town with some amazing optional activities, such as a soak in naturally hot springs, mountain biking, and horse riding!
Day 7: Baños/Alausí. Travel through Riobamba en route to Alausí, a charming town of cobbled streets and wooden balconies. Enjoy some free time in the afternoon to explore.
Day 8: Alausí/Guayaquil. Wake up and jump aboard the famous Nariz del Diablo (Devil’s Nose) train. Peer out the open windows to see some breathtaking scenery as you descend a remarkable 1, 000m on the return trip to Alausí. Journey down to Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city. Spend the afternoon exploring.
Day 9: Guayaquil/ Puerto López. Time to head further north to Puerto López and Machalilla National Park. There are a number of fantastic activities in this area to choose from over the next few days.
Day 10-11: Puerto López. The next two days are dedicated to this beautiful area. Opt to take a day trip across to Isla de la Plata, hike through Machililla National Park, or grab a snorkel to see some incredible underwater wildlife.
Day 12: Puerto López/Quito. Spend one final day in this coastal paradise before settling onto an overnight bus back to the capital.
Day 13: Quito. Spend the day exploring Quito. Perhaps ride the Quito Skyrail, or take a walking tour of the city, taking in the Old Town and San Francisco square.
Day 14: Quito/San Clemente. Time to leave the city lights behind and spend some time with an indigenous community in San Clemente. Get to know the locals and learn about their way of life and culture in a fantastic homestay experience.
Day 15: San Clemente. Another day with the indigenous community of San Clemente. Wander the village meeting its inhabitants or take an optional hike up the rocky slopes of Imbabura Mountain. There is also a chance to take a tour around the nearby countryside to see the various herbs and shrubs that litter the area.
Day 16: San Clemente/Otavalo. Say goodbye to your new indigenous friends and head east to Otavalo. Experience the colour explosion of Otavalo market, wander up to the mountain town of Cotacahi or get a dose of nature with optional hikes to Peguche waterfall and Cuicocha Lake.
Day 17: Otavalo/Quito. Spend the day in Otavalo catching up on any activities you missed yesterday and then head back to the capital for your final night in Ecuador.
Day 18: Quito. It’s time to say goodbye to this amazing adventure in Ecuador. Depart at any time.