Galapagos Natural Life
Tours By Ecuador
10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS
ITINERARY DAY BY DAY
Day 1: OTAVALO
Driving north of Quito is the most famous indigenous market of Ecuador: Otavalo, full of traditions and handcrafts. Before arriving to this magic place, you will visit Calderon, a small town famous for “Mazapan” handicrafts. Following the route is Cayambe, the perfect place to see how people prepare biscuits using a traditional technique. Next stop will be a view point to enjoy the landscape of Imbabura volcano (4610 mts.) and San Pablo lagoon.
Your next and most anxious spot will be Otavalo market, where you will spend time shopping and some quality time with your friends. You will fall in love with all variety of handicrafts.
Then you will go to Cotacachi to have a delicious lunch and explore the leather local work shops for a great landscape ending at Cuicocha´s view point.
Day 2: COTOPAXI
The tour begins. We are going to travel approximately for 1 and a half or 2 hours.
The first technical stop is going to be on the entrance of the National Park, because we have to pay the entrance fee. Also, if you want, you might buy some handicrafts at the small market. The products that you will find are made by the people of the near communities. This is the last opportunity for having a pair of gloves and cap of wool for being warm.
We are going to visit the Interpretation Center “Mariscal Sucre”. Inside it, we are going to have an explanation about different aspects of the National Park (history, animals, plants, others).
We are going to arrive at a big esplanade of the park. It is a good moment to take pictures and see the landscape.
We are going to be at the parking lot. We need to take the appropriate clothes and water for beginning to climb.
We are going to walk for approximately 40 minutes (it depends of your fitness)
We have deserved a rest at the refuge (José Rivas). After a moment, the people who wants to arrive until the glacier can go for a walk of 25 minutes more. And also if the weather conditions are good, you are going to have a beautiful view of the mountains and the landscapes. After that, we return to the refuge, for having lunch. It is an excellent moment, for sharing experiences with friends, while you are drinking a delicious cup of hot chocolate.
We continue our tour, now we have to come back to the parking lot, and take the bikes to go downhill until the Limpiopungo Lake
We are on the parking lot. Take the bikes and enjoy the trip. It could be for 40 minutes (it depends of your ability).
Arrive to the Limpiopungo Lake. We have a moment for resting and walking. After that, we come back to Quito.
Day 3: LAGO AGRIO – CUYABENO
Flight (9:15 am) or bus (trip the night before the tour - 8 hours) to Lago Agrio. Private land transportation from Lago Agrio to El Puente. Canoe trip down the Cuyabeno River to our lodge. Lunch. Visit the Laguna Grande to swim and enjoy the sunset. Dinner. Exciting night walk.
Day 4: HIKING DAY
Breakfast.: Morning: three-hour hike in the primary forest to learn about flora and fauna, especially to know about medicinal plants, frogs, insects, birds, etc. Lunch at the camp. Relax, in the afternoon paddle in a traditional canoe on the Lagoons or rivers to explore und enjoy the uniqueness of nature. Where you can swim and enjoy the sunset. If conditions permit, you may be able to see pink dolphins. Return to lodge. Dinner.
Day 5: COMMUNITY DAY
Breakfast. Visit the Community Siona Tarabeaya, preparation of artisan chocolate and tropical fruits tasting additionally you can see the preparation of the traditional bread (Casabe) and the naturalist guide will explain about the culture and traditions of native people. Lunch. Visit the Shaman, who will explain about the ceremonies in the jungle. Return to camp. Dinner. Night canoe expedition in search of caimans.
Day 6: CUYABENO
Early morning bird watching. Breakfast. Navigating the Cuyabeno River back to El Puente. Box Lunch. Transfer to Lago Agrio. Return to Quito by bus or plane (17:00pm).
Day 7: QUILOTOA - BAÑOS
The tour begins. We are going to travel for around 2.5 hours, from Latacunga to Quilotoa Lake. During the travel we are going to visit different places. Like Saquisilí, the Las Cruces community and Quilotoa community.
We have the first technical bus stop, on Saquisilí town. There, you are going to visit the different popular markets of the town.
At the first market, people of the community go there, for selling animals, such as: “Llamas”, pigs, cows, sheep, lambs.
In the second market you are going to observe how the people sell their small animals, like: chicken, “cuy” (guinea pig), rabbits. Also you might observe the different kinds of products for consume of themselves. There, you might observe products, for example: onion, potatoes, tomato, green / red pepper, “mellocos”, and others. Also, you can see different products on the section of the “mercado de pulgas”, where you can find products of second use, with good prices.
On the third market, you are going to find three sections:
First: handicrafts products artisanal, like: clothes made with wool,
Second: That is the section of food, you are going to see the different kind of typical food of the zone.
Third: you are going to see, products like grains, flour of different kind of grains, between others.
Afterwards there is the departure to the “Las Cruces” Community; we are going to be there in approximately 1 hour. You might observe their typical clothes and also you can take a look inside their houses. But the most important thing, is that you are going to be with them in a typical indigenous house made of straw. Sharing with them a few moments talking, watching and learning from them, how their life is, and how they prepare the earth for to sow.
If you want experiment another kind of tourism. It is your opportunity.
We will go to the Quilotoa Lake. We are going to pass the zumbahua community, and finally we are going to arrive to the Quilotoa community, before we go to the lake. We are going to have the lunch. (You might choose one of the three options: llama, chicken, vegetarian food).
Now we continue with traveling, the time for arriving to the lake is approximately 50 minutes (It depends of your fitness). At begging of the down, you are going to have a wonderful view of the lake with a turquoise color. It´s a good moment for taking pictures, after that, we continue following the pad.
When you arrive to the bottom you are going to have moments for walking, near to the water. Also, you are going to smell the minerals which are mixed with the water. If you want, you might rent to the people of the community some small boats for navigating in the lake.
We need continue with our trip, but now we are going to the top, in mules or donkeys. The time for doing it is approximately 40 min. When you arrive to the top, you might buy some handicrafts at the artisanal market of the community. Then, we go back to Quito.
We arrive to Baños.
Visit to hotsprings.
Day 8: BAÑOS - ALAUSI
A route where you can travel through the jungle, waterfalls, rivers located between two National Parks such as El Sangay and Los Llanganates, located on the road Baños-Puyo. In this ecological corridor you can admire each of the waterfalls as: Agoyán, Mantle of the Bride, Pailón del Diablo and Machay, after doing this tour you can perform activities such as canopy, tarabita, cayoning and bunjee jumping.
It is a perfect place to enjoy a PICNIC with friends or family, likewise enjoy the fabulous views of Tungurahua volcano and the mountains that surround the city of Baños Ecuador, and if you like and are not afraid of heights and adrenaline you can go up to the most famous swing that Ecuador has.
If you are lucky you will be able to witness an interesting talk about the number of eruptions that have arisen over the last 15 years by the expert and watchman of the Military Geographical Institute Mr. Carlos Sanchez, in this conversation you will be able to observe the different type of volcanic rocks Expelled, the eruptive phases, and to know in depth the majestic Mama Tungurahua.
At 13:00 Time to Lunch (Included)
Transport to Alausí.
Day 9: ALAUSI – INGAPIRCA
After breakfast we are gonna be part of a georgus travel by train to “La Nariz del Diablo” considered one of the train engineering spectacles of the world. You will descend gradually from the highlands to the lowlands, at times zigzagging, or hugging the cliffs. In the descent at the lowest point, an interesting rock will appear on the horizon. The train descends and then returns to Alausi again
We are gonna take a delicious lunch on the city and continue to Ingapirca ruins
It’s the most important ruins left by the cultures of Ecuador. The vast archeological complex includes Inca and pre Inca ruins. The “Temple of the Sun” is an architectural marvel to behold.
Then we are going to continue to Cuenca. Overnight.
Day 10: CUENCA – GUAYAQUIL
On Cuenca we are gonna have a great overview point with the visit to TURI, this place is the most important point to see thin awesome colonial city. Then we continue to the down town to visit “La Catedral” a beautifull church in the center of Cuenca, Abdon Calderon street, “La Calle Larga” the flowers street, the great place to learn more about Cuenca’s culture.
Cuenca also has a nature part to visit, Parque Nacional El Cajas, is only 1 hour away from the city an excellent place to see lagoons as La Toreadora, after a short path we are gonna take a chocolate to continue our trip to Guayaquil
Arrive to Guayaquil at night.
Transfer to your Hotel in Guayaquil
End of services.
NOTE: The itinerary may be subject to changes.
Quito - Ecuador - South America
Photos: Galapagos Natural Life / Fabricio Cuasapaz
Enjoy Ecuador with Galapagos Natural Life