Explore the Amazon, experience Baño’s beautiful waterfalls, mountain bike at the mighty Chimborazo, ride the legendary train route to Nariz del Diablo, explore the charming city of Cuenca, enjoy the beaches around Montañita and experience the fantastic wildlife of Isla de la Plata. This trip takes you to the best. Check proexchangerates to learn more about Ecuador.
Day 1 Departure from Scandinavia and arrival in Quito
Departure from Scandinavia to Ecuador’s capital Quito where you will arrive the same day in the afternoon or evening. You will be picked up at the airport and driven to your hotel where you will stay for the next few days.
Day 2 On a voyage of discovery in Quito
You have the whole day on your own to explore Quito. Quito is beautifully situated in a valley of the Andes at about 3000 meters above sea level. The city consists of an older district and a more modern one. In the old town you will find beautiful historical Spanish churches, cobbled streets and lots of historical museums. In the modern part of the city you will find shopping, restaurants and a lively nightlife. There are also opportunities for hiking outside Quito itself, you can also take a lift up to the viewpoint Cruz Loma at 4100 meters above sea level. You can then hike up to a full 4,680 m.ö.h. and get a magnificent view of Quito and the surrounding area. Another nice excursion is to the “Mitad del Mundo” – the center of the world – the equator itself, which is located just north of Quito. Here you can stand with one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern hemisphere.F ,)
Day 3 Qito to Tena – Amazon
Today, the jungle adventure begins in the Amazon. You are picked up in the morning and driven to Tena by your driver, the drive takes about 5 hours. From here you can continue by canoe to Liana Lodge where you will arrive in the afternoon. Enjoy the sounds of the rainforest and the views of the Amazon for a cold beer or drink. Liana Lodge is a small eco-lodge with 9 cabins, all built in a traditional style and blending naturally into the surrounding rainforest. All cabins have a private bathroom with hot water and a private terrace where you can relax and just soak up the atmosphere, sound and views. Take the opportunity to enjoy the tranquility as there is no electricity to be disturbed in the cabins. Liana Lodge has its own restaurant serving both local and international dishes. There is also a shared lounge with bar and fireplace that invites you to relax. reading or just having a good conversation with other travelers and with whom you can share your experiences. From the bar there are beautiful views down the river. The employees at the lodge are mainly Quechua and the salaries generated from Liana Lodge support 15 families in the area. In addition to Quechua, all employees also speak English and Spanish. (F , M )
Day 4: On an adventure in the Amazon
There are several different tours and activities to choose from here at Liana Lodge. Among other things, hiking through the jungle to the lookout point Mirador, where during the journey you learn a lot about the local flora and fauna Once there, you have a glorious view out over the island of Anakonda and the small village of Ahuano. On the return journey, you can choose between visiting the rehabilitation center AmaZOOnico where you take care of injured animals or go directly back to the lodge and take a canoe trip or float in the river on large bathing rings. You can also take an excursion into the jungle to learn different uses for trees and plants. You also visit the Mirador lookout point here before continuing to the Rodriguez River where you can take a refreshing dip and have the packed lunch. Throughout the tour, the guide talks about flora and fauna and shows different plants used by the Quechua Indians such as medicine, building materials and blowpipes, etc. There are lots of insects here such as butterflies, ants and termites – there are also toads but the chance of seeing mammals is small as they are either very shy or just nocturnal. Back at Liana Lodge you can go canoeing or floating in the river on one of the large bathing rings. You can also dig gold on a small beach that can be reached by canoe. Here your guide shows how people used to wash for gold and if you are lucky you will also find something to take home. You can also visit AmZOOnico as a separate excursion and learn more about how to rehabilitate injured animals so that they can return to their wild existence. Here there are usually parrots, toucans, cats, bears and monkeys. You can also do a hike from Runa Huasi to AmaZOOnico with a guide who tells you about flora and fauna. During the hike you will also see the Ceibo tree with its impressive roots and which is one of the largest trees in the entire Amazon. Evening walk – Many of the forest animals are nocturnal and it is an exciting experience to walk in the jungle in the evening in the dark when you can only really hear and feel the animals’ presence. This tour is purchased locally on site. ( This tour is purchased locally on site. ( This tour is purchased locally on site. (F , L , M )
Day 5 Tena to Baños
You will be picked up at the lodge in the morning and driven to the bus station from where you take the bus to Baños – a nice little town that offers lots of adventure and activities whether you want to hike, go rafting or mountain biking. If you are more eager to take it easy, Baños are well known for their hot springs. The active volcano Tungurahua is a major attraction in the region and if you are lucky you will hear the rumble and maybe even see glowing lava at the top in the distance at night. ( F )
Day 6-7 Explorations in and around Baños.
You have two full days on your own to explore and experience Baños on. ( F )
Day 8 Baños to Riobamba
Today the journey continues by bus to the city of Riobamba. The city is located on a large plain surrounded by several snow-capped mountain peaks, including the mighty volcano Chimborazo. Every Saturday there is a big market in the city and if you are here even on a Thursday, a visit to the market in the city of Guamote is a must. ( F )
Day 9 Mountain biking at Chimborazo
Today’s excursion goes through the dramatic landscape of the nature reserve Reserva Faunística Chimborazo. You drive through a desert-like landscape where you see wild vicuñas – a llama with extremely precious fur. The car is parked at 4850 meters altitude and those who want can walk up to Whymper Refuge at 5060 meters altitude. Back in the parking lot, your mountain bike is now ready and together with the group and the guide, you start the mountain bike ride down the volcano. You drive from 4850 meters altitude down to 3100 meters – a journey of 37 kilometers. The first 8 kilometers are on gravel roads and the rest of the trip is on asphalt with very sparse traffic. On the way you can enjoy the view of the Chimborazo volcano. Guide and assistance car stay at close range and are ready to help whenever you feel the need. You’re back in Riobamba late this afternoon. (F , L )
Day 10 Riobamba to Cuenca
Now you continue on the Pan-American Highway to Cuenca. On the way, a stop is made so part of the journey is made on the legendary train journey over Nariz del Diablo – The Devil’s Nose. Late afternoon you arrive in Cuenca; Ecuador’s Capital of Culture where all museums have free admission. The city is a very nice combination of big city and nice atmosphere. Cuenca has 400,000 inhabitants and is easy to navigate where most are within walking distance. There are also lots of historic churches, good food, elegant colonial squares and an incredibly nice and accommodating culture. ( F )
Day 11-12 Discoveries in and around Cuenca
You have two full days on your own to explore Cuenca. You can take a day trip to the Inca ruins Ingapirca or hike in El Cajas National Park if you wish. ( F )
Day 13 Cuenca to Guayaquil
You continue to the city of Guayaquil – you will be picked up by your Spanish-speaking driver who will drive you to the bus station and from here you will take the bus to Guyaquil. The rest of the day is on its own. ( F )
Day 14 Cuenca to Montañita
Today you take a bus to the Pacific coast and the city of Montañita (if you want, you can also stay in Puerto Lopez). The city was a hippie city in the 60’s but is now one of South America’s surfer paradises. The atmosphere in the city and on the beach is relaxed and comfortable. Here you can do yoga, relax on the beach and of course surf. ( F )
Day 15 Wildlife and nature on beautiful Isla de la Plata
You will be picked up after breakfast to first go to Puerto Lopez and then on to the island of Isla de la Plata. The island is undeveloped and is located in the most visited area of the Machalilla National Park. The nature and wildlife here are reminiscent of the Galapagos. As you move around the island with your guide, you will see both blue-footed, red-footed and Nazca lizards, impressive frigatebirds, albatrosses depending on the season and many other bird species unique to Isla de la Plata and the Galapagos. After lunch, the tour continues to Ounta Salo Santo or El Faro. Both plastics have nice snorkeling among colorful fish on the reef and if you are lucky you will also see a sea turtle. After the snorkeling trip, return to Montañita. ( F , L )
Day 16-17 Free days in Montañita
You have two wonderful days on your own in Montañita. ( F )
Day 18 Departure from Ecuador
You will be picked up at your hostel in Montañita and driven to Guyaquil International Airport from where you will begin your journey back to Scandinavia. ( F )
Day 19 Arrival Scandinavia
You land in Scandinavia – the time depends on the airline.