Ecuador & Galapagos

Gate 1 Travel Ecuador

This 8 day "on-the-go" program features the highlights of Ecuador in an active itinerary which includes several walking tours as well as some early starts and long days.

DAY 1, Monday - Depart for Ecuador
Depart for Ecuador. Arrive in Quito and transfer to your hotel. The Quito airport is approximately a 1-2 hour drive from the city. Balance of the day at leisure
Overnight: Quito▲

DAY 2, Tuesday - Quito City Tour & Visit to the Middle of the World
Morning, tour of the colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved in Latin America, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Begin at Independence Plaza, flanked by the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop's Palace before visiting La Compañia Church or the Church of San Francisco**. Afterward, see the Middle of the World Monument at the Equator, which marks latitude "0". Here, you can stand with one foot in the Northern and one in the Southern Hemisphere! This afternoon transfer by bus to Otavalo, a bustling city filled with friendly people that take great pride in their heritage and still dress in bright traditional attire.This evening, enjoy an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager, followed by a Welcome Dinner
**Please note that the itinerary may vary slightly based on local conditions and holidays, therefore La Compañia Church may be replaced with a visit to the Church of San Francisco
Overnight: Otavalo
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 3, Wednesday - Otavalo Market, Transfer to Papallacta
This morning, enjoy a tour of the market in Otavalo, one of the largest in South America and run by the local Otavaleño Indians. Here, enjoy the lively market atmosphere and browse the various stalls for traditional goods such as hand-woven clothes and rugs, jewelry, fruits, vegetables and more. Then, visit Peguche, known for its beautiful waterfall. This afternoon, transfer to Papallacta located in the Andes Mountains. The remainder of the day is at leisure or join the optional tour to Papallacta's spas and hot springs, for which it is famous
Optional: Termas de Papallacta Spa Package (PM)
Overnight: Papallacta
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4, Thursday - Amazon Lodge, Meet a Quechua Indian Family
A contrast in scenery as you reach La Punta Ahuano, a tiny port on the north bank of the Napo River, where you board a motorized canoe that takes you to the lodge on the Amazon River where you'll spend the next two nights. Enjoy the sounds, the serenity and the magnificent foliage as you begin the exploration of the unique Amazon culture. You may be able to spot many different species of birds and monkeys along the way. After lunch at the lodge, a fascinating visit to Ahuano, a small river side Quechua village. Meet a local Quechua Indian family and learn about daily life, education and survival in the Amazon. Return to the lodge in time for dinner
**Please note upon arrival the lodge is approximately a 5-10 minute walk uphill from where passengers will exit the canoe
Overnight: Amazon
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Friday - Nature Trail Hike, Leisure Time at the Lodge
Arise early this morning for a hike along the flourishing nature trail to view the gorgeous flora and fauna up close. The Amazon rainforest is the world's largest ecosystem, so be sure to keep an eye out for the many different species of tropical plants and flowers, insects, and butterflies. Enjoy spectacular vistas as you cross suspended bridges and fly through the jungle on a short zip line basket ride. At the end of the hike** a fun-filled rafting trip on a traditional balsa log raft that winds slowly along the river's bend. Time to relax this afternoon at the lodge, or perhaps visit the nearby Butterfly Farm before dinner
**Please note this is an active hike and sections of the path include steps. Also, those who participate in the rafting trip will need to step through the water to reach the raft and will get wet during the ride
Overnight: Amazon
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Saturday - El Pailon Del Diablo & Baños
A canoe takes you on the short trip to La Punta Ahuano, continuing by coach to the powerful Devils Cauldron (El Pailon del Diablo) one of Ecuador's most striking waterfalls, hidden in the Ecuadorian rainforest. Drive to Baños, an idyllic little town known for its hot thermal baths and the sometimes-steamy Tungurahua Volcano. Watch a demonstration of a traditional craft that transforms palm nuts into jewelry and animal carvings before checking into your hotel. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure
**Please note that it is an active hike to and from El Pailon del Diablo waterfall
Overnight: Baños
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7, Sunday - Hacienda La Cienega
Today enjoy a visit to the Hacienda La Cienega, one of the oldest and most historical haciendas in Ecuador, belonging to the descendants of Marques of Maenza dating back to the 17th century, with spectacular views to the Cotopaxi National Park and volcano, in the background. After lunch tour a local rose plantation. Although roses are not native to Ecuador, the country has a perfect environment for rose cultivation, and is presently one of the world's major producers. On the plantation you'll learn more about the farming process, from planting to exporting. Return to Quito for an evening at leisure
Overnight: Quito
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8, Monday - Depart Ecuador
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
*Please note: Some flights depart shortly after midnight in the very early morning of Day 8 and will require a transfer on Day 7. Transfers depart the hotel approximately 4 hours prior to flight time
Meals: Breakfast

▲ Due to the high elevation, travel in the Ecuadorian Andes may cause some passengers to experience the temporary effects of altitude sickness. If you have any concerns about traveling to higher than your accustomed elevation, please consult your healthcare provider.

Source: www.gate1travel.com
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