Snowcapped Volcanoes, Natural Hot Springs, and Tropical Rainforest Along the Equator
Ecuador is set along the equator, the invisible line that divides the earth into northern and southern halves. This line runs directly through Quito, Ecuador’s capital city; at a site in town known as the Mitad del Mundo or Middle of the World, you can stand with one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and one foot in the Southern Hemisphere. You’ll visit the Mitad del Mundo on this eight-day tour of Ecuador; at other points, you’ll visit the world’s highest volcano, the Amazon rainforest, and Baños, a city known for its mineral-rich hot springs.
The tour includes round-trip airfare from Miami (MIA), luxury hotel accommodations, grand transportation and transfers, guided tours, and 15 meals.
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Exotic Ecuador Tour Highlights
Guided tour of Quito: Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, is surrounded by lush ecological reserves and snow-capped volcanoes such as Mount Pichincha, an active stratovolcano. On your guided tour of Quito, you’ll visit Alameda Park, which houses the oldest observatory in South America, as well as Old Town, a UNESCO site and a historic neighborhood lined with colonial architecture that dates back to the 1500s.
Visit to the Otavalo marketplace: Browse colorful stalls containing fabric, fruits, and goods made by Otavaleños—the city’s indigenous people—in this open-air market. You might even hear traditional Andean pipe music or pick up a bit of Quechua, an indigenous language spoken in western South America.
Amazon rainforest excursion: Following a guided walk through the jungle, your group can choose to embark on one of two rainforest excursions. The first is a tour of AmaZoonico, a rescue center where you’ll see piglike tapirs, several species of monkey, and other animals that are native to the tropical rainforest. The second: a rafting trip down the Napo River, where you can learn how to make your own raft by tying balsa logs together. A local Quechua family will explain the various aspects of their culture.
Guided tour of Baños: Baños, a city near the Tungurahua volcano in western Ecuador, is famous for its natural hot springs that are rich in chlorates, sulfates, and magnesium. You'll visit the Rio Verde falls. While you’re here, try a piece of melcocha, a type of hand-pulled taffy that’s made locally.
Cotopaxi National Park: Located about an hour south of Quito, Cotopaxi National Park contains the world’s highest active volcano, Cotopaxi, which stands at nearly 19,500 feet above sea level. The national park is also home to llamas, wild horses, and other native species. You might even see an Andean condor or two; these near-threatened birds are found only along the Pacific coast of South America.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.