Ecuador Tour Explores Amazon Rainforest and Capital City
This nine-day tour of Ecuador spotlights the historic capital city, the Amazon rainforest, and breathtaking Cotopaxi National Park. The deal includes round-trip airfare from Miami International Airport (MIA) via LAN Airlines.
Click here for a full day-by-day itinerary.
Days 1–3: Quito City Tour, Middle of the World Monument, Otavalo Market
The tour begins with a visit to Quito, Ecuador's capital city—at more than 9,000 feet above sea level, it’s the world’s highest capital. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Quito charms with rugged, cobbled streets lined with elaborate 16th-century churches. The real must-see attraction is the Middle of the World Monument, located right along the equator. While in Quito, you’ll stay at the four-star Hotel Quito.
On Day 2, you’ll take about a 1.5-hour drive north to Otavalo, a town surrounded by three volcanoes. The Otavalo market provides a glimpse of contemporary Ecuadorian culture, with stands stocked with colorful, hand-woven garments, traditional Andean musical instruments, and fresh vegetables. You’ll spend one night at Cabanas del Lago, a hosteria along San Pablo Lake, then head south for a night at Termas de Papallacta in the Andes Mountains.
Days 4–5: Amazon Rainforest Tour
Set up shop at the Amazonian lodge Casa del Suizo and embark on a hike of Napo River early the next day. Along the way, you'll cross swinging bridges and trek through patches of dense tropical foliage. Keep an eye out for exotic wildlife, as the forest is a natural habitat for parakeets, wild monkeys, and more than 4,000 types of butterflies.
Day 6: Banos Hot Springs and Devil's Cauldron
Frommer's says, "no trip to Banos is complete without a visit to the town's namesake hot springs." The mineral-infused hot springs are a great way to warm up for an exhilarating hike to Devil's Cauldron, a spectacular waterfall that spills out of a mountainside carpeted in thick, green vegetation. A cable-car ride can offer a unique overhead perspective of the falls. Later, head toward the Tungurahua volcano and the nearby Hacienda Manteles, where the tour group will spend the night.
Days 7–9: Cotopaxi National Park and Back to Quito
At an elevation of more than 19,000 feet, the snow-capped Cotopaxi Mountain is among the world's tallest active volcanoes. Though it's a long, challenging hike to reach the summit of this mountain, there's plenty of scenery to take in at lower elevations. You can check out the views at Lake Limpiopungo, or try to catch a glimpse of a rare Andean condor.