8-Day Tour of Ecuador
During this tour of Ecuador, you can hike through a mist-veiled cloud forest, admire wild orchids in a volcanic crater, hop over the equator, and ride a wooden raft on a tributary of the Amazon River. The tour also delves into local culture in the capital city of Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage site perched nearly 10,000 feet aloft in the Andes Mountains. Travelers will take several included guided expeditions along the way, but there’s also leisure time and optional side trips (additional fees apply). This tour includes:
- Round-trip airfare from Miami (MIA); alternate departure dates/gateways may be available for an additional fee
- Airline taxes and fuel surcharges
- 2 nights of standard accommodations at Hilton Colon Quito or Mercure Hotel Alameda in Quito
- 1 night of standard accommodations at Cabanas del Lago or Puertolago Country Inn in Otavalo
- 1 night of standard accommodations at Termas de Papallacta in Papallacta
- 2 nights of standard accommodations at Casa del Suizo in Punta Ahuano (Amazon)
- 1 night of standard accommodations at Hacienda Manteles in Baños
- Hotel porterage
- All transfers
- 16 Meals: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
- Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motorcoach
- Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
- Services of English-speaking local guides
- Entrance fees per itinerary
Days 1–2: Quito
You’ll arrive in Quito on Day 1 and have the rest of the day to spend at your leisure. On Day 2, a guided tour of Quito spotlights the city’s centuries-old colonial architecture, including the presidential palace and either the elaborate Church of San Francisco or La Compañia Church.
- Independence Plaza: The capital city’s main square hosted bullfights a few centuries ago. It’s now home to historical Moorish-style buildings.
- The Middle of the World Monument traditionally marks the earth’s center, but the equator is actually a few hundred feet from this much-photographed stone tower.
- The trip continues: After sightseeing on Day 2, you’ll board a bus to Otavalo, where you’ll have an orientation meeting with you tour manager and end the night with a welcome dinner.
Days 3–4: Otavalo and Papallacta
On the morning of Day 3, you’ll set out to browse one of the world’s biggest outdoor markets, which is run by the local Otavaleño Indians. Then you’ll visit the surrounding town of Cotacachi, known for its leather handicrafts, and the waterfall at Peguche.
- Otavalo market: Handwoven alpaca sweaters, colorful patterned scarves, and whole roasted pigs are among the goods that fill the stalls.
- To the mountains: Transfer to the Andes Mountain town of Papallacta, where you can join an optional tour of famous hot springs (extra fee).
- To the rainforest: After breakfast on Day 4, you’ll take a bus to the Napo River, where you’ll hop into a canoe for a leisurely ride into the Amazon rainforest.
- Meet a local Quechua family in the afternoon of Day 4 before settling in at the rainforest lodge where you’ll spend the night.
Days 5–7: Amazon Rainforest and Baños
After waking up in the Amazon, you can embark on adventures that include a treetop hike across hanging bridges and a short zipline ride. Then you can ride a wooden balsa raft on the Napo River, a tributary of the Amazon.
- The Devil’s Cauldron: On Day 6, you’ll visit the Devil’s Cauldron. Climb steep steps for an overhead view of this waterfall as it surges down a rock wall and over boulders that resemble the image of the devil.
- Traditional demonstration: Watch local craftsmen make jewelry and animal carvings out of vegetable ivory, which resembles elephant ivory but comes from palm nuts.
- Historical hacienda: On Day 7, visit the Hacienda La Cienega. The estate has belonged to the same family since the 1600s and features great views of Cotopaxi National Park and Cotopaxi volcano.
- Visit a rose plantation after lunch on Day 7, and travel to Quito afterward.
Day 8: Quito, Return to United States
After waking up in Quito, you’ll have breakfast and a full day to explore the Ecuadorian capital at your leisure.
- We suggest visiting the Archbishop’s Palace. Sit in the courtyards of this 16th-century building to dine on local cuisine and hear buskers play traditional music.
Frequently Asked Questions
**1. How much would it cost to fly from an airport not listed as part of this deal? Airfare is available from MIA.The supplemental fee to depart from a city that isn’t included is subject to departure date and availability at the time of booking.
**2. Can we extend our trip before or after the promotional dates for the deal? Yes, you may extend your trip for a supplemental fee at the time of booking.
**3. How do I find out if the dates I want to travel are available? The dates available are listed on each option.
**4. What happens if I buy the Groupon and my travel dates are not available? You can either choose another date or be refunded by Groupon. We suggest calling Gate 1 Travel to redeem your vouchers ASAP so that you do not run into this problem.
**5. Does my child need a Groupon, and can they stay in my room? Yes, each person traveling (including children) needs to purchase a voucher.