Day 1 - Monday: Transfer Airport / Hotel in Quito. Accommodation.
Day 2 – Tuesday: Breakfast. Sumerge into Ancestral Otavalo Culture.
Depart from Quito through the Pan-American North Highway until arriving to Cayambe, where the passengers will have the opportunity to taste the delicious “Bizcochos de Cayambe”, a type of cracker or bread baked in a clay oven (greatly paired with local cheese or caramel sauce). Afterwards, we will make a brief stop at “Miralago”, to admire a wonderful view of Lago San Pablo, amazing views. The tour then continues to Otavalo where Otavaleños (natives) set up a market in which a bartering manner of shopping is taken place. The market hosts a variety of different handcrafted items.
Passengers may choose between staying longer in Otavalo or go to visit to the leather shops at Cotacachi. On the way to Cotacachi, we will visit a traditional workshop of Andean instruments “Ñanda Mañachi” located in Peguche.
In Cotacachi you have enough time to visit the village, the shops of leather goods and free time for lunch (not included). Return to Quito picking up passengers in Otavalo (spot determined by Gray Line Guide).
** Bus will wait for 10 minutes in Otavalo to pick up passangers that stayed there, after that will return to Quito with passengers that are on board.
Day 3 – Wednesday: Breakfast. 1914 Original trolley city tour of Quito +Middle of the World Monument
We begin in the northern part of the city with a tour along the most important commercial areas, where most of the hotels in Quito are located. Then we head to the historic center to visit the Basilica del Voto Nacional, where we will make a brief stop and explanation to later reach the Plaza de la Independencia, where through a walking route you will see the Cathedral, the Government Palace, the Archbishop's Palace and the La Compañia Church, recognized for its adornments and gold altars. Tour will continue towards the Church of San Francisco, built in the seventeenth century. (Entrance to churches are not included). Then headed to the Mirador del Panecillo, a place renowned for its beauty, where you can admire a beautiful landscape of colonial and modern Quito.
We will stop at the “Zona Rosa” of the city, to have free time for lunch (not included), and then continue to the northem part of the city, heading up to the “Middle of the World City” (entrance is included) where the monument that divides the Northern from the Southern Hemisphere will be observed. It was built during the XVII century when a French Expedition defined the precise location of the equatorial line. You can enjoy, for an additional cost, the different experiments situated in the middle of the world.
Day 4 – Thursday: Breakfast in hotel. Excursion through the Avenue of the Volcanoes.
Depart from Quito where you enjoy the journey to the highlands of Ecuador admiring the beautiful view, ideal for taking pictures, brief stop Cotopaxi National Park (entrance not included), arrival at Riobamba city, and accommodation in a typical hacienda.
*If it is not operating the Cotopaxi National Park due to volcanic activity, you will visit the Quilotoa volcano and the unique turquoise lagoon situated in his crater.
* Does not include access to the Cotopaxi National Park.
Day 5 – Friday: After breakfast departure to the train station located in Alausí. From her we´ll enjoy a train ride towards the famous ¨Devil’s Nose¨ (a magnificent work incrusted in the Andes), return to Alausí (train ride takes approx. 2 hours). Continue to Cuenca visiting the Inca ruins in Ingapirca (does not include entrance), arrival and accommodation in Cuenca.
** Operation of the train is subject to modifications with our previous notice.
Day 6 – Saturday: Breakfast at hotel before a city tour around Cuenca.
Drive through the city, we will travel through the city visiting the Calderon Park, the New and the Old Cathedral, the Flower Market, Modern Arts Museum. We continue the tour to the Homero Ortega Panama Hat factory to observe the complete process of manufacturing. We will also observe the “broken bridge” and finally visit the tourist balcony of “Turi” where we can see a panoramic view of the whole city of Cuenca.
Day 7 – Sunday: Breakfast. Transfer Cuenca / Guayaquil. We leave from Cuenca to “Cajas National Park” known for its glacial lakes and high mountain vegetation. Here we will walk through this beautiful place to see some of the lakes and primary forest. We will also visit “3 Cruses” which forms the continental water division. We will walk to observe this curious place. From this point we will begin a dramatic decline to reach the coast of Ecuador. Starting we will begin observing the Andean mountain scenery and then ending up seeing totally different vegetation of the Ecuadorian Coast with large plantations of bananas and cocoa beans. Arrive to Guayaquil. Accommodation.
Day 8 – Monday: Breakfast at Hotel before your transfer to the airport for your flight to Galapagos.
Welcome at the Baltra airport and free transfer by bus to the tip of the Itabaca canal, where you will proceed by a public ferry service in the Island of Santa Cruz. Transport will be waiting in order to transfer you to Puerto Ayora, area where the hotels are located on the Island. On the way, you will have the opportunity to visit the lava tunnels and a Turtle reserve. Visit to the Scientific Charles Darwin Station, where you can learn more about the Galápagos Islands; the species that live in this enchanted place, its origin, the theory of Evolution, the conservation programs, and observe some Giant Turtles in captivity. Accommodation.
Day 9 – Tuesday: Breakfast at Hotel. Excursion in yacht to one of the following Islands: Bartolomé & Bahía Sullivan, Seymour & Bachas, Plazas & Punta Carrión, Santa Fe or similar ones. Lunch included and return to Puerto Ayora to accommodation.
** Tour Operations in Galápagos, may change due to climate conditions, operations, and logistics and are also subject to availability and itinerary changes, days of excursions, etc. However, GRAY LINE Guarantees the number of excursions and visits to be met, but does not guarantee the itinerary or specific place to visit.
Day 10 – Wednesday: Breakfast at Hotel. In the morning excursion to Tortuga Bay Beach, after 40minute walk (approx.) we will arrive to this magic place, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos, with white sand and green mangroves. “Playa mansa” is where we can swim and enjoy of the beach. Free time for lunch (not included). In the afternoon, tour around the bay on board a yacht, starting with a visit to “La Lobería”, named because of the presence of sea lions. Here you will be able to swim or snorkel. Then we proceed with our tour to the “Canal del Amor”, a marvelous site where nature gives us an unforgettable view; at the end of this channel, just a few meters forward, a viewpoint where we can observe reef sharks; from here we continue with a short walk to see the marine iguanas that inhabit in “Playa de los Perros”. Punta Estrada will also be visited. Return to Puerto Ayora.
*Note: shipping used in this excursion is a boat engine with capacity for 16 people. This tour only takes place Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
Day 11 – Thursday: Breakfast at Hotel
Our tour guide will pick you up at your hotel to go to the canal of Itabaca, where a ferry will take you to Baltra Island. At the port you will board a bus of your airline that takes you to the airport. En route you are going to visit a coffee plantation which is part of a social responsibility program. The encouragement for the organic coffee cultivation contributes to the conservation of plants and soil and therefore is deemed to be a perfect model of sustainable tourism.
Regular tour leave and return only from the following hotels: Sheraton, Dann Carlton, NH Collection, Swissotel, Holiday Inn, Río Amazonas, Mercure Alameda, Reina Isabel, Nu House, JW Marriott, Howard Johnson, Hilton Colón.
PROVIDED HOTELS or similar:
TOURIST CATEGORY: Nu House / Inca Real / Grand Hotel (Economico) / Deja Vu
SUPERIOR CATEGORY: Río Amazonas or Holiday Inn or Wyndham Garden Quito / Carvallo / Grand Hotel (Standard) / Maidith
FIRST CATEGORY: Mercure / Santa Lucía / Wyndham Garden Guayaquil / Isla Sol
FIRST SUPERIOR CATEGORY: Hilton Colon Quito / Santa Lucía / Howard Johnson / Sol y Mar