• Extended Trip

Andes, Coast, and Galapagos

12 Days and 11 Nights Exploring Ecuador!

Quick Details

Itinerary from Quito

Day 1: Monday: Transfer airport/hotel in Quito

Day 2: Tuesday: Breakfast at the hotel. Excursion to the Otavalo Market.

Departure from our designated hotels in Quito on the Pan-American Highway north to Cayambe, where passengers have the opportunity to taste the delicious Bizkochos de Cayambe, a type of biscuit or bread, made at the same time in a clay oven (accompanied by leaf cheese or dulce de leche). After admiring the San Pablo Lake, we arrive at the Otavalo Market, the largest in America, where the natives of the area, known as Otavalos, one of the most recognized ethnic groups of Ecuador, make and sell their textiles and handicrafts.

Those who wish may choose to stay in this area and enjoy more time at the market, and our bus will pick them up at the end of the tour (they will not have the visit to Cotacachi and Cuicocha), or continue with the journey to the town of Cotacachi, recognized for leather clothing and crafts. On the way to Cotacachi, we visit an Andean instrument workshop, Ñanda Mañachi, located in the Peguche area, to spend some special moments with the locals and understand the Andean culture.

Once in Cotacachi, you have enough time to visit the town, the leather goods stores and free time for lunch (not included).

Later, we visit the Ecological Reserve where the Cuicocha Lagoon is located, inside the Cotacachi Volcano crater, which originated after a volcanic explosion thousands of years ago. And if the weather permits, it is possible to take a walk by the lagoon, and go sailing in the crater of the volcano in small boats (with additional cost).

Our transport will wait for 10 minutes in Otavalo to pick up the passengers who stayed at that stop and after that will return passengers to Quito and their respective hotels or departure points.

Day 3: Wednesday: Breakfast at the hotel. City tour: Historical Quito + Middle of the World

We visit the historic center, the largest and best preserved in South America, in one of our original trolleys, which are a replica of the trams that circulated in Quito during the last century.

We visit the Church of the Basilica of the National Vow, where we make a brief stop for an explanation of its façade. We later move to the Mirador del Panecillo, an iconic place in the city, recognized for its beauty, and where a statue of the Alada Virgin is found. There, you can admire a beautiful landscape of colonial and modern Quito. Later, we continue to the Plaza de San Francisco, one of the representative places of the city, and full of history, from where we walk to the Plaza Grande, the historic and political center of the city, surrounded by innumerable attractions including the Cathedral, the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Church of La Compañía.

We continue our journey getting to know the traditional La Ronda neighborhood, in whose romantic setting we can find workshops where our visitors learn with a group of authentic craftsmen how their works are made, and about trades of yesteryear that keep the cultural traditions of this charming city alive. (Entrances to churches are not included).

We make a stop in the pink zone of the city, where we have approximately an hour and a half to have free time for lunch (not included) and later we continue with our excursion to the Middle of the World.

We go to the Middle City of the World, where you can see the monument that divides the northern hemisphere from the southern hemisphere of the planet. It was built in the eighteenth century where the French scientific expedition defined the exact position of the line in Ecuador that divides the world. This is a must-do for those who visit Quito. This experience includes entrance to the complex of the Middle of the World where you can participate in unique experiences that defy the laws of physics and that occur only in this part of the world. After visiting this privileged place and registering it in your passport, you will always see Ecuador and the Middle of the World in a different way.

Day 4: Thursday: Breakfast at the hotel. Excursion through the Avenue of the Volcanoes.

We depart from Quito, where we take an interesting tour of the Ecuadorian highlands admiring beautiful landscapes of the so-called Avenue of the Volcanoes. This experience is ideal for photography! We also make a brief visit to the Cotopaxi National Park (entrance not included). Then, we arrive in the city of Riobamba and stay in a typical hacienda.

In case the Cotopaxi National Park is not operational due to the volcanic activity, we will visit the Quilotoa volcano and the incomparable turquoise lagoon found in its crater.

Does not include entrance to the Cotopaxi National Park.

Day 5: Friday: After breakfast, travel by bus from Riobamba to Alausí. Train ride through the “Devil’s Nose” and arrival in Cuenca.

Travel by train from the Alausí station to the “Devil’s Nose” (Sibambe) a unique engineering work embedded in the Andes (the train ride takes about two hours). Continue by land to Cuenca, visiting en route the ruins of Ingapirca (does not include entry). Arrive in Cuenca, get settled into accommodations.

Train operation is subject to change without notice

Day 6: Saturday: Breakfast at the hotel. City tour in Cuenca.

Tour of the city visiting the Calderón Park, New Cathedral and Old Cathedral, park of flowers, Museum of Modern Art, (includes tickets). Visit the Hats Straw Factory Toquilla by Homero Ortega. Barranco del Tomebamba and Turi river (complete with panoramic view).

Day 7: Sunday: Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer by land Cuenca/Guayaquil.

We leave early in the morning from Cuenca to El Cajas National Park, characterized by its glacial lagoons and its high mountain vegetation. Here we walk through this beautiful place to observe some of its lagoons and a primary forest. We also visit the zone of the three crosses that constitutes the continental divide of the waters. We take a walk to observe this curious place. From this point, we embark on a spectacular descent until we reach the Ecuadorian coast. On the way, we observe an Andean mountainous landscape and then see completely different vegetation, like banana and cacao plantations on the Ecuadorian coast. Arrival to Guayaquil.

Day 8: Monday: Breakfast at the hotel. City tour in Guayaquil.

Tour the main streets and avenues of the city, visit Simón Bolívar Park, El Malecón 2000, the docks and the Rotonda, with the statues of Bolívar and San Martín. Visit the Colonial neighborhood of Las Peñas, where you can admire its wooden architecture and where many of its houses are art galleries. You are sure to appreciate a beautiful panoramic view of Guayaquil and the Guayas River from Santa Ana Fort.

Day 9: Tuesday: Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer hotel/airport in Guayaquil, to take the flight (not included) to Galapagos.

Reception at the Baltra airport and transfer by public buses to the dock of the Itabaca canal, to cross by public service ferry to Santa Cruz Island, where transport is waiting.

Arrive at Puerto Ayora, an area where the island hotels are located. On the way, see the lava tunnels and a giant turtle reserve. Visit the Charles Darwin Scientific Station, where you can learn more about the Galapagos Islands, the species that inhabit them, their training and evolution, conservation programs and observe some Giant tortoises in captivity. (Transfer operates daily at 1 p.m.). Accommodation.

Transfers can be operated without visits and without a guide at the following times: 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. (upon request).

Day 10: Wednesday: Breakfast at the hotel. Galapagos exploration.

In the morning (8 am.), we have an excursion to Playa Tortuga Bay. We walk about 40 minutes before arriving at this beach, one of the most beautiful in Galapagos, with white sand and green mangroves. At Playa Mansa, we can swim and enjoy a morning at the beach. Free time to have lunch. In the afternoon (2 p.m.), we take a  yacht tour of the bay to visit La Lobería, named after the sea lions that are located here. You can snorkel here! Continuing with the tour, we go to the Canal del Amor, a place where nature lets us admire its beauty. At the end of this channel, a few meters away, we find a viewpoint where white-tip sharks can be seen. After a short walk, we can observe marine iguanas in the so-called Playa de los Perros. Punta Estrada will also be visited. Return to the dock. Accommodation.

*Note: the boat used in this excursion is a motorboat with capacity for 16 passengers

Day 11: Thursday: Breakfast at the hotel. Yacht excursion.

Yacht excursion to one of the following islands: Bartolomé & Bahía Sullivan, Seymour & Bachas, Plazas & Punta Carrión, Santa Fe or similar.
Return to Puerto Ayora. Accommodation.

Operation of tours in Galapagos are subject to space availability and in exchange for itineraries, departure days, etc. for climatic, operational and logistical conditions. GRAY LINE Guarantees the number of excursions and visits to be made, but not the specific itinerary or place of visit.

Day 12: Friday: Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer hotel in Puerto Ayora/Baltra Airport, to take your flight to Quito or Guayaquil.

Get picked up at the hotel and be transferred to Itabaca Canal. Cross by public ferry to Baltra Island to take the public buses to the airport. En route from the hotel to the canal, you will have the opportunity to make a brief stop in the craters Los Gemelos, crater holes.

Itinerary from Guayaquil

Day 1: Thursday: Transfer airport/hotel in Guayaquil. Accommodation.

Day 2: Friday: Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer hotel/airport in Guayaquil, to take the flight (not included) to Galapagos.

Reception at the Baltra airport and transfer by public buses to the dock of the Itabaca canal, to cross by public ferry to Santa Cruz Island, where transport will be waiting.
Travel to Puerto Ayora, where the island hotels are located. On the way, see a giant turtle reserve and the lava tunnels. Visit the Charles Darwin Scientific Station, where you can learn more about the Galapagos Islands, the species that inhabit them, their training and evolution, conservation programs and observe some giant tortoises in captivity. (Transfer operates daily at 1 p.m.). Accommodation.

Day 3: Saturday: Breakfast at the hotel. Yacht excursion.

Yacht excursion to one of the following islands: Bartolomé & Bahía Sullivan, Seymour & Bachas, Plazas & Punta Carrión, Santa Fe or similar.
Return to Puerto Ayora. Accommodation.

Operation of tours in Galapagos are subject to space availability and in exchange for itineraries, departure days, etc. for climatic, operational and logistical conditions. GRAY LINE Guarantees the number of excursions and visits to be made, but not the specific itinerary or place of visit.

Day 4: Sunday: Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the Galapagos.

In the morning (8 a.m.), take an excursion to Playa Tortuga Bay, a 40-minute walk away. We arrive at this beach to enjoy the white sand and green mangroves. We swim and enjoy a morning at the beach at Playa Mansa. Free time to have lunch. In the afternoon (2 p.m.) we take a yacht tour of the bay, to visit La Lobería, named after the sea lions that are located there. Snorkel and see wildlife! The tour continues at the Canal del Amor, a place where nature lets us admire its beauty. At the end of this channel, a few meters away, we find a viewpoint where white-tip sharks can be seen. After a short walk we can observe marine iguanas in the so-called Playa de los Perros. We also visit Punta Estrada. Return to the dock. Accommodation.
*Note: the boat used in this excursion is a motorboat with capacity for 16 passengers

Day 5: Monday: Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer hotel in Puerto Ayora/Baltra Airport, to take your flight to Quito. (Not included)

Cross the Itabaca Canal by public ferry to Baltra Island to take the public buses to the airport. Make a brief stop en route in the craters, Los Gemelos, crater holes formed by the collapse of materials, surrounded by a forest of scalesias. (Transfer operates daily at 7 a.m., 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.). Includes only transportation.

Transfer airport/hotel in Quito. Accommodation.

Day 6: Tuesday: Breakfast at the hotel. Excursion to the Otavalo Market.

Departure from our designated hotels in Quito on the Pan-American Highway north to Cayambe, where passengers can taste the delicious Bizkochos de Cayambe, a type of biscuit or bread, made in a clay oven (accompanied by leaf cheese or dulce de leche). After admiring the San Pablo Lake, we arrive at the Otavalo Market, the largest in America, where the natives of the area, known as Otavalos, one of the most recognized ethnic groups of Ecuador, make and sell their textiles and handicrafts.

Those who wish may choose to stay in this area and enjoy more time at the market, and our bus will pick them up at the end of the tour (they will not have the visit to Cotacachi and Cuicocha), or continue with the journey to the town of Cotacachi, recognized for leather clothing and crafts. On the way to Cotacachi, we will visit an Andean Instrument Workshop Ñanda Mañachi located in the Peguche area, to spend some special moments with the locals and understand the Andean culture.

Once in Cotacachi, you will have enough time to visit the town, the leather goods stores and free time for lunch (not included).

Later, we will visit the Ecological Reserve where the Cuicocha Lagoon is located, inside the Cotacachi Volcano crater, which originated after a volcanic explosion thousands of years ago. And, if the weather permits, it will be possible to make a walk by the lagoon, that is to say, sailing in the crater of the volcano in small boats (with additional cost).

Day 7: Wednesday: Breakfast at the hotel. City tour: Historical Quito + Middle of the World

We will visit the historic center, the largest and best preserved in South America, in one of our original trolleys, which are a replica of the trams that circulated in Quito in the last century.

We will visit the Church of the Basilica of the National Vow, where we will make a brief stop for an explanation of its façade, to later move to the Mirador del Panecillo, an iconic place in the city, recognized for its beauty. See a giant statue of the “Winged Virgin,” from where you can admire a beautiful landscape of colonial and modern Quito. Later, we will continue to the Plaza de San Francisco, one of the representative places of the city, and full of history, from where we will walk to the Plaza Grande, the historic and political center of the city, surrounded by innumerable attractions including the Cathedral, the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Church of La Compañía.

We continue our journey in the traditional La Ronda neighborhood, in whose romantic setting we find workshops where our visitors will learn with a group of authentic craftsmen how their works are made and about trades of yesteryear that keep the cultural traditions of this charming city alive. (Entrances to churches are not included).

We will make a stop in the pink zone of the city, where we have approximately one and a half hours to have free time for lunch (not included) and later we continue with our excursion to the Middle of the World.

We go to the Middle City of the World, where you can see the monument that divides the northern hemisphere from the southern hemisphere of the planet. It was built in the eighteenth century where the French scientific expedition defined the exact position of the line in Ecuador that divides the world, a must-do for those who visit Quito. Includes entrance to the complex of the Middle of the World where you can experience unique exhibits that defy the laws of physics and that occur only in this part of the world. After visiting this privileged place and registering it in your passport, you will always see Ecuador and the Middle of the World in a different way.

Day 8: Thursday: Breakfast at the hotel. Excursion through the Avenue of the Volcanoes.

Depart from Quito where there is an interesting tour of the Ecuadorian highlands admiring beautiful landscapes of the so-called Avenue of the Volcanoes, ideal for photography. Make a brief visit to the Cotopaxi National Park (entrance not included). Arrival in the city of Riobamba and accommodation in a typical hacienda.

In case the Cotopaxi National Park is not operational due to the volcanic activity, we will visit the Quilotoa volcano and the incomparable turquoise lagoon found in its crater.

Does not include entrance to the Cotopaxi National Park.

Day 9: Friday: After breakfast, travel by bus from Riobamba to Alausí, arrival in Cuenca.

Travel by train from the Alausí station to the “Devil’s Nose” (Sibambe), a unique engineering work embedded in the Andes (the train ride takes about two hours). Continuation by land to Cuenca, visiting en route the ruins of Ingapirca (does not include entry), arrival and accommodation in Cuenca.

Train operation is subject to change without notice

Day 10: Saturday: Breakfast at the Hotel. City Tour in Cuenca.

Tour of the city visiting the Calderón Park, New Cathedral and Old Cathedral, park of flowers, Museum of Modern Art, (includes tickets). Visit the Hats Straw Factory Toquilla by Homero Ortega. Barranco del Tomebamba and Turi river (panoramic view).

Day 11: Sunday: Breakfast at the hotel. El Cajas National Park.

Transfer by land Cuenca/Guayaquil. We leave early in the morning from Cuenca to El Cajas National Park, characterized by its glacial lagoons and its high mountain vegetation. Here we will walk through this beautiful place to observe some of its lagoons and a primary forest.

We will also visit the zone of 3 crosses that constitutes the continental divide of the waters, we will take a walk to observe this curious place. From this point, we will start a spectacular descent until we reach the Ecuadorian coast. On the way, we will observe an Andean mountainous landscape in the beginning and then observe totally different vegetation in the Ecuadorian coast with large plantations of banana and cacao. Arrival to Guayaquil.

Day 12: Monday: Breakfast at the hotel. City tour Guayaquil.

Tour of the main streets and avenues of the city, visit to Simón Bolívar Park, El Malecón 2000, the docks and the Rotonda, with the statues of Bolívar and San Martín. Visit the Colonial neighborhood of Las Peñas, where you can admire its wooden architecture and where many of its houses are art galleries. You will appreciate a beautiful panoramic view of Guayaquil and the Guayas River from the Fort Santa Ana. Transfer to the airport for international flight.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Prices per person, commissionable, in U.S. dollars
  • Packages do not include Municipal hotel rate in Quito, US $2.75 per room, per night, direct payment at the hotel
  • Special packages & circuits are made in shared service SIB, so depending on the selected departure day, each of the excursions will be scheduled, which may vary in the order or day of operation, but always will be fulfilled with all visits.
  • Please check prices for these packages and circuits in private.
  • These programs can be combined with each other or with extensions to Galapagos, Amazon, beaches, optional excursions and additional nights.
  • Does not include National Park taxes
  • International or national air ticket not included (if you require advice on this subject please contact us)
  • Programs to Galapagos do not include: Galapagos National Park Fee US$ 50.00 (Andean Pact & Mercosur) / US$ 100.00 (Other countries)  US$ 20.00 (TCT Transit Card)
  • Valid until December 15, 2019