Ecuador 10 Days
Day One: Welcome to Ecuador
Upon your arrival in Quito you will be greeted by your guide and driver and travel about two hours to the unique indigenous Otovalo Valley, where you will settle into Ortovalos beautiful colonial Rivera Sucre Hotel. After which there may be some time to wander Otovalos ancient streets and plazas.
Day Two: Otovalo
You will visit the Otovalo Market that dates back thousands of years and is one of South Americas most famous markets. Ortovalo Market is truly an incredible example of the intercultural exchange that takes place here. Then you will hike to the beautiful Peguche waterfalls and view San Pablo Lake nestled down in the valley at the base of Imbabura Volcano. Next off to Paguche village, the people of this village are known for their back strap weaving process. Many of the crafts at the market are from this village. After dinner we will visit a traditional Shaman who will perform a cleansing ritual, and share some of his tribes Spiritual beliefs.
Day Three: Cotacachi and Cuicocha Crater
Today you head for the amazing Cuicocha Crater in the Ecuadorian Andes, stopping at the village of Cotacachi, known for its fine leather work. Then its off to the crater where you will hike down to the lake within its basin and go by boat around the distinct dormant lava dome islands. Here your guide will talk with you about the geological formations and volcanism. After lunch, its time to go to the Amazon and have an encounter with the Huaorani indigenous community. In the evening you will arrive at Gareno Lodge, where another Shaman will introduce you to his tribes rituals, traditions and beliefs.
Day Four: Amazon Indigenous Encounter
Representatives of the Huaorani and Kichwa indigenous tribes will lead you deep into the rainforest, along the way they explain their family history, lifestyle and demonstrate to you how they hunt, fish and survive in the forest. You will then have a chance to use a careatana (blow dart). Next travel up the river Napo by canoe and meet with members of the Kichwas community and see how they make their traditional drink Chicha from Yucha. You will then be treated to a taste of the indigenous native foods, and learn about their farming techniques.
Day Five: Oriente Los Andes Mountains
For you early risers its bird watching with your guide before breakfast. Then you will visit the Huaorani community school where the students sing and perform traditional cultural dances. After lunch the group will travel through Los Andes Mountains, some of the highest peaks in Ecuador and stay at the Termas Papaallacta Hotel enjoying the hot springs and incredible views.
Day Six: Mindo Cloud Forest
Today you will make your way to the Mindo Cloud Forest where you will harness up for the ride of your life, through the tree tops on adrenalin pumping zip line Canopy tour. After you will go back to the Hotel in time for a delicious dinner and a well deserved rest.
Day Seven: Mindo
You will visit the Environmental Educational Center, hike into the Mindo Cloud Forest and learn about the incredible biodiversity as you discover exciting flora, fauna and wildlife. Next a visit to the hummingbird gallery and a beautiful butterfly garden, followed by an exciting tubing river adventure if conditions allow. An alternative is to visit a local farm, where members of the historical society will share Mindos history with you.
Day Eight: Birds-Volcano-Middle of the World
You will greet dawn exploring the trails of the jungle in search of Barbets, Choco Toucan, Golden- Headed Quetzal, and many other exotic species of birds. After breakfast your off on a horseback ride through the country side. You will travel to Quito, visiting the incredible Tubulagua Volcano on the way, and stop for an unforgettable visit to the middle of the world, located directly on the equator, at zero degrees longitude and latitude. Overnight in Quito.
Day Nine: Quito Historical Centers
This day is dedicated to visiting the historical centers of Quito, one of the oldest colonial cities in Latin America, take a trip on the aerial tram to get a sky view of Quito and then spend some free time for last chance shopping.
Day Ten: Sad Goodbyes
What is included?
All meals, all hotels, private bus, 24 hr private naturalist guide, all activities -- everything except airfare, and tips.