Highlights of Ecuador & descending to the Coast

Highlights of Ecuador & descending to the Coast

 

Day 1: Quito–Ibarra–Chaski Route- Train–Salinas-Otavalo- Magdalena - Karanki Community.
2 hours from Quito The Otavalo Craft Market is the most famous and picturesque in South America. Markets are meeting places for shopping, bargaining and chatter while people of the region exchange local produce, utensils, pots, and pans or textiles.
Panoramic view of Ibarra.
The 26-km stretch takes 2 hours to complete, as you plunge from 2200 m. to 1500 m. above sea level. Salinas afro-Ecuadorian community, sponsored by Kleintours in an effort to boost tourism in support of this fascinating area, with a vision of helping it become an important tourist destination. 
Community members demonstrate local planting techniques, including the materials and animals used to farm a variety of products including potatoes, quinoa, lupin, corn, beans, wheat and other vegetables depending on their harvesting seasons.
Included ticket train, lunch in Salinas, dinner and accommodation at Karanki Magdalena community.

Day 2: Otavalo–Papallacta Hot Springs–Amazon Rain Forest Lodge Breakfast.
South for around 3 hours drives to Papallacta. Enjoy the Andean countryside, moorland vegetation including the always intriguing Polylepis trees. Unwind at the spa and thermal pools.
Dramatic changes in climate and vegetation are a highlight of this drive that leads to the Amazon Basin.
Included breakfast, Hot spring pools, lunch, dinner & accommodation.

Day 3: Amazon Rain Forest 
Visit an indigenous family to learn about their daily life, culture and traditions, experience nature and travel by canoe by along rivers. These and other activities will depend on weather conditions and the interest of passengers.
Included breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation.

Day 4: Amazonia-Baños-Riobamba. 
We will head to Baños and encounter a series of waterfalls along the Pastaza River canyon including Cascada de la Virgen, The Bride’s Shroud, Machay, and Pailóndel Diablo.A short visit to the spa village of Baños, the Basilica and main square. Continue in order to arrive at Riobamba passing the foothills of Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador with over twenty thousand feet. Upon arrival make a panoramic city tour.
Included lunch, dinner, nd accommodation.

Day 5: Riobamba–Alausí–IngapircaRuins–Cuenca
From Riobamba we’ll go south to Alausí, along the way see via la Balbanera, the first Spanish church built in the country. In Alausí, we will take a spectacular train ride through the Devil’s Nose, a true feat in railway engineering of the early twentieth century.
We continue south for some two-hour drive to visit the Incan Archaeological site of Ingapirca, which means "Wall of the Inca" and it is the most important Incan relics in Ecuador. This citadel was built in the fifteenth century on an ancient route that connected Quito to Cuzco. 
Included breakfast, train ticket, box lunch, entrance Ingapirca Museum & accommodation.

Day 6: Cuenca
Cuenca World Heritage Site. It is a city of facades dated from the last five centuries which have been kept intact due to the unique privilege of being the only city on the Ecuadorian Andes which has not been hit by major quakes.
The Cathedral, Main Square, the flower market, San Francisco and Santo Domingo churches and the Central Bank Museum with permanent archeological, anthropological, colonial and republican art collections. Monastery of the Immaculate Conception, cloister built between 1628 and 1729. The cloister contains an unusual collection of religious art.
Panama hat factory where a wide variety of goods made from “toquilla” fiber like bags, dolls and of course literally thousand possible hat styles, colors, and prices. At the end, we shall have a panoramic look of the city from Turi viewpoint.
Included breakfast, entrance Banco Central and Conceptas museums and accommodation.

Day 7: Cuenca - El Cajas National Park - Guayaquil
From Cuenca to Guayaquil for a four-hour drive across El Cajas National Park, famous for its more than 200  and lagoons, such as La Toreadora where we can see some birds and plants  like Polylepis trees. The highway will take us from 4000 meters down to sea level, making it possible to observe some of the different habitats responsible for Ecuador’s diversity: Andean moorlands, the cloud forests and the subtropical and tropical rainforests, along with some tropical crops such as cacao, bananas, sugar cane or rice. Drop off at the hotel or airport.
Included breakfast, entrance to El Cajas National Park

Highlights of Ecuador & descending to the Coast