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Secrets of Ecuador

9 days with Trafalgar   Rating: First Class

Book this Trip Now and Save!

  • Trafalgar Frequent Traveler Club members save an additional 5% off the land price. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Group discounts! Book a group of 5-9 on the same tour and each person saves 5% off the land price. Book a group of 16 or more and one person travels for free. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Travelers ages 5-17 save up to 10% off trips to Europe, South America, the U.S. and Canada. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Book two back-to-back tours of 7 days or longer and save up to 2.5% off the land price of the shorter tour. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.


Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Arrive Quito – Otavalo (2 Nights)
Welcome to Ecuador, a local host will greet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel in the village of San Pablo del Lago, located just outside Otavalo and ideally situated at the base of the Imbabura Volcano. Hacienda Cusin, founded in 1602, is one of the oldest haciendas in all of Ecuador. Enjoy the rest of your day to relax and get settled in.

Day 2 Otavalo Sightseeing
Depart mid-morning to meet a local family who introduces you to the Andean tradition and Cultural Insight of flute-making, including a musical interlude using the handmade instruments. You'll even get the chance to try playing the instruments yourself. Enjoy a Welcome Reception Lunch with your Travel Director and fellow travellers at a traditional hacienda. Visit the public market alongside native Otavalenos and put your bartering skills to the test. Stroll through the different vendor stalls offering a variety of handcrafted items in search of the perfect keepsake. (Full Breakfast, Welcome Reception, Dinner)

Day 3 Otavalo – Cayambe – Quito (2 Nights)
Your morning is at leisure before heading to Cayambe where you will meet a local family for a Be My Guest Lunch at Hacienda La Compania, a beautiful home and rose plantation. Tour the grounds, including the charming chapel and learn about the roses grown here before indulging in a meal of Ecuadorian specialities. Arrive in Quito and enjoy the evening to relax. (Full Breakfast, Be My Guest Dining)

Day 4 Quito Sightseeing – Equatorial Line Monument
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Quito, Ecuador's capital city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn all about the religious and cultural influences of this bustling city, located just 14 miles (22 kilometres) from the Equatorial Line. Visit a candy shop to watch a third generation candy-maker create a traditional Ecuadorian candy called colaciones, a Cultural Insight. Eat lunch at a local restaurant and try another Cultural Insight, canelazo, a delicious spiced cinnamon rum drink. Continue to the Equatorial Line Monument and stand in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres at the same time. Later, meet a Local Specialist, an Ecuadorian organic chocolate-maker, who tells you all about the production process and shares samples for you to enjoy. Indulge in a Regional Meal this evening featuring local cuisine. (Full Breakfast, Lunch, Regional Meal)

Day 5 Quito – Cotopaxi National Park – Riobamba
Travel south along the Panamerican Highway, through stunning landscapes of valleys and mountains before arriving at Cotopaxi National Park, the site of an active volcano standing 19,642 feet (5,987 metres) high. Meet a Local Specialist who shares his knowledge and passion for this spectacular natural wonder. Continue on to Limpiopungo Lake where you'll observe a great number of high-altitude birds, and occasionally, wild horses. Return to the valley where lunch is served at a 300-year-old hacienda. Venture back to the main road and continue along the "Avenue of the Volcanoes." Riobamba awaits as you continue alongside massive Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador. (Full Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6 Riobamba – Alausi – Ingapirca – Cuenca (2 Nights)
Head south to the train station in Alausi where you board the Devil's Nose Train, an engineering feat of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The railway allows you to discover the topographic obstacles of Ecuador's diverse landscape as you zigzag down the steep mountainside. Disembark at Sibambe to visit a local museum built and run by the Nizag community. See displays of local crafts, fruits, and medicinal plants. After your train journey, enjoy a picnic lunch before visiting the Inca ruins of Ingapirca. (Full Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 7 Cuenca Sightseeing and Free Time
Discover the charm of Cuenca with a Local Specialist and admire the red-tiled roofs, cobblestone streets and flowery plazas. Founded as a Spanish settlement in 1557, the beauty of its landscape with the harmony of old and modern architecture has prompted UNESCO to name Cuenca a World Cultural Heritage Site. Today's highlights include the Todos los Santos ruins, a flower market, and the main square surrounded by the imposing blue-domed Cathedral. Visit surrounding communities including an arts and crafts village for a Cultural Insight into the ancient weaving process of Panama hats and other items made of toquilla straw. Learn weaving methods that date back to pre-Columbian cultures while visiting a local pottery maker in action. The evening is yours to explore. (Full Breakfast)

Day 8 Cuenca – El Cajas National Park – Guayaquil
Journey to Guayaquil through El Cajas National Park. Watch the ever changing flora and fauna as you travel through the beautiful cloud forests to the coast for a visit to a cacao plantation. Here, learn all about growing and harvesting cacao with a Local Specialist before a delicious lunch. Arrive in Guayaquil and enjoy a short city tour. Tonight, toast an unforgettable holiday during a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant. (Full Breakfast, Lunch, Farewell Dinner)

Day 9 Depart Guayaquil
Your Ecuadorian adventure comes to an end with a transfer to the airport for your flight home, or extend your stay at the Hotel Oro Verde. (Full Breakfast)
Map
All This Included
Ecuador's colours and contrasts are featured on this incredible exploration from Otavalo's outdoor market, Cotopaxi National Park, Devil's Nose Train and to UNESCO World Heritage sites like Quito and Cuenca. You'll enjoy Insider moments like… 3,000 roses filling the Jarrin family's hacienda, as you join them for local treats like 'llapingachos', cheesy potato cakes, after exploring their rose plantation. It's staying at a restored 17th century hacienda once owned by King Phillip III of Spain. Exclusive: extend your Trafalgar trip with the perfect Volunteer Amazon Experience

Dining
  • 8 full breakfasts.
  • 4 dinners.
  • 6 lunches (including Be My Guest).
Travel Highlights
  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Daily breakfast and an average of 50% of evening meals
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Hand-picked Insider Experiences
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • Porterage and local charges included
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
  • VIP entry to many sights
Highlights
The Trafalgar Difference
  • Authentic Accommodation Hacienda Cusin, Otavalo, Ecuador Stay at this Authentic Accommodation, featuring beautifully decorated guest rooms that carefully preserve the historic ambiance, and be sure to stroll its lush gardens.
  • Be My Guest Enjoy lunch at a rose plantation in Cayambe.
  • Cultural Insights Traditional Andean flute-making and weaving, candy making with a local candy maker, try a delicious cinnamon rum drink and witness the art of Panama hat weaving.
  • Hidden Treasures Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.
  • Local Specialists Meet a chocolate maker at the El Cajas National Parks and an expert in the city of Cotopaxi, as well as Cuenca.
Sightseeing Highlights
  • City tour in Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca
  • Scenic drives along the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" and El Cajas National Park
  • Iconic train journey aboard the Devil's Nose Train
  • View the Cotopaxi Volcano
  • Visit Otavalo's outdoor market, Equatorial Line Monument, Riobamba and artisan villages near Cuenca
Accommodations
Otavalo: Hacienda Cusin Authentic Accommodation
Colon: Hilton Colon
Riobamba: Hacienda Abraspungo
Cuenca: Victoria
Guayaquil: Oro Verde
Notes
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Trafalgar terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.