From the Andes to the Pacific Coast – Ecuador Tour
This Ecuador tour takes you on an unforgettable journey from the Andes mountain range to the Pacific Ocean, taking in a kaleidoscope of natural and cultural highlights along the way. After exploring the cobbled streets and colourful plazas of Quito, you will travel through the grand ‘Avenue of Volcanoes’ into the mountains of the Northern Sierra. Here you’ll get to know some of Ecuador’s fascinating cultural and natural diversity, visiting traditional handicraft workshops and farms. Then, plunging into the pristine cloud forests around Santo Domingo, you’ll walk through a lush nature-lover’s paradise and visit cocoa and coffee plantations. Finally, it’s on to the warmer climes of the Pacific Coast where you’ll relax on deserted beaches and take in the rich diversity of the wildlife. You’ll finish this incredible journey in the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’, Ecuador´s biggest city, Guayaquil.
- Marvel at the fascinating colonial architecture of Quito’s Old Town
- Go on a journey to the centre of the world at Mitad del Mundo, the Equator monument
- See Latin America’s largest craft market in Otavalo and visit artisan workshops
- Get authentic insights into indigenous culture during a stay in a rural village
- Spot dozens of species of colourful birds in the cloud forests of Mindo and Santo Domingo
- Relax and enjoy a tropical cocktail watching the sunset over the Pacific
- See the fabulous Isla de la Plata and its diverse coastal and marine wildlife
- Enjoy the atmosphere and nightlife of Guayaquil, ‘the pearl of the Pacific’
This is a private tour and you will be accompanied by an English-speaking local guide throughout. The price displayed is per person based on two people sharing. All tours can be tailor-made to suit your interests and requirements.
If you are a true chocolate lover, you should not miss out on the 6 day Cocoa Tasting tour! And for those wanting to undertake the challenge of a lifetime, we also offer climbing tours to both Cayambe and Chimborazo volcanoes. Don’t forget to read about Guardian travel writer, Kevin Rushby’s attempt at reaching both summits.
We can also organise a visit to the Galapagos Islands (cruise and/or island hopping) before or after this tour. There are direct flights to the Galapagos both from Quito and Guayaquil.
Few countries in the world boast such natural and cultural diversity as Ecuador. Despite its diminutive size, it offers so much, from climate and ecosystems to ethnic groups and indigenous people, cosmopolitan cities and isolated rural hamlets. It has a rich history too, encompassing pre-Columbian times, the Spanish conquest, and its struggle for independence. Today it is a modern and multi-cultural society that couldn´t be more welcoming and optimistic.
This Ecuador tour offers an in-depth journey through this fascinating country, beginning and ending in two distinct cities, Quito and Guayaquil. Set in the cool Andean highlands amidst massive volcanoes, Quito’s old town has a maze of cobblestone streets to explore with some of the finest colonial architecture in South America. Then there’s Guayaquil, Ecuador´s vibrant economic centre, nestled on the shores of the mighty Guayas River that carves its way through the steamy hot lowlands of the Pacific coast.
Between these two cities, and opposing poles of Ecuador, you will pass through the wonderful landscapes of the Northern Sierra, marvelling at snow-capped volcanoes, Andean mountain lakes and dense cloud forests with dozens of colourful species of birds and butterflies. You’ll make your way from the mountains to the lowlands and on to the serene beaches of the Pacific Coast. On this journey you will have several opportunities to explore these wonderful places on hikes and leisurely walks, by boat, and even by train along a restored section of the old railway line between the Andean highlands and the Northern Pacific Coast.
Just as fascinating as the change in nature, vegetation and wildlife are the cultural changes along this route, especially in more rural areas where certain ethnic groups and indigenous people maintain their traditional dress, arts, music, dance, and often language. For some days on this trip you will stay at a rural family lodge in an indigenous community close to Otavalo, where you’ll experience authentic Andean culture and the warm hospitality of the people.
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- Trip duration: 13 days
- Countries visited: Ecuador
Medium: Accommodation in B&Bs or 2-star family-run hotels (always in a private room).
Note: this is a guideline; please refer to the tour detailed description for what is and is not included.
- Level of difficulty: Low
- Accommodation: 2 nights in a hotel in Quito, 4 nights in a rural lodge in indigenous community close to Otavalo, 1 night in a hotel in Mindo, 1 night in a hotel in Santo Domingo, 3 nights in a hotel in Puerto Lopez, 1 night in a hotel in Guayaquil
- Transport: Private mini-van/car, boat, 4x4, train
- Meals included: 12 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 11 dinners
Percentage of cost going to local communities:
At least 40%
- Bilingual guide: Available in English, French or Spanish
- Extra services:
- Additional information: You will be greeted at the airport on arrival by a local guide who will take you to your hotel and will be able to answer any questions, make any additional arrangements and generally ensure everything goes smoothly. No minimum number of passengers is required and you will not be travelling with a group of people you do not know. Prices quoted are per person and based on at least 2 people travelling. You should expect a cheaper price for a bigger group. Your passport details are required at the time of booking. For detailed information on visa requirements and health formalities, visit the FCO Travel Advice website (for UK citizens) and US Travel Advice website (for US citizens). You will need a Yellow Fever vaccination for travel to the Amazon. Information on money changing in each destination, as well as what it is customary to tip for various services, will be provided. This Ecuador tour, like most of the adventures through Latin America, has a low level of physical difficulty and participants can choose to do as much or as little as they like. What to bring: Travel insurance, passport, binoculars, alarm clock, walking shoes, water bottle, daypack, sun protection, insect repellent, sun glasses and hat, swimwear, flip-flops, torch with extra batteries (headlamp), wind and waterproof jacket, a thermal shirt for layering, fleece, gloves, light synthetic/fast drying shirts and pants (for the Amazon), plastic ziplock bags, plastic bags for your luggage in case of rain.
- Best time to travel: June to October (less rain in the highlands, whale-watching season along the coast)
- Extra budget recommended: Around £150 / $200 pp to cover meals and all other expenses not included in the itinerary.
- What is included: Welcome reception at the airport. Transfers (some may be shared). Overland transport. Accommodation. Entrance fees to sites of interest, museums and national parks mentioned in the itinerary. Guided activities and excursions with English speaking guides or driver (some private, some as part of a small group). Meals as stated in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner). Contributions to the social projects visited. Donation to help in preserving the Amazon rainforest through agro-forestry and education.
- What is not included: Flights. Travel insurance. Alcoholic drinks. Additional meals or snacks. Travel within and around each town. Visa fees (if any). Tips. Souvenirs.
From the Andes to the Pacific Coast – Ecuador Tour
£ 1,835 GBP
This Ecuador tour takes you on an unforgettable journey from the mountains to the sea, taking in a kaleidoscope of natural and cultural highlights along the way. Explore the cobbled streets of Quito then travel through mountains and volcanoes into pristine cloud forests and on to the lowlands of the Pacific Ocean. You’ll get to know the country’s unique indigenous people too, finding out all about their traditions and way of life.