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About your trip
Hike through spectacular volcanic landscapes and go white-water rafting in the jungle on this eight-day loop round Ecuador. Starting in colonial Quito, you’ll head south to the Cotopaxi National Park, passing through the Avenue of Volcanoes – home to the most geothermally active peaks in Ecuador. After visiting the emerald-green Quilotoa crater lake, continue to Baños, where you can ride the Swing at the End of the World and marvel at majestic waterfalls. Get a feel for life in the Amazon rainforest before wrapping up your adventure in the mountain village of Papallacta, known for its hot springs. All of our trips are flightless in destination, with 100% of all carbon emissions offset. It's just part of how we see the world while being good to it.
- Explore Cotopaxi National Park on horseback
- Hike around the ethereal Quilotoa crater lake
- Visit a traditional Tigua art studio
- Cycle the Baños Waterfall Route
- Go white-water rafting in the Amazon rainforest
- Whip up a feast at an Ecuadorian cooking masterclass
- Sample fine chocolate in Quito
Upon arrival at Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO), you’ll be whisked off to your hotel in the Old Town district of Quito (the second-highest capital city in the world, at 2,850m/9,350ft above sea level) and meet our Local Insider at 6pm, who will accompany the group throughout the trip. In the evening, get to know your fellow travelers over a welcome dinner, washed down with a cold Pilsener – Ecuador’s favorite beer. Be sure to get a good night’s rest ahead of an action-packed day exploring the city tomorrow.
Kick-start the trip with an optional morning visit to the Equator – head to the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo and Intiñan Museum, where you can stand with one foot in each hemisphere. Regroup in Quito’s historic center (a Unesco World Heritage site) for a walking tour of the Plaza Grande, Presidential Palace and La Compañía church. After admiring the impressive array of colonial architecture and wandering down lively La Ronda street, you’ll embark on a gastronomic journey at Altamira restaurant. Learn how to prepare a variety of traditional Ecuadorian dishes in a cooking masterclass, capped off with a chocolate-tasting session.
Today, you’ll journey south towards Cotopaxi National Park, dominated by the 5,897m (19,347ft) high Cotopaxi stratovolcano – the second-highest peak in Ecuador. If the conditions are clear, you’ll spot the snow-capped summit as you hike around the Limpiopungo glacial lagoon. Learn all about the flora, fauna and eruption history of the park at the Interpretation Center. Next, set out on a scenic horseback ride, where you’ll be introduced to the chagra cowboy culture of the Ecuadorian highlanders. Following a picnic lunch in Salitre, continue on to your mountain hacienda for the night.
Prepare yourself for another unforgettable hike as you venture to Quilotoa – a volcano on the westernmost edge of the Ecuadorian Andes, off the usual tourist trail that's known for its emerald-green crater lake. After a short walk round the rim, stop by a Tiguan studio owned by Julio Toaquiza – an artist who pioneered a vibrant painting style, depicting life in the high Andes. In the afternoon, you can shop for handcrafted souvenirs at Salcedo Market – it’s a great place to get under the skin of Andean culture. Next stop, Baños – widely considered the adventure capital of Ecuador.
Start your day by visiting the Swing at the End of the World. Attached to a mountaintop treehouse, it offers jaw-dropping views of the Tungurahua volcano and the valley below. Feeling brave? Why not give it a go? From here, you'll embark on an adventurous bike ride to three waterfalls on the road from Baños to Puyo: Agoyán, Manto de la Novia and the 80m (262ft) high Pailon del Diablo (Devil’s Cauldron). The water from these falls eventually runs into the Amazon River. Enjoy lunch with the Yaku Runa indigenous community before moving on to Tena – the gateway to the Amazon rainforest.
Ready for an adrenaline rush? Today, you’ll go white-water rafting through the jungle on the Jatunyacu River – one of the main tributaries of the Amazon River. Meaning 'big water’ in the native Quechua language, the Jatunyacu features a combination of wild rapids and flat, scenic stretches, allowing you to appreciate the rainforest scenery around you. Spend the afternoon relaxing at the lodge. Come nightfall, take a guided forest trek and listen out for birds, monkeys and reptiles.
After breakfast, you'll go on a guided hike to learn how natural essential oils are extracted from Amazonian plants for medicine and aromatherapy. Cool off with a refreshing dip in the waterfalls before making your way back to the lodge for lunch. It’s then time to leave the jungle behind and head up towards the Andes. You’ll eventually arrive in the village of Papallacta, where you can relax in hot springs or book yourself in for a soothing spa treatment at the hotel. Cap off your trip with a farewell group dinner.
The time has come to pack your bags as your Ecuadorian experience comes to an end at 9am. After one final breakfast, you’ll be driven back to Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito. Bid farewell to your fellow travelers and catch your flight home, see you next time!
- Two nights premium hotel accommodation
- Two nights jungle lodge accommodation
- One night mountain resort accommodation
- One night historic hotel accommodation
- One night spa hotel accommodation
- Private and local transport
- Seven breakfasts, six lunches, four dinners
- Local Insider
- Return private airport transfers
- Quito walking tour
- Ecuadorian cooking masterclass (including market visit)
- Chocolate-tasting session
- Limpiopungo Lagoon hike
- Cotopaxi Interpretation Center visit
- Horseback riding
- Quilotoa Lake hike
- Tigua art studio visit
- Salcedo Market visit
- Swing at the End of the World visit
- Baños Waterfall Route bike ride
- Yaku Runa project visit
- White-water rafting
- Jungle night hike
- Natural Oils Trail guided hike
- Waterfall swim
What's Not Included
- Travel insurance
- Flights to and from the destination
Hotel Patio Andaluz
Expect comfortable, spacious rooms at this elegant colonial-style hotel in the heart of Quito’s historic center – an ideal base from which to explore the cultural landmarks of the capital. Indulge in delicious Ecuadorian tapas, wine and cocktails at the Cava Marquéz de Jeréz bar.
At 3,480m (11,417ft) above sea level, this rustic mountain lodge offers homey accommodation with breathtaking views of Cotopaxi volcano. Grab a drink by the fire pit and gaze at the star-studded sky in this wonderfully tranquil setting.
La Floresta Hotel
This cozy hotel, close to downtown Baños, features tastefully decorated rooms with traditional Ecuadorian furnishings and a peaceful private garden – primed for relaxing after a busy day exploring. Make the most of the plentiful breakfast buffet.
Kuyana Amazon Lodge
Tune into the Amazon at this serene hideaway surrounded by dense tropical rainforest. Stylish, luxurious rooms are accompanied by an outdoor pool and restaurant serving sumptuous Ecuadorian dishes made with organic, locally sourced ingredients.
Termas de Papallacta
Soak in hot springs and treat yourself to a relaxing massage at this spa resort in the Andes mountains – a truly memorable final stop on your Ecuadorian journey. If you’re feeling bold, why not give the chocolate or clay body treatments a go?
Your safety and wellbeing are our top priority, so we’ve put the following measures in place on all our TRIPS:
- Our average group size is 10 people (max 18), which gives you all the security of being in a group whilst avoiding a crowd.
- Where possible, we use small/ boutique accommodation – this means fewer guests and reduced exposure to other travellers.
- We require all accommodation providers to share protocols around the extra health and hygiene measures they are taking.
- Included activities are exclusive to our group wherever possible, to minimise contact with others.
- Covid-19 negative test results or vaccine certificates may be required. Please check the entry requirements for the destination you are travelling to. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- We recommend you confirm all guidance on official government sites and check that you are able to travel with your travel insurance issuer. Your travel insurance may be invalidated if you travel against government advice. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- You must be aged 25 years or over to join this trip.
- Please be sure to check whether or not you need a visa to enter the country you're travelling to. Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions for further information.
- If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or accessibility requirements, please notify our Customer Support team as soon as possible.
- We won't charge you extra if you travel alone – you'll be allocated a twin room with another traveller of the same gender.
- To upgrade to a private room, share a room with a friend, or book pre- and post-trip accommodation and/or airport transfers, please contact our Customer Support team.
- Please be aware that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers.
- Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. While unlikely, these changes can happen due to circumstances beyond our control. We will always do our best to ensure minimal impact on your experience.
- Please be aware images on this page are for illustrative purposes and may not reflect your itinerary exactly.
The world of travel is changing – and that's why we’re offering flexible booking conditions, to take the stress out of booking in times of uncertainty.
You can get a full refund should you need to postpone or cancel your trip up to 56 days prior to departure.
Read our Booking Guarantee to find out more about how our Support Team can help you.
For the full details and cancellation charges, see our Booking Terms & Conditions.
Terms & Conditions
Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions.