A week-long tour taking you to all of the most interesting points along the spectacular Andes between Quito and Cuenca, including two national parks (Cotopaxi and El Cajas), Inca ruins, two majestic volcanoes (Cotopaxi and Quilotoa as well as many others in the Avenue of the Volcanoes in passing), the historic Devils Nose train route, and the colonial splendor of Cuenca.
A great tour to combine with a visit to Galapagos or the Amazon in order to get a complete view of Ecuador.
||Arrival Quito - our driver will meet you in airport arrivals and transport you to Hotel La Rabida - a charming colonial-style hotel close to the newtown part of the city. Free time to relax and acclimatise to your new surroundings.
||Cotopaxi National Park - a spectacular day visiting one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. In the morning we visit the surrounding parkland and have time to explore the pictoresque Limpiopungo Lake. In the afternoon we go up to the snowline volcano refuge and visit the glaciers. Overnight at one of the oldest and most elegant colonial haciendas in the country.
||Quilotoa craterlake - Quilotoa is a real highlight of the tour that will literally take your breath away! An emerald green laguna inside the crater of an extinct volcano with steep jagged cliffs and views straight down the entire valley of volcanoes. It is possible to trek into the crater to the lake shore (with optional mule ride out for those with tired limbs), and there are also many other fine trekking opportunities in the local area sometimes refered to as the Grand Canyon of Ecuador, as well as a chance to buy local handicrafts. Overnight at Baños.
||Baños: free - Ecuador's premier resort town has a whole array of potential activities to enjoy ...relaxing hotsprings, trekking, biking, canyoning and horse-riding to name but a few. You have a freeday to enjoy and explore at your own pace. Overnight at Baños.
||Devils nose train – an early start is required to head south to Alausi station, our boarding point for the famed Devils Nose Train. The total descent is around 800 metres to the small station of Sibambe in the valley below. Free time and a snack are included until it is time to board the train again and head back up to Alausi to meet your driver. Heading further south our next stop is Ingapirca where we stay at a quaint old hacienda close to the Inca Ruins..
||Ingapirca ruins - an unforgettable early morning visit to the most impressive Inca ruins within Ecuador: Ingapirca was built in the 15th century on a strategic hilltop with excellent views over the surrounding countryside. A local guide will explain all about the origin and purpose of the ruins as well as a full lowdown on Inca history in Ecuador. The trip continues further south to the city of Cuenca – considered to be the most beautiful of Ecuador and home to artists / poets / writers. An afternoon guided tour is included to show you around the colonial highlights and then a free evening to explore by yourselves. Overnight at Cuenca.
||El Cajas – a full day tour trekking in the nearby El Cajas National Park - the lake district of Ecuador with its beautifully carved glacial valleys and lakes, and the perfect place to see the curious Polylepis tree (the world’s highest altitude tree). Gentle trekking is the best means of acquainting yourselves with the park, with a naturalist guide to explain about native flora and fauna. Overnight Cuenca.
||Return to Quito – free time to explore the city of Cuenca by yourselves before an afternoon flights back up to Quito. Tour ends on arrival.
Past Clients Feedback
“Just the trip we were looking for – we loved having a private driver which gave us flexibility to make unscheduled stops along the way – hard to pick out a highlight as each destination was as impressive as the last.” (Gregory George, UK)
"The High Sierra tour was wonderful and we were very satisfied with your organization. The guides were great throughout and Milton was a very careful and considerate driver. Thank you very much indeed." (Dorothy Stiefel)
AVAILABILITY: This tour is available throughout the year.
START DATES: flexible to start on any day of the week that you prefer to travel.
- Private transportation and driver
- English-speaking guide at Cotopaxi, Cuenca & El Cajas
- All meals and visits/activities as listed above
- 7 nights of accommodation in twin / double room
- Train fare
- Flight Cuenca-Quito
- Single supplement (applies for a single room for somebody travelling within a group). If you are travelling alone then please ask our staff for a solo traveller price quote.
- Meals / activities not listed above
- Personal Expenses