Magic of Ecuador 2
Due to popular demand and the success of our original Magic of Ecuador tour we have designed a second alternative which also includes the coastal region of Ecuador.
The first half of the tour follows the Andean highlights which include colonial Quito, Cotopaxi Volcano, Quilotoa crater lake, Baños, Inca ruins and Cuenca. The additions include Guayaquil and the most impressive areas of Machalilla National Park (the only national park on the coast), with the added bonus of seeing the humpback whales in mating season (June – Sept only).
||Arrival Quito - our driver will meet you in airport arrivals and transport you to Hotel Rabida - a charming colonial-style hotel close to the new town part of the city. Free time to relax and acclimatise to your new surroundings.
||Quito city tour - a full day to acquaint yourselves with the best
sites of the city of Quito. In the morning enjoy
a tour of the colonial highlights in old town including the cathedral & most impressive churches and pretty plazas. After lunch a trip north to the
equator - stand literally in the middle of the
world! We also visit the unique Inti Ñan
museum where you can prove (or disprove) various
scientific phenomena that only hold true at the
equator. Overnight in Quito. Don´t forget to take your passport along if you want a special equator stamp in it!
||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 picturesque 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 Crater Lake - 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 referred 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 hot springs, trekking, biking, canyoning and horse-riding to name but a few. You have a free day to enjoy and explore at your own pace. Overnight at Baños.
||Ingapirca ruins - an unforgettable 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. Overnight at Cuenca.
||Cuenca - a full day amidst the white-washed buildings and cobbled streets of Cuenca. An introductory tour to the colonial highlights of the city including its handsome plazas and domed churches, followed by free time to explore the city by yourselves. Overnight at Cuenca.
||Cuenca to Guayaquil – a morning flight takes you from the highland mountains down to the coastal city of Guayaquil – Ecuador’s biggest port and commercial centre. In the afternoon a guided tour will introduce you to the charms of the city such as the modern Malecon walkway along the impressive River Guayas, the Iguana park, and the colonial highlights.
||Guayaquil to Puerto Lopez – a transfer north up to the coast to the small fishing town of Puerto Lopez, passing colourful scenery on route. At Puerto Lopez you stay at the highly-acclaimed Mandala Hostal right on the seafront and decorated with interesting home-made artwork. The afternoon is free to relax at the beach or explore the town.
||Isla de la plata & whale-watching – today is the first of two days visiting the best sites of the Machalilla National Park. Isla de la Plata is often known as “a poor man´s Galapagos” due to the similarity of the birdlife (blue and red footed boobies, pelicans and frigate birds) encountered here; the trip includes a guided hike and opportunity to snorkel. In season (mid-june to early Oct) the tour is combined with spectacular humpback whale-watching. Overnight Puerto Lopez.
||Los Frailes Beach & Agua Blanca – our second day in the National Park includes visits to the stunning secluded white-sand beach at Los Frailes, a short trek in the tropical dry forest, and a visit to the interesting Agua Blanca indigenous community where there is an archaeological museum and natural sulphur/mud pool. Overnight Puerto Lopez.
||Return to Quito – a free morning to relax at Puerto Lopez is followed by transfer to Manta airport and a flight back to the highlands of Quito. Overnight Quito.
||Tour end - after breakfast our driver will transfer you to the airport for your flight out.
Past Clients Feedback
“We really appreciated the slower pace of the beaches and national park – gave us time to relax at the end of our 3-week trip and catch a few welcome rays of sun.” (Craig Mortimer, UK)
"Our guides were excellent throughout - they took great care of us and spoke great English. The tour was a combination of active and relaxing - just what we needed! Thanks for such a wonderful time!" (Jeniffer Ostenson)
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 Quito, Cotopaxi, Cuenca, Guayaquil, Machalilla
- All meals and visits/activities as listed above
- 12 nights of accommodation in twin / double room
- Flights Cuenca to Guayaquil & Manta to 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
RECOMMENDED ADD-ON TOURS
Clients on this tour may also be interested in the following add-on trip options:
Galapagos cruise - many past clients on this tour have recommended a visit to the Galapagos islands as part of their trip. The islands are perfectly suited for an add-on because they are such a unique world destination and offer the combination of a relaxing yacht cruise with unforgettable wildlife. We offer a great range of budget and luxurious yachts and catamarans for the perfect cruise
Amazon rainforest - Ecuador offers easily-accessible rainforest adventures that fit onto either the start or end of this trip. We offer trips to suit all budgets and adventure levels.
Cloudforest - the Bellavista lodge is an easy short add-on because it is close to Quito and trips run for either 2 or 3 days. It makes for a wonderfully relaxing getaway amidst lovely forest scenery and hummingbirds.