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Best of Ecuador Tour: 9-Day itinerary Quito to Guayaquil

Daily departures: Mon to Sun Duration: 9-days  Offered in: English/Spanish   Pickup: Offered

Overview:

Starting either in Quito or Guayaquil. The Best of Ecuador tour is a great option to explore some of the most important attractions in our country. On this tour, you’ll enjoy UNESCO World Heritage Sites, colorful indigenous markets, and natural wonders like Quilotoa Crater Lake, Cotopaxi volcano, Pailon del Diablo waterfall, etc. 

 

Highlights:

 

  • Explore the authentic Ecuadorian highlights with an itinerary designed by local experts. 

  • Hassle-free exploration with an expert English/Spanish-speaking guide.

  • Enjoy the spectacular scenery and panoramic views of the Andes landscapes.

  • Most meals and entrance fees are included.

  • Day 1: Arrival in Quito - transfer in and free time to acclimate
    Our team will be waiting for you at the Quito airport to transfer you to the hotel. Free time to relax and acclimatize. Overnight in Quito
  • Day 2: Quito city tour and Middle of the World
    We will explore all the main historical and architectural icons of Quito, the world’s highest capital and first World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO due to its well-preserved old town. Among the main attractions we have is the impressive Basilica gothic style church, the La Compañía church considered one of the most significant works of Spanish baroque, stroll to Plaza Grande surrounded by the impressive architecture of the Carondelet Palace, Cathedral, Archbishop's Palace, and Municipal Palace. Then we will visit the“Mitad Del Mundo”, it is definitely one of the most famous attractions nearby. The official equator monument for perfect photos with one foot in each hemisphere; and the Inti Ñan Museum where you are able to perform fascinating scientific tests which only hold true at the equator such as balancing an egg on a nail and witnessing the Coriolis force that sends falling water in different directions in each hemisphere. Don't forget to bring your passport along if you want a special equator stamp on it! Overnight in Quito.
  • Day 3: Otavalo Indigenous Market
    Otavalo is one of the most famous indigenous towns in South America for its colorful handicraft market, but the area also offers far more! The tour of course takes you to the famous handicraft market and allows free time to explore the many traditional wares, but we also like to take our guests a little further off of the beaten path. We also visit a fascinating weaving workshop, and lunch at a local restaurant where we will have the chance to see an indigenous family who make and play traditional musical instruments. Overnight in Quito
  • Day 4: Quilotoa Crater Lake
    We’ll travel south direction on the Panamerican Highway to Quilotoa, taking well-known "Avenue of the Volcanos". Enjoy the breathtaking vistas of the Andes, Quilotoa Lake, and the charming landscape of the moors as we drive. Upon arrival, our guide will advise about the hiking options based on your interests, you can descend to the crater lake's edge, or simply take a walk around the rim. Horseback riding and kayak activities are available for an extra cost. We will also visit a local indigenous family and the Tigua Painters, Depending on the day of the week, we will be able to visit a local indigenous market. Overnight in the Cotopaxi area
  • Day 5: Cotopaxi National Park
    With a height of 5,897 meters, Cotopaxi Volcano is the second-highest summit in Ecuador. The Ecuadorian Andes' Cordillera Real is graced by its beautiful presence. Today, we explore the Cotopaxi National Park's interior, home to a thriving paramo ecosystem. Our knowledgeable tour guides will explain the ecological significance of this particular environment as we explore on a hike the Limpipungo area. For the adventurous ones, we'll drive up to the refuge parking area, which is 4,500 meters above sea level. From this point, we climb to the volcano's first refuge at 4,810 meters. Take a well-earned break and enjoy some hot soup in the shelter. You can continue your ascent to the glaciers based on the weather and your preferences. You won't want to miss this breathtaking experience. Overnight in Baños.
  • Day 6: Baños and the waterfalls
    Enjoy a day full of adventure. We’ll start with a visit to the "Treehouse”, well known because it was the scene of the 2014 National Geographic Photo Contest winner. Enjoy the expansive views of the valley, wander through lovely gardens alive with hummingbirds, and ride on the fabled swing that has made this location famous. We will then explore the waterfall route, making multiple pauses so you can take in the spectacular scenery. The main highlight is the Pailon del Diablo waterfall, one of Ecuador's top ten largest waterfalls. After a two-kilometer journey, we arrive at this beautiful location, and the surrounding natural splendor will astound you. There is an option for those with a sense of adventure to ride a cable car across the valley or engage in the thrilling zip-line sport. Overnight in Riobamba
  • Day 7: Devil's Nose Hike - Ingapirca - Cuenca
    ​We continue our trip through the southern Andes to the quaint town of Alausi. Even though the train isn't in service at the moment, our trained guides will tell you the fascinating tale of the mountain's technical marvel, and we'll embark on a hike to see the same spectacular views of Devil's Nose Mountain and its surroundings. For those who enjoy bike riding, we provide a pleasant activity that descends to the Sibambe train station on gravel roads with little traffic for an extra cost. We'll also stop at a local family farm, where you may learn about the area's crops, customs, and culture. Then, we’ll tour Ingapirca, Ecuador's most extraordinary Incan ruins. The intricate Inca engineering, architecture, and design are displayed in these remains. Learn about the flawless integration of the Inca community with the Caari natives. Our day ends with a drive to Cuenca. Overnight in Cuenca
  • Day 8: Cuenca Half-Day City Tour
    Visit the most beautiful city in Ecuador. We will explore some of the most traditional neighborhoods of the city. We will also visit the flower market, the main square, and the “New Cathedral” which is considered one of the biggest churches in Latin America. The famous gold leaf altar is found here. We continued our tour to a Panama hat factory. Here we’ll observe the process of making “Paja toquilla” These hats range from classic simple ones to colorful, elegantly designed, and costly ones. Afterward, we will go to the “Barranco”, an area of terraced houses which is located next to the Tomebamba River. Finally, we will go to the “mirador de Turi” (scenic viewpoint) to enjoy the beautiful vista of the Cuenca landscape. Free afternoon to rest or explore the city on your own, a great option is to visit the Piedra de Agua hot springs. Overnight in Cuenca
  • Day 9: Cajas National Park - Cocoa Farm - Guayaquil
    From Cuenca, we will drive through the western Andes to Toreadora in Cajas National Park, considered to be one of the most important protected areas in Ecuador and the main source of water for Cuenca. You will be impressed with the beautiful scenery of the area, we will take a hike to explore the Polylepis Forest, Moorland ecosystem, and lakes. Then we will continue our driving to the lowlands, ever tasted the pulp of fresh cacao beans? We will visit a local family farm, the main product growing here is cacao (base to make chocolate), however, they have many other products such as breadfruit, coffee, passionfruit, and pineapple, among many others. You will be able to experience the process of craft chocolate making and try it if you like while our tour guide explains the history of cacao. Dropp of at the Guayaquil aiport or hotel​.
What’s included

 Bilingual tour guide (English/Spanish)

 Private transport 

 Meals 8-Breakfasts / 7-Lunches / 2-Dinners

 Activities, entrance fees, and tickets as listed in  the itinerary

 8-night accommodation according to your needs (Single, double, triple rooms)

 Taxes and surcharges

Not included:

  Tips (optional based on your experience)

  Meals not specified 

  Travel Insurance (Contact us for a quote)

  Any other service not mentioned herein

Additional Info

- Tour based on two participants minimum, for solo travelers a supplement will apply.

- You can customize your Ecuador tour anywhere between 7 to 10 days.

- The standard tour includes accommodation at 3-4 star hotels like Casa 1881 in Riobamba, while the comfort option offers a stay at 4-5 star hotels such as Hacienda Abraspundo.

- Bookings made within 10 days prior to arrival are subject to guide availability.

- For 1 to 6 passengers, a bilingual tour guide will also serve as a driver.

Cancellation Policy

- Full refund if you can cancel up to 15 days before your tour starts.

- Partial 50% refund if you can cancel up to 10 days before your tour starts.

- Changes made within 10 days of the tour experience are subject to availability and will incur additional charges and adjustments. Learn more

Packing tips

Keep in mind that, while daytime temperatures will hover around the 70s°F, at night may dip into the 40s°F. For your convenience, we've put together a packing guide listed as follows: 

  • Walking or hiking shoes 

  • Sunscreen

  • Sunglasses

  • Swimwear

  • Fast-drying clothing

  • Raincoat or rain poncho

  • Clothes for warm and cool weather

  • Warm hat and gloves

Customer Testimonials

"We had an incredible trip down the avenue of the volcanoes from Quito to Cuenca. Having spent 2 weeks in the Galapagos, this was a perfect way to see the other side of Ecuador. Lincoln and Sebastian were excellent guides and the accommodations and food were outstanding. Using Cuenca Best Tours allowed us to customize the trip and go to the places we really wanted to see and shop. We highly recommend this company."

Alexa Young, CA

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