Day 1: QuitoArrival: Mariscal Sucre International Airport Transfer to the hotel. (1 hour) Accommodation: Hilton Mercure 4*
Day 2: City Tour - "Mitad Del Mundo" (Equator Line)Breakfast at the hotel. Quito city tour is perfect for seeing fascinating panoramas, churches, domes and roofs that have an important historical value. You will admire and learn about colonial art, architecture, culture, legends, and traditions. Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 9.350 feet. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic Center in Latin America. The architecture and rich interiors, are pure examples of Quito School of sculpture, which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art. After four incredible hours exploring the Old Town, you'll understand why Quito was the world's first city named to UNESCO's Cultural Heritage list. At the afternoon, you will visit: “Cuidad Mitad Del Mundo” and Intiñan Museum 1)“Ciudad Mitad del Mundo” “Ciudad Mitad del Mundo” is the touristic, cultural, scientific and commercial smallest city of Ecuador. Its architecture is based on colonial style. An obelisk and a museum relevant to its geographical location were built at the Middle of the World site. All of this is found among the drastic landscape surrounded by nature and modern buildings. The monument is crowned by a metallic sphere that represents the Earth. It is named Equatorial Monument and it geographical orientation coincides with the four cardinal points and is located precisely at Earth’s midpoint — 0 degrees latitude, 0 minutes, 0 seconds. 2) Intiñan Museum Since the year 1960, the Intiñan Museum in Quito has been a center for the promotion of the many aspects of Ecuador’s culture. This museum offers interactive exhibits on how the Incas determined the middle of the earth, plus interesting science experiments such as balancing an egg on a nail. Return to the hotel.
Day 3: Quito – Quilota – BañosBreakfast at the hotel. Visit: Quilotoa Crater Lake. After breakfast we will drive to the famous Quilotoa Crater Lake. On our way we will pass by the Tigua workshop and admire some impressive local artwork with impressions of life in the Andes. At our arrival to the Quilotoa Loop, we will appreciate an emerald green lake inside the crater of an extinct volcano with steep jagged cliffs. We are going to trek into the crater to the lake shore and the return to the top of the crater is a mule ride. Kayak on the lake (optional). Then we continue to Baños. Transfer to the hotel.
Day 4: Baños – RiobambaBreakfast at the hotel. Baños is known as "The Gate of the Amazon Region." Baños are located on the outside of the eastern range of the Andes. It is the perfect place to relax and explore. This small town is famous worldwide for its natural crystalline waterfalls. Here you can see how it is made the famous "marshmallow" (candy, which is made from sugar cane). Baños is the main tourist attraction for adventure, there are several ways to enjoy nature through hiking, horseback riding, cycling and rafting. We will start the city tour and the visit the waterfalls: “Agoyán”, “Manto de la Novia” and “Pailón Del Diablo”. Continue to Riobamba.
Day 5: Riobamba – Ingapirca – CuencaVisit to the Chimborazo Reserve and the ruins of Ingapirca. The duration of the excursion day, with transfers, is 10-12 hours. The duration of the transfer Riobamba-Chimborazo - 1 hour; Chimborazo-Ingapirca 4 hours; Ingapirca-Cuenca - 1.5 hours. The height of the excursion is 3200-4800m. Overnight altitude - 2500m. The average temperature during the tour is 0-+5C. Average overnight temperature - +15С Located in the heart of Ecuador, this relatively small reserve preserves historical, cultural and biological riches, although the cold prevailing in it suggests otherwise. From the impressive view of the "grandfather" Chimborazo, more than six thousand meters high, is breathtaking when you look at him, no matter from what point: from the city of Riobamba, from the train car heading to Alausi, from the Ambato-Guaranda highway in the Cruz del area - Arenal or from a plane flying over the Andes. No wonder, when flying in the vicinity of the majestic volcano, pilots always announce this to their passengers. The Chimborazo Reserve was established in 1987 with the aim of implementing a program to manage the "Andean camels" (llamas, alpacas and vicuñas). These close relatives of famous camels are native to the riding paramo but disappeared from the wild many years ago. The creation of this reserve was intended to repopulate these areas with native species, in this case, they brought vicuñas from Peru and Chile, where they still live in natural conditions. Thus, the reserve has formed and manages wild populations, from which it will receive valuable wool in the future. The reserve, despite the fact that its importance is obvious, no doubt attracts the attention of tourists thanks to the aforementioned volcano Chimborazo - the highest mountain of Ecuador, covered with eternal glaciers - and its neighbor, the Cariuairaso volcano. Both volcanoes are located in the center of the reserve. Numerous streams, formed during the melting of volcanic glaciers, flow into the Ambato, Chambo and Chimbo rivers, which in turn form the Pastasu River. Lunch Box included. After visiting the reserve, we go to the ruins of Ingapirca. Ingapirca is the largest and best preserved archaeological site in Ecuador, is located 80 km from the city of Cuenca, in Cañar province. It was built with millions of hewn stone in the middle of the eighteenth century. In the complex you can see the different architectural units, among which stands the Temple of the Sun, which have an elliptical shape 37 feet long and 12 meters wide, was used to perform ceremonies and rituals Cañari-Inca culture. In addition, you can observed the oldest building Ingapirca Pilaloma which consists of a series of rectangular rooms. After visiting the ruins we will go to Cuenca, here you can rest and enjoy your free time. Accommodation: Hotel Santa Lucia 4+* Breakfast/Box Lunch
Day 6: CuencaCuenca, 2560 m. high (8400 feet), the third largest city in Ecuador and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is situated in a fertile valley in the southern highlands of Ecuador. Cuenca has kept its old-world architectural charm and its colonial ambience. The Old Town is best visited on foot. Our tour takes you along the cobblestone streets admiring the historic buildings, hanging balconies, carved wooden doors, the craft fair and colorful flower market, the main plaza with the Old Cathedral, which has been converted to the “Museum for Religious Art”, and the magnificent blue-domed Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. See silversmiths at work and handicrafts of almost every kind. You end the tour with a visit to the “Panama Hat” factory.
Day 7: Cuenca – Cajas – GuayaquilBreakfast at the hotel. National Park Cajas is located in the Ecuadorian Andes west of Cuenca. This is a striking name as the area is characterized by large outcrops of bedrock. This is called knob and kettle geomorphology and results in a spectacular landscape, where the outcrops alternate with lakes. The lakes and rivers are famous for their trout and pure water. The park is about twenty nine thousand square hectares large and ranges in altitude from 2800 meters to more than 4400 meters above sea level. Cajas is a National Park since 1996. Cajas was declared a National Area of Recreation in 1977. Humidity, low temperature, and high altitude with low atmospheric pressure create an ecosystem that accumulates organic material in the soil that is able to retain water. The National Park is home to a large variety of animals, some of which are endemic or highly endagered. In the afternoon we travel to Guayaquil (3.5 hour drive). In the path we will visit a Cacao Plantation. Lunch at Cacao y Mango Plantation Continue to Guayaquil
Day 8: Guayaquil OutBreakfast: at hotel Transfer to the airport for your international fight.