Our tour begins in the country’s lofty capital, Quito. Once you arrive, a Kuoda host will take you straight to the San Francisco de Quito, a stylish hotel in an old colonial building. They’ll assist with check in and will go through the itinerary for your private Ecuador vacation.
After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll set off on the first of several private Ecuador tours. This one will introduce you to the colonial splendor of Quito’s UNESCO-listed old town. During this private city tour, your guide will show you around the cobbled streets, bringing you to landmarks such as Independence Square, home to the tomb of Sucre (a key figure in Ecuador’s struggle for independence), the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito and the Presidential Palace. You’ll also see Parque Alameda, which houses the oldest astronomical observatory in South America, as well as an impressive statue of Simón Bolívar, who helped liberate Ecuador – along with several other Latin American nations – from their Spanish colonizers. Depending on timing, you may also visit the Indian market at Avenida de 24 de Mayo and the Ipiales market. The last point of interest on the tour will be the Middle of the World Monument where you can take an obligatory photo of you straddling the equator before returning to your hotel.
Quito - Otavalo - Cotacachi
Start with a hearty breakfast then head north for a shopping excursion that is far from ordinary. Today, you’ll be searching around the stalls of Otavalo, one of the most famous markets in the continent. Expect to find all kinds of handicrafts and a mind-boggling selection of colorful textiles being sold by traditionally dressed locals.After lunch, we’ll move on for a guided tour of Cotacachi, the “leather capital of Ecuador.” Learn about the age-old methods used to tan, stretch and mold the leather. Overnight in Cotacachi.
Cotacachi - Quito
Today we journey to the Espejo Reserve where you can observe the mighty Andean condor, an endangered species and one of the largest birds of prey in the world,. Should you wish to, you can play a round of golf at the nine-hole course nearby or alternatively, take the reins for a horseback ride through the spellbinding countryside. Afterwards we continue onwards to the small village of San Antonio de Ibarra, which has achieved worldwide renown for its woodcarvings and stone sculptures. Admire small yet impressively detailed wooden boxes as well as life-size sculptures of people. Observe the talented artisans chiseling and see in-progress artworks at a workshop. Return to Quito after lunch.
Quito - Papallacta
Time for relaxation and pampering! We travel south for around 1hr15mins to Papallacta, a natural spa with beautiful scenic surroundings. From the thermal pools you have stunning views of the Andean mountains. After lunch, opt for further pampering spa treatments or try something a little more strenuous, such as a visit to the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve. The reserve’s landscapes are incredibly diverse, encompassing everything from primary forests and rivers to lagoons and volcanoes, with an astonishing number of animal and plant species too. We stay here tonight, so you have plenty of time to enjoy your beautiful surroundings.
Papallacta - Quito
Today, you’ll have more free time to enjoy Papallacta – and perhaps indulge in another massage or treatment – before returning to Quito in the afternoon.
Quito - Cotopaxi
This morning we continue to travel further south. Our journey will take us to new, inspiring landscapes as we arrive at the Avenue of Volcanoes, where volcanoes, both dormant and active, tower over the land. We make our way to the stylish centuries-old colonial Cienega Hacienda, located close to Cotopaxi volcano where we will spend the night. After lunch we stop at the Hacienda of San Agustin de Callo, which is one of only two major Inca sites in Ecuador. It was built around 1440 by one of the last Inca emperors, Huayna Cápac, and the perfectly fitted original Inca stonework can still be seen today. After admiring the Incas’ perfect masonry skill, move on to an authentic local market, where the smell of spices scents the air and everything from hand-woven ponchos to exotic fruits can be purchased.
Today is at your leisure! Why not enjoy your time leisurely walking through the beautiful Cotopaxi National Park. There are amazing sites to be seen, so be sure to take your camera along and make the best of this photographic opportunity. There is plenty of wildlife, fauna and fauna to admire in the park. If you like, you can give fishing a go in the close-by rivers or a horseback ride through the reserve. We have lunch back at the Hacienda before returning to Quito.
Quito - Cuenca
This morning we transfer you to the airport for a flight to Cuenca, a city that many consider to be Ecuador’s most beautiful. This is a picture-postcard location with its marble and white-washed colonial buildings and pretty churches with imposing steeples. We travel just outside of the city to the archaeological site of Ingapirca, the best-preserved Inca ruins in Ecuador. During the height of the empire, Cuenca was a key power center. Marvel at the tightly fitted low stonewalls and the Temple of the Sun, and inspect Inca sculptures, tools and objects at the nearby museum. After lunch, we travel back to Cuenca.
This morning we enjoy a Private tour of colonial Cuenca! Trampling down the beautiful cobblestone streets, 16th-century houses and striking churches and cathedrals are to be admired! We enjoy the beautiful flowers at the market. You have the afternoon at leisure to enjoy this pretty city at your own pace. After lunchtime we will head back to your hotel.
Cuenca - Quito - Home
Time to start your journey back home! We transfer you to the airport for your flight back to Quito and onward connections home.
Personal travel planning with your Pachamama advisor
Private English Speaking Guide
Professional Private Drivers
Private airport transfers
Private tour services
Hotel Accommodation in double occupancy (we will provide you with options)
Buffet Breakfasts in Hotels
Lunches and Dinners
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