Day 1: Arrival in Quito
Welcome to Ecuador! Our driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the city. - Hotel Sebastian
Day 2: Mindo Cloud Forest (BLD)
We drive northwest toward the cloud forest of Mindo. On the way, we visit the Inti Ñan Equator Museum where you can straddle latitude zero. Before we arrive in Mindo, we visit the Pahuma Orchid Reserve. In the afternoon, we will visit a small scale chocolate factory. - Dragonfly Inn
Day 3: Mindo (BL)
Today we explore the waterfalls at Nambillo Reserve & the butterfly farm. Optional activities include zip-lining and tubing. - Dragonfly Inn
Day 4: Mindo / Otavalo (BLD)
We depart after breakfast and drive east to the Otavalo highlands. We will drive past San Pablo Lake and visit the town of Peguche, where we find artisan workshops - weavers & musicians. Also, we will visit an Andean healer and participate in a healing demonstration. - El Indio Inn
Day 5: Otavalo (BL)
In the morning, we visit the Otavalo markets, handicraft and food markets. In the afternoon, we go to Cotacachi and Cuicocha Lake. - El Indio Inn
Day 6: Otavalo / Quito (BL)
We will visit a rose farm in Cayambe before we start our return to Quito. Optional stop at Quitsato Equator Monument. - Hotel Sebastian
Day 7: Antisana Reserve (BL)
With some luck, Antisana is one of the best places to spot the Andean condor. You also can see other bird species and sometimes deer. We will drive and hike inside the reserve searching for wildlife. - Hotel Sebastian
Day 8: Colonial Quito / Evening Departure (B)
We visit the colonial district in Quito, the largest and best preserved in Latin America. You have the afternoon at leisure before you are transferred to the airport for your evening flight.
Day 9: Arrive Home
2 Culinary experiences offered in Quito. They take place at Galería Ecuador, a fine handicraft store.
Chocolatier for a day (45-60 min) $22 pp (group size 2 to 8)
Enjoy something for kids of all ages: an informal chocolate making class! You first get an eye-opening briefing on the history and origins of cacao, the beans from where chocolate is made from. This goes back thousands of years ago when the beans were so valuable that they were used as currency, up to our present times, where Ecuador has become the No. 1 producer and exporter of the finest aroma chocolate in the world. We will use award-wining Pacari Ecuadorian cacao beans to make your own chocolate truffles, combining with other ingredients, such us dried fruits, cinnamon, nuts, cacao nibs, coffee, cane sugar, coconut sugar, chili powder, and more. Discover the chocolatier in you!
Traditional corn tortillas (45-60 min) $27 pp (group size 2 to 15)
We will use kitchen utensils from 18th century Quito to prepare your own traditional corn tortillas Fill your delectable tortillas with cheese, onions and annatto (a rare spice from the Amazon used to give food a special color and tang), and cook them on a “tiesto” or adobe hot plate. Next, we will grind organic roasted coffee beans and learn how to make a delicious cup of this aromatic brew using a “chuspa” or cloth filter. And to accent your tortillas, we will prepare a special chili sauce using a volcanic stone grinder to mix all of the ingredients – an ancient-old method still used by the more traditional Quiteño families. Finally, enjoy a healthy Ecuadorian snack!
In order to stay within the time limit of the guided tour, if you add these activities, it would replace something in the classic city tour, so the length would not be extended. However, if you want to do both the full city tour and the extra activities, we can modify on request.
Frequently Asked Questions
This Adventure Includes
- Quito airport transfers and all land transportation (private vehicle)
- 3 * Hotel accommodations/private bathroom, including breakfast buffet
- Entry fees to all the sites described in the itinerary
- Private, guided tours with English-speaking Bird Guide / Ornithologist
- Meals as noted (BLD)
- Travel assistance 24/7
- International airfare to and from Quito, Ecuador
- Bottled water or other beverages
- Travel insurance
- Itinerary subject to change
- Based on double occupancy / Single supplement available
- Can be combined with amazon jungle cruise or Galapagos Islands Land Adventure
- Special vaccinations not required