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Ecuador Tours: Spirit of the Andes

Highlights of this Tour: Hat Making Shop, Cotopaxi National Park, Waterfalls, Baños, Riobamba, Community Projects, Inca Ruins, Cuenca

Duration: 4 Days / 3 nights

Days of Departure: Set Departures (Group)

4 Day / 3 Night Itinerary

yanapi hat shopDay 1 | Quito - Yanapi Hat Shop - Cotopaxi National Park - Patate
As we leave Quito, we first stop at the Yanapi Hat Shop, where guests can observe the process of making hats by hand.  Driving along valleys and mountains, we arrive at Cotopaxi National Park, which surrounds the magnificent Cotopaxi Volcano. You'll have an up-close view of the Andean paramo habitat and its unique flora and fauna; a number of high-altitude birds can be observed around Limpiopungo Lagoon, and occasionally, wild horses.  Enjoy lunch at a charming hacienda, where lunch is served in a room with Inca walls. After lunch, mingle with the llamas of the hacienda and stroll along a rose plantation.  From here, descend towards the town of Patate, to spend the night at a 300-year old hacienda. As the afternoon mist descends, stories are told about those who left in search of the treasure of the Incas in the nearby Llanganatis - and never returned...

banos waterfallsDay 2 | Baños - Route of the Cascades - Urbina - Riobamba
Alter breakfast, take a spectacular route along the gorge of the Pastaza River to the town of Baños, at the foot of Tungurahua Volcano.  Drive along the Route of the Cascades to El Pailón del Diablo (the Devil's Cauldron). The more adventurous visitors will descend (medium difficulty) to observe the impressive cascade up close.  The force and sound of the waters can also be appreciated from a lookout point without descending.  Lunch is served at an hacienda in the surroundings. In the afternoon a short stroll through Baños.  From here return up the mountain to Riobamba.  Arrive in Riobamba for dinner and lodging.

ingapirca tourDay 3 | Riobamba-Calpí-Colta-Guamote-Alausi-Ingapirca-Cuenca
After breakfast, visit the Museum of the Conceptas, which houses one of the most important collections of religious art in Latin America.  Close to Riobamba, we arrive at the the Indian Community of Palacio Real. Here we visit the interesting Museum of the Llama, an interactive community project to show the important role of the llama in the pre-Columbian ancestral cultures - both in the spiritual part as well as daily life; a short stroll in the community is possible.  Next stop is at Guamote, an Indian town, for a short visit to Inti Sisa, an Educational Centre for the Development and Sustainability of Adults and Children. Continue to Alausí, where brunch is served before continuing south to the Inca Fortress of Ingapirca en-route to Cuenca.  Arrival to Cuenca at dusk for dinner and accommodations.

cuenca tour Day 4 | Cuenca
Cuenca is Ecuador's third largest city; yet it still retains its pleasant provincial air.  Its red tiled roofs, cobblestone streets, flowery plazas and museums make it very special.  This comprehensive visit includes the Plaza of San Sebastian, a colorful artisans market, where handicrafts are sold.  Then, visit the Museum of Modern Art, featuring an excellent collection of contemporary fine art.  Next is a visit to the flower market at the small plaza in front of the carved stone entrance to the church of El Carmen de la Asunción.  From here, a stroll to the main square, surrounded by the imposing blue-domed Cathedral, the Court of Justice, the Municipal Palace, the Governor's Palace and the Church of El Sagrario.  Then, drive along the Tomebamba river to admire the city's overhanging houses.  Lunch at one of Cuenca's excellent restaurants. In the afternoon, drive for a short visit to a ceramics handcraft shop.  Then, observe the whole process of making the famous Panama Hats of high-quality toquilla straw.  The Spirit of the Andes adventure ends at the airport where you will fly to Quito or Guayaquil. 

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Departure Dates


2013 Rates

rate in Canadian Dollars rate in US Dollars
Group 1,193


1,125 970

* Prices are subject to change until time of booking.


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* Rates are per person, in US$ and CA$ * The Canadian dollar rates shown above have been calculated at an exchange rate of 1.06 and are subject to change until time of payment.

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