Banos is located on the northern foothills of the Tungurahua volcano and is the second most populous city in Tungurahua, after Ambato, the capital, and is a major tourist center. It is known as the 'Gateway to the Amazon', as it the last big city still located in the mountains before reaching the jungle and other towns that are located in the Amazon River basin.
In just few hours, you can travel from the Andean Peaks surrounding Quito, to the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest, a living emerald which adorns our world with rare beauty and natural wonders. It extends over 5.5 million square kilometers and is home to more varities of plants and animals than any other place on earth. Birdwatchers will love the close encounter with nature staying at one of the lodges located in remote areas of the Amazon wilderness.
Coca, a sprawling oil town with no street signs and unpaved roads is the gateway to this world of unsoiled nature, where you can take visits to Indian Villages, overnights in Jungle lodges, walks through lush rain-forest in search of brilliant toucans and parrots, and traveling by dug-out canoe down hidden tributaries, are all part of the adventure awaiting in the Amazon Jungle.
Just one and a half hours north of Quito, the snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano is the focal point of Ecuador’s most visited park. Majestic and powerful, Cotopaxi - the highest active volcano in the world - has drawn adventurous travelers, as well as the nature lover by the excellent hiking, climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding opportunities, others come simply to enjoy the sprawling, 33,393 hectares of grassland and the chance to see condor, deer and hummingbirds.
Cuenca's cobblestone streets, graceful ironwork balconies, flowered plazas, museums and religious art treasures recall her long association with Spain. It's the third largest city in Ecuador marked by shining church domes dating from the 15th & 17th centuries; the earliest buildings dating back to 1557. Several Inca ruins and temples, and museums provide evidence for Ecuador's rich cultural heritage. Cuenca retains a pleasantly provincial air.
The Galapagos are located six hundred miles west of the Ecuadorian coastline. Its wonders span from the most varied and incredible geological formations: lava flows, blowholes, spatter cones, lava tunnels, to beaches of olive, black, or white sand and the most diverse species of animal and plant life. The most surprising sight for visitors however, is perhaps the varied species of animals, which inspired Charles Darwin on his visit in 1835.
Guayaquil is the largest city, the most important port in Ecuador, and the gateway to the Galapagos. The city is carved by rivers and estuaries, and is known as the `Pearl of the Pacific`. It boasts a wonderful blend of history, nature, and tradition throughout its historic neighborhoods, parks, and monuments. Visitors will find great shopping opportunities, magnificent museums, historic monuments and sprawling parks in this exciting city.
Recommended Stay:At least 2 nights Simon Bolivar Malecon, La Rotonda, Parque Seminario, Santa Ana Hillside, Municipal Palace, Metropolitan Cathedral of Guayaquil, Las Penas, La Bahia and much more.
Isabela Island is an impressive location in the Galapagos boasting six volcanoes, 5 of which are active. The largest and most intriguing island in the archipelago forming the shape of a giant seahorse is approximately 1 million years old. The island is covered with unique land formations, wildlife and tuff cones, and amazing fauna and flora.
Recommended Stay:At least 2 nights Puerto Villamil, Los Tuneles, Wall of Tears, Flamingo Lagoon, Sierra Negra, Wolf Volcano and much more.
This small town of some 22,000 inhabitants is justly famous for its friendly people and their Saturday Market. The Market dates back to pre-Inca times when jungle products were brought up from eastern lowlands and traded for highlands goods, today's market serves two different groups; locals who buy and barter animals, food and other essentials, and tourists looking for crafts. Here you will find everything from ceramic pots, jewelry to hats made of wool or straw and native paintings.
Papallacta Resort and Spa, located 40 miles east of Quito perched on a high Andean valley, offers its visitors health, recreation, adventure and rest. Whether relaxing in the thermal baths, indulging in pampering spa treatments, or embarking on adventure walks at the Rancho del Canon (Canyon Ranch) or Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve, you are sure to enjoy the Papallacta experience. Excellent accommodation in hotel rooms or luxury cabins is complemented by our restaurants which serve a range of culinary delights to tickle your tastebuds.
The Capital City of Ecuador, Quito is nestled in a long, narrow valley in the Ecuadorian Andes boasting a spectacular natural setting. The fantastic city offers an impressive selection of museums, stunning churches and picturesque plazas with a blend of colonial charm and modern architectural treasures. Explore the crown jewel of the city `Old Town` with its vibrant streets lined with restaurants and bars boasting delicious cuisine and a fantastic nightlife.
Recommended Stay:At least 2 nights Plaza de la Independencia, La Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus, Cathedral of Quito, Museo de la Ciudad, La Ronda, El Panecillo, Teleferiquo, Guayasamin Museum and much more.
Riobamba's central location in Ecuador makes it a mandatory site of transit for travelers en route between north and south, or between coastal and oriental regions. It is also the center of expeditions and excursions to the mountains, the National Parks such as Sangay, the nature reserve of Chimborazo and Carihuairazo. The most beautiful mountains in Ecuador are found surrounding Riobamba, forming one of the most spectacular landscapes in Andes Mountain.
The stunning island of San Cristobal is home to plenty of wildlife including sea lions, marine iguanas, Galapagos tortoise, blue-footed boobies, and frigatebirds. Visitors can see an abundance of wildlife found all over the island, sea lions lounge on the beaches and birds nest in the lush vegetation. Divers can visit the iconic Leon Dormido rock for world class diving and surfers can catch some world class waves on Punta Carola Beach. There are many things to see and discover on the oldest island in the Galapagos archipelago.
Recommended Stay:At least 2 nights Galapagos Interpretation Center, Leon Dormido, Cerro Tijeretas, Isla Lobos, Punta Pitt, Puerto Chino Beach, Lagoon El Junco, Cerro Brujo and much more.
The Island of Santa Cruz is the second largest in the Galapagos archipelago with Puerto Ayora the capital being the busiest center of all the islands. The island boasts many activities and is the gateway to surrounding islands, beaches, dive sites and snorkeling on the beautiful South Pacific Seas. The interior of the island is where the massive National Park lies, brimming with plant life and wildlife.
Recommended Stay:At least 2 nights Puerto Ayora, Tortuga Bay, Garrapatero Beach, Galapagos National Park, Carrion Point, Reserva El Chato, Los Gemelos, Lava Tunnels and much more.
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* Sample prices displayed include international and domestic airline tickets as per itinerary and ALL airline-related taxes and fuel surcharges and are per person, based on double occupancy, and are dynamic in nature. Prices do not include insurance or delivery charges which are optional and customizable by the traveler. The airfare portion of the itinerary price is based on economy class, midweek departure. Prices do not include fees for carry on or checked baggage which can add additional fees per ticket on a roundtrip flight based on carrier charges. It also does not include any entrance fees or visa fees that may be charged at international airports. Some cities may charge local taxes that can only be collected by hotel at destination.
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