Explore the highlights of mainland Ecuador, from Andean volcanoes to bustling colonial towns and traditional indigenous communities. Stay in a selection of converted colonial houses or hacienda-style properties. This itinerary also includes a 3-night cruise to see the unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands.
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Fly to Quito, via Madrid, with Iberia. Stay 2 nights at Casona de la Ronda. (N)
Scenic morning tour of the old colonial centre of Quito, followed by a visit to the equatorial line monument, 'Middle of the World'. (B)
Full-day visit to the colourful Otavalo market and the verdant countryside north of Quito, including San Pablo lake and small surrounding villages where weavers and craftsmen work. Take lunch at an historic hacienda. (It is possible to stay overnight at a hacienda in this region - please enquire for more details). (B, L)
Transfers and excursions for the next two days will be on a shared basis. Private guide and transportation (except the train) can be booked for a supplement. Travel south into the 'Avenue of the Volcanoes', with its fertile valleys, traditional villages, patchwork fields and soaring volcanic peaks. Explore the Cotopaxi National Park, a habitat for a variety of birds and Andean flora. Continue by road to Riobamba and spend a night at Hacienda Abraspungo. (B, L, D)
Travel by winding and scenic roads to the town of Alausí. Board the train for a journey down the zigzag tracks of the famous Devil's Nose, a masterpiece of railway engineering. Continue by road through stunning mountainous scenery to the Inca ruins of Ingapirca and finally on to Cuenca. Stay 2 nights at Hotel Santa Lucia. (B, L)
Full-day tour of Cuenca, Ecuador's beautiful southern colonial city. Explore the cobblestoned streets, flower-filled plazas and historic churches. (B)
Drive via the moorlands of the Cajas National Park, down to the steamy coastal region and the city of Guayaquil. Optional afternoon tour of Guayaquil, including the waterfront and the picturesque and historic Barrio Las Peñas. Stay overnight at the Hampton Inn. (B, L)
Shared transfer to the airport and fly to the Galapagos Islands for a 3-night cruise on board the Beluga, a comfortable motor cruiser with a capacity for 16 passengers. It is also possible to take a 5- or a 7-night cruise, sailing on an alternative small or medium sized boat. (B, L, D)
Shared excursions to the islands with a naturalist guide. (B, L, D)
Disembark the cruise and fly to Guayaquil. Connect with a flight to London, via Madrid. Alternatively, break your journey with an overnight stay in Guayaquil and take a short city tour the following day or an exploration of the Churute mangroves. (B)
Afternoon arrival. (N)
As per itinerary - (B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner, (N) = No Meals
This is a suggested itinerary, which can be tailored to suit your needs. The above itinerary is based on a Tuesday departure from the UK to fit in with a Tuesday sailing (every other week) on the Beluga. Prices are based on two people travelling and sharing a twin-room, are intended as a guideline only and will vary according to time of year.
Recommendations include Casa Gangotena in Quito, a boutique hotel in a converted historic mansion; the small and atmospheric Hacienda San Agustin de Callo in Cotopaxi; the beautiful Mansion Alcazar in Cuenca or smart modern Wyndham Guayaquil or Hilton Colon in Guayaquil. Prices on request.
The Beluga, completely refurbished in 2010, carries
up to 16 passengers in 8 double staterooms. A
crew of 8 provides attentive service in a relaxed
atmosphere. The boat has spacious decks, 2 dining
rooms, a lounge, sun deck and 2 zodiac launches.
Snorkelling equipment is available for hire. Full board is provided on the Beluga. The cost of beverages and Galapagos taxes of $100, are not included and are payable...
The Hacienda Abraspungo is situated in a residential suburb of Riobamba surrounded by the mountain scenery. It is designed in the style of a local country house with Ecuadorian ranch decor. There are 26 comfortable rooms with private facilities and a traditional restaurant and...
The Hampton Inn is located in the heart of the commercial area of Guayaquil and is within walking distance of the riverside promenade Malecon 2000 and many of the main areas of interest. The hotel facilities include a restaurant, sushi bar, exercise facilities, sauna and internet...
Traditionally a gathering place for artists, writers and poets, the winding street of La Ronda is one of the oldest in Quito. The Casona de la Ronda boutique hotel is located in one of the historical houses on this charming street and offers 22 rooms located around a beautifully remodelled central courtyard. The decor respects the culture and traditional features of the building, while also providing modern comforts such as wireless internet. The hotel offers daily breakfast, a coffee shop and reading room with a fireplace. Its central location allows easy access to restaurants and many of Quito's...
Located in the centre of the picturesque city of Cuenca, the Santa Lucia is a lovingly restored 20-room hotel set in an old mansion. Guest rooms are furnished with dark wood furniture, and all have private bathroom, television, minibar, hair dryer and safe. On the second floor there is a huge private salon with a fireplace for guests to gather around; antiques adorn the hallways and fresh flowers are arranged daily. The airy Trattoria restaurant serves authentic Italian cuisine while the cosy Bacus Cafe is very popular for its inexpensive Ecuadorian meals. There is a large enclosed courtyard containing a 100-year-old magnolia tree and beautiful baby...
Regional air connections are available from within the UK. Please contact your travel consultant for current prices from your nearest city.
We can also arrange flights from overseas, simply give us a call to find out more.
If you choose to take the tour without flights arranged through Cox & Kings, please contact one of our travel consultants prior to booking the flights to ensure that you are aware of the tour timings and all the implications of not booking through us. We strongly advise you not to book flights independently of Cox & Kings if significant charges would apply in case of cancellation.
Flight details may be subject to change prior to departure.
Cuenca is tucked away in a southern valley on the site of a once important...
The Galapagos Islands are located 1,000 kilometres west of mainland Ecuador and consist...
Guayaquil is Ecuador's largest city and is the focus of the nation's economy. Its...
Located in southern Ecuador, Riobamba lies in a valley at the foot of the...
Quito is the second highest capital in South America (2,850 metres) and lies in a narrow...