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Your holiday to Ecuador starts at Quito, the capital of Ecuador. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
After breakfast we depart for the eastern range of the Andes and Antisana Ecological Reserve. Here we will get to see the beautiful Lake Mica and the majestic Antisana Volcano. This volcano stands at a height of 5,758 m and is part of the Condor Bio reserve. It is the fourth largest volcano in Ecuador. Antisana is believed to have the most challenging mountaineering trail in the Andes.
Antisana Ecological Reserve is regarded as a birdwatching hotspot and is one of the best places to spot the Condor in its natural habitat. The other prominent birds of the region include Hummingbirds, Toucans, Parrots and Cockerels. The White Spectacled Bear, Tapir, Armadillo and many other mammals can also be sighted here. This reserve has been declared an 'ecological hotspot’ by WWF.
After lunch we will travel to our accommodation for the night, and go on a short exploratory walk as well.
In the morning we will travel to Cotopaxi National Park. Cotopaxi is one of Ecuador's biggest and most popular parks. You can spot animals like Andean Wolves, Pumas, Llamas and Deer. El Boliche Recreational Area is situated inside the park. It is an amazing mix of natural beauty and captivating history. The park is also famous for its hiking and biking trails.
We will have lunch while enjoying a spectacular view of the majestic Cotopaxi Volcano. Cotopaxi means ‘piece of the moon’ in the local dialect. Cotopaxi Volcano is surrounded by glaciers, lakes and beds of lava. The cone shaped peak is covered with snow. It stands tall at a height of about 5,897 m. It is one of world’s highest active volcanoes.
We will continue on our journey, travelling south to Hacienda Leito, which offers a spectacular view of the Tungurahua Volcano (5,023 m). This volcano has been regularly displaying signs of eruption since 1999. Hence trekking around the volcano area is no longer permitted.
After breakfast we will continue our expedition to Baños, a cozy little town surrounded by waterfalls. It is situated near the Pastaza river on the Amazon river basin. The town is known as the "Gateway to the Amazon" and boasts of an amiable climate.
After lunch we will move on to Hill Start Refuge, located at the foothills of Chimborazo volcano. Chimborazo Volcano (6,268 m) is the highest peak in Ecuador. It is an inactive volcano and is famous for its trekking trails. Chimborazo is surrounded by the Reserva de Produccion Faunistica Chimborazo, which forms a protected ecosystem to preserve the habitat for native Andean wildlife- the Camelids vicuña, Llama and Alpaca.
After breakfast we head for Guamote, where we will board a train for a ride on the famous Devil’s Nose. This is considered to be one of the most difficult railroads that was ever built! The train starts from Riobamba and runs till Alausí. On the way it passes a steep descent known as the ‘Devil’s Nose’.
We will have packed lunch en route and travel to Ingapirca, the perfect place to find out about the history of the ancient Inca Empire. Here, we will see the largest Incan ruins that exist in Ecuador. The renowned architectural wonders of the area include an elliptical building constructed around a single rock without the aid of mortar! The stones were simply chiseled to fit together and needed no other adhesive.
Later we arrive at Cuenca and proceed towards our accommodation for the night.
After breakfast we will tour Cuenca. The center of the city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its many historical buildings. You can find out about the famous Panama hats, discover the region's beautiful pottery and visit art galleries and museums. In addition, there are cathedrals, monasteries and more Inca ruins that can be explored here as well.
In the afternoon we can either continue exploring Cuenca or visit Chordeleg and Gualace. These towns are famous for their local markets and jewellery.
Today we will visit Cajas National Park where we can admire numerous species of flora and fauna. We can also see a number of impressive rock formations that surround a group of around 230 lagoons.
Cajas is listed as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. Cajas National Park is home to a large variety of animals, some of which are endemic to the area or are highly endangered. The most prominent of these include the South American Condor, Curiquingue (a raptor species), Giant Hummingbird (the largest Hummingbird in the world) and the Violet Throated Metaltail. Other important species found in Cajas include Opossums, Cats, Bats, Pumas, Coatis, Weasels, Skunks, Foxes, Porcupines, Pacas, Shrews, Rabbits and Rodents.
After lunch we will travel to the airport to catch our flight back to Quito.
This is the last day of your holiday in Ecuador. You will be driven to Quito airport to catch your flight back home.
Please note : Accommodation providers are subject to change without notice. The accommodations listed in this dossier are our preferred suppliers, but sometimes due to availability issues, we are unable to make use of the properties listed in this dossier. If we cannot use an accommodation provider as listed we will substitute another property of similar standards. However, en-suite facilities are not always guaranteed.
Requires a spirit of adventure and some degree of fitness, as the trip might consist of many activities or long journeys. These adventures involve walking, trekking, hiking, cycling, rafting, sea kayaking, or driving for long hours, at times for up to six to eight hours a day at a steady pace. The maximum altitude is 3000m, so it requires you to be reasonably physically fit because you may be travelling in extreme weather conditions. The trips are usually 6 to 12 days in duration.
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