Ecuador: Avenue of the Volcanoes8 days & 7 nights, Private Journey
Handcrafted itineraries for one or more travelers with on-the-ground support, a private guide, and a private vehicle. Private Journeys represent the best of the custom programs we've designed over the years. Our insider knowledge and destination expertise make these innovative journeys truly unique experiences.Private Journey
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Day 1Arrive Quito
Upon arrival in Quito, you will be welcomed and accompanied to your hotel.
The rest of the day is yours at leisure to begin your exploration of the city or just relax and enjoy the amenities of your hotel.Casa Gangotena - 1 Night
Day 2To Cotopaxi
This morning, stroll down charming La Ronda Street, the oldest street in the city. Discover the baroque architecture of La Compania church and expansive Independence Square. After a stop at the site of the signing of Ecuador's declaration of independence, savor lunch at a local restaurant. Then travel via the scenic Avenue of the Volcanoes to historic Hacienda San Agustin de Callo, which was built on the site of an Inca palace in 1480.Hacienda San Agustin de Callo - 2 Nights (B, L, D)
Day 3Cotopaxi National Park
Enjoy a day of outdoor activities in this wonderfully scenic area. Hike or ride on horseback along the trails in the wild lands of the national park. Then, savor a picnic lunch in the foothills of the Cotopaxi volcano, the highest active volcano in the world. If you like, visit one of the colorful local markets to shop for traditional handicrafts from the native artisans. Return to your hacienda this evening for another delightful dinner.Hacienda San Agustin de Callo (B, L, D)
Day 4To Cuenca
Return to Quito for your flight to the university city of Cuenca. Upon arrival, embark on a walking tour of the lovely old section of the city where you'll see the 19th-century blue-domed cathedral, gracious mansions with wrought iron balconies, art galleries, handicraft markets and flower stalls. Then board a boat for a relaxing cruise along the Tomebamba River to see the ancient houses of the city perched along the banks of the river.Mansion Alcazar - 2 Nights (B, L)
Head out of town for a full-day exploration of the ruins at Ingapirca, the largest known Inca site in Ecuador. On the way, marvel at the gorgeous, verdant valley landscapes and stop in several charming villages. After exploring the grand Temple of the Sun and soaking up the atmosphere at this historic site, savor a traditional lunch at a local farm. Return to Cuenca this afternoon.Mansion Alcazar (B, L)
Day 6To Mashpi Rainforest
This morning you will be escorted to the airport for your short flight back to Quito. Descend by road from Quito toward the Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve and stop to learn about hummingbirds before reaching your lodge. After lunch, begin your exploration of the forest with your expert naturalist guides.Mashpi Lodge - 2 Nights (B, D)
Day 7Mashpi Rainforest
The Mashpi Lodge offers a wide range of activities that you can customize based on your interest. Take an early-morning hike to see the forest waking up, and attempt to spot the many endemic birds. Spend some time on the walking trails around the lodge. Hike to a waterfall, watch tropical birds perform courtship dances, learn about medicinal plants, climb to the top of the observation tower and explore the forest at night.Mashpi Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 8Depart Mashpi Lodge
After an early morning exploration, enjoy breakfast at the lodge. On your way to the airport, stop at the intriguing archaeological site of Tulipe.(B)
Generally, road travel in Latin America is reasonably good, however conditions vary greatly between the modern capital cities and the more remote areas. When traveling off the beaten track, roads are frequently narrow, bumpy, pot-holed and have stretches which are not paved, or which are under reconstruction. In Costa Rica, northern Chile and Bolivia particularly, conditions are very dusty and / or bumpy, and the road journeys tend to be quite strenuous. Road conditions change throughout the year and heavy rain and extreme weather patterns can affect journey times. Types of vehicles vary according to the country visited and the numbers on a tour: on escorted groups, transport will usually be in the form of a European-style coach or, for smaller groups, may be by mini-bus. On individual journeys, transport will generally be by sedan car. In destinations where conditions require it, off road driving will be in 4 x 4 vehicles.
Internal Flights / Delays / Insurance: Many countries within Latin America have their own air pass and, wherever possible, our tours will be constructed with the appropriate air pass, which will minimize the costs of the internal flight. Please note that the majority of air passes have restrictions; therefore if you require an itinerary with full flexibility, please contact your tour consultant who will advise the additional cost to provide you with a more flexible ticket. Please also note that in certain cases we may not be able to book internal flights under an airpass. In this event a supplement may be payable.
Because of increased air traffic, government restrictions and/or changing weather conditions, flight delays have become more commonplace. These delays can cause problems with your holiday arrangements, and additional costs may well be involved. This may be in the form of added accommodation costs, transfers and/or onward tickets. If this should occur, everything possible will be done to minimize the inconvenience. Cox & Kings will endeavor to ensure that arrangements go as smoothly as possible. As services are paid for in advance any services missed due to delays and/or schedule changes are non-refundable. Please also bear in mind that many international flight tickets are non-changeable and non-refundable. The insurance policy offered by Cox & Kings is designed to mitigate the costs and effects of such delays in certain circumstances and we strongly advise that you are insured against such eventualities.
Flight Amendments: Flights on these tours are in general quoted separately and use special airfare. These have certain conditions, which normally restrict changes of date, route and airline. Any such change made after a ticket has been issued will normally necessitate the purchase of a new ticket at the passenger’s expense.
Airport Departure Taxes: Most cities in Latin America levy a departure tax for passengers departing on international flights, which have to be paid in local currency or the equivalent in US dollars. Other cities within a country may also levy a small charge for departures on domestic flights. Occasionally, taxes may be included on your ticket and we will advise you accordingly. Since there is no standard charge between countries, and taxes are subject to change, it is not possible to list the taxes in this brochure. We will advise you of the current charge with your final documents, and our local agents will confirm the amount payable on arrival. Please ensure you keep enough local currency or US dollars to cover these taxes.
During some itineraries, it may be necessary to depart for excursions or transfers to the airport very early in the morning, sometimes before dawn. This is normally either due to the flight schedules within Latin America, or in order for us to maximize the opportunities for sightseeing during your tour. A number of flights to Latin America arrive / depart early in the morning and, while we will endeavor to schedule your tour with a flight which arrives / departs at a reasonable time, sometimes there is little or no alternative and early check-in / check-out times may be required.
Accommodation standards vary dramatically throughout Latin America. In the larger cities, the hotels we use are fully modernized and have excellent facilities, unless you choose to opt for the more colonial style property, where facilities may be limited. In some smaller cities and more remote areas, we try to offer the best hotels available. However, these may be quite simple - sometimes small colonial-style properties, in which rooms may vary in size - and often have relatively basic facilities. Please note, all rooms reserved on your tour are standard; however, if you wish to upgrade your room (e.g. to a lake or falls view, deluxe or suite etc.), please speak to your tour consultant, who will be able to advise you about the options and the applicable supplements.
Check-in & Check-out Times: For all group and individual tours, hotel check-in / out time is normally 3:00 pm, but this does vary between hotels.
Jungle Lodges & Remote Areas: Accommodation in some wildlife lodges in the Amazon rainforest, are not comparable to the better properties found in parts of Africa and Asia. Accommodation is often reached via narrow and unpaved roads, or by boat, and can be a long way from other civilization. Even when you travel off the beaten track with Cox & Kings, you can be sure that your accommodation is the best available; however sometimes the best hotel may be the only hotel, which may be very modest. In these cases, we feel that the inconvenience of such accommodation is outweighed by the experience of staying in these more remote areas.
Currency: US Dollar
Official Language(s): Spanish
Ecuador has something for everyone: from snow-capped volcanoes in the high Andes Mountains and tropical rainforest in the Amazon to the coastal banana plantations and the famous wildlife of the Galapagos Islands. In the highland towns there is still a dominant Inca culture and although lesser known than those in neighboring Peru, there are some interesting sites to visit and colorful authentic market towns to see.
What To See
For most people, Ecuador is considered to be the gateway to the Galapagos Islands. The islands offer visitors the chance to see species that cannot be found anywhere else and at an incredibly close distance. The best way to see the islands and all they have to offer is by boat. There is a wide range of boats of all sizes and styles offering 3, 4 and 7-day cruises each with slightly different itineraries. For those who prefer to sleep on dry land, there are several hotels from where you can then take a boat out each day to some of the islands located close by.
On mainland Ecuador, the capital Quito is located high up in the Andes surrounded by mountains. In the north, the town of Otavalo has a fantastic daily market selling traditional handicrafts and colorful hand-woven textiles. On Saturdays the locals descend on the town to buy and sell fruit, vegetables and livestock.
The lodges in the Ecuadorian Amazon give perhaps the most authentic Amazon experience in South America. There are some fantastic deluxe lodges accessible only by light aircraft and river but the journey along the tributaries does offer a chance to spot interesting flora and fauna.
When To Go
For Quito and the Andean towns the best time to visit is the dry season between April and November. The Galapagos are an all year round destination: it is drier between June and December but the water is warmer between December and May. The water can get rougher in September. The drier season in the Amazon is from May to September.
Ecuador: Avenue Of The Volcanoes
Please select an option before proceeding to Booking Request.