Classic Ecuador

Example Itinerary

Overview

Boasting an incredible richness and diversity that belies its small size, Ecuador is South America in microcosm. Although boasting grand colonial architecture, ancient indigenous culture and exotic produce to please history and culture buffs, Ecuador’s real draw has to be its assortment of spectacular landscapes.

Beginning amongst the ornate splendour of Quito, you’ll have a chance to explore its colonial centre, as well as the “centre of the world” at the equatorial ...

Read More

Meet the Expert

Speak to Richard to start planning your trip to Ecuador & Galapagos

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

How Tailor-Made Works

phone

Discuss your initial ideas with one of our experts, the types of things you want to see and do.

Arrow pointing right
map

Your expert will start designing your perfect trip. Within a day or two we'll send a suggested itinerary.

Arrow pointing right
lightbulb

At this stage you can still tweak anything from accommodation to experiences and dates, using our expert advice.

Arrow pointing right
plane

Time to prepare for your trip, safe in the knowledge you'll be in the expert hands of local guides and drivers throughout.

Arrow pointing right
person-hiking

Relax and enjoy...through our partners you'll have support on the ground as well as 24-hour emergency assistance in the UK.

Example Itinerary

This is an example itinerary. Our experts have all travelled widely in the region and will be happy to tailor any of our itineraries to suit your tastes and budget, or build a trip from scratch.

Day 1 Arrive Quito

On arrival to Quito, you will be met and welcomed by your local guide at the airport. Transferring straight to your hotel, you can spend the rest of the day relaxing and acclimatising to the new heights and surroundings of Ecuador’s capital.

Day 2 Quito: Architecture, History & Food

The day begins with an overview of the city taking one of South America’s highest cable cars up to Cruz Loma hill for a wonderful panorama of Quito. Weather permitting, it is possible to see some of the country’s highest peaks from here. Back down in the town, you’ll then learn about the country’s history via a walking tour through the historic centre’s colonial streets filled with impressive 16th and 17th-century buildings, palaces, cathedrals, churches and monasteries. In addition to exploring local crafts and trade on the picturesque La Ronda street, there’ll also be a chance to sample local produce and learn medicinal traditions - with the opportunity to try a herbal cleansing - at the central food market.

Hotel Patio Andaluz Breakfast

Day 3 Quito – Bellavista Cloud Forest: Straddle the Equator

Slowly heading out of the capital, you’ll first make a stop at the country’s namesake, the equator. Some time to explore the museums here provides the ideal setting to experience physics first-hand via a series of scientific experiments only possible at the equatorial line, as well as the opportunity to straddle both hemispheres at the same time. Peer into the nearby extinct Pululahua volcanic crater before driving further away from the capital and into Ecuador’s cloud forests to arrive at your lodge in time for lunch. In the afternoon you can join one of the lodge’s activities for an introduction to surrounding reserve.

Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 Bellavista Cloud Forest: Guided Forest Hiking

Today, embark on a full day of guided hiking in the cloud forest delving into its unique ecology and biodiversity. A network of forest trails of varying difficulty surrounds the lodge which you’ll explore with the reserve’s naturalist guide, on hand to point out birds and local flora along the way. The active day can be broken up with meals and downtime back at the lodge.

Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Bellavista Cloud Forest – Mindo – Cotopaxi: Chocolate Tour

After an early morning bird hike, say goodbye to your cloud forest accommodation and make for your next lodge in Ecuador’s volcanic Andean Mountain Range. The scenic drive begins with a detour to the peaceful countryside town of Mindo where you can enjoy a chocolate tour at a community project. One of Ecuador’s most delicious exports, the tour includes a demonstration of the chocolate-making process from the cacao fruit up until the end product, finishing with a sumptuous tasting. The journey then continues along the stunning ‘Avenue of the Volcanoes’ to your hacienda, close to the Cotopaxi National Park’s northern entrance.

Hacienda El Porvenir Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 Cotopaxi: Horse Riding with Cowboys

Horse riding is a time-honoured tradition in the Andean region and especially in the altiplano (high plateau) of Cotopaxi National Park. After breakfast, ride with real chagras (Andean cowboys) out into the ruggedly beautiful national park, exploring its stretches of mountainous landscape while mixing in a bit of local flavour and transport. Heading back to the cosy hacienda in time for a warm, homemade lunch, the afternoon is then set aside to relax at the quaint lodge and perhaps enjoy a soak in the jacuzzi.
*Your morning tour can also be done via mountain bike, foot or vehicle to suit all preferences. 

Hacienda El Porvenir Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 Cotopaxi – Quilotoa – Baños: Crater Lake Walk

The drive up to Quilotoa is one of the most spectacular in the Ecuadorian Andes, passing through various indigenous villages before arriving at the rim of the Quilotoa volcano crater for a glimpse of the green, mirror-like lake below as you walk around its ring. Then, continue the transition into Ecuador’s tropical regions as you make your way to the spa town of Baños.

Posada del Arte Breakfast

Day 8 Baños: Valley of the Waterfalls Hiking

Head out on a full morning’s day trip into the area of outstanding natural beauty that surrounds Baños, known as the Valley of the Waterfalls. Immerse yourself in nature, hiking and taking a cable car between some of the beautiful waterfalls sprinkled across the area. Later, return to your hotel and enjoy free time for lunch and an afternoon at leisure.

Posada del Arte Breakfast

Day 9 Baños: Free Day

A rest day allows you to take it easy as the latter part of the trip begins to wind down, giving you the opportunity to explore the small town of Baños independently at your leisure. Named ‘Baths’ for the number of hot springs in and around the town, you may wish to rejuvenate after your active week and mingle with the locals at the one of nearby hot springs – though do expect them to be very crowded at certain times of the day.

Posada del Arte Breakfast

Day 10 Baños – Tena: Into the Amazon

During the final descent from the rugged Andes to the steamy rainforest, you will notice how quickly the scenery transforms into lush green vegetation during today’s drive to Tena, the gateway to the Ecuadorian Amazon. Arrival at your lodge coincides with an exotic Amazonian lunch being served, after which you can settle into your cabin and enjoy an afternoon swimming and relaxing by the outdoor pool in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest.

Hakuna Matata Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 Amazon: Rainforest Exploration

A day of varied activities today gives you a well-rounded introduction to the culture, wildlife and natural elements of the world’s most famous rainforest. Following breakfast, the first activity is a stop at the market in the Amazonian city of Tena, to discover the tropical fruits and produce found in this region. Continuing along the Napo River in your motorised canoe, you’ll disembark deeper in the forest to explore its endemic flora, distinct from the cloud forest, by foot with your lodge guide. The hiking excursion through the forest’s dense vegetation takes approximately two hours before arriving at a wildlife rescue centre to get to know some of the region’s fauna including monkeys, tapirs and sloths. Following a typical jungle lunch wrapped in palm leaves by the river, the day concludes with the chance to meet a small indigenous Kichwa family, speaking with them about everyday life the rainforest, before returning back to the lodge later in the afternoon.

Hakuna Matata Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 Amazon: River Rafting

Though suitable for children and those without prior experience, you’re sure to have an adrenaline-packed day rafting on one of the nearby rivers. Exhilarating white-water rapids will get the heart pumping while the calmer stretches allow time to appreciate the passing scenery during this morning activity. The rest of the afternoon can be used to enjoy the lodge’s facilities or, alternatively, book one of their additional private tours.

Hakuna Matata Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13 Amazon – Papallacta – Quito: Hot Spring Soak

After breakfast begin your return journey to the capital with an optional stop along the way to bathe in the beautiful Papallacta hot springs. The town of Papallacta is famed for exquisite hot pools said to have curative properties. If you haven’t already taken the opportunity on the trip so far, a dip in a thermal spring might be just what you need after two weeks of action-packed activities.

Hotel Patio Andaluz Breakfast

Day 14 Depart Quito

Enjoying a final breakfast in Ecuador, you may have time walk around Quito or enjoy a lie this morning, depending on your flight time, before your driver picks you up from the hotel and takes you to the airport where your Ecuadorian adventure comes to a close.

EXAMPLE ACCOMMODATION

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation listed here is intended as a guide only, to give you a taste of what we can do. Our experts can tailor any aspect of this itinerary and accommodation to suit your budget and tastes.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

14 days from £3,820

MEALS

As specified in the itinerary, sampling some of the country's finest cuisine.

TRANSPORT

Private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced, dedicated drivers.

ENTRANCE FEES

Tours and admission fees, including tickets specified in the itinerary.

EXPERT TEAM

Licensed English-speaking guides and a support team available 24/7.

ACCOMMODATION

As specified in the itinerary, using some of our favourite local properties.

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 11462 Wild Miles

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Wild Miles Club

When you book a trip with Wild Frontiers you are awarded points, which are based on the return distance from London to the arrival city of your trip. Points are awarded for all our holidays, including both our escorted group tours and tailor-made trips. When you accrue points, you will qualify for the following discounts on all future bookings:

Blue More than 10,000 points 2.5% discount
Bronze More than 30,000 points 5% discount
Silver More than 45,000 points 7.5% discount
Gold More than 60,000 points 10% discount

This itinerary is aimed to give you an idea of what we can offer. The price shown above is per person, based on two people travelling outside of peak periods. As this itinerary is only a suggestion and can be tailor-made to suit your interests and budget, your final price may differ.

Positive Impact of this Trip

Tree
Ten trees are planted per passenger on this trip
Community
Supports Wild Frontiers Foundation community projects
Wind Turbine
A contribution to renewable energy projects

WHEN TO GO

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you plan your adventure of a lifetime.

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

Meet the expert, Richard

Richard is our Latin America expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Richard by calling
1(833) 200-4640

Ecuador’s mainland is South America abridged; an exquisitely compact summary of what makes the continent special. In contrast, Galapagos is nirvana for wildlife lovers, a compellingly gorgeous freak of nature.

OTHER ITINERARIES IN ECUADOR & GALAPAGOS

Check out our group tours in Ecuador & Galapagos

As well as private tailor-made trips, we also offer small group tours (max size 12) to Ecuador & Galapagos. Led by an experienced tour leader, travel with a group of like-minded people on one of our award-winning group tours.

View Group Tours in Ecuador & Galapagos