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Quito - The First Step    
 

Day 01     
Arrival in Quito. Accommodation in the colorful Hostería Sommergarten in Sangolqui, 30 minutes from Quito.

Day 02     
Visit of the historic district of the colonial-capital with its numerous churches and museums, considered by the UNESCO a . The old part of town was put 1978 under world-monument-protection by the UNESCO. Animate places, colorful street-markets, imposing churches and colonial-constructions stand in the contrast by the glittering facades of modern high-rises. Churches like La Compañía, the cathedral,; the church San Francisco; the place La Independencia and the Präsidentenpalast, much charm and friendly atmosphere offer. From the house-mountain Panecillo has an outstanding view one over the entire city. Accommodation in the Hostería Sommergarten.

Day 03     
Trip to the colorful province of Imbabura, also called as the “Province of the Lakes”. This is one of the provinces with the highest population of Indian communities. Visit of the famous Otavalo Market in its popular “Plaza del Poncho”. There are a lot of products brought from the indean communities of the surroundings: textiles, wood-carvings, leather-merchandise, etc. To Bargain is a must!. The trips includes different stops in small Indian towns such us Peguche, San Antonio de Ibarra and Cotacachi. Accommodation: Palmeras de Quisinche - typical hacienda.

Day 04     
From Otavalo, drive to Mindo. On the way we will visit the interesting and colonial complex of the middle of the world with its friendly stores, museums, observatories, as well as the interesting museum Intiñan. You have the possibility to stand with a leg in the southern and with the other leg in the northern hemisphere. Mindo is one of the knownest bird-places of Ecuador with an impressive bird-list of 360 types. Overnight in the Hostería Sachatamía, an extremely beautiful and comfortable place.

Day 05     
Mindo also offers many alternatives to visit. It is considered as an Ecological Reserve in a subtropical area which also offers geologic formations, primary forest, native species, birds, quetzals, toucans, etc Mindo Lindo with its hummingbird reserve and important studies over this endemic bird. Enjoy their dance very near to us and around the flowers, an impressive experience. Also butterfly-friends will find a nice spot there. Trip continues to the coastal-region to the private ecological reserve Ali Alpa, 400 m over the sea level. On approximately 50 hectares, we find primary forest and tropical plantations. It is told us about the organic cultivation of tropical fruits and plants. Afterwards hike through the forest with its different vegetation. Accommodation in the Hostería Don Gaucho. A relaxing bath in the river or in the Swimmingpool is recommended.

Day 06     
Trip to the tropical jungle in the area of La Perla reserve. This is a fascinating place, very well conserved with endemic fauna and vegetation; we will receive an extensive explanation of all the complex, their fauna, its medicinal effects, their use, etc. Afterwards we will visit a pineapple-plantation. Accommodation in the Hostería Don Gaucho. A relaxing bath in the river or in the Swimmingpool is recommended. Overnight in the Hostería Don Gaucho.

Day 07     
In the morning we will visit Santo Domingo de los Colorados and its llegendary community. The women carry a cross-striped colorful dress; the men, a black & white one and an interesting hair, specially designed and colored with a product of the area called „achiote“. With them we can learn something over the shaman-medical art, the cultivation of tropical products and the way of life of this small group. We leave the coastal-landscape and return into the highland. Accommodation in the comfortable Hostería La Estación.

Day 08     
Trip to the Cotopaxi national – park with its active and highest snowcapped-volcano in the world. (5.897m) We will enjoy a majestic landscape. Trip to Baños. On the way we will visit the Salasaca community with its magnificent carpets and textiles from their traditional looms. Baños is a charming and touristic town, also consider as the „Gate to the jungle“. Short sightseeing and overnight in the Hostería Monteselva.

Day 09     
Baños offers an unexpected number of activities; trekking programs, climbing, biking, visit of the waterfalls. In the afternoon, we will travel through picturesque Indian-areas into the peaceful Riobamba, the capital of the Chimborazo province. With some luck, we can admire the colossal glacier of the Chimborazo Volcano (6.310 m). Overnight stay in the hacienda El Troje.

Day 10     
We will have an early departure to travel on the legendary Andes-train over the famous devil’s nose. This is a very exciting program, full of adventure. Our car will wait for us in Alausí and we will continue our drive to Ingapirca, the most important inca ruins in Ecuador, after Cuenca. Overnight stay in the hotel Quijote. IMPORTANT: Due to conditions of the road and the weather, the train could cancel its operation. In that case, we will arrange our program with our car.

Day 11     
Cuenca is Ecuador's third largest city. Its friendly people, cobblestone streets, interesting museum and beautiful plazas, make it very special. You can visit the Museum of Modern Art, El Carmen de la Asunción Church, the Cathedrals, Plaza San Francisco. One of the highlights are the beautiful handicrafts that can be found throughout the city, including embroidered blouses, wool sweaters, gold and silver filigree jewelry and weaving with tie-dyed patterns called ikat. Cuenca also has a tradition in ceramics. Crafts and fresh products can be found on sale at the smaller Saturday market. At the end, a drive along the Tomebamba River will be included. Trip to Guayaquil. On the way we will visit Cajas National Park located 33 km (19 miles) northwest of Cuenca, It is well known for its flora, fauna, its variety of its 230 crystalline lakes of glacial origin. At the evening we will include a nice sightseeing of Guayaquil. Overnight stay in the Hostal Quil.

Day 12     
Transfer Out or program to Galapagos or Machalilla National Park. Drive over the Route of the Sun to Puerto Lopez. The beaches of Puerto Lopez are beautiful with warm water and natural beaches. You can also see the activities of the local fishermen. Here we will stay on the Hosteria Mandála. It has a beautiful landscape. Overnight at Hostería Mandala.

Day 13     
Considered as one of the most beautiful attractions of the area, we will arrange a program to `La Isla de La Plata’. This island is 1,5 hours away by boat from Puerto López and is also called “small Galapagos”. There you can see blue footed and masked boobies, frigates, sea lions, coral reefs and fish of various colors. Whale watching is an amazing spectacle possible between the end of June and beginning of October. Overnight at Hostería Mandala.

Day 14     
Agua Blanca is interesting and a great attraction for fans of archaeology. Its dry tropical forest offers wide biodiversity and it is situated in the heart of the Machalilla National Park, 12 km away from Puerto Lopez. You can take a bath in the sulphurous lagoon. Its water has medical, curative and rejuvenating properties. We will also include the visit of Los Frailes Beach. In the afternoon, we will return to Guayaquil. Accommodation.

Day 15     
Transfer Out or program to Galapagos


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