- Learn how to prepare traditional Ecuadorian dishes in a cooking class
- Shop for handicrafts in the famous Otavalo Market
- Visit an Indigenous community in the jungle
- Soak in the relaxing thermal waters of Papallacta
|Day 1||Arrive in Quito, Cooking Class||Quito|
|Day 2||Tour Quito & Transfer to Otavalo||Otavalo|
|Day 3||Shop in Otavalo & Cotacachi||Papallacta|
|Day 4||Travel to Tena in the Amazon via Santa Rosa||Tena|
|Day 5||Explore Yacuma & Indigenous Community||Tena|
|Day 6||See the Landscapes Around Baños||Baños|
|Day 7||Discover Cotopaxi National Park||Quito|
|Day 8||Soak in the Hot Springs of Papallacta, Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Quito, Cooking Class
Welcome to Quito! You'll arrive at the airport and meet your driver, who will transfer you to your hotel in the city center. After taking some time to get settled in, explore the historic center. This UNESCO World Heritage Site stands at an altitude of 9,350 feet (2,850 m) and welcomes visitors with its picturesque plazas between mountain peaks.
Stroll through its narrow streets and visit some of the city's most important churches, such as the Baroque La Compañía, with its incredible gold-covered interior, and the neo-Gothic La Basílica. Take a walk down La Ronda, one of the oldest streets in the city. In the evening, you'll head to a cooking class inside a colonial house in the historic center. Learn to prepare various traditional Ecuadorian dishes, then enjoy the meal.
Day 2: Tour Quito & Transfer to Otavalo
Continue exploring Quito on a guided tour. You'll visit Independence Square, where the Presidential Palace and El Sagrario Church are located. Visit the Monastery of San Francisco (1535), the oldest church in Ecuador. Finally, drive up to the city's highest viewpoint, El Panecillo hill, for a stunning view of Quito.
In the afternoon, you'll visit the equatorial monument known as Mitad del Mundo. It's located just 16 miles (26 km) north of the capital city in the spot where French scientists determined the position of the central line many years ago. You'll have the chance to stand on the line of the equator and strike a pose with one foot in each hemisphere! Continue to Otavalo, where you'll spend the night.
Day 3: Shop in Otavalo & Cotacachi
After breakfast, visit Otavalo, home of a famous marketplace. You'll arrive just in time to bargain for beautiful tapestries, local paintings, hand-knitted wool sweaters, socks and gloves, wood carvings, silver jewelry, embroidered blouses, and straw hats, to name only a few of the items on offer.
Following lunch, head to Cotacachi, renowned for its handmade leather goods. If time allows, you'll visit Cuicocha, an ancient, eroded volcanic crater famous for its deep lake. Then transfer to Papallacta for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 4: Travel to Tena in the Amazon Rainforest via Santa Rosa
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
After breakfast, travel to Santa Rosa and then to Yacuma Ecolodge in Tena. The trip involves 20-30 minutes of river navigation. Welcome to the Amazon Rainforest! Following a briefing and a welcome drink, you'll have the chance to visit Yacuma's exclusive Hidden Lagoon. Finish the day with dinner and a nighttime walk.
Day 5: Explore Yacuma & Indigenous CommunityHave breakfast before a two-hour jungle hike, during which you'll learn about medicinal plants. Enjoy lunch, then rest for 30 minutes. Visit the Indigenous Kichwa Community and hear about native crafts, including the tribe's history of ceramic manufacturing. Go for a dip in the Chontayacu River before dinner is served at the hotel.
Day 6: See the Landscapes Around Baños
Visit Yacuma's lookout before transferring to the town of Puyo. This trip offers plenty of fantastic views of the rugged landscape of Pastaza Canyon. Take a short hike to the impressive Devil's Cauldron waterfall. Then continue to the city of Baños, located at the base of the impressive Tungurahua Volcano. You'll have dinner and overnight here.