This active and incredibly scenic tour hones in on Ecuador's distinct landscapes. Kick off the adventure in Quito where you'll meet your guide, and then head south creating a simple loop through the Andean highlands and Amazon rainforest, exploring volcanoes, caves, and waterfalls along the way. You'll also participate in hiking, canyoning, and river rafting—with plenty of free time to chill and enjoy the tasty cuisine (and chocolate) along the way.


  • Sample Quito's cultural highlights—and street foods—on the first day
  • Look for wild horses and the elusive Andean condor while hiking around a volcano
  • Take part in brag-worthy activities in a sporty town called Baños
  • Spend two days in the Amazon rainforest exploring caves and medicinal plants
  • Reward your muscles with a soak in hot springs surrounded by Andean scenery

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Quito Quito
Day 2 Hiking in Cotopaxi National Park, Transfer to Baños Baños
Day 3 Canyoning in the Rainforest Baños
Day 4 Activities in Baños, Transfer to Archidona, Explore the Jumandi Caves Archidona
Day 5 Rafting on the Río Jatunyacu Archidona
Day 6 Visit Hummingbirds & the Papallacta Hot Springs, Transfer to Quito Quito
Day 7 Depart Quito  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Quito

Walk through Quito's UNESCO-listed Old Town, which is filled with colonial-era buildings
Welcome to Ecuador! Upon arrival in the capital of Quito, a private driver will greet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in the city center. Take the rest of the day to explore this historic, high-altitude metropolis at your own pace.
Stroll through the narrow streets of its UNESCO-listed Old Town, visit an interesting museum, like the Museo de Arte Colonial in a restored colonial mansion, or do some souvenir shopping. Foodies can check out traditional Ecuadorian food, either in restaurants or out on the streets with carts selling fresh fruit juices, empanadas, hornado (roast pork), or cevichochos (vegetarian ceviche).  If you are up for some walking, take a ride on Quito's sky tram, called the TelefériQo, and enjoy spectacular views of the city and surrounding mountains from the Pichincha volcano at 13,123 feet (4,000 m).

Day 2: Hiking in Cotopaxi National Park, Transfer to Baños

Cotopaxi National Park is home to Ecuador's second-highest volcano
After breakfast in Quito, your guide will pick you up for the scenic drive to Cotopaxi National Park. Here you'll get up close to the park's eponymous active volcano, which has a 19,347-foot (5,897 m) symmetrical snow-capped peak—the second-highest summit in Ecuador. Be sure to bring plenty of layers for changes in weather and altitude as you hike through the rugged scenery while looking for wild horses and Andean plants—and perhaps even an Andean condor. Your guide will lead you up to the 15,748-foot (4,800 m) refuge, called Jose Rivas, for Cotopaxi views.
From here, you'll drive to Baños de Agua Santa, or simply Baños for short. Situated between Río Pastaza and Tungurahua volcano, this colorful town is a popular base for travelers who are drawn to the area's adrenaline-fueled activities, with a variety of international bars and restaurants to choose from. 

Day 3: Canyoning in the Rainforest

Canyoning in the jungle
Baños offers a range of adrenaline-fueled sports, like canyoning
The stunning landscapes in and around Baños provide countless hidden waterfalls, canyons, and natural pools. Today you will explore some of these mystical gems, where you will have the option to hike, rappel, zipline, jump, or swim. You'll also have the option to go canyoning in the rainforest, which is the sport of navigating down a fast-flowing water source using a variety of techniques.
Plan your trip to Ecuador
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Following this guided activity, you'll go out for lunch at a local restaurant. Then head back to town where you'll have the rest of the day to explore on your own, perhaps with some shopping or relaxing at a café. 

Day 4: Activities in Baños, Transfer to Archidona, Explore the Jumandy Caves

Baños is close to a spectacular waterfall nicknamed the Devil's Cauldron

It's time to say goodbye to Baños this morning. But first, you'll visit Casa del Árbol, famous for its swing overlooking the valley of Baños, called the Swing at the End of the World. You might recognize this place as it won a National Geographic photo contest in 2014! Next, pay a visit to the famous Pailón del Diablo waterfall. This powerful cascade forms a small gorge, and you can admire its majesty not only alongside but also from above thanks to an overhanging bridge.

Later in the day, you'll arrive at Archidona, a 16th-century colonial town that is the gateway to Ecuador's Amazon rainforest. Head to the lodge for lunch and a short rest, and then head to the Jumandi Caves, where you will enjoy a few hours of this fabulous subterranean world. Here you can take a dip in natural pools and medicinal mud pools, or simply explore the caves' stalagmites and stalactites.
In the evening, dinner will be served at the lodge to the tune of singing toads in the nearby lagoon. If you have any energy left, you can take a chocolate course and learn about the whole chocolate-making process from roasting and grinding all the way to the finished product (with tastings, of course). 

Day 5: Rafting on the Río Jatunyacu

A wet experience
Prepare for a wet and thrilling experience on this Class III river
Today is one of the most action-packed days of the trip as you paddle down the beautiful Class III Río Jatunyacu with professional, friendly guides. This river originates from the Llanganates mountains, and legend claims that there is a lost Inca treasure in the region. The treasure has not yet been discovered, though several explorers are attempting to locate it. Halfway through the day, a tasty box lunch will be served at the edge of the river. After your adventure, drive back to the lodge and take time to enjoy the lush surroundings on your own before your last dinner at the lodge. 

Day 6: Visit Hummingbirds & the Papallacta Hot Springs, Transfer to Quito

Get close to colorful hummingbirds at the Guango Forest Reserve 

Wake up today in the peaceful Amazon and take a guided walk as you learn about the importance of medicinal plants in Indigenous culture. These practices are powerfully preserved and have been replicated over centuries.

Then it's time to wave goodbye to the lodge and drive back to the Ecuadorian highlands. Along the way, you'll stop at Guango Forest Reserve, where you can observe an impressive number of dazzling hummingbird species. Your next destination is the Papallacta Hot Springs, a resort that is home to a natural spring that comes from the volcanoes Cayambe and Antisana. Spend the afternoon taking a soothing dip in one of the many pools, or schedule an optional massage. In the late afternoon, you'll arrive back in Quito and gather in the city center for a farewell dinner!

Day 7: Depart Quito

Relax at a charming Quito café before your departure
Take a seat at a charming Quito café before your departure

It's time to say goodbye to Ecuador! Enjoy a leisurely morning in Quito before a driver transfers you to the airport for your ongoing departure. Safe travels!

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