“We are examining coffee and cocoa opportunities for my son. Plus we would like to see some of the countrysides including beaches and volcanoes. Not too interested in city sights this go round.
I am a very active 60-year old that loves to travel and have been to a lot of Central America.
My son has been involved in the coffee industry since he was 14 and has a real passion for coffee. He is interested in working with small coffee farmers to export green coffee beans of exceptional quality to other countries along with looking at cocoa bean export.
The sights of the country off the beaten track and not seen much by the general tourist is what we would be most interested in. We are both foodies as well!”
Gabor Csizmadia, a local specialist from Ecuador, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary.
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Trip planning highlights
Brandt's Special Coffee Trip in Ecuador
Summary of the trip planning conversation
Thank you very much for your request! My name is Gabor Csizmadia and I'm here to represent the company EcoAndes Travel. We will happily assist you with your trip!
We are already looking at several options for cocoa farms (I will attach a photo of a map), and our team will collect options for coffee plantations for you.
For now, what I think would be the most logical route is to do a loop starting from Quito a little bit up to the Nort (Otavalo and area, where you can do hikes on volcanos), then straight to the West, which is the transition area between the coast and the Andes (Cloudforest in Mindo could be a very nice place to visit), from where you could visit many cocoa and coffee farms/plantations along the coastal area moving Southwards, continuing Eastwards to the area of Cotopaxi (where you can visit the Cotopaxi volcano and its surroundings), and finishing the loop to the North in Quito.
If you are interested in seeing the amazon as well, we could offer you the amazing Yacuma Ecolodge as part of your trip, where one of the many activities is to visit indigenous plantations and to cook hot chocolate from locally grown cocoa beans.
Please let me know how this sounds to you, so we can start working on a more detailed itinerary.
I wish you all the best,
Sounds like you are on the right track but we would like to visit the beaches as well. In the Puerto Cayo or Puerto Lopez areas. Whatever would be the best to visit and could work in a round trip through the country. Our plan is for the trip to be a 12 day trip with 10 days actually on the road, one day traveling to Ecuador and one day traveling back home. Also, if you could provide some information on potential cost for your services and expense. We are not interested in staying at world class resorts, we are looking for more of a real Ecuadorian experience. Thank you.
I hope you had a nice weekend and please accept my apologies for the late answer. Finally, we came up with a very special, personalized trip for you and your son, which we hope satisfies all your expectations. Let me give a draft of what it looks like:
1. Day: Arrival to Quito
Upon arrival to Quito we will transfer you to your hotel.
2. Day: Imbabura Coffee Production
After a hearty breakfast at the hotel we will depart with our private transportation to the Imbabura Coffee Production in Intag (about 60 kilometers from Quito to the North). This area is famous for the Imbabura Volcano which we will also see on the way. After spending a full day learning about Ecuador’s finest coffee and its production, we will return to Quito for overnight.
3. Day: Bolivar Chocolate Social Program
After breakfast and with private transportation we depart to visit the Bolivar Chocolate Social Program El Salinerito in Salinas de Guaranda where we spend most of our day learning about chocolate production. On the way to Bolivar we will see Ecuador's highest mountain, Chimborazo (6310 m). This will be followed by a short drive to the city of Riobamba where we will overnight.
4. Day: Devil’s Nose Train Ride & Local Coffee Markets
In the morning and after breakfast, we drive to the town of Alausi, where we will do the famous Devil’s Nose Train Ride during which we will see some beautiful Andean landscapes. Afterwards, we go to the province of Azuay where we will have the chance to visit local coffee markets. This activity will be followed by a drive to Cuenca city where we will overnight.
5. Day: Saraguro and Loja Production
In the morning we have a nice breakfast, which will be followed by a drive to the city of Loja where we will visit Saraguro and Loja Productions. This day we will learn even more about coffee and its production. After this activity, we will go to our hotel in Loja and take some rest in order to get ready for the following days.
6. Day: Zaruma, El Oro Coffee Plantation
After breakfast, we depart with our private transportation to El Oro province, where we will have the chance to see a local plantation and meet its farmers. A full day at the plantation will be followed by accommodation in the town of Zaruma.
7. Day: El Oro and the Local Social Organizations
After breakfast, we visit the province of El Oro and some of the local coffe producers.
At the end of the day, we return to our accommodation in Zaruma for overnight.
8. Day: Guayas Local Producer
After breakfast, we depart to visit the Guayas local farms of coffee in Guayaquil. Overnight in Guayaquil.
9. Day: Manta
After breakfast, we will drive to Manta, where we will visit local farms and coffee producers. After the activity we will be able to visit the beach of Manta as well. Accommodation in Manta city.
10. Day: La Virginia Farm
After breakfast, we will drive to the province of Los Ríos. Here, we make a visit to La Virginia Farm. Accommodation in a local farm.
11. Day: Way back to Quito
After breakfast, we begin our drive back to Quito. The way through the Andes promises some beautiful and unique landscapes. Additionally, we will make some short visit on local farms on the way. Overnight in Quito.
12. Day: Quito Out
After breakfast at the hotel, we will be transferred to the airport, from where we will say good-bye to our Ecuadorian adventures and take our flights back home.
If you wish to make any changes, please let me know how would you like it better and we will adjust it to your needs. Besides that, we will organize as many meetings with the farmers as we can, so that your son can exchange contact information with them for his future business. We are also very excited to let you know, that if you book this trip with us, we can offer you exclusive chances to talk to mayors of provinces or heads of organizations who are interested in coffee production.
Please let us know your thoughts!
Best wishes from Ecuador,
KimKim did a great job customizing the trip for my son and I. I couldn't have put a trip like this together myself. It was more than I was promised and I highly recommend their services. Thanks again
Gabor did a great job coordinating all aspects of this trip!