Explore Ecuador on a week-long cultural journey across the country. Begin in Quito with a city tour and visit the equator and nearby villages. Shop at the Otavalo Market, stop at Cotopaxi National Park, travel to Alausí, and end your tour in Guayaquil.
What to Expect
See Ecuador as you travel across the countryside on a 7-day journey. Spend time in the main cities of Quito and Guayaquil and enjoy full tours of these areas. You will also visit smaller towns and villages dotting the landscape. Visit the town of Calderon, where "mazapan" dolls are made, or watch as weavers make Panama hats. Then enjoy an excursion to the Otavalo market where you will have the opportunity to purchase handmade goods.
Your week of travel also includes stops at important cultural and environmental spots. See the "Devil's Nose" carved into the mountain landscape, enjoy the beauty of bodies of water like San Pablo Lake and the Guayas River, and choose to explore Cotopaxi National Park or Inca ruins.
In addition to a semi-full itinerary, your trip also offers many optional activities and free time, so that you can see as much or as little of Ecuador as you wish.
Day 1: Arrival
Upon arriving in Quito, transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day exploring at your leisure.
Day 2: Quito - Cayambe - Otavalo - Cotacachi - Quito (Meals: B)
Depart from Quito through the Pan-American North Highway until arriving to Cayambe, where the passengers will have the opportunity to taste the delicious “Bizcochos de Cayambe”, a type of cracker or bread baked in a clay oven (greatly paired with local cheese or caramel sauce). Afterwards, we will make a brief stop at “Miralago”, to admire a wonderful view of Lago San Pablo, amazing views. The tour then continues to Otavalo where Otavaleños (natives) set up a market in which a bartering manner of shopping is taken place. The market hosts a variety of different handcrafted items.
Passengers may choose between staying longer in Otavalo or go to visit to the leather shops at Cotacachi. On the way to Cotacachi, we will visit a traditional workshop of Andean instruments "Ñanda Mañachi" located in Peguche and then reach Iluman, land of shamans and healers, where we will have the opportunity to witness an ancestral indigenous ritual by a Shaman.
In Cotacachi you have enough time to visit the village, the shops of leather goods and free time for lunch. Return to Quito picking up passengers in Otavalo (spot determined by Gray Line Guide).
** Bus will wait for 10 minutes in Otavalo to pick up passangers that stayed there, after that will return to Quito with passengers that are on board.
Day 3: Quito (Meals: B)
Take a tourist route along the most important areas of the city, including shopping centers and Zona Rosa "La Mariscal" (bars and restaurants), where most of the hotels in Quito are located. Continue towards the historic center to visit its churches and major landmarks, explore each of its corners at your own pace from the door of your hotel.
Continue towards the northern part of the city heading up to the “Middle of the World City” (entrance included) where the monument that divides the Northern from the Southern Hemisphere will be observed. Built during the XVII century when a French Expedition defined the precise location of the equatorial line, this is one sight not to be missed! At the end, opt to visit either Intiñan or Ethnographic Museum (entrance is not included).
Day 4: Quito - Riobamba (Meals: B, L, D)
Depart Quito along the "Avenue of the Volcanoes," admiring the beautiful Andean landscape. After a brief stop at Cotopaxi National Park (entrance is not included), continue on to Riobamba. Enjoy accommodation at a typical hacienda.
Day 5: Riobamba - Alausí - Guayaquil (Meals: B, L)
After breakfast, make your way to Alausí and take a train to see "Devil’s Nose," a work of art in the Andes Mountains. Return to Alausí, then visit the Ingapirca Inca ruins (entrance is not included), the biggest Inca archaeological complex in Ecuador from the XV and XVI centuries. You'll also have the opportunity to watch the weavers of the famous Panama Hats at work. Arrive in Guayaquil to spend the night.
Day 6: Guayaquil (Meals: B)
Make your way to Guayaquil where you will travel along the main streets and avenues of the city. Visit Seminario Park, the Guayaquil embankment, and La Rotonda, the colonial neighborhood of Las Peñas, where you can admire the magnificent wood architecture. Enjoy a panoramic view of Guayaquil and the Guayas River.
Day 7: Departure (Meals: B)
After breakfast, you will be transported to the airport for departure.
- Transfer between airport and hotel
- 3 nights accommodation in Quito
- City tour of Quito
- Visit to Equatorial Monument
- Excursion to Otavalo Market
- Excursion to Riobamba
- 1 night lodging at Riobamba
- Excursion by train up to Alausí
- 2 nights lodging in Guayaquil
- City tour in Guayaquil
- All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
- Hotel taxes