"Heart of the Andes" Tours and Travel
Quito Arrive in the Ecuadorian capital Quito. Transfer to Hilton Colon**** Hotel for check-in and overnight.
Monday: Quito After breakfast, enjoy a fascinating look at Ecuador's largest city on a scenic tour of Quito with your bilingual guide. The capital city, established in 1534, was originally the capital of the northern Inca Empire. This "city of eternal spring" is full of parks. View the Cathedral of San Francisco, the Monastery of San Augustin, Plaza of Independence, La Compania Church, and Quito's Legislative Palace. Continue to the Panecillo Hill for a panoramic view of the city. The Equatorial Monument (located at latitude 0) allow you to stradle both hemispheres! This evening's included dinner gives you a taste of the local cuisine.
Tuesday : Otavalo Breakfast is followed by an excursion to Otavalo and Peguche, both well-known for their unique weavings and handicrafts. Leather is the specialty of Coatacachi, and intricate woodcarvings in San Antonio de Ibarra. Stop for a special included lunch in a beautifully restored former hacienda. Return to Quito through the majestic farming landscapes of southern Ecuador
Wednesday: Train ride through the Devil's Nose Breakfast is followed by a transfer to the train station for the ride to Chunchi. The train journey winds its way from the high to low lands, granting spectacular vistas around every corner. A boxed lunch is included. Continue by bus to the Inca ruins of Ingapirca before arriving in Cuenca for your overnight at the Hotel Oro Verde****.
Thursday: Cuenca & Gualeceo Valley Breakfast in Ecuador's third largest city before exploring this fertile valley on the banks of the Tomebamba River. Famous for its art and history, Cuenca has an old Spanish colonial flair. Your guided tour visits the beautiful marble Cathedral as well as the colorful, more intimate Indian Cathedral directly across the plaza. La Merced Convent and the Crespo Toral Museum are also highlights.
The rich beauty of southern Ecuador is best seen in the Gualaceo Valley. Wander the markets in search of straw Panama hats and local handicrafts. Return to Cuenca in the early evening.
Friday: Fly to Quito Breakfast and free morning to explore Cuenca. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Quito. Your guide escorts you back to the Hilton Colon**** The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Saturday: Otavalo Breakfast is followed by an excursion to Otavalo and Peguche, both well-known for their unique weavings and handicrafts. Leather is the specialty of Coatacachi, and intricate woodcarvings in San Antonio de Ibarra. Stop for a special included lunch in a beautifully restored former hacienda. Return to Quito through the majestic farming landscapes of southern Ecuador
Sunday: Flight home or onward journey Transfer to the airport.
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