- Otavalo - Ingapirca - Cuenca
Day 1: Arrival in Quito
Quito is set in a hollow at the foot of the volcano Pichincha and in addition to its gorgeous landscape, surrounded by hills and several snowcapped mountains, Quito is known for its treasures of Colonial churches, monasteries, paintings, sculptures and carvings and the magnificent blend of Spanish, Flemish, Moorish and pre-Columbian architecture. Therefore in 1978 it has been declared by UNESCO “Patrimony of Mankind”. Altogether the city has to offer 86 churches and monasteries of the 16th and 17th century.
This attractive city is surrounded by ice-capped volcanoes and is located only 22 km away from the “Middle of the World”, the Equatorial Line. Due to its beautiful churches and monasteries, Quito is called and known as the “Convent of America”.Overnight at Grand Hotel Mercure Alameda Quito****.
Day 2: Quito
On the modern part of the city we will see the stone-carved front of Ecuador’s House of Congress, this façade shows the history of Ecuador, since our first natives passing through the conquer of the Incas and then the Spaniards, the Independence and the new Republic. We lead you to Guapulo, a natural terrace where we will learn about the location of the city, on the foothills of the Pichincha Volcano, admire the spectacular views to the Valleys of Cumbayá and Tumbaco and of the Eastern Chain of Mountains.
On a day with clear sky, we can see the Cayambe, the Antizana and Puntas Volcanoes.Our tour
goes on to the Equatorial Line Monument called “Middle
of the World”. Here
you get a truly rare experience to stand in both, the Northern and
Hemispheres simultaneously. The Equatorial Monument, located as focal
point of the park, marks the spot where an 18th century French scientific
expedition established the exact position of the Equator. The area
been built as a typical colonial town, with restaurants, gift shops
and Post Office with philatelic sales. Visit the monument and the Ethnographical
Museum, which shows the history of the Indian cultures of Ecuador.Overnight
at Grand Hotel Mercure Alameda Quito****.
After arriving in the famous town Otavalo, which consists of rather functional buildings and is not able for its textiles, you will discover the worldwide known Indian handicrafts market. These indigenous residents of the area have achieved economic prosperity as a result of their skill in weaving a tremendous variety of designs in belts, tapestries, ponchos and other clothing items. Community residents have a long tradition as artisans and traders. They commonly travel to Europe and other countries in the Americas to sell their wares. This typical indigenous city where tourists can see families wearing their colorful cloths and speaking Quichua as their first tongue and Spanish as their second, you will enjoy the unique variety of handicrafts that offers this giant colorful market and certainly, carrying some new souvenirs with you. Before continuing to Cotacachi, the group can visit Laguna Cuicocha, which is a crater lake on an altitude of 3000 meters above sea-level with an diameter of about 3 kms. Two islands emerge from the center, both of volcanic origin, covered with vegetation and rimmed with totora, a type of reed. The small town Cotacachi itself is Ecuador’s center of leatherworks. Here you can stroll through the small streets choosing one of the various shops as your favorite. Return to Quito.
Overnight at Grand Hotel Mercure Alameda Quito****.
Day 4: Quito – Riobamba
Day 5: Alausi with Train Ride “Devil's Nose” –
Either inside the train wagons or just on the roof of the train, you will enjoy the spectacular descent to the coastal plain. You will be amazed about the fascinating landscape and the technical mastery performance, that makes possible that since the very beginning of the 20th century, the topographic obstacles could be get over. In 1908 president Eloy Alfaro’s dream of a connection between the coast and the highlands became true and after only a short time this line was called the most beautiful track. We begin the approximately 3 hours drive to the City of Cuenca. After arriving in Cuenca, we check in at our hotel and enjoy a pleasant evening passing the experiences of the last days in review.
Overnight at Hotel Crespo Cuenca****.
Day 6: Cuenca
Overnight atHotel Crespo Cuenca****.
Day 7: Cuenca – Ingapirca – Guayaquil
On a walk through the former place where the Incas lived and hold their ceremonies, you will learn about their beliefs and rituals as well as about the way they constructed this ordination place, which is formed like a puma. The ruins rest on a moonlit high plateau that falls in its three sides to a deep, clear and wide valley. We continue to Guayaquil. In a very short time you will feel how weather, vegetation, architecture and also the people change. During a short panoramic tour along the biggest city of Ecuador, you will get an impression of the “economic and financial center” of the country.
Overnight at Hotel Unipark****.
Day 8: Guayaquil – International flight
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