Best of Ecuador
On this journey you can experience the highlights of all the major regions of Ecuador: the highlands, the Amazon region, the coast and the Galapagos Islands. There are no fixed dates, but the trip can be planned anytime, and even for only one person! The details are flexible and can be customized according to interest, time and budget. We have put together 5 modules that you can choose and combine as you like. In short, you choose what you like best!
Ecuador Module 1: Quito and the Highlands
Here you can visit the highlights of the capital Quito. In addition, several fascinating day trips are available:
- TeleferiCo: in 10 minutes to 4000m? No problem, take the TeleferiCo! But beware: the air is getting thin.
- Mitad del Mundo: At the equator north of Quito there is a monument marking the equator. You can also visit some small museums.
- Otavalo: The market in Otavalo is largest on Saturdays, but worth a visit every day.
- Papallacta: This small village lies at 3300m above sea level in the mountains east of Quito. The thermal baths of Papallacta (www.termaspapallacta.com) are located 3 km above the village. The pools are beautifully nestled in a tropical garden with orange-red flowers and views of the surrounding mountains. When the sky is clear, the volcano Antisana (5753m) is visible. Papallacta can be reached in about 2 hours from Quito.
- Cotopaxi: The second highest mountain of Ecuador is the Cotopaxi with 5897 m altitude. On a day trip you can drive up to 4600 m. From the car park you can reach Refugio Jorge-Ribas at over 4800 m in 45 to 60 minutes. From there it is not far to the edge of the glacier. On the way down you can cover part of the way on the mountain bike.
Example: 5 nights with breakfast plus 2 day trips (including lunch): from € 195.-
Ecuador Module 2: Journey to the mountains around Isinlivi
Do you want to go hiking in the mountains of Ecuador? Visit a large volcano crater with a deep sea? Or just relax in beautiful surroundings? Then you should choose this module. On the first day, you visit the imposing Quilotoa Crater and, depending on the day, a local market. Afterwards you will be transferred to Pension Llullu Llama in Isinlivi, where you will feel comfortable in the beautiful bungalows. You can choose from several possible hikes, which can take between 45 minutes and 6 hours. Alternatively, you can participate in community activities offered by the guesthouse.
5 days / 4 nights half board including transfer Quito-Isinlivi-Quito and daytrip Quilotoa: from € 290.-
Ecuador Module 3: Cuyabeno, Caiman Eco-Lodge
A visit to the rainforest brings a completely different perspective to your Ecuador trip. You can spend 4 or 5 days at the Caiman Lodge in the Cuyabeno Nature Reserve in the Amazon lowlands. The starting point is the town of Lago Agrio, which can be reached by a short flight or a 7-hours bus ride. The program of a 4-day tour:
Day 1: After a 2 hour drive, you will arrive at the entrance of Cuyabeno Nature Reserve. From there you take a canoe for 2 to 3 hours to reach the lodge. Here you have first impressions of the fauna and flora. After lunch, you can explore the Laguna Grande where you have the opportunity to swim. With a little luck you will see Amazon dolphins. After dinner, you can optionally enjoy the rainforest at night on a one-hour hike.
Day 2: In the morning we plan a three-hour hike through the rainforest. The guide explains the peculiarities of the Cuyabeno ecosystem. After lunch you can explore the river system by canoe or catamaran. In the evening there is the opportunity to go in search of caimans.
Day 3: This day is dedicated to the visit of the Siona village of Puerto Bolivar. You visit the Yuca plantation and observe the preparation of traditional food. If the shaman is available, he will explain his practices and rituals and the use of Ayahuasco.
Day 4: Early in the morning we take the opportunity to go birdwatching during sunrise. After breakfast, the return journey to the entrance of the nature reserve begins. After lunch (lunch box) we drive back to Lago Agrio.
If you opt for the 5-day program, on day 4 the experiences of the previous days are deepened, the return to Lago Agrio will be on day 5.
5 days / 4 nights including transfer by bus: from € 370.-
Ecuador Module 4: Trip to Galapagos
The Galapagos Islands are for many the culmination of the Ecuador trip. We recommend a round trip on a ship. Most cruises take 4, 5 or 8 days. The first and especially the last day are only short days with usually only one activity. The activities mostly consist of snorkeling or small walks on land. There are fixed trails on the islands that you may not leave. On the last day, the research station Charles Darwin in Puerto Ayora is often visited.
Prices vary greatly depending on the tour.
Ecuador Module 5: Puerto Lopez
A stay on the Pacific coast can round off your trip to Ecuador. Puerto Lopez can be considered as an alternative to the Galapagos Islands. From here you can make a day trip to the Isla de la Plata, the “Galapagos of the little man”. There you will meet many of the animals that also live in the Galapagos Islands. However, it is also worth considering visiting both Galapagos and Puerto Lopez. At the Pension Mandala you can also relax and spend some nice days at the beach. The best way to get there is by flight from Quito to Manta where you will be picked up and taken to Puerto Lopez.
5 nights with breakfast including transfer Manta-Puerto Lopez-Manta: from € 195.- (excluding domestic flight)