Andes + Galapagos tour

  • Andes + Galapagos Tour

  • 12 Days / 11 Nights

  • Quito... +4

    Mindo Cloud Forest




Day to day itinerary

Arrival in Quito and transfer to selected hotel.

Our guide will be waiting to welcome you in the lobby of your hotel, ready to take you to the Colonial District of Quito and the Middle of the World. Quito’s Historic Center is considered one of the largest and best-preserved colonial cities in Latin America. Quito’s Historical Center has also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.

An emblematic site will be our first stop, Plaza de la Independencia, located in the heart of the old town. Here you will see the Plaza’s main monument, which is dedicated to the heroes of the Ecuadorian War of Independence. Located around this square are the Archbishop's Palace, the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral Church, and the Municipality. The undisputed beauty of Quito’s Historic Center can be seen all along Garcia Moreno Street, also known as the street of the seven crosses. Following this street, you will arrive at your next stop.

The Church of the Company of Jesus is one of the most important churches in the city and the most representative and important Baroque temple in the Colonial Americas. It was built by artists from the “Escuela Quiteña”, who carved and decorated every inch of the church with 23-carat gold sheets. After this visit, you will continue your journey to Yavirac Hill, known as “La Loma del Panecillo,” named for its resemblance to a small loaf of bread. El Panecillo, due to its location, has become a famous natural viewpoint, with an impressive view of the Historic Center, and the northern and southern points of the city. El Panecillo is also crowned by a giant sculpture of the Virgin of Quito, which was created in 1975.

Afterward, you will enjoy a delicious lunch at a nearby restaurant. Continue your ride to the Middle
of the World city, The Middle of the World city is located just north of Quito. Both the equator monument and complex are located in the parish of San Antonio de Pichincha. This iconic location is ideal for taking pictures of the famous yellow line that divides the planet into two hemispheres. Traveling to the far borders of the city is an adventure in itself, and just a few meters away is the Inti
Ñan Solar Museum, founded in 1960, which is an interactive museum where you can discover the history of ancestral villages, the magnificent effects that the sun causes, the earth’s physical phenomena, and visit hundred-year-old huts that take you to the past.

At the end of the tour, your guide will return you safely to your hotel.

at the Mindo Cloud Forest Tour, you will discover the wide variety of flora, birds, and butterflies that characterize northwestern Ecuador and be able to experience the entire process of making luxurious Ecuadorian chocolate. Our guide will be waiting to welcome you in the lobby of your hotel, ready to take you to the Mindo cloud forest.

Starting your tour, you will head northwest from Quito; Mindo is approximately 97 km away. Your first stop will be at the Alambi Cloud Forest Reserve, which is a part of the Ecuadorian Choco Bioregion (a biodiversity hotspot in Ecuador). This reserve is considered to have one of the highest concentrations of endemic birds in the world, and here you are going to be able to see multiple species of hummingbirds, toucans, and other rare birds.
We will continue towards the town of Mindo. There is a unique place where you will find butterflies that vary from 2 mm to 30 cm, you will have the opportunity to learn about the butterfly’s four metamorphosis phases, and admire the most outstanding species such as the Owl-Eye, Morphos, Sarita, and many others. After a delicious lunch, you will continue to the artisanal chocolate factory.
Here you are going to be able to learn about the entire chocolate-making process, from the cocoa harvest to the temperate required to make delicious and luxurious chocolates. At the end of the afternoon tour, you will return to the city of Quito.

our guide will be waiting to welcome you in the lobby of your hotel, ready to take you to the north of the Country with their important towns such as Otavalo and Cotacachi. The trip will begin by heading towards the North of the country and the first place you are going to visit is the Cayambe canton. This canton is known for being the largest producer of the best roses in the world. Cayambe also produces a renowned delicious “leaf cheese” and biscuits. Afterward, we will continue to the largest canton Cotacachi. This canton is considered to be the best-preserved in terms of green areas and fauna in the Cayapas Ecological Reserve and was declared an “ecological canton” in the year 2000. Cotacachi also houses some amazing craftsmen, who are known for their trend-setting leather products, such as jackets, shoes, wallets, and so much more. We will continue visiting Cuicocha Lake (3,068 m.a.s.l.), also known as the “Lake of the Gods.” In the middle of the lake, there are two islets, Yerovi and Teodoro Wolf, which are separated by “the channel of dreams,” and were formed inside the crater of Cotacachi Volcano. Once at the hotel, the guide will accompany you through the check-in process. Overnight at Hotel in Otavalo

be ready to know more about the most important artisanal market located in the town of Otavalo. As you enter this ancestral city, you will be able to observe the colors, textures, and unique art that display this town’s originality. Otavalo is famous for its artisanal market, as it is one of the most important in South America. There is an exclusive collection of textiles and handicrafts created by the local artisans that you cannot find anywhere else. You will have some free time to explore the market. Lunch will be served in a local restaurant on the way. Our guide will continue driving towards the hot springs of Papallacta, the basin of the Amazon region to the “Termas de Papallacta” Resort & Spa, located on the famous “Cinnamon Trail.” This route was followed by Francisco de Orellana in 1542 during his quest for gold and other treasures in the Andes. While on this expedition, the Spanish rediscovered the Amazon River, after indigenous had been using it for thousands of years. Thus, Papallacta, although it is part of the Andes, is considered a strategic gateway to the Amazon jungle. The tour lasts about two hours. Overnight Hotel in Papallacta

During this day, you will have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the natural and unique environment of the Papallacta hot springs, which have temperatures that range from 86° to 158° Fahrenheit. These waters are also rich in sulfates, chlorides, sodium, calcium, and traces of magnesium that are odorless, colorless, and in many cases used as health remedies. It is time to go back, after lunch we will head to Cotopaxi National Park, first stop: Lasso, accommodation.

Within this park lies Cotopaxi Volcano, the second-highest volcano in the country, with a height of 5,897 meters above sea level. Cotopaxi National Park has a paramo ecosystem, characterized by the high-altitude tropical flora and fauna, and depending on the weather, you may be lucky enough to observe some of the local inhabitants, such as Curiquingues (Carunculated caracara), owls, and horses.
Cotopaxi Volcano is an ideal example of a stratovolcano, due to the accumulated rocks, ash, and sand, that are a result of continuous eruptions. Within Cotopaxi National Park we can also find Limpiopungo Lake (3,800 meters above sea level), where you will be able to see traces left behind by volcanic eruptions. You can walk around the lake while being able to take in amazing views of the majestic volcano. Depending on the climatic and physical conditions, you will head to the parking lot (4,600 m.a.s.l.) at the base of the volcano, where you could hike for about 45 minutes up to the El Refugio José Ribas (4,800 m.a.s.l.). On a clear day, you will get some spectacular views. Once you have reached the refuge, you will enjoy a short break before continuing. Next, you will be close to the glacier and have some amazing opportunities to take pictures of the ice walls and deep cracks. Lunch will be served in a nearby restaurant. Finally, after having a beautiful day, it is time to go back to the city of Quito. Accommodation.

Pick up from hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Arrive and begin cruise itinerary (depending on cruise chosen).

Day 8 - 11.- Galapagos Cruise

Tour Map

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