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10 Day Kaleidoscope of Ecuador with Andes Mountains & Amazon

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Gate1
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10
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    Quito
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    Guayaquil
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    Quito
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    Middle of the World
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    10 Day Kaleidoscope of Ecuador with Andes Mountains & Amazon
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    Cuenca
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    Cuenca
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    Amazon

Dates & Prices

Please Note: Land Price does not include airfare, departure or arrival transfers, airline taxes and fuel surcharges.

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Itinerary

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Tour Itinerary

Countries Visited

Ecuador

Cities Visited

Cuenca , Guayaquil , Quito , Riobamba

This 10 day "on-the go" program features the highlights of Ecuador in an active itinerary which includes several walking tours as well as some early starts and long days.

DAY 1, Monday - Depart for Ecuador
Depart on your flight to Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador and the country's main port. Arrive and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure in this energetic city with its lovely parks, botanical gardens and historic districts
Overnight: Guayaquil

DAY 2, Tuesday - Guayaquil City Tour
Begin your tour of Guayaquil at Seminario Park, famous for its many green iguanas living within the trees and ornate gardens. Then, view the contrasting architecture of the city's Neo-Gothic Cathedral, Moorish clock tower, La Rotonda Monument and climb up the 444 steps to Santa Ana hill in las Peñas neighborhood to enjoy panoramic views of the city. The afternoon is yours to explore Malecón 2000, the city's gleaming new riverside development, which incorporates shops, restaurants, a landmark museum, and several of the city's most famous monuments. Tonight, join your Tour Manager for an orientation meeting on the wonderful tour that awaits you in Ecuador. Meet your fellow travelers and share a Welcome Dinner with delicious Ecuadorian food
Overnight: Guayaquil
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 3, Wednesday - Chocolate Tasting & Cuenca
Travel today from Guayaquil to Cuenca, one of the country's most beautiful cities. En route, stop at a Cocoa (Cacao) Plantation for a tour and demonstration of the process that begins after the beans are picked from the cocoa trees. Ecuador is a major producer of cacao worldwide with chocolate as one of their thriving exports. Afterward, drive up to Tres Cruces in the Andean mountains and savor lunch at a lodge nestled between lakes and mountains. Continue with a drive along the country roads, passing indigenous people in their colorful clothes wearing the customary fedoras. Arrive in Cuenca, set 8,400 feet up in the majestic Andes. Enjoy the rest of the day in this enchanting city with its red tiled roofs, cobblestone streets and plazas adorned with flowers
Overnight: Cuenca
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4, Thursday - Orchid Nursery and Colonial Cuenca
Today, in the small town of Gualaceo, attend a weaving and dying demonstration that will teach you about traditional textiles. Next, visit an orchid nursery and meet with one of the orchid growers that produces and exports thousands of orchids annually. Learn about the cultivation process and see the vibrant array of orchids that are raised here. Return to Colonial Cuenca, where your tour of the city begins at the Plaza and Church of San Sebastian, built in the 17th century, with its magnificent carved door. Arrive at the stark white Church of El Carmen de la Asunción, founded in 1682, an important historical building lovingly preserved in its original condition, with its beautiful baroque façade. See the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on the Plaza Calderón, considered the most important religious monument in the city. View the contrast between the two cathedrals when you visit the Old Cathedral which served as the main place of worship for the Spaniards during the colonial period and contains original paintings and sculptures from that era. Then, walk along the winding cobblestone lanes to the main square with its stunning architecture accented by wrought-iron balconies, tiny quaint parks, and romantic plazas. The center of Cuenca was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Spend the rest of the day at leisure admiring the panorama of the city or enjoy the international restaurants, art galleries, and outdoor cafés surrounded by the magnificent architecture
Overnight: Cuenca
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Friday - Ingapirca Ruins, Riobamba
An adventurous day! Drive from Cuenca to the small town of Ingapirca, or "Inca Wall" in Kichwa, where Ecuador's most important pre-Columbian ruins can be found. Marvel at the impressive stone foundations, believed to have been used for religious purposes. Stroll the grounds and visit the Temple of the Sun, the only elliptical temple in the Inca Empire. From here, admire breathtaking panoramic views over the surrounding countryside. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, travel to Riobamba for dinner and overnight
Overnight: Riobamba
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Saturday - Devil's Cauldron Waterfall, Amazon Lodge
This morning, visit the powerful Devil's Cauldron (El Pailon del Diablo)* one of Ecuador's most striking waterfalls, hidden in the Ecuadorian rainforest. After a box lunch, travel to Ahuano. Along the way, stop for a fascinating visit at a local Quechua community interpretation center to learn about life and survival in the Amazon. Enjoy the sounds, the serenity, and the magnificent foliage as you begin your exploration of the unique Amazon culture. After, you travel to La Punta Ahuano, a tiny port on the north bank of the Napo River, where you board a canoe that takes you to your lodge** situated on the Napo River. You'll be able to spot many species of birds along the way. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for dinner at the lodge*This is an active hike to and from El Pailon del Diablo waterfall **Upon arrival the lodge is approximately a 5-10 minute walk uphill from where passengers will exit the canoe. Passengers are required to transport their own carry-on luggage
Overnight: Amazon
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7, Sunday - Nature Trail Hike, Leisure Time at the Lodge
This morning, after a canoe ride you can hike in the Misicocha Private Nature Reserve for approximately two hours while viewing the beautiful flora and fauna up-close. The Amazon rainforest is the world's largest ecosystem, so be sure to keep an eye out for the innumerable species of tropical plants and insects. Enjoy the views as you cross suspended bridges and fly through the jungle on a short zip line basket ride. At the end of the hike, take a rafting trip on a traditional balsa log raft*. Balance of the day is at leisure or, choose to participate in one of the optional tours, including the Butterfly Farm & Balsa Wood Carving Demonstration, Cacao Farm & AmaZOOnico Rescue Center or Canopy Adventure Park*This is an active hike and sections of the path include steps. Also, those who participate in the rafting trip will need to step through the water to reach the raft and will get wet during the ride
Optional: Butterfly Farm & Balsa Wood Demonstration
Optional: Cacao Farm & AmaZOOnico Rescue
Optional: Canopy Adventure Park
Overnight: Amazon
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8, Monday - San Isidro Lodge, Hummingbird Park, Quito
Depart the Amazon this morning by canoe. Then, continue by motor coach to the picturesque San Isidro Lodge, a paradise for hummingbird lovers and photographers. Walk along the scenic trails, stopping to see over 14 different species of hummingbirds. After lunch, head towards Quito, the historic masterpiece in the high Andes, at the base of the Pichincha Volcano. Arrive at the hotel in this city aptly called "an urban jewel", with its priceless treasures of art and architecture. Tonight, get acquainted with the city's wide choice of world-class restaurants, cafes and shops
Overnight: Quito
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9, Tuesday - Quito City Tour, Middle of the World Monument
Discover Quito's colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved in Latin America, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin at Independence Plaza, flanked by the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop's Palace. Continue to the Metropolitan Cultural Center with its exhibits highlighting Ecuadorian culture and rich history. Visit the La Compania Church with its beautiful gilded interior, or, the Monastery of San Francisco, one of the great religious buildings of the New World with its impressive façade and atrium. Continue to the Middle of the World Monument at the Equator, which marks latitude 0 °. Here, you can stand with one foot in each hemisphere! After lunch at a local restaurant, return to Quito for leisure time. There is so much to see in this city with its lovely markets, shops, cafes and excellent local cuisine. Bid farewell to your Tour Manager and new-found friends on your last day in Ecuador at a Farewell Dinner
Overnight: Quito
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10, Wednesday - Depart Ecuador
Transfer to the airport for your departure flightSome flights depart shortly after midnight in the very early morning of Day 10 and will require a transfer on Day 9. Transfers depart the hotel approximately 4 hours prior to flight time
Meals: Breakfast

Due to the high elevation, travel in the Ecuadorian Andes may cause some passengers to experience the temporary effects of altitude sickness. If you have any concerns about traveling to higher than your accustomed elevation, please consult your healthcare provider.

Please Note: Land Price does not include airfare, departure or arrival transfers, airline taxes and fuel surcharges.

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Inclusions

Please Note: Land Price does not include airfare, departure or arrival transfers, airline taxes and fuel surcharges.

Escorted Package Includes

  • Flights Miami-Guayaquil, Quito-Miami
    Some departure dates may be offered from an alternate nearby airport. Check flight itinerary options when booking.
    Other departure cities available.
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 9 nights accommodations
  • 2 nights Guayaquil
  • 2 nights Cuenca
  • 1 night Riobamba
  • 2 nights Punta Ahuano (Amazon)
  • 2 nights Quito
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 20 meals: 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Services of English-speaking local guides
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Special Features

  • In the old center of Guayaquil, visit Seminario Park, with its colonial atmosphere
  • Enjoy a tour, demonstration and chocolate tasting at a cocoa plantation
  • Learn about the cultivation of orchids in the small town of Gualaceo
  • Discover the charm of Cuenca, a city located high in the Andean Mountains
  • Marvel at the impressive stone foundations of Ingapirca Ruins, believed to have been used for religious purposes
  • Spend two nights at an Amazon Lodge discovering the area's flora and fauna
  • Visit a Quechua community interpretation center in the riverside village of Ahuano
  • Visit Colonial Quito and walk through its cobblestone streets
  • Excursion to the Middle of the World Monument
  • †Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

    Not Included:
    Optional tours and gratuities.


    Additional Information:
    Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.

    Some flights depart shortly after midnight in the very early morning of Day 10 and will require a transfer on Day 9. Transfers depart the hotel approximately 4 hours prior to flight time.

    Passport numbers for all passengers must be submitted before documents can be issued.

    Health and Safety Protocols for Gate1 Tours

    At Gate 1 we take your safety and security very seriously. We have a strong network of tour managers, local offices, ground operators and colleagues which help us stay informed in all the destinations that we operate. We closely monitor local situations which enable us to make the operational decisions necessary to keep our tours running safely. Millions of people travel the world each year and experience enjoyable and safe trips but crimes against people and property are sadly a fact of life. It is very important to be aware of your surroundings and avoid drawing attention to yourself. Please remember that you have the same responsibility for your personal safety and possessions as you do at home. It is essential to prepare for a safe and healthy travel abroad. Therefore before you travel, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the US Department of State at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html for up-to-date travel advice on the countries that you are visiting. The website provides useful information on subjects such as safety and security information, health precautions and medications, health insurance and additional tips for traveling abroad. If you do not reside in the United States, we recommend you check your government's travel advisory website for any country you will be visiting. We recommend that you review the safety guidance that may be provided by us, our agents or suppliers, either before you go or when you arrive in your destination. You can also find helpful tips on our website in the "Trip Preparation" tab of each of our tour packages. We do know that in-spite of careful planning, things can sometimes still go wrong, so rest assured, we will be there to help and support you.

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    Accommodations

    Sheraton Guayaquil Hotel
    This deluxe hotel is located in Guayaquil, three miles from the city center.

    Hotel Oro Verde Cuenca
    This first class hotel is about a ten minute ride away from Cuenca's historic downtown.

    Hosteria La Andaluza
    This first class hotel has lovely views of Chimborazo.

    Casa del Suizo
    This tourist class lodge is located in the Ecuadorian Amazon in a lush tropical and tranquil setting on the banks of the Napo River.

    Hilton Colon Quito
    This deluxe hotel is located in the heart of Ecuador's capital with easy access to the financial district and the colonial sector of the city.

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    Questions & Answers

    Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

    Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

    Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

    Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

    Gate1 Tours Customer Reviews

    Overall Rating
    4.3
    Accommodations
    4
    Itinerary
    4.4
    Professional Staff
    4.5
    Repeat with Operator
    4.4
    Value for Money
    4.2

    Ratings based off 4944 reviews about Gate1 Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

    Overall, the trip was exceptional. The tour guide Riccardo was outstanding...very friendly, caring and knowledgeable about the areas visiting. The accommodations in Bari and Napoli were disappointing. In Bari, the room at Grande Albergo delle Nazario was extremely small which made it difficult to manage suitcases for 2 people. In Napoli, the room at Hotel Royal Continental certainly needed updating. The overall appearance of the room looked worn and a little shabby. However, the condition of these 2 rooms did not affect the great time we had. Will definitely travel with Gate 1 again.

    Awesome experience... knowledgeable and helpful tour guide (Hend), as well as all other employees.

    As always, everything went very smoothly.

    This trip was fantastic. It was packed with lots of activities and places to see. Unfortunately, weather plays a big role in what you see and don't see. We weren't able to visit Robben Island due to choppy water and couldn't see much of Victoria Falls due to rain/fog. But I'm not complaining, that's just how things go. Other than that, the itinerary was very fast paced and we got to see a lot, which was desired. The tour was very organized and our group leader, Ahmet, was very knowledgable of the places we visited. I would recommend the game drive in Botswana over the game drive in South Africa. The food and drink was quite good from the included meals. Ahmet did his best to accomodate everyone. I'd recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see as much as possible in such a short time frame. The schedule is strict but well worth the sights.

    Wonderful experience, with well informed tour managers. Everything went according to plan, no big surprises or changes on this trip. Good job.

    My group and I had a wonderful time visiting Iceland, none of us wanted to leave. The hotel, although basic, was clean and very comfortable. The sights and excursions were breathtaking. Tour guides were pleasant and knowledgeable.

    Great trip, loved the hotels and the service provided..

    Prompt, courteous, and professional service at a fair cost.

    We had a wonderful trip and we especially appreciated our tour guide in Vietnam, Tom. We're now looking into booking another trip with Gate1

    Gate 1 is really good at what it does.. Highly recommend.

    The trip and the experience exceeded our expectations. Both Affordable Tours and Gate 1 were outstanding.

    Gate 1 did a wonderful job of planning all the details so we could enjoy our experience. Well worth the money.

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