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Boasting more diversity than most countries can muster up in five times its land mass, Ecuador is a haven for ecological exploration. The beloved blue footed boobies and other rare species that wander the Galapagos Islands have garnered much attention for this dazzling country - but equally as impressive are the patchwork of small villages that thrive in the towering Andean peaks, the shrouded treks of the Amazonian rainforest, and the golden beaches that wind up the Pacific Coast. From historic cities like Quito, and all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites that it boasts, to backcountry jungle adrenaline, Ecuador has something for every travelling spirit.
Day 1 - Toronto to Quito
Day 2 - Quito
Day 3 - Quito, Calderon, Otavalo Market, Cotacachi, Otavalo
Day 4 - Otavalo, Amazon Rainforest, Punta Ahunao
Day 5 - Punta Ahuano, The Amazon
Day 6 - Punta Ahuano, Puyo, Pailon del Diablo, Banos, Riobamba
Day 7 - Riobamba, Ingapirca, Incan Ruins, Cuenca
Day 8 - Cuenca, Gualaceo, Chordeleg
Day 9 - Cuenca, Guayaquil
Day 10 - Guayaquil
Day 11 - Toronto
Quito is a remarkable city that manages to expertly juggle a historic centre bursting with dazzling architecture and some of the world's most impressive mountains; its narrow streets and restored colonial architecture hold eager hikers about to embark to the peaks of Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, or other Ecuadorian peaks. While Quito salutes its surrounding mountain scenery, Ecuador's largest city, Guayaquil, is built on the strength of the Guayas River. Here you'll find great restaurants wherein to sample the country's signature soups and stews, as well as a nightlife that feeds off the substantial university population.
Sights and Attractions
Quito is chock full of world-class cathedrals, from the ornate wood interior of the Church of the Society of Jesus to the sprawling white façade of the Church of San Francisco. Outside of Quito you'll visit the Equator and the famous monument that marks the "middle of the world", where a dedicated museum displays Ecuadorian artifacts - though these may pale in comparison to the multitude of colourful woven wears laid out before you at Otavalo Market. You'll also have the chance to visit markets specializing in everything from fresh fruit to pottery and ceramics, as well as Ingapirca - the country's most impressive Inca ruins.
On this trip you'll enjoy a full day of hiking in the Amazon rainforest. Don your best boots to discover the flora of this amazing ecosystem with an expert guide. You'll also have the chance to canoe down the Napo River and swim in the cerulean waters that have been calling since your departure through Ecuador's stunning landscapes. A second hike will take you through the amazing cascades of the Pailon del Diablo Waterfall before visiting a tiny mountain village at the foot of a 5, 100-metre volcano. An adventure unique to Ecuador is a ride atop the Devil's Nose Train, which zigzags down a 1,000-metre chasm past the country's most impressive peaks, sometimes granting passengers the chance to sit atop the box cars.
One of the signature experiences of a trip to Ecuador is a stay in a traditional Hacienda (Spanish estate). While in Otavalo you'll stay at Pinsaqui, an estate dotted with fountains and thatch-roofed houses in the middle of Ecuador's Lake District, and you'll settle into a second Hacienda in Riobamba. The Casa del Suizo in Ahuano is an Amazonian refuge on the shores of Napo River where lazy hammocks pears into incredible Andean vistas, and your city refuges in Quito and Guayaquil leave you perfectly positioned for exploring their dynamic sights.
|Flight Date||Route||Flight Number||Departure Time||Arrival Time|
|Apr 14, 2013||Toronto to Miami||AA1497||10:15||13:30|
|Apr 14, 2013||Miami to Quito||XL517||15:30||18:40|
|Apr 23, 2013||Guayaquil to Miami||XL6185||23:55||05:10 +1|
|Apr 24, 2013||Miami to Toronto||AA1552||10:45||13:55|