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Home > The three worlds of Ecuador

                     The three worlds of Ecuador                      

An exceptionnal journey to discover Ecuador's rich diversity. Esencia have selected for you one of the finest and most comfortable lodges in the Amazon rainforest, you will be enchanted by the haciendas in the Andes and your hotel in Galapagos will bring you in close contact with the amazing nature.

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Quito Airport - Quito Historic Center
  • Day 2: Quito - Mitad del Mundo - Quito Historic Center
  • Day 3: Quito - Quito Airport - Coca - Napo Wildlife Center
  • Day 4: Napo Wildlife Center
  • Day 5: Napo Wildlife Center
  • Day 6: Napo Wildlife Center - Coca - Quito Airport - Otavalo
  • Day 7: Cuicocha Lake - Cotacachi - Otavalo
  • Day 8: Otavalo - Peguche - Otavalo - Cotopaxi Park
  • Day 9: Cotopaxi Park - Quito - Cotopaxi Park - Quito Historic Center
  • Day 10: Quito - Quito Airport - Baltra - Quito Airport - Santa Cruz - Puerto Ayora
  • Day 11: Santa Cruz - Isabela
  • Day 12: Isabela
  • Day 13: Isabela
  • Day 14: Isabela - Baltra - Guayaquil Airport - Baltra - Guayaquil Airport

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: Quito Airport - Quito Historic Center

Reception at the airport and transport with an english-speaking driver-guide to your hotel. Free time for the rest of the day.

You will spend the night at Patio Andaluz hotel in Quito.
Included : reception with english-speaking guide, room & breakfast

Day 2: Quito - Mitad del Mundo - Quito Historic Center

Quito, Ecuador's capital, is a real treasure between the volcanoes of Pichincha, Cayambe and Antisana. At an elevation of 2830 meters, it is the second highest capital in the world.. It was the first city classified by the UNESCO in 1978 and its historic centre is the biggest and best maintained in Latino America. To get a good idea of the city, we will firstly go to the Panecillo, a small hill over the city with a statue of the Quito'Virgen at the top, for a superb view. You will then have a complete visit of Quito's colonial centre: the cathedral, the church of the Compañia de Jesus, the church of San Francisco and its garden and as many baroque art pieces.
You will visit the site of the "Mitad del Mundo" where you can put one foot in the Southern hemisphere and the other in the Northern hemisphere! The different buildings corresponds to different aspects of Ecuador, with the French pavilion being dedicated to the Condamine expedition which determinated the site of this imaginary line in 1736.
The Inti Nan etnographic museum, near the site of the Mitad del mundo, shows the country's different ethnies with their traditions and clothing. You will have the chance to realise various experiences such as water flowing and eggs balancing, which results are different on the equatorial line than in other places.

You will spend the night at Patio Andaluz hotel in Quito.
Included : entrance fees, park conservation fee (vehicle), room & breakfast, private transport, guide expenses, english-speaking driver guide

Day 3: Quito - Quito Airport - Coca - Napo Wildlife Center

Transport with an english speaking driver-guide from your hotel to Quito's airport.
Domestic flight Quito - Coca (around 40 minutes). Arrival in Coca, gateway to the Amazon rainforest. Your local guide will meet you and lead you to your motorized canoe , which will sail for about 2h30 to get to the Yasuní National Park, classified by UNESCO "Biosphere Reserve" by a biodiversity of extreme wealth and well-preserved . The lodge we have chosen for you is the only hotel inside the reserve and offers, despite the difficulties of access, services worthy of a 4 star hotel keeping a real authenticity. To get respecting the environment and its occupants, the journey will continue by boat without motor (prohibited in the park) by another 1.30h. We will take a small tributary of the Napo River, opportunity to have a first contact with the local fauna and flora. This lodge is managed in collaboration with local communities, to recover the benefits to develop new projects in the surrounding villages.
After a welcome drink and a little rest, some explanations will be given on this community project and program the following day, before enjoying a quality dinner and get to your bungalow to sleep by the sounds of the Amazon rainforest.
Included : departure transfer with english speaking guide, room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), entrance fees, domestic flight, transfer arrival, excursion (shared), local english-speaking guide

Day 4: Napo Wildlife Center

After waking up and a delicious, your guide will show you the wealth of this place. For this, two solutions: the Canopy Tower about 30 minutes of walking through the woods, a tower about 36 meters high which allows you to be in the middle of numerous birds above the trees; other walks are possible, but a night out in canoe in order to discover night life where you can cross yourself with the bright eyes of a caiman that comes out only at night

Day 5: Napo Wildlife Center

Surprises continue throughout the day, but a unique place to visit in the area is the cliff parrots, where hundreds of individuals of different species meet to ingest kaolin found there. Then it might be interesting to visit a nearby community involved in this project and meet their daily lives. Other excursions are possible depending on your wishes. If you want you can walk or by canoe, the wildlife in the region is rich but wild, but if you open your eyes is common to see groups of monkeys in the wild and even other rarer if you're lucky.

Day 6: Napo Wildlife Center - Coca - Quito Airport - Otavalo

Departure from Lodge in canoe and the in boat towards the airport of Coca. You will take a 40 minutes domestic flight from Coca to Quito.
Once arrived at Quito airport, you will go straight to Otavalo, city known for its craftworks.

You will spend the night at Hacienda Cusin, close to San Pablo lake, in Otavalo's region. This place keeps the atmosphere and the authenticity of those old times, with a warm and familiar welcoming.
Included : room & breakfast, private transport, guide expenses, english-speaking driver guide

Day 7: Cuicocha Lake - Cotacachi - Otavalo

Visit of the Cuicocha lake in the ecologic reserve of "Cotacahi - Cayapas" , one of the most beautiful in Ecuador with a shiny blue water.
At the centre of a former crater at 3064 meters, the nature lovers will enjoy a very various vegetation (orchids, "elephants ears"...) with more than 400 species identified there.
Half an hour boat tour on the lake. You will see two vegetation covered island at the centre of this former crater, which had been formed by successive volcanic eruptions. You will learn more about the legends around them.
Stop in Cotacachi, Ecuador's leading artisanal manufacturers of leather goods which are exported around the world.

You will spend the night at Hacienda Cusin, close to San Pablo lake, in Otavalo's region. This place keeps the atmosphere and the authenticity of those old times, with a warm and familiar welcoming.
Included : boat ticket, room & breakfast, private transport, guide expenses, english-speaking driver guide

Day 8: Otavalo - Peguche - Otavalo - Cotopaxi Park

Visit in the morning the famous Otavalo's Indian market, the most important in the Ecuador's Andes, where you can meet the Otavaleños Indians with their espadrilles, their brown felt hat and blue ponchos. They are the wealthiest indians in Ecuador and excellent sellers.
The main market is on Saturdays with the cattle market just outside town, but others markets are hold on the Los Ponchos square every days.
You will visit the village of Peguche, with its sacred fall and its Andean music instrument fabrication workshops. You may see a local music session and the weaving process, an art well established in the area.

You will then get back on the road to pass Quito and reach Cotopaxi National Park.

You will spend the night at Santa Ana hacienda in Cotopaxi park.
Included : entrance fees, room & breakfast, private transport, guide expenses, english-speaking driver guide

Day 9: Cotopaxi Park - Quito - Quito Historic Center

Visit of the Cotopaxi park with Ecuador's second highest summit at 5897 meters. It is also the highest active volcano in the world although it only shows a few fumaroles from its ice covered crater. Walk around the Limpiapungo laggon with stunning view on the Cotopaxi. After driving up to the carpark at 4600 meters you may continue (optionnal, you can stay at the parking level if you consider not being in the proper cphysical conditions to climb) by foot to the José Rivas hut 200 meters higher. The most motivated can also go and reach the snowline.
You will then get back on the road to Quito.

You will spend the night at Patio Andaluz hotel in Quito.
Included : entrance fees, local spanish-speaking guide, room & breakfast, private transport, guide expenses, english-speaking driver guide

Day 10: Quito - Quito Airport - Baltra - Santa Cruz - Puerto Ayora

Transport with an english speaking driver-guide from your hotel to Quito's airport.
Domestic flight Quito - Baltra.
At the airport, after the payment of the migratory card ($20 per person) and the luggage control (20 kg maximum per person and 10kg for the hand luggage per person), you can check in and embark for a 3 hours flight.

Arrival at Baltra airport, located on a small island near Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is the second biggest island of the archipel by its surface and the most populated. You will pay the entrance fee to the Galápagos National Park ($100 per person) before picking up your luggage.

Our local representant will take charge of you at the exit of the airport. You will reach the Canal of Itabaca in public bus (5 minutes) and you will cross the canal in public boat. From there, you will continue on the main island in private pick-up to arrive to Puerto Ayora ( 45 minutes)

You will visit the Charles Darwin Station. Here, you can learn about the ongoing conservation efforts on these Enchanted Islands. The Research Station rears endemic Galapagos plants, land iguanas, and giant Galapagos Tortoises for educational, scientific and conservation purposes.

Remark 1: These price can't be paid in advance by our services, they have to be paid directly at the spots.
Remark 2: If the arrival time is before 10am, you will make a visit in the Highlands, at the Twin Craters or at Manzanillo ranch to see the giant turtlesin the wild, before reaching Puerto Ayora.


Night at Angermeyer Waterfornt Inn hotel (breaksfast included).
Included : departure transfer with english speaking guide, domestic flight, room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), transfer arrival, excursion (shared), local english-speaking guide

Day 11: Santa Cruz - Isabela

For this morning, we will take the public speedboat to Isabela (2:30 approx.), the largest island of Galapagos and the most wild of the three biggest ones.

At Puerto Ayora harbour, your luggage will be checked again before embarking. You will need to take a taxi-boat (between $us 0.50 et $us 1 maximum per person) to reach the boat with which you will makke the journey between the two islands.This service is to pay directly on the taxi-boat.

At Ihe arrival in Isabela, you will need to take another taxi-boat (maximum $us 1 per person) to disembark on the island. You willl also need to pay the local tax ($us 10) at Isabela harbour.

Once arrived at Isabela, you will have some time to rest at the hotel or walk around to the village.
You can also head to the Concha y Perla lagoon, where you could swim if lucky with sea lions, colorful varieties of fish, sea turtles and penguins.

In the afternoon, you will visit the Tintoreras Islet (20 min. from the port). The name of the islet derives from the sharks that live in the waters surrounding the islet that have whit-tipped fins, which are known as “Tintoreras”. The islet is one of the most fascinating places on Isabela Island and in fact all of the Galapagos. In this one area we can see sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, Sally lightfoot crabs, sea turtles, pelicans, and Galapagos penguins. As the island is one of the main breeding sites for the marine iguanas, it is an excellent place to see numerous amounts of these creatures close-up. After the hike through the islet, we will get back on the boat and cool off by snorkeling in the waters nearby, where we can see multicolor fish, starfish, sea-urchins, and with luck manta rays, sharks, and sea lions that may swim with us close up. we ensure you that you will not forget this fascinating experience.

Night at the Iguana Crossing hotel in Isabela.
Included : room & breakfast

Day 12: Isabela

After breakfast we will prepare ourselves to depart for snorkelling to one of the following destinations:
• CAPE ROSE | TUNNELS
The Tunnels | Cape Rosa is a site located at 40 minutes by boat southwest of Puerto Villamil. The sighting of birds and marine animals from the lava platform is one of the most important attractions. While snorkelling at this site, experience enclose encounters with many species of fish, rays, sea turtles, penguins and sea lions.
• TURTLE ISLAND
This is one of the most beautiful site to watch land and marine fauna. This islet is an extinct volcanoe that collapsed many years ago forming a half moon. This place is located 30 minutes by boat and offers great opportunities for bird watching and excellent snorkelling.
• 4 HERMANOS
After about 45 minutes of navigation from Puerto Villamil you will reach Los Cuatro Hermanos which is a bird sanctuary of four small islets where hundreds of marine birds shelter. It is ideal for snorkelling and diving.

**Destination may vary according to weather and regulations of the Galapagos National Park.

Free time. We suggest to visit the Breeding Center of the Giant Tortoises and the Humid Lands on your own.

Night at the Iguana Crossing hotel in Isabela.
Included : room & breakfast

Day 13: Isabela

Early in the morning (8:00 am aprox.), after breakfast, we will prepare ourselves for the Sierra Negra Volcano hike by putting on comfortable walking shoes and possibly a rain jacket, making sure our cameras are stored in waterproof bags, making sure to bring sunscreen, water, and hats, and finally by preparing our box lunch at the hotel to take with us. We will then travel approximately 45 minutes by truck or bus to begin the 12 km hike (appx. 3 hours). The hike is long in terms of distance, but not very difficult as the inclines and declines are quite gradual. Sierra Negra Volcano has the second largest crater in the world, measuring approximately 6 miles in diameter and 300 feet deep. We will reach Volcan Chico before heading back, which should provide a spectacular view of the incredible moonlike terrain.
Return to Puerto Villamil for free end of afternoon.

Night at the Iguana Crossing hotel in Isabela.
Included : room & breakfast

Day 14: Isabela - Baltra - Guayaquil Airport

After a short early breakfast, departure by public boat to return to Puerto Ayora. You will be taken to Baltra's airport so as to get your flight back to the continent.
Domestic flight Baltra - Guayaquil.


Free connection with your international flight.
Included : domestic flight

Patio Andaluz Hotel   Quito Historic Center

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

Hotel Patio Andaluz, located in the heart of the historic “Quito Antiguo”, declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978, is surrounded by churches, museums and national monuments. The hotel is an official National Treasure and holds centuries of history within its walls. It was part of the original Solaris (original building sites) that constituted the city of San Francisco de Quito by the time of its foundation; Enjoy the elegance and comfort that this Hotel Boutique gives you, with its great arches, balconies and attics. Experience the colonial times through our corridors that have witnessed Ecuadorian history since the end of the XVI century.

Napo Wildlife Center   Coca

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), entrance fees, domestic flight, transfer arrival, excursion (shared), local english-speaking guide

The greatest and ultimate alternative luxury eco-hotel in Amazonian Ecuador wich includes the conservation of approximately over 82 square miles (over 21,400 hectares) of the most pristine Amazon Rain Forest within the Yasunì National Park, an important UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the largest tract of tropical rain forest in Ecuador.

Hacienda Cusin   Otavalo

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

Hacienda Cusin is a restored, 17th-century Andean estate at 8,500ft/2,600m in Ecuador. This very personal hotel and its 38 attentive staff are close to the Equatorial Line and the famous market town of Otavalo. Guest rooms, cottages, suites and salons, furnished with antiques and select Andean craft, have log-burning fireplaces, beamed-ceilings & gardens. The Hacienda has its own monastery that you can visit. Other proudness of the owners are the gardens with so many regional plants and old trees to have a rest at the foot.

Santa Ana Hacienda   Cotopaxi Park

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

Hacienda Santa Ana is in the Valley of Cotopaxi surrounded by the majestic Andes with mountains such as the Pasochoa, Sincholagua and Rumiñahui. This environment allows you to enjoy peaceful and spiritual moments. Looking out from our big windows you may enjoy the unique view of the different volcanoes and mountains such as the Pasochoa Volcano (National Park), the majestic Sincholagua which is part of the Andes Mountain Range, the Corazon and the Rumiñahui Mountains.

Angermeyer Waterfornt Inn hotel   Puerto Ayora

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

This first class hotel was built around Gus Angermeyer’s legendary “cave”, and there is no better place to do that than here in our exclusive waterfront location. Using materials such as lava rocks and drift wood, we have created a unique atmosphere and the feeling of being close to nature.Placed across the bay from Puerto Ayora, the hotel’s location ensures total privacy and undisturbed quiet.

Iguana Crossing Hotel   Isabela

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

The hotel has been constructed with native materials and by local craftsmen so as to be in harmony with the island. The island´s natural surroundings become part of the decor at Iguana Crossing; the rooms have ocean views, the roof top Jacuzzi has an island panorama, and the poolside bar and deck overlook a most pristine floury white sand beach. After a busy day on the island you can sit out on the poolside terrace with a book or in the comfortable and relax surrounded by spectacular views of Isabela. To help you wind down the day the welcoming bar will invite you to taste a wine of your choice, a fresh fruit juice or another of the alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on offer. Our friendly, relaxed staff, almost all from the island, will make your stay as carefree as possible so you can just relax and enjoy.

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