ECUADOR: UNIQUE & LUXURIOUS
Hosted by Miriam Lyon.
Enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Ecuador, from the Andes to the Amazon Jungle to the Pacific Coast. Travel in style on this unique adventure, taking in the many magnificent treasures Ecuador has to offer.
Enjoy exclusive culinary experiences and meet the friendly people and artisans of this historically rich country. Let the lush green vegetation, wide open ocean, bird calls and sounds of the jungle overwhelm your senses.
Overnight in outstanding luxury hotels, haciendas and eco-lodges, creating life-long memories.
Quito - Indigenous Market - Cloud Forest - Cotopaxi National Park (volcanoes) - Road of Waterfalls - Hot Springs - Los Frailes Beach - La Plata Island
* Roundtrip airfare
• Plaza Premium airport lounge pass
• Domestic flights, all transportation between destinations and to/from included activities
• Elegant Hotels (six nights), haciendas (two nights) and eco-lodges (seven nights)
• 15 breakfasts, five lunches, five dinners
• Expert local guide throughout tour
• Merit Travel tour host**
• All taxes and gratuities
Level of support:
Merit Travel Hosted
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DAY 1 | May 18, 2019 | Toronto - Quito
Arrive at any time, transfer to your hotel.
Accommodation: Mercure (3 nights)
DAY 2 | May 19, 2019 | Quito (B, D)
Today we enjoy a “local living” city tour of the capital of Ecuador.
Quito is dramatically situated amongst Andean Mountain peaks, with picturesque plazas, overflowing market stands, and homes creeping up the slopes. Welcome dinner 6:00 p.m.
DAY 3 | May 20, 2019 | Quito - Otavalo day tour (B)
After breakfast, we will travel north by bus along the Pan-American Highway. Our first stop is the Puerto Lago Look-Out, with fantastic views of The Imbabura Volcano and San Pablo Lake. We indulge in caramel-covered biscotti famous to the region, before making our way to the Indigenous Market of Otavalo. The largest market in South America, known for the intricate weaving techniques of the native Otavaleño people who work and sell a huge variety of handicrafts made with alpaca and llama wool.
In the afternoon we visit the workshop of Miguel Andrango to see ancestral weaving techniques first hand and experience authentic local living. Late afternoon departure for Quito.
DAY 4 | May 21, 2019 | Quito - Mindo (B, L)
Be prepared for stunning scenery as we drive from Quito to the Tropical Cloud Forest. As we descend we will see how the ecosystem changes, passing waterfalls and dense vegetation including orchids and bromeliads.
We visit a butterfly farm to see the colourful species that live in this zone.
For lunch, we experience traditional cuisine of the area, and in the afternoon, we visit a local chocolate factory. We then arrive at our splendid Eco-lodge. Opt to take a walk in the woods or drink a rich local coffee while watching the colourful hummingbirds flit about in their hummingbird sanctuary.
Accommodation: Septimo Paraiso or similar (1 night)
DAY 5 | May 22, 2019 | Mindo - Lasso (Cotopaxi National Park) (B)
We travel southeast and take the Pan-American highway again, this time following the Avenue of Volcanoes, continuing to see the incredible Andes mountain chain, the longest chain on earth. When we arrive at Cotopaxi National Park, we witness the impressive Cotopaxi volcano, the highest active volcano in the world—one of Ecuador’s 67 volcanoes. We take a short walk around Limpiopungo Lagoon, and then on the foothills of Rumiñahui, the second volcano in the park. After exploring this gem of a park, we check in at a luxurious hacienda (former plantation) and enjoy a welcome drink together.
Accommodation: Hacienda La Cienega or similar (1 night)
DAY 6 | May 23, 2019 | Lasso - Baños (B, D)
Travelling southeast, we arrive at a rose farm. Fragrant roses are one of the most important exports of Ecuador, and we discover how the entire process works, from plantation at the farm to delivery to North America and Europe.
In the town of Baños, located on the foothills of the Tugurahua volcano, we experience the famous road of the waterfalls. We ride a cable car ride across the Pastaza river canyon and take a short hike to the breathtaking Pailon del Diablo waterfall. At the end of the day we check in to our exquisite spa resort hotel.
Accommodation: Luna Runtun or Samari (2 nights)
DAY 7 | May 24, 2019 | Baños (B, D)
Take the day to relax and rejuvenate. Opt to go to the quaint town of Baños and visit the impressive Neo-Gothic Church of the Virgin of the Holy Water, with its ornate décor, or visit the swing at the end of the world, or stay at the resort to relax by the pool or at the spa.
DAY 8 | May 25, 2019 | Baños - Yasuni Park - La Selva Eco Lodge & Spa (B, L, D)
An early morning start takes us through beautiful landscapes of vast thick jungles, passing through national parks and protected areas on the way to Coca City. We are joined by the friendly staff of La Selva Eco-Lodge & Spa, and board a comfortable motorized canoe to travel on the Napo River—a tributary of the Amazon River.
After two hours we arrive at a beautiful lake, famous for deep black water, where dug-out canoes transport us to the worldfamous La Selva Eco-Lodge & Spa. Enjoy a refreshing welcome drink, attend welcome meeting.
Accommodation: La Selva Eco-lodge & Spa (3 nights)
DAY 9 | May 26, 2019 | Yasuni Park - La Selva Eco-Lodge & Spa (B, L, D)
Today is up to you! There are a variety of activities on offer or you can relax and enjoy the surrounding rainforest.
You may opt to see and experience the parrot clay lick, the rainforest observation tower or walking in the jungle. Alternatively you might like to go on canoe rides or meet the local community.
DAY 10 | May 27, 2019 | Yasuni Park - La Selva Eco-Lodge & Spa (B, L, D)
Day at leisure. Enjoy on-site and nearby activities similar to the previous day or relax and enjoy the Lodge and its spa treatments.
DAY 11 | May 28, 2019 | Yasuni - Quito (B)
We depart in the morning, spending two hours in a motorized canoe, immersed in the sights and sounds of this lush area. We then fly to Quito airport. Around mid-day we check in to our elegant hacienda-style hotel. Relax and recharge your batteries and enjoy free time for the rest of the day.
Accommodation: La Jimenita or Rincon de Puembo (1 night)
DAY 12 | May 29, 2019 | Quito - Manta - Puerto Lopez (B)
In the morning we fly to Mata City, an important import/export city supporting the economy of Ecuador. We continue on to the coastal region of Ecuador, with its beautiful crystal-clear turquoise waters and white sand beaches. The highlight of the day will be visiting Los Frailes Beach in Machalilla National Park. This crescent shaped beach is exclusive to the park, rarely crowded and has beautiful cliffs lining each side of the crystal-clear waters.
Accommodation: Mandala Eco-lodge or Mantarraya (3 nights)
DAY 13 | May 30, 2019 | Puerto Lopez & Machalilla National Park (B, L)
Today we delve deeper into Machalilla National Park. This iconic park in Ecuador has an abundance of diversity through tropical rainforest, tropical dry forest and a marine reserve, as well as numerous little islands and islets. The highlight of the day is a sailing tour to La Plata Island, which is the main attraction in the park, often compared to the Galapagos Islands. We hope to see Blue-Footed Bobbies, Red-Footed Boobies, Nasca Boobies, Frigate Birds and many species of marine life.
DAY 14 | May 31, 2019 | Puerto Lopez (B, D)
Day at leisure to relax by the white sands of the Pacific or join optional activities such as horseback riding in the rainforest, monkey spotting, meeting locals, visiting the Agua Blanca Archeological Museum or bathing in the hot spring sulfur pools! We will end the day with our special farewell dinner.
DAY 15 | Jun. 1, 2019 | Guayaquil (B)
In the morning we travel to Guayaquil City, the largest city in Ecuador, located on the River Guayaquil. The seaport has made Guayaquil the largest revenue generator for the country. Free time in the afternoon to explore this thriving metropolis and walk by the famous Malecón 2000—a beautiful boulevard beside the river.
Accommodation: Hotel Oro Verde or Unipark (1 night)
DAY 16 | Jun. 2, 2019 | Guayaquil - Toronto (B)
Depart at any time.
*CDN$ p.p. dbl. occ. Taxes included. Single supplement: $1,500. Airfare available from most Canadian airports, please enquire. **Minimum 16 passengers required for a Merit Travel tour host. A non-refundable deposit of $1,500 is required at the time of booking. Full and final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Full terms and conditions are available.
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