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Best of Ecuador

Discover magical Ecuador by historic steam train and enjoy the old-world glamour of Tren Crucero's first-class carriages. Travel from the shores of the Pacific high into the Andes Mountains, through volcanic scenery and cloud forests. Meet the locals and explore colourful plantations and bustling markets.A Rail AdventureExperience the famous Devil's Nose and zig zag down the Andes in Alausi, a true feat in engineering dating back to the 19th century. Then visit the country's highest train station at Urbina in the Avenue of the Volcans.Cultural HighlightsMeet Ecuador's last 'ice merchant' who still extracts ice from the slopes of the Chimborazo Volcano, and visit the lively Otavalo Indian market, the largest and most important in the Andes.Natural DelightsEnjoy the serenity of the beautiful Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve. Explore the misty forest on a guided bird-watching hike and spot the world's most recently discovered mammal - the olinguito! Relax and enjoy the rejuvenating natural hot springs of Papallacta, just outside your hotel room.

Inclusions

Travel

  • Private airport transfers
  • 4 days on board the 'Tren Crucero' historic steam train
  • All ground transportation in air-conditioned vehicles
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary

Accommodation & Meals

  • 8 nights in a combination of boutique hotels and luxury historic haciendas (3-4 star)
  • 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking locally based guides

Sightseeing

  • Travel through the countryside on the famous Tren Crucero.
  • See extensive plantations of sugarcane, banana, coffee, pineapple and a countless number of tropical products to Naranjito area.
  • Zig-zag up the famous Devil's nose.
  • Meet Ecuador's last "ice merchant" who extracts ice from the slopes of Chimborazo volcano.
  • Witness the spectacular Diablada de Pillaro.
  • Visit Cotopaxi National Park.
  • Meet the Andean cowboys, the Chagras, who will show us their skills as riders and teach us a little of their culture and traditions.
  • Enjoy a city tour of Quito.
  • Visit the Equator at Mitad del Mundo and Inti an Museum.
  • Bird-watch in the misty landscapes of the Bellavista Cloud Forest.
  • Relax in the hot springs of Papallacta.
  • Enjoy afternoon tea at Hacienda La Compania.
  • Visit the colourful Otavalo Indian market.
Tour Provider Bunnik Tours
Number of Days
9
Price From
AUD $5,315
Start Location
Ecuador
End Location
Ecuador
Age Range
Avg. 50+
Group Size
20
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Private, Rail
Physical Rating
Moderate
ItineraryExpand
Best of Ecuador

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1. Arrive Guayaquil

Welcome to the city of Guayaquil, on Ecuador's Pacific coast. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2. Guayaquil - Duran - Yaguachi - Naranjito - Alausi

Board the Tren Crucero, a restored steam train, for a stunning journey on Ecuador's railway in the sky! You'll pass through scenic sugarcane, banana, coffee and pineapple plantations as you climb high in the Andes. Arriving in Alausi in the evening, it will feel as if you've gone back several decades in time. [B,L,D]

Day 3. Alausi - Devil's Nose - Riobamba

Today you'll experience the famous 'Devil's Nose', where the train zigzags as it descends 511 metres in just 3 kilometres of railway - a true engineering feat dating back to the 19th century. Fields of quinoa, potats, onion and corn will decorate the landscape as you journey to Riobamba. [B,L,D]

Day 4. Riobamba - La Moya - Urbina - Latacunga

Today you'll learn about life in the Andes from some locals in the town of La Moya. You'll then head to Urbina station, located just over 3,600 metres above sea level, and meet the last ice merchant in Ecuador. You'll enjoy a Diablada de Pillaro performance on board - a parade full of colours, music and joy that showcases the spirit of the Andean communities. [B,L,D]

Day 5. Latacunga - Cotopaxi National Park - Quito

This morning you'll start the day with a walk around the Limpiopungo lagoon before continuing to a traditional Andean hacienda. Here you'll meet some Andean cowboys, "chagras", and learn more about their culture. You'll then head to Eloy Alfaro station before your final train journey takes you to the beautiful city of Quito, the capital of Ecuador and a UNESCO World-heritage site. [B, L]

Day 6. Quito - Bellavista Cloud Forest

Today we travel into the beautiful Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve, stopping at the equator to visit the "Middle of the World". After lunch, you will transfer to the Bellavista Cloud forest, an enchanting green paradise that boasts a profusion of biodiversity and little-studied flora and fauna. [B,L,D]

Day 7. Bellavista Cloud Forest - Papallacta

This morning enjoy an early guided birdwatching hike before returning to the lodge for breakfast. After, you'll take the scenic drive to Papallacta, known for its volcans and rejuvenating natural thermal springs. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. [B]

Day 8. Papallacta - Otavalo

Relax and enjoy a soak in the hot springs just outside your room this morning. Then travel by road to Otavalo, famous for its weekly market, stopping along the way to enjoy afternoon tea at a traditional hacienda. [B]

Day 9. Otavalo - Depart Quito

Visit Otavalo's lively Indian markets, the largest and most important in the Andes and the perfect place to pick up some traditional handicrafts. You will then be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. [B]