Best of Ecuador

  • days: 9
  • from $5,315

International Flights Not Included

Types of travel:

Countries Visited:

  • Ecuador

Description

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 Adventure

Experience 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 Volcanoes.

Cultural Highlights

Meet 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 Delights

Enjoy 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.

Itinerary

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, potatoes, 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 volcanoes 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]

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 Intiñan 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.

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

Starts Ends Save Total Cost* Status Book
01/01/19 31/12/19   $5,315 On Request  
Valid From: This tour does not include flights from Australia to Ecuador. Please contact our office for the latest special fares to match your independent tour.
Other departure cities:
Tips: Tipping payable locally
Taxes:
Single supplement: On application

Prices are per person based on twin share. Single supplement on request. Seasonal surcharges apply. Please contact our office for details.

Fitness to Travel

Let's Talk Fitness

Levels-of-Fitness-sml

At Bunnik Tours we don’t put specific age limits on our tours, but we also recognise some travellers may find our itineraries challenging.
We have a duty of care to all tour participants and the tour guides, so we do impose a firm policy on the level of fitness required by all our clients to attempt to ensure your safety and the safety of other travellers on our tours.
At Bunnik Tours our goal is for all our travellers to enjoy their tour, not struggle through it! Which is why we want to work with you to ensure you are on the best possible trip for your fitness level. We do reserve the right to refuse bookings if we feel that the requirements of the tour are too demanding.
Bunnik Tours are for independently minded travellers with good levels of mobility.

Our tours include:
1. Generous amounts of free time
2. Lots of walking
3. Local and authentic experiences including various modes of transport and accommodation

In some regions travellers can also expect:
1. Long days of travelling, at times on dirt and gravel roads in Africa
2. Extended periods at high altitude (3,000-4,000 metres) in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Ethiopia
3. Extended periods of walking/hiking through humid forest areas in Rwanda, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica
4. Limited medical facilities in remote areas

Bunnik Tours travellers are required to at least:
1. Be able to walk 2-3 hours on uneven surfaces
2. Walk up multiple flights of stairs and short, steep hills
3. Stand for 20 minutes without needing to sit down, often in hot/humid climates
4. Carry their own luggage
5. Get on and off various modes of transport without assistance, including small boats

Accommodation

Accommodation

Accommodation is subject to change and every effort is made to avoid this. However if a change does become necessary, accommodation of a similar standard will be used.

Hotel Oro Verde, Guayaquil

Hotel Oro Verde is located downtown in Guayaquil's modern business district, just a short trip from historic Malecon. A European-style hotel with luxurious accommodations. Along with 5 restaurants, this hotel has a full-service spa and an outdoor pool, a health club, a bar/lounge, and a poolside bar are also on site. All rooms feature thoughtful touches like bathrobes and slippers.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pool; tea & coffee making facilities

Hotel El Molino, Alausi

Hotel El Molino is a charming hotel set in the small town of Alausi. The property features a garden, a 24-hour front desk, free wifi, and flat screen TVs with cable channels in all of the rooms.

Facilities: wifi; safe deposit box

Hotel La Andaluza, Riobamba

Hotel La Andaluza is a unique country estate rich in history. Featuring 2 restaurants and 2 bars and manicured gardens, a stay at Hotel Andaluza is a great way to spend your time in Riobamba. 

Facilities: wifi; safe deposit box, volleyball and basketball court

Hacienda La Cienega, Latacunga

Hacienda La Cienega is one of the oldest colonial haciendas in Ecuador with more than 400 years of history. Located near the slopes of the beautiful Cotopaxi Volcano, this boutique hotel offers a unique experience within it's volcanic stone walls.

Facilities: wifi; safe desposit box

Swissotel, Quito

Featuring wood accents and Egyptian cotton linens, rooms at Swissôtel Quito are bright, air conditioned and equipped with free wifi access. They all come with cable TV channels, minibar and in-room safe. Five on-site restaurants offer a range of dishes from renowned French, Swiss and Japanese culinary traditions.

Facilities: wifi; minibar fridge; safe deposit box

Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve & Lodge, Bellavista

This beautifully located lodge is set amongst the treetops in the cloud forest reserve. The property is home to rare and endemic birds, orchids and other flora and fauna unique to this ecosystem. The lodge offers cosy and comfortable accommodation, a restaurant, bar/lounge and laundry services.

Facilities: safe deposit box

Termas de Papallacta, Papallacta

Rooms at this beautiful property feature thermal pools in unspoilt natural surroundings right on their doorsteps, for exclusive use by hotel guests. The hotel restaurant offers delicious Ecuadorian and international cuisine using ingredients from the organic kitchen garden.

Facilities: heating; wifi; outdoor thermal pools

Hosteria Hacienda Pinsaqui, Otavalo

Constructed in 1790, Hacienda Pinsaquí was originally a colonial textile enterprise, employing over 1,000 weavers and spinners. To this day, the Hacienda retains the character and authenticity of its earlier incarnation, making for a truly unique experience. It is situated in the heart of Ecuador’s lake district at the base of the Imbabura Volcano, just north of the world-famous Otavalo market, and only an hour-and-a-half from Quito, Ecuador’s capital. Features include: 200 year-old grounds, a restaurant offering International and Ecuadorian cuisine, a terrace snack bar, room service and its own chapel.

Facilities: wifi; safe deposit box

Weather

Weather

Guayaquil

Dry Season: July to November

Wet Season: January to April 

Guayaquil 

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Ave Max C

31

30

31

31

30

29

28

29

30

30

30

31

Ave Min C

22

22

23

22

22

21

20

20

20

20

21

22

Rainy Days

18

20

20

14

6

2

1

0

0

1

1

4

Quito

Dry Season: June to September

Wet Season: October to May

Quito

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Ave Max C

22

22

22

21

21

22

22

23

23

22

22

22

Ave Min C

8

8

8

8

8

7

7

7

7

8

1

8

Rainy Days

12

14

15

18

15

11

7

9

14

15

10

10

Currency

Currency

US Dollar

The official currency of the United States, Ecuador and Zimbabwe is the US Dollar (US$).

  • 1 US Dollar = 100 cents
  • Notes are in denominations of $100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1
  • Coins are in denominations of $1, 50 cents, 25 cents (Quarter), 10 cents (Dime), 5 cents (Nickel) and 1 cent (Penny)

Reviews for Best of Ecuador

New Tour, check back for reviews soon!

Have you been on this tour? Have your say below:

Select Rating
Hover mouse over to select stars



 

Special Experiences!

  • Board the Tren Crucero, ar estored steam train, for a stunning journey on Ecuador’s railway in the sky!
  • Meet Ecuador’s last ‘ice merchant’, who still extracts ice from the slopes of the Chimborazo Volcano
  • Visit Otavalo’s lively Indian markets, the largest and most important in the Andes

Trip Info

Group Size

Min: 1

Transportation

A/C Vehicle, Steam Train

Tips

Tipping payable locally

Tour Highlights

• Travel through the countryside on the famous Tren Crucero • Experience the famous zig zagging 'Devil's Nose' train ride • Witness the spectacular Cotopaxi volcano • Bird-watch in the misty landscapes of the Bellavista Cloud Forest • Relax in the hot springs of Papallacta • Visit the colourful Otavalo Indian market

Download Brochure PDF

Please refer to web site for most up to date information & pricing

View Tour Map
Travel Story Travel Story