Best of Ecuador

  • days: 9
  • from $4,885

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

Tour a traditional cacao plantation and enjoy a chocolate tasting. 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 - Bucay

Board the Tren Crucero, a restored steam train, for a stunning journey on Ecuador’s railway in the sky! Visit an Ecuadorian cacao plantation and enjoy a chocolate tasting this afternoon. [B,L,D]

Day 3. Bucay - Riobamba

Today you’ll experience the famous ‘Devil’s Nose’, where the train zigzags as it climbs 200 metres in just 3 kilometres - a true engineering feat dating back to the 19th century. You’ll also visit a local Andean community that raises llamas. [B,L,D]

Day 4. Riobamba - Quito

Today you’ll visit the country’s highest train station at Urbina and meet Ecuador’s last ‘ice merchant’, who still extracts ice from the slopes of the Chimborazo Volcano. Then enjoy beautiful views over the active Tungurahua volcano that occasionally offers a spectacular eruption. [B,L,D]

Day 5. Quito

Explore the lively city of Quito, Ecuador’s capital. Your sightseeing tour will include the beautiful Church La Compania, almost entirely decorated with gold leaf, San Francisco Monastery and El Panecillo. [B]

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 and Intiñan Museum. This afternoon enjoy a guided bird-watching hike amidst the misty trees. Bellavista is also home to the most recently discovered mammal - the olinguito! [B,L,D]

Day 7. Bellavista Cloud Forest - Papallacta

Today 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
  • 3 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, 4 lunches and 4 dinners

Tour Guides

  •  English-speaking locally based guides

Sightseeing

  • Travel through the countryside on the famous Tren Crucero.
  • Discover why Ecuadorian cacao is among the best in the world at a traditional plantation in Bucay.
  • 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 Tungurahua volcano.
  • 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
01/04/18 21/12/18   $4,885 On Request  
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

D´Franco Lodge, Bucay

This charming property features rooms with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and free wifi. Other facilities include a garden, year-round outdoor pool and on-site restaurant.

Facilities: wifi; safe deposit box (at reception)

Hotel Hacienda Abraspungo, Guano

Hotel Hacienda Abraspungo features chic rooms with garden views, flat-screen cable TV, and private bathrooms with free toiletries. All rooms include free wifi. You can also enjoy the Spanish galleries that open to the garden.

Facilities: wifi; safe deposit box (at reception)

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 

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Ave Min C

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Rainy Days

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4

Quito

Quito

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Ave Min C

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Rainy Days

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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)

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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 • Discover why Ecuadorian cacao is among the best in the world at a traditional plantation in Bucay • Witness the spectacular Tungurahua 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

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