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Ecuador Itinerary - Part 1: The Imposing Andes
Itinerary DescriptionHotel Choices
    4 Star Superior
Day 1: Fri Arrive in Quito. Transfer to your Hotel Vieja Cuba
Day 2: Sat Quito - Otavalo - Quito Vieja Cuba
Day 3: Sun Quito City Tour + Middle of the World Vieja Cuba
Day 4: Mon Quito - Cotopaxi - Lasso La Cienega
Day 5: Tue Lasso - Quilotoa - Baños La Andaluza
Day 6: Wed Baños - Riobamba Sangay
Day 7: Thu Riobamba - Train - Ingapirca - Cuenca Santa Lucia
Day 8: Fri Cuenca: City Tour - Guayaquil* City Plaza
Day 9: Sat Guayaquil - Flight back home / Galapagos Extension  
   

PRICE: $ 1,279

    Prices and Itineraries may change slightly based on season, availability and other factors beyond our control.
   

Children under 12 eligible for 25% discount.

 

 

Ecuador Itinerary - Part 2: Majestic Galapagos Extension
Itinerary DescriptionHotel Choices
   Superior
Day 09: Sat Quito*- Galapagos: Baltra Island - Tortuga Bay Mainao
Day 10: Sun Galapagos: Sail to North Seymour Island Mainao
Day 11: Mon Galapagos: Highlands of Santa Cruz - Ferry to Isabela Island La Laguna
Day 12: Tue Galapagos: Isabela Island - Volcanoes & Concha y Perla La Laguna
Day 13: Wed Galapagos: Isabela Island - Baltra Island - Flight - Quito Nü House
Day 14:  Thu Quito - Flight back home / optional tour extension  
    PRICE: $ 1,795
    Package includes Galapagos Airfare Roundtrip Ticket from Quito (a $500 value). Prices and Itineraries may change slightly based on season, availability and other factors beyond our control. We will let you know at the time of booking in the rare event the itinerary has changed. *There may be a price variation should you choose to continue your extension to Galapagos from Guayaquil instead of returning to Quito. Contact us for more information.

 

When you visit Ecuador, there is so much to see and making a priority plan of sights to experience is our expertise. Thanks to our traveler's feedback, we have created a package that will allow you to visit the Imposing Andes with the various key attractions along the way. To get the most out of your trip, extend your trip to Majestic Galapagos with our superior Island Hopping Tour. Whether it is 9 days or the full 14 day package, your experience with Zenith Travel is beyond compare. To further extend your trips at either location, let us know and we can customized an improved trip package with this tour as a guideline. Don't forget to ask about Gay Nights

Check our detailed Itinerary for a feel of what you'll experience on an adventure that you will love all the way!

Detailed Itinerary: The Imposing Andes

Day 1: Arrive in Quito

Day 1: Arrive in Quito

Upon arrival to Quito and all entrance formalities are taken care of, we meet with our tour director at the "Mariscal Sucre" Airport before heading on to the transfer vehicle and proceed to our hotel.
Based on your time of arrival, we suggest taking a break to get used to the altitude. This will allow you to enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Overnight Stay

 

Day 2: Quito - Otavalo Indian Market - Quito

Day 2: Quito - Otavalo Indian Market - Quito

After breakfast we enter the city of Otavalo and visit their famous Indian Market. The Otavalo Indians are considered to be the most dedicated and prosperous craftsmen/merchants of Ecuador. This "Market" is one of South America's most important centers of ethno-tourism, featuring a dazzling array of textiles and crafts. Here you can find Ponchos, wooden good and indigenous jewelry; perfect for gifts or keepsakes from the city.

After the market we go to the Cotacachi Cayapas Reserve where we will see one of the most amazing sceneries of Ecuador at the Cuicocha Lake. Soon after, we enter the City of Cotacachi, famous for their leather market. You can enjoy an hour of shopping before heading to our next destination.

At the end of the day, we return to Quito. Overnight stay.

Day 3: Quito - Equatorial Monument

Day 3: Quito City Tour + Middle of the World - Equatorial Monument

Pick up: 8h00

After a good night rest and early breakfast, we begin to explore Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The city is surrounded by various snow-capped Andes Peaks, yet is only 14 miles (22.5km) south of the Equator. Quito is known for its magnificent Spanish-Colonial architecture and colorful street life. Quaint family owned shops as well as open-air markets are just steps away from sky scrapers and Spanish Baroque Cathedrals, blending in old and new architectures.

Our tour begins by visiting the Guapulo Church, privileged with a fantastic view of the valleys. The colonial area of "Old Quito" is a United Nations World Heritage Site worth visiting. Here we will stroll down Independence Square where we'll be able to appreciate the Presidential Palace and Arch Bishop's Palace.

Soon after, we will visit La Compania Church, with its ornate facade and breathtaking golden altars, you'll appreciate the history of the land. Our next stops will be to the Monastery followed by the San Francisco Church, filled with examples of Spanish art and sculpture all around. We also pay a visit to the Impressive Parliament Building were Ecuador's history is recorded.

Just a little further is the Panecillo hill, offering a spectacular view of the city as well as an up close look of the Virgin of Quito. Time permitting, we will visit the artisans market (Mercado de los Artesanos).

At around noon we continue on to the "Equatorial Monument". At an impressive 10,000 feet above sea level, one can be in two hemispheres at the same time with one foot on the North and the other on the South and your heart on Latitude Cero!

We'll continue to a fun activity at the open air Inti-Nam Museum were we'll practice a few science experiments that can only be best appreciated at this location.

We return to the hotel where you'll have the rest of the afternoon free to relax or enjoy a night out. Overnight.

Day 4: Quito - Cotopaxi - Lasso

Day 4: Quito - Cotopaxi - Lasso

After breakfast, we drive South via de Avenue of the Volcanoes to reach the Cotopaxi National Park, at the base of the Cotopaxi Volcano, the highest known active volcano in the world (5,897mts / 19437ft). The Cotopaxi Volcano was established as an ecological sanctuary with unusual opportunities for the Love of Nature and know about the importance of the Paramo Ecosystem.

Upon arrival, we will visit the beautiful landscape by the lake of Limpiopungo and admire the wild flora and fauna of this region. Our bus will be waiting for us at the Limpiopungo parking area. In the afternoon we continue our drive to follow a scenic stretch of road, which takes us out of the majestic "Andes Highlands" at 4000mts asl, making this the most elevated spot on the road. Photos from this altitude are memories to treasure and share. 

We head over to our hotel where we'll enjoy our dinner. Overnight stay
(Breakfast and Dinner included)

Day 5: Lasso - Quilotoa - Baños

Day 5: Lasso - Quilotoa - Baños

Enjoy your breakfast in the morning at the hotel. Soon after we will head towards the Quilotoa Lake, one of the most beautiful and quite lakes in Ecuador, which a magestic green colored glass-like surface, located in the crater of an extinct volcano.

The volcano's crater is still perfectly shaped and preserved, allowing visitors to view its past history and formidable power. We come down from the top of the crater to the edge of the Lake. The lake's edge is considered by many visitors as a very calm and relaxing spot to visit and relieve fatigue, while at the same time enjoying its beautiful landscape.

Our way back will have a bit of outdoors adventure as we climb back to the top of the crater with a choice of riding horses or mules (optional); or hiking it up on foot to enjoy the most amazing landscapes in South America and take photos at your leisure. Dinner and overnight stay in Baños.

Day 6: Baños - Riobamba

Day 6: Baños - Riobamba

The guide will pick you up from your hotel at 09h00 to allow you time for enjoying your breakfast. From here, we will visit the balsawood bird carving workshop and the tagua (ivory nut) jewelry stores.

Soon after, we continue our trip to the Agoyan and Devil's Cauldron to view some amazing waterfalls. We will take the taravita (air cable/zip-line) to see the majestic Manto de la Novia Waterfall. As our scenic route continues, we'll follow the landscape to the Chimborazo Volcano, the highest mountain in Ecuador.

The "Taita Chimborazo" is extraordinary for many reasons. It is the highest point in Ecuador's Andes mountains. Although it is not the tallest mountain in the world, it is considered to be the farthest point on the surface of the Earth from the center. The Chimborazo is renouned for superior mountaineering opportunities, and it is visited by people from all over the world looking for the extreme adrenaline rush that comes with climbing this giant.

We then continue to the small Andean city of Riobamba that has been nicknamed "friobamba" by Ecuadorians who agree that this pretty highland city, bordered by the snowy Volcán Chimborazo, is indeed quote cold.

Overnight stay (breakfast and dinner included).

Day 7: Riobamba - Train - Ingapirca - Cuenca

Day 7: Riobamba - Train Trip - Ingapirca - Cuenca

We start our day very early at 05h30. After breakfast, we depart to the Train Station in order to board the Auto-Ferro. This is a spectacular train ride, gradually descending from the highlands to the lowlands, at times zigzagging, or hugging the cliffs. This is the famous train to "La Nariz del Diable" (the Devil's Nose), known for the winds that blow southward across the Andean Highlands to the town of Alausí and then beyond to the precipitous rock face at the edge of the Andes. This seemingly dangerous ride is what gave this ride and zone its chilling name.

The train descemds and then returns to Aluasí once again. Then we continue to visit the Inca Ruins of Ingapirca. This is the most important monument left by the aboriginal cultures of Ecuador. The vast archeological complex of ruins includes a roofless fortification, courtyards, terraces, temples, houses and a "castle", possible a "Temple of the Sun" to be worshiped.

We end our day by transfering to the most beautiful of the Colonial Cities in South America, Cuanca, for an overnight stay. (breakfast included)

Day 8: Cuenca - Guayaquil / Quito

Day 8: Cuenca: City Tour- Guayaquil / Quito

We eat breakfast at our hotel and get ready for pickup by 09h00. Cuenca is Ecuador's third largest city; yet it still retains its pleasant provincial air. Its red tiled roofs, cobblestone streets, flowery plazas and museums make it very special.

This comprehensive tour includes the Plazas of San Sebastian, a colorful Artisans Market, and the "House of Temperance" where alcoholics were shut inside its thick walls in an effeort to cure them. We will make a stop at one of the workshops where Panama Hats of the best and highest quality can be found and purchased.

After lunch, we'll visit the flower market, the imposing blue-domed Cathedral, the Court of Justice, the Municimal Palace, the Governor's Palace and the Church of El Sagrario. Finally we will be transferred to Quito or Guayaquil for an overnight stay (breakfast included).

Day 9: Quito / Guayaquil - End of Trip / Galapagos Extension

Day 9: Quito or Guayaquil - End of Trip or Galapagos Extension

Should you decide to continue or end your trip, you're city of arrival will be either Quito or Guayaquil. Please ask our agents for availability to fly to Galapagos from Guayaquil instead of Quito.

If you chose to end your trip on Day 9, you'll be free to enjoy the rest of the day and will be provided with transportation from the hotel to the airport. If you plan to make the most of your day until your scheduled flight, we recommend an extended Guayaquil Day Tour or special arrangements with our office to help you enjoy the day to the fullest. A late checkout from your hotel may be possible if we plan ahead.

For guests extending their trip to the Majestic Galapagos Islands, you will return to Quito instead of heading to Guayaquil, for your departure to the Galapagos Islands. Should you choose to travel from Guayaquil or coincide with existing travel dates to the islands, let us know and we'll see if it's possible to do an adjustment to the itinerary for your specific travel dates.

With Zenith Travel, your travel experience is our first priority.

 

MAJESTIC GALAPAGOS EXTENSION:

Day 1 (09): Extension - Quito - Galapagos

Day 1 (9): Quito - Galapagos

Please make the necessary arrangements to be at the airport at least 1h30m prior to your flight departure to allow time to get your Transit Card. The flight will leave in the morning to arrive as early as possible to Baltra Island Airport in Galapagos. Upon arrival and after finishing all immigration formalities, small transportation fee to the Baltra Island Pier may be due per passenger (subject to change without notice). Please keep all the documents readily separated, as they will be requested at the moment you leave the islands.

At the arrival hall of the airport, one of our representatives will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel and get settled. After lunch, we will take an excursion to one of the most beautiful white sand beaches: Galapagos Tortuga Bay, which will take about 30 minute walk on a marked path (approx 2miles) west from Puerto Ayora. On this route we will have the chance to connect with nature. Tortuga Bay gets its name from the Sea Turtles that come to lay their eggs at the bay. Some of the animals you'll see here are Pelicans, marine iguanas and plenty of other flying species, making it an ideal location for bird-watching.

Return to our hotel and overnight stay (breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

Day 2 (10): Galapagos: Sail to North Seymour Island


Day 2 (10): Galapagos: Sail to North Seymour Island

Pick up time will be before 08h00 to allow for time to transfer to the Itabaca Channel, where we will get on board a yacht for a 1 hour sail to reach Seymour Island.

North Seymour Island is spectacular for hiking due to its scenery. On this island you can find unique plants such as: incense tree, cactus, sesuvium, escalecias; and animals like: blue-footed boobies, gulls sitting on the edges of cliffs, and frigates birds in their nests. During certain seasons, you can even see Land Iguanas. On the opposite side of the island, and while the waves crash against the rocks, you an appreciate the mischievous sea lions playing and surfing in the sea.

A circular path for visitors of about 2km trail, crosses the interior of the island, leading us to explore the rocky coast. This trail takes us through some of the largest colonies of sea birds of the Galapagos Islands. During this trip, you will have the opportunity to see the nesting sites of the fascinating blue-footed boobies and the colorful frigrates.

After lunch, you can snorkel, swim or take a sunbath on Las Bachas Beach or Mosquera Islet (this visit depends on the sail day and weather conditions). Dinner will be served at The Rock Restaurant in Puerto Ayora.

 

Day 3 (11): Galapagos: Highlands of Santa Cruz - Ferry - Isabela Island

Day 3 (11): Galapagos: Highlands of Santa Cruz - Ferry - Isabela Island

After breakfast, we will be picked up at 08h30 to take an excursion to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. The scenery will continuously change as we ascend through all seven vegetation zones of the Galapagos. At the highlands we are able to view the gian tortoises at a breading farm.

Then we will visit "The Twins" (Los Gemelos), a pair of large pic craters of sinkholes where we find the bright red male vermilion flycatcher. Soon after we head "The Tunnels", the largest lava tunnels found in Galapagos. Aftr lunch, around 2pm we will take a speed boat ride to Isabela Island.

When we arrive to Isabela Island, we will be transferred to our hotel to get settled. After a short rest, we'll visit the Flamingo Lagoon and El Amor Beach, which is known to be the largest beach in this archipelago. Dinner and overnight stay (breakfast, lunch and dinner included).

Day 4 (12): Galapagos: Isabela Island - Sierra Negra, Chico, Concha & Perla

Day 4 (12): Galapagos: Isabela Island - Sierra Negra Volcano, Chico Volcano, Concha y Perla

We begin our full day bright and early, leaving at 08h00 to the Sierra Negra Volcano. This is one of the most active volcanoes in Galapagos. Boasting the second largest volcanic caldera in the world after Yellowstone National Park, with 6 miles in diameter and 300 ft deep, it is definitely a must-have stop.

Continuing with our adventurous trip, we reach Volcano Chico, where we can see lava tubes winding their way across the top of the landscape. The colors of the rocks near the crater walls are a sight to behold.

.Later in the afternoon, we have the opportinity to practice snorkeling at Concha y Perla. This is the perfect spot for everyone who loves swimming or snorkeling. Concha y Perla is a shallow, calm bay with crystal clear water that allows you to enjoy the fascinating marine life of Galapagos, including a chance to swim with sea lions and penguins (breakfast, lunch and dinner included).

 

Day 5 (13): Galapagos: Isabela Island - Baltra - Flight - Quito

Day 5 (13): Galapagos: Isabela Island - Baltra Island - Flight - Quito

We have an extra early pickup at 05h45 to take the speed boat from Puerto Velasco Ibarra to Puerto Ayora, departing at 06h00. After a 2 hour sail enjoying the morning breeze, we arrive at Santa Cruz Island. Our guide will welcome us by taking us for breakfast to Il Giardino Restaurant prior to taking us to Baltra Airport for our flight back to mainland.

Once in Baltra Island, there may be a bus transfer fee by the operator from the island to the airport. Our flight will depart around noon and we should be back in Quito by tea-time around 16h30, where we'll be transported to our hotel. Overnight stay (breakfast included).

Day 6 (14): End of Tour / Extensions

Day 6 (14): Quito - End of Tour / Flight Back Home / Extensions

After breakfast, you'll be transferred to the airport in order to take your flight back home. If you opted for an extended trip the moment of booking, arrangements will be presented to you by our agency at your hotel or upon first arrival.

We look forward to hearing about your experience during your trip. Don't forget to leave your feedback on our comments section, trip advisor or by email. Your feedback helps us to provide you with better service.

 

Itinerary Prices Include:

Rates Include:

  • All Transfers: Airport - Hotel - Airport
  • 3 nights Accommodation in Quito
  • Double room accommodation at 4-Star Hotels
  • Daily Breakfast
  • Quito City Tour and Equatorial - Middle of the World - Entrances
  • Optional Gay NIght Tours in Quito
  • Otavalo Indian Market Tour
  • Cotopaxi Volcano Tour - Include Entrances
  • Visit to Quilotoa Loop
  • Train Ticket to Devil's Nose
  • Entrance to Ingapirca Ruins
  • City tour of Cuenca
  • English Speaking Guide(s)
  • Private Transportation

Galapagos Extension:

  • Airfare Quito - Galapagos - Quito
  • All Transfers in Galapagos
  • Accommodation in Puerto Ayora and Isabela Islands
  • All Meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) in Galapagos
  • Tour of Tortuga Bay and Highlands of Santa Cruz
  • Sail tour to North Seymour Island
  • Sal tour to Bartholome Island
  • Sail tour to Plazas Island
  • Snorkeling gear for sail tours
  • Transfer to Puerto Ayora (Sta. Cruz Island) - Puerto Villamil (Isabela Is.)
  • Tour to Sierra Negra Volcano, Chico Volcano and Concha y Perla

Itinerary Prices do not Include:

Rates do not Include:

  • Lunches and dinners
  • Drinks - Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic, unless otherwise stated
  • Entrance Fee to Galapagos National Park ($100 per person - Payable at Galapagos Airport - Cash Only)
  • Ingala Transit Card: $20usd per person (Payable at Quito Airport)
  • Isabela Dock Tax of US $5.00
  • Meals according to Itinerary, Last Breakfast in Galapagos
  • Tips
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Special Services not described above

Galapagos Extension:

  • Entrance Fee to Galapagos National Park ($100 per person - Payable at Galapagos Airport - Cash Only)
  • Ingala Transit Card: $20usd per person (Payable at Quito Airport)
  • Isabela Dock Tax of US $5.00pp
  • Tickets to be transferred from the Baltra airport to the buses of TAME of US $10.00pp
  • 4 Aquatic Taxis for the piers in Puerto Ayora (2) and Isabela Island (2) of US $4.00pp
  • Tips
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Special Services not described above

Note: Please make sure to have cash on hand for both the Transit Control Card and National Park fees for every member in your travel party. There are no ATMs at the arriving Airport of Galapagos, so please make sure to ask your guide or at your hotel's lobby about an ATM machine if you need one. While this may change without prior notice, presently credit cards are not accepted for the migration fee at the Galapagos Airports.
You will be required to have your passport on hand in order to receive the transit control card to the islands. Isabela Dock Tax and Aquatic Taxi fees may change at any time without prior notice, as they are independently managed. The complete package, including Galapagos Extension have approximate savings of approximately 35% if bought separately, time of year and acts of nature are locked in with early bookings. Keep in mind that rates are subject to change when each tour package is bought independently or through other means, while booking this and other Zenith Packages, your rate is locked-in at the time of booking.

Remember: you may not take on the flight any seeds, animals, plants or fruits with you. This is to help protect and preserve the Galapagos ecosystem.
If you have any questions not present here, we encourage you to contact us and we'll gladly assist you.

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