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Home > Naturalist Ecuador

Naturalist Ecuador

14 days and 13 nights

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: Quito Airport - Quito

Reception at the airport and transport with an english-speaking driver-guide to your hotel. Free time for the rest of the day.


You will spend the night at Vieja Cuba hotel in Quito.


Included : reception with english-speaking guide, room & breakfast

Day 2: Quito

Quito, Ecuador's capital, is a real treasure between the volcanoes of Pichincha, Cayambe and Antisana. At an elevation of 2830 meters, it is the second highest capital in the world.. It was the first city classified by the UNESCO in 1978 and its historic centre is the biggest and best maintained in Latino America. To get a good idea of the city, we will firstly go to the Panecillo, a small hill over the city with a statue of the Quito'Virgen at the top, for a superb view. You will then have a complete visit of Quito's colonial centre: the cathedral, the church of the Compañia de Jesus, the church of San Francisco and its garden and as many baroque art pieces.
You will continue with the visit of the "Banco Central" museum showing the country's History through numerous pieces from back to the prehistory until the colonial era. A space is entirely dedicated to gold and silver jewels from the pre-Colombian era.


You will spend the night at Vieja Cuba hotel in Quito.


Included : entrance fees, private transport, guide expenses, english-speaking driver guide, room & breakfast

Day 3: Quito - Mindo - Yanacocha - Mindo

Departure from Quito to follow a scenic road through the Equatorial cloudy forest to the Mindo area, a unique place for its biodiversity.

Day dedicated to ornithology, you will go today in the private reserve of Yanacocha, located at the foot of the volcano Pichincha.


The birds you can probably observe are the hummingbird, the black-winged birdwort, the striped hawk, the peregrine falcon, the barred-bellied peak, the red-headed grall and the blue-capped conirostra.


You will visit the chocolate factory "El Quetzal" where you will enjoy one of the most delicious chocolate of the country after having seen the manufacturing process. It's a perfect opportunity to buy a special gift to you family and friends.

You will spend the night at lodge Septimo Paraiso in Mindo.
Included : entrance fees, private transport, guide expenses, english-speaking driver guide, room & breakfast

Day 4: Mindo

Day dedicated to ornithology, you will visit today the area of Silanche.


The birds you will be looking for are the Rosenberg ariana, the Choco trogon, the gray tail of Ecuador, the Myrmidon of Griscom, the short-tailed Alapi, the white cotinga, the slummy gobemoucheron, The Red Tangara, the Mustached Calliste, the Mesh Grimpar, the King Wren, the Choco Warbler and the Gold-Gray Calliste.


Visit of an Orchids garden, run by a nice local family that will have you discover the numerous varieties and surprising perfumes they can emit.
You will visit a breeding center of butterflies and you will discover the process of their metamorphosis with the different stages of evolution of the caterpillars.

You will spend the night at lodge Septimo Paraiso in Mindo.
Included : entrance fees, private transport, guide expenses, english-speaking driver guide, room & breakfast

Day 5: Mindo - Otavalo - Cuicocha Lake - Otavalo

Early in the morning, you will go to the Paz de las Aves reserve to observe an uncommon Cotinga, the Rock Cock during its nuptial parade, but also 4 species of grallaires, the Black-backed Tocro, the Tétéma Red-breasted and the ocellated Merulaxe.


Trip to Otavalo, famous for its handcrafts.
Half an hour boat tour on the lake. You will see two vegetation covered island at the centre of this former crater, which had been formed by successive volcanic eruptions. You will learn more about the legends around them.
Visit of the Cuicocha lake in the ecologic reserve of "Cotacahi - Cayapas" , one of the most beautiful in Ecuador with a shiny blue water.
At the centre of a former crater at 3064 meters, the nature lovers will enjoy a very various vegetation (orchids, "elephants ears"...) with more than 400 species identified there.

You will spend the night at Acoma hotel in Otavalo.
Included : entrance fees, boat ticket, room & breakfast, private transport, guide expenses, english-speaking driver guide

Day 6: Otavalo - Quitsato - Cayambe - Cotopaxi Park - Lasso

Visit in the morning the famous Otavalo's Indian market, the most important in the Ecuador's Andes, where you can meet the Otavaleños Indians with their espadrilles, their brown felt hat and blue ponchos. They are the wealthiest indians in Ecuador and excellent sellers.
The main market is on Saturdays with the cattle market just outside town, but others markets are hold on the Los Ponchos square every days.
You will go to Cayambe from Otavalo, observing the beautiful landscape of the mountains.
You will stop at the latitude 0º, where a circular platform of 54 meters of diameter materializes a huge sundial and the equator line. The phenomena observed in the place will be explained to you, as well as how the local peoples used to integrate them in their dayly activities. An opporetunity to reconnect with what is an agriculture agenda, and what it means, between the sky and nature.

Meal at restaurant Balcon 2 Hemisferios, almost on the Ecuador line.
You will head for the National Cotopaxi Park from Cayambe through this beautiful mountain scenery. You will observe the inhabitants of this region, with typical clothes, on the edge of a path that is a symbol of modernity in contrast to practices inherited from the pre-Inca civilizations.
Visit of the Cotopaxi park with Ecuador's second highest summit at 5897 meters. It is also the highest active volcano in the world although it only shows a few fumaroles from its ice covered crater. Walk around the Limpiapungo laggon with stunning view on the Cotopaxi. After driving up to the carpark at 4600 meters you may continue (optionnal, you can stay at the parking level if you consider not being in the proper cphysical conditions to climb) by foot to the José Rivas hut 200 meters higher. The most motivated can also go and reach the snowline.

You will spend the night at Cuello de Luna Hotel in Lasso.
Included : entrance fees, lunch (no drinks), local spanish-speaking guide, room & breakfast, private transport, guide expenses, english-speaking driver guide

Day 7: Cotopaxi Park - Lasso - Antisana - Quito - Papallacta - Baeza

Transfer from the park to Lasso.
Visit
Journey to the Eastern cordillera, with great views on the mountain lakes and the green valleys. You will arrive to Papallacata after passing a saddle at 3200m.

Day dedicated to ornithology in the area of Guango. You will probably be able to observe the pearl anabastite, the powerful peak, the tangara halo, the conirostre capped but also many hummingbirds (Inca with collar, humming-bird with sapphire wings, Sylphe with azure tail, the hummingbird avocettin and the humming- sword).


 Maximum duration 3 hours.



You will spend the night at San Isidro Lodge.
Included : entrance fees, room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), private transport, guide expenses, english-speaking driver guide

Day 8: Baeza - Papallacta - Quito - Tumbaco

Complementary day dedicated to observe birds in the San Isidro area.
Note: the entrances to private reserves or properties will have to be paid on spot.
Free time and then back to Quito, passing by a mountain pass that will make you discover an impressice landscape of paramo.

You will spend the night at the Ilatoa Lodge in Tumbaco, in the valley close to the airport, with an exceptional sight on the valley and on the Cayambe volcano when the weather allows it.
Included : room & breakfast, private transport, guide expenses, english-speaking driver guide

Day 9: Quito - Quito Airport - Coca - Napo Wildlife Center


Free time according to your flight schedule and private transfer with spanish-speaking driver to Quito airport.
Domestic flight Quito - Coca (around 40 minutes). Arrival in Coca, gateway to the Amazon rainforest. Your local guide will meet you and lead you to your motorized canoe , which will sail for about 2h30 to get to the Yasuní National Park, classified by UNESCO "Biosphere Reserve" by a biodiversity of extreme wealth and well-preserved . The lodge we have chosen for you is the only hotel inside the reserve and offers, despite the difficulties of access, services worthy of a 4 star hotel keeping a real authenticity. To get respecting the environment and its occupants, the journey will continue by boat without motor (prohibited in the park) by another 1.30h. We will take a small tributary of the Napo River, opportunity to have a first contact with the local fauna and flora. This lodge is managed in collaboration with local communities, to recover the benefits to develop new projects in the surrounding villages.
After a welcome drink and a little rest, some explanations will be given on this community project and program the following day, before enjoying a quality dinner and get to your bungalow to sleep by the sounds of the Amazon rainforest.
Included : transfer departure, room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), entrance fees, domestic flight, transfer arrival, excursion (shared), local english-speaking guide

Day 10: Napo Wildlife Center

After waking up and a delicious, your guide will show you the wealth of this place. For this, two solutions: the Canopy Tower about 30 minutes of walking through the woods, a tower about 36 meters high which allows you to be in the middle of numerous birds above the trees; other walks are possible, but a night out in canoe in order to discover night life where you can cross yourself with the bright eyes of a caiman that comes out only at night

Day 11: Napo Wildlife Center

Surprises continue throughout the day, but a unique place to visit in the area is the cliff parrots, where hundreds of individuals of different species meet to ingest kaolin found there. Then it might be interesting to visit a nearby community involved in this project and meet their daily lives. Other excursions are possible depending on your wishes. If you want you can walk or by canoe, the wildlife in the region is rich but wild, but if you open your eyes is common to see groups of monkeys in the wild and even other rarer if you're lucky.

Day 12: Napo Wildlife Center - Coca

Departure from Lodge in canoe and the in boat towards the airport of Coca. You will take a 40 minutes domestic flight from Coca to Quito.

Day 13: Quito Airport - Quito

Private transfer with spanish-speaking driver from Quito airport (to your hotel) and free time for the rest of the day.
IDEA OF VISIT: the botanical garden, a green space spreading over 18 000 m2. You can discover the tree, plant and flowers species particular to the Ecuador's biodiversity, on different circuits. The flowers amateurs will particularly enjoy a collection of more than 200 orchid species. (ENTRANCE AROUND 4 US$)
Suggestion of visit : The museum Mindalae of crafts, its located in the area of la Mariscal. This museum is private and offers a presentation dedicated to the activities of the native indigenous, their way of understanding the world and their shamanic practices.


You will spend the night at Vieja Cuba hotel in Quito.


Included : transfer arrival, room & breakfast

Day 14: Quito - Quito Airport


Free time according to your flight schedule and private transfer with spanish-speaking driver to Quito airport.

Free connection for your international flight from Quito. According to your flight schedule, you will dispose of more or less free time.
Included : transfer departure

Vieja Cuba   Quito

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

Vieja Cuba is located in La Mariscal neighborhood, where you will find many restaurants and bars. It is a cosy colonial style house, restaured by the former cuban owner with charm and criteria. A very good address if you want to walk around without taking transport means.

Night at the hotel Septimo Paraiso   Mindo

Level : 3* sup
Included : room & breakfast

Lodge with style, each room decorated exclusively, more like a boutique hotel. The place is spread off and dispose of a big swimming pool and an original games room.

Night in Acoma hotel.   Otavalo

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

Not far from the craft market in Otavalo, you will find the hotel Acoma (Acoma means city in the sky); the hotel offers comfortable rooms, friendly staff. The hotel was renovated and the family that owns the place, always gives a warm, personal attention.

Cuello de Luna Hotel   Lasso

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

Only 4 miles from the Cotopaxi National Park main entrance. The hotel name Cuello de Luna means neck of the moon. It offers rooms with private bath and fireplace as well as dorm beds with shared facilities, best recreation and relaxation surrounded by beautiful countryside, great home cooked food, cultural trips, climbing, hiking, trekking opportunities.

San Isidro Lodge   Baeza

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks)

The lodge is located in 1900 hectares of primary forest and it’s an ecological corridor between the Antisana Reserve and the Sumaco National Park, so the biodiversity is guaranteed. You can walk in the hotel’s trails, do birdwatching or visit the butterfly garden or the orchids garden.

Ilatoa Lodge   Tumbaco

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

ILATOA Lodge is located in Tumbaco, on the hillside of Volcano Ilalo. Each room here features a desk, a safety-deposit box and bed linen. Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a hairdryer and free toiletries. You can enjoy a great view of the valley from each room, along with a garden filled with exotic hummingbirds.

Napo Wildlife Center 4D-3N (airticket included) (Mon to Sat)   Coca

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), entrance fees, domestic flight, transfer arrival, excursion (shared), local english-speaking guide

The greatest and ultimate alternative luxury eco-hotel in Amazonian Ecuador wich includes the conservation of approximately over 82 square miles (over 21,400 hectares) of the most pristine Amazon Rain Forest within the Yasunì National Park, an important UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the largest tract of tropical rain forest in Ecuador.

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