Terra Ecuador » Discovery & Culture » Ecuador naturalistic

Ecuador naturalistic

A 100% naturalistic trip for lovers of nature and open spaces. A diversity of ecosystems for a guaranteed change of scenery: from the Andean páramo to the lush Amazon through the cloud forest.

13 Days




Quito Airport - Quito Historic Center

Reception at the airport by an english-speaking guide (if you are from 1 to 3 persons, your guide will also be your driver).

Private transfer with spanish-speaking driver from Quito airport to your hotel.

You will spend the night at San Francisco hotel in Quito.


Quito Historic Center - 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 Latin America.

Departure at 8:30am: 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' Virginp, with a splendid 360º view.

You will then have a visit of Quito's colonial centre:

  • the church of the Compañia de Jesus (If the time allows it because this one opens the doors only at 12:30) or the Sucre theater;
  • the church of San Francisco;
  • the Grand Place where are located the Presidential Palace (Carondelet) and Quito's Cathedral.

And now, exclusively and just for you :

You'll participate to a PACARI chocolates tasting.

You will learn about the process of elaboration of a great cocoa. You'll know why Ecuador is the best country to produce a cacao fino and also learn about the cocoa history in the world. You'll have the privilege to taste 10 different types of PACARI chocolates.

Pacari works directly with small producers and assure a great remuneration for their hard work, in order to preserve the genetic diversity of ecuadorian cocoa.

This cooperative has been rewarded multiple times at an international levek for the quality of the products and the social work they have done.

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

English-speaking guide in a private transport (if you are from 1 to 3 persons, your guide will also be your driver).


Quito - Misahualli

Visit of 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.

Following the road to Baeza and Tena which climbs all the eastern cordillera up to 4000 meters, you will observe the evolution of the ecosystem from the Andean paramo to the tropical environment.

You will start your trip to Itamandi EcoLodge at the Arajuno Bridge, where you will take a motorized canoe going upstream for 20 minutes to begin our great experience in the tropical forest. On this ride you can appreciate the magic and beauty of the Amazon rainforest driving along a zigzag river that flows in the jungle like a giant snake, considered the vein system of the Pacha Mama (mother Earth).

Once you arrive at the dock area of Itamandi EcoLodge, the resident manager will greet you with a delicious welcome drink. From there you will continue to relax in the bar area with a snack and a short briefing will be held with general information about the lodge and activities, provided by one of our naturalist guides.

If the sky is clear, we might have the chance to do some stargazing.

Dinner and night in the lodge.

Entrance fees to communities & visits Itamandi

English-speaking guide in a private transport (if you are from 1 to 3 persons, your guide will also be your driver).



5:45 - 6:00 Departure to the Saladero (according to the time status)

 Early in the morning we take a canoe ride for 15 minutes upstream to visit the parrot salting and appreciate a unique place where parrots and parakeets gather to obtain minerals that will help them digest the fruits or seeds that have consumed Hundreds of parrots and parrots will approach the tops of the trees and then descend to the clay wall to eat this mineral-rich land. It is essential to have some binoculars to enjoy this.

 7:00 - 8:30 Breakfast

 9:00 or 9:30 Departure for a long walk

 After breakfast we go on a walk through the primary forest. This activity lasts about 2:30 to 3 hours.

 Return for lunch to Itamandi Ecolodge

 14:30 Visit to the community

 In the afternoon it is time to enjoy a cultural activity. An Amazonian Kichwa community will welcome us and we will learn about their way of life and the interaction they have with the forest. In this meeting we will show that part of the Amazon that is not found in the maps: the Amazonian peoples in their daily life. Part of our visit to the community is the demonstration of the famous "chicha", a fermented cassava drink that has become part of their parties and daily consumption. We will participate in the preparation of this drink and try some of the traditional dishes. We will finish the visit with a traditional dance performed by the children of the community and we will also have time to buy some crafts made by the indigenous people of the area. This small company is very helpful to support the daily life of the indigenous peoples of the area.

7:30 pm: dinner

English-speaking guide in a private transport (if you are from 1 to 3 persons, your guide will also be your driver).



8h00 : Breakfast

9h00 : We take the canoe for about 40 minutes to visit the "Anaconda Island". We can observe the prehistoric bird "Hoatzin", the woolly monkeys, squirrel monkeys, just to mention a few. We also visit a family in one of the indigenous communities to learn about their cultivation habits, medicinal plants, as well as the ancestral form of hunting with blowguns and hand-made traps in the forest.

On this trip a delicious box lunch will be provided.

After lunch we will head to the Amazoonico, which is protecting a number of different animals, some in danger of extinction. Amazónico is not a zoo, but a center for the rescue of animals from the Amazon in Ecuador. We can observe some animals in their natural environment at close range.

Return to Itamandi EcoLodge to enjoy the hotel facilities.

19h30 Dinner

English-speaking guide in a private transport (if you are from 1 to 3 persons, your guide will also be your driver).


Misahualli - Puyo - Pailon del Diablo - Banos

8H00 Breakfast

9H00 Check out and motorized canoe ride for 20 minutes to the Arajuno Bridge

Leaving Mishahualli we will arrive to Puyo, the main city of the province of Pastaza and a tipical urban center of the Amazonian region.

In Puyo, you will visit the botanical garden. Of each six species of orchids in the world, one is in ecuador. It is not hard to see that in just one place, you can see so many orchids. It has lasted 30 years to renovate the hectares of tropical forest. This site belongs to Omar Tello, and allows us to have a guided visit of this beautiful place.

Way to the Pailón del Diablo, in direction to Banos.

You will stop in Pailon del Diablo, the country's most famous waterfalls which you will be able to see from closer from a sightseeing platform. Further on the road, following the inca style, you can use a suspended basket called locally tarabita to cross the Pastaza and reach a waterfall called "Manto de la Novia".

Road from the cascade to Baños.

Free time in Banos to wander around this nice small town. The Basilica of "Nuestra Señora de Agua Santa" is worth the visit, as well as a swim in the town's baths. Different sport activities are also available: mountain biking, rafting, canyoneering...

Night at the Posada J hotel in Banos.

English-speaking guide in a private transport (if you are from 1 to 3 persons, your guide will also be your driver).


Banos - Salcedo - Quilotoa - Tigua

You will take the avenue of volcanoes until Salcedo, Andean town famous for its delicious icecreams.

You will make a stop over for about 2 hours to visit a plantation of the famous ecuadorian roses. Ecuador is indeed one of the first exporters of roses and those are famous all over the orld to be the prettiest. Produced at more than 2500 meters of altitude, the roses have real intense and strong colors. The minerals that come down from the volcanoes make the rose buttons grow bigger. To be close to these mountains allows access to partucularly pure and of hugh quality water.

Journey on the Panamerican road which used to be called the Volcanoes Avenue by the explorer Alexander Van Humbolt who visited it in 1802.

Turning to the West you will reach the small Andean village of Quilotoa.

Visit the Mirador of Shalala with scenic view of Quilotoa laguna though a comunitarian project.

Journey to the area of Tigua which specialty is the colored painting on sheep leather representing the life in the Andes. You will visit one of these artists in his workshop.

You will spend the night at "Tigua Farm", a traditional farm that makes its own cheese and other "homemade" culinary specialties that you will have the opportunity to enjoy during dinner.

 Thanks to the warm welcome of Margarita and her sons, this is an opportunity to get a closer look at rural life in a simple and comfortable setting.

English-speaking guide in a private transport (if you are from 1 to 3 persons, your guide will also be your driver).


Zumbahua - Cotopaxi Park - Lasso

Visit in the morning of the very typical Indian market of Zumbahua (only on Saturdays), the opportunity to observe how traditions have been conserved with the Andean Indians. You can find there anything from washing powder ti spices, chicken feet, fruits and vegetables, ponchos etc... the lower part of the market is dedicated to the sell of cattle: llamas, pigs, sheeps are negociated and sold to the best offer.

You will go north on the volcanoes Avenue to Lasso.

Today visit of the Cotopaxi national park with Ecuador's second highest summit at 5897 meters. It is also the highest active volcano in the world although it mainly shows a few fumaroles from its ice covered crater. But sometimes it launches a huge column smoke and ashes right upon its center.

Afterward, you will walk around the Limpiapungo laggon with stunning view on the Cotopaxi. You will appreciate the flora and some fauna, typical of the "paramo", those wide plains swept by the cold winds of the Andes.

After driving up to the car park at 4600 meters you will continue by foot to the José Rivas hut 200 meters higher.

The most motivated can also go and reach the snowline.

Due to the eruptive process of the volcano Cotopaxi initiated on August 14th, 2015, this information can be reviewed at any time, in accordance with the safety requirements of the Ecuadorian Coordination Ministry of National Security and our agency.

You will spend the night at Cuello de Luna Hotel in Lasso.

Dinner included at the "Cuello de Luna" hotel.

English-speaking guide in a private transport (if you are from 1 to 3 persons, your guide will also be your driver).


Lasso - Bombolí - Antisana

Departure in the morning on the Panamerican Road to the natural reserve of Bomboli.

Early arrival in the reserve, in the middle of the primary wet forest. Presentation of the reservation testing the homemade products made by Mariana.

 Then, they will make a tour of the Reserve, with observation of orchids, medicinal plants, bird watching, visit to the forest of thousand-year-old fern trees and waterfalls.

 They will take lunch on the farm.

You wil take the road to the Antisana volcano.

You will spend the night at the Hacienda Guaytara.

English-speaking guide in a private transport (if you are from 1 to 3 persons, your guide will also be your driver).


Antisana - Quitsato - Otavalo

Visit at the Antisana reserve, the fourth biggest mountain with snow in Ecuador (4704 meters altitude). You will discover typical landscapes of Páramo, different gaps and have the opportunity to see different species of birds among which is the condor.

Trip to Cayambe, at the foot of the volcanoe with the same name and in the surrounds of Otavalo.

Lunch at the restaurant "Balcon 2 Hemisferios", almost on the Ecuador line.

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.

You will leave Quitsato to arrive to Otavalo.

You will spend the night at Las Palmeras hotel close to Otavalo.

English-speaking guide in a private transport (if you are from 1 to 3 persons, your guide will also be your driver).


Cuicocha Lake - Otavalo - Alambi Reserve - Mindo

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.

Visit in the morning of the famous Otavalo's Indigenous market, the most significant in the Ecuador's Andes, where you can meet the "Otavaleños" 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. On other days the market is also hold on the Los Ponchos square.

Trip to Mindo, paradise for ornithologists and trekkers people.

It is one of the best place to observe hummingbirds. You will make a little stop over on the road to Mindo so as to see around a dozen of species of these magical and emblematic birds of this region.

Night at Sachatamia hotel.

Dinner included at Sachatamia

English-speaking guide in a private transport (if you are from 1 to 3 persons, your guide will also be your driver).


Mindo - Tulipe - Quito Historic Center


In the way to Nambillo, you will take a cable car to go to the other side of the valley and start your walk which will take you to three beautiful places where are the most beautiful waterfalls of the region. According to your wishes and physical condition, the walk can last from one to three hours.

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.

Departure from Mindo to Quito

You will stop at the archaeological site of Tulipe, home of the Yumbo civilization (800-1400).

The museum provides you with details on this ancient culture, traditions and rituals. In the region you will find the traditional "tolas" which are pyramids cut in half, made ​​with a mixture of mud and other materials. There are also important structures in shape of pools which are considered to have been used for sanation rituals.

Night in guest house in the historic center of Quito.

English-speaking guide in a private transport (if you are from 1 to 3 persons, your guide will also be your driver).


Quito - Quito Airport

Free time in the ecuadorian capital. You have multiple choices of activities according to what you have already visited and the free time you dispose of:

- handcrafts market in La Mariscal for your last gifts, or on Amazonas street;

- museums, according openning time: Alabado arqueological museum in Historic Center, Modern Artist Guayasamin museum in Bellavista area, Mindalae handcrafts museum in La Mariscal, Weilbauer arqueological museum in the Catholic University;

- Botanic garden in La Carolina Park with its magnificent collection or orchids;

- arqueological sites inside the city as Rumipamba or La Florida;

- a last walk in the Historic Center (ex.: La Ronda street);

- free time for thinking at a terrace of a bar in La Mariscal quarter.

Private transfer with spanish-speaking driver to Quito airport.

Transport with an english-speaking guide from your hotel to Quito's airport (if you are from 1 to 3 persons, your guide will also be your driver).