Well-being and Hidden Nature Tour in Ecuador

Unveil Ecuador's hidden natural wonders in a 14 day Well Being Tour

This tour combines well-being and nature, offering a delightful trip focused on your pleasure and the discovery of Ecuador’s natural treasures.

The local population draws inspiration from these elements to create their ancestral recipes, including skincare products. With its four unique worlds, Ecuador will captivate your heart while nurturing your body.

Length of stay: 14 days

Kind: Luxury

Fix: For all public

Countries visited: Ecuador

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64 travelers reviews 4.8 / 5

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Day 1 : Quito Airport

Welcome to Ecuador !

A proverb says *Traveling leaves you speechless at first, before turning you into a storyteller*

… Let the adventure start in the country of the middle of the world ! Chulla vida ! Reception at the airport by an english-speaking guide. Private transfer with spanish-speaking driver from Quito airport to your hotel. Night at the Hotel Adamas in Standard room.

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Day 2 : Quito Historic Center

English-speaking guide in a private transport. Quito stands out for its topography spread out from north to south, in an Andean corridor flanked by the Pichincha volcano and the valley where the airport is located. But it is above all the largest and most preserved colonial city on the continent.

Then you will visit the colonial and republican center of Quito :

– the Panecillo, the statue of the Virgin of Quito, located on top of a hill overlooking the city;
– the Church of the Society of Jesus (of the Jesuits), the most gold-laden church in South America;
– the Church of San Francisco (of the Franciscans) and its convent/museum;
– the Plaza Grande where the Presidential Palace (Carondelet) and the Cathedral of Quito are located;
– the district of La Ronda for its craftsmen. Night at the Hotel Adamas in Standard room.

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Day 3 : Quito

English-speaking guide in a private transport. Departure from Quito to follow a scenic road through the Equatorial cloudy forest to the Mindo area, a unique place for its biodiversity. Visit of a butterfly farm where you will discover the metamorphosis process of butterflies with the possibility to appreciate the different stages: eggs, larvae, chrysalises… and finally the multicoloured butterflies in flight: the famous blue morphs, the owl’s eyes , the papilionids, etc. You will visit the chocolate factory El Quetzal where you will enjoy one of the most delicious chocolates of the country after having seen the manufacturing process. It’s a perfect opportunity to buy a special gift to you family and friends. Night at Terrabambu Lodge in Suite room (Standard category).

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Day 4 : Mindo

English-speaking guide in a private transport. Trip to Otavalo, famous for its handcrafts. Visit of the Cuicocha lake, 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.

For the more sporty, you can walk around the lagoon. You will visit the indigenous market of Otavalo, the most famous Ecuadorian handicraft market in the Andes.

There you will meet the indigenous Otavaleños wearing espadrilles, brown felt hats and a blue poncho on their shoulders. They are the most prosperous indigenous people in Ecuador and are formidable traders.

Obviously this market has a very developed tourist aspect, but it is one of the country’s must-sees. Lunch, dinner and night at the Hacienda Zuleta in Standard room .

This place is a kind of historical summary going from the Caranquis period, a pre-inca population (800 b. J.C.), to the modern era (adquired by a former ecuadorian president). Passing through the Inca occupation at the end of the 15th century and later with the Jesuits during the colonial period. This property of 2112 hectares is an ecological and culinary destination. You can visit the cheese factory, the organic production areas, go trekking in the pre-incas area or on the tracks of the condors.

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Day 5 : San Clemente

English-speaking guide in a private transport. San Clemente is a karanqui community, a branch of the large Quechua-speaking family living on the slopes of Imbabura.

A member of the community will serve as your guide to share their way of life, culture and traditions.

This village is one of the few where you can enjoy a real exchange.

You will discover its handicrafts, the work in the fields and the breeding of guinea pigs. And you will pass by the path of medicinal plants. And you will be told about the Andean cosmovision, illustrated by a sundial that will allow you to understand the agricultural rhythms.

Finally, you will share a meal with one of the families of the village based on organic products because they are traditionally cultivated without chemical fertilizers. You will take a tour of the medicinal plant path used by the community for its care. Then you will spend some time with the village healer and other plant connoisseurs to learn about their uses. You will also learn about the importance of these plants in the cosmovision of the Kayambis Indians. Lunch, dinner and night at the Hacienda Zuleta in Standard room .

This place is a kind of historical summary going from the Caranquis period, a pre-inca population (800 b. J.C.), to the modern era (adquired by a former ecuadorian president). Passing through the Inca occupation at the end of the 15th century and later with the Jesuits during the colonial period. This property of 2112 hectares is an ecological and culinary destination. You can visit the cheese factory, the organic production areas, go trekking in the pre-incas area or on the tracks of the condors.

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Day 6 : Otavalo

English-speaking guide in a private transport. You will reach the region of Papallacta at about 3220 meters above sea level in the middle of nature against the backdrop of two majestic Andean volcanoes, the Cayambe and the Antisana. You will spend 2 hours at the hacienda of the *Compañia de Jesús*, a French neo-classical style property.

At the heart of this experience: the roses with a visit to the adjoining plantation. We will explain the whole process from cultivation to the preparation of the bouquets before export. You will also learn the technique of colouring the roses.

Ecuadorian roses are reputed to be the most beautiful in the world, due in part to the mineral elements from the volcanoes.

To top it all off, visit the showroom! The old stables have been adapted for the pleasure of the eyes by offering an impressive show of hundreds of roses of different varieties. Stop at Quitsato, on the genuine 0° latitude: a giant sundial marks the line of the Equator. We will explain to you the phenomena observable from this authentic place in our opinion and of importance for the civilizations that preceded us. You will be able to discover how the local people integrate seasonal rhythms and activities into the agricultural calendar and what it means, between sky and nature. Break at the Papallacta Hot Springs, in the private part of the Termas Papallacta Hotel. A little bath in the hot waters with an invigorating air when you come out can only make you gain colors.

Be aware, however, that it can get cold at times and if you are afraid of sudden changes in temperature, it is best to refrain from doing so.

In this case, a restaurant-cafeteria will serve as a refuge to admire the superb high altitude vegetation of this area.

You will also be able to use all types of treatments (massage,…) whose cost will be paid on the spot. Night at Termas Papallacta hotel, two steps from the thermal baths, in Standard room.

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Day 7 : Papallacta

English-speaking guide in a private transport. Departure from Papallacta for a trip to the exotic Oriente. You will enjoy on the way various landscapes as you will cross a mountain pass at 4000 meters before descending to the Amazonian basin at an elevation of approximately 900 meters. You will have many opportunities to take photos on the road to Archidona, of the green valleys and the amazing waterfalls. A short walk through the jungle will take you to this magnificent waterfall which falls into a large natural pool, the perfect place for a refreshing dip on a hot day.

Along the way you will be able to appreciate the flora and some typical jungle animals and insects. You will spend the night at the Hamadryade Lodge. You will have various activity options:

– Relaxation by the pool;

– Walking on the trails of the lodge;

– Visit the village of Misahualli on the banks of the Napo River;

– Take a walk to the Latas waterfalls;

– Dinner at the lodge’s panoramic restaurant from where you can enjoy the view of the jungle and the Rio Napo.

– Option of a relaxing massage next to the fire in the outdoor massage room.

*NOTE: these options have different prices to be agreed on site or with your guide.*

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Day 8 : Archidona

English-speaking guide in a private transport. You will join the community of Santa Rita where you will learn more about the origin of the cocoa selected by the manufacturer Pacari. You will see how the cocoa is processed as well as all the technical process necessary to create the unique taste of Pacari chocolate.

During your walk through the plantations, you should go through petroglyphs. These are the ancestral traces of the native cultures that inhabited this area, known as the Sacred Valley of the Anaconda. You will also look for ripe cocoa pods to taste the flesh coating the beans, sweet and slightly tart .

You will also learn how to make chocolate paste and hot chocolate. You will learn the complete process of cocoa making with local secrets. You will spend the night at the Hamadryade Lodge. You will have various activity options:

– Relaxation by the pool;

– Walking on the trails of the lodge;

– Visit the village of Misahualli on the banks of the Napo River;

– Take a walk to the Latas waterfalls;

– Dinner at the lodge’s panoramic restaurant from where you can enjoy the view of the jungle and the Rio Napo.

– Option of a relaxing massage next to the fire in the outdoor massage room.

*NOTE: these options have different prices to be agreed on site or with your guide.*

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Day 9 : Misahualli

English-speaking guide in a private transport. You will take the road towards Baños and take *La Ruta de Cascadas* along the deep and deep gorges of the Pastaza River. You will observe the change of ecosystems as you climb from 950m to 1800m with spectacular views of the upper Amazon basin and a dozen waterfalls. You will make a stop at the Amazon Monkey Rehabilitation Center, called Paseo de los Monos, where you will be in direct contact with some of the animals. Six species of monkeys are present, the objective being to help some sick or isolated individuals to be released. You will visit the Pailón del Diablo , the most famous waterfalls in the country. You will discover them by descending to a viewpoint where you can appreciate this powerful waterfall, which is made up of three sections, the highest of which is 80 metres high. From its vertiginous stairs try to find the shape of the face of the devil who gave the name to the waterfall.

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 . Night at Samari hotel in Standard room.

You can relax in the spa or enjoy the swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna or turkish bath at your disposal. Possibility to have a massage to reserve on site. You will enjoy one hour of massage included in the hotel’s Spa in the *Integral well-being* version, including different techniques of relaxing massages, transporting you in an ideal state.

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Day 10 : Banos

English-speaking guide in a private transport. You will go to the north on the Quilotoa area. Arrival in the small village which overhangs the Quilotoa lagoon whose edges culminate at 3914 m. This crater lake, undoubtedly the most spectacular of the whole country, will surprise you by its waters oscillating between emerald green and turquoise blue. The reflections of the clouds and the color of the skies are generally a spectacle that will not leave your camera at rest. The lagoon is nestled in the hollow of a volcano that would be considered still active.

A legend tells that the Inca Atahualpa is said to have hidden a treasure in the lagoon, which gives it an extra dimension…

If you wish, you can make the descent to the bottom of the crater to the edge of the lagoon in about 2 hours round trip. Or you can hike on the trail around the lagoon, if you have 5 to 6 hours. A must-see stop is the Shalala Mirador, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the caldera of Quilotoa Lake from a modern infrastructure built as part of a community project. On the way to Riobamba you will stop in the area of Tigua which specialty is the colored painting on sheep leather representing the life in the Andes. Arrival in Riobamba, a peaceful Andean town totally rebuilt after the 1797 earthquake. Night at La Andaluza hacienda in Standard room.

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Day 11 : Riobamba

English-speaking guide in a private transport. On the way to Ingapirca, you will have a stop at the Colta lake and the Balbanera church, the first built in Ecuador in 1534. Visit of Ingapirca. It is the most important Inca site in Ecuador and here the stone is full of history and legends. Ingapirca was built by the Inca Huayna Capac in the 15th century. It was an imposing fortress housing a temple, warehouses and an observatory made of stones assembled without mortar. This complex was certainly a tambo (relay) along the Inca royal road from Quito to Cuenca. The locals also see the shape of a puma.

There is a path near the site where Inganahui is located, the face of the Inca that rain and wind carved into the rock, probably inspired by Inca powers. You will then reach the beautiful city of Cuenca, by a road winding through the middle of the Andes and offering magnificent panoramas of the colorful patchwork of typical agricultural crops and the last high volcanoes of southern Ecuador. Night at Mansion Alcazar hotel in Casona room (Standard category).

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Day 12 : Cuenca

English-speaking guide in a private transport. The city of Cuenca has an indefinable charm. This colonial city, classified as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, combines a warm and lively atmosphere with splendid historical buildings, with colonial and republican style.

To appreciate its warm colors, you will stroll among the paved streets, lined with white houses with Romanesque tile roofs and flowered wrought iron balconies. Cuenca is also unique for the treasures of colonial art that it shelters in the heart of its churches and convents of the 17th and 18th centuries.

During this day you will discover:

– the historical centre and the colonial houses;
– the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the old Cathedral;
– the flower square with its market;
– the local markets to soak up the local life;
– the city’s churches, such as Santo Domingo and San Francisco;
– the Pumapungo Museum, with its ethnographic collections, as well as colonial and modern art;
– a Panama hat factory to discover the different stages in the manufacture of this Ecuadorian headgear, which became famous during the construction of the Panama Canal. Relaxing moment in the Piedra de Agua therms in Cuenca city. You will be able to enjoy the Spa circuit of about 1h30, with its thermal inside and outside pools, rain showers and its steam baths. If you want, you could reserve a massage but already have access to the volcanic mud pool. Night at Mansion Alcazar hotel in Casona room (Standard category).

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Day 13 : Cuenca

English-speaking guide in a private transport. You will follow up Western cordillera to Cajas park where you will enjoy stunning views over the many lakes of this protected area. Cajas National Park is located in the southern Ecuadorian Andes and comprises a complex of 235 lagoons of glacial origin, connected to each other by small rivers.

The park includes several stretches of the Qhapaq Ñan, the famous Royal Inca Trail, which connects the coast with the highlands, the north to the south, and served as a network for the management of the empire.

You will be able to hike with a local guide. The choice of the path will be made on the spot according to the duration and difficulty. Journey to get to Guayaquil, Ecuador’s biggest city and economical capital.

Down from the mountains you will pass by fertiles lowlands with huge orchards and banana plantations before arriving to Guayaquil. You will start your visit to Guayaquil by walking through the main streets of the city. You will pass by the neo-gothic cathedral and next to it the Simon Bolivar park whose main attraction is the hundred green iguanas measuring sometimes more than one meter that wander freely.

You will then continue towards the walk along the Guayas River, called here Malecón 2000. You will visit the colonial district Las Peñas to admire its architecture and its numerous art galleries. From Fort Santa Ana you will have a panoramic view of Guayaquil and its river. Night at Wyndham Guayaquil hotel, close to the Guayas river and offering a great view in Deluxe room (Standard category).

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Day 14 : Guayaquil Airport

Private transfer to Guayaquil airport. Free connection with your international flight.

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