Days
9
Price from
£1,330GBP

Nestled high up in the Andes, Ecuador may be small but it’s brimming with sights. Explore the country’s highlights, discover the colonial streets of Quito and Cuenca. Visit the highest active volcano in the world! End your tour in Lima, Peru's capital city.


Start
Quito, Ecuador
Finish
Lima, Peru
Countries
Ecuador, Peru
Style
Peregrine
Code
PSQL
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • While Quito's main cathedral is perhaps more famous, the baroque masterpiece of La Compania de Jesus rivals any church in the world for beauty and architecture

  • Take a tour of Quito with our specialist historian guide and discover places of the standard tourist trail

  • The active volcano of Cotopaxi is the highest in the world. Hike through Cotopaxi National Park towards the volcano's perfectly cone-shaped peak, looking out for wildlife along the way

  • Explore Cuenca from a different perspective while taking a tour with a true Ceuncano, you will discover parts of Cuenca not many other travellers have the opportunity to see

Is this trip right for you?

  • Due to the high altitude of many of the places we visit some people can suffer altitude sickness, regardless of age, gender or fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary! Some people aren’t effected at all, but if you are, be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t push yourself too hard. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information about altitude sickness.

Itinerary

Welcome to Quito, Ecuador! Your tour will begin with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please check with hotel reception or look on the reception noticeboard for where and when the meeting will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. Quito is one of the most beautiful cities in South America, sitting at 2,850 metres above sea level, beneath the snow capped Volcan Pichincha. As we don't spend much time in Quito during the trip, why not arrive early and make the most of your time here? You'll be taken on a guided tour of Old Town and some of the famous sites tomorrow, but perhaps you'd like to explore Cotopaxi National Park, home to the country's famous volcano, or take the TelefériQo Cruz Loma, a gondola lift over the city.

Notes: Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit including Quito, Lima and Cusco, some people can suffer altitude sickness regardless of age, gender or fitness. Please see the 'Fitness' sectionin the trip notes for detailed information.
Accommodation
  • Patio Andaluz Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning you'll set out on a city tour. In addition to your tour leader you'll be accompanied by a specialist Historian guide who will provide you with an in-depth and unique perspective of this city and its rich colonial history. In addition to visiting the popular sites of Quito, our expert guide will point out the otherwise unnoticed features and take you off the standard tourist trail to explore places not easily discoverable. You'll explore Quito's Old Town with its countless churches, engrossing history and wonderful museums. Along the way you'll see La Compania de Jesus, the most beautiful church in the Americas, and Calle La Ronda, Quito's oldest street. Next, head north of the city for about 45 minutes to reach the Middle of the World monument, which was built by the French in the 17th century at the precise location of the equator. You'll enter the monument and then visit the local Inti Nan museum, where you can see different experiments to prove that you're at the Centre of the Earth. After visiting the Equator line you will make a quick stop at a local sorbet shop. 'Helados de paila’ a sorbet prepared in large copper pans (pailas) kept cool on a bed of straw and ice, into which fruit, sugar and water is stirred. You will observe a demonstration of how the sorbet is made. Following this, you’ll have the opportunity to try some! Later, travel past the Avenue of Volcanoes (approximately 2 hours) to a lodge in the Cotopaxi area where you'll spend the night.
Accommodation
  • Chuquirahua Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Equator line - Museum visit
  • Quito - Compañia de Jesus visit
  • Quito - Panecillo Hill
  • Quito - Intiñan Museum visit
  • Quito - Old Town orientation walk
  • Quito - Historian led city tour
  • Equator Line - Pan Ice Cream 'Demonstration and Tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today after breakfast travel approximately 2.5 hours to Quilotoa, a lake-filled dormant volcano. Although this stunning lagoon looks like a crater-lake, it's technically a caldera formed by the collapse of a volcano. Quilotoa is located at an altitude of 3,900 metres. Be prepared with warm clothes as it can get quite cold!
You'll have the option to hike down to the lake. The walk down hill takes approximately 40 minutes. After exploring Quilotoa, drive back to the lodge (approximately 2.5 hours), where the rest of your day is free.

Notes: Please note that the the walk back up to the top can take up to 1.5 hours and is quite strenuous, mainly due to the sandy and steep path. Please speak to your leader if you're concerned about this as you may decide to stay at the top, go for a walk along the crater or simply relax and take in the stunning views.
Accommodation
  • Chuquirahua Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Quilotoa - Crater visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll visit the highest active volcano on earth, Cotopaxi. Soak in the incredible scenery of the area under formidable snow-capped peak, then hit the road again on your way to Banos. This town is a traveller's secret delight. It sits in a beautiful valley surrounded by green mountains, filled with waterfalls and hot springs.
Accommodation
  • Sangay Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cotopaxi - National Park visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you'll have an included visit to to the Devil's Cauldron waterfall. Afterwards, drive up to Casa del Arbol, a treehouse on the edge of a canyon. This afternoon you'll have some free time. On weekdays, experience peace and tranquility as you stroll through the town and its neighbouring hills, or perhaps go for a swim. On the weekend, get to know the louder side of Banos when it fills with carnival-like festivals. For those who like to get active, Banos also has plenty of adventure sports available.

Notes: Due to Peregrine's safety policy our leaders are only allowed to recommend or assist with activities that have been through our safety assessment.
Accommodation
  • Sangay Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Banos - Casa del Arbol visit
  • Banos - Devil's Cauldron visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leaving Banos today, you'll head to Cuenca, widely considered the most beautiful city in Ecuador. The drive takes approximately 7-8 hours, arriving in the late afternoon. Cuenca has an old-world ambience with historical streets, 16th and 17th century buildings, and a Cathedral erected by the Spanish in 1557. The area was conquered by the Inca well before Spanish times and was said to be so beautiful that it rivalled Peru's Cusco. It's now a UNESCO world heritage site.
Accommodation
  • Victoria Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today starts with a visit to Ingapirca ruins, Located about 1 hour away from Cuenca Ingapirca are the largest known Inca ruins in Ecuador. Wander around the site and see the famous Temple of the Sun before returning to Cuenca. Later, set off to discover Cuenca from a different perspective…from Genaro’s perspective! Genaros is a local “Cuencano” whose passion for Cuenca’s history, art and architecture is contagious. Let him show you some of Cuenca’s main attractions, but also be prepared to witness a side of this town that not many travellers have the opportunity to see.
Accommodation
  • Victoria Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cuenca - Ingapirca Ruins
  • Cuenca - Leader Led Orientation walk
  • Cuenca - Historian led tour of old houses
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive through the mountains today (approximately 4-5 hours) until you reach the border with Peru. Here you'll be transferred to Tumbes Airport. You'll farewell your Ecuadorian leader before taking an included flight to Lima. Please note this flight will be unescorted, however you will be met by our Peruvian representative upon arrival at Lima airport. The rest of the day will be free for you to relax or step out into this brand new city.
Accommodation
  • Antigua Miraflores or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tips for services you receive as part of your trip including drivers, specialist local guides & porters (excluding your tour leader)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning your trip comes to an end. There are no planned activities today so if you are departing, flights can be booked for any time. If you wish to further explore Lima then please check out our Lima Independent Experience (PSLIX) which can be found on our website along with may other independent Experiences that have daily departures.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

8 breakfasts

Transport

Plane, Boat, Bus, Private vehicle, Canoe

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights), Lodge (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Equator line - Museum visit
  • Quito - Compañia de Jesus visit
  • Quito - Panecillo Hill
  • Quito - Intiñan Museum visit
  • Quito - Old Town orientation walk
  • Quito - Historian led city tour
  • Equator Line - Pan Ice Cream 'Demonstration and Tasting
  • Quilotoa - Crater visit
  • Cotopaxi - National Park visit
  • Banos - Casa del Arbol visit
  • Banos - Devil's Cauldron visit
  • Cuenca - Ingapirca Ruins
  • Cuenca - Leader Led Orientation walk
  • Cuenca - Historian led tour of old houses
  • Tips for services you receive as part of your trip including drivers, specialist local guides & porters (excluding your tour leader)

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Essential Trip Information

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