7 days

Ecuador Discovery

Ecuador Discovery

Cotopaxi - the highest active snow-capped volcano in the world

Papallacta’s thermal springs

Otovalo Markets

Trip rating
  • Why we love it

    • Straddling the equator with a foot in each hemisphere Ecuador is a small country, but also one of amazing colour and incredible diversity. On this tour we are introduced to the many facets of this vibrant place.
    • As well as having a rich cultural and artistic heritage, Quito is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in South America and a walk in the Centro Historico is akin to a stroll back to a bygone era.
    • A notable highlight is the splendid La Compania Church, with its interior all gilded in gold.
    • Heading down the ‘Avenue of Volcanoes’, we make an early start to Cotopaxi National Park and the perfectly conical-shaped Cotopaxi (5897m).
    • After braving the chilly winds as we view this very impressive volcano, there is nothing better than soaking in the thermal hot springs at Papallacta.
    • Make a stop at a temperate mountain forest and enjoy a walk to spot of some of Ecuador’s incredible birdlife, especially the amazing hummingbirds.
    • Continue to the world famous indigenous market of Otavalo, all manner of local goods and wares are on sale, but it will be hard not to be dazzled by the colourful textile and intricate jewellery


    Day 1 - Quito

    • On arrival at Quito Airport you are transferred to your hotel. Your tour will begin with a welcome meeting at 2pm followed by a city walking tour. Please ask the hotel reception for details of the meeting's location.
    • Quito sits 2,850 metres above sea level, under the towering Volcan Pichincha. It is a beautiful city, arguably one of the most beautiful in South America. The city stretches along the valley and is surrounded by the Andes. The Old Town of Quinto is awash with history, with more than 30 churches to explore, and a number of fascinating museums. La Compania de Jesus is considered to be the most beautiful church in the Americas, and is definitely one of the most ornate. Calle La Ronda is Quito's oldest street, and it is well worth exploring.
    • Note: Quito is located at 2850 metres above sea level. At this altitude you may experience some of the milder effects of altitude sickness, such as dizziness, insomnia and a shortness of breath. If so, we recommend you avoid any strenuous activity. Before departing it is wise to check with your doctor if you have any pre-existing medical conditions that may make the impact of altitude more difficult or dangerous for you. While your tour operators are trained in first aid and know where the closest medical facilities are, it is integral that you monitor your own health and seek assistance where necessary.
    Cafe Cultura

    Day 2 - Otavalo

    • Today you will travel to the famous Equator line and museum.
    • After you will travel on to a nearby town called Otavalo today, stopping en route to taste biscochos, a typical local pastry. Upon arrival in Otavalo, you will have free time to explore the town
    • The town is famous for its market, one of the most significant indigenous markets in Ecuador. Villagers from the surrounding area travel to Otavalo each week to sell their wears. You will find everything from handmade goods to fruit and vegetables and livestock. Many of the regional indigenous communities still wear traditional dress of intricately woven fabrics and the men often wear their hair in long ponytails.
    Cusin Hacienda or similar

    Day 3 - Otavalo- Papallacta

    • You will have the opportunity to explore the Otavalo market today, before travelling along the Avenue of Volcanoes to Papallacta.
    • Upon arrival you will have the remainder of the day free to relax at the hot springs and enjoy stunning views of the snow-capped Antisana Volcano.
    Termas De Papallacta spa & hotel or similar

    Day 4-5 - Cotopaxi

    • You will travel south today, again passing along the avenue of Volcanoes to reach a local lodge. The trip will take around three hours.
    • On day 5 you will have a full day visit to Quilotoa Lagoon.
    Chuquiruagua Lodge or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 6 - Cotopaxi- Quito

    • You will start your day with a walk around Laguna de Limpiopungo (weather permitting) into Cotopaxi National Park and if the weather permits you can go up to the refuge of the volcano before travelling back to Quito today.
    Cafe Cultura

    Day 7 - Quito

    • Your trip will come to an end after breakfast today.
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • Arrival transfer to the Peregrine joining hotel.
    • Accommodation 6 nights comfortable hotel.
    • All transport within the itinerary.
    • Sightseeing where mentioned in the itinerary
    • The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour leader and professional local guides at some sites.
    • Otavalo Market visit.

    Not Included

    • International flights, airport departure tax, visas where required, meals not included in the itinerary, insurance, laundry, any optional tours or activities during free time, tips and items of a personal nature
    • Airport departure tax
    • Visas where required
    • Meals not included in the itinerary
    • Insurance
    • Laundry
    • Any optional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips
    • Items of a personal nature

    Safety Information

    Active Volcanoes
    This tour passes through volcanic areas.  In the instance that a volcano becomes potentially dangerous and authorities declare nearby towns unsafe for travel, the itinerary will be re-routed. Where possible, Peregrine will provide advance notice of such changes. At short notice, when this is not possible, your tour leader will provide up to date information on behalf of Peregrine.

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Ecuador Discovery

    Janine - Australia, 26 Jun, 2013
    Overall Rating

    I had a ball, and I want to come back. The great accommodation was really unexpected. I loved the trip, especially cotapa I, guango lodge and. Cayambe. I always felt comfortable even though I was travelling solo. It would have been good to have alternative dinner options at the haciendas.

    Ecuador Discovery

    JOHN - Australia, 5 Dec, 2012
    Overall Rating
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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PSED
Group size 4 - 16
Start City: Quito
End City: Quito
Style: Small Group

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