Days
9
Price from
£1,477GBP

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
Traveller’s rating
16 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

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

  • Enjoy a 1 night 'feature stay' in a converted 16th century residence in Quito's historical centre

  • 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

  • Enjoy a 2 night feature stay in a restored Hacienda nearby Cotopaxi volcano

  • 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

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Welcome to Quito, Ecuador! Your tour will begin with a welcome meeting at 6pm. 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 visit the Papallacta hot springs just outside of Quito.

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 or similar, Feature Stay (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning at approximately 9am you'll set out on a city tour. In addition to your tour leader you'll be accompanied by a specialist Historian guide for the old town tour, who will provide you with an in-depth and unique perspective of this city and its rich colonial history. As well as 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. First 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 in the afternoon, travel past the Avenue of Volcanoes (approximately 2 hours) to a lodge in the Cotopaxi area. We will arrive around 5pm and settle in for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hato Verde Hacienda or similar, Feature Stay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Quito - Historian led 'Old Town' city tour
  • Quito - Compañia de Jesus visit
  • Quito: Equator line museum visit
  • Equator Line - Museum visit
  • Equator Line - Pan Ice Cream 'Demonstration and Tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today after breakfast at about 8am you will travel approximately 2.5 hours (including a stop) 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. 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. After exploring Quilotoa, drive back to the lodge (approximately 2.5 hours) You will get back to the lodge at about 4pm, enjoy some free time before dinner.

Accommodation
  • Hato Verde Hacienda or similar, Feature Stay (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning at about 8am you'll depart the lodge and drive approximately 1 hour before reaching Cotopaxi National Park. Here you'll visit the highest active volcano on earth, Cotopaxi.
Entering the park you are at an altitude of approximately 3600mts above sea level. You will ascend a further 200 metres by car before reaching your destination, Limpiopungo lagoon.
Soak in the incredible scenery of the area under formidable snow-capped peak. Keep an eye out for park wildlife, including condors, foxes, deer, spectacled bears, and more. You will spend approximately 1-2 hours in the National Park.
Your next destination is Banos. From Cotopaxi National Park the drive will take approximately 1.5 hours, including a stop. This town is a traveller's secret delight. It sits in a beautiful valley surrounded by green mountains, filled with waterfalls and hot springs. Arriving at approximately 4pm you'll have some free time, perhaps head to the hot springs for a soak.
Accommodation
  • Sangay Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cotopaxi - National Park visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Banos has traditionally been known as the outdoor centre of Ecuador with a number of popular high risk activities being offered to foreign and national tourists alike. The safety of our travellers and staff is our first priority. As such, we at Peregrine have gone through our due processes and assessed local suppliers and their safety standards in Banos. Unfortunately, to date none of the local operators in the area have been able to pass Peregrine's minimum safety standards. As a consequence, we have instructed local leaders to share with you our safety concerns, discourage travellers from taking these type of activities at this destination and strictly forbid them from helping travellers arrange these activities at this location. Fortunately, Banos has plenty more to offer than high risk activities and we are confident that you will have a great time exploring the area under the guidance of our knowledgeable local leaders
This morning at about 9am you'll have an included visit to the Devil's Cauldron waterfall. The drive up to the waterfall is approximately 40 minutes. The walk to the waterfall takes approximately one hour each way, is reasonably easy and can be done at your own pace. Once you reach the waterfall, there's a platform that takes you quite close. It's quite popular to have a picture taken here and we do recommend doing so, however please make sure you bring a rain jacket or poncho and a waterproof case or water tight snap-lock bag to keep your camera dry and any valuables dry. Afterwards you will head back to Banos town, just in time for some lunch at your own leisure. Of course your tour leader will recommend some great places to eat.
Soon after lunch you'll drive approximately 30 minutes to Casa del Arbol, a treehouse on the edge of a canyon. Here on a clear day you will have views of Mt. Tungurahua, a nearby active volcano from its precarious perch. You'll head back down to Banos Town, arriving around 4pm. This afternoon you'll have some free time. On weekdays, experience peace and tranquillity as you stroll through the town and its neighbouring hills. 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 - Devil's Cauldron visit
Optional Activities
  • Steam 'Box' Baths - USD8
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leaving Banos today at about 9am, you'll head to Cuenca, widely considered the most beautiful city in Ecuador. The drive takes approximately 7-8 hours, (including stops) 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
  • Carvallo Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning starts at about 9am with a visit to Ingapirca ruins, Located around 40 minutes to an 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 in the afternoon, 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. The walking tour will go for around 3 hours. Later your leader will offer the group an optional visit to Turi viewpoint, where you will see spectacular views of Cuenca city.
Included Activities
  • Cuenca - Leader Led Orientation walk
  • Cuenca - Historian led tour of old Cuenca
  • Cuenca - Turi View Point
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today begins nice an early. You will depart at approximately 5am or earlier depending on your flight departure time to Lima. Drive through the mountains (approximately 5-6 hours, including stops) until you reach the border with Peru. You'll farewell your Ecuadorian leader. The border crossing can take up to an hour. Once in Peru you'll be transferred to Tumbes Airport from where you will take 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)
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.
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
Special Information
Some departures of this trip are part of a combination trip. As such, some of your fellow travellers may be continuing on longer itineraries from Lima, to start the second part of their trip – Ecuador, Peru & Bolivia (PSQPC) or South America in Depth (PSSIC).

Meals

8 breakfasts

Transport

Plane, Boat, Bus, Private vehicle, Canoe

Accommodation

Hotel Feature Stay (1 night), Hacienda Feature Stay (2 nights) Hotel (5 nights)

Included Activities

  • Quito - Historian led 'Old Town' city tour
  • Quito - Compañia de Jesus visit
  • Quito: Equator line museum visit
  • Equator Line - Museum visit
  • Equator Line - Pan Ice Cream 'Demonstration and Tasting
  • Cotopaxi - National Park visit
  • Banos - Devil's Cauldron visit
  • Cuenca - Leader Led Orientation walk
  • Cuenca - Historian led tour of old Cuenca
  • Cuenca - Turi View Point
  • Tips for services you receive as part of your trip including drivers, specialist local guides & porters (excluding your tour leader)

Reviews

Our Ecuador to Peru Explorer trips score an average of 4.81 out of 5 based on 16 reviews in the last year.

Ecuador to Peru Explorer, September 2017

Robert Hancock

Ecuador to Peru Explorer, August 2017

Kim Taylor

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Essential trip information

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