Ecuador: Amazon, Hot Springs & Volcanoes

Quito to Quito

9 days from 1,169 pp

Get in touch with the power of the planet on this nine-day adventure packed with many of Ecuador’s natural wonders. Hike through the greener-than-green Amazon jungle with a local naturalist guide at your side, slip into the celebrated (and restorative) hot springs of Papallacta, enjoy lunch with the residents of an Andean community, and spend a night at a historic hacienda. Let this force of nature blow you away.
Need a flight to go with your holiday?  We can help with that too!  Just give us a call.

9 Quito to Quito

From 1,169 per person

Is this tour for me?

 

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

 

Service Level: Upgraded

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

 

Physical Rating: 2 – Light

Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

 

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 16, Avg 10

 

Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Day 1: Quito

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

Booking pre- or post-trip accommodation is highly recommended to fully experience the city and take advantage of the optional activities available.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting:
1h

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Private Vehicle:
Quito

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

 

Hotel Quito (or similar):
Hotel
Day 2: Quito/Otavalo

Drive to the highlands with a stop at the community of Peguche for a local lunch. Continue to Otavalo and visit the famous handicraft market. Stay the night at a historic highlands hacienda.

Spend a night in the Otavalo area and visit its world famous handicrafts market, the largest in South America. Villagers from the surrounding countryside come here every week to sell handmade goods as well as livestock, fruits, and vegetables.

One of the most obvious signs of the Otavaleños’ cultural integrity is their traditional dress. This is not just worn for the tourists at the Saturday market, but is worn throughout their daily life.

Otavalo is famous both for its friendly people and its Saturday animal market. The market dates back to pre-Inca times when jungle products were transported from the eastern lowlands and traded for highland goods. Today’s market has two different functions: the local market for buying and selling animals, food, and other essentials, and the crafts market for the tourists and other interested people.

Private Vehicle:
Quito – Otavalo2h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Peguche Community Visit:
Peguche

Visit the small highlands weaving community of Peguche. Meet locals in this traditional Andean community and enjoy an included lunch.

Otavalo Handicrafts Market Visit:
Otavalo

Discover some amazing local art, tapestries, and textiles at Otavalo’s famous artisan market, the largest handicraft market in South America. Wander the stalls to meet local artists, and find one-of-a-kind souvenirs. Try to arrive early for the best bargains (it starts at dawn), and try your hand at haggling – it’s expected for every purchase. A good negotiator could get at least 20 per cent off the starting price.

 

Accommodation:

Hotel Pinsaqui (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 3: Otavalo/Papallacta

Visit the home and studio of Don Miguel, and learn how the Indigenous people of the Otavalo region have used the backstrap loom to create their woven goods. Continue to the Papallacta Hot Springs Resort for onsite hot springs, optional spa treatments, and hiking excursions. There is plenty of time to soak, relax, and enjoy the mountain views.

Private Vehicle:
Otavalo – Papallacta2h-3h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Otavalo Weaving Lesson:

Visit the home and studio of Don Miguel, a man working to keep his culture’s traditions alive. For thousands of years the indigenous people of the Otavalo region have used the backstrap loom to create their woven goods, however new technologies have slowly been pushing out the tradition. Learn how Don Miguel and his family are working to help revive this ancient art as he demonstrates every step of the process, from cleaning the wool, to naturally dyeing it, to backstrap weaving.

Recharge: Papallacta Hot Springs Visit:

Soak in the natural hot springs the area is known for and let the mineral waters soothe sore muscles.

Free Time:
Papallacta

Enjoy the afternoon at leisure, as you relax and soak in the natural hot springs.

 

Hiking Excursion:
Papallacta

Head out to explore. Take a hike or walk in the areas surrounding Papallacta. Enjoy the region’s great natural beauty and views of the snow-capped Antisana Volcano.

 

Accommodation:

Hotel Termas Papallacta (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 4: Papallacta/Tena

Visit Guango private cloud forest reserve for a walk with our CEO to learn about the unique flora and fauna of the region. Enjoy a visit to Misahualli to visit the cheeky Capuchin monkeys who call this town home. Continue to Tena to catch our motorized canoe to the Amazon lodge. Settle in and receive a briefing from the local naturalist guide about the lodge and area. After, embark on a night walk with the naturalist guide to learn about nocturnal creatures of the Amazon.

The lodge is located along the bank of the Arajuno River approx. 40min. from Tena. We stay in comfortable cabañas next to the river, which have private bathroom with hot water in the rainfall-shower, electricity and a balcony. From your balcony, you can relax in a hammock or deck chair and observe hummingbirds, shore river birds and butterflies. In the evening, listen to the night music of the multitude of frogs and other nocturnal creatures. The Lodge also has an open-air lounge with pool and full service bar, all connected by a raised and roofed boardwalk to guests rooms.

The lodge is dedicated to protecting the pristine jungle environment and has a dedicated recycling program, energy conservation program and offer biodegradable amenities including shampoo and shower gel in the bathrooms.

Private Vehicle:
Papallacta – Tena2h-3h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Guango Cloud Forest Excursion:
Tena

Enjoy an excursion to Guango private cloud forest reserve. Take a guided walk with our CEO to learn about this unique environment, flora and fauna. A bird lovers paradise, keep your eyes peeled for a variety of parrots, toucans, tanagers and more. We will also enjoy the orchid garden lunch at the lodge and observe a multitude of dive-bombing hummingbirds. Seeing 14 species of hummingbirds within an hour is not uncommon, and the Sword-billed hummingbird with it’s unique, long bill is sure to amaze you.

Amazon Night Walk:
Tena

Embark on a night walk with a local naturalist guide to learn about nocturnal creatures of the Amazon. A flashlight and camera are the most important tools on this excursion, which allows us to hear the nocturnal sounds of the forest and to search out bats, owls, a variety of insects, tarantulas, toads and frogs, and possibly snakes. If the sky is clear, we might have the chance to do some stargazing.

 

Accommodation:

Itamandi Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 5: Tena

Depart early by canoe to visit a parrot clay lick (Saladero). With our naturalist guide view parrots and parakeets who gather to eat the mineral-rich clay which helps them digest fruits or seeds. Return to the lodge for breakfast then continue on to visit AmaZOOnico, an animal rescue centre that rehabilitates, reintroduces, and cares for animals who are victims of illegal trafficking. Later, enjoy a unique cultural experience at a local family’s home. Meet the family, learn about their traditions and what daily life is like, living in the Amazon.

Parrot Clay Lick Excursion:
Tena

Visit a parrot clay lick (Saladero) with a naturalist guide. This unique site is where parrots and parakeets gather to eat mineral-rich clay that will help them digest the fruits or seeds they have consumed. Hundreds of parrots and parakeets will approach the treetops and later will come down to the clay bank to eat this soil rich in minerals.

AmaZOOnico Animal Rescue Centre Visit:
Tena2h-4h

Take a guided tour of AmaZOOnico, a rescue and rehabilitation centre that rehabilitates, reintroduces, and cares for animals who are victims of illegal trafficking. See large cats and reptiles up close, and learn all about the important work of this sanctuary.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Amazon Home Experience:

Enjoy a truly unforgettable cultural experience with a local Ecuadorian family who’ll welcome and host us for the afternoon at their home in the jungle. Discuss their traditions, beliefs, and history and hear about what daily life is like for them in such a unique environment. Go fishing with them and then watch and listen as they prepare lunch and share insight about their deep connection to nature, as well as their thoughts on the encroachment of the modern world on their traditional way of life here. A marvelous afternoon you’ll talk about for years to come.

 

Accommodation:

Itamandi Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 6: Tena/Baños

Depart the Amazon to Baños, a stunning town surrounded by volcanos. Along the way visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park and discover ethnobotany – the study of the relationship between cultures and the plants around them.

Baños is one of the most popular spots in the country. Many Ecuadorian families vacation here. One look at this delightfully green mountain town and you will know why. Baños means “baths” and this is precisely what the town is famous for. Some are thermal springs from the base of Tungurahua Volcano, which means “little hell” in Quichua. Other baths have melt water running into them from Tungurahua’s glaciated flanks. Locals swear that the baths are good for your health; it’s definitely worth rising early to watch the dawn creep over the mountains from a hot spring vantage point.

Private Vehicle:
Tena – Baños2h-3h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park:

Visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park and discover ethnobotany – the study of the relationship between cultures and the plants around them. Plants are integral to the lives of Amazonian indigenous groups who use them for shelter, nourishment, medicine, and in spiritual practices. Set out on the trails with an expert guide to learn about the diverse plant life and the local Shuar and Waorani people, and enjoy unique botanical experiences like tasting cinnamon and being painted with Achotillo sap.

Free Time:
Baños

Opt to take a walk through town and visit some shops.

 

Accommodation:

Hotel Sangay (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 7: Baños

Free day to explore Baños where there are numerous optional activities such as hiking, horseback riding, hot springs, and mountain biking.

The town is the perfect setting for outdoor pursuits. Activities include horseback riding, canyoneering, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and rafting on the River Patate.

Free Time:
Baños

Relax at leisure or opt to take part in some active pursuits.

 

Accommodation:

Hotel Sangay (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 8: Baños/Quito

Drive back to Quito along the scenic Avenue of Volcanoes with a visit to Cotopaxi National Park en route. Enjoy stunning views of the perfectly shaped volcano (one of the highest, active volcanoes in the world).

Cotopaxi National Park Visit:
Cotopaxi National Park

Visit Cotopaxi National Park, home to Cotopaxi Volcano, which stands at 5,897m (19,342 ft). The beautiful cone-shaped, snow-covered volcano is Ecuador’s second highest peak and the highest active volcano in the world. Keep an eye out for park wildlife, including condors, foxes, deer, spectacled bears, and more.

Private Vehicle:
Baños – Quito7h-9h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

 

Accommodation:

Hotel Quito (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 9: Quito

Depart at any time.

Departure Day:

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

 

Meals included:

Breakfast

What’s Included

  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Otavalo Weaving Lesson, Otavalo
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Amazon Home Experience, Tena
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park, Baños
  • Recharge: Papallacta Hot Springs Visit, Papallacta
  • Arrival transfer
  • Overnight in an historic hacienda
  • Explore the Otavalo handicraft market
  • Cloud forest reserve visit
  • Two nights at an Amazon lodge with jungle excursions
  • Excursion to Cotopaxi National Park
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

 

Accommodations:

Hotels (4 nts), historic hacienda (1 nt), jungle lodge (2 nts), hot springs resort (1 nt).

 

Meals

8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
Allow USD250-325 for meals not included.

 

Transportation

Private van, motorized canoe, walking.

 

Staff & experts

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

Call Us

Call us, or send us an sms text message

Lo call 1890 989 309 Cork 021 4320710 Dublin 01 6619090 SMS 087 167 1119

and we’ll immediately connect you to one of our travel professionals.

Email Us or Request Callback

Alternatively you can email us, or you can request that we call you back

Request Callback Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!