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ECUADOR: AMAZON, HOT SPRINGS & VOLCANOES

9 DAYS, QUITO TO QUITO

Get in touch with the power of the Earth on this nine-day adventure packed with many of Ecuador’s must-see highlights. 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. Feel the warmth of Ecuador's spirit and make some memories.

 

 

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 such as private transport (including internal flights on some tours) and more included meals and activities.

PHYSICAL RATING: LIGHT

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

TRIP TYPE: SMALL GROUP

Small group experience; Max 16, Avg 10

 

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit the Otavalo Weaving studio and get a lesson from Miguel Andrango

  • Explore villages and learn about traditional handicrafts and folk art from locals

  • Traverse the Amazon jungle with a local naturalist guide

  • Learn about the relationship between cultures and the plants around them at the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park

  • Be surrounded by towering volcanoes

 

 

DAY 1 QUITO

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

 

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore, but make sure you're back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.

Accommodation: Hotel Hilton Colon (or similar)

 

DAY 2 QUITO/OTAVALO

Drive to the highlands with a stop at the community of San Clemente 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

San Clemente Community Visit

Cayambe

Visit the small highlands community of San Clemente. 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)

 

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.

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.

Papallacta Hot Springs Visit

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

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

Accommodation: Hotel Termas Papallacta (or similar)

 

Optional Activities - Day 3 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.

 

DAY 4 PAPALLACTA/BAÑOS

Take one last dip in the hot springs before continuing along the “Avenue of Volcanoes: to Baños. 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.

Papallacta Hot Springs Visit

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

Visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park

Baños

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)

 

Optional Activities - Day 4

Hot SpringsBaños
Soak weary muscles in the thermal baths that Baños is famous for. Head to hot springs at the base of Tungurahua Volcano, which means “little hell” in Quichua, or try some of the baths fed by the melt waters of Tungurahua's glaciated flanks. Rise before the sun for an early soak – watching the sun peak over the mountains while relaxing in the warm waters is definitely worth the early start.

 

 

DAY 5 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.

Accommodation: Hotel Sangay (or similar)

 

Optional Activities - Day 5

Hiking Baños
Head to the mountains for some amazing treks; Baños provides the perfect natural setting for outdoor adventure.

 

DAY 6 BAÑOS/YASUNI NATIONAL PARK

Early start in the morning. Drive to Coca, the gateway to the Amazon. Continue by motorized canoe to the luxurious La Selva Lodge. Explore the Amazon jungle with a local guide. Activities can include jungle walks, a canopy tower visit, wildlife viewing, canoeing, and photography. In the evening, enjoy dinner and a drink by candlelight, listening to the sounds of the jungle, before retiring to stylish cabanas.

Transfer to the port to board a motorized canoe to go to La Selva's main dock. Continue on a short 15-min jungle walk leading to a creek. Enjoy a paddle by canoe across “Garzacocha” (the heron´s lagoon) in order to reach the lodge area. Upon arrival at the lodge, enjoy a welcome drink and get an introductory briefing. Take part in a short activity to be introduced to the rainforest.

All activities in the Amazon depend on weather and natural conditions. Year-round temperature average is 82°F (28°C), however nights can be cooler. Since Ecuador is located right on the equator, the country does not experience extreme weather changes, and the weather is surprisingly comfortable all year around. Please be prepared for rain.

Electricity is available in the bar, dining areas, reception areas and rooms (110V) to recharge batteries. We suggest that guests bring a flashlight or headlamp. The plugs for recharging batteries have three holes, two plainprongs and one circle prong just as most American plugs. However, we recommend that you bring a transformer of two plain prongs.

Private Vehicle

Baños – Puerto Francisco de Orellana6h-7h

Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.

Motorized canoe

Puerto Francisco de Orellana – Yasuni National Park1h30m-2h

Climb in and move swiftly through the water to the next stop.

La Selva Lodge Excursions

La Selva Lodge

Choose from plenty of activities that include birding, botany, hiking, canoeing, and photography. Spot monkeys, birds, sloths, caimans, and butterflies. They’re all just a short walk or canoe paddle away. Learn from expert naturalist guides about the flora and fauna of the rainforest and the Indigenous peoples who live in the area.

Accommodation: La Selva Lodge (or similar)

 

DAY 7 YASUNI NATIONAL PARK

Choose from plenty of activities that include birding, botany, hiking, canoeing, and photography. Spot monkeys, birds, sloths, caimans, and butterflies. They’re all just a short walk or canoe ride away. Overlooking the lake, the recently remodelled lodge is a perfect base for exploration. Relax in the lounge with a cocktail and dine by candlelight. Enjoy exceptional cuisine prepared by a gourmet chef. Sleep well in stylish cabanas. Let the sounds of the rainforest sing you to sleep, and the call of birds wake you in the morning.

See the canopy of the rainforest from a tower, 43m (141 ft) in height, and choose from dozens of walks of varying lengths and difficulties. Several of these routes can only be accessed by canoe. In the morning, wake up early for some bird watching and as night falls go out on a boat to view caimans. Learn about the environment and wildlife from the naturalist guide, who accompanies the group to ensure you get the most out of the excursions. The opportunities for birding, botany, hiking, herpetology, canoeing, photography, entomology, fishing, relaxing, and swimming at La Selva Lodge are boundless.

Not interested in hiking or canoeing? Feel free to relax at the lodge.

Photography: A long lens, at least a zoom capable of 200 mm is recommended. Digital camera users need only beware (as SLR users) that moisture can fog their lenses rapidly. Silica gel in the camera carrying case should do the job and remember to put your camera back in the case when not using it. Bring plastic zip-lock bags for protecting your gear.

La Selva Lodge Excursions

La Selva Lodge

Choose from plenty of activities that include birding, botany, hiking, canoeing, and photography. Spot monkeys, birds, sloths, caimans, and butterflies. They’re all just a short walk or canoe paddle away. Learn from expert naturalist guides about the flora and fauna of the rainforest and the Indigenous peoples who live in the area.

Free Time

Yasuni National Park

Enjoy free time at the lodge. Opt to take a canoe out on the lake, visit the spa, or even go for a swim.

 

DAY 8 YASUNI NATIONAL PARK/QUITO

Travel by boat back to Coca and catch a flight to Quito.

Motorized canoe

Yasuni National Park – Puerto Francisco de Orellana2h30m

Climb in and move swiftly through the water to the next stop.

Plane

Francisco De Orellana Airport – Mariscal Sucre International Airport45m-1h

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.

 

DAY 9 QUITO

Depart at any time.

Departure Day

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

 

 

 

£1287 per person sharing 

 

 

CALL US NOW ON 0333 1234 246 OR

 

CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE

 

 

INCLUDING:

  • Arrival transfer

  • Visit the community of San Clemente and enjoy a local lunch

  • Overnight in an historic hacienda

  • Explore the Otavalo handicraft market

  • Otavalo weaving lesson and studio visit

  • Relax at Papallacta hot springs

  • Two nights at an Amazon lodge with jungle walks and canoe excursions

  • Visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park

  • Internal flights

  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

 

NOT INCLUDING:
- Air tickets international (we will be holding a set number of flights - enquire for details)
- Insurance
- Personal expenses
- All drinks
- Visa fees and/or visa authorization
- Tips
- Porterage Fee
- Other expenses that not mentioned on the itinerary 

- SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON REQUEST

 

10 Great reasons to join us...

  • You will be inspired like never before. We passionately believe that one of the best ways to inspire people about the natural world and to get them interested in conservation - is to take them into the natural world.

  • By joining this trip you will be helping us make a direct contribution to the vital work of the Katala foundation in their efforts to conserve the critically endangered Palawan forest turtle.

  • You will get back in touch with nature and learn wildlife tracking skills from the Batak tribe.

  • You will be able to learn all about Nigel Marven’s wildlife documentary making adventures from around the world 

  • Our trips have been known to change peoples lives….check out the feedback below

  • You need a holiday! But not all holidays are the same. Our trips are the perfect combination of wildlife viewing, exploration, relaxation & fun.

  • You will make lasting friendships…. that will most likely last a lifetime.

  • Wilderness is therapy. Absolutely nothing is better for the soul than getting out in the natural world. And exploring some of the most beautiful locations on the planet will leave you feeling more rejuvenated and alive than ever.

  • You don’t have to rough it. Who said you have to rough it on a wildlife tour anyway? Far from it, we have selected some really nice little hotels in some incredible locations. So that at the end of the day, you can relax in comfort.

  • Our wildlife trips are for pretty much everyone with a serious passion for wildlife and the natural world. You don’t have to be a biologist or researcher or a student - as long as you have a passion for wildlife and the natural world, then our trips are definitely for you.

 

Don't just take our word for it, just check out the sample feedback from clients who have travelled with us before....

 

“UK-based Greig Smith Travels specialises in ecotourism and wildlife holidays. Naturepixel has been on three expeditions organised by Greig Smith Travels and each of them has been outstanding”

 

Daniel Holloway - Australia,Naturepixel, Agilethinking.com.au

 

"you have given us the best holidays of our lives".

Iain Mackay, UK

 

“As I said, we both had a great time and it's right up there as one of the best holiday experiences we've had!”

Clint Evans & Sally Kettle (read about Sally's Galapagos trip in the BBC article below)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35663084?SThisFB

 


“ An Incredible bespoke travel company” 
Abigail Michalski Food Content & Community Manager - The Jamie Oliver Group


"Driver/guide (Dani) was one of the best ever experienced; courteous, knowledgeable most relaxed driving and obliging, Vehicle was always immaculately clean and felt safe all the time. Excellent in all aspects; Managed from initial inquiry through booking and finally return home with efficiency and attention to detail often beyond expectations. We know that the idea is to grow business but please don’t let that be a reason to lose the perfect personalised service you currently have.

Barry Clare UK (Madagascar trip)

“ thank you for organising a diverse and interesting experience with a marvellous infrastructure second to none. Your ground agents and wider team are a real credit to you and certainly excelled on our previous experiences with both Transindus and Audley........I am have already been already been singing your praises re your excellent services and look forward to recommending more business whenever possible for you. With very warm wishes and many thanks from both of us”
Dr Susan Oliver OBE. UK www.susanoliver.com

"Dear Paul

We are just back from our trip, and I have to tell you, it was absolutely marvellous. Nothing went wrong, and apart from a few very minor niggles, everything was perfect"

Dr Dinah Bisdee, UK, www.theguardian.com/profile/dinah-bisdee


“All in all, a spectacular holiday!”
Charles Carey UK, www.oilmerchant.co.uk


“The whole trip was utterly amazing, a most memorable experience in every way, thank you Paul”

Susan Pullman, UK


"If I had to sum up the trip in a couple of words it would simply be 'blown away. You really nailed it. To every detail. Not a thing was missed or not thought of. From the pick ups to the late check outs to the temples to the cooking. We will never forget this trip…..


...Again the planning, tours, timing, friendliness of guides and just overall itinerary was excellent.  Not a thing went wrong, and we loved every minute of it.
A huge thank you to you, and your team, and the guides for this trip.  The fact that you and your team go out and vet these hotels and do the tours just makes all the difference and makes the holiday stand out from anything we have ever experienced.  Well done, Thank you and I’ll be in touch to organize the trip for 2016 very soon.

 

Sanjay & Ruby Hunjan, UK

 

"Congratulations on a thoroughly successful trip that exceeded all of my expectations" 

Rowland Griffin, Griffin Ecological, UK Ecologist, Founder Project Chiccan,

 

"You should be applauded for providing a satisfying, sustainable and professional ecotourism experience and be proud to have directly influenced greater conservation movements. I would highly recommend your expeditions"

 

Dr. Todd Lewis B.Sc. AIBiol. (Senior Ecological Consultant)”. UK www.drtoddlewis.weebly.com

Questions? 

Feel free to give us a buzz:

 

UK : 0333 1234 246

Abroad : 00 44 208 133 208

Spaces are limited - Reserve your space now.