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Ecuador Andes & Amazon

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Ecuador Andes & Amazon

From lush rainforests to Andean countryside, Ecuador offers astounding biodiversity, rich cultural heritage and a distinct wild beauty. International Expeditions’ Ecudaor tour combines boutique accommodations — including a 17th century hacienda — in the vibrant Andean countryside with a four-night cruise deep into the Amazon aboard the all-suite M/V Anakonda for a comprehensive immersion into nature! This active adventure allows for almost daily nature walks and boating excursions, along with opportunities to stroll through famed Quito, Otavalo and quaint villages.

Cruise the Ecuadorian Amazon

Enjoy four nights aboard the M/V Anakonda, a vessel featuring an expansive observation deck, outdoor Jacuzzi and an al fresco lounge and kayaks. Concierge service on this riverboat allows you to request special activities, including night camping in luxury tents, for an incredibly personal Amazon experience.

Ecuador’s Best Wildlife

IE’s Ecuador tour travels through a variety of ecosystems, including dry forest, cloud forest and the lush Amazon rainforest. As you explore these premier wildlife areas and protected habitats, watch for horned screamer, chestnut-fronted macaw, black-headed parrot, blue-crowned trogon and glowing puffleg. Plus, you may also spot pink freshwater dolphin, giant otter and monk saki.

Andean Culture

This journey was crafted to offer you chances to discover Andean culture with weaving demonstrations, market visits and while learning to make traditional instruments and figurines in the Otavalo area.

Daily Itinerary

Ecuador Andes & Amazon Itinerary

  • Day
    1

    Arrive Quito

    Fly independently to Quito and spend tonight at Hotel Patio Andaluz. (Meals Aloft)
  • Day
    2

    Quito / Calderon / Otavalo

    Spend our morning touring the city, visiting Independence Square, the renowned Baroque/Moorish Church of San Francisco and Panecillo Hill, where the winged Virgin of Quito watches over her city. Drive through the colorful Zuleta region, stopping first at Calderon where ornamental figurines are made from baked bread. Pass rose plantations en route to the famed Otavalo artisan market. Browse for tapestries and handicrafts while chatting with friendly otavaleños. Stop in the town of Peguche for a weaving demonstration and hike a trail to the Cascada de Peguche waterfall, where locals engage in traditional purification baths. Call on an Andean musical instrument workshop before checking into Hacienda Cusin, home for two nights. (B,L,D)
  • Day
    3

    Otavalo: Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve 

    Spend our morning in the lively community to Cotacachi before an afternoon at Cuicocha Lake, inside the volcanic crater of Mount Cotacachi. As we hike and enjoy a scenic boat ride, watch for fox, llama, Andean duck and perhaps even Andean condor. (B,L,D)
  • Day
    4

    Quito / Coca / Embark 

    Fly to the frontier city of Coca, and board excursion boats that take us along the Napo River to the M/V Anakonda, home for four nights. This evening, enjoy a nocturnal jungle walk, giving us our first chance to experience the sounds and sights of the Amazon by night. Sparkling fireflies and phosphorescent eyes will undoubtedly astonish you in this magical birthplace of life. Led by your guide, searching for nocturnal animals can be an unforgettable experience. (B,L,D)
  • Day
    5-7

    Ecuadorian Amazon Cruise

    Spend three days discovering Ecuador’s Amazon under the guidance of accomplished naturalists. During daily lectures, learn about this delicate environment and even try your hand at making local handicrafts. The only way to actually visit this flooded ecosystem is by canoe, a ride that will reveal the beauty of a lush jungle world. Learn about the relationship between plants and animals while closely watching out for samples of Amazonia’s fascinating biodiversity at every turn. Boating excursions also allow for personal exploration of the Ecuadorian Amazonia, home to the legendary pink river dolphin, black caiman and anaconda. We may also find river turtles and common squirrel monkey, as well as the primitive hoatzin. This bird is known locally as "the stinky turkey."
     
    From an observation tower perched 100 feet above the forest, enjoy a unique perspective on this verdant wilderness. Venture into Limoncocha Biological Reserve, a fascinating protected area where more than 478 bird species and several monkey species have been recorded. Nighttime excursions will give us an opportunity to spot black caiman.
     
    Call on a small community perched on the banks of the Napo River, interacting with welcoming families and learning about the education system in these remote villages. (B,L,D Daily)
  • Day
    8

    Disembark / Quito / Papallacta 

    Disembark and travel by boat to Coca, continuing to Quito. Drive to Papallacta, enjoying an afternoon at leisure to build your “life list” while birding in the Ecuadorian Andes. Lucky observers may spot Andean spectacled bear and tapir. Birds such as mountain-tanager, Andean snipe, sword-billed hummingbird, glowing puffleg, mountain avocetbill and hawk are common. Spend tonight at Termas de Papallacta. (B,L)
  • Day
    9

    Papallacta / Quito

    Enjoy relaxing in the hot springs nestled deep in the Andean Cordillera, surrounded by mountain cloud forest. Savor a morning in these pools of odorless, transparent mineral water or treat yourself to an optional spa treatment at the facility’s wellness center. Return to Quito and spend tonight at Hotel Patio Andaluz. (B,L)
  • Day
    10

    Quito / Depart 

    Transfer to the airport, where you board independent flights home, arriving late tonight. (B)

Accommodations

ecuador andes amazon accommodations hotel patio andaluz

Hotel Patio Andaluz

Hotel Patio Andaluz Quito is an elegant boutique hotel located just steps from Independence Plaza. The hotel offers 32 comfortable rooms, all housed in a Colonial-era house.  Rooms feature complimentary Wi-Fi, TV with cable, AC/heat and a personal safe.

ecuador andes amazon accommodations hacienda cusin2

Hacienda Cusin

Hacienda Cusin is a restored 17th-century estate in the Ecuadorian sierra. Guest rooms and salons, furnished with antiques and select Andean crafts, and overlook acres of landscaped perennial gardens, ancient trees, and often snow-capped mountains. Hacienda Cusin’s guest rooms include bathroom with hair-dryer, antiques and/or Andean-craft furnishings, armchair/s, writing desk, garden or mountain views, and Wi-Fi.

ecuador andes amazon accommodations termas papallacta

Termas de Papallacta

The rooms at Termas de Papallacta Resort are situated next to the thermal pools for exclusive use of guests. The hotel restaurant offers delicious Ecuadorian and international cuisine using ingredients from the organic kitchen garden. Termas de Papallacta also features complimentary Wi-Fi in the rooms, along with a personal safe.  Rooms do not have television but there is a large TV in the main bar. Fresh spring pools are located throughout the grounds of Termas de Papallacta.  

ecuador andes amazon ship anakonda

M/V Anakonda

The all-suite M/V Anakonda plies the remote wilderness of Ecuador’s Amazon, allowing you access to pristine reserves and the region’s 15 indigenous communities while savoring elegant accommodations. Your small group of no more than 40 guests enjoys extraordinary common areas onboard, including a reading room, al fresco dining, lounge, outdoor Jacuzzi and an observation deck.

  • Carries three 30-passenger motorized canoes & ten kayaks
  • 2:1 guest-to-crew ratio
  • Four English-speaking naturalist guides & four native guides per departure
  • Menu focused on Ecuadorian & international cuisine
  • Onboard concierge to coordinate any special guest requirements or activity alternatives
  • Air-conditioned throughout

Cabins

When not taking advantage of canoeing, hiking and kayaking excursions — or watching the passing scenery from one of the comfortable hammocks, retreat to your spacious suite. Each air-conditioned suite offers panoramic windows, ample bathrooms and even an en suite sitting area. 

Meals

Dining on the M/V Anakonda is truly part of your Amazon experience, with a menu combining Ecuadorian dishes highlighting rich rainforest ingredients to international classics.

Wildlife

Squirrel Monkey

Small squirrel monkeys feed mainly upon insects and fruits, with the majority the monkey's day spent foraging for food. They spend most of their time high above the forest floor, swinging through the small branches, but every now and again the monkey may venture down out of the trees to look for food or even a playmate.

The Green Anaconda

The green anaconda is one of the world’s largest snakes. A 20-foot-long female green anaconda may weigh well over 200 pounds. These snakes are semi-aquatic, spending a great deal of time submerged in floating vegetation such as water lettuce and water hyacinths. These large constrictors are in the boa family and like all boas produce live young. Baby anacondas are almost three feet long, and their coloration is very similar to the adult coloration — dark green to almost olive background coloration with large black and yellow circular markings on the sides that alternate with dark blotches on the back.

Call 800.234.9620
Duration
10 Days, 9 Nights
Trip Type
Land & Sea

Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy an intimate group of no more than 18 while exploring Quito & Otavalo.
  • Divide into small, separate groups with naturalist guides for Amazon excursions.
  • Discover Andean culture with weaving demonstrations, market visits & while learning to make traditional instruments & figurines in the Otavalo area.
  • Four nights aboard the M/V Anakonda, a vessel featuring an expansive observation deck, outdoor Jacuzzi & an al fresco lounge & kayaks.
  • Wildlife observation in premier reserves across a variety of habitats.