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March Break – Amazon & Andes

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Price $3299 $2899 16 Days
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March Break – Amazon & Andes

$3299 $2899 per person

Step back in time in Ecuador’s capital city, Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with endless historical sites & attractions. Travel to the Amazon basin to explore the jungle’s diverse flora and fauna, with a stop along the way at Papallacta thermal baths. Explore stunning waterfalls & the medicinal hot springs of Baňos – and possibly some more adventurous options. Then it’s onto the lush cloud forests, with a stop on the way at the Equator line to do some crazy experiments. In Mindo, explore butterflies, chocolate-making, waterfalls, and lots of adventurous options. Next it’s onto the Pacific coast to enjoy some beach time in Puerto Lopez. Make a day trip to the Isla de la Plata to see some of the animals that can normally only be found in the Galapagos Islands, such as the Blue-footed Booby and Magnificent Frigatebird, and try some snorkelling in the marine rich waters of the Pacific. Enjoy some more beach time in the off-the beaten-path beach called Frailes in Machalilla National Park. All you have to do is relax and enjoy this magical travel experience as it unfolds one day at a time. Your wonderful bilingual guide and driver will take care of the rest. This is going to be the trip-of-a-lifetime!


Itinerary Overview

  • Day 1: Welcome to Ecuador! (overnight Quito)
  • Day 2: Discover Quito’s Historic Squares & Towers (overnight Quito)
  • Day 3: Papallacta Hot Springs & Hike in the Amazon Jungle (overnight Amazon)
  • Day 4: Explore the Flora and Fauna of the Amazon (overnight Amazon)
  • Day 5: Whitewater Rafting down the Jatunyacu River (overnight Amazon)
  • Day 6: Animal Rescue Centre Visit, Avenue of Waterfalls (overnight Baňos)
  • Day 7: Free Day – A Little Adrenaline, Anyone? (overnight Baňos)
  • Day 8: Avenue of Volcanoes to Mindo with a stop at the Equator (overnight Mindo)
  • Day 9: Butterflies & Hike to Waterfalls (overnight Mindo)
  • Day 10: A Little Adrenaline & Double Chocolate Tour (overnight Mindo)
  • Day 11: Fly to Guayaquil & Travel to the Beach (overnight Puerto Lopez)
  • Day 12: Chilling time on the Beach (overnight Puerto Lopez)
  • Day 13: Day Trip to Isla de la Plata (overnight Puerto Lopez)
  • Day 14: Free Day – Los Frailes Beach, Anyone? (overnight Puerto Lopez)
  • Day 15: Travel to Guayaquil for Return Flight to Quito (overnight Quito)
  • Day 16: Free Day in Quito & Home

Dates:  Wednesday, March 8 – Thursday, March 23, 2022


Inclusions: All taxes; all ground transportation in private air conditioned vehicles, including 4 airport transfers; internal return flights Quito-Guayaquil-Quito; all accommodations; all entrance fees & activities included in the itinerary; English-speaking Tour Leader where indicated plus additional specialized nature guide in the Amazon jungle; meals as detailed in the daily itinerary; carbon offsetting of all activities, transportation and international flights.


Exclusions: international airfare; any tips for leaders/guide/driver; soft & alcoholic drinks; activities/services/meals not listed in itinerary; personal travel insurance; expenditures of a personal nature; optional activities/tours not specified.


Package Price*: 2,899.00          

*(per person in double-twin room, and in CAD Dollars) – see Pricing Tab above for more detail.

Start & Finish Location:  Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador  

Accommodations: 3 nights in hotel in Quito; 3 nights in jungle lodge in Amazon; 2 nights in hotel in Baños; 2 nights at EarthTreks’  cloud forest chalet in Mindo; 4 nights in beach resort in Puerto Lopez.

Meals Included:  15 Breakfasts / 7 Lunches / 3 Dinners (25 meals total) 

Transportation:  Private, air-conditioned vehicle for all travel. Public airline for flights to and from Quito to Guayaquil.

Leader/Guide:  Bilingual Driver/Guides where specified.

Included Activities:  Refer to Daily Itinerary in Tour Plan Tab (above).

 

  • Destination
  • Departure
    Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport
  • Included
    Accommodations
    Activities (detailed in itinerary)
    Airport Transfer (Arrival)
    Airport Transfer (Departure)
    All Taxes
    All Transportation (including internal flights, when applicable)
    English-speaking Tour Leader
    Meals (detailed in itinerary)
  • Not Included
    Drinks, Alcoholic Beverages
    Personal Expenditures
    Return International Airfare
1
Mar 8th: Welcome to Ecuador!
A friendly face holding an EarthTreks sign will be at the new Canadian-designed airport awaiting your arrival. You’ll probably be checked into the hotel, Casa Montero, by about 7:30pm. On your drive from the airport, you will have the opportunity to catch your first glimpses of the capital city. Quito is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the western hemisphere, separated into the old colonial centre, where your hotel is located, and the newer, more commercial centre. The long, skinny city sits almost directly on the equatorial line, nestled among volcanoes, at over 2,800 meters (almost 10,000 feet) above sea level, making it the second highest capital city in the world after Bolivia’s. You may feel the altitude a little right away, so take the opportunity to acclimatize. The old city is full of beautiful historical buildings, squares, and churches, many of which are a very short walk from the hotel. It’s all about the location when traveling.There are a few places close to the hotel to grab a bite to eat if anyone is hungry. Meals: (-/-/-)
2
Mar 9th: Discover Quito’s Historic Squares & Towers
Enjoy breakfast with a gorgeous view looking up at the city’s iconic statue, el Panecillo. Then we will get to business: a detailed orientation of all of the wonderful sites and activities the next two weeks hold in store. Your tour leader will also cover some more boring items, such as health and safety tips and other trip logistics. Then it’s time to put on some sunscreen before heading out on a walking tour to take a closer look at some of the beautiful historical squares and churches in the area with your knowledgeable guide leading the way. Then you will stop for a traditional “almuerzo” (typical lunch) that Quito is famous for. The rest of the afternoon is yours to take where you wish, and we will provide you with lots of options, such as the Teleferico ride up the volcano (on the right) climbing the high towers of the Basilica or any of a long list of other options we will provide. Leaving key free times will allow you to relax and do what you feel is best at the moment. Meals: (B/L/-) Accommodations: Hotel in Historic Centre Included Activities: Guided Tour of Historic Centre of Quito
3
Mar 10th: Papallacta Hot Springs & Hike in the Amazon Jungle
This morning you will head off bright and early to make your way to the Amazon basin, a journey with a few different legs. The trip will be broken up with a stop at Papallacta Hot Springs – the best hot springs in South America, located at the highest pass through the Andes and one of the rare places to catch site of the elusive Condor in flight. After a good soak in the medicinal waters for a few hours, you will continue on the journey. As you descend toward the Amazon basin, you will notice the change in both climate and scenery, with waterfalls dotting each side of the highway. Upon arrival in the town of Misahualli, you will be taken by motorized taxi to your lovely jungle lodge accommodations, located on the banks of the Napo River, where you will enjoy a delicious traditional lunch. Then you will be outfitted in rubber boots for a hike through the jungle, led by a local naturalist guide! You will have worked up an appetite by the time dinner is served by your local Kichwa hosts. Then after dinner there will be an optional night hike! Meals: (B/L/D) Accommodations: Amazon Lodge Included Activities: Papallacta Hot Springs entrance Nature Hike
4
Mar 11th: Explore the Flora & Fauna of the Amazon
After a hearty breakfast, you will prepare for further exploration of this incredibly diverse, delicate ecosystem, traveling by motorized canoe down the Napo River, during which you will have opportunity to spot different kind of flora and fauna, including some of the insects and birds that are part of this precious ecosystem, to the various uses of medical plants and uses of plants in artwork and construction. After the hike, you’’ll have a delicious lunch. Then it’s onto visit Amazoonico to visit animals that have been rescued from illegal trade and are either being rehabilitated into the wild or if that is not possible, being provided a safe home. You will also have a chance to visit a nearby traditional Kichwa community today to learn about their ways of life and how some traditional food is prepared. Meals: (B/L/D) Accommodations: Amazon Lodge Included Activities: Kichwa community visit Nature hike Amazoonico entrance
5
Mar 12th: Program
Meals: (B/L/D) Accommodations: Amazon Lodge
6
Mar 13th: Animal Rescue Centre & Avenue of Waterfalls
After an early breakfast, it will be time to say farewell to your kind hosts at Suchipakari and continue on the journey through the Amazon and to your next destination, Baňos, named for its medicinal hot springs. En route, you will stop at an Animal Rescue Centre - another project rehabilitating or offering protection for the amazing animals found in the jungle. This centre is a little different and your visit helps support their livelihood, while learning about the incredible flora and fauna of this zone. Upon arrival in the small town of Baňos - noting the saying is “you haven’t seen Ecuador unless you’ve been to Baňos” - you will travel along the stunningly beautiful Avenue of Waterfalls, boasting 19 waterfalls in total. You will get out to hike the most beautiful of them, called the Pailon del Diablo (the Devil’s Cauldron as seen on the right) – the place where the Rio Verde joins the Rio Pastaza. After lunch, you will check into your hotel rooms in Baňos, and then head out on a brief walking tour of the small city, so that you know how to find the best hot springs in town (close to the hotel), as well as to point out a few options of agencies you might choose to drop into later to arrange any activities you may want to include the next day (you can do the bookings at the end of the day). Some options include various adrenaline sports, such as paragliding, zip lining, or repelling through waterfalls. This is also the time to book any spa services you may want to take in the next day. The rest of the day and all of tomorrow are yours to explore the town at your own pace, including dinner at your choice between a variety of traditional or international options. The hot springs are a close walk from the hotel and open early and close late - always a great way to finish the day! Meals: (B/L/-) Included Activities: Animal Rescue Centre Visit Avenue of Waterfalls Pailon del Diablo Entrance Walking Tour of Baňos Accommodations: Hotel in Central Baňos
7
Mar 14th - A Little Adrenaline Anyone?
Today will give you a little breathing room to do whatever you want - with a wonderful list of options. Soaking in the medicinal hot springs as the sun is rising (about 6am) is a wonderful way to start the day, but you can fit that in when the timing is right. There are so many different activities to do in this spa town – including climbing the stairs up the mountain, hitting the local zoo and trying out the ‘Swing at the End of the World” (pictured on the right), trying out a massage or heading out on horseback to taste the mineral-rich spring water bottled locally. Explore a list of other more adventurous options that can be arranged. Meals: (B/-/-) Included Activities: None Accommodations: Hotel in Central Baňos
8
Mar 15th: Avenue of Volcanoes & Middle of the World
This morning after breakfast, you will be off to Mindo, traveling along what is referred to as the Avenue of Volcanoes, as several active and non-active volcanoes dot the highway. The trip will take just over five hours in total - and once past Quito, you will be making a stop at Intiňan. That is the open-air museum that sits directly on the Equatorial line, where you will learn about the various cultures found in Ecuador and do some cool experiments that only work right on the Equator. Then you will head a little further up the highway for a stop at the Pululahua Volcanic Crater and a quick hike down for some great views. Then it’s just over an hour further to get to Mindo for the evening. Meals: (B/-/-) Included Activities: Intiňan Museum Entrance Pululahua Volcanic Crater Accommodations: EarthTreks' Chalet, Mindo
9
Mar 16th: Butterflies & Nambillo Waterfalls
The best would be to start this day nice and early. You will have a picnic lunch packed for you as you head off to catch the many butterflies in flight - and see them at every stage of life - at the Mariposario. Butterflies are exported to many butterfly gardens around the world from Mindo. Then walk 500 meters back towards town to take a chairlift up over the forest canopy (often offering amazing bird watching), and then a walk over to the cable car that takes you soaring across a deep valley to the trailhead that will allow you to take a variety of hiking options to different waterfalls, depending on what you feel up to. Meals: (B/L/-) Included Activities: Mariposario Entrance Teleferico Ride Waterfalls Entrance Accommodations: EarthTreks' Chalet, Mindo
10
Mar 17th: A Little More Adrenaline & Double Chocolate Tour
Today is yours to take where you want - as you may be needing a little down time at this point in the trip. Mindo’s offering of adrenaline activities is also as exciting (if not more) than those in Baňos. From whitewater tubing, zip lining, mountain biking, and a new option of biking down a cable that looks crazy! There is also the option of doing a birding trip today or guided nature hike - or just hanging out in the hammocks by the river and checking out what the village has to offer. Just be sure to be back for 5pm when you will be going on your first of two chocolate tours - where you learn how artisanal chocolate is made and get to try some amazing samples. Following that, you will have a second chocolate tour, during which you will get to make it the old-fashioned way the Mayans used to make it - over a fire. Meals: (B/-/-) Included Activities: Double Chocolate Tour at El Quetzal Accommodations: EarthTreks' Chalet, Mindo
11
Mar 18th: Flight to Guayaquil & Travel to the Beach
Today is mostly about travel. You will be taken to the airport in Quito in time for your early flight to Guayaquil (likely leaving the hotel between 7-7:30am, so plan breakfast accordingly). The flight is just under an hour, and then you will be met in Guayaquil by another driver to take you to your hotel in Puerto Lopez - about a 5.5 hour trip, so you will be arriving late afternoon. Then it’s a short walk to the beach - a refreshing swim or walk in the sand will feel great! Meals: (B/-/-) Included Activities: Two transfers to / from Quito / Guayaquil airports; Flight Accommodations: Beach Lodge
12
Mar 19th: Beach Time
Take the day to relax, do some swimming, maybe a little snorkeling, and venture into the town to check out the offerings and grab a meal. Just relax and enjoy! Meals: (B/-/-) Included Activities: None Accommodations: Beach Lodge
13
Mar 20th: Day Trip to Isla de la Plata
Today you are headed on a day trip to Isla de la Plata, which, much like the Galapagos Islands, has a large number of both Blue-footed Boobies and Frigatebirds. You’ll find tortoises as well - although not the giant kind. You may also see some Humpback Whales and other interesting marine life during your time snorkeling in the sea! It is a ruggedly beautiful island and a great place to take the time to hike around with your naturalist guide, who can answer any questions you may have. Meals: (B/L/-) Included Activities: Guided Tour of Isla de la Plata Accommodations: Beach Lodge
14
Mar 21st: Free Day - Los Frailes Beach, Anyone?
Today is yours to take where you wish - and we recommend getting to know one of the most hidden and unique beaches in Ecuador. Just a 20-minute trip from the hotel by taxi will take you to Los Frailes Beach, located right in Machalilla National Park - that can be arranged by the hotel whenever the timing is right (or not). Spend the day relaxing in this white sand paradise. If you are up to it, take a hike to one of its many viewpoints. Please note that there are no restaurants or shops nearby (which also makes it so special) so come prepared with a snack and good protection from the sun - and lots of water. Meals: (B/-/-) Included Activities: None Accommodations: Beach Lodge
15
Mar 22nd: Guayaquil to Quito
A driver will pick you up from your hotel in Puerto Lopez and transfer you to the Guayaquil Airport for your flight to Quito late this morning. More to come on exact timing related to that, as the flights have to be secured first. Meals: (B/-/-) Included Activities: Two transfers to / from Guayaquil / Quito airports; Flight Guayaquil - Quito Accommodations: Hotel in Historic Centre, Quito
16
Mar 23rd: Free Day in Quito & Flight Home
Today you will be taken to the airport mid-morning, allowing you a little more wandering around the capital if you choose, before your transfer out for your international flight - after what was hopefully one of the best trips of your lives! Meals: (B/-/-) Included Activities: Transfers to Quito airport for flight home
  Package Price*:  2,899*   *(per person in double-twin room, and in CAD Dollars) *($400 off until February 1, 2023 - regular price after February 1 = $3,299
Payment: Payments may be made by e-transfer or credit card via PayPal. 
Notes on Pricing: This is a quotation only and neither reservations for services nor hotel bookings have been made. Availability of all services is guaranteed upon confirmation of reservation. Small changes in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on changes in the weather, road conditions, flight schedules and/or room availability. Therefore, quoted rates might change accordingly.
Inclusions: All taxes; All ground transportation in private air conditioned vehicles, including 4 airport transfers); internal return flights Quito-Manta-Quito; all accommodations; all entrance fees & activities included in the itinerary; English-speaking Tour Leader where indicated throughout plus additional specialized nature guide in the jungle; Meals as detailed in the daily itinerary* *(B/L/D) = Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner, when included in package; (-/-/-) when not.; carbon offsetting of all activities, transportation and international flights.
Exclusions: international airfare; any tips for leaders/guide/driver; soft & alcoholic drinks; activities/services/meals not listed in itinerary; personal travel insurance; expenditures of a personal nature; optional activities/tours not specified.