Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
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 Otavalenos' 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.
Visit the home and studio of Don Miguel to 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 a dip in hot springs, optional spa treatments, and hiking excursions. There is plenty of time to soak, relax, and enjoy the mountain views.
Visit the Guango private cloud forest reserve for a walk with your 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 a local naturalist guide about the lodge and area. After, embark on a night walk with the naturalist guide to learn about the nocturnal creatures of the Amazon. The lodge is located along the bank of the Arajuno River approx. 40min. from Tena. We stay in comfortable cabanas 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.
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 fruit and 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 to learn about their traditions and what daily life is like in the Amazon.
Depart the Amazon to Banos, a stunning town surrounded by volcanoes. Along the way, visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park and discover ethnobotany ?? the study of the relationship between cultures and the plants around them. Banos 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. Banos 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.
Free day to explore Banos where there are numerous optional activities such as hiking, horseback riding, visits to 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.
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 (it's one of the highest active volcanoes in the world).