Call us today from 09:00 - 17:30 020 8106 2403 Start Planning
Book and travel with confidence. Find out more

Considering Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America, it packs a punch when it comes to fascinating cities to visit and jaw dropping natural beauty to admire. From hiking the mysterious landscapes of the Andes to exploring the historic capital city of Quito, a tour of Ecuador offers a plethora of exciting experiences.

To make the most of your time in Ecuador, we’ve compiled a vibrant itinerary featuring the best of the country.

On our Best of Ecuador tour, you’ll explore some of Ecuador’s most atmospheric cities, starting with a trip to the capital city of Quito. Discover elegant and ornate buildings and take up the unique opportunity to straddle the Equatorial Line Monument. This is where you can be in two places at once – both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.

You’ll also visit Cuenca, which is known to be the most attractive city in the country. Amble narrow cobblestone streets and soak up the pretty white washed buildings. You’ll soon experience the distinctly special atmosphere that the city offers as you explore.

When it comes to natural beauty, you’re in for a treat. Hike in the sublime Cotopaxi National Park, passing by the dazzling blue waters of the Laguna de Limpiopungo Lake, which sits at an altitude of 4,000 metres. From there, gawk at the postcard perfect views of the snow laden Chimborazo mountain, the tallest in Ecuador.

And for a train journey like no other, embark on the Devil’s Nose Ride which winds through the captivating terrains of the Andes, past rocky slopes and across sprawling mountain ridges.

 

Duration

9 Days

Recommended For

Adventure, City, Couples

Options

Private basis

a lizard on a rock

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the rich and historic culture of the capital city of Quito
  • Hike the fascinating Cotopaxi National Park and admire its stunning natural beauty
  • Experience the famous Devil’s Nose Ride train journey through the Andes
  • Discover the archaic and white washed buildings of the beautiful city of Cuenca

Start your Journey

Day 1

QUITO

Room only

You’ll begin your adventure at Ecuador’s international airport of Quito. From there, you’ll be transferred to your hotel to check in and spend the rest of the day or evening at your leisure.

 

  • Suggested Accommodation Alameda Hotel Mercure
Day 2

QUITO

Today is when the action starts. Explore all that the city of Quito has to offer with a sightseeing tour, taking you through the historic centre to discover the rich past and culture of the capital.

Highlights include a visit to the famous church of La Compañia, which features an intricate and elaborate façade and a dazzling interior. You’ll also pass the Independence Square, which is home to the looming Government Palace and the charming San Francisco Church. 

Afterwards, straddle the Equatorial Line Monument, otherwise known as the ‘Middle of the World’ where you can stand in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres at once.

Before returning to the hotel, take a trip to the monument and ethnographical museum, where you’ll discover the rich history of the Indian cultures and traditions of Ecuador.

 

  • Meals Breakfast
  • Suggested Accommodation Alameda Hotel Mercure
Day 3

OTAVALO

On day three you’ll have the option to embark on a day trip to the Indian market of Otavalo in the morning. 

A flurry of sights and sounds, you can browse through local handicrafts and textiles including a huge variety of belts, tapestries, ponchos and many other articles of clothing. Browse and soak up the special atmosphere of the market, and perhaps you’ll find some colourful souvenirs to take home as gifts for loved ones – or something for yourself.

 

  • Meals Breakfast
  • Suggested Accommodation Alameda Hotel Mercure
Day 4

QUITO TO COTOPAXI

Following breakfast, from Quito, you’ll travel to Cotopaxi National Park. Protected since 1975, this highland zone is home to one of the most beautiful ecological reserves in Ecuador. 

You’ll hike near the shallow and picturesque Laguna de Limpiopungo Lake at an altitude of up to 4,000 metres. From there, you can absorb the stunning views of the active and snow capped Cotopaxi stratovolcano that towers in the distance.

You’ll also stop by a local flower plantation where the knowledgeable staff will show you their range of colourful and vibrant flowers. They’ll also explain how the plantation works.

  • Meals Breakfast
  • Suggested Accommodation Hacienda El Porvenir
Day 5

COTOPAXI TO RIOBAMBA

Following breakfast, you’ll explore another busy and authentic Indian market. Then, travel onto Quilotoa. This is a renowned volcanic lake featuring aquamarine blue waters, and it makes for a fantastic photograph or two.

In the late afternoon, you’ll continue onwards to Riobamba. This is the capital of the province of Chimborazo, where many indigenous communities thrive.

Spend the night close to the magnificent Chimborazo, the tallest mountain in the country, in one of the region’s cosy Hosterías.

  • Meals Breakfast
  • Suggested Accommodation Hacienda Abraspungo
Day 6

RIOBAMBA TO CUENCA

Following breakfast, you’ll travel to Alausí to catch the train and experience the renowned Devil’s Nose Ride, travelling across the exquisite terrains of the Andes for a train journey like no other.

Then, you’ll drive for two hours to the city of Cuenca. En route, you’ll stop off at Ingapirca, a picturesque Inca ruin site. You’ll roam past the former spot where the Incas held their sacred ceremonies and lived, learning about their special beliefs and rituals.

In Cuenca, check in to your hotel and spend the evening at leisure.

 

  • Meals Breakfast, Lunchbox
  • Suggested Accommodation San Juan or similar
Day 7

CUENCA

Following breakfast, it’s time to discover the historic city of Cuenca, the third largest in the country.

Founded in 1557 on an Inca settlement, you’ll explore this fascinating hub which is famous for its production of arts, ceramics, Panama hats, and silver and gold products. Renowned as the most beautiful city in the country, as you amble the narrow cobblestone streets you can soak up the special atmosphere and take in the stunning early 19th century architecture that fills the city.

During your tour, you’ll pass the ornate historical buildings that sit among the Tomebamba River, the archaic Todos Los Santos ruins, pretty flower markets and the central square that’s home to both the old and new Cathedral. 

You can also visit an authentic Panama hat factory before spending the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

  • Meals Breakfast
  • Suggested Accommodation San Juan
Day 8

CUENCA TO GUAYAQUIL

From Cuenca, you’ll travel to Ecuador’s biggest city of Guayaquil. This is the industrial and commercial hub of the country, and the city sits on the Western banks of the Río Guayas river.

Embark on a guided tour through local cacao plantations and discover everything about the cacao fruit; from how it’s harvested to how the cacao beans are treated. 

In Guayaquil, you’ll also take a short but sweet sightseeing tour of the city.

  • Meals Breakfast
  • Suggested Accommodation Unipark or similar
Day 9

GUAYAQUIL

Today you’ll leave Ecuador with memories to treasure for a lifetime. Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or perhaps you’ll fly onwards to your next holiday destination such as the nearby Galapagos Islands.

  • Meals Breakfast

Includes

  • Cost of accommodation for a total of 8 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
  • Board basis is breakfast
  • Private/small group (air-conditioned) transport / transfers
  • Assistance and porterage: meeting and assistance on arrival/departure at airports and hotels
  • English-speaking local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary

Excludes

  • International flights and airfare taxes
  • Visa arrangements and fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
  • Video and professional still camera fees during excursions
  • Gratuities for drivers, tour directors, local guides, naturalists and hotel staff
  • Meals (unless specified)
  • Optional attractions and excursions (unless specified)

You might also like these


Take a look at these other inspiring itineraries. Our Destination Specialists would love to create something perfect for you.

Peru Chorrillos

Peru Wildlife Tour

  • 3 Days
As the waves of the Pacific Ocean crash against Peru’s north coast, travellers flock to this fascinating area to enjoy...
View Tour
Escorted tours holidays
a sunset over a body of water

Private Tour To Northern Peru

  • 3 Days
Journey to Northern Peru’s stunning coast and trace the area’s history as you discover its breath-taking gems. Step into this...
View Tour
City holidays
a close up of a rock near the ocean

South Peru Adventure Tour

  • 3 Days
Peru’s alluring south calls you to discover the magic of its desert, archaeological sites and miles and miles of wondrous...
View Tour
Adventure holidays
a store filled with lots of fresh produce sitting on top of a table

Ecuador Wildlife Tour

  • 16 Days
Set off on your Images of Ecuador tour and experience this incredible country while capturing it through your camera lens....
View Tour
Adventure holidays

Let’s talk


There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.

Sign up to our newsletter


Receive the latest travel inspiration and destination news.

Swimming pools

How we tailor make your holiday

1. Browse

Look through our website for inspiration, then call our Destination Specialists

2. Create

We'll listen to your wish-list and use our knowledge to design a unique itinerary

3. Customize

We'll keep on refining until we've created your perfect personalised holiday

020 8106 2403 Call us today from 09:00 - 17:30

The Hayes & Jarvis Way


We've been tailor making holidays for 65 years. With over 60 destinations to choose from, talk to us and we'll listen to your travel ideas to create unforgettable holiday experiences.

Award Winning

Our unrivalled knowledge is recognised through numerous accolades and nominations.

Exceptional Service

Our unrivalled knowledge is recognised through numerous accolades and nominations.

In the Know

Our unrivalled knowledge is recognised through numerous accolades and nominations.

Fully Protected

Our unrivalled knowledge is recognised through numerous accolades and nominations.