Our Andean Treasures small-group tour offers all of the scenic, cultural, and historical highlights of the Ecuadorian Andes, from the capital of Quito to the lively port city of Guayaquil, with beautiful mountains and lakes, Colonial architecture, and colorful indigenous culture. An amazing Andes tour at a great small-group tour price!
Our Andean Treasures small–group tour offers fascinating natural scenery, the beautiful Colonial cities of Quito and Cuenca and so much more. In the Andes, you will experience the famous train ride across the Devil’s Nose, authentic indigenous villages, colorful markets, and Ecuador’s largest Inca site, all in the majestic presence of towering, snow-covered volcanoes. Your trip finally takes you through banana and cocoa plantations to the tropical port city of Guayaquil. The Andean Treasures small-group tour is offered on specific dates. All tours start on a Saturday.
Quito City Tour and Equator Monument (Mitad del Mundo)
Your Andean Treasures adventure begins with a city tour of Ecuador’s capital of Quito. It is located at 9,350 ft. (2,850 meters) above sea level, along the slopes of the Pichincha volcano and nestled in a green Andean valley. One of the oldest cities in South America, Quito is also one of the few cities that have preserved numerous monuments and artistic treasures of the Spanish Colonial period. The Colonial city center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978. We will begin the tour with a walk through the narrow streets of the historical town center to visit some of America’s oldest and most beautiful churches such as El Sagrario and La Compañia and the famous plazas of Santo Domingo, La Merced and San Francisco. We will continue to “El Panecillo” hill to see the “Virgin of Quito” statue and enjoy a spectacular view of Quito.
In the afternoon, we drive to the famous equator monument “Middle of the World,” which is located in a dry valley on the northern outskirts of Quito. You will also visit the Museo del Sitio Inti Nan, which was built by a private anthropological foundation next to the official equator monument. This beautiful museum has exhibits of different indigenous cultures and their traditional way of life. You will also witness a demonstration to determine the exact location of the equatorial line.
Indigenous Market Pujili – Quilotoa Crater Lake
We will head south from Quito, towards Cotopaxi province. Our first stop will be the colorful indigenous market of Pujili. A stroll across the market with its tantalizing food products, handmade clothes, crafts, and animals is a feast for all the senses. After a scenic drive through some of the most beautiful scenery of the Ecuadorian Andes you reach the picturesque Quilotoa crater lake. From the crater rim, you have the option to hike down to the turquoise-colored lake. The steep climb back to the top can be accomplished on foot or on a rented mule. A box lunch will help you regain your strength while you enjoy the unique magic and beauty of this crater lagoon.
Overnight accommodations at the traditional Hacienda La Cienega, in standard rooms or suites. (Breakfast / Lunch / – )
Cotopaxi National Park – Rose Plantation – Baños
In the morning, your Andean Treasures tour takes you to Cotopaxi National Park, where you can discover the diverse flora and fauna of this region as you hike to Limpiopungo lagoon, which is located at an altitude of 3800 meters. Later, you visit one of the many rose plantations that have made Ecuadorian roses famous all over the world. A guided tour will introduce you to the different kinds of roses and the whole production process. You continue on to Baños, a lively pilgrimage town famous for its thermal hot springs and its beautiful cathedral. Accommodations at Hotel Floresta (Breakfast / Lunch / – ) or Spa Hotel Luna Runtun (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner).
Pailon del Diablo – Baños – Riobamba
The town of Baños, located at an altitude of 1,800 meters, is blessed with a balmy, pleasant climate. We recommend that you visit the beautiful cathedral or simply enjoy the extraordinary scenery before starting the day´s adventure, the “waterfall route,” which runs along the Pastaza Canyon. The highlight of this route is located near Rio Verde, where a short walk through the cloud forest takes you to the thundering waterfall known as “Pailon del Diablo” (Devil’s cauldron).
In the afternoon, your Andean Treasures small–group tour continues to the highest volcano in Ecuador, Chimborazo (6,310 m). In this desolate high-mountain region, you may encounter herds of shy vicuñas. The Edward Whymper refuge offers a great view from an altitude of 5,000 meters.
Devil’s Nose – Ingapirca – Cuenca
Early in the morning, a scenic drive past small mountain villages takes us to the train station in Alausí, where you will experience one of the most famous train rides in the world. The “Devils Nose,” as it is known, is an unforgettable train ride down a steep mountainside; the train zigzags down the mountain to Sibambe. After a short break, you return along the same route. On your way to the next highlight, the Ingapirca archaeological complex, you enjoy a box lunch. At Ingapirca, the largest Inca site in Ecuador, you learn about the Inca and Cañari cultures during a tour of the beautiful temples and fortifications.
City Tour of Colonial Cuenca
Today, the itinerary of your Andean Treasures adventure includes a tour of the beautiful colonial city of Cuenca, declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. The riverwalk along the Rio Tomebamba, the imposing new cathedral and the daily flower market are just a few of the highlights that this city has to offer. The tour also includes a visit to a workshop and museum dedicated to the famous Panama hats, the finest woven hats in the world. The afternoon is open for you to explore this charming historical city on your own.
Cajas National Park – Guayaquil
After breakfast, your Andean Treasures group tour will head west across El Cajas National Park. This reserve, although it is mostly above the tree line, is home to an astonishing variety of plants and animals. In addition to rugged ridges and deep, box-shaped valleys, there are nearly 240 lakes of various sizes. At an altitude of almost 4,200 meters above sea level, you reach the westernmost watershed between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, a great photo opportunity with spectacular views. From here, you descend to the coastal region through beautiful and ever-changing scenery. As the altitude drops, the vegetation grows in size and variety. You will see extensive cocoa, banana, rice, and sugar cane plantations on your way to the bustling metropolis of Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador. After checking into your hotel, you set out on a Guayaquil city tour. This city is best explored on foot. We will start from Parque Bolivar, continue to the Plaza de Administración, the Moorish Clock Tower, the “Malecón 2000,” and finally the colorful Las Peñas neighborhood, with its spectacular panoramic view of the lazy Guayas River and its green mangrove belt. At the end of your city tour, everyone will gather for a farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant. (B / – / D)
Transfer to the airport or start of an extension program
Your Andean Treasures tour ends. After breakfast, your driver will pick you up at the hotel and take you to the airport for your flight home. Alternately, you can start an extension program or add a visit to the Galapagos Islands. We would be happy to advise you on various available options. (Breakfast / – / – )
Andean Treasures (8 days / 7 nights)
This small-group tour can be booked with SUPERIOR or STANDARD hotels.
3* Standard Hotels for the Andean Treasures Small-Group Tour
Hostal Fuente de Piedra I, Quito
Hacienda La Cienega, Cotopaxi
Hotel Floresta, Baños
Mansion Santa Isabella, Riobamba
Hotel Casa del Aguila, Cuenca
Grand Hotel Guayaquil, Guayaquil
|Number of Participants||English- / German-speaking Guide|
|1 +||USD 1540|
|Single Occupancy Supplement||USD 175|
All prices per person with double occupancy.
4* Superior Hotels for the Andean Treasures Small-Group Tour
Grand Hotel Mercure Alameda, Quito
Hacienda La Cienega Suites, Cotopaxi
Hotel Luna Runtun, Baños
Hacienda Abraspungo, Riobamba
Hotel Santa Lucia, Cuenca
Hotel Hampton Inn, Guayaquil
|Number of Participants||English- / German-speaking Guide|
|1 +||USD 1870|
|Single Occupancy Supplement||USD 510|
All prices per person with double occupancy.
7 nights in double room with breakfast
Meals as listed in the itinerary
English- speaking driver/guide (2 – 3 people) or guide and driver ( 4+ people)
Visits and excursions described in the program
Admission fees at Cotopaxi and Chimborazo National Parks, all churches, equator monument, Quilotoa, rose plantation, waterfalls, train ticket, Ingapirca
Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages Meals not listed in the itinerary Other services not described in the itinerary Tips and personal expenses
Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
Meals not listed in the itinerary
Other services not described in the itinerary
Tips and personal expenses
A reservations is only valid with a written confirmation.
Reservations made less than 30 days prior to the tour start are subject to hotel availability.
Once the reservation is confirmed, a 30% deposit of the total tour price has to be made within 8 days.
Full payment is required 30 days prior to the tour start.
Reservations cancelled between confirmation and 31 days prior to the tour start don´t entail a cancellation fee. However, banking transaction fees or other financial costs related to the cancellation will be passed on to the client.
Reservations cancelled between 30 and 16 days prior to the tour start incur a cancellation fee of 50% of the total price of the tour.
If a reservation is canceled less than 15 days prior to the tour start, no refund will be given.
Departure dates for the Andean Treasures small-group tour
|04 Mar. – 11 Mar.|
|01 Apr. – 08 Apr.|
|29 Apr. – 06 May|
|10 Jun. -17 Jun.|
|08 Jul. -15 Jul.|
|22 Jul. – 29 Jul.|
|05 Aug. – 12 Aug.|
|14 Oct. – 21 Oct.|
|28 Oct. -04 Nov.|
|11 Nov. – 18 Nov.|
|09 Dec. -16 Dec.|
Please Note: Services listed in the itinerary may be subject to change due to organizational or climate factors or unforeseen circumstances. We expressly reserve the right to change routing for safety reasons (e.g., weather, strikes) and/or to change hotels within the same category in exceptional cases.