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Ecuador Highlands

8 Days | Be moved by the natural beauty of Ecuador, from the Andes to the Amazon

4.8 out of 5 based on 5 reviews submitted.
Explorer
From
CAD $1,080
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From the heights of the Andes to the depths of the Amazon Jungle, this 8-day trip will take you further. You’ll walk through the Amazon Jungle with an indigenous guide leading the way, hike in Cotopaxi National Park – home to one of the world’s largest active volcanos – and canoe to your river-side eco-lodge accommodation on the edge of the rainforest (to name just a few of the epic nature-loving adventures). But it’s not all just about the landscapes here, you’ll also get a glimpse into everyday life during a homestay with a local family where you’ll connect with them, lending a hand with chores, doing seasonal activities and perhaps, brushing up on your Espanol. There’s so much to see, do and learn in this South American paradise.

Trip overview

Map of Ecuador Highlands including Ecuador
Start
Quito, Ecuador
Finish
Quito, Ecuador
Theme
Explorer
Destinations
Ecuador
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Original
Ages
Min 16
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
GGSH
We’re in the process of figuring out how much CO2-e this trip generates. In the meantime, find out more about our climate commitments and carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Stay on the edge of the Amazon Rainforest in eco lodge-style accommodation on the banks of the Arajuno River and enjoy a special evening walk through the jungle under the night sky.
  • Walk in the rainforest with an indigenous guide by your side to lead the way, point out local birds and teach you about the incredible plant life that thrives here. Then, visit an Amazon animal rescue centre.
  • Opt to hike to Pailon del Diablo, an 80-meter-high waterfall so fierce that you’ll need to carry a poncho to keep dry from its wrath.
  • Marvel at the snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano – one of the largest active volcanos in the world – while hiking through Cotopaxi National Park.
  • Live like a local as you’re welcomed into a family home in a sustainable community high in the hills of Ecuador, getting your hands dirty and helping with everyday tasks like reforestation projects, organic gardening or jam making, to name a few.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip visits Quito which is at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Medical and Health Information’ section of the Essential Trip Information.
  • Temperatures in the Amazon can fluctuate. It can get really hot, humid, sticky during the day, and cold at night. Light cotton clothing is the best way to tackle the heat during the day, and base layers are ideal for keeping warm at night.
  • Insects, especially mosquitoes, abound in the Amazon. Bring tropical strength insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants to protect your skin.
  • This trip includes jungle hikes, which can be strenuous due to the humidity. A decent level of fitness is required to feel comfortable when exploring the jungle.
  • While accommodation in the Amazon is clean, comfortable and ideally located, it can seem pretty basic. Please remember that this is a very remote part of the world.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2024 to 31 December 2024.

View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2023 - 31 December 2023

Map of Ecuador Highlands including Ecuador

Inclusions

Meals

7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Public bus

Accommodation

Hotel (3 nights), Jungle Eco Lodge (2 nights), Homestay (2 nights)

Activities
  • Amazon - Guided rainforest hike and visit to animal rescue centre
  • Walking tour of Banos
  • Quito - Cotopaxi National Park walk
  • Quito - Local community experience
  • Otavalo - Market Visit
Add on activities
  • Quilotoa - Quilotoa Lagoon (Full day) - USD100
  • Urban Adventures: Quito Legends and Culture Tour - USD79
  • Quito - Papallacta Hot Springs (Full day) - USD70
  • Banos - Swing at the End of the World - USD2
  • Banos - Bellavista Viewpoint - Free
  • Pailon del Diablo Waterfall - USD2
  • Banos - Hot springs - USD5
  • Route of the waterfalls - USD2
  • Quito - Flower Plantation Visit - USD10

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 5 and 6 (Homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 based on 5 reviews submitted.
While we try our best to display all reviews, removal may be due to the following: privacy concerns, profanity/inappropriate content or it is unrelated to this trip. We welcome honest feedback and will directly respond to negative reviews.

Filter by rating

Craig · Traveled August 2023
Amazing trip of diverse locales. From the hot, lush Amazon rainforest, the waterfalls of Banos, the green mountains of the cloud forest, the spectacular volcano Cotopaxi; this trip has it all
Review submitted 30 Aug 2023

Harriet · Traveled August 2023
Highly recommend, great trip! Learnt a lot about Ecuador and was impressed by the accommodation and inclusions.
Review submitted 02 Sep 2023

Mary Ann · Traveled January 2020
Excellent itinerary as you get into the real nature of the south of Ecuador. Great interaction with the culture. Do not miss the optional hike at Cajus National Park!!
Review submitted 18 Feb 2020

Moira · Traveled November 2019
We had a fabulous trip through the stunning Ecuadorian mainland with Ana as our extremely knowledgeable, friendly and approachable Tour Leader. We loved the interaction with local people and the many chances to try out the lovely Ecuadorian cuisine
Review submitted 19 Nov 2019

Juleika · Traveled November 2019
Review submitted 29 Nov 2019
Ecuador Highlands
From
CAD $1,080