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 16 reviews submitted.
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From
ZAR  18,851
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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 15
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

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
  • Pailon del Diablo Waterfall
  • Walking tour of Banos
  • Cotopaxi -National Park walk
  • Quito - Local community experience
  • Otavalo - Market Visit
Add on activities
  • Quilotoa - Quilotoa Lagoon (Full day) - USD100
  • Quito - Urban Adventures: Legends and Culture Tour - USD50
  • Quito - Papallacta Hot Springs (Full day) - USD70
  • Banos - Swing at the End of the World - USD2
  • Banos - Bellavista Viewpoint - Free
  • 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 16 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Kevin/Cynthia · Traveled December 2023
We got glimpses of the various beautiful regions and their ecosystems with many memorable experiences. The home stay was wonderful (thanks to google translate). Can’t say enough about the knowledgeable guides and fabulous food.
Review submitted 16 Dec 2023

Michael · Traveled December 2023
Johanna was an exceptional tour leader across all aspects of her role in ensuring a successful group trip in Ecuador.
Review submitted 17 Dec 2023

Deborah · Traveled November 2023
Ecuador Highlights was not worth it. Three of the seven days were spent on the bus, going from one destination to another. Activities were not done or done poorly. Not given time to do much in the locations we spent so much time traveling to. Tour guide average.
Review submitted 25 Nov 2023

Ivona · Traveled November 2023
Just do it! Don't think twice about going to Ecuador. It's a beautiful land with amazing food and people. Worth to see and protect.
Review submitted 30 Nov 2023

Kylie · Traveled November 2023
Review submitted 29 Dec 2023
Ecuador Highlands
From
ZAR  18,851