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National Geographic Ecuador – Amazon, Hot Springs & Volcanoes

National Geographic Ecuador – Amazon, Hot Springs & Volcanoes

From $2099 / per person
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Description

Get in touch with the power of the planet on this 9 day adventure packed with many of Ecuador’s natural wonders. Hike through the verdant Amazon jungle with a local naturalist guide at your side, slip into the restorative hot springs of Papallacta, enjoy lunch with the residents of an Andean community, and spend a night at a historic hacienda. Let this force of nature blow you away!

  • Prices subject to availability and dates. There may be fluctuations at some times, including further discounts. Feel free to contact us here at Twister Travel for the best possible deals!
  • Duration: 9 days
  • Start/Finish City: Quito
  • Service Level: Upgraded. Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.
  • Physical Grading: 2 – Light. Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
  • Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys. Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.
  • Trip Type: Small Group. Small group experience – Max 16, Average 10 passengers.

Features

  • Visit the Otavalo Weaving studio and get a lesson from Miguel Andrango
  • Explore villages and learn about traditional handicrafts and folk art from locals
  • Traverse the Amazon jungle with a local naturalist guide
  • Learn about the relationship between cultures and the plants around them at the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
  • National Geographic collection, which is designed to take you deeper into the cultures and habitats of the places we explore
  • Upgraded service level
  • Be surrounded by towering volcanoes and other unbelievable scenery
  • Bliss out in the volcanic hot springs

What’s Included

  • Arrival transfer
  • Otavalo Weaving Lesson, Otavalo
  • Amazon Home Experience, Tena
  • Visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park, Baños
  • Overnight in an historic hacienda
  • Papallacta Hot Springs Visit
  • Explore the Otavalo handicraft market
  • Cloud forest reserve visit
  • Two nights at an Amazon lodge with jungle excursions
  • Excursion to Cotopaxi National Park
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Accommodation Supplied

Hotels (4 nts), historic hacienda (1 nt), jungle lodge (2 nts), hot springs resort (1 nt)

Solo travellers get to share twin rooms with same sex room mates.

MY OWN ROOM UPGRADE FROM $1039.00: If you’re travelling solo and would prefer to have your own private room throughout your trip, select this option during the online booking process.

Meals

8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners

Further Information?

Just ask us about booking extra tours and adventure add-on packs to secure your place in some of these experiences, before embarking on your tour! We can also help with flight bookings.Best prices with lowest transit times are guaranteed by Twister Travel!

Tour Bookings and Enquiries

Interested in this tour?

Contact Twister Travel!

 

 

 

  • Departure
    Quito

Tour Plan

1

Day 1 Quito

Private vehicle airport transfer included to the arrival point hotel. The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your casual welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour.
  • Accommodation: Hotel Mercure (or similar)
2

Day 2 Quito/ Otavalo

Relax and be driven to the highlands in a private vehicle, stopping at the small weaving community of Peguche for a local lunch. Stay the night at a historic highlands hacienda, and meet the locals at their 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 fruit and vegetables.
The Otavaleños’ cultural integrity is evident in their traditional dressing style. This is not just worn for the tourists at the Saturday market, but is worn throughout their daily life. These are people still practising traditions of long ago, as will also be seen at the local market where animals are even traded. The market dates back to pre-Inca times.            Vibrant woven textiles created by these people are an exciting highlight of our visit. Be aware that haggling is a familiar practise, so try it if you like.
  • Accommodation: Hotel Pinsaqui (or similar)
  • Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch
 
3

Day 3 Otavolo/ Papallacta

We travel on to Papallacta. Settle in and scan the scenery on a 2-3 hour drive, from the convenience of a private vehicle.But not before we see some more of Otavolo, stopping in for a visit at the home and studio of Don Miguel, a man working to keep his culture’s traditions alive. For thousands of years the indigenous people of the Otavalo region have used the backstrap loom to create their woven goods, however new technologies have slowly been pushing out the tradition. Learn how Don Miguel and his family are working to help revive this ancient art as he demonstrates every step of the process, from cleaning the wool, to naturally dyeing it, to backstrap weaving.
Then later, enjoy your wellness moment with a soak in the inviting Papallacta Hot Springs Allow the pure mineral waters soothe and relax. Make your way through the circuit with views of the Antisana volcano in the distance.
Optional Extra Activities
  • Hiking Excursion                                                                                                 Head out to explore. Take a hike or walk in the areas surrounding Papallacta. Enjoy the region's great natural beauty and views of the snow-capped Antisana Volcano.
  • Accommodation: Termas de Papallact (or similar)
  • Meals: Breakfast
 
4

Day 4 Papallecta/ Tena

Visit the Guango private cloud forest reserve for a walk with your CEO (Chief Experience Officer) to learn about the unique flora and fauna of the region. A bird lovers paradise, be on the lookout for a variety of parrots, toucans, tanagers and more. We may also get to observe a multitude of dive-bombing hummingbirds. Seeing 14 species of hummingbirds within an hour is not uncommon, and the Sword-billed hummingbird with it's unique, long bill is sure to amaze.
Enjoy a visit to Misahualli to visit the cheeky Capuchin monkeys who call this town home. Continue to Tena to catch a motorized canoe to the Amazon lodge. Settle in and receive a briefing from a local naturalist guide about the lodge and area. Later, embark on a night walk with the naturalist guide to learn about the nocturnal creatures of the Amazon. Stargazing is also possible on a clear night.
The lodge is located along the bank of the Arajuno River approx. 40min. from Tena. You will stay in comfortable cabañas next to the river, which have private bathroom with hot water in a rainfall-shower, electricity and a balcony. From your balcony, you can relax in a hammock or deck chair in tune with nature, and appreciate the presence of hummingbirds, shore river birds and butterflies. 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 boardwalk to guests rooms.
The lodge is committed to protecting the pristine jungle environment and has a dedicated recycling program, energy conservation program. They offer biodegradable amenities including shampoo and shower gel in the bathrooms.
  • Accommodation: Itamandi Lodge (or similar)
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
5

Day 5 Tena

Staying on at our jungle lodge, we get up for an early morning canoe ride to visit a parrot clay lick. With a 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.See large cats and reptiles up close, and learn all about the important work of this sanctuary.
Then, enjoy an exclusive invitation as a 'Your Journeys Highlight Moment'. A truly unforgettable cultural experience with a local Ecuadorian family who’ll welcome and host us for the afternoon at their home in the jungle. Discuss their traditions, beliefs, history, and hear about what daily life is like for them in such a unique environment. Go fishing with them, then share in the ritual of lunch preparation as the family provide insghts into their deep connection to nature. A memorable experience, likely to have lasting impact.
  • Accommodation: Itamandi Lodge (or similar)
  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
6

Day 6 Tenas/ Banos

Depart the Amazon to Baños, a stunning town surrounded by volcanoes. Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle, on this 2-3 hour drive.
Along the way, visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park. Unlock secrets of  the study of the relationship between cultures and the plants around them. Plants are integral to the lives of Amazonian indigenous groups who use them for shelter, nourishment, medicine, and in spiritual practices. Set out on the trails with an expert guide to learn about the diverse plant life, plus the local Shuar and Waorani people. Partake in unique botanical experiences like tasting cinnamon, and being painted with achotillo sap.
Then take advantage of some free time to explore the lovely town in the mountains.. Baños is one of the most popular spots in the country, with many Ecuadorian families favouring this destination. Baños translates into 'baths'. The springs flow from the base of Tungurahua Volcano.
  • Accommodation: Hotel Sangay (or similar)
  • Meals included: Breakfast
 
7

Day 7 Baños

Free flexible day to relax or explore Baños. Take advantage of this perfect setting for outdoor pursuits. Activities include horse riding, canyoneering, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and rafting on the River Patate.
Optional Extra Activities
  • Hiking Baños                                                                              Head to the mountains for some amazing treks; Baños provides the perfect natural setting for outdoor adventure.                        Free!
  • Hot Springs Baños                                                                     Head to hot springs at the base of Tungurahua Volcano, which means “little hell” in Quichua, or try some of the baths fed by the melt waters of Tungurahua's glaciated flanks. Rise before the sun for an early soak – watching the sun peak over the mountains while relaxing in the warm waters is definitely worth the early start. US$20
  • Mountain Biking Baños                                                                Hop on your bike and explore the amazing scenery surrounding Baños. Pass by mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and changing vegetation – depending on what path you take. Enjoy the cool wind on downhill stretches, but be sure to bring sunblock; the sun can be strong.                                                                                 US$10
  • Horse Riding Baños                                                                    Explore Baños’ beautiful countryside by horseback. Check out the unique vegetation in the region, and, perhaps, take your horse over to Tungurahua Volcano for amazing views. US$25
  • Baños Canyoning Adventure                                                    Jump, slide, rappel, swim and float your way down the Rio Blanco on this canyoning adventure. Make your way down stream and enjoy the stunning scenery as you head into the heart of Llanganates National Park.
  • Baños Ziplining Adventure Bundle                                          Buckle up your harness, put on your helmet, and prepare to launch. Glide along a zipline suspended 850m above the canyon below, dare to let go and reach top speeds as you zip past stunning scenery. Forget your fear as you cross a suspension bridge above Pastaza River. Rock climb up to a second zipline to accelerate on in this adrenaline-filled adventure.
  • Whitewater Rafting Baños                                                              Hit the roaring rapids! Choose a river that suits your experience level; there a number with varying ranges of difficulty. Enjoy amazing Andean scenery and a fun-filled ride!                        US$70
 
  • Accommodation: Hotel Sangay (or similar)
  • Meals Included: breakfast
8

Day 8 Baños/ Quito

Drive back to Quito along the scenic Avenue of Volcanoes with a visit to Cotopaxi National Park en route.
Home to Cotopaxi Volcano, a beautiful cone-shaped, snow-covered volcano which is Ecuador’s second highest peak, and the highest active volcano in the world. An amazing opportunity to see park wildlife, including condors, foxes, deer, spectacled bears, and more. For those who want to hike, there are options available (weather permitting). Please ensure you have proper hiking shoes or boots, a waterproof/windproof jacket and warm hats and gloves. Hike is approximately 1 1/2 hours. Total driving time is 7-9 hours.
  • Accommodation: Hotel Mercure (or similar)
  • Meals provided: Breakfast
9

Day 9 Quito

Depart at any time.
  • Meals included: breakfast
 
How to Pack
Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. We recommend the use of a medium-sized soft suitcase, duffel bag or backpack, whichever is easiest for you to carry. A good size daypack is also essential.
Rubber boots are very good for hiking in the rainforest, they help protect feet from plants and insects close to the ground as well as deep water. The lodge offers the use of boots as a courtesy to our guests, available from size 5 to size 12.
How to keep things dry: We recommend that passengers bring zip-lock plastic bags or dry sacks for your lenses and camera equipment. A waterproof backpack will also help you to protect your camera gear or anything else you wish to keep completely dry. The humidity is high in the rainforest, however, if you follow the advice about packing appropriate belongings it should not be an issue.
Some suggested items to take include: Amazon
  • Knee-length socks
  • Loose-fitting, light coloured hiking pants
  • Loose-fitting, light coloured long-sleeved shirts
  • Pack liners to waterproof bags
Other Items
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Camera/ or phone with camera
  • Cash, credit and debit cards
  •  Day pack
  •  First-aid supplies
  •  Torch
  •  Hoodie or sweater
  •  Hat
  •  Moneybelt
  •  Outlet adapter
  •  Personal entertainment
  •  Reusable water bottle
  •  Small travel towel
  •  Sunglasses
  •  Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
  •  Sunscreen (reef-safe)
  •  Watch or alarm clock
  •  Waterproof backpack cover
  •  Windproof rain jacket
  •  Long pants/ jeans
  •  Swimwear
  •  Sandals or flip flops
  •  Drybag (Optional - will help keep cameras and essentials dry)
  •  Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
Documents
You need to keep hold of:
  • Flight info - copies of e-tickets may be required at borders
  • Insurance details
  • Passport
  • All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity)
  • Vaccination certificates
  • Visas - currently you can stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days without a visa if travelling with an Australian passport.For anticipated longer stays, apply for a visa. Please check locally or just ask us if you are unsure of the rules for your country of origin.
  • Photocopies or photo files of all documents is practical.
  • If you do not carry proof of insurance and/or an insurance assistance card that satisfies this requirement, it is possible that your entrance into Ecuador could be denied.
  • Venezuelan nationals entering Ecuador must have a humanitarian visa
Contact us at Twister Travel if any assistance is required with visa applications.
Local Culture
Important notes about visiting the Amazon:
How to keep things dry: We recommend that passengers bring zip-lock plastic bags or dry sacks for your lenses and camera equipment. A waterproof backpack will also help you to protect your camera gear or anything else you wish to keep completely dry. The humidity is high in the rainforest, however, if you follow the advice about packing appropriate belongings it should not be an issue.
The weather in the Amazon: Year-round temperature average is 82°F (28°C), nights can be cooler. Since Ecuador is located right on the equator, the country does not experience extreme weather changes, and the weather is surprisingly comfortable all year round. Please be prepared for rain.
Digital camera users need only beware (as SLR users) that moisture can fog their lenses rapidly. Silica gel in the camera carrying case should do the job and remember to put your camera back in the case when not using it. Bring plastic zip-lock bags for protecting your gear
THE TUNGURAHUA VOLCANO Please note this tour travels to Banos. The Tungurahua volcano in the area around Banos is constantly active. G Adventures have operated countless tours to the Banos area over the years without incident. However, we are obligated to point out that travel to the area is at your own risk, to exercise caution when travelling in the area. Further, we urge you to check your insurance coverage with your insurance provider prior to travel to the Banos area.
For Your Health
  • Take along some Mosquito repellant for your own convenience - natural organic products may be better, and are available for purchase locally. Protect yourself from any possible insect-borne diseases.
  • Any regular prescription medications, asthma inhalers, vitamins.If you plan to take medication, check if it's legal in Ecuador. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
  • Ensure you have any vaccinations necessary, for your peace of mind.
Contact us at Twister Travel for more specific information.
Check your personal vaccination requirement lists/ and dates when renewals may be needed!
  • For in-depth health and safety data, (including up to date vaccinations info) please visit https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/americas/ecuador          Or your local equivalent.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION Please note your Adventure travels to high altitude, in Quito and the highlands. This is medically defined as anything over 8,000 feet (2,440 meters). Most people can travel to 8,000 feet with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts to altitude differently and altitude sickness can on set with some people irrespective of fitness and age. For details on how to best prepare and what to do in the unlikely event you are effected on your Adventure, please consult your physician. [
Random Potential Hazards
Take normal precautions in cities when out at night, changing money, carrying your valuables, and any other imagined potential hazard. Be particularly aware of potential drink spikings. Stay with group members, avoiding isolated backstreets at night due to the possibility of random kidnappings or street crimes. Listen to your G-Adventures guide's advice for drinking water.
Insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate in any G Adventures tour. Minimum coverage is US$200,000. Some tours may include activities where extra coverage is required. We can assist you in adding insurance or advising you on insurance options upon booking with Twister Travel.
Age Requirements
You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
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