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A Cultural Journey in the Andes

See our Ecuador & Galapagos Tours and all our Ecuador Cultural Immersion tours

A Cultural Journey in the Andes

Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights

Program Overview

Enjoy a cultural journey along the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Discover the stunning landscapes of the Ecuadorian Andes, visit colorful indigenous markets and learn about ancient indigenous cultures.

Be marveled by the beauty and quality of the Ecuadorian rose. Learn about the country’s histoy during the Colonial and Republican period, while staying at Historical Haciendas. Enjoy a zigzag gradient train ride at the Devil’s nose route. Visit one the most important archeological complex in Ecuador.

Explore Cuenca, a beautiful colonial city, named by the Unesco Cultural Heritage of the Humanity. Visit a Paja Toquilla Hat factory and learn about the local traditions and customs.

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A Cultural Journey in the Andes: Tour Highlights

  • Visit the highest active volcano in Ecuador and the second highest active volcano in the world.
  • Learn about local indigenous groups and their ancient traditions.
  • Introduction to one of the main economic activities in Ecuador, the Roses production.
  • Enjoy a train ride adventure at the Devil´s nose route.
  • Learn about pre-Hispanic cultures and visit archaeological vestiges
  • Discover the history and traditions of a patrimonial city.

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Itinerary – Day by Day

Day 1: Arrival in Quito. Greeting at the airport and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2: Crossing the Avenue of the volcanoes: Cotopaxi National Park

Drive through wonderful Andean landscapes along the famous Avenue of the Volcanoes. Arrive at the Cotopaxi National Park, one of the most important natural reserves in the country. The Park is home to a variety of different animal species such as the Andean wolf, deer, rabbits and llamas. The majestic Cotopaxi volcano has a perfect snow-covered cone and is considered the highest active volcano in Ecuador (5,897mt /19,347 ft above sea level). Enjoy the Andean landscapes while hiking in the area. Continue to your Hacienda-style hotel to enjoy the rest of your evening at leisure. (Meals: L, D)

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Day 3: Indigenous Market & Rose farm visit

Learn about the history and ancient traditions of local indigenous groups while visiting one of the Indigenous markets held in the area (except Friday). It is a very picturesque scene of people commercializing typical products, animals and handcrafts. Continue to visit a Rose’s ecological farm that produces world class quality roses, including certified edible organic roses. Learn about one of the most important economic activities in Ecuador. Enjoy special lunch at the farm which includes delicious roses as part of the menu. In the afternoon continue to the Chimborazo province, considered the province with the highest concentration of indigenous population in the country. Arrive to your hotel for overnight and prepare for your next day adventure. (Meals: B, L, D)

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Day 4: Train adventure in the Ecuadorian Highlands – Ingapirca Archeological Complex-Cuenca

Depart from the hotel early in the morning. Enjoy a road ride through beautiful countryside sceneries and observe the common daily life of people in the Ecuadorian Central Andes. Arrive to the village of Alausi where you will board the train that will take you through the famous Devil´s nose adventure which is a train ride on a zigzag gradient route where the train goes backwards and forward. Learn about the multiple difficulties and unfortunate events constructors faced back in the 1900s in order to create one of the most challenging routes in the world.

After the train ride, continue by bus to the Inca fortress of Ingapirca, one the most important archeological complex in the country. It is located approximately 80 km from Cuenca and was constructed over the ruins of an ancient cultural group; The Cañaris, who were conquered by the Incas during the 15th century. Ingapirca was likely a religious center where celebrations for the Sun adoration took place. It may have also been a strategic military base. Continue to the colonial city of Cuenca where you will spend the night. Dinner on your own. (Meals: B, L)

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Day 5: History and traditions of the colonial city of Cuenca

Cuenca is a beautiful city with a traditional ambiance combined with the natural environment of the 4 crossing rivers. It is a big example of cultural awareness due to its efforts to preserve the historical patrimony. The old colonial buildings and churches, the strong religious traditions, as well as the art and crafts of its artisans, make Cuenca a World Cultural Heritage as named by the UNESCO. Learn about the city history and feel the ambiance of a traditional city while walking through its old and narrow streets. Discover Cuenca’s artistic legacy y while visiting the ceramic art galleries and Toquilla hat factory. (Meals: B, L).

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Day 6: Artisan villages

In the morning, depart from Cuenca to follow a picturesque road that will take you on a route of artisan villages. Admire the wonderful craft work of local artisans including ceramics, gold and silver jewelry, wool weaving, wood carving, basket weaving and work with straws, including the manufacturing of the erroneously named “Panama hats” which is locally produced. Preserving the cultural heritage of a community through crafts production is an important activity that helps artisans to face many challenges including the social phenomenon of migration which is currently affecting this area. Your guide will introduce you to this current problem and the social-cultural impacts it has on local communities. Enjoy lunch in the area. In the afternoon return to Cuenca to take your evening flight back to Quito or be transferred by car to Guayaquil (Meals: B,L)

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Day 7: Departure

Transfer to the airport for your flight back home or to your next destination.

Operational details

  • The program starts in Quito and ends in Quito or Guayaquil
  • The order of activities is subject to change due to Indigenous market and Rose’s farm operation days.
  • Devil’s nose train ride does not operate on Monday.

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The program includes

Private transportation, expert local guide, accommodation & meals according to itinerary detail, visits and entrance fee to mentioned places. Round trip train ticket Alausi-Nariz del Diablo. Welcome kit, snacks and water provision along the trip. Air ticket Cuenca-Quito or road transportation to Guayaquil.

The program does not included

International airfare, personal expenses, insurance and gratuities.

ecuador-volcano-landscape

See our Ecuador & Galapagos Tours and all our Ecuador Cultural Immersion tours

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