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Where the Andes Meets the Rainforest

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Where the Andes Meets the Rainforest

Duration: 9 Days / 8 Nights

Program Overview

Follow the transition between the highlands and the Amazon rainforest, exploring en route different ecosystems and climatic floors. You will be marveled by the amazing biodiversity of the route.

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Where the Andes Meets the Rainforest: Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy Thermal Springs at 3200 mts / 10500 ft above sea level
  • Visit the home of an Amazon indigenous family
  • Built and navigate a raft, float down the Napo River
  • Hike the most biodiverse ecosystem of the planet, the Amazon rainforest.

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Itinerary – Day by Day

Day 1: Arrival in Quito.

Greeting at the airport and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2: Explore Quito’s historic center.

Explore Quito’s colonial center; the best preserved historic center in America. Learn about Quito’s rich history and its artistic legacy. Admire the wonderful architecture of its colonial buildings and the uniqueness of religious art pieces from the famous Quitenian School of art, which combines the European Renaissance and Baroque styles with the indigenous and mestizo influences.

Enjoy traditional Ecuadorian food for lunch in one of the most renowned local restaurants. Return to the hotel for an informative briefing about the Amazon Rainforest. Rest of the afternoon on your own (Meals: B, L)

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amazon-traditionDay 3: Guango Wildlife Reserve – Papallacta Thermal Hot Springs

Depart from Quito for a scenic drive descending the Eastern slopes of the Andes cordillera into the entrance of the Amazon basin. Arrive at a peaceful and quiet private reserve for a hike into the humid temperate forest characterized by stunted trees with dense crowns and surrounded by a large amount of bird flocks.

Continue to Papallacta to enjoy the restorative effects of its hot springs. Spend the afternoon relaxing in the thermal pools or take one of the many treatments offered at the spa (cost of spa treatments not included in the tour price). (Meals:B, L, D)

Day 4: Papallacta – Napo River lodge

Depart from Papallacta for a drive to Casa del Suizo. Arrive to Casa del Suizo by lunch time. In the afternoon visit a local indigenous family to learn about several aspects of their traditional culture. You will witness the production of “chica”, a typical beverage (passengers are allowed to help with chicha elaboration).

Visit a ceramic handicraft factory where you will see the elaboration process and will be able to participate in the painting and making pottery. Back in the hotel; enjoy a sunset from the swimming pool with a refreshing welcome cocktail. Optional: Depart early from Papallacta to join a rafting adventure on the Jatun Yacu river, box lunch on route. Arrive at the lodge around 4 pm. (Meals:B, L, D)

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amazon-hikeDay 5: Hiking through the Rain Forest – Misichocha Adventure – Float down Napo river

7:30 Breakfast. Activities begin at 9 AM. This visit consists of a walk through primary and secondary forest trails, along which it is possible to observe distinct species of birds and insects as well as a great variety of trees and medicinal plants. The guides will explain how such plants are used not only in medicine, but also in construction and other important local activities. Along the trails guests may enjoy several opportunities for adventure, such as hanging bridges, and vines for swinging from tree to tree. After the walk lunch in the jungle, and later live the incredible experience of building and navigating a raft! On a small river island your guide will show you how to tie balsa logs together, so those who wish can float down the Napo for about an hour back to La Casa del Suizo. (Meals:B, L, D)

ecuador-amazonDay 6: Cosano Reserve – Amazonicoo rescue center.

After breakfast you will board a dugout canoe, and navigate 20 minutes down the waters of the scenic Napo River. The destination is Cosano, a private reserve, where during and approximately 2.5 to 3 hour hike through primary rainforest visitors will have the opportunity to see actual hunting traps which were traditionally used by the local natives in the past. The guides will demonstrate how they work and explain which type of animals was caught in each one. Of course at all times you will be on the lookout for tropical birds and point out important aspects of the surrounding vegetation. Lunch will be served at the location. Visit the Amazonico, a rescue center for wounded and displaced tropical rainforest animals. Return to Casa del Suizo at around 5 M. Rest of the afternoon at leisure. (Meals:B,L,D)

ecuador-green-hummingbirdDay 7: Omaere Ethnobotanical Park – Banos.

Depart from your Amazon lodge in southern direction to Banos, a village located in the Central Andes at the skirts of the Tungurahua volcano, in a transition point between the Highlands and the Amazon. Its privileged location makes this town a very unique place, surrounded by mountains and waterfalls, with a nice tempered climate and medicinal hot springs. En route, visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park to learn about the relations between Ecuador’s Amazon cultures and the plants that surround them.(Meals:B, L, D)

Day 8: Banios – Quito

In the morning, enjoy a tour of this charming town including a visit to the balsa wood sculptures and to the local toffee makers. Enjoy a hike to one of the principal waterfalls while exploring the local cloud forest ecosystem. Banios offers opportunities to practice some adventure activities like canopy, biking or horseback riding. All these activities can be arranged directly at the town (additional cost). After lunch return to Quito. (Meals:B, L)

Day 9: Departure day.

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

Operational details

The program starts and ends in Quito

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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. Welcome kit, snacks and water provision along the trip.

The program does not included

International airfare, personal expenses, insurance and gratuities.

Ready to get started? Contact us to book your trip.

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