Orchids & Flowers of Ecuador
Duration: 11 days / 10 nights
Ecuador privileged location, unique climatic and geographic conditions allows the perfect scenery for plant growth. Over 4,000 species of orchids have been documented and many more still await for recognition. The great variety of orchids within such a small country makes Ecuador a top destination for orchid observation.
Ecuador is also known worldwide for being a top producer of roses and summer flowers, approximately 400 varieties of roses grow in the Ecuadorian Highlands. Along the tour you will have the opportunity to observe some wild orchids and flowers, as well as visit the largest orchids and rose farms in the country.
Orchids & Flowers of Ecuador: Program Highlights
- Orchids display in Quito’s Botanical garden
- Visit the farms of a market leader company in the flower’s industry
- Visit the reserves of a leading Orchid’s farm in the country
- Lecture series by local expert (Minimum number of participants is required)
Itinerary – Day by Day
Day 1: Arrive in Quito.
Welcome to Ecuador! Arrive in Quito and transfer to the Hotel for overnight.
Day 2: Quito historic center and the Botanical garden.
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.
Continue to Quito’s Botanical Garden which boasts a great exhibition of plants of different colors, sizes, shapes and smells, going through different ecosystems, from the native flora of the high Andes to the cloud forest, dry forest and ornamental plants. One of its main attractions is the orchid display containing over 1,200 species. Quito is known as the World´s Capital of Orchids due to the big number of species found in Quito and its surroundings. (Meals: B, L, D)
Day 3: Flower farms & private gardens.
Start today with a country style breakfast at a private Hacienda dating back from republican times, located approximately 60 km / 37 miles away from Quito. Receive an introduction to the floral industry, one of the major economic activities in Ecuador. Learn about the Ecuadorian flowers and roses known worldwide by its beauty and finest quality. First, visit a rose plantation established in 1993 that presently encompasses 22 acres of land producing a variety of roses for exportation.
Continue to visit the farms of a market leader company in the flower’s industry committed to breeding, growing and distributing the highest quality of fresh cut flowers. This farm produces about 45 varieties of roses and more than 30 species of summer flowers including Gerberas, Campanula, Sunflowers, and Gypsophila. Enjoy lunch at the farm and continue to visit a private property where you will see one of the largest private gardens in South America. The gardens have more than 500 species of plants and flowers from all over the world and thanks to the excellent climate in the area, flowers bloom almost all year round. (Meals: B, L)
Day 4: Following the orchids and hummingbirds route.
Visit Yanacocha reserve, located on the slopes of Volcan Pichincha. The reserve protects a large area (960ha) of Polylepis woodland which is home to many species of hummingbirds like the endangered Black-breasted Puffleg considered the Bird Emblem of Quito. The Andean flora which provides normal provisioning (nectar) for the hummingbirds is very evident along the trails; Bomarea, Centropogon, Fuchsia, Macleania, and Palicouria being especially prominent.
Enjoy lunch at Nono, a small picturesque town, with lots of fearless little hummingbirds zipping around. Continue by the Ecoroad to Mindo area, stops along the road will be made to observe orchids growing on the road cuts. Arrive at one of the local Eco lodges for dinner and overnight. (Meals: B, L, D)
Day 5: Exploring the botanical diversity of the Andean cloud forest.
Explore the beauty of the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest considered one of the most bio diverse ecosystems on the planet. Walk through the forest searching for different types of flowers and plants.
Visit a private orchid’s garden, home to approximately 200 species of native orchids in an area of 700 m2. Learn from the owners about their hard work to preserve this exotic flower. (Meals: B, L, D)
Day 6: Mindo Cloud Forest – Papallacta
Visit El Pahuma Orchid’s reserve, a private 650-hectare reserve, home to a multitude of epiphytes (air plants), including bromeliads, orchids, moss and ferns. The lush montane forests at El Pahuma are also home to a large number of rare and endemic species, this reserve has been designated an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International. Continue to Papallacta a small village famous for its thermal hot springs.
Check in at the Papallacta Thermal Springs & Spa hotel, arrive by lunch time. The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy the spring pools (Meals: B,L,D)
Day 7: Papallacta – Cosanga
Continue through the Quijos Valley to Cosanga. Quijos Valley is an extraordinary area of great biodiversity, one of the westernmost headwaters of the Amazon basin, along the way you will make brief stops to observe the flora of the area, it is possible to see a wide variety of orchids species and genera such as Epidendrum, Elleanthus, Maxillaria, Lephantes, Trychoseros, Odontoglossum, Pleurothallis, among others.
Visit San Isidro Reserve; the reserve offers 1,900 hectares of well marked and maintained forest trails that will lead you through a variety of habitat zones typical of the region, including some of the most beautiful accessible and well preserved mountain humid forest to be found anywhere on the east slopes of the Andes. In the afternoon return to Quito. (Meals: B, L, D)
Day 8: Cuenca: World Cultural Heritage
Take an early flight Cuenca; 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)
Day 9: Gualaceo Orchids and Artisan Villages
Visit the reserves of a leading Orchid’s farm in the country and the most important orchid growing laboratory in Ecuador with a species count over 1,000. Walk amongst orchid and flower habitats and enjoy impressive views of this spectacular environment as a result of the Andes and Jungle transition.
Watch hundreds of wild orchids as well as a wide diversity of plants and other flowers. Continue to the villages nearby to learn about the countryside life in the area, visit a local market and weaving artisans. (Meals: B, L)
Day 10: From Highlands to Lowlands; scenic drive from Cuenca to Guayaquil.
Depart from Cuenca early in the morning for your transfer to Guayaquil. This scenic route is full of marvelous landscapes as a result of the transition from the highlands to the lowlands. En route, visit a traditional coastal. This is called an agro tourism visit, as you will be able to feel, see, and share the traditions of our coastal farm workers. Upon arrival you will taste a welcome drink with cocoa juice. Watch tropical fruits and cacao plantations, products that have made famous Ecuador all around the world.
The Ecuadorian cacao is considered one of the world’s finest due to its great quality and flavor. Watch the process of cocoa elaboration, from its sowing, plantation, harvesting, fermentation and the elaboration of its delicious final product, the Chocolate!. Enjoy a typical coastal lunch served at the Hacienda, then continue to Guayaquil. Enjoy a farewell dinner in one of the local restaurants. (Meals: B, L, D)
Day 11: Departure day.
Transfer to the airport for your flight back home or to your next destination.
The program starts in Quito and ends in Guayaquil
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.