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Ecuador has some staggering scenery as well as a rich and colourful history that has left its imprint on the towns and cities. The Andes and its cooler climate, despite the Equatorial location, has formed a distinct rural and traditional culture that is a far cry from the Amazon Basin only an hour or two away. Nowhere is its colonial history better represented than in the highlands, even strewn with the odd Inca site as this mighty empire once stretched this far north. It is also the perfect trip if you want to see some of Ecuador’s highest and most dramatic volcanic snow-capped peaks.
You will experience the best of both in this itinerary, starting with a few days exploring colonial Quito. Its historic centre has been lovingly restored with elegant colonial mansions lining its cobbled streets. Then venture south to drive through the dramatic Avenue of Volcanoes, breaking your journey in the fascinating towns of Riobamba and Cuenca. You will reach the cooler heights of Cajas National Park, before descending through banana and cocoa plantations for your final stop in tropical steamy Guayaquil.
3 nights Quito – 1 night Riobamba – 3 nights Cuenca – 1 night Guayquil – 1 night on plane