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This is the perfect introduction to mainland Ecuador – an itinerary that includes a diverse mixture of experiences and climates as well as truly breath-taking scenery. Ecuador has some incredible contrasts in ecosystems thanks to variances in elevations due to the Andes running like a backbone through the country. This means that, within a relatively small country, you don’t have to travel far to have a great mix of amazing experiences. The contrasts could not be greater between the elegance of a former colonial city, the rugged and colourful rural Andean villages and the dense steamy rainforest and traditional communities of the Amazon Basin.
Start with a few days exploring fascinating colonial Quito, a perfect city to explore on foot around its historic centre and perhaps with a ride up its cable car for superb views. A short flight from the city and then a river boat journey brings you to the staggering biodiversity of the tropical Ecuadorian Amazon. After spotting howler monkeys, tree frogs and caiman from your jungle lodge, return to the cooler Andean highlands north of Quito for a few days of well-earned relaxation! You will spend your final few nights in a hacienda near to the bustling and colourful market town of Otavalo.
3 nights Quito – 3 nights Amazon – 3 nights Otavalo – 1 night on plane