9D8N Ecuador: Amazon, Hot Springs & Volcanoes By National Geographic Journeys natgeo journey equador hot springs

From USD 2,199 per person

INFO Visit the Otavalo Weaving studio and get a lesson from Miguel Andrango, explore villages and learn about traditional handicrafts and folk art from locals, traverse the Amazon jungle with a local naturalist guide, learn about the relationship between cultures and the plants around them at the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park, be surrounded by towering volcanoes
PACKAGE CODE SEANG
SALES VALIDITY Up to 30 June 2023
INCLUDE Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Otavalo Weaving Lesson, Otavalo
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Amazon Home Experience, Tena
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park, Baños
Your Wellness Moment: Papallacta Hot Springs Visit, Papallacta
Arrival transfer
Overnight in an historic hacienda
Explore the Otavalo handicraft market
Cloud forest reserve visit
Two nights at an Amazon lodge with jungle excursions
Excursion to Cotopaxi National Park
All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

MEALS INCLUDED

8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
1

Day 1 - Quito

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Booking pre- or post-trip accommodation is highly recommended to fully experience the city and take advantage of the optional activities available.

Private Vehicle
Quito
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
1h
The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Hotel
Hotel Mercure (or similar)

2

Day 2 - Quito/Otavalo

Drive into the mountainous Andean highlands, stopping for lunch in the village of Peguche. Meet some of the local residents, and learn about the community’s weaving traditions. Continue to Otavalo, surrounded by misty volcanoes, and visit the town’s famous handicraft market—one of the largest outdoor markets in South America. Browse stalls selling colourful local art, textiles, and souvenirs, and try your hand at haggling. Later, settle into your room at a historic hacienda, where we’ll spend the night.

Spend a night in the Otavalo area and visit its world famous handicrafts market, the largest in South America. Villagers from the surrounding countryside come here every week to sell handmade goods as well as livestock, fruits, and vegetables.

One of the most obvious signs of the Otavaleños’ cultural integrity is their traditional dress. This is not just worn for the tourists at the Saturday market, but is worn throughout their daily life.

Otavalo is famous both for its friendly people and its Saturday animal market. The market dates back to pre-Inca times when jungle products were transported from the eastern lowlands and traded for highland goods. Today’s market has two different functions: the local market for buying and selling animals, food, and other essentials, and the crafts market for the tourists and other interested people.

Private Vehicle
Quito – Otavalo 2h
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Peguche Community Visit
Peguche – Otavalo
Visit the small highlands weaving community of Peguche. Meet locals in this traditional Andean community and enjoy an included lunch.

Otavalo Handicrafts Market Visit
Otavalo
Discover some amazing local art, tapestries, and textiles at Otavalo’s famous artisan market, the largest handicraft market in South America. Wander the stalls to meet local artists, and find one-of-a-kind souvenirs. Try to arrive early for the best bargains (it starts at dawn), and try your hand at haggling – it’s expected for every purchase. A good negotiator could get at least 20 per cent off the starting price.

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch

Hotel
Hotel Pinsaqui (or similar)

3

Day 3 - Otavalo/Papallacta

Make your way to the village of Papallacta, known for its abundant natural hot springs. En route, visit the home and studio of a renowned traditional weaver, who is working to preserve the indigenous weaving techniques of the Otavalo region. Get a glimpse of the family’s daily life, and observe them at work on the backstrap loom, which has been used in these parts for centuries. Continue to the Papallacta Hot Springs Resort for an afternoon of relaxation. Soak in the mineral-rich waters of the thermal pools, enjoying stunning mountain views, and indulge in a variety of optional spa treatments.

Private Vehicle
Otavalo – Papallacta 2h-3h
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Otavalo Weaving Lesson
Visit the home and studio of Don Miguel, a man working to keep his culture’s traditions alive. For thousands of years the indigenous people of the Otavalo region have used the backstrap loom to create their woven goods, however new technologies have slowly been pushing out the tradition. Learn how Don Miguel and his family are working to help revive this ancient art as he demonstrates every step of the process, from cleaning the wool, to naturally dyeing it, to backstrap weaving.

Your Wellness Moment: Papallacta Hot Springs Visit
Soak in the natural hot springs the area is known for and let the mineral waters soothe sore muscles. The hot springs vary in temperature, make your way through the circuit with views of the Antisana volcano in the distance.

Free Time
Papallacta
Enjoy the afternoon at leisure, as you relax and soak in the natural hot springs.

Meals included: Breakfast

Hotel
Termas de Papallacta (or similar)

4

Day 4 - Papallacta/Tena

Head towards Tena, often called Ecuador’s gateway to the Amazon. On the way, we’ll stop at Guango Lodge to explore the property’s cloud forest reserve—home to a plethora of avian species, including more than 10 varieties of hummingbirds. Enjoy lunch in the lodge’s orchid garden, then continue to Misahualli. This charming town is one of the oldest ports in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and harbours a thriving population of capuchin monkeys. Arrive in Tena and board a motorized canoe to our jungle lodge, perched along the banks of the Arajuno River. This evening, embark on a walk into the forest with a naturalist guide, looking out for the Amazon’s nocturnal creatures.

The lodge is located along the bank of the Arajuno River approx. 40min. from Tena. We stay in comfortable cabañas next to the river, which have private bathroom with hot water in the rainfall-shower, electricity and a balcony. From your balcony, you can relax in a hammock or deck chair and observe hummingbirds, shore river birds and butterflies. In the evening, listen to the night music of the multitude of frogs and other nocturnal creatures. The Lodge also has an open-air lounge with pool and full service bar, all connected by a raised and roofed boardwalk to guests rooms.

The lodge is dedicated to protecting the pristine jungle environment and has a dedicated recycling program, energy conservation program and offer biodegradable amenities including shampoo and
shower gel in the bathrooms.

Private Vehicle
Papallacta – Tena 2h-3h
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Guango Cloud Forest Excursion
Tena – Papallacta
Enjoy an excursion to Guango private cloud forest reserve. Take a guided walk with our CEO to learn about this unique environment, flora and fauna. A bird lovers paradise, keep your eyes peeled for a variety of parrots, toucans, tanagers and more. We will also enjoy the orchid garden lunch at the lodge and observe a multitude of dive-bombing hummingbirds. Seeing 14 species of hummingbirds within an hour is not uncommon, and the Sword-billed hummingbird with it’s unique, long bill is sure to amaze you.

Amazon Night Walk
Tena
Embark on a night walk with a local naturalist guide to learn about nocturnal creatures of the Amazon. A flashlight and camera are the most important tools on this excursion, which allows us to hear the nocturnal sounds of the forest and to search out bats, owls, a variety of insects, tarantulas, toads and frogs, and possibly snakes. If the sky is clear, we might have the chance to do some stargazing.

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Hotel
Itamandi Lodge (or similar)

5

Day 5 - Tena

Depart early by canoe to visit a saladero, or a parrot clay lick. Alongside our naturalist guide, observe brightly coloured parrots and parakeets gather here to snack on the mineral-rich clay, which studies suggest aids in digestion and provides an important nutrient supplement. Return to the lodge for breakfast, then take a tour of AmaZOOnico, an animal rescue centre that rehabilitates wild creatures that have been victims of illegal trafficking. Later, we’ll visit the home of a local Amazonian family for a unique cultural experience. Chat with your hosts about their traditions and beliefs and learn about everyday life in the jungle; then sit down to a delicious homemade lunch.

Parrot Clay Lick Excursion
Tena
Visit a parrot clay lick (Saladero) with a naturalist guide. This unique site is where parrots and parakeets gather to eat mineral-rich clay that will help them digest the fruits or seeds they have consumed. Hundreds of parrots and parakeets will approach the treetops and later will come down to the clay bank to eat this soil rich in minerals.

AmaZOOnico Animal Rescue Centre Visit
Tena 2h-4h
Take a guided tour of amaZOOnico, a rescue and rehabilitation centre that rehabilitates, reintroduces, and cares for animals who are victims of illegal trafficking. See large cats and reptiles up close, and learn all about the important work of this sanctuary.

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Amazon Home Experience
Enjoy a truly unforgettable cultural experience with a local Ecuadorian family who’ll welcome and host us for the afternoon at their home in the jungle. Discuss their traditions, beliefs, and history and hear about what daily life is like for them in such a unique environment. Go fishing with them and then watch and listen as they prepare lunch and share insight about their deep connection to nature, as well as their thoughts on the encroachment of the modern world on their traditional way of life here. A marvelous afternoon you’ll talk about for years to come.

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Hotel
Luna Salada Hotel (or similar)

6

Day 6 - Tena/Baños

Leave the Amazon behind and travel to Baños. This popular resort town is packed with gorgeous landscapes, thrilling outdoor activities, and—as the name indicates—thermal springs originating from the base of the Tungurahua Volcano. Along the way, stop at Omaere Ethnobotanical Park for a walk with an expert guide, discovering the diverse flora of the region and learning about the indigenous uses of the various plants found there. After arriving in Baños, enjoy free time to stroll through the town; or opt to go horseback riding through the picturesque countryside.

Baños is one of the most popular spots in the country. Many Ecuadorian families vacation here. One look at this delightfully green mountain town and you will know why. Baños means “baths” and this is precisely what the town is famous for. Some are thermal springs from the base of Tungurahua Volcano, which means “little hell” in Quichua. Other baths have melt water running into them from Tungurahua’s glaciated flanks. Locals swear that the baths are good for your health; it’s definitely worth rising early to watch the dawn creep over the mountains from a hot spring vantage point.

Private Vehicle
Tena – Baños 2h-3h
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park and discover ethnobotany – the study of the relationship between cultures and the plants around them. Plants are integral to the lives of Amazonian indigenous groups who use them for shelter, nourishment, medicine, and in spiritual practices. Set out on the trails with an expert guide to learn about the diverse plant life and the local Shuar and Waorani people, and enjoy unique botanical experiences like tasting cinnamon and being painted with Achotillo sap.

Free Time
Baños
Opt to take a walk through town and visit some shops.

Meals included: Breakfast

Hotel
Hotel Sangay Spa (or similar)

7

Day 7 - Baños

The day is yours to explore Baños and the surrounding area. Choose to head to the mountains for an invigorating hike, and later soak your tired muscles in one of the town’s thermal springs. Set off on a mountain biking adventure, pedaling past rivers, waterfalls, and delightfully green landscapes; opt to hit the rapids on a white-water rafting excursion; and much more.

The town is the perfect setting for outdoor pursuits. Activities include horseback riding, canyoneering, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and rafting on the River Patate.

Free Time
Baños
Relax at leisure or opt to take part in some active pursuits.

Meals included: Breakfast

Hotel
Hotel Sangay Spa (or similar)

8

Day 8 - Baños/Quito

Drive back to Quito, Ecuador’s capital, along the spectacular Avenue of Volcanoes. En route, we’ll venture through Cotopaxi National Park—home to the snowcapped Cotopaxi Volcano, the second highest peak in the country. As you explore this magnificent park, keep an eye out for the resident wildlife, which ranges from condors, foxes, and deer to the vicuna and the endangered Andean puma.

Private Vehicle
Baños – Quito 7h-9h
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Cotopaxi National Park Visit
Cotopaxi National Park
Visit Cotopaxi National Park, home to Cotopaxi Volcano, which stands at 5,897m (19,342 ft). The beautiful cone-shaped, snow-covered volcano is Ecuador’s second highest peak and the highest active volcano in the world. Keep an eye out for park wildlife, including condors, foxes, deer, spectacled bears, and more.

For those who want to hike, there are options available (weather permitting). Please ensure you have proper hiking shoes or boots, a waterproof/windproof jacket and warm hats and gloves. Hike is
approximately 1.5 hours.

Meals included: Breakfast

Hotel
Hotel Mercure (or similar)

8

Day 8 - Quito

Depart at any time.

Departure Day
Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

Meals included: Breakfast

  • Sales period: up to 30 June 2023
  • Travel period: up to 30 December 2023
  • Subject to availability.
  • Price displayed based on per person, in USD, on twin sharing basis, land arrangement only.
  • Airport arrival transfer is included for selected itineraries. Departure transfer is an extra cost per service.
  • Price displayed based on lead-in, low season, applicable on selected departure dates.
  • Price may vary depending on actual travel dates selection.
  • Price displayed are indication and is dynamic, subject to change without prior notice.
  • Program and inclusions as listed. Optional tours expense not included.
  • Package does not include air ticket, tipping, travel insurance, personal expenses and any other incidental costs.
  • Price subject to change without prior notice.
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