Services for all tour extensions in Ecuador are provided through a partnership with “Ecuador Unique”, a tour company formed as a stratetic alliance between two companies with vast experience in Galapagos and mainland services. The owners or Ecuador Unique use their expertise gained through decades of product knowledge gained in the field guiding and behind a desk. The result is creatively designed tours with high level guides and improved quality. We offer the most popular tours here. In order to browse additional tour options, click on the logo here, or request a custom quote:
Tours from Quito
A stopover at Ecuador’s Northern Andes is a perfect combination with any Galapagos cruise. The Andean capital sits almost upon the equator, yet at such a high altitude, its climate is superb – warm days, cool nights – all in a setting few cities in the world can match; an emerald valley punctuated by whitewashed houses topped with red-tiled roofs and encircled by a ring of snowcapped volcanic cones. Visit the Historical Center and walk the steep and winding cobbled streets of the old town with its rich colonial architecture, churches, monasteries and museums. Just outside the capital city, the Andean region north of Quito is famous for crystal lakes, traditional adobe villages, snowcapped volcanoes and bustling markets. The famous market at Otavalo is one of the largest in South America. In spite of its popularity, the indigenous people continue to maintain their ethnic identity, wearing traditional blue ponchos and speaking Quichua, their native language. Here you’ll find an array of native, locally-made crafts including alpaca sweaters, ponchos, Panama hats (an Ecuadorian creation despite its name), hammocks and woven tapestries. Just South of Quito, discover the spectacular scenery of Cotopaxi National Park and the Avenue of the Volcanoes, where 11 massive, brooding, snow-covered peaks overlook brooks and rivers, small villages and terraced farmlands. You can visit a market nearly every day of the week where natives dressed in colorful ponchos come from miles around to trade their livestock, handicrafts and gossip. Take a full day trip from Quito or spend a night or two in an hacienda, from rustic and homey to quite luxurious.
Quito And The Northern Andes
Ecuador’s Andean capital sits almost upon the equator, yet at such a high altitude (almost twice as high as Denver), its climate is superb – warm days, cool nights – all in a setting few cities in the world can match. Climb Cerro Panecillo to see the striking panoramas: an emerald valley punctuated by whitewashed houses topped with red-tiled roofs and encircled by a ring of snowcapped volcanic cones. Walk the steep and winding cobbled streets of the old town with its rich colonial architecture, churches, monasteries and museums. A host of treasures rim the majestic Plaza de la Independencia including the 19th-century Cathedral and Presidential Palace. Built in 1605, the church of La Compañia with its ornate baroque facades is a stunning display of art and architecture – both inside and out. And don’t miss the Capilla del Hombre (Chapel of Man), the former home and private museum of Oswaldo Guayasamin, a legend of Ecuadorian art, paintings, sculpture and jewelry, on permanent exhibit.
Quito – Ecuador
An UNESCO Cultural Patrimony of Mankind and World Heritage Site. Surrounded by snowcapped volcanoes, yet only 14 miles from the Equator line, the quaint capital of Ecuador boats a spring-like climate all year round. Located in a huge valley in the Andes Mountains at an altitude of 9,455 feet, visitors can feel the crisp air while enjoying the city’s rich colonial architecture, churches, monasteries and museums.
Private airport transfer to hotel with guide
Upon arrival, our English speaking guide and private car with driver meet you at the airport for transportation to your selected hotel.
Private airport transfer to hotel without guide
Upon arrival, our Spanish speaking driver and private car with driver meet you at the airport for transportation to your selected hotel.
Quito Colonial tour (3 hours)
Departing from your hotel at 9AM or 1PM, take a stoll down cobble stone streets and through flowering plazas while admiring the old colonial architecture of Independence square. Learn about the history of Quito with our knowledgeable guide while visiting the House of Congress, the Presidential Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Visit the church of La Compania, built in 1605, or the elegant cathedrals of San Francisco or San Augustin, Quito’s oldest monastery.
Quito Colonial Tour & Mitad del Mundo (5 hours)
A full day tour including the Quito colonial tour and the the monument known as Mitad del Mundo. Latitude zero marks the spot where an 18th century French and Spanish geographic expedition located the position of the Equator. Proximity to this geographic feature gave Ecuador its name. Straddling the line puts one in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres at the same time and provides great photo opportunities.
|Tour Services – 2016||F.I.T.’s by private car||Groups|
|Private airport transfer with guide to/from hotel||147||74||58||45||31||27||26|
|Private airport transfer to/from hotel without guide||105||55||46||38||28||26||25|
|Quito Colonial tour (3 hours)||129||71||59||48||36||29||24|
|Quito Colonial tour & Mitad del Mundo (5 hours)||167||95||86||71||54||46||38|
Otavalo Market And The Northern Highlands
The Andean region north of Quito is famous for crystal lakes, traditional adobe villages, snowcapped volcanoes and bustling markets.The famous market at Otavalo with its magnificent Andean setting is one of the largest in South America. In spite of its popularity, the indigenous people continue to maintain their ethnic identity, wearing traditional blue ponchos and speaking Quichua, their native language. Here you’ll find an array of native, locally-made crafts including alpaca sweaters, ponchos, Panama hats (an Ecuadorian creation despite its name), hammocks and woven tapestries.You’ll also visit Calderón, famous for its bread-dough figures, and Cotacachi with its fine leather goods.
Otavalo market (full day tour) with lunch at La Mirage
We depart Quito early for a two hour drive North to Otavalo, the finest and most well known fair on the continent.Pass through beautiful valleys and fields including Cayambe volcano at 18,997 feet. In the market, shop for textiles, tapastries and handicrafts, sweaters, blankets and rugs. Bargain with the colorful and industrious natives. Also stop at the small towns of Peguche, a weaving village or Calderon for bread dough figures. Lunch is at the exquities La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa located in Cotacachi, known for quality leather goods. Return to Quito for overnight.
Otavalo overnight (1 night)
We depart for a two night drive north along the Pan American Highway through mountain scenery. We stop en route at the small town of Calderon, famous for their bread-dough figures and ornaments. Lunch upon arrival, dinner and overnight included. The next morning, we arrive early to the Otavalo market, the finest and most well known fair in South America. For centuries, regional markets have played an important role in Indian life, providing regular gathering places for trade and socializing. In contrast to other markets, the Otavalenos barter in silence. They wear blue ponchos, white pants and have long braided hair. The colorful local markets are famous for their fine handicrafts. At the central plaza and along side streets, you will find weavings, sweaters, belts, blankets and rugs. Lunch is provided at La Mirage Hotel & Spa located in the town of Cotacachi known for quality leather goods. Return to Quito for overnight
OTAVALO overnight (2 nights) – rate available upon request
Depart for a two hour drive north along the Pan-American Highway through mountain scenery. We stop en route at the small town of Calderon, famous for their bread-dough figures and ornaments. This afternoon, we visit Cuicocha Lake for a light hike around this flooded volcanic crater and its twin islets. Look for species of orchids that grow at this altitude (3220 m.). Lunch is provided at a lakeside restaurant or typical hacienda where fresh trout is the specialty. We visit one of the comunitarian tourism projects held in the area.
This morning, we arrive early to the Otavalo market, the finest and most well known fair in South America. For centuries, regional markets have played an important role in Indian life, providing regular gathering places for trade and socializing. In contrast to other markets, the Otavalenos barter in silence. They wear blue ponchos, white pants and have long braided hair. The colorful local markets are famous for their fine handicrafts. At the central plaza and along side streets, you will find weavings, sweaters, belts, blankets and rugs. Lunch is provided at La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa in the town of Cotacachi, known for quality leather goods. Return to Quito for overnight
LA MIRAGE Garden Hotel & Spa
Perched on an Andean hillside in Imbabura’s town of Cotacachi, La Mirage is an impressive luxury resort, built on the grounds of a 200 year old hacienda in 1985. Fragrant hummingbird-filled gardens, 23 spacious exquisitely furnished rooms and suites (no two rooms are alike) with fireplaces, impeccable service, and gourmet food complete the La Mirage experience. La Mirage belongs to the Relais & Chateaux Hotel Group and is the only property in Ecuador. Enjoy the facilities and beautiful grounds with exotic flower gardens and birds, llamas, stables with horses for riding, solar-heated pool sauna and tennis courts. Bird watching is a hotel specialty with five acres of bougainvillea and orchid gardens with six different species of hummingbirds. Enjoy luxurious spa treatments for the face, body and soul.
For families, we recommend HACIENDA CUSIN , a luxury country inn located in Imbabura near San Pablo del Lago. All 25 roans in the seven guesthouses have private bath and garden views, some with bathtubs and most with fireplaces. In the central house, there is a large salon furnished in colonial antiques, a cozy bar and a sun-filled dining room with seating for 35. Includes all meals (delicious and home-cooked) and amenities which include horses, mountain bikes, squash and volley ball courts, a game room (billiards, ping pong and darts) TV for videos, library with a fireplace. There are trails to walk and mountains to climb.
|Tour Services – 2015||F.I.T.’s by private car||Groups|
|Otavalo Market and craft villages (8 hours) with lunch||543||301||251||205||152||125||101|
|2 days/ 1 night (guided):||1||2||3||4-6||7-9||10-15||16+|
|Otavalo (La Mirage)||1320||726||641||564||471||425||385|
|Otavalo (Hacienda Cusin)||1260||734||635||551||449||400||357|
Avenue Of The Volcanoes And Central Markets
Due to volcanic activity, tours to Cotopaxi area are suspended until further notice.
Discover the spectacular scenery of Cotopaxi National Park and the Avenue of the Volcanoes, where 11 massive, brooding, snow-covered peaks overlook brooks and rivers, small villages and terraced farmlands. You can visit a market nearly every day of the week where natives dressed in colorful ponchos come from miles around to trade their livestock, handicrafts and gossip. Or go hiking or biking in the park, named after the highest active volcano in the world. Cotopaxi, with its perfectly shaped cone is home to such high altitude birds as the Punta hawk and even the Andean condor.
Discover what in 1802 the German scientist Alexander Von Humboldt called the “Avenue of the Volcanoes”. The route is surrounded by snowcapped summits and the mystical beauty that, in times past, nourished the mythology of early cultures and later provided incentive to the conquering Spanish to settle here. Brooks and rivers run down from the mountains past small villages of adobe houses and terraced farmlands. Andean markets lie along the central route of 11 snowy peaks framing the Latacunga-Ambato valley. There is nearly a market for every day of the week and the spectacular Andean scenery makes getting there half the fun. Dressed in colorful ponchos and hats native to each region, natives come from miles around to trade their livestock, produce, handicrafts and gossip.
Cotopaxi Volcano National Park (full day)
Drive through the scenic Andean countryside to reach the foot of Cotopaxi Volcano named for the 19,700-foot peak that dominates the area. The National Park is an ecological sanctuary of 36,000 hectares surrounding the highest active volcano in the world. You’ll have time to do some hiking explore the National Park, home to high altitude birds such as the Puna Hawk, Carunculated Caracara and with some luck, the Andean Condor.
Lunch is at Hosteria LA CIENEGA, built in the 1600’s. La Cienega is located in the valley at the foot of the volcano and belongs to the descendants of its original owner, the Marquis of Maenza, dating back to the 17th century. The Manor House was built in 1838 and is accessed via an avenue flanked by fragrant eucalyptus trees. It’s mighty stone walls have witnessed important events in Ecuador’s history. Return to Quito in the late afternoon
COTOPAXI VOLCANO (2 DAYS/ 1 NIGHT)
Same as the full day tour including overnight at an hacienda and a visit to a local town with a colorful market depending on the day of the week (see below). Dressed in colorful ponchos and hats native to each region, natives come from miles around to trade their livestock, produce, handicrafts and gossip. We find seas of red, blue and purple ponchos and regional hats at the market This is a real photographic treat.
SAQUISILI MARKET (Thursday), this is the largest market of the Cotopaxi province, sprawled over five separate plazas offering visitors samples of the featured food, animals and handicrafts typical of the high Ecuadorian sierra.
AMBATO MARKET (Mondays and Wednesdays) Ambato is Ecuador’s largest weekly market. The entire city is virtually a marketplace with livestock, fruits, vegetables, colorful spices, cooking utensils and handicrafts bartered on every corner.
LATACUNGA MARKET (Tuesdays) Seas of red blue and purple ponchos and regional hats. Displays of fruits and vegetables offer a photographic treat.
PUJILI MARKET (Wednesdays and Sundays) a small Indian village, food is the main trading business and native social gathering. Ceramics here are considered a very fine folk art. Visit La Victoria where the ceramics are made.
ZUMBAHUA MARKET & QUILOTOA CRATER (Saturdays) one of the most authentic and least visited markets. After the market, continue to Quilotoa crater with its spectacular salt-water lake.
HACIENDA SAN AGUSTIN DEL CALLO – upon request
Built on the site of an important Inca Palace in the 15th Century, this working hacienda was then an Augustinian convent with a textile workshop and the temporary home of the French Geodesic Mission. Two of the rooms now serve as chapel and dining room, with its view of Cotopaxi, and provides its guests with the perfect setting to savor the hacienda’s excellent cuisine. Most rooms have a fireplace and are furnished with the original antiques of the hacienda.
|Tour Services 2016||F.I.T.’s by private car||Groups|
Full day from Quito (8 hours)
|Hiking at Cotopaxi National Park (8 hours) with lunch||526||318||275||218||161||128||106|
2 days/ 1 night (guided):
|Cotopaxi, local market (Hacienda La Cienega)||1133||661||568||486||398||341||299|
Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve
This former farm is now a reserve encompassing 700 hectares in the buffer zone of the Mindo-Nambillo Protected Forest. At an elevation of 1650 to 2350 meters, you find plunging valleys and tall tress proliferating with orchids and bromeliads. Bellavista is the perfect place to discover the beauty of the cloud forest located in the Tandayapa Valley. 10 km of trails lead through primary and secondary forest, and to hidden waterfalls. This is hummingbird paradise. Expect to find 10-15 species on most days. Along the forest trails, you may see the Toucan Barbet and tanagers.
|Tour Services 2016||F.I.T.’s by private car Groups|
|1||2||3||4-6||7-9 10-15 16+|
|Mindo Cloud Forest hummingbird tour (8 hrs) private with lunch||410||242||217||182||143 122 103|
|Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge (8 hours) group tour with lunch||129||110||100||100||90|
Selected Restaurants in Quito
Ecoventura recommends these restaurants:
Urko – Isabel la Catolica N24-862 Tel 2563-180 (locally sourced fusion) trendy
La Choza – 12 de Octubre N24-551 y Cordero, Tel: 223-0839, Traditional setting
Hasta la Vuelta Senor – La Nina E6-13 y La Rabida, typical Ecuadorian
Theatrum Restaurant – Calle Manabi entre Guayaquil y Flores, Tel: 257-1011 Fancy
PIMS – various locations, fun Ecuadorian food – good choice for families
Lua – Pontevedra N24-422 Tel 5112-570 (Peruvian) trendy
Astrid & Gaston – Avenida Coruna N32-302 y Av Gonzalez Suarez Tel: 250-6621,
Segundo Muelle – Av Isabel La Catolica N24-883 y Gangotena Tel 222-6548
Osaka – Isabel la Catolica E12-17 y Francisco Salazar Tel 3228-784, trendy
Noe Sushi Bar – Isabel La Catolica 1245 Tel 322-7378, excellent sushi
Lemongrass – Isabel La Catolica N24-845 y Av La Coruna Tel 223-6076, Thai food
FRENCH & ITALIAN
Chez Jerome – Whymper N30-96 y Coruna, Tel 223-4067, ultimate French gourmet experience
Rincon de Francia – Roca 779 y 9 de octubre Tel: 255-4668, French w/ cozy atmosphere, Mariscal
Pavarotti – Av 12 de Octubre 1955 y Cordero Tel: 256-6668, Italian cuisine
La Gloria – Valladolid N24-519 y Francisco Salazar, 252-7855, Mediterranean, trendy
Mare Nostroum – Foch y Tamayo (corner) Tel: 252-8686, excellent seafood, fancy, pricy
Barlovento – Av 12 de Octubre N27-09 Orellana, Tel 222-3751
Tours from Guayaquil
Ecuador’s largest city and seaport has gone through a metamorphosis over the past few years. Its crown jewel is the Malecon 2000, a two-mile pedestrian walkway along the Guayas River, with restaurants, cafés and shops, botanical gardens and a contemporary art museum. Many buildings in the city have been refurbished, especially in Las Peñas, Guayaquil’s oldest neighborhood, where centuries-old houses line narrow, atmospheric streets. Another new attraction is the Guayaquil Historical Park, an in situs museum of the region’s history and culture. Here you’ll find a wildlife park with the flora and fauna that once populated the area including parrots, tapirs and deer, a historic zone that recreates Guayaquil from the early 1900s, and an area that celebrates the indigenous cultures complete with recreated haciendas and people in native dress.
Guayaquil & the Pacific Coast
|Tour Services 2016||F.I.T.’s by private car|
|Private airport transfer to/from hotel||57||33||31||30||29|
|Half Day Tours|
|Guayaquil city tour (3 hours)||129||68||53||50||48|
|Guayaquil city & Historial Park (5 hours)||252||134||98||83||66|
|Cacao Farm & Chocolate factory (7 hours)||456||282||254||219||205|
|Airport transfers, city tour & dinner|
|Guayaquil, dinner, transfers (6 hours)||363||232||189||129||126|
All private tours depart and end from your hotel of choice and include: private car, driver and English speaking guide. All full day tours include lunch, usually at a charming country inn. Overnight tours include hotel accommodation and all meals (unless noted differently). The rate quoted for (3) passengers is based on a triple accommodation. If a single and double are required, please inquire for rates. The Historical Park is closed on Mondays.
“Guayaquil Ecuador: The Malecon, and being overrun by iguanas”,
by Tamara Elliott, Globe Guide, April 29, 2014
Selected Restaurants in Guayaquil
Area: Downtown (Hotel Oro Verde)
Gourmet (international) or La Fondue (Swiss) located in the Hotel Oro Verde
Resaca, Aroma de Cafe or Santay – located on the Malecon 2000
Lo Nuestro – Victor Emilio Estrada 903 e Higueras Tel: 238 -6398, (Ecuadorian) Urdesa
Riviera – VE Estrada 707 y Ficus (Italian), Tel 288-3790, Urdesa
Area: Samborondon, a suburb of Guayaquil, a 15-20 minute ride from downtown.
Plaza Lagos is an upscale shopping and entertainment center that has many good restaurants.
Don Francis Gourmet – Plaza Lagos Tel 501-9883 (gourmet seafood)
La Tasca de Carlos – La Torre Tel 283-6680 (Spanish)
La Dona – Plaza Lagos Tel 502-1566 (Mexican)
La Pizarra – Plaza Lagos (Spanish and Ecuadorian cuisine)
Embarcadero 41 – Plaza Lagos Tel 502-5500 (Peruvian)
Alago Gastrobar – Plaza Lagos el 504-6894 (Peruvian and Mediterranean)
Mi Tierra – Las Terrazas via Samborondon, (Ecuadorian), Tel 0483-7759,
Terms and Conditions
Deposits: Required for groups only, varies depending on services, please inquire.
Final Payment: Due 60 days prior to departure.
Cancellations (FIT): For cancellation made within 59 days prior to the first day of the tour, there will be no refund for hotel and land tours. For cancellations made 60 days or more prior to arrival, the full amount will be refunded less a service charge of $50 per person.
Cancellations (Groups): Cancellations must be received no later than 60 days prior to departure for hotels and day tours and 90 days prior for overnight tours.
Responsibility: Ecoventura and its agents act only as agents for the various companies over whose line tickets are issued and where facilities are sold. Ecoventura and its agents assume no responsibility or liability in connection with the services of transportation so provided. Ecoventura and its agents will not be responsible for any act, error or omission, or for any injury, loss, accident, schedule change, delay or cancellation or any irregularity which may be occasioned by reason of any defect in any vehicle or through neglect or default of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger, including but not limited to air or ground transportation or for any hotel accommodation, or for any other persons engaged in carrying out the purpose for which tickets or coupons are issued. The passage contract in use by the airlines concerned, when issued, shall constitute the sold contract between the airline and the purchaser of these tours and/or passenger. The passenger will look solely to the respective owners or operators of such services for any damages that may arise. In the event it becomes necessary or advisable for the comfort or well being of passengers or for any reason whatsoever, to alter itineraries or arrangements, such alterations will be without penalty to the operators. Additional expenses, if any shall be borne by the passengers; conversely, refund will be made to the passengers if any savings is affected thereby. The right is reserved to withdraw any and all tours should conditions warrant, also to decline to accept or retain any passengers as members of the tours. In such instances, full or equitable amount will be refunded.