Market | Otavalo

Ecuador Andes and Cloudforest Journey 7 Days / 6 Nights - Tour

Enjoy the Ecuador Andean region in a tour that will expand all your senses for you to enjoy the magic of Ecuador. Travel through the andes and arrive at the cloudforest where you will experience the famous biodiversity of the region, seize the opportunity to spot more of 330 species of birds along with the breathtaking landscapes.

7 Day Ecuador Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Quito

Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide at the airport in Quito, and he will take you to your Hotel.

Quito, the second-highest capital in the world, is situated in an Andean mountain range of South America and has a setting that's arguably the best in the entire world. Quito, originally settled by the Quitus Tribe in the first millennium, was an important city in the Inca Empire. It was destroyed by Sebastian de Benalcazar and rebuilt in 1534.

UNESCO declared the colonial center of Quito a World Heritage Site in 1978. It is among Latin America's largest and most well-preserved. The city is also home to many excellent art galleries, museums, and churches, some of them the best in South America.

Overnight in Quito

Day 2: Quito Six Senses City Tour

After an energizing breakfast, you will be picked up by your guide.

In a sensory-stimulating adventure, your day begins with a stroll through the streets and plazas of this largest historical center in America. We will explore the history, traditions, and daily life of this fascinating city.

We follow the road of the Seven Crosses. The old colonial buildings and church facades are a sight to behold before you enter Quito Main Square, also known as Independence Square. This is where the Government Palace can be found.

We will continue our walk through the historic streets and meet local families who make traditional sweets. You will have a chance here to try them out and discover new tastes.

As you continue to the center of Quito and pass by historical buildings constructed of volcanic stone, it becomes more difficult to see. You will be captivated by the sculpted Compania church and its stunning interior.

We visit the "Escuela Quitena" to learn more. They are the ones who keep secrets about colonial art in Quito’s museums and churches. These artists have restored the altars of these historic churches and painted them. You will learn their secrets there and be able to use your creative skills to make your own craft.

La Ronda is our next destination, a historical neighborhood in the heart of Quito. This is an old street that's associated with art, craft, food, and the fun of Quito. This is the oldest street in Quito.

You will then visit the San Marcos Neighborhood. The architecture, which dates back to 1580, is mainly republican and neoclassical. You can see this in the pastel-colored buildings, the clean curtains on the windows, and the banners that hang from balconies. The Munoz Marino Watercolor Museum is colonial with its stone interiors, corridors, and open space. The Neighborhood is home to three museums, as well as art galleries, family-run shops, and quirky cafes and restaurants.

You will also visit an old house that was converted into a hotel. There you can do local activities with the neighbors of San Marcos and finish the tour by enjoying a drink on the rooftop terrace with its breathtaking view of Panecillo Hill, surrounded by the Old City.

Overnight in Quito

Meals: Breakfast

Day 3: Cotopaxi Day Tour

After breakfast, you'll visit Cotopaxi Mountain, and its famous Limpiopungo lake. Cotopaxi is Ecuador’s highest volcano, and one of the tallest on the planet. Its name is derived from Quechua, and means "cuello de Luna" or "neck of the Moon". After arriving at the reserve in the morning, you will hike up to Limpiopungo Lake. You can see the traces of ancient volcanic eruptions on the majestic Cotopaxi. This is the same activity which gave birth to Limpiopungo Lake. You may be able to see llamas and other mammals, such as rabbits and deer. You can enjoy the view while eating a Box Lunch.

Horseback riding is another activity you can enjoy. Horseback riding tours offer a unique perspective of the Cotopaxi area, allowing you the opportunity to explore the scenic beauty and learn more about the history and tradition of the region.

The Cotopaxi Volcano is part of the Cotopaxi National Park. This park was established in 1975 to protect the biodiversity and natural wonders of this area. The park is approximately 33,393 hectares (82,560 acres) in size and has a variety ecosystems including forests, grasslands and paramo.

We will return to Quito after visiting Cotopaxi National Park. After arriving in the late afternoon you will have some free time to explore the city.

Overnight in Quito

Meals: Breakfast

Day 4: Full Day Otavalo City Tour

After breakfast, you will head to Otavalo to visit the famous artisan market. On the way, we will stop to enjoy the scenery and the snow-capped mountain ranges. Continue on and make a quick stop at San Pablo Lake before reaching Otavalo. We will then visit the famous textile market at "Plaza of Ponchos", one of South America's most popular markets. There are many different types of crafts, including handcrafted tapestries and indigenous backstrap weavings. Then you can enjoy some time to bargain and buy with friendly Otavaleños.

Otavalo is rich in culture, and it extends beyond the markets to its native communities. Otavaleños, descendants of ancient Kichwas, proudly maintain their culture and traditions. The Otavaleños' distinctive clothing, which is made up of intricately embroidered garments and textiles, is an expression of their culture.

Our day tour will allow you to visit local communities and immerse yourself in the rich culture of these indigenous people. You can learn more about their ancestral farming methods, witness rituals, and participate in cultural exchanges.

The picturesque Cuicocha Lake is located within the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve. Enjoy a cruise on the lake and the volcanic scenery surrounding it. Around the lake, there are hiking trails that offer breathtaking views as well as opportunities to spot wildlife.

Depending on your schedule of visits, you may be able to see the chapel from the 17th century. The Quito School of Arts created the altar sculptures, one of which is dedicated to San Ignacio de Loyola. He was the founder of The Society of Jesus. The old granary is located in front of the chapel. It houses a stunning exhibition that features up to 70 different varieties of roses grown at Hacienda de la Compania de Jesus. Together, the vibrant colors and rural architecture create an enchanting scene. You will also tour a part of the plantations and, if you are there during the working hours, see how the roses are grown.

Overnight in Bellavista

Meals: Breakfast

Day 5: Bellavista Full Day

Embark on an exhilarating journey through the enchanting forests of Bellavista Reserve! Accompanied by an experienced guide, you'll be led along the most optimal trails and hiking routes tailored to your group size, which is limited to a maximum of 8 hikers. The selection of trails will be finely tuned to the prevailing weather conditions and the state of the trails themselves. Get ready for an unforgettable discovery hike that promises both adventure and natural wonder.

After a highly informative hike of about 2 hours, you'll find yourself back at the lodge just in time for a well-deserved lunch.

Following your satisfying lunch, the day continues with another immersive forest hike, this time along a distinct trail. With a plethora of trails to choose from within Bellavista, you're invited to delve into the intricate ecology of this enigmatic forest. For those inclined, there's an option to partake in a birding excursion to spot the various avian inhabitants.

As the sun sets, culminate your day with a delectable dinner. Keep your eyes peeled, as you might be treated to captivating sights of the charming Olinguito and perhaps even catch a glimpse of the elusive Kinkajoo right here at the lodge. Your night will be spent comfortably nestled at the lodge, completing this exceptional journey. 

Overnight in Bellavista

Meals: B/L/D

Day 6: Gallito de la Peña Tour

Your day will start early in the morning (5 AM) with a private transfer to a nearby reserve, where you'll be immersed in the captivating spectacle of the Cock-of-the-Rock Lek and perhaps encounter other fascinating avian marvels. By around 8:30 AM, you'll return to the lodge to indulge in a hearty breakfast before embarking on a guided hike within the breathtaking confines of Bellavista.

You have the choice to venture forth and explore the trails independently, either following the self-guided path or utilizing our comprehensive trail map. This promises to be an exhilarating and memorable experience. Alternatively, you can partake in the scheduled guided hike at 3 p.m., which is included in your package. Alternatively, you can simply relax, engage in conversation with fellow guests, and enjoy a front-row seat to the vibrant hummingbird spectacle as they flock to our feeders—a display encompassing a remarkable diversity of 10–12 distinct species. The day draws to a close with a delightful dinner, setting the stage for a restful overnight stay.

Overnight in Bellavista

Meals: B/L/D

Day 7: Bird spotting expedition

Embrace the Early Morning Bird Expedition and marvel at the stunning, vividly colored avian residents as they grace you with their proximity. The early hours offer an unparalleled chance for such up-close encounters. After this experience, enjoy breakfast.

The day unfolds with a series of enriching hikes, meticulously orchestrated as part of your package, inviting you to unveil the treasures of the exuberant forests encircling the lodge. Alternatively, engage your guide in a discussion about day excursion alternatives that expand beyond the realms of Bellavista. If you yearn for tranquility, relish a moment to unwind and revel in pure relaxation.

Transfer to Quito

7 Day Ecuador Itinerary Highlights

  • Arrive in Quito, explore the city's history and charm.
  • Quito city tour, iconic cultural sites.
  • Cotopaxi Park, hiking, horseback riding.
  • Otavalo market, Cuicocha Lake.
  • Bellavista Reserve hike, hummingbirds, dinner.
  • Cock-of-the-Rock Lek, Bellavista trails.
  • Early bird expedition.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast Served Daily
  • 6 Dinners
  • 7 Lunches
Market | Otavalo
Horse Riding | Cotopaxi
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Birdwatching tour | Mindo
Ecuador Andes and Cloudforest Journey 7 Days / 6 Nights
7 Days
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Hotels you may stay at 

Hotels in Quito

Luxury: The Illa Experience Hotel is a 5-star hotel in Quito that offers the best luxury experience. Immerse yourself into luxury and refinement in our 5-star accommodations. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the city, world-class facilities, and impeccable service to make your stay in Quito unforgettable.

Hotel in Mindo

Tourist Superior: The Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge, is a 3-star hotel that stands among the Choco-Pichincha Biosphere Reserve, they have cultivated a regenerative and sustainable ecotourism initiative that brings about positive effects for our visitors, local communities, and even the residents of Quito city.

Frecuently Asked Questions

What's unique about Mindo's biodiversity?

Mindo's cloud forest is a biodiversity hotspot. It's famous for its incredible birdlife, including the iconic Cock-of-the-Rock. The area is also home to a diverse range of orchids, butterflies, and amphibians. Its high level of endemism makes it a paradise for nature lovers and researchers alike.

What is the climate like in Mindo?

Mindo enjoys a mild and pleasant climate due to its elevation and cloud forest environment. Expect temperatures ranging from 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C) throughout the year. Be prepared for occasional rain showers, as the region experiences high levels of rainfall, contributing to its lush vegetation.

Are there eco-friendly practices in place in Mindo?

Yes, Mindo places a strong emphasis on eco-friendly practices. Many accommodations and tour operators are committed to sustainability, utilizing practices like waste reduction, conservation efforts, and supporting local communities. Participating in eco-tours and respecting nature during your visit also contributes to preserving this unique environment.

What is the altitude of Quito and will I experience altitude sickness?

Quito sits at an altitude of around 9,350 feet (2,850 meters). While some visitors might experience mild altitude sickness symptoms, like shortness of breath or headaches, these usually subside within a day or two as your body acclimatizes. Drinking plenty of water, avoiding heavy meals, and taking it easy during your first day can help.

Is it necessary to know Spanish to get around in Quito?

While many locals in the tourism industry speak English, having some basic Spanish phrases can enhance your experience. However, communication barriers are usually minimal, and you can easily navigate the city.
Book your 7-day Ecuador tour now and create memories to last a lifetime!