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Vip Tour Group > Ecuador > Itineraries > Amazon Lodge & Ave of Volcanoes  
 
 

Amazon Lodge & Ave of Volcanoes - 10 Days

 
 

This journey through Ecuador’s Highlands and Amazon Jungle will allow you to enjoy the very best culture, history, flora and fauna that Ecuador has to offer.

You will start in the Andean highlands along the Avenue of the Volcanos visiting quant villages of Cotopaxi, Baños, Riobamba where we visit the Devil’s nose and then down to Cuenca. You will then fly to the Amazon to spend 4 days at the Sacha Lodge, which owns 3000 acres of rainforest covering a variety of different habitats, mostly in primary jungle. Although most tours are on foot, some can be combined with river trips in a dugout canoe. The forest canopy has been made accessible by the construction of an observation tower that climbs 135 feet into the epiphyte-laden branches of a kapok tree. The jungle stretches to the horizon in all directions. On a clear day, the snowcapped peak of Sumaco, an extinct volcano 100 miles away, is often visible.
   
 
trip details
VIP Journeys has no fixed departure dates. We plan One-of-a-Kind Luxury Travel completely designed for you. Call our travel planners now to see how easy it is... 800.772.9188.

Day 1- Quito


The journey begins in Quito as you arrive and are transferred to your Le Parc Hotel. This interesting and renovated city tour starts with a visit of the Itchimbia neighborhood, which is a place that offers a spectacular view of the old and new city. Then you will visit the old colonial Quito starting in Santo Domingo Plaza walking through one of the oldest streets in the town “La Ronda Street” where you will see how the colonial houses were built and how the Quitenos lived in the sixteen hundreds. Your walk takes you through the city museum to San Francisco Plaza, making a quick stop to try the typical sweets of Quito. San Francisco is the oldest church in Quito and it is full of history and legends.

Before visiting the church we highly recommend to visit the USHINA jewelry, a place where you will find fine art and exclusive designs made of silver, definitely a must in our city tour. After this, a visit to La Merced church is organized to see the arabesque and baroque style that was used to decorate this church. Finally a visit to the main square, presidential palace, the main cathedral and some other important buildings can be appreciated. La Compania de Jesus church is one of the most beautiful churches in South America or perhaps the world, this is the last treasure to be visited in our program before your guide takes you back to the hotel or just continue the day to a visit of the Equator.

Day 2 - Cotopaxi

Today you will be met by your guide early in the morning for a drive of about 60 km south of Quito along the Pan-American Highway - also named the Avenue of the Volcanoes by Alexander Von Humboldt. In this area you will find the magnificent, Cotopaxi volcano (19.460ft above sea level), considered the highest active volcano in the world! You will have an opportunity to take short hikes and learn about the flora and fauna of the Paramo, Also, depending on the weather conditions, visit to the "refuge" (4.800m - 15.840ft). Lunch is at Tambopaxi base camp with a fantastic view of this most scenic volcano. In the afternoon, transfer to Hacienda San Agustin del Callo. One night, one room (double occupancy), including breakfast, hotel tax and service charge.

Day 3 – Cotopaxi & Baños

This morning after your breakfast you will be ready to continue your trip through the avenue of the volcanoes, characterized by striking volcanic peaks and rugged Andean scenery. We will pass cities located in the Central Highlands where you will see how the daily life of the inhabitants is. In the afternoon you will arrive to Baños one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Andes of Ecuador. Its full name, Banos de Agua Santa (literally, baths of the holy waters) reflects the natural hot spring running off neighboring Volcan Tungurahua (16,480 ft). The town is surrounded by a curtain of bright green mountain rich in waterfalls, flora and fauna. You will stay at Samaria Spa Resort. One night, one room (double occupancy), including breakfast, hotel tax and service charge.

Day 4 –Baños & Riobamba

This day you will explore the surroundings of Baños an area rich in waterfalls and lush vegetation. Our guide will follow the main highway along the "Avenue of the Waterfalls" where you will enjoy of the majestic view of the countryside. Once you have passed several other waterfalls on your way a few kilometers outside of Baños you will find El "Pailon del Diablo", the Devil's Cauldron considered the top attraction of this natural area. Later on you will return to the town of Baños to continue our journey to Riobamba. You will stay at Hacienda Abraspungo. One night, one room (double occupancy), including breakfast, hotel tax and service charge.

Day 5 – Riobamba, Devil’s nose & Cuenca

This day you will wake up very early to be on time at the train station. Train journeys in Ecuador are a sure adventure, the Trans-Andean Railroad is a spectacular tourist attraction for the variety of climates and fantastic natural and cultural scenery along the journey, more over the trains themselves are a colorful part of the landscape. The train leaves from the station, and pass through Cajabamba and the Colta lagoons, and the small Guamote village then it climbs to a little picturesque town in the highlands called Alausi. Then comes the most exhilarating part of the journey; said to be one of the most spectacular in the world. The train zigzags up and down 45 degree gradient called "Devil's Nose" in a breathtaking experience. The train goes backwards on the way down, and then returns to Alausi. After lunch we will continue on road, we will arrive to Cuenca where we will stay at the Santa Lucia Hotel. One night, one room (double occupancy), including breakfast, hotel tax and service charge.

Day 6 – Cuenca and Amazon Rain Forest

Cuenca was declared as a World heritage Site in 1999, this city is the third largest in the country and it is called the Athens of Ecuador for its many contributions in the literature field. The city is located in the south of the country and is crossed by four rivers which give it a unique landscape. The historic centre is the most visited site in the city because it comes from the 16th century. Its architecture is an eclectic mix of European styles, mainly Spanish and French. After lunch your guide will transfer you at the airport of Cuenca on time for your flight to El Coca (connection in Quito) transfer to the Sacha Lodge in the Ecaudor Amazon.

Day 7 – Amazon Rain Forest - Sacha Lodge

Depart Quito´s airport at 11:00am (subject to change). A 30 minute flight over the Andes Mountains leads you to a bustling oil town called Coca located in the Amazon Basin. A quick lunch in Sacha´s private house and then it’s off to the town docks where you will board Sacha´s private canoes for the 2 hour journey down river to Sacha´s Lodges property. A 30 minute hike through the rainforest leads you to Lake Pilchicocha. Here, you are met by native workers to paddle you across the lake to your final destination. Arrive at Sacha Lodge around 15:30 or 16:00 pm (subject to change). Swim in Lake Pilchicocha, which is a black water lake home to many species of fish and animals. A refreshing swim after arriving may be just what you need after being in the equatorial heat all day. Bird observing from the mini tower offers guests an excellent opportunity to view several species of birds common around the Sacha Lodge. Also a great place to watch the sun set. Visit the butterfly house with your naturalist guide to view the beautiful colors of many different species of butterflies. After dinner, accompany your naturalist guide on a night walk through the rainforest to view the hundreds of different species of animals that can only be found at night. Or maybe a canoe ride on the lake to view the spectacled and black caimans with their glowing orange eyes as you silently paddle across the lake to get a closer view.

Day 8 – Amazon Rain Forest - Sacha Lodge

Begin morning activity between 6:00 and 7:00. Begin walking on trail Liana Chica and arrive at the canopy walk, for spectacular views of the rainforest canopy and the many different species of vibrantly colored birds. Designed to be a self-standing rigid suspension canopy walk, it is one of only a few in the world! Located within Sacha´s private reserve, 2 miles from the shores of the Rio Napo and 1 mile from the lodge, the bird walk gives guests the opportunity to get an up close and personal view of the rainforest canopy. Two of the three towers have observation decks every 12 meters making towers accessible for everyone. The canopy walkway is at 36 meters high and 275 meters long, giving guests a “birds eye view” of all the wonders and beauty the tropical rainforest has to offer. The canopy walk is designed as a sturdy walkway enabling guests to casually move along while enjoying the spectacular views. After the canopy walk, Liana Grande through terra firma and igapo forest habitats where native guides will explain many different species of medicinal plants that have been being used in their culture for hundreds of years. Liana Grande will turn into the trail Higueron, which will take you through pristine primary forest with huge Kapok and Fig trees towering hundreds of feet above your head. After lunch, you may choose to take a leisurely hike along the Rio Napo, or choose a little more challenging hike on the trail Leoncillo to try and spot the elusive dusky titi monkey. Either way the trails will lead you back to the main boardwalk for your final hike and canoe ride back to the lodge.

Day 9 – Amazon Rain Forest - Sacha Lodge

Leaving the lodge after breakfast, you begin your hike on trail Lagartococha. This trail offers you the chance to learn more about the native people and their relationship with the forest. Learn about the trees where native people believe the spirits of their ancestors live, and the mysterious “dwende” or devil-man of the forest. After arriving at lake Lagartococha, take a tranquil canoe ride through a natural swamp, which is the home of anacondas, caimans, and capybaras. After the canoe ride, a walk on the other side of Largatococha may give you the opportunity to spot capuchin or squirrel monkeys playfully jumping through the trees. Return from the walk or canoe ride and head back to the lodge for a refreshing dip in the lake, or a nice relaxing nap in your personal hammock on your private balcony. After lunch, your native guide will teach you how to fish for the infamous razor-toothed piranha. Keep in mind that piranhas will never attack a person and swimming at the same time is perfectly safe and fun!

Around 15:30 you will begin what many think is the best trail at the Sacha Lodge, a silent canoe ride through the flooded Amazonian forest. Where you have a good chance of being surrounded by troops of squirrel, capuchin, and howler monkeys. Keep your eyes peeled for the shy and elusive river otter as well as the incredibly well camouflaged three-toed sloth! After your eye-popping ride through the flooded forest, you will arrive at Sacha´s135-foot wooden tower built around an ancient Kapok tree. Get close up views of vibrantly colored birds through Sacha´s powerful scopes, and watch the sun set with an amazing view of Mount Sumaco, a volcano, and possibly a view of the snow-covered caps of the Andes! Leaving the tower just before or after sunset will give you an experience not soon forgotten. A canoe ride back through the flooded forest at night will be an awe-inspiring experience. Listen to the symphony of frogs and insects as you navigate through the narrow flooded forest trail, keeping your eyes open for caimans. Watch the several species of bats flying over your heads and listen to the many species of nocturnal birds making their eerie nighttime calls. Finally, after your mesmerizing canoe trip through the Amazon, you will arrive back at Lake Pilchicocha and the welcoming lights of Sacha Lodge.

Day 10 – Amazon Rain Forest - Sacha Lodge

Breakfast and a departure from the lodge at 07:30am. One last walk on the boardwalk to the river, and from there a 2 hour canoe ride back to Coca for your 35 minute flight back to Quito. Arrive in Quito at 12:30pm (subject to change).
 


 




options
 
Package Prices and other details
Category Hotel Prices  
  Five Star Hacienda San Agustín de Callo
Hotel Plaza Grande
Le Parc
Mansion Alcazar
Sacha Lodge
Samaria Spa Resort
$ price quote
 
 

Land Only - Includes: Prices are per person based on double occupancy. All accommodations include breakfast. English speaking Guides, transports, entrance fees and airport transfers. Hotel accommodations with hotel taxes and service charges, meals and as indicated in this itinerary.

Not Included: International and domestic flights, Airport departure taxes, Reciprocity tax (entry fee or visa), alcoholic beverages, Tips to drivers, guides, hotel bellboys, meals not specifically indicated as included.

This is a general itinerary, which does not necessarily incorporate the special interests that you may have personally. Please contact our specialists to customize this trip for you. Call us at 800.772.9188 to speak with an expert now.
 




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