Ecuador MultiSport Once in a Life Time 8 Days
Challenge yourself and join this magical adventure in the Ecuadorian mainland, where the largest biodiversity on earth and the richest geography are located along the Equator line. Bike down the slopes of the eastern Andean Mountain Range with great views of Tungurahua active volcano, explore the colorful Andean fields, discover the hidden treasures by climbing up waterfalls in the Amazon rainforest, fight large waves by rafting on the Jatunyacu River, trek to the rim of Cuicocha Crater Lake and soak in Papallacta’s volcanic waters. Experience a fantastic cultural encounter with an indigenous family in the Amazon, learning about their customs, food, knowledge and life-style.
- Prepare chocolate the ancestral way with a native Kichwa family in the Amazon Rainforest
- Organic cooking lesson with traditional fresh ingredients, side by side with local people in the heart of the Andes
This volcano is the most beautiful in the Ecuadorian Andes, with 5897 meters is considered the tallest active one on earth, while exploring this reserve it is common to view wild horses, bulls and few species of birds, with luck you may even spot a condor.
Biking in Llanganates National Park
This adventure will take you down the slopes of this reserve with about 5000 feet of downhill, getting through a magical forest, and an amazing view of the Tungurahua volcano, active since 1999.
Swing of the End of the World
With no harness, net, or any other safety feature the swing (nothing more than a plank suspended by two ropes) arcs riders out into the air over the canyon. This place became famous after winning the 2014 National Geographic Photo Contest.
Making chocolate with your own hands
While sharing time with a family from the Amazon you will have the opportunity to make chocolate and learn a lot about the cocoa beans.
Rafting in the Amazon
Rafting on the Jatunyacu River it is amazing, because of the great class III rapids, and also views of the beautiful landscape of pristine forest that you enjoy by paddling.
Near the paramo and hot springs of Papallacta, is a paradise for hummingbird lovers and photographers. Seeing 14 species of this colorful creatures within an hour is not uncommon, and the Sword-billed hummingbird with it's unique, long bill is sure to amaze you.
Otavalo Market is one of the most popular Ecuador tourist attractions. The market is full of brightly-coloured, woven craftwork and the indigenous people of this area wear their traditional costume on a daily basis. A backdrop of mountain scenery on a clear sunny day adds the finishing touch to this typical highland scene.
Day 1: Quito
Welcome to Quito! The biggest, best-preserved colonial city of America was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and the second most important city of the old Inca Empire. Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. Adventure Journeys can help you to organize a day trip.
In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel for a welcome briefing and there will be plenty of time to discuss details and answer any questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an informational and acclimation day.
Accommodation:Mercure Hotel or similar or similar visite website
Day 01: Quito Arrival
ARRIVAL IN QUITO
Departing from Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, a 30-minutes flight over the eastern Andes will take you to the jungle town of Coca. There, members of our staff will be waiting for you to give you warm welcome and take you to the Francisco de Orellana Port –which is only 5 minutes away from the airport. And here is where the real adventure begins! At the port you will get on a motorized canoe downstream the Napo River, the major tributary of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. During the trip, you will have the chance to see different birds such as kingfishers, herons and other and admire the incredible views of the Amazon jungle that opens before your eyes.
After our two-hours ride along the Napo River, you will arrive at the NWC’s dock entrance where to take a short break to freshen up and use the restrooms. Then, we will continue our way to the lodge on paddle-canoes –motorized canoes are not allowed within the Napo territory. This majestic and peaceful dugout canoe ride a narrow stream will lead us to the Añangu Lake, where the hotel is.
Late in the afternoon, we will arrive to the Napo Wildlife Center where our staff will welcome you with drinks and show your rooms and other areas of the lodge.
Day 1: Quito Arrival
ECUADOR'S CAPITAL CITY
Welcome to Quito! The biggest, best-preserved colonial city of America was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and the second most important city of the old Inca Empire.
Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. Adventure Journeys can help you to organize a day trip, please do a request with time in advance. In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel’s lobby for a welcome briefing at 18:00 hours, and there will be plenty of time to discuss details and questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an informational and acclimation day.
Mercure Hotel or Similar
Day 2: Cotopaxi National Park - Baños
TREKKING ADVENTURE ON THE HIGHEST ACTIVE VOLCANO
After breakfast, we leave Quito driving southwards along the beautiful Avenue of Volcanos, while getting the chance to see the colorful Andean fields. On our way we will reach 12,000 feet. (3657 meters). After arriving at the Cotopaxi National Park, we will go hiking around Limpiopungo lagoon of the foot hills of the Rumiñahui volcano, from here we will have the best views of the Cotopaxi Volcano, highest active volcano in the world, and depending on the weather conditions we may try to trek to the basecapm at 16000 feet. (4876 meters)
In the afternoon we continue our drive towards the Llanganates National Park, which is known as the sacred mountain, until we reach the town of Baños, located at the entrance of the Amazon. Here we can enjoy the best night life by drinking cocktails and dancing salsa.
Trekking Activity Level.- Moderate, this adventure is at high elevation, make sure you drink a lot of water or coca tea, the trail is on dirt surrounded by bushes and grass.
- Trekking Time.- 3 hours
- Trekking Distance.- 4 miles (6.4 km)
- Elevation Gain.- 1200 feet (366 meters)
- Minimum Elevation.- 12700 feet (3870 meters)
- Maximum Elevation.- 13850 feet (4222 meters)
NOTE.- In case the weather and physical conditions are good you may trek to the Basecamp and the maximum elevation would be 16000 feet. (488 meters)
What to wear today.- Pants, t-shirt, fleece, hiking shoes, gloves, hat, buff, bring rain jacket and pants, water bottle, sun cream, binoculars.
La Floresta or Similar
Day 3: Baños - Biking Llanganates National Park
BIKING Trough the cloud forest
This morning we cross country - mountain bike from the Llanganates National Park down to the Pastaza River Canyon, enjoying the beautiful scenery of the cloud forest. The road brings us through some Andean farms and a beautiful canyon with many waterfalls.
While descending into the jungle, we will have a breath-taking view of Baños, very well known for its spectacular location right on the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano, active since 1999, which is the main attraction of this region. In the afternoon we will have some time to explore the town and also go to The Swing of the End of the World, where the winner of the National Geographic 2014 photo contest took his pcture.
Biking Activity Level.- Moderate, mostly downhill, the first 45 minutes up hill and then just going down, you will be riding on cobblestone and dirt roads for the first two hours, and 1 hour on asphalt.
- Biking Time.- 3 hours
- Biking Distance.- 20 miles (32.18 km)
- Elevation Gain.- 500 feet (152 meters)
- Minimum Elevation while Biking.- 5500 feet (1676 meters)
- Maximum Elevation while Biking.- 10450 feet (3185 meters)
NOTE.- In case you want to avoid the uphill, there will always be the support of our transportation, and our driver will be happy to give you a ride till you decide to join the biking group.
What to wear today.- Shorts, t-shirt, fleece, tennis shoes, buff, bring rain jacket and pants, water bottle, sun cream, mosquito repellent.
La Floresta or Similar
Day 4: Amazon - Canyoning
ROAD OF WATERFALLS AND CANYONING IN THE AMAZON
This morning we will hit the road of the waterfalls. The first stop will be at the Bride´s Veil waterfall, where we will take the Tarabita (cable car) to get across the Pastaza River. Then we will hike down to the Pailon del Diablo waterfall, the second highest in Ecuador.
Later, we will go deeper into the jungle inside the Llanganates National Park. The name “llanganates” comes from “beautiful mountain” in the local native language. 600 years ago, the Incas hid here their golden treasure. Explorers have spent many years looking for this treasure, but some have disappeared with no luck in this dense pristine jungle.
During a hike through the Amazon Tropical Rain Forest, we will climb along several waterfalls. Our local native guide will tell us about the incredible nature and wildlife that live here. We will spend the night at the Local Basic Jungle Lodge run by a kichwa indigenous family.
Canyoning Activity Level.- Moderate, the jungle exploration will be done while hiking on the canyon that has been formed by the waterfalls and river Pimpilala, so you will be hiking on irregular terrain on rocks and water surrounded by pristine Amazon Tropical Rain Forest, the weather can be hot and humid which would make a very refreshing activity, the highest waterfall to climb is 16 feet (4.87 meters) and the rest are smaller, we will use helmets, ropes and bring optional harnesses for people that want to use them.
- Canyoning Time.- 3 hours
- Biking Distance.- 2 miles (3.22 km)
- Elevation Gain.- 500 feet (152.4 meters)
- Minimum Elevation while Canyoning.- 2000 feet (609.6 meters)
- Maximum Elevation while Biking.- 2500 feet (762 meters)
- What to wear today.- Shorts, water long sleeve t-shirt, water sandals, rain jacket, water bottle, sun cream, mosquito repellent.
NOTE.- this is a very basic accommodation, you will have your room but will have to share the bathroom, the rooms are very clean and all the beds have mosquito net, there is no electricity in the room but there is a social area where you can have access to power to charge your batteries.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Amazon - Jatunyacu River Rafting - Papallacta hot springs
JATUNYACU RIVER RAFTING AND VOLCANIC HOT SPRINGS
We greet the day by preparing our gear to paddle the wild waves of the Jatunyacu River, located just a 5 minutes drive from the Homestay, the beauty of this river will inspire you and reveal the magic of the Amazon rainforest.
After a very important safety briefing from our rafting guides, we will start our class III rafting expedition down the Jatunyacu River, well known for its clean water and awesome rapids. We will have a lot of fun playing some games and also exploring one of the canyons. The end of the journey offers us a stop for a picnic, prepared by our guides.
We conclude our day with a drive back up to the Andes, stopping to visit the paradise of hummingbirds in Guango Reserve and finally continuing up to the volcanic hot springs resort, where we will spend the night.
- Rafting Activity Level.- Moderate, this is consider as a class III river for white water rafting, there is some awesome waves and also plenty of flat water to go swimming, the river is surrounded by amazing views of the Amazon landscape.
- Rafting Time.- 4 hours, depending of the level of the water can be less time.
- Rafting Distance.- 18 miles (28.96 km)
- What to wear today.- Shorts, water long sleeve t-shirt, water sandals, water bottle, sun cream, mosquito repellent.
Papallacta Hot Springs or similar
Day 6: Cloud Forest - Otavalo Indian Market
HIKING THE CLOUD FOREST & OTAVALO INDIGUENOUS MARKET
In the morning we will do a hiking exploration in the nearby Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve, there is beautiful flora that included colorful orchids, and while walking slowly and quiet you may see some beautiful birds too, later we will travel across the Andes to stop by the Equator line and have an explanation about this great attraction and for standing on both hemispheres at the same time, your guide will suggest a place to eat before going to Otavalo Indigueous Market and spend some time shopping and learning about this ancient culture that is still alive here.
In the late afternoon we’ll be transferred to the hacienda and enjoy a welcome cocktail as well as a delicious dinner.
- Hiking Activity Level.- Easy, this adventure will be on a very nice trail along the river and that is surrounded by a Cloud Forest, in the early morning will be possible to have great views of the snowed capped Antisana Volcano, the trail can be a bit muddy so make sure you wear your hiking shoes.
- Hiking Time.- 2 hours
- Hiking Distance.- 3 miles (4.82 km)
- Elevation Gain.- 150 feet (45.72 meters)
- Minimum Elevation while hiking.- 10400 feet (3169.92 meters)
- Maximum Elevation.- 1550 feet (472.4 meters)
NOTE.- This morning if you do not want to go hiking, you can book a spa treatment and pay directly to the Hotel, make sure you organize this the night before just by calling from your own room to the Spa.
What to wear today.- Pants, t-shirt, fleece, hiking shoes, gloves, hat, buff, bring rain jacket and pants, water bottle, sun cream, binoculars.
Pinsaqui Hacienda or similar
Day 7: Trekking Cuicocha Crater Lake - Quito
TREKKING THE LOOP OF CUICOCHA CRATER LAKE
Today after a very healthy breakfast we have a very short drive to the Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve, one of the main attractions here, is the Cuicocha Crater Lake, and our adventure will take us on a trek around this still active volcano, your guide will show you lost of beautiful flowers along the trail.
At the end of our hike, we will take a boat ride to the center of the crater to observe the activity of this volcano, watching bubbles coming up from the center of the caldera. In the afternoon we will drive back to Quito. In the evening we will take part of the farewell dinner with the guides and members of the group.
- Trekking Activity Level.- Moderate, the trekking trail is on dirt sand and gravel, located in the Paramo Ecosystem at high elevation.
- Trekking Time.- 5 hours
- Trekking Distance.- 7,5 miles (12.07 km)
- Elevation Gain.- 2500 feet (762 meters)
- Minimum Elevation while trekking.- 10000 feet (3048 meters
- Maximum Elevation while trekking.- 11470 feet (3496 meters)
Mercure Alameda Hotel or similar
Day 8: Quito Departure
DEPARTURE & END OF SERVICES
International departures, end of services. Take with you memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador soon to experience more of this enchanted land. We wish you a “buen viaje”!
Activities: 3 hours hiking in Cotopaxi National Park in the Andes, 3 hours biking in the Llanganates National Park, 4 hours white-water rafting on Jatunyacu River in the Amazon rainforest, 3 hours canyoning at Pimpilala waterfalls, bird watching and hiking exploration in the cloud forest, soaking in Papallacta hot springs, 5 hours trekking the loop of Cuicocha Crater Lake, share time with local indigenous people in the Amazon, making chocolate, salsa lesson.
Accommodation based in double occupancy: First Class hotel in Quito, 4-star hotel in Baños, home stay in the Amazon, 5-star Spa Resort in Papallacta, Colonial Hacienda in Imbabura
Transportation: Private and comfortable land transportation
- Trekking or Hiking: Black Diamond trekking sticks
- Biking: Trek X Caliper MTB (hydraulic disc brakes, front Rock Shock suspension), Bontrager helmets, full finger gloves
- Canyoning: rubber boots, ropes, harnesses
Rafting: Aire and NRS 7-people- rafts, NRS life jackets, NRS paddles, splash jackets
Trip Leader: Certified EPL expert English-speaking adventure trip leader and local guides
What is not included?
My Own Room supplement - estimated budget USD $ 436USD
Travel insurance (mandatory)
Meals not described in the itinerary - estimated budget USD $120 USD
Tips for guides, drivers and hotels. - estimated budget USD $150 USD
In this journey you will experience a great diversity of ecosystems, including snowcapped mountains, high elevation paramo, middle elevation clould forest and tropical rain forest or Amazon, this means you must be ready for all kinds of weather as it depends very much in the altitude, the higher you go the colder it gets and the lower you go the warmer it gets. So please see the list below for what we recommend as packing list.
We recommend the use of a duffel bag (60 liters) for the main luggage and a daypack (20 liters) with rain cover for the outdoor activities.
REMEMBER: IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO TRAVEL LIGHT!
Credit or debit card
1 Warm Jacket
1 Fleece top
1 Rain jacket
1 Rain pants
1 Long sleeve water t-shirt
2 Long trousers or light hiking pants
1 Swimming suit
2 Extra formal clothing for the nightlife
1 Sport sandals (Chacos, keens or similar)
1 Flip flops
1 Hiking shoes
1 Tennis shoes
1 Warm gloves
1 Warm hat
1 Watch or alarm clock
1 Insect repellent
1 Sun cream 50 SPF
1 Flash light
1 Sun hat or baseball cap
1 Camera – waterproof if possible
1 Water bottle
First-aid kit(should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
IMPORTANT Travel Tips
Ecuador is a wonderful, colorful and friendly country to visit. It is, however, a very different culture. So to ensure that you are fully prepared for the trip and enjoy your stay here we provide the following travel tips:
GENERAL (TRAVEL IN A DEVELOPING COUNTRY):
Ecuador is a developing country and many regions still live in poverty. Although the tourism infrastructure is reasonably good and improving each year it can still be difficult at times to travel.
You will often be needing a little patience as things tend to run on “latino time” – buses often depart late, people often arrive late to meetings, and things generally happen more slowly and with less urgency than in other countries.
The best way to deal with these differences is to look on the bright side and take each challenge as part of your travel experience. Relax and enjoy these sides to Latin culture.
ETIQUETTE & BEHAVIOR
Ecuador is one of South America´s most hospitable nations. Even in the overburdened metropolis of Quito, people are happy to give directions, chat, and ask a question. You´ll often hear “De donde vienes?” (“Where are you from?”). Ecuadorians are extremely knowledgeable and proud of the history of their country.
In the cities women who know each other often greet each other with a single kiss on the cheek, while men shake hands.
SHOPPING & BARGAINING
Ecuador has many colorful markets – both for handicrafts and local products. Before buying you should always bargain in price as this is the custom and the locals often try to charge extra to the tourists. There is no general guideline as to how much you should pay for any individual item – you should decide how much you are willing to pay, start your offers lower than that amount and compromise little by little trying to get the seller’s price down to your ideal price. Bargaining is fun, and a great chance to improve your Spanish while interacting with the locals!
When in regular shops/malls you should pay the quoted price as it is considered rude to bargain.
CAMERAS & PHOTOGRAPHY
Ecuador, with its majestic landscapes and varied cityscapes, is the dream of every photographer. However, you should respect the locals and follow these simple rules when photographing them:
Always ask permission before taking someone´s picture. People in remote villages often don’t like being photographed.
It is recommended to Tip our Drivers and Guides as this is not included in the price of the trip, for drivers we recommend $ 8USD per person per day and for the guides $ 10USD per person per day.
Tipping is also standard practice in most cafes and restaurants – 10% is normal.
Soroche (altitude sickness) affects some visitors in the Ecuadorian Andes. Headache, dizziness, and shortness of breath are common.
To avoid such effects it is recommended to take it easy on your first day, drink plenty of water or coca tea, and eat chocolate. Always inform your guide or hotel staff if you feel any symptoms and they will help you out.
FOOD & DRINK
Another health risk in Ecuador is traveler´s diarrhea caused by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. It is therefore very important to watch what you eat - do not eat anything from street vendors, avoid ice unless you are sure it is made from purified water, avoid uncooked or under-cooked food and unpasteurized milk, drink only bottled water, even when brushing your teeth. In the case of illness always inform your guide or hotel staff who will help you deal with it and ensure that you drink enough water to maintain hydration.
Hygiene standards are generally lower than those you are used to in North America or Europe. One very important difference is that the sewage system cannot cope with toilet paper being flushed into the toilet. There is usually a basket next to the toilet which should be used to deposit used toilet paper, and although unhygienic this method is more pleasant than the toilet overflow that will occur if paper is flushed!
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Safety and security is an important issue as pick-pocketing and robbery of tourists can and does occur. It is important not to be paranoid when travelling as most Ecuadorians you meet will be very honest and friendly people, but there are some basic precautions that you should take: Unless necessary never carry anything valuable with you (i.e. expensive watches / jewelry) or large amounts of money.
EXTRA IMPORTANT DETAILS
It is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described; however, due to our travel style, on occasions it may be necessary or desirable to make small changes. Weather conditions and unpredictable local circumstances may lead us to make alterations to the route and/or travel times. Hotels and flight schedules might change according to availability. Any mention to specific wildlife in the itinerary or trip details is not a guarantee that it will be seen during the trip.
2 – 4 hours a day.
Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Pastaza, Napo, Imbabura.
Andes Mountain Range and Amazon Tropical Rain Forest in Ecuador
Quito: 2.810 m (9.186 ft.)
Baños: 1.820 m (5.971 ft.)
Tena: 510 m (1.673 ft.)
Papallacta: 3.300 m (10.827 ft.)
Otavalo: 2.550 m (8.366 ft.)
Day 15-34ºC / 59-93ºF - Night 12-17ºC / 53-62ºF.
Easy to Moderate.- Even though we are including many outdoor activities such as: Trekking, Cross Country and Mountain Biking, Canyoning and Rafting, we consider this expedition as a soft adventure, so children and adults can do it with no problem and for people that want to take a break or just avoid any of this adventures can always hang out with the driver doing something else, for people that may want to do a bit more challenging our guides will be happy to coordinate something to help them.
NOTE.- For specific details of activities please view the Full Itinerary.
Our Company is always making sure in having the best outdoor gear possible, and we are very proud to work with the best brands, like Trek bikes, Aire and NRS for white water, Black diamond for trekking and Eureka for Camping.
All prices are based on double-occupancy. If you are travelling solo, you will be matched with another participant of your same sex. If you prefer to have a single room, please contact EPL prior to your departure to arrange your accommodation at an extra cost, it is very important to notice that the hotels listed on the Itinerary description may change according to availability so we do not guarantee you stay there, but we will make sure you will stay in a similar one of the same category.
Travelling with Ecuador Pure Life you will have the possibility to experience and taste local food and snacks. Your guide will help you identify typical food and suggest the best places to enjoy it. Some meals are not included in order to give you some flexibility about where, what and with whom to eat. You have the option to share these meals with the group, however there is no obligation to do this. If you have any allergies or food restrictions, please inform EPL prior to your departure.
Vegetarians, Vegans and Gluten Free people are very welcome in our trip, our guides are always ready to coordinate with chefs and restaurants fantastic meals for them, as Ecuador is very well known for its great diversity of gastronomy.
YOUR TRIP LEADERS AND GUIDES
All EPL guides and trip leaders are highly experienced, licensed from the Tourism University to operate in Ecuador and certified as Wilderness Adventure First Aid responders, they all have approved several extra training courses for kayaking, rafting, biking and horse riding, besides this they all are Ecuadorian and have an amazing personality.
In some location and for some activities, local guides join the trip leaders to provide an added service and make sure we practice sustainable tourism involving local indigenous people in our operation.
SUSTAINABLE ECO AND CULTURAL TOURISM
Clients receive interpretation and education about the ecology and conservation of the Andes, Amazon Rainforest and Galapagos Islands, and learn about the factors that threaten it. We aim to promote long-term conservation of both local people cultural identity and the environment. We transport out and recycle all non-organic garbage and we prefer to work with local suppliers. Your visit will encourage the local communities to support responsible eco-tourism as a sustainable alternative for their living.