Ecuador adventure & culture holiday
Description of Ecuador adventure & culture holiday
Mainland Ecuador remains practically unknown to most people, and this beautifully woven two week tour will reveal its myriad beguilements. This diverse land mingles wildlife-thronged forests with snow-clad volcanoes, tropical vegetation, richly storied colonial cities and tribal villages hidden in the jungle. It's a perfect tour for travellers keen to discover one of South America’s hidden gems – with the option to extend the trip to the celebrated Galapagos Islands.
You'll enjoy countless encounters with volcanoes – including Ecuador's highest peak, whose summit is the furthest point on Earth from its core, and the shores of the gorgeous volcano lake at Quilotoa. There will be an opportunity to hike through Ecuador's rainforests and highlands as well as the chance to take an unforgettable Andean train ride from Ibarra to Salinas and over the fabled Devil’s Nose.
Nature lovers will also savour encounters with iconic Ecuadorean wildlife including the Andean Humming Bird, the Cara Cara and the majestic Andean Condor – plus, of course, llamas and guinea pigs!
Contrast the urban buzz and major historic sights of Quito with the tiny jungle town of Macas and the traditional ceramics manufacturing village of La Victoria.
The trip ends with time at Cotopaxi National Park where you can take a walk around Limpiopungo Lagoon and soak up the stunning views from Tambopaxi mountain refuge before finally returning to Quito from where you'll begin your journey home.
PlanetOn this tour we visit Podocarpus National Park and Cotopaxi National Park. The fees that we pay for entering and for guiding during our visit help the conservation efforts in preserving the Andean highlands and the local birds, such as the Andean Humming Bird, the Cara Cara and the majestic Andean Condor.
By visiting these parks we contribute to crucial conservation and research projects designed to ensure the long term well being of the wildlife that lives here. We work with local guides in the parks who know the areas well – these are from the communities that surround the parks and this therefore ensures that these vital areas are seen not just as the preserve of wealthy tourists but as a valuable source of employment and income for local people.
We work closely with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues, an important effort in a country where the environment is often taken for granted.
PeopleThis trip through Ecuador has a strong focus on staying in rural communities and locally owned accommodation. Our philosophy is to only use small and locally owned suppliers, meaning that the income remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution. We also feel that the passion inherent within such suppliers means that your experience will be enhanced. Visits to local community enterprises and markets such as in Guamote and the Montecristi hat factory in Cuenca support the local population and give a source of income directly to the people we visit.
We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. Finally to emphasis our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.