Arrival in Quito with International flight. Monumental City Tour to the Ecuadorian capital's colonial past, declared by UNESCO a "World Cultural Heritage." Quito invites you to visit its historic and modern treasures. You start the tour visiting modern and colonial districts. First, the "Balcon Quiteño", the Legislative Palace, the colonial center, the Independence Plaza, the Caron¬delet Palace (Government Palace) the Metropolitan Cathedral, "La Compañía" and "San Francisco" churches and a drive to "El Panecillo" hill for a marvelous panoramic view of the city. Overnight Mercure Alameda. (-/-/-)
Early departure from Quito through to the North on the "Panamericana" avenue to the Province of Imbabura. Visit Otavalo, which is 95 km north of Quito. There you will find a colorful Indian market that for many years is performed in the "Plaza del Poncho." Place to take wonderful pictures and admire Otavalo Indians in their typical clothing, and also purchase leather products, woven products, rugs, "shigras" (colorful straw or linen woven bags), as well as hand-carved wood products. Also you will have the opportunity to visit Cuicocha Lake, Peguche artisan center and Iluman, where wool hats are elaborated. Lunch in a typical restaurant. Drive Back to Quito. Overnight Mercure Alameda (B/-/-)
Breakfast. Drive to the South on the "Panamericana", which is called the "Volcanoes Avenue", with direction to the Cotopaxi National Park which lies at the foot of the world's highest active snow-capped volcano (5897 m.). The Cotopaxi National Park is located 60 km from Quito. It is an hour drive to this national site consisting of 83,829 acres. The road will take us to the Limpiopungo lagoon close to the Rumiñahui volcano. An extensive plain with camping areas surrounds it. Lunch at a typical hacienda and drive to Baños in the afternoon. Overnight Hotel Sangay (B/L/-)
Breakfast. You take a walk to and visit the small town, where you can taste delicious local sweets made of sugar cane, such as "melcochas", "alfeñiques", "panela" and pure sugar cane juice. Later you will visit the MANTO DE NOVIA, MACHAY and the PAILON DEL DIABLO falls. This last one has three jumps and an amazing whirlpool at the bottom; it gets its name "Devil's Pot" because the rock behind the fall is shaped as the profile of the devil. Drive to Riobamba in the afternoon. Overnight Abraspungo. (B/-/-)
Breakfast. Early in the morning you will take the "Riobamba-Palmira" train, with a nice route; it will show some interest places during the route like Palmira Desert, Colta Old Lagoon and the Balbamera Church, which is the oldest Church in Ecuador. In the afternoon you will drive to Cuenca. Overnight Hotel Santa Lucia. (B/-/-)
Breakfast. Cuenca is one of Ecuador's colonial jewels, with orderly classified cobblestone streets, excellent houses and buildings characterized by their elegant and unique metal balconies, adorned with abundant spring plants. Typical markets and stores show the region's cultural wealth, heredity of its Indian ancestors. Cuenca is one of Ecuador's most visited cities. The city tour starts along the Tomebamba River. You will admire lovely balconies, tiles, pink marble stone and wood with which most of its fantastic houses are built. The Inca ruins ("Todos los Santos") are visited. The city tour ends with a walk around the ancient city, where you will find enchanting churches, cloisters, museums, and houses. Drive to Guayaquil in the afternoon. Overnight Grand Hotel Guayaquil (B)
Breakfast. Transfer Out for International Flight or Galapagos Cruise extension.
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