From lush rainforests to Andean countryside, Ecuador offers astounding biodiversity, rich cultural heritage and a distinct wild beauty. Conservancy Travel’s Ecudaor tour combines boutique accommodations — including a 17th century hacienda — in the vibrant Andean countryside with a four-night cruise deep into the Amazon aboard the all-suite M/V Anakonda for a comprehensive immersion into nature! This active adventure allows for almost daily nature walks and boating excursions, along with opportunities to stroll through famed Quito, Otavalo and quaint villages.
Cruise the Ecuadorian Amazon
Enjoy four nights aboard the M/V Anakonda, a vessel featuring an expansive observation deck, outdoor Jacuzzi and an al fresco lounge and kayaks. Concierge service on this riverboat allows you to request special activities, including night camping in luxury tents, for an incredibly personal Amazon experience.
Ecuador’s Best Wildlife
Our Ecuador tour travels through a variety of ecosystems, including dry forest, cloud forest and the lush Amazon rainforest. As you explore these premier wildlife areas and protected habitats, watch for horned screamer, chestnut-fronted macaw, black-headed parrot, blue-crowned trogon and glowing puffleg. Plus, you may also spot pink freshwater dolphin, giant otter and monk saki.
This journey was crafted to offer you chances to discover Andean culture with weaving demonstrations, market visits and while learning to make traditional instruments and figurines in the Otavalo area.
The sample itinerary below can be customized to take full-advantage of your travel time and interests.
Please Note: This safari may be operated as a private safari or as part of a small-group experience with other travelers.
- Enjoy an intimate group of no more than 18 while exploring Quito & Otavalo.
- Divide into small, separate groups with naturalist guides for Amazon excursions.
- Discover Andean culture with weaving demonstrations, market visits & while learning to make traditional instruments & figurines in the Otavalo area.
- Four nights aboard the M/V Anakonda, a vessel featuring an expansive observation deck, outdoor Jacuzzi & an al fresco lounge & kayaks.
- Wildlife observation in premier reserves across a variety of habitats.
Custom Ecuador Andes & Amazon Sample Itinerary
Arrive Quito Fly independently to Quito and spend tonight at Hotel Patio Andaluz. (Meals Aloft)
Quito / Calderon / Otavalo Spend our morning touring the city, visiting Independence Square, the renowned Baroque/Moorish Church of San Francisco and Panecillo Hill, where the winged Virgin of Quito watches over her city. Drive north to the city of Otovalo, where you will have lunch. Stop at Huarmi Maqui, a community of women artisans whose mother language means “hands of women.” Here, elders teach younger women, who often come from disadvantaged backgrounds, some of the regions’ almost forgotten embroidery traditions. Call on an Andean musical instrument workshop before checking into Hacienda Cusin, home for two nights. (B,L,D)
Otavalo: Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve Spend our morning at Cuicocha Lake, inside the volcanic crater of Mount Cotacachi. As you hike and enjoy a scenic boat ride, watch for fox, llama, Andean duck and perhaps even Andean condor. Our next stop is the lively community of Cotacachi and then an afternoon visit to Otavalo artisan market. Browse for tapestries and handicrafts while chatting with friendly otavaleños. (B,L,D)
Quito / Coca / Embark Fly to the frontier city of Coca, and board excursion boats that take us along the Napo River to the M/V Anakonda, home for four nights. This evening, enjoy a nocturnal jungle walk, giving us our first chance to experience the sounds and sights of the Amazon by night. Sparkling fireflies and phosphorescent eyes will undoubtedly astonish you in this magical birthplace of life. Led by your guide, searching for nocturnal animals can be an unforgettable experience. (B,L,D)
Ecuadorian Amazon Cruise Spend three days discovering Ecuador’s Amazon under the guidance of accomplished naturalists. During daily lectures, learn about this delicate environment and even try your hand at making local handicrafts. The only way to actually visit this flooded ecosystem is by canoe, a ride that will reveal the beauty of a lush jungle world. Learn about the relationship between plants and animals while closely watching out for samples of Amazonia’s fascinating biodiversity at every turn. Boating excursions also allow for personal exploration of the Ecuadorian Amazonia, home to the legendary pink river dolphin, black caiman and anaconda. We may also find river turtles and common squirrel monkey, as well as the primitive hoatzin. This bird is known locally as “the stinky turkey.” From an observation tower perched 100 feet above the forest, enjoy a unique perspective on this verdant wilderness. Venture into Limoncocha Biological Reserve, a fascinating protected area where more than 478 bird species and several monkey species have been recorded. Nighttime excursions will give us an opportunity to spot black caiman. Call on a small community perched on the banks of the Napo River, interacting with welcoming families and learning about the education system in these remote villages. (B,L,D Daily)
Disembark / Quito / Rumiloma Disembark and travel by boat to Coca, continuing to Quito. Drive to Rumiloma,and enjoy the Hacienda and grounds. Situated on 100 acres of primary and secondary Andean forest, the Hacienda Rumiloma borders a national park. Golden, with red-tile roofs, the main building houses an outstanding restaurant, pub and special events room, with walls of windows facing the valley below. This hacienda has been in the Oswaldo family for generations. Throughout the years, they have replanted native trees. The owners and staff work closely with the community in many ways. They’re committed to sustainable tourism. They employ local people as service staff, soap makers and craftsmen. Dance troops, football clubs and community food halls are a few activities they sponsor. Spend tonight at Hacienda Rumiloma (B,L,D)
Yanacocha Reserve / Quito Find yourself surrounded by the biodiverse Andean forest on our morning tour. In 2001, Fundación Jocotoco acquired 950 hectares of this forest and has expanded to about 1200 hectares. In 2005, the puffleg became Quito’s emblematic bird and the reserve was declared a natural heritage site. This forest has provided water for Quito since pre-Columbian times, and today, it remains an important source of water to northern Quito and the town of Nono. Here, we choose from different length hikes in which we will ascertain the importance of this ecosystem, marvel at the countless hummingbirds, and appreciate views of the Pichincha Volcano. Head back to the hacienda for lunch, and in the afternoon, we will have time to relax and enjoy nature and the surroundings of Rumiloma, or perhaps enjoy one of the options at their private spa. Return to Quito and spend tonight at Hotel Patio Andaluz. (B,L,D)
Quito / Depart Transfer to the airport, where you board independent flights home, arriving late tonight. (B)
Hacienda Cusin is a restored 17th-century estate in the Ecuadorian sierra. Guest rooms and salons, furnished with antiques and select Andean crafts, and overlook acres of landscaped perennial gardens, ancient trees, and often snow-capped mountains. Hacienda Cusin’s guest rooms include bathroom with hair-dryer, antiques and/or Andean-craft furnishings, armchair/s, writing desk, garden or mountain views, and Wi-Fi.
Hotel Patio Andaluz
Hotel Patio Andaluz Quito is an elegant boutique hotel located just steps from Independence Plaza. The hotel offers 32 comfortable rooms, all housed in a Colonial-era house. Rooms feature complimentary Wi-Fi, TV with cable, AC/heat and a personal safe.
The all-suite M/V Anakonda plies the remote wilderness of Ecuador’s Amazon, allowing you access to pristine reserves and the region’s 15 indigenous communities while savoring elegant accommodations. Your small group of no more than 40 guests enjoys extraordinary common areas onboard, including a reading room, al fresco dining, lounge, outdoor Jacuzzi and an observation deck.
- Carries three 30-passenger motorized canoes & ten kayaks
- 2:1 guest-to-crew ratio
- Four English-speaking naturalist guides & four native guides per departure
- Menu focused on Ecuadorian & international cuisine
- Onboard concierge to coordinate any special guest requirements or activity alternatives
- Air-conditioned throughout
When not taking advantage of canoeing, hiking and kayaking excursions — or watching the passing scenery from one of the comfortable hammocks, retreat to your spacious suite. Each air-conditioned suite offers panoramic windows, ample bathrooms and even an en suite sitting area.
Dining on the M/V Anakonda is truly part of your Amazon experience, with a menu combining Ecuadorian dishes highlighting rich rainforest ingredients to international classics.
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