Tourism

If you plan to stay for some extra days, we can recommend the following tours. You can find those at a local tour company of your convinience or contact Karina Reyes sales6@georeisen-ecuador.com or Andrés Cueva marketing@georeisen-ecuador.com for further information.

Quito Daily Tours

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Quito City Tour

The tour begins visiting the Quito`s downtown, one of the biggest in South America, our first point is the oldest street of the city, La Ronda, that used to be the home of musicians, poets, and politics back in time. Here we will encounter with the traditions of the city first by stopping in the gastronomic capsule, to have an explanation of the different local spices that are used for the typical Ecuadorian gastronomy. Continuing we will visit the house of handicrafts made of metal and wood most of them designed for the traditional churches and made by hand for furniture decoration (Tasting costs and tips are not included). After we are done with la Ronda we will visit Independence Square, surrounded by important historical buildings. Visit the Cathedral (XVI Century), the Presidential Palace, El Sagrario Church (XVII Century), and La Compañia de Jesus (XVII Century), one of the most beautiful baroque churches in South America, Not to be missed are the Church of San Francisco and Monastery, built a few months after the arrival of the Spaniards (XVI Century). Finally, we will drive to the viewpoint at the Panecillo hill, where the Virgin of Quito (the only winged virgin in the world) is located. You will have a wonderful view of the city and the surrounding mountains and volcanoes.

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CITY BY NIGHT PANORAMIC

Enjoy an incredible panoramic tour throughout Quito´s historical center on board Casa 1028 the bus, where you will encounter a total experience of Quito´s soul. We will start with a degustation of the variety of the most typical dishes of the city. During the tour, the guide on board will amaze you with all the different legends and story tales of the city while visiting each spot creating an unforgettable experience. This tour lasts for approx. 3 hours.

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MIDDLE OF THE WORLD

We will drive 30 km (18.6 mi) to the north side of Quito, toward to the Middle of the World where the equatorial line divides the northern and southern hemispheres. Firstly, we will visit the main monument built in honor of the French scientific expedition that arrived in Ecuador in the XVIII century. Nonetheless, after taking some pictures with the monument, we will visit the correct location of the equator line at the Inti Ñan Museum, where we will have the opportunity to learn in a playful way more about the Middle of the World, scientifically and culturally. Later, we will go to an artisanal chocolate factory, where we can learn more about the Ecuadorian fine aroma cocoa and also about the chocolate process. In the end, we will be able to taste the chocolate processed while we sweet our day. After all, we will return to Quito.

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CABLE CAR "TELEFERICO"

Enjoy a trip on board the cable car located at the foot of Pichincha Mountain. We will start at 2,950 meters and then move the way up to an altitude of 4, 100 m. Once at the summit, you will enjoy an almost full panoramic view of Quito, as well as the volcanoes that surround our city.

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OTAVALO INDIGENOUS MARKET

Driving north towards Imbabura, “the lakes” Province, enjoy an exciting trip by tasting exotic fruits in the Guayllabamba valley. Cross the Equator Line at Cayambe, where on a clear day, it is possible to admire its majestic snow-capped mountain (5,790 m. / 18,996 ft), the world´s highest point where the Equator Line crosses. Here it is an ideal spot to try its famous salt biscuits with leaf cheese, a tradition of this region not to be missed. At the foot of Imbabura mountain enjoy the picturesque view of Ecuador's largest lake - San Pablo. Afterward, we will visit Peguche Wasi, a gallery where the ancestral knowledge of the kichwa town is conserved. Here we will find a workshop where they hand make and sell indigenous handicrafts. This is an excellent opportunity for learning more in-depth about these craftworks. Additionally, there is an exposition with wood, spinning, crocheting, and murals that retell the history and magic of the Kichwa Otavalo. Before continuing our trip, we will visit another local workshop called “Taita Gundo” where we can see how the traditional Andean musical instruments are made. Later, it will be time to visit the famous Otavalo Indigenous Market, the biggest in South America. Here is where vendors proudly offer a stunning variety of weavings such as the famous ponchos, among other textiles like rugs, mittens, and scarves. This market is like a rainbow due to the colors of the textiles exhibited. Without a doubt, it is an ideal place to find handicrafts, jewelry, and another artisan craftwork. After all, return to Quito.

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COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK & LOCAL MARKET

We will start our day traveling to the southern part of the highlands, through the “Volcanoes’ Avenue”. During the journey, we can enjoy the marvelous view of the Cotopaxi Volcano, one of the highest active snow-capped volcano in the world. But firstly, we will visit one of the local markets in this region, depending on the day of the week for understanding the local culture and even experience the barter process, and, why not, being able to taste some of the local and exotic flavors that Ecuador has to offer to us. After this introduction to the local culture, we will drive along the Pan-American Highway towards the Cotopaxi Volcano with 5,897 m (19,347 ft) high. Once we are here, we will reach the entrance of Cotopaxi National Park and drive on a third-class road through a pine forest to Limpiopungo lagoon, a glacial Andean lake located at 3,800 m (12467 ft). From this site, we can have a magnificent view of the impressive Cotopaxi volcano. If weather conditions allow us, we will drive further to the parking lot located at 4,500 meters in order to hike up to the shelter at 4,800 meters. In the end, we will return to Quito.

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PAPALLACTA HOT SPRINGS

Drive the same route taken by Francisco de Orellana on his way to explore the legendary “El Dorado”, in the Ecuadorian Amazon Region, towards the moors of the Eastern mountain range. During this trip, you will appreciate the radical change of scenery due to altitude variation. Surrounded by a beautiful landscape at 3,300 m level you will discover Papallacta Hot Springs. Here you will enjoy a relaxing bath in the natural hot waters. After that, a short walk in the moors to observe the unusual local flora.

Quilotoa

QUILOTOA CRATER LAKE

This day we will combine our visit the Quilotoa Crater Lake with a local indigenous market (it varies according to the day). Every local and indigenous market has its local flare. The Quilotoa Crater Lake is located in the province of Cotopaxi and is part of the ecological Reserve Ilinizas. The beautiful lake in the crater, with its emerald colored water, will take your breath away. During the trip we will enjoy the picturesque landscape, seeing on the way rural indigenous people in their small agricultural communities. This lagoon is not just any lagoon; it’s a lagoon with a legend. There is a legend that tells about King of volcanoes Quilotoa who used to live on the surface of the lagoon. He faced many battles with his worst enemy, Toachi, who was living beneath the surface of the lagoon. The temperature is warmer inside than outside, it's a half-hour hike down from the viewpoint (and 1-2 hour hike back up the 280-meter vertical ascent). After the Quilotoa Crater Lake, we will visit one of the Indigenous Markets in this region, depending on the day.

Mindo

MINDO CLOUD FOREST

In the morning we will head towards the northwest of Ecuador. After 2 hours, arrive in Mindo, an ecological paradise where hiking through the forest makes you enjoy the diversity of plants and animals. You will learn how Indians use these plants to their benefit. Enjoy the landscape of this wonderful place where you can also visit the Mariposario and chocolate factory. In the afternoon visit an Orchid garden.

Avenue Nord Express 3 Days / 2 Nights

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Day 1 - Transfer In

Arrival in Quito. A bilingual guide will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to the hotel. The guide will be able to assist you in anything you may need. Accommodation in Quito.

Cuicocha

Day 2 - OTAVALO INDIGENOUS MARKET – CUICOCHA CRATER LAKE –COTACACHI

Driving north towards Imbabura, “the lakes” Province, enjoy an exciting trip by tasting exotic fruits in the Guayllabamba valley. Cross the Equator Line at Cayambe, where on a clear day, it is possible to admire its majestic snow-capped mountain (5,790 m. / 18,996 ft), the world´s highest point where the Equator Line crosses. Here it is an ideal spot to try its famous salt biscuits with leaf cheese, a tradition of this region not to be missed. At the foot of Imbabura mountain enjoy the picturesque view of Ecuador's largest lake - San Pablo.

Afterward, we will visit Peguche Wasi, a gallery where the ancestral knowledge of the kichwa town is conserved. Here we will find a workshop where they hand make and sell indigenous handicrafts. This is an excellent opportunity for learning more in-depth about these craftworks. Additionally, there is an exposition with wood, spinning, crocheting, and murals that retell the history and magic of the Kichwa Otavalo. Before continuing our trip, we will visit another local workshop called “Taita Gundo” where we can see how the traditional Andean musical instruments are made.

Later, it will be time to visit the famous Otavalo Indigenous Market, the biggest in South America. Here is where vendors proudly offer a stunning variety of weavings such as the famous ponchos, among other textiles like rugs, mittens, and scarves. This market is like a rainbow due to the colors of the textiles exhibited. Without a doubt, it is an ideal place to find handicrafts, jewelry, and another artisan craftwork.

We make our next stop to visit Cuicocha Crater Lake, it lies at the foot of the extinct volcano Cotocachi (4968m) in the Western Cordillera in the province of Imbabura, north of Quito. That area is home to several mostly dormant volcanoes, like Mojanda, Imbabura and Cayambe. All those volcanoes contributed with their historical eruptions to the fertile valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions in the Andean highland. So not only short term devastation do volcanoes bring but also long term benefits to the environment and nature.

Our trip will end visiting the small town of Cotacachi, Ecuador is racking up a slew of complimentary titles as well as attracting retirees from the U.S. and elsewhere in droves. The village is well known for its hand-crafted leather products. Methods of tanning, stretching and molding the leather skins have been passed down through the generations and perfected into an art. Accommodation in Otavalo.

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Day 3 - PEGUCHE WATERFALL – RETURN TO QUITO

The peaceful village of Peguche is located just outside of Otavalo. There once was a time when the village was bustling with traffic and visitors, as a railway line used to run through the village; but now, as the lines have been unused since the 1980s, tranquility has reached Peguche. Even though it is not as busy as it used to be, there is still more than enough reasons to visit this picturesque location and its friendly locals, who make a living out of agriculture, as well as weaving.

The Peguche Waterfall is surrounded by the eucalyptus forest and is not only a breathtaking sigh, but was a sacred location for the Inca, and is still a place of pilgrimage for some who come to bathe in the waterfall before religious ceremonies take place. The Inca used the waterfall before participating in the Inti Raymi Festival. On closer inspection, visitors to the waterfall will notice a tiny tunnel located behind the waterfall, and if brave enough, can climb through the tunnel to explore the higher regions of the waterfall. Peguche is a destination that is covered in beauty, natural wonder and cultural adventures. Drive Back to Quito.

Cotopaxi Express 2 Days / 1 Night

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Day 1 - ANTISANA VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK

Early in the morning we drive southeast of Quito to the Antisana Ecological Reserve, which was one of the places visited by the famous German scientist Alexander von Humboldt who was marveled with the snowy peak of Antisana volcano at 5,740 meters above sea level, the fourth highest in the country. Along the way we will be able to see the lava formations and our guide will explain us about the history and geological development of the area. We will walk through the reserve and around the beautiful Mica lake, where we can watch the moors (páramo) vegetation, and some species of birds such as hummingbirds, pavas, ducks, Andean gull and other migratory species. With luck we may see the Andean condor- largest bird of South American and national symbol of Ecuador.

On clear days it usually flies over the area in search of food. We will continue to the Pan American highway; along the way we will be able to admire the Andean landscape and make some short stops so you can take pictures. Our guide will explain more about the region's history and how it has developed over the centuries, since the arrival of the Spaniards and the formation of large farms. We will arrive at the hotel where we stay and we will be welcomed with a "Canelazo" which is the typical hot drink of the Andes.

Cotopaxi

Day 2 - COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK AND LOCAL MARKET

We will start our day traveling to the southern part of the highlands, through the “Volcanoes’ Avenue”. During the journey, we can enjoy the marvelous view of the Cotopaxi Volcano, one of the highest active snow-capped volcano in the world. But firstly, we will visit one of the local markets in this region, depending on the day of the week for understanding the local culture and even experience the barter process, and, why not, being able to taste some of the local and exotic flavors that Ecuador has to offer to us. After this introduction to the local culture, we will drive along the Pan-American Highway towards the Cotopaxi Volcano with 5,897 m (19,347 ft) high.

Once we are here, we will reach the entrance of Cotopaxi National Park and drive on a third-class road through a pine forest to Limpiopungo lagoon, a glacial Andean lake located at 3,800 m (12467 ft). From this site, we can have a magnificent view of the impressive Cotopaxi volcano. If weather conditions allow us, we will drive further to the parking lot located at 4,500 meters in order to hike up to the shelter at 4,800 meters. In the end, we will return to Quito.

Galapagos Loop 6 Days / 5 Nights

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Day 1 - TRANSFER IN SANTA CRUZ – HIGHLANDS – LAVA TUNNELS

After our arrival at Baltra Airport, we will take the shuttle to Santa Cruz Island, journeying across the island into the highlands, where we will be amazed by the island’s variety of wildlife and geology. Beginning at the coast and traveling south along the road to Puerto Ayora, the road climbs through the agricultural zone and into the mist-covered forests of the highlands. Santa Cruz possesses all of the various life zones present on the archipelago, with wonderful birding opportunities. Whether it’s the bright red feathers of a Vermilion Flycatcher or one of Darwin’s finches, almost every land bird present on the islands can be found here.

Descending, through the agricultural zone into the Transition Zone where the Tortoise Reserve is located, the introduced vegetation of the farmlands is replaced by native vegetation. Continuing with our journey, we will stop at one of the ranches where, we will have the chance to lunch surrounded by the iconic tortoise species, which we will be able to watch it close.

After a walk along the trail that surrounded by the Giant Tortoises, we will have the opportunity to visit a tunnel formed by lava after an eruption of the volcano, now extinct. Later on, we will have time to visit Santa Cruz Brewery, entrepreneurship that produces one of the local artisanal draft beers. In here, we will have the opportunity to understand the complex and delicate process that the brewery follows to get tasteful and unique types of beers in the isolated Galapagos Islands.

After all, there is time for tasting some of the beers before continuing the journey to Puerto Ayora, where we will have the rest of the day for leisure. The accommodation will be in the selected hotel.

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Day 2 - TRANSFER TO FLOREANA ISLAND – LOCAL FARM – HIGHLANDS - BARBEQUE ON THE BEACH

This morning, after breakfast, we will head to Puerto Ayora´s pier where we will take our private speed boat to Floreana Island; this ride will take 2h30 minutes approx. Floreana has, arguably, the most interesting human history of all of the Galapagos Islands. It is the site of the first “post office”, established in 1793 by whalers. Floreana was the first island to be colonized by Ecuadorians in 1832. It was a penal colony that didn’t last long because of the lack of freshwater. A fish canning plant was established there by Norwegian immigrants in 1924; it lasted only a couple of years. A few years later, Friedrich Ritter, a German doctor, arrived with his female companion Dore Strauch, who suffered from multiple sclerosis.

As a curiosity, Doctor Ritter removed all of his teeth and used stainless-steel dentures to avoid any dental complications. Together, they set up a very successful garden and lived off the land. A pregnant woman, Margret Wittmer arrived in 1932, with her husband Heinz and her step-son Harry. They built a house and also established an agricultural lifestyle before giving birth to their son Rolf, the first person to be born in the Galapagos Islands. Another fact about Floreana is that it is the most well-known Island for being the site of several mysterious disappearances in the 1930s—the one receiving the most attention being that of a supposed Austrian baroness, who had arrived shortly after the Wittmers with her two servants (lovers). After her arrival, people started disappearing mysteriously and she later vanished as soon as she arrived. The Ecuadorian government conceded land to build up a 5-star hotel, close to Post office bay, which never happened and appeared to be a complete fraud.

Arriving on the island, we will visit a local farm that will allow us to learn more about people’s way of life on Floreana. This island, which exists far from technology and development, has inhabitants who wish to generate production and optimization of their resources to achieve a very interesting lifestyle. During this visit, we will visit a lagoon where it is possible to observe frigates and will have the opportunity to feed the farm animals and harvest vegetables.

We will enjoy a delicious lunch prepared with the foods harvested from the farm. After lunch, we will continue with our next visit, Asilo de la Paz. It is primarily a historical site where visitors can view a pirates’ cave and the freshwater spring, which is the main source of water for the population. Also, in this place, the Wittmer family set out to live inside the caves while they were constructing their first house made of leather and stone. In these caves “Rolf Wittmer” was born, becoming the first baby ever to be born on Floreana. He lived in the caves with his family for his first year of life. Here our guide will interpret how they used to live, so we can go back in time and picture the idea of how extreme it was to live on this island back in the day. Nearby, we will find a corral with various giant tortoises that were originally owned by residents of Floreana. Along with this path, we will also see Giant tortoise’s species from this island that have been recently re-introduced, since they were considered extinct. In the evening, we will have a barbeque, and, with luck, we may be able to taste one of the fruity wine prepared by the local family. Here, we can enjoy the Floreana’s peace and taste the foods harvested by the island's inhabitants. Accommodation in one of the basic hotels built on the island and run by the second generation of a family that arrived after the Ritter family abandoned the island.

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Day 3 - SNORKELING “LA LOBERIA” – TRANSFER TO ISABELA ISLAND

Today, after breakfast, we will begin our excursion to “La Loberia”, a sea Lion breeding area. For reaching the place, we will take a short walk along the shore for approximately 30 minutes. After the interpretation and some time to admire the landscape of this visitor’s site, we will start our first marine excursion in the bright turquoise water where we might be able to swim with sea lions, sea turtles, manta rays and a variety of colorful coral fish.

We will enjoy a delicious lunch prepared with the foods harvested from the farm. After all, we will head to take our speed boat to Isabela Island; this ride will take us 2h 30 minutes approx. Arriving at Isabela, we will be able to enjoy the Island on our own. Accommodation in selected hotel.

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Day 4 - BREEDING CENTER – FLAMINGO LAGOON – TINTORERAS

After having breakfast, we will have a short ride to the Isabela Breeding Center. Here, we will learn more about the efforts that the Galapagos National Park and the local and international foundations are doing to preserve and promote the reproduction of some of the Giant Tortoises species found in Galapagos. Later on, we will continue through a mangrove path that connects with a series of lagoons where the flamingos rest and feed. This walk is ideal for understanding the Galapagos biodiversity, and how the species have adapted to the harsh conditions that the Enchanted Islands have. Today, lunch will be on our own.

In the afternoon, we will visit Tintoreras Islets located a short distance from Puerto Villamil and home to a great variety of wildlife. The turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by the white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, marine turtles, and sea lions. One of its beaches, surrounded by mangroves is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully. Once we reach the Isle of Tintoreras, we will get to know a lot of these species. Most of the part of this island is formed by AA lava. Accommodation in selected hotel.

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Day 5 - SIERRA NEGRA VOLCANO – SANTA CRUZ

Today we will visit the iconic Sierra Negra Volcano with the second widest crater of an active volcano (10 km – 6.21 mi approx.); but first, we will be driven along the highland of Isabela up to reach the checking control point.

The hike is approximately 2 km (1.24 mi) up to the first lookout point of the volcano, where we will have time to enjoy a snack while we recover the strength and let the amazing view amaze us. Later on, we will return to Puerto Villamil, for having lunch and then board the private speedboat, and continue our journey back to Santa Cruz Island.

Once we arrive at Puerto Ayora, we will be free to enjoy and explore this iconic town for the last night in the Enchanted Islands. Accommodation at the selected hotel.

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Day 6 - CHARLES DARWIN – TRANSFER OUT

After breakfast, we will have a short visit to the Charles Darwin Station. The center is a reservoir of information on habitats and local conservation as well as other fascinating relevant statistics. The most striking attraction of this station is certainly the Tortoise Breeding Center, where it is possible to view tortoises of different shapes and sizes. Additionally, in order to fully take advantage of our visit to the Galapagos Islands, we will be able to visit the station where legendary “Lonesome George” is exhibited as the last of his species. In 2012, after his death, he was shipped to New York to the American Museum of Natural History in order to start an embalming process for his conservation. Lonesome George was exhibited in the museum for one year. Now Lonesome George is back in the Charles Darwin research station, as a "symbol" of conservation. Afterward, transfer to the airport to take your international flight.

Santa Cruz Express 4 Days / 3 Nights

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Day 1 - SANTA CRUZ ISLAND – HIGHLANDS

Arriving to Baltra we will take a shuttle thought out Santa Cruz Island where we will reach the highlands of the Islands with its green vegetation where we will stop to visit a Ranch, here we will be able to see Giant Turtles in their natural habitat.

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Day 2/3 - DAY AT LEISURE

This day you will have the chance to explore Santa Cruz Island on your own, or perhaps pick up one of the optional activities. Accommodation in selected hotel in Santa Cruz.