Discover Ecuador: Quito to Cuenca 8-Day Pichincha Tour

Discover Ecuador: Quito to Cuenca 8-Day Pichincha Tour

From £1,089 per person

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Key Details
Duration
8 days
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Live Guide
Spanish, English, Portuguese

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What You'll Do
  • Admire the Spanish colonial buildings of Quito
  • Drive along the Avenue of the Volcanoes for spectacular views of the Andes
  • Take the train through the Devil's Nose rocks
  • Visit the Inca ruins of Ingapirca
  • Explore the historic center of Cuenca
  • Go to local flower and crafts markets
  • Stay in a typical hacienda of the Pichincha region in Riobamba
  • Choose from a variety of accommodation classes
Overview
See many of the highlights of Ecuador on an 8-day tour of the Pichincha Province, including the cities of Quito and Cuenca. Visit the Equatorial Monument, drive along the Avenue of the Volcanoes, take the train to Alausí to the Devil’s Nose, and more.
What to Expect
Explore the main sights and cities of Ecuador on an 8-day tour from Quito to Cuenca, via Riobamba, the Avenue of the Volcanoes, and the dividing line of the Southern and Northern Hemispheres.

Admire monuments relating to Ecuador’s Inca past and Spanish colonial history, enjoy an inclusive train ride to see the natural rocks of the Devil’s Nose in the Andes, discover local artisans making Panama hats and other crafts, and more.

Departures are on Mondays or Wednesdays for your convenience, with a range of accommodation options, from standard tourist class to first-class luxury.

Tours Departing on Mondays:

Day 1 (Monday):
Following a pick-up from Quito Airport, transfer to your selected hotel accommodation and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 2 (Tuesday):

Depart from Quito through the Pan-American North Highway via Cayambe, and make a brief stop at old equatorial monument Guachalá. Taste the delicious “Bizcochos de Cayambe”, a type of cracker or bread baked in a clay oven (greatly paired with local cheese or caramel sauce), before heading to a rose farm to discover the process that produces the world famous Ecuadorian Roses. Continue on to Otavalo to the Otavaleños' market, which hosts a variety of different handcrafted items.

Stay longer in Otavalo or go to visit to the leather shops at Cotacachi before returning to Quito via the Cajas-Tabacundo road.

Day 3 (Wednesday):
Take a touristic route along the most important areas of the city, including shopping centers and Zona Rosa "La Mariscal" (bars and restaurants), where most of the hotels in Quito are located. Continue towards the historic center to visit its churches and major landmarks, explore each of its corners at your own pace from the door of your hotel.

Continue towards the northern part of the city heading up to the “Middle of the World City” (entrance included) where the monument that divides the Northern from the Southern Hemisphere can be observed. Built during the XVII century when a French Expedition defined the precise location of the equatorial line, this is one not to be missed!. At the end, opt to visit either to Intiñan or Ethnographic Museum (entrance is not included).

Day 4 (Thursday):
Depart Quito on the ¨Avenue of the Volcanoes,¨ admiring the Andean landscape along the way. Stop at Cotopaxi National Park (entrance not included) to admire the views of the snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano, among the highest active volcanoes in the world. Continue to the city of Riobamba to check into your accommodation in a typical hacienda.

Day 5 (Friday):
After breakfast, depart for Alausí rail station for the start of a dramatic train ride towards the famous Devil’s Nose of the Andes. Look out for weavers making the famous Panama hats en route. The train journey takes approximately 2 hours.
Then, visit the Ingapirca Inca Ruins, the biggest Inca archaeological complex in Ecuador. Continue to Cuenca by road to check into your city center accommodation.

Day 6 (Saturday):
Explore the historic city of Cuenca, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its many beautiful buildings. Go to the tranquil Calderon Park between the Old and New Cathedrals and see locals chatting. Admire the small 16th-century Old Cathedral, and the blue domes of the New Cathedral, built in the 19th century when the city outgrew the Old Cathedral.

Visit the Flower Market, awash with colorful tropical blooms. Next, go to the Homero Ortega Panama Hat factory to observe the full process that goes into making this iconic headwear. Continue to the Puente Roto (“Broken Bridge”), which once straddled the Rio Tomebamba. Finally, enjoy panoramic views of the entire city from the Turi lookout

Day 7 (Sunday):
Transfer to Cuenca Airport for your return flight to Quito. On arrival, you will be transferred to your city center hotel for the last night of your tour. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure

Day 8 (Monday):
Transfer to Quito Airport for your onward flight, and the end of the tour services.

Tours Departing on Wednesdays:

Day 1 (Wednesday):
Following a pick-up from Quito Airport, transfer to your selected hotel accommodation and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 2 (Thursday):
Depart Quito on the ¨Avenue of the Volcanoes,¨ admiring the Andean landscape along the way. Stop at Cotopaxi National Park (entrance not included) to admire the views of the snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano, among the highest active volcanoes in the world. Continue to the city of Riobamba to check into your accommodation in a typical hacienda.

Day 3 (Friday):
After breakfast, depart for Alausí rail station for the start of a dramatic train ride towards the famous Devil’s Nose of the Andes. Look out for weavers making the famous Panama hats en route. The train journey takes approximately 2 hours. Then, visit the Ingapirca Inca Ruins, the biggest Inca archaeological complex in Ecuador. Continue to Cuenca by road to check into your city center accommodation.

Day 4 (Saturday):
Explore the historic city of Cuenca, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its many beautiful buildings. Go to the tranquil Calderon Park between the Old and New Cathedrals and see locals chatting. Admire the small 16th-century Old Cathedral, and the blue domes of the New Cathedral, built in the 19th century when the city outgrew the Old Cathedral.

Visit the Flower Market, awash with colorful tropical blooms. Next, go to the Homero Ortega Panama Hat factory to observe the full process that goes into making this iconic headwear. Continue to the Puente Roto (“Broken Bridge”), which once straddled the Rio Tomebamba. Finally, enjoy panoramic views of the entire city from the Turi lookout

Day 5 (Sunday):
Transfer to Cuenca Airport for your flight to Quito. On arrival, you will be transferred to your city center hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure

Day 6 (Monday):
Enjoy a panoramic tour of the financial areas of Quito, seeing the city’s best shopping malls and the luxury hotels of La Mariscal. Head into the Historical Centre, where many of the most famous monuments are located. You will go up the volcanic hill of El Panecillo for panoranic views of colonial and modern Quito. Continue to the San Francisco Convent and La Basilica to admire splendid examples of Spanish colonial architecture.

Wander the streets around Plaza de la Independencia to see the Government’s Palace and La Compañía Church, where you can appreciate the gold altars and adornments. Next, head to the northern part of the city to see the “Middle of the World City” (entrance included) dividing the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. You can then take an optional tour of the Intiñan or Ethnographic Museums.

Day 7 (Tuesday):
Depart from Quito through the Pan-American North Highway via Cayambe, and make a brief stop at old equatorial monument Guachalá. Taste the delicious “Bizcochos de Cayambe”, a type of cracker or bread baked in a clay oven (greatly paired with local cheese or caramel sauce), before heading to a rose farm to discover the process that produces the world famous Ecuadorian Roses. Continue on to Otavalo to the Otavaleños' market, which hosts a variety of different handcrafted items.

Stay longer in Otavalo or go to visit to the leather shops at Cotacachi before returning to Quito via the Cajas-Tabacundo road.

Day 8 (Wednesday):
Transfer to Quito Airport for your onward flight, and the end of the tour services.
What's Included
  • Transfers from the airport in Quito
  • 4 nights accommodation in Quito on a double room basis
  • Breakfasts
  • Quito city tour and Equatorial Monument
  • Excursion to Otavalo Market
  • Excursion to Riobamba by the “Avenue of the Volcanoes,” including a visit to Cotopaxi National Park and Hacienda
  • 1 night's first class lodging at Riobamba, with breakfast
  • Train ride to Alausí through the “Devil’s Nose”
  • Transfer by road to Cuenca, visiting the Ingapirca Ruins en route
  • 2 nights lodging in Cuenca
  • City tour of Cuenca
  • Hotel and airport transfers in Cuenca
  • Airline ticket from Cuenca to Quito
  • Transfers to the airport in Quito
  • Hotel taxes
Meeting Point

Pick-up from hotels or the airport in Quito (Open in Google Maps)

From £1,089 per person

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Product ID: 29426