Quito Otavalo Mindo Cloud-Forest Amazon Rainforest Cotopaxi NP Cuenca Galapagos Islands

The ultimate Ecuador itinerary and a comprehensive sweep of the country’s incredible history, culture and natural diversity, from Amazon to Andes, cloud-forest to Cotopaxi and quite literally everything in-between! From the picturesque colonial capital Quito, you travel north to the traditional highlands and lush cloud-forested slopes of Mindo before dropping into the steamy Amazon basin. Returning to Quito, you set off on an overland journey across the spine of the Andes via Cotopaxi National Park, Ingapirca Inca ruins and the colonial gem of Cuenca to reach Guayaquil. From here, the wildlife extravaganza of the Galapagos awaits, a fitting finale to your trip and a wonderful snapshot of South America as a whole!

Itinerary Highlights

  • Browse South America’s largest indigenous market
  • Experience unique flora & fauna from cloud-forest to the Amazon
  • Ride the Devil’s Nose Train through the Andes
  • Wander the cobbled streets of colonial Cuenca
  • Follow in the foosteps of Darwin on a Galapagos cruise

What’s included

  • Private tours for most included activities
  • Meet & greet airport service
  • Luxury or boutique accommodation at your chosen level
  • Expert guides in each destination


This is an example itinerary. It is fully flexible; you can add or detract days and include hotels at your chosen budget. It departs daily.



Price Guide

$00 – $00 pp

Our quotes are bespoke for your customised trip. The prices displayed are indicative only, read more

Day 1

Fly to Quito

plan line
Day 2

Colonial Quito

Fly to Quito, the bustling capital of Ecuador and stay amidst the picturesque, white-washed historic churches, cobbled plazas and traditional townhouses of Quito’s UNESCO old town. Explore Quito’s colonial legacy on foot stopping off to visit museums, galleries and local workshops before you head out of the capital to take in the “Mitad del Mundo” Museum and Monument which marks where the equator passes through the country.

Day 3-4

Otavalo & the Highlands

Travel north out of Quito to stay at an historic 17th century hacienda nestled in lush countryside under the shadow of towering volcanoes. Here you can relax amidst the pretty gardens, tour the grounds by bike or horse or walk in the surrounding hills. Close by, Otavalo is unmissable, South America’s largest and most famous indigenous markets that erupts with colour, sound and activity each week as locals come from far and wide to ply their trade.

Day 5-7

Mindo Cloud-forest

Leaving the highlands, you journey west into the lush cloud-forested valleys of Mindo where the mountains begin their plunge towards the Pacific coast. Part of the Andean Choco corridor, Mindo is one of the richest biodiversity hotspots on the planet and a fabulous destination for birders and wildlife enthusiasts. Based at an eco-lodge, you will enjoy guided excursions into the steamy forest accompanied by expert naturalist guides to spot the resident wildlife. With luck you may even encounter peccaries, the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock and even Spectacled Bears. On your final day, you will bid farewell to Mindo before returning to Quito for a night.

Day 8-10

Amazon rainforest

Take a short hopper flight into Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest where you will continue by road and river to reach your jungle lodge shrouded in tropical rainforest. Perched on the edge of the Yasuni National Park, the lodge provides the perfect base to explore the surrounding jungle. All meals and excursions are included and each day you will head into the forest accompanied by expert, naturalist and local guides. Activities range from walking, fishing and bird-watching to boat trips, community visits and night walks. Alternatively, if you would prefer to kick back and watch the Amazon drift by, why not join a time-honoured Amazon cruise aboard a traditional river boat?

Day 11-13

Cotopaxi national Park

Return flight to Quito where you will journey south into the breathtaking Cotopaxi National Park via the dramatic “Avenue of the Volcanoes”, a spectacular highway flanked by the imposing Cotopaxi and Chimborazo Volcanoes. Cotopaxi offers excellent walking and hiking while for wildlife enthusiasts, the volcano’s lush flanks teem with birds including cock-of-the-rock, giant humming birds and condor.

Day 14

Riobamba & Chimborazo Volcano

Continue south tracing the spine of the Andes to reach Riobamba. On route, you can follow the circuit of the Quilotoa crater lake or browse the traditional markets of the local Andean towns such as Saquisili, Pujili and Latacunga that define the region. Discover the last “ice merchants” of Chimborazo who harvest ice from the volcano for sale at the regional markets.

Day 15-16

Cuenca & the Devil’s Nose Train

All aboard the Devil’s Nose Train as it cuts through a lush patchwork of fields to reach the pretty colonial town of Alausí. From here the fun begins as it drops hundreds of metres down the dramatic canyon walls via a spectacular series of switchbacks (the so-called Devil’s Nose). On disembarking the train, you will continue to Cuenca via Ingapirca’s Temple of the Sun, Ecuador’s foremost Inca ruin built atop an ancient Cañari ceremonial rock. By contrast, Cuenca is the jewel in the crown of Ecuador’s colonial cities, a picturesque maze of churches, palaces and cobbled streets, declared a world heritage site in 1999.

Day 17


Your overland journey continues along the winding highland road which drops down towards Ecuador’s largest city and port Guayaquil. On route, you will make a stop at the rugged Cajas National Park, a remote area of high Andean lagoons and puna grasslands which boasts a wealth of wildlife as well as excellent walking trails. On arrival in Guayaquil, relax at your hotel or enjoy a stroll along the lively Malecon 2000 riverfront promenade.

Day 18-25

The Galapagos – The Origin of the Species!

The highlight – the Galapagos Islands! Today, you fly out to the Galapagos, 1000km off the coast and a true natural wonderland that harbours a breathtaking array of wildlife, much of which found nowhere else on the planet. Boarding your chosen vessel, you will enjoy a unique 8 day Galapagos cruise accompanied expert naturalist guides. Each day, you will walk, swim, paddle and snorkel in the marine park and experience the incredible range of flora and fauna – from flamingos, giant tortoises, albatross and iguanas to whales, penguins, rays and tropical fish. Each evening, enjoy presentations on the islands’ geology, history and unique ecology and how the Galapagos was central to Darwin’s masterpiece “The Origin of the Species”. Or you can simply relax on deck under a dazzling blanket of staers!

On day 8 of the cruise, you return to the mainland for a final night in Ecuador before flying back to Santiago for onward connections.

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Day 26

Fly home

A note on price

The prices outlined above are a rough guide to give you an idea of costs and enable you to budget for your trip.

Guide prices are generally for private arrangements based on twin share, in well located, good quality accommodation (excluding international flights).

Please note costs are indicative and may vary due to a number of factors such as; travel date, hotel choice, room category, number of people travelling and prevailing exchange rates.

Price Guide $00 – $00 per person

When to travel

Ecuador sits on the equator and enjoys 12 hours of light (preferably sunshine!) each day. However, its climate is as diverse as the country’s landscapes and can be divided into 4 main zones:- the Pacific lowlands, the Andes, the Amazon and the Galapagos. On the coast, the country enjoys a tropical climate with temperatures ranging from 23-26°C. The hottest months of February to April coincide with the rainy season where days are blighted by tempestuous downpours. The highlands follow a similar pattern, wettest in April, although a good bit cooler, 16°C on average although dropping close to zero at night. The steamy Amazon is hot and sticky all year though marginally more oppressive in January and February.

The Galapagos is a year round destination whose climate is determined by the prevailing ocean currents. From December to May, temperatures reach the 30’s with short, sharp showers although the warmer waters of the Panama current lend themselves to excellent snorkelling. From June to December, the Humboldt current dominates bringing milder temperatures (early 20’s) and cooler nutrient-rich water. The mornings coincide with a sea-mist (garua) that rapidly burns off in the sun. For a month-by-month wildlife calendar, please contact an Oasis Travel consultant.

Add on’s

Ecuador combines beautifully with the Inca higlights of Peru – Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu – but also ties in well with Argentina and Chile, both accessed via direct flights.

There are also direct flights to Colombia which open up the Coffee Triangle and stunning Cartagena and also San Jose in Costa Rica with yet more incredible wildlife and excursions around Arenal, Tortuguero and the Osa Peninsula.

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