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8 Day Once in a Life Time

DESCRIPTION

Challenge yourself and join this magical adventure in the Ecuadorian mainland, where the largest biodiversity on earth and the richest geography are located along the Equator line. Bike down the slopes of Tungurahua active volcano, explore the colorful Andean fields on a horse, discover the hidden treasures by climbing up waterfalls in the Amazon rainforest, fight large waves by rafting on the Jatunyacu River, trek to the rim of Cuicocha Crater Lake and soak in Papallactas' volcanic waters. Experience a fantastic cultural encounter with two local indigenous communities and share with them, learning about their customs, food, knowledge and life-style in the Andes and Amazon regions.

ITINERARY

Day 1 / ARRIVAL IN QUITO
Welcome to Quito! The biggest, best-preserved colonial city of America was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and the second most important city of the old Inca Empire. Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. ECUADOR PURE LIFE can help you to organize a day trip.

In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel for a welcome briefing and there will be plenty of time to discuss details and answer any questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an informational and acclimation day.

Overnight

Day 2 / HORSEBACK RIDING ADVENTURE
After breakfast, we leave Quito driving southwards along the beautiful Avenue of Volcanos, while getting the chance to see the colorful Andean fields. On our way we will reach 12,000 feet. After arriving in an ancient colonial hacienda, we get on the horses to explore the farm and its surroundings, enjoying amazing views of the surrounding volcanoes. In the afternoon we continue our drive towards the Llanganates National Park, which is known as the sacred mountain, until we reach the town of Baños, located at the entrance of the Amazon. Here we can enjoy the best night life by drinking cocktails and dancing salsa.

Overnight (Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 3 / BIKING IN THE LLANGANATES NATIONAL PARK
This morning we mountain bike from the Llanganates National Park down to the Pastaza River Canyon, enjoying the beautiful scenery of the cloud forest. The road brings us through some Andean farms and a beautiful canyon with many waterfalls. While descending into the jungle, we will have a breath-taking view of Baños, very well known for its spectacular location right on the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano, active since 1999, which is the main attraction of this region. In the afternoon we will have some time to explore the town and then we will enjoy the best night life.

Overnight (Breakfast)

Day 4 / ROAD OF WATERFALLS AND CANYONING IN THE AMAZON
This morning we will hit the road of the waterfalls. The first stop will be at the Bride´s Veil waterfall, where we will take the Tarabita (cable car) to get across the Pastaza River. Then we will hike down to the Pailon del Diablo waterfall, the second highest in Ecuador. Later, we will go deeper into the jungle inside the Llanganates National Park. The name “llanganates” comes from “beautiful mountain” in the
local native language. 600 years ago, the Incas hid here their golden treasure. Explorers spent many years looking for this treasure, but some of it has disappeared in this thick pristine jungle.

During a 3-hour hike through the tropical jungle, we will climb along several white-water waterfalls. This is a humid and warm area which will make our experience even more demanding, so get ready to wear your rubber boots and enjoy the magnificence of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Our local native guide will tell us about the incredible nature and wildlife we will see. We will spend the night at the Local Basic Jungle Lodge.

Overnight (Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 5 / JATUNYACU RIVER RAFTING AND VOLCANIC HOT SPRINGS
We greet the day by preparing our gear to paddle the wild waves of the Jatunyacu River, located one hour away from the entrance of the Llanganates National Park. The beauty of this river will inspire you and reveal the magic of the Amazon rainforest. After a very important safety briefing from our rafting guides, we will start our class III rafting expedition down the Jatunyacu River, well known for its clean water and awesome rapids. We will have a lot of fun playing some games and also exploring one of the canyons. The end of the journey offers us a stop for a picnic, prepared by our guides.

We conclude our day with a drive back up to the Andes, stopping to visit the paradise of hummingbirds in Guango Reserve and finally continuing up to the volcanic hot springs resort, where we will spend the night.

Overnight (Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 6 / HIKING THE CLOUD FOREST, HUMMINGBIRDS PARADISE & OTAVALO MARKET
After a 2-hour bird-watching tour through the cloud forest, we will travel across the Andes to visit Otavalo and its amazing indigenous handicraft market. Here, we will have a stop for shopping or exploring the market.

Later in the afternoon, we'll be transferred to the slopes of Imbabura volcano to enjoy a nice cultural encounter with the local people and learn the traditional way of living while sharing the daily activities with the families. In the evening we will take part of an organic cooking lesson using the local products.

Overnight (Dinner)

Day 7 / TREKKING THE LOOP OF CUICOCHA CRATER LAKE
Today our challenge will be a 5-hour hike around the Cuicocha crater lake, with breathtaking views of the active volcano and of the amazing valleys located in Cotacachi-Cayapas ecological reserve. On this trek, we will reach an altitude of 11880ft and hike 9 miles around the crater.

At the end of our hike, we will take a boat ride to the center of the crater to observe the activity of this volcano, watching bubbles coming up from the center of the caldera. Once here, you will be able to jump in and go for a refreshing swim in the volcanic waters. In the afternoon we will drive back to Quito.
Overnight (Breakfast & Lunch)

Day 8 / DEPART
(Breakfast)

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