Multi-Day Tour | Private

Ecuador | Ultra-Luxe Tour | Andes, Quito, Amazon, Cloud Forest | Ecuador (11 days)

Blue Parallel

Otavalo, Ecuador To Quito, Ecuador

Valid for Departures Now Through: 01 Apr 2019

Ecuador | Ultra-Luxe Tour | Andes, Quito, Amazon, Cloud Forest | Ecuador (11 days)


Day 1
Otavalo, Ecuador
Hacienda Zuleta Dinner

Please note that the following itinerary is an example, as all of our journeys are custom-made.

International flight arrival to Quito. Upon disembarking your plane, you will be met by your VIP assistant at the gate and escorted through immigration and customs hassle-free, without waiting in line. As you exit the secured area with your luggage, you will then be greeted by your personal host who will take you to your car for your private transfer to the charming Hacienda Zuleta (2 hours). Open only to a limited number of visitors per year, the Hacienda Zuleta with 1,800 hectares of pristine landscapes, retains an intimacy, warmth and sincerity reminiscent of a century past.

Day 2
Otavalo, Ecuador
Hacienda Zuleta Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Enjoy horseback riding on unique Andean Zuleteño horses, a mixture of Spanish-Andalusian, English and Quarter horses, through the beautiful Andean countryside. Stop and visit the Condor Huasi Project that works for the rehabilitation of the condors. You will be able to enjoy a delicious picnic lunch during your excursion.

After lunch, experience a private guided tour of the working Hacienda Zuleta. Visit the trout farm, cheese factory, condor rehabilitation project and hand-embroidery workshop. Later, relax at your hacienda and enjoy a delicious dinner.

Relax at leisure and take in the beautiful surroundings prior to sunset and dinner.

Day 3
Coca, Ecuador
La Selva Amazon Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Private transfer to the airport in Quito and check-in assistance for your flight to Coca. Along the way, discover the famous Otavalo market.

Upon arrival in Coca, you will be met by a host of La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, who will welcome you to Coca, help you with your luggage and transfer you to the pier, where a motorized canoe will be waiting to take you to La Selva Lodge (2 hours). A boxed lunch will be waiting for you in the canoe. Once you reach the lodge, you will be served a welcome cocktail and a brief explanation of the area. Then you’ll be shown to your spacious rooms and given the chance to rest and explore. Enjoy dinner at your lodge. Later, if you’re willing, partake in a night walk with your private guide. You will trek on the trails near the lodge with your personal guide and get to see the nocturnal life of the forest.

Day 4
Coca, Ecuador
La Selva Amazon Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Arise early and paddle downstream on the Anangu creek. Continue on by a short motorboat ride where you will spot thousands of parrots such as Amazon-Mealy, blue-headed, orange cheek and others as they eat clay. Next, enjoy a short hike to the “periquitos” clay lick, where hundreds of cobalt-winged parakeets can be found. One of the highlights of your stay will be a visit to the parrot and macaw clay licks where the banks come alive with the colors and sounds of hundreds of birds visiting the banks for a mouthful of clay, a mysterious part of their diet. After lunch, visit the interpretation center to learn about the ancestral traditions of the Kichwa community and participate in a traditional ceremony with the local shaman. In the evening, relax and enjoy dinner at your lodge.

Day 5
Coca, Ecuador
La Selva Amazon Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

With your personal guide, visit the 36-meter canopy tower where you will enjoy close observation of colorful tanagers, macaws, toucans, flycatchers and even Spider and Howler monkeys. After lunch, hike with your personal naturalist guide to further discover the ecology of the complex world of the tropical rain forest. You will see ancient trees, bromeliads and orchids. Following the hike, explore the surrounding creeks with possibilities of spotting a Giant otter family. In the evening, relax and enjoy dinner at your lodge.

Day 6
Quito, Ecuador
Casa Gangotena Breakfast

Private transfer to the airport in Coca for your flight to Quito in the afternoon. You will then be greeted by your personal host who will take you to your car for your private transfer to your luxury boutique hotel.

After some time at leisure to settle into accommodations featuring beautiful views of the San Francisco Plaza, private transfer to Mea Culpa for a recommended dinner. You will be transferred back to your hotel after dinner. Located in a beautiful setting in Quito’s historic Old Town, Mea Culpa has superb views of the Plaza de la Independencia.

Day 7
Quito, Ecuador
Casa Gangotena Breakfast

Private guided tour of the colonial treasures of Quito. Spread across a spectacular Andean valley and flanked by 14 volcanic peaks, Quito’s setting alone is enough to strike you speechless. The historical center is a maze of colonial splendor and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978. Despite intensive restorations, the old town retains the vibrant working class and indigenous character that has always defined it. Walking its narrow streets will take you back to its original colonial setting. With your personal guide, you will visit its main historical highlights which include Monasterio de San Agustin (Quito’s oldest monastery), the elegant church of San Francisco, the Presidential Palace and the Archbishop’s Palace.

After your tour, enjoy a recommended lunch at Hacienda Rumiloma, located 25mins away from the city center and boasting incredible views. Later, private guided tour of the Guayasamin Museum and its “Chapel of Man”. Oswaldo Guayasamin was an Ecuadorian master painter and sculptor of Quechua and Mestizo heritage. He is still lauded as a national treasure. The Chapel of Man or La Capilla del hombre can be described as an architectural and artistic work dedicated to Latin American people over time. It began as a tribute, eventually becoming the current cultural complex which houses archaeological and artistic collections of Ecuador. This large complex began as Guayasamín’s home and atelier.

In the early evening, enjoy a guided tour of Quito’s architectural highlights, which are beautifully lit at night. A beautifully-designed lighting system brings out the best of Quito’s architecture and is an ideal opportunity to learn about the legends of Colonial Quito. Afterwards, you will enjoy exclusive access La Compañía de Jesús church followed by drinks on the roof.

Private transfer with your host to Theatrum restaurant located within the Sucre National Theater and is one of Quito’s finest restaurants.

Day 8
Mashpi Reserve, Ecuador
Mashpi Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Greeting by your personal host and begin your private transfer to the Mashpi Lodge located in the Andean cloud forest (approx. 3 hours). Along the way you will pass by charming mountain villages and you will start to notice the dramatic shift in landscapes, going from the dry climate of Quito to the humid cloud forest and lush vegetation.

Stop at the Pululahua Crater and its lookout point, where you can marvel at the unique scenic beauty of a collapsed volcano where people live and farm, taking advantage of the fertile volcanic soil. Continue on to the archaeological ruins at Tulipe, said to have belonged to the ancient Yumbo civilization of pre-Inca Quito, set in a magical forested location. Enjoy delicious Ecuadorian appetizers and fresh-brewed coffee prepared by members of the local community before your final one-hour descent into Mashpi Reserve.

After settling into your accommodations, you will be introduced to your personal naturalist guide who will brief you on your activities during your stay and helpful tips on what to wear and bring on the excursions.

Enjoy a sunset and night walk through the forest to learn about its nightlife. The forest transforms by sunset: the sounds and smells intensify and other senses are awakened. You will discover the evening croaking of nocturnal frogs and incessant buzz of insects. Turn off your flashlights to observe sparkling fireflies and feel bats zipping by. A delicious gourmet dinner at your lodge will be served upon your return.

Day 9
Mashpi Reserve, Ecuador
Mashpi Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Rise early to spot birds from the hotel’s terrace where you can also enjoy a morning snack. The forest always rewards the “early birds”, as the dawn light lures a variety of fascinating species in their search for food. A good place to find birds is actually right at the hotel’s terrace, with a cup of fresh coffee, tea or hot chocolate in hand, from where we can enjoy not only the beauty of the forest but also the many species that come to feed on insects and fruits at nearby trees.

Later, depart to the Sky Bike station and Observation Tower with your guide. Looming above the treetops, Mashpi´s observation tower allows guests to enjoy the protected forest in all its glory. The aerial bicycle makes for an original and exciting way to explore the canopy up close. Silent, easy-to-use and fun, it's an activity that provides guests with yet another vantage point to experience Mashpi’s lush natural world.

Walk back to the lodge along one of the many trails. One of the trails takes you to San Vicente waterfall, a 45-minutes-to-an-hour steep hike that demands good physical condition. Once back at the lodge, natural juice and fresh towels await. Enjoy a delicious lunch at the hotel restaurant.

In the afternoon, explore the lodge’s Life Center with your personal guide. Identify the different birds and mammals that visit the fruit feeders nearby. The centre is conceived as a place for learning and discovery, but also a place where guests can disconnect from the humdrum of today’s world. Explore the life of butterflies, the many species found in the Mashpi area and their metamorphosis process from egg, larva and caterpillar, to chrysalis and finally winged wonder.

Return to the lodge and enjoy a recommended massage or relax in the Jacuzzi. Delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Day 10
Mashpi Reserve, Ecuador
Mashpi Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Embark on an early morning hike into the forest with your expert guide to spot various bird species. Walk down the trail seeking out mixed-species feeding flocks: these usually feature different insectivorous bird species that move together while foraging.

Later, after lunch, embark on a hiking experience with your expert guide through the cloud forest to a waterfall. The trail is named after the Cucharillo Tree (Magnolia dixonii), which in Spanish means ‘little spoon’, an Ecuadorian endemic that is common at Mashpi, although threatened throughout the rest of the country. The trail requires some physical condition due to its steeper portions, but has been made less demanding thanks to recycled plastic crates that have been used to form steps and make paths firmer. At the end of the trail, you will reach a large waterfall and rocky riverbed with beautiful ponds and smaller waterfalls.

Return to the lodge and enjoy a recommended massage or relax in the Jacuzzi. Delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Day 11
Quito, Ecuador
None Breakfast

Greeting by your host and private transfer to Quito Airport. Along the way, private excursion to the Middle of the World Monument. The Middle of the World Monument was built to mark the meridian arch of the planet at 0º latitude—better known as the Equator—and to commemorate this surveying feat in the 18th century. Once at the airport, you will be assisted with check-in for your international flight.

Exclusively for Virtuoso Guests

Blue Parallel is a Virtuoso Preferred Tour Operator whose mission is to take discerning, time-constrained travelers to the most spectacular natural and cultural wonders of both Latin America and the Mediterranean. We create private, tailor-made journeys to UNESCO World Heritage destinations designed around the themes of insider access, privacy, breathtaking outdoor adventures, and white glove service. Virtuoso travelers receive amenities and VIP treatment on all Blue Parallel tours such as upgrades upon arrival (if available), Virtuoso-only amenities (spa credits, etc.), daily breakfast for two, and early check-in/late checkout (subject to availability).

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This journey through mainland Ecuador will take you to the country's most fascinating regions. Visit Quito with its rich colonial heritage, the Andean Highlands with their lush rolling hills and local cultures, the Amazon with its many species of flora and fauna, and finally the Mashpi Cloud Forest.

About Us

Blue Parallel creates private, tailor-made journeys designed around the themes of World Heritage destinations, outdoor adventures, gourmet cuisine, exclusive lodging, white glove service and insider access. We operate in Latin America: the Amazon, Antarctica, Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Easter Island, the Galapagos Islands, Guatemala, Panama, Patagonia, Uruguay and the Yucatan Peninsula. And in the Mediterranean: the Adriatic Coast, Andalucia, Corsica, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Morocco, Sicily & the Aeolian Islands, Spain, Portugal and Turkey.

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Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

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By: Kate

Reviewed on: 31 Jan 2018

Blue Parallel was amazing! Our guides were outstanding and provided us with excellent service. Every detail was considered and thought of for us. We adored every minute of our trip.