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Quito, Otavalo & Cloud Forest

With 2.6 million inhabitants, the capital Quito is Ecuador’s largest city after Guayaquil in the south. It nestles between volcanic peaks high in the Andes at an altitude of 2,850m (9,350ft) making it one of the highest cities in the world, so during Quito holidays take things slowly at first to acclimatise to the altitude.
 
Quito is famous for its stunning historic centre, the best preserved and most important on the continent. On holidays to Quito you will find over 100 monumental buildings housing wonderful collections of art and sculpture. There are also some twenty churches and convents, each with their own architectural twist on the colonial style. On the Independence Square or Plaza Grande you can enjoy the superb Archbishop’s Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Municipal Building and much more. This is a truly exceptional example of civic conservation at its best and do not miss the immense Basilica del Voto National, once the largest in the Americas.
 
The famous Indian Market at Otavalo in the northeast is another must-see on holidays to Quito & Otavalo. It offers a wonderful variety of brightly hand woven textiles, ponchos and hats made by the indigenous community, together with the leather goods of Cotacachi.
 
If you’d like to find out more about holidays to Quito & Otavalo, email us or ring for a chat on 01582 766122.
 
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La Mariscal, the bustling and vibrant heart of the capital city, is another must-see on holidays to Quito. This is where you will find great cuisine, art, hotels and bars, internet cafes, discos and a lively night life. On El Panecillo, the hill to the west of the city, there is a stunning monument to the Virgin Mary: a 41 metre aluminium pedestal and statue of the Madonna.
 
Fantastic museums and galleries abound in the city. There is contemporary and pre-colonial art, the histories of Quito and Ecuador, great local artists and heroes of independence and even the local development of medicine.
 
The city also boasts a number of beautiful parks, including the Parque Metropolitano, at over two square miles the largest urban park in South America. On Quito holidays you can walk, run or bike and take in the many fascinating artworks as you go. You must take the Ariel Tramway, TeleferiQo, built in 2005 and the city’s pride and joy. It runs from the city centre up to the slopes of the local volcano, Pichincha. It will take you to 4,100 metres where the views are literally breathtaking, so take your camera and be aware of the possible effects of altitude.
 
On holidays to Quito & Otavalo, a major attraction outside the city is the monument and tourist village at La Mitad del Mundo (almost) on the equator, 22 miles to the north. GPS has revealed that the equator is actually 240 metres further on, but the symbolism is still terrific. Take your picture straddling the wide yellow line representing the middle of the world - you will be near enough! On Quito holidays the small museum of artefacts of indigenous Ecuadorian history is fascinating and the village plaza hosts a brilliant range of musical and cultural events at the weekends.
 
The crater lake at Cuicocha is stunning and on holidays to Quito & Otavalo the countryside lends itself to walking and biking, with the small artisan communities welcoming visitors. You can stay in colonial haciendas that are rich in history and in the next valley at Zuleta you can saddle up and ride like a cowboy. Don’t miss the delicious homemade cheese.
 
Outside Quito there are several reserves and conservation projects, including the zoo, which has the biggest collection of animals in the country. The zoo protects many species threatened by the illegal fur trade and has bred the endangered Andean Condor.
 
Maquipucuna cloud forest reserve in the south plays a vital role in the protection of the rare spectacled bear and an eco-lodge provides vantage points from which bears can be seen at certain times of the year. This is also designated an Important Bird Area, with 400 species.  
 
The verdant cloud forests of Mindo are two hours to the north of Quito.  Swathed in mist, on holidays to Quito they are also excellent for bird watching – especially humming birds. You can walk to waterfalls and see a multitude of different flora, reptiles and other small fauna that call this place home. Worthy of a special mention, luxury Mashpi Lodge is a wonderful place to stay for a few nights. The architecture is futuristic with floor to ceiling glass panels designed to make the forest experience all encompassing. Here you can climb an observation tower and ride in a sky bike high across the forest canopy – a thrilling experience!
 
On Quito holidays also don’t miss the hot springs and fabulous mountain scenery at Papallacta.
 
Classic Ecuador: Quito + Avenue of Volcanoes
EYA10Q
12 NIGHTS
FROM £1,595
International flights quoted separately
Explore the culture and landscapes of mainland Ecuador on this holiday, starting in the old Inca capital of Quito, high in the Andes mountains. Then join a small group tour through the dramatic Avenue of the Volcanoes, including magnificent Cotapaxi and Chimborazo, staying in small haciendas. Complete your holiday in colonial Cuenca. English speaking guide, all transfers & entrance fees included.
Photo Avenue of the Volcanoes Ecuador Train Devils Nose Cuenca
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Quito
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Centre of World Monument
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Cotapaxi National Park
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Patate
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Tungurahua Volcano
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Route of the Cascases
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Chimborazo Volcano
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Riobamba
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Devils Nose Train
• 
Cuenca
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Quito
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Centre of World Monument
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Cotapaxi National Park
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Patate
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Tungurahua Volcano
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Route of the Cascases
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Chimborazo Volcano
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Riobamba
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Devils Nose Train
• 
Cuenca
Tren Crucero Train - Quito to Guayaquil
EYD7Q
7 NIGHTS
FROM £2,295
International flights quoted separately
The iconic Tren Crucero train travels the length of Ecuador, starting in the historic colonial city of Quito and journeying through the spectacular Avenue of the Volcanoes to the port city of Guayaquil - the gateway to the Galapagos Islands. See spectacular Andean scenery and absorb the local culture, staying at local haciendas along the way. All transfers included.
Photo Tren Crucero Train Ecuador Quito Galapagos & Avenue of the Volcanoes Guayaquil Photo
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Quito
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Centre of the World
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Train of Wonders
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Otavalo excursion
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Tren Crucero Train
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Avenue of Volcanoes
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Cotopaxi National Park
• 
Andean Highlands
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Devils Nose
• 
Guayaquil
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Quito
• 
Centre of the World
• 
Train of Wonders
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Otavalo excursion
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Tren Crucero Train
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Avenue of Volcanoes
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Cotopaxi National Park
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Andean Highlands
• 
Devils Nose
• 
Guayaquil
Wildlife of Ecuador: Amazon + Galapagos on land
EYC10Q
11 NIGHTS
FROM £3,295
International flights quoted separately
Combine the wildlife of the rainforests of the Ecuadorian Amazon with the Galapagos Islands, staying on Santa Cruz island, with day excursions to see the incredible marine life and birds that inhabit these islands (or cruise option if preferred). Without any fear of humans, close up viewing is assured. Galapagos flights, all transfers & marine fees included. Diving options available on request.
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Quito
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Centre of the World
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Otavalo Markets
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Amazon Rainforest
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Yasuni National Park
• 
Clay Licks
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Santa Cruz Island
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Giant Tortoises
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North Seymour Island
• 
Charles Darwin Centre
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Quito
• 
Centre of the World
• 
Otavalo Markets
• 
Amazon Rainforest
• 
Yasuni National Park
• 
Clay Licks
• 
Santa Cruz Island
• 
Giant Tortoises
• 
North Seymour Island
• 
Charles Darwin Centre
Ecuador Highlights: Quito + Galapagos Cruise
ERA9Q
9 NIGHTS
FROM £3,295
International flights quoted separately
Combine a visit to historic Quito in the Andean Highliands, with an expedition cruise through the pristine Galapagos Islands. The wildlife here is quite unaffected by people and you can walk among nesting blue-footed boobies, see giant tortoises, iguana, frigate birds and so much more. Dive options also available. Galapagos flights, marine fees & all transfers included.
ecuador and galapagos islands cruise holiday - see land and marine iguana
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Quito
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Otavalo
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Galapagos Cruise
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North Seymour Island
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Punta Vicente Roca
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Isabela Island
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Fernandina Island
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Santa Cruz Island
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Charles Darwin Station
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Floreana Island
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Quito
• 
Otavalo
• 
Galapagos Cruise
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North Seymour Island
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Punta Vicente Roca
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Isabela Island
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Fernandina Island
• 
Santa Cruz Island
• 
Charles Darwin Station
• 
Floreana Island
Quito + Avenue of Volcanoes + Galapagos on land
EYB13Q
13 NIGHTS
FROM £3,994
International flights quoted separately
Combine Quito & a hotel on the Galapagos Islands, with this weekly escorted tour through the dramatic Avenue of the Volcanoes, that runs in a parallel chain southwards from Quito to Riobamba, including riding the train down the amazing 'Devils Nose'. All transfers, marine fees & specified sightseeing with English guides included. Diving options available on request.
Photo Santa Cruz Island Tours Galapagos Finch Bay Hotels Ecuador
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Quito
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Centre of World Monument
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Avenue of Volcanoes
• 
Devils Nose Train
• 
Cuenca
• 
Guayaquil
• 
Santa Cruz, Galapagos
• 
North Seymour Island
• 
Giant Tortoises
• 
Charles Darwin Centre
• 
Quito
• 
Centre of World Monument
• 
Avenue of Volcanoes
• 
Devils Nose Train
• 
Cuenca
• 
Guayaquil
• 
Santa Cruz, Galapagos
• 
North Seymour Island
• 
Giant Tortoises
• 
Charles Darwin Centre
Highlights of Peru, Ecuador & Galapagos Cruise
PRH14Q
14 NIGHTS
FROM £4,195
International flights quoted separately
See the highlights of Ecuador and Peru in one visit, on this fabulous holiday that included historic Quito in the Andean Highlands, the markets of Otavalo and a Galapagos Cruise with glorious wildlife. Then fly to Cusco in Peru to visit Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas & the famous lost city of Machu Picchu. English speaking city guides, all transfers & excursions included.
Ecuador & Peru Highlights - Blue footed boobie
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Quito
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Otavalo excursion
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Andean Highlands
• 
Galapagos Islands
• 
Santa Cruz Island
• 
Lima
• 
Cusco
• 
Sacred Valley
• 
Ollantaytambo
• 
Machu Picchu
• 
Quito
• 
Otavalo excursion
• 
Andean Highlands
• 
Galapagos Islands
• 
Santa Cruz Island
• 
Lima
• 
Cusco
• 
Sacred Valley
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Ollantaytambo
• 
Machu Picchu
Essential Peru + Galapagos in depth
PPG18L
18 NIGHTS
FROM £5,395
International flights quoted separately
Combine the highlights of Peru - including the Inca citadel at Machu Picchu & Spanish colonial city of Cusco - with time exploring the Galapagos Islands in depth. Board an Expedition Cruise followed by time onshore exploring Santa & surrounding islands, with diving options available. All transfers & specified sightseeing with English speaking guides included.
Photo Galapagos Islands Santa Cruz Diving Finch Bay Expedition Cruise
• 
Lima
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Cusco
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Sacred Valley
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Ollantaytambo
• 
Machu Picchu
• 
Guayaquil
• 
Galapagos Cruise
• 
Santa Cruz Island
• 
Quito
• 
Centre of World Monument
• 
Lima
• 
Cusco
• 
Sacred Valley
• 
Ollantaytambo
• 
Machu Picchu
• 
Guayaquil
• 
Galapagos Cruise
• 
Santa Cruz Island
• 
Quito
• 
Centre of World Monument
Wildlife of Peru & Ecuador + Galapagos Cruise
PPB23L
23 NIGHTS
FROM £5,796
International flights quoted separately
Combine the wildlife & birds of the Peruvian Amazon & Ecuadorian Cloud Forest, with an Expedition Cruise through the extraordinary Galapagos Islands. Enjoy the highlights of these two countries, including the giant condors of Colca Canyon, the cultures of Lake Titicaca, Machu Picchu & the Spanish colonial city of Quito. All transfers & specified sightseeing with English guides included.  
Photo Ecuador Galapagos Amazon Cloud Forests Peru Bird Watching Cruise
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Lima
• 
Cusco
• 
Sacred Valley
• 
Ollantaytambo
• 
Machu Picchu
• 
Guayaquil
• 
Galapagos Cruise
• 
Santa Cruz Island
• 
Quito
• 
Centre of World Monument
• 
Lima
• 
Cusco
• 
Sacred Valley
• 
Ollantaytambo
• 
Machu Picchu
• 
Guayaquil
• 
Galapagos Cruise
• 
Santa Cruz Island
• 
Quito
• 
Centre of World Monument
Grand Ecuador, including Amazon + Galapagos Cruise
EPC16Q
17 NIGHTS
FROM £5,995
International flights quoted separately
Explore Ecuador in depth on this amazing holiday. Travel by boat into the rainforests of Yasuni National Park, deep in the Amazon, and explore the landscapes and cultures of the Avenue of the Volcanoes & Cuenca with your own private guide. Complete your holiday with an expedition cruise in the marine-rich Galapagos Islands. Galapagos flights, all transfers & marine fees included.
Photo Grand Tour Ecuador Amazon Galapagos Quito Cuenca Yasuni
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Quito
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Yasuni National Park
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Amazon Rainforest
• 
Avenue of Volcanoes
• 
Cotapaxi National Park
• 
Devils Nose Train
• 
Cuenca
• 
Expedition Cruise
• 
Galapagos Islands
• 
Quito
• 
Yasuni National Park
• 
Amazon Rainforest
• 
Avenue of Volcanoes
• 
Cotapaxi National Park
• 
Devils Nose Train
• 
Cuenca
• 
Expedition Cruise
• 
Galapagos Islands
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