Over Land, Under Stars

Ecuador Explorer - 8 days

Discover the highlights of Ecuador in 8 days, from the dizzy heights of Quito and the colourful market towns of Otavalo and Cuenca to beautiful Banos, a spa town famous for its hot thermal springs.

Prices & Dates

Trip Highlights

The UNESCO listed colonial city of Quito
Cuenca - home of the Panama hat, UNESCO listed city with cobblestone streets, open plazas and whitewashed buildings
Otavalo Market town - handicrafts, souvenirs and villagers in local dress
Banos - a spa town famous for its hot thermal springs


Airport arrival transfer on day 1
7 nights in simple hotels
Escorted by a tour leader, with specialist guides for some included excursions
6 breakfasts
Excursions to Quito, Otavalo, Banos and Cuenca
Transportation by public bus

Not Included

International flights to/from our tour start/end points and visas
Tipping – an entirely personal gesture
Items of a personal nature and additional meals


Day 1


Welcome to Ecuador! Upon arrival at Quito airport you will be met and transferred to our joining hotel. After arriving at our hotel consider heading out to explore the city on foot before our group welcome meeting later this evening.
Overnight: Quito

Day 2

Otavalo Markets

Quito - Otavalo. Today we travel north to visit the famous market town of Otavalo. The market in Otavalo is a great place to stock up on souvenirs and gifts for friends back home. The local people of Otavalo, who come from their villages to sell livestock, produce and textiles are distinct in appearance. The men wear calf length white trousers and sandals and have their long hair braided, while the women wear white frilly blouses, black skirts and have gold coloured jewellery twirled around their necks.
Overnight: Quito  |  Breakfast

Days 3-4

Banos - spa town

Quito - Banos. We travel by bus to the spa town of Banos, known for its hot springs. On the way we pass spectacular scenery. In Banos you are free to relax in the thermal pools or take leisurely walks amongst the surrounding mountains. You’ll also have the chance to enjoy horseback riding in the hills. Banos is a great place to buy beautifully painted balsa wood animals and try the local sweet, taffy.
Overnight: Banos  |  Breakfast x 2

Days 5-6

Cuenca - World Heritage Site

Banos – Cuenca. Continuing on we reach the old colonial market town of Cuenca, Ecuador’s third largest city. Despite its size, the centre of Cuenca retains much of its colonial charm with cobblestone streets, open plazas and whitewashed buildings with ironwork balconies, and is even an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The city is also the home of the Panama hat and you’ll have the chance to visit a factory where the hats are made. Whilst in Cuenca you have the option to visit the celebrated Inca ruins of Ingapirca, Ecuador’s most important archaeological site. The original structures were made by the Canari people and you can still see the place where these pre-Inca people worshipped the moon.
Overnight: Cuenca  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 7


A short flight takes us back to Quito where you will have more free time to discover the city. Wander around the UNESCO listed old town, a maze of colonial splendour where the vibrant indigenous character is still retained or head to the colourful Mariscal Sucre, the heart of the ‘new town’. Here you will find trendy cafes, international restaurants and lively bars.
Overnight: Quito  |  Breakfast

Day 8


Our tour concludes today. Spend the day exploring before making your way to the airport for your flight back home.

Prices & Dates

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies to travellers who would like the comfort of their own room (on all or many of the tour nights) and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price.

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In Brief

Trip Type
Year round
Hotel Rating
Simple accommodation
Local Payment
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour leader
Breakfast: 6
1st March 2017

Extra Tour Info

Style of Group Travel
More about our group tours to South America