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Avenue of the Volcanos Add-on

  • 6 Day(s)
  • Trip Code : GATSEVVC

From the outdoor playground of Baños to the bustling lanes of the Otavalo market, get an introduction to the culture, history and spectacular scenery of Ecuador on this 6-day adventure. Venture along the 'Avenue of the Volcanoes', checking each off your list: active (Cotopaxi), green (Cuicocha), water-filled (Quilotoa) and extinct (Cayambe). Because we have years of experience in Quito and an established operational office, we'll take care of the hassles-so that you can focus on the highlights. And, with an expert CEO to lead the way and time for optional excursions, this adventure offers up a great combination of must-see highlights and free time to do your own thing.

FROM $949

Call 800-781-4040

Itinerary

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Day 1 Quito/Otavalo

Early from Quito traveling north along the Pan-American Highway with a stop at the 'middle of the Earth' to set foot on both sides of the equator and see the Quitsato sundial. Later, enjoy shoping for handmade clothing and handicrafts at the leather town

Depart early from Quito traveling north along the Pan-American Highway with a stop at the 'middle of the Earth' to set foot on both sides of the equator and see the Quitsato sundial. Later, enjoy shoping for handmade clothing and handicrafts at the leather town of Cotacachi and the Otavalo market, South America's biggest. Overnight in an historic hacienda outside of town. This trip leaves early on the morning of Day 1 from Quito - a pre-night in Quito is not included. Should you require the pre-night, please as our sales CEOs who will be happy to arrange this for you. If there is any confusion on arrival, please do not hesitate to call the contact number listed in these trip details. Spend 1 night in the Otavalo area and visit its world famous handicrafts market, the largest in South America. Villagers from the surrounding countryside come here every week to sell handmade goods as well as livestock, fruits and vegetables. There are three main market plazas in town, with the overflow spilling out onto the streets linking them. The Plaza de Ponchos is where we will find most handicraft items. We will find colorful wollen goods such as ponchos, gloves, hats, blankets, scarves and sweaters, as well as fine tapestries and a variety of embroidered blouses and shirts, shawls, string bags and rope sandals. This market gets underway at dawn and continues until early afternoon. Remember, bargaining is expected for every purchase! A good negotiator should be able to get at least 20% off the starting price. The food market sells produce and household goods for the locals, and there is an animal market beginning in the predawn hours on the outskirts of town. Although these are not designed for visitors, they are cultural experiences to see and are definitely worth a visit. One of the most obvious signs of the Otavaleños' cultural integrity is their traditional dress. This is not just put on especially for the tourists at the Saturday market, but is worn throughout their daily life. Otavalo is justly famous both for its friendly people and its Saturday animal market. The market dates back to pre-Inca times when jungle products were transported from the eastern lowlands and traded for highland goods. Today's market has two different functions: the local market for buying and selling animals, food and other essentials, and the crafts market for the tourists and other interested people.

Days 2 Otavalo/Cotopaxi (1B)

Spend the morning driving along the Avenue of the Volcanoes searching out the peaks of Pichincha, Iliniza and the gigantic Antisana. Venture into Cotopaxi National Park travelling around the base of he cone-shaped, snowcapped volcano, considered the highe

Spend the morning driving along the Avenue of the Volcanoes searching out the peaks of Pichincha, Iliniza and the gigantic Antisana. Venture into Cotopaxi National Park travelling around the base of he cone-shaped, snowcapped volcano, considered the highest, active volcano in the world. Your evening will be spent near Ecuador's beautiful Cotopaxi Volcano in an historic Hacienda. Just a few hours south of Quito is Parque National Cotopaxi, home to Cotopaxi Volcano at 19,342 ft (5897 m). The beautiful cone-shaped, snow covered volcano is Ecuador's second highest peak and the highest active volcano in the world.

Day 3-4 Banos (2B)

Continue along the 'Avenue of Volcanoes' to Baños, named for the numerous thermal springs that originate from the base of an active volcano. Flanked by snowcapped ridges, this is the perfect setting for outdoor pursuits including optional horseback riding

Continue along the 'Avenue of Volcanoes' to Baños, named for the numerous thermal springs that originate from the base of an active volcano. Flanked by snowcapped ridges, this is the perfect setting for outdoor pursuits including optional horseback riding, hot springs, hiking, mountain biking. Baños is one of the most popular and important tourist spots in the country and you will find many Ecuadorian families vacationing here. One look at this delightfully green mountain town and you will know why. Surprisingly, it is pleasant and unspoiled. Baños means 'baths' and that is precisely what the town is famous for. Some are thermal springs from the base of Tungurahua Volcano, which means 'little hell' in Quichua. Other baths have melt water running into them from Tungurahua's glaciated flanks. Locals swear that the baths are good for your health; it's definitely worth rising early to watch the dawn creep over the mountains from a hot spring vantage point. The town is the perfect setting for outdoor pursuits, including horseback riding, canyoning, hiking, mountain biking, climbing and rafting in the surrounding mountains and on the River Patate.

Day 5 Quito (1B)

Enjoy the morning free in Banos to pursue some optional activities before transferring back to Quito for the evening.

Enjoy the morning free in Banos to pursue some optional activities before transferring back to Quito for the evening. Located 9,348 ft (2,850 m) above sea level, the Ecuadorian capital of Quito enjoys a wonderful spring-like climate, despite the fact that it is only 14 miles (22 km) south of the Equator. Nestled in a valley flanked by mountains, on a clear day several snow-capped volcanoes, including nearby Pichincha, are visible from the city center. Add to its beautiful location a rich history and well-preserved colonial district, and you begin to understand Quito's appeal to thousands of tourists every year. In 1978, UNESCO declared Quito a World Heritage site, and any new development in Quito's old town is now strictly controlled. Life in Quito tends to be peaceful, though the drivers are fond of using their car horns! There are approximately 2 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area, but the pace is relaxed and the residents hospitable. Since pre-Columbian times, the site of Quito has been inhabited by the Quitus, the Shyris and the Puruhas. The Inca reached this city before the Spaniards, but leveled it to the ground rather than give it up to the Spanish. The present capital was founded by the Spanish on December 6, 1534. Quito is separated into two basic sections, the old and the new cities. The old city is full of historic buildings and churches. One of the more noteworthy is the Catedral de Quito, located on the Plaza de la Independencia. Built between 1550 and 1562, it was one of the first neoclassical works in Quito. La Compañía de Jésus Church is considered one of the most beautiful in the Americas. The decorations in the Compañía contain approximately one and one-half tons of gold, and construction of the church took 170 years (1605-1775). There are several excellent museums scattered throughout the city. The Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana has an interesting display of traditional musical instruments and Ecuadorian traditional dress, a large art collection, and a small natural history museum. For archeology, the best museum to visit is the Museo del Banco Central with its well displayed pottery, gold ornaments, skulls showing deformities and early surgical methods, a mummy and many other objects of interest. The small, rounded hill dominating the old town is El Panecillo, the Little Bread Loaf, a major Quito landmark. From here there are marvelous panoramic views of the entire city and surrounding volcanoes. Tourists can easily take a trolley (streetcar) or a cab between the Old Town and New Town. Quito's large foreign population and steady stream of travelers have given it a varied and vibrant nightlife, and salsotecas and other dance clubs abound. For a real Ecuadorian experience though, be sure and drop by a peña if you can; these are great places for meeting locals and dancing, as well as enjoying local cuisine.

Day 6 Quito (1B)

Depart at any time.

Depart at any time.

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  • TRIP NAME: AVENUE OF THE VOLCANOS ADD-ON
  • DURATION: 6 DAYS
  • FROM PRICE: $949
  • TRIP CODE : GATSEVVC
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You will visit

  • Ecuador

Is this for me?

  • Trip Style: Small Group Adventures
  • Comfort Level: Superior
  • Physical Demands: There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

What's included?

Overnight in an historic hacienda. Explore the Otavalo handicraft market. Visit the “Mitad del Mundo” monument at the Equator line. Visit a traditional leather town. Visit Cotopaxi National Park. Scenic drive along the Avenue of the Volcanos. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Departure Month