Ecuador

A Walk in the Clouds tour from Quito to Guayaquil 3 days / 2 nights

Information

A Walk in the Clouds 3 days / 2 nights, daily from Quito to Guayaquil. Includes accommodation and all meals (fixed menus)
Quito-Guiayaquil-tour

Quality Experiences in Rural Ecuador

Metropolitan Touring Ecuador is proud to present “Due South”, quality experiences for active travelers seeking excursion options in the countryside off the main roads to explore natural reserves and community projects of the people of rural Ecuador with overnights at remote lodges and haciendas.

These innovative excursions are in line with the company’s commitment to work very closely with the local people, offer comfort, service and be respectful to the environment and local cultures, while at the same time offering active soft adventure travel.

Discover and better understand the Andean region with exceptional evergreen landscapes, archaeological sites, segments of the legendary Inca Road and insights into the inner nature and way of life of its people.

Day by day

Tour Details
Quito- Indian Market-Cotopaxi National Park - Salasaca Community Patate Hacienda Leito Early departure from Quito by motorcar to the south, with a short stop to visit one of the colorful Indian markets of the area, Sangolqui market and town, a great introduction to the Andean way of life. Then continue to visit the Cotopaxi National Park, an ecological sanctuary of 88,920 acres, around the magnificent Cotopaxi Volcano, which rises 5897 meters (19,347 feet) above sea level. The entrance to the park is up a **dirt road for approximately one and a half hours to reach the habitat of the Andean paramo or moorlands, its unique flora and fauna; a variety of high-altitude birdlife can be observed around Limpiopungo Lagoon and, occasionally, wild horses. On clear days, the Cotopaxi Volcano is the magnificent backdrop. Lunch is offered at one of the local restaurants in this lovely environment. Continue south, along valleys and mountains covered by multicolored fields, to reach the Salasaca Community, one of the most important indigenous groups in this area, who have preserved their dress and traditions, based on agriculture and tapestry weaving -with symbols and designs passed down from generation to generation in the last 500 years. They are very well organized for the development of their community. Arrive to Patate town and continue through magnificent landscapes offering bird-eye views of the region, a gateway to the Llanganates National Park. For hundreds of years the Llanganates have attracted treasure hunters, since legend claims that the treasures of the last Inca King Atahualpa were hidden here after he was captured by the Spanish conquerors, which adds to the magic and mystery of this location. Dinner and overnight at Hacienda Leito.
Patate-Baños - Avenue of the Cascades - Riobamba After breakfast, depart towards Baños (Baths), on a **eco- road for approximately one hour/fourty five minutes, this road promises to offer spectacular views of Baños and its surroundings. Baños is located at the foot of Tungurahua Volcano, the source of the thermal springs that give it its name. Baños, a very popular destination in Ecuador, is known as the gateway to the Amazon Rainforest; follow a road along the Route of the Waterfalls and experience the full force of the water at El Pailón del Diablo (the Devil's Cauldron) on a mid-difficulty trail down to the river, among lush tropical vegetation and orchids, for an impressive view (and sound) of this waterfall, among the ten largest in the world. An awesome vision from the hanging bridge right at the foot of the cascade. Lunch at one of the gorgeous hostelries near Baños and then a short walk to visit this inviting village. Continue with a very scenic drive up the mountains, through the Andes roads a unique scenario that changes at every curb, with multicolored patchwork fields, swaying with the winds, until the clouds blow away and the majestic snowcapped Chimborazo is in full view, weather permitting. (please do not forget or bring your raincoat poncho). Arrival, dinner and overnight in Riobamba.
Riobamba-Salinas de Bolívar -Guaranda- Guayaquil Early wake-up, and after a plentiful breakfast, depart from Riobamba towards the Chimborazo Mountain on the road that links the Highlands with the Pacific Ocean to visit the community of Salinas de Bolívar, past the high Andes and start descending, on a **rural dirt road for approximately 1/30 hours, this off-the-beaten-track road promises spectacular views of the Andes at the edge of the western cordillera, from here it's one step to the Pacific Ocean. Visit Salinas de Bolivar, a community of 10,000 inhabitants, located on a beautiful Andean Valley (3550 meters high) and surrounded by fields and mountains. Currently considered a model of community initiatives and development, in times past their only source of work were the salt mines of the vicinity; but at the beginning of the 1970's an Italian priest arrived and showed them how to make good use of the resources of the area. In the last 30 years, they have created a network of many community-run projects that provide work and stable economies. The main projects are great cheeses (mostly for exportation to Europe), mushrooms, chocolates, thread, soccer balls, essential oils, medicinal plants, sweets and textiles among the most important, which are commercialized through 'fair trade' shops in the main cities, not only of Ecuador, but worldwide. From this point on, start the descent along the slopes of the western Andean Cordillera towards the Pacific coast, taking the impressive route via Guaranda-Balsapamba-Guayaquil. Once in the lowlands, its through rice and sugarcane plantations to arrive to Guayaquil. Late lunch en-route. Guests can stay in Guayaquil to go on to Galapagos or overland to Cuenca the next day, or take a flight back to Quito or Cuenca at night.

Travel Facts

Dress in layers:

  • T-shirt, blouse, sweater, coat) and rain protection.
  • Sun protection (SPF 40) even if the day is cloudy.
  • Raincoat poncho for Day 2 is suggested.
  • Hat or cap,  Good walking shoes.
  • Bring please mosquito repellent.   

Altitude range in the Andes:

  • 2,550 meters (7,750 feet) to 3,900 meters (11,000 feet)

Average Temperature in the Andes:

  • Day 10° to 25° C / 50° to 77° F.
  • Night 6° to 10° C / 43° to 50° F.

Please expect hot and humid weather in the coast lands of Guayaquil  25° C / 77°F approx during the day, cooler temperatures at night.

**Eco- Route: This is the name given to the primary roads that, back in time, led to the main cities of Ecuador, and now offer exceptional rides through rural countryside, natural areas and historical towns along Ecuador. These ancient back roads, offer minimal traffic and the unique opportunity of a meaningful contact with nature and with the locals along the way. Although this roads are mainly dirt secondary roads, they are open to the public for tourist activities such as nature walks, nature interpretation, bird watching, and photography, among the most important. Please bear in mind that as per the configuration of the roads (dirt) they will be operational subject to local weather conditions and under the criteria of the guide, who will determine and make the decision whether to use them or not, after an evaluation of the circumstances locally.

Overview of the Haciendas, country inns and Mountain Lodges

Hacienda Leito Mountain Lodge
This is a mid-size cozy mountain lodge, with a spectacular setting, right in the boundaries of the Llanganates National Park.  A great place to relax among the exuberant vegetation, the murmur of the wind and the warmth of the fireplaces.  Rooms face the Llanganates or beautiful gardens and patios, and have private facilities.  Hacienda Leito is renown for its extraordinary hospitality.

Hacienda Leito has 24 double/twin standard rooms and four Family Suites. It also has SPA facilities (pool, Jacuzzi, massage room ) under request, and not included in the given price of the program.  Please ask your account executive for further information and details.

For over 300 years Hacienda Leito has witnessed countless events, from legends of the Jesuit Order of Saint Ignatius -who were expelled from the country during Colonial times by the Spanish King Charles III, and later, the opulence of the Spanish Captains and their families, appointed as Commendatores by the Spanish crown. Embrace the countless nights and dreams of those in search of the treasures of the Incas in the mysterious Llanganatis Mountains, their stories narrated in the books by famous Pool Williams and Eugenie Brunner.

Accommodation at Hacienda Leito is included in the given price.

Hacienda Abraspungo
The wonderful Hacienda Abraspungo is located at 2,754 metres above sea level and is surrounded by the magnificence of the Ecuadorian Andes. It is named after a glacial valley which is situated between the Chimborazo Volcano and Carihuairazo, in the exact centre of Ecuador. Hacienda Abraspungo, with its comfortable, charming and high level installations offers a personalized service in the ideal spot to enjoy the peace and beauty of the Andes. The architectural style found here offers the best of traditional colonial design often used in the ancestral mansions and haciendas of Ecuador. The Hacienda is adorned with old photographs and illustrations of Andean landscapes, which today constitutes a testimony to bygone eras. The antiques on display in the social areas give it a colonial flavour as well as a feel for the pre-Colombian cultures of the region. The visitor can truly appreciate the richness of the natural resources offered by the Chimborazo Province and Ecuador in general.

Each room takes its name from one of the mountains of Ecuador. That mountain is shown in the photographs displayed within the interior design in the room.

The owner’s commitment is to create a working environment which allows sustainable growth, enhancing positive image and generating an overall feeling of trust between the working force, the clients, and the community, aiming to become a point of reference within the tourist industry of Ecuador and the city of Riobamba.  Abraspungo offers 42 comfortable rooms which incorporate modern interior design elements within the framework of traditional, colonial architecture. Distributed in distinct wings of the hacienda you can find beautiful singles, doubles, triples and suites, each furnished and equipped to satisfy our client’s needs. Each room enjoys direct access to the magnificent gardens and the distinct social areas.
Hacienda Manteles.- Guest House Hacienda, country Inn, Patate
Please ask your account executive for supplement for this property if you wish to upgrade
. This is a 16-room tastefully decorated hacienda, near the Valley of Patate, surrounded by 500 acres of montane forest, between the Sangay National Park and the Llanganatis (meaning beautiful) Mountain Range. Not included in the given price, please ask your account executive about the supplement for accommodation at Manteles.

Hacienda Manteles, a hotel near Banos, awaits your visit, offering you a homely and welcoming atmosphere in one of the most beautiful hotel – haciendas in Ecuador. Manteles, built in 1965 was transformed into a hotel in 1992. Little by little, the property has been remodelled and refurbished to include all the home comforts and services that our guests deserve. Located 20km from the town of Baños and offering stunning views of the active Tungurahua Volcano, the hacienda has become a ‘must see’ during any trip to Ecuador.

The natural environment and ecotourism come together in Hacienda Manteles. Along with the wonderful gardens surrounding the main house, the hacienda encompasses a 200 hectare area of protected primary forest, through which one can reach the entrance to the mystical Llanganates National Park. This forest, among other wonders, is home to an abundance of wild orchids, native to the area. For those who love mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking and trekking Hacienda Manteles offers the perfect setting, with a whole network of natural trails to really enjoy these activities. The surrounding peaks of the Andes provide the perfect back drop for an unforgettable visit.

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