Ecuador´s Rainforest Gateway – 7 Days $2,586
7 Days/ 6 Nights
Enjoy a natural expedition to the wonderful forests of Ecuador. First, experience the biodiversity of the Ecuadorian Amazon at a magical rainforest lodge. Mixing birdwatching opportunities with social interaction at cacao farms. Then delight yourself at one in the heart of the Chocó forest at Mashpi Lodge.
Day by Day
Private arrival transfer from airport to hotel
Welcome to Quito and Ecuador!. At the airport you will be greeted by a member of our organization, we will escort you all the way to your hotel, giving you a short briefing about Quito and the country in general with valuable information you need to know. Private transportation and guide, handling of two pieces of luggage per person at the airport and the hotel)
Hilton Colón Quito for one night
Welcome to the award-winning Hilton Colon Quito Hotel. Set in La Mariscal district, on Quito’s bustling commercial and touristic Avenida Amazonas, the hotel is at the heart of the city’s action. Hilton Colon Quito is a 10-minute walk to Quito’s Spanish Colonial old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Relax in a modern guest room with WiFi, a work desk, and panoramic views of the city and mountains.
QUITO – GUANGO - ARCHIDONA – SANTA RITA – MISAHUALLÍ
We depart Quito on the main road east, climbing up to the pass at over 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) in the high Andes before beginning the descent into the ‘green mansions’ of the Amazon Rainforest. Our first stop for a snack is the charming Guango Lodge, a haven for 15 species of hummingbird and many more beautiful creatures. Continuing southeast, we arrive at the small town of Archidona and the Santa Rita community, home of the Pacari Agro Tourism Project.
This project was developed by Pacari who not only purchase the community’s cacao at fair trade prices but also provide technical assistance to improve yields, varieties and production. The visits by travellers also provide an additional welcome source of income for these rural families.
We spend a pleasant and relaxing day with the community, learning how they harvest the fruit, produce the cacao and all the technical processes. As we explore the farms on foot, we come across petroglyphs, ancestral traces of the native cultures that inhabited this region for thousands of years, known as the Sacred Valley of the Anaconda.
After our hike, we are treated to lunch, served a regional specialty of river fish wrapped in a bijao palm leaf baked in a fire. This dish is accompanied by a tea made with the guayusa plant, a source of energy and good for hydrating.
After lunch, we take part in making chocolate paste, adding various local ingredients. Everyone gets to take some chocolate home with them, as well as drinking hot chocolate with the cacao harvested earlier in the day!
We continue southwards to the jungle town of Misahuallí, where we will dine and overnight at the Hamadryade Lodge (upon availability).
MISAHUALLÍ – PAPALLACTA – QUITO
We spend some time in the morning exploring the lodge, its forest and butterfly garden. This is beautiful high montane forest, with lots of birdlife to be spotted. Returning northwards, we wind our way back to higher altitudes, arriving at the Termas de Papallacta Resort and Spa. This complex is regarded as the best in the country, and includes volcanic thermal pools, a hotel and spa. There, we can enjoy the beautiful natural springs, have a massage (extra cost) – there is even a chocolate massage available for the true chocaholics! – And a healthy lunch. In the afternoon, we drive back westwards to the city of Quito *.
Hilton Colón Quito for one night
Mashpi Lodge, 3 days/2 nights programme, a luxury cocoon in the clouds. (B/L/D) The wonders waiting at Mashpi Lodge will delight the worldliest nature lover. Perched at 900 m (3,116 feet) above sea level and surrounded by lower montane rainforest and cloudforest, the Lodge is surrounded by a profusion of plant species, from ferns and bromeliads to hundreds of orchid species, many newly-discovered. A staggering 500 species of bird – including some 36 endemics - are estimated to inhabit the forest, fluttering through the canopy. Monkeys, peccaries and even puma make their homes inside the Reserve crisscrossed with waterfalls between dramatic, verdant hills.
Trails take you to discover life at every step. Our Life Centre with some local butterflies species, offer a perfect place to contemplate atonished views. From the Observation Tower (26m or 85 ft), enjoy an exciting bird´s-eye view and dramatic panoramas.
Species that can be spotted here include toucans, woodpeckers, barbets, tanagers and parrots as well as raptors.
Located close to the hotel, the sky bike makes for an original and exciting way to explore the forest canopy up close. Designed for two people to use at once, one person pedals the bike along a cable stretched between two points in the forest, around 200 m (655 feet) apart, crossing a gorge above a river flowing between rocks and trees below. Silent, easy-to-use and fun, it’s an activity for children over 8 years-old accompanied by an adult, providing guests with another chance to observe the natural world close to the lodge and even spot its denizens.
The forests of Mashpi boast 22 hummingbird species identified to date, inhabiting different specific altitudes, with around 16 species alone observable by guests. In order to make it easier to see these amazing creatures, a shelter with seating provides the ideal setting, feeders for the birds strung from its roof. The site is located at a natural viewpoint, which, on clear days, provides breathtaking views of the Reserve’s forested hills.
Hilton Colón Quito for one night
Private transfer from your hotel to Quito Airport for your outbound flight (or continue to a Galapagos Extension).
Rate doesn´t apply between March 27-April 20 & December 10-January 15.
- All transfers from/to International flights
- Buffet Breakfast at Hotel Hilton
- All meals in the two programmes
- Entrance to thermal pools at Andean thermal springs
- Mashpi Lodge: transfers from/to Quito, lodging, all meals and drinks, guided visits, specialized lectures, rubber boots and ponchos, visit to the archaeological site of Tulipe
Regular price: $ 2,940 pp
Package price: $ 2,586 pp
- Subject to availability
- Order of visits may vary
- Except Easter, Christmas and New Year dates
- From February to July the visit to the cacao farm is as described above
- From August to January, cacao is not being harvested in the region, and we undertake other activities in the farm with the community
- Accommodation in double/twin standard room
- Deluxe double/twin room at Hotel Hilton Colón
- Wayra twin/double room at Mashpi Lodge
- Hotels subject to availability (alternatives on similar standard)
- $ 800 pp nonrefundable deposit
- It doesn´t apply with other promotions
- Restrictions apply
- Exclusively for direct customers
- Exclusively for travel agencies (10% maximum commission)
- For special conditions for Tour Operators, please contact us.
Your Galapagos Travel Expert Since 1969