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Ecuador - Fauna & Flora

(14 Days)

Guayaquil | Cuenca | Mindo | Otavalo | Papallacta | Quito

Day Routing
01 Guayaquil

Arrival in Guayaquil, a tropical and busy pacific-metropolis.

02 Guayaquil

Enjoy an unforgettable day at a coastal historic hacienda in nature. Attend a guided tour through the cacao plantations, float down the river with inflatable rafts, go biking or visit the Organic Garden. Lunch will be served at the farm.

03 Guayaquil

Visit the natural reserve Manglares Churute, one of the finest and most diverse protected areas of the tropical lowlands of Ecuador. After a boat trip through the mangrove forest and a short hike through the tropical dry forest you will enjoy lunch at a small family owned finca. Walk around and learn about the world famous Ecuadorian cacao inclusive chocolate tasting.

04 Guayaquil - Cuenca

Continue to Cuenca. On the way visit El Cajas National park, one of Ecuador´s natural wonders with 235 glacial lakes, more than 125 species of birds and numerous species of flora and fauna. El Cajas is a paradise for hikers and avid birdwatchers.

05 Cuenca

At the natural reserve Aguarongo you can observe a lot of native plants and birds and native communities are working on different projects, like reforestation and the reproduction of orchids. Continue to Ecuagenera, an orchid growing laboratory to study and preserve the different species. You can observe hundreds of species and learn about these amazing and
beautiful plants.

06 Cuenca - Mindo

Flight to Quito and transfer to the small subtropical town of Mindo. The nature reserve Bosque Protector Mindo-Nambillo is home of tucans, parrots, humming birds, monkeys or big cats. You may see wonderful orchids and various medicinal plants here. Visit the waterfalls of Mindo and a butterfly farm, where you can admire all four stages of the life cycle of a butterfly.

07 Mindo

A day full of bird watching waits you at the Maquipucuna Cloud Forest Reserve, which harbors over 4% of the world bird diversity. It is the only reserve where spectacled bears can be seen during the fruiting season.

08 Mindo - Otavalo

Early in the morning you start visiting the private area of Refugio Paz de Las Aves, well known among ornithologists. The brothers Angel and Rodrigo Paz, owner and native guides, will show you the special birds that seek protection on their lands. On the way to Otavalo, stop at a Pahuma Orchid reserve for a short visit. 

09 Otavalo

The ecological reserve El Angel houses a huge diversity of animals & plants, lakes & lagoons and a unique and characteristic ecosystem in the area. While walking, you can enjoy the incomparable vegetation. Continue to visit the two lagoons of El Voladero and the Potrerillos Lagoon.

10 Otavalo

Visit Laguna Cuicocha, a crater lake on an altitude of 3000m above sea-level. Continue north, passing Ibarra to reach Salinas, famous for its native population of Afro-Ecuadorians. Return with the „Tren de Libertad“, one of the most beautiful train rides in the country, passing many tunnels and bridges until you reach Ibarra.

11 Otavalo - Papallacta

With a little luck you will see condors at the Condor Park, before you continue to a rose plantation to learn about one of the top ten export products of Ecuador. Drive southwards to Papallacta, famous for its thermal baths. Enjoy a bath in the warm, odourless thermal water.

12 Papallacta

Visit the Antisana Natural Reserve in the highlands. Up in the paramo you will do an 2h walk and observe the small but beautiful paramo flowers and Andean birds. The area is one of the few places where the Andean condor still remains. Picnic lunch included.

13 Papallacta

Today you go birdwatching at the privately owned 1.170 hectare San Isidro reserve, located at an elevation of 2.000 m. The current San Isidro bird list surpasses 320 species. A perfect place for any bird lovers!

14 Papallacta - Quito

Transfer to Quito for international homebound flight.