Adventure Tours   >   South America Adventure Tours   >  TailorMade Ecuador: Natural Highlights

TailorMade Ecuador: Natural Highlights Adventure Tour

South America

  • Ecuador

Make it truly your own. Start with this TailorMade sample itinerary, then work with our Private Travel team to customize the tour. Connect with Ecuador's incredible landscapes, fauna, and local traditions. Let a naturalist guide introduce you to the Amazon jungle and its wonders then overnight in a jungle lodge. Explore Cotopaxi National Park, home to the towering volcano.


Safety and Security  

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety.

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/


Highlights  

Visit the Old Town of Quito, Meet locals in the weaving community of Peguche, Drive the scenic Avenue of Volcanoes


Joining Instructions  

On your TailorMade trip, you will be met by a G Adventures Representative on Day 1 with more information about your tour. They will also be able to answer any questions you may have. If you have an arrival transfer, please meet your transfer representative in the arrivals area; they will be holding a G Adventures sign.


Packing List  

Amazon:
• Knee-length socks
• Loose-fitting, light coloured hiking pants
• Loose-fitting, light coloured long-sleeved shirts
• Pack liners to waterproof bags

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Visas or vaccination certificates (With photocopies)

Essentials:
• Toiletries (required) (Shampoo, bodywash, soap, etc.)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Swimwear
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Health & Safety:
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Face masks (Clients will be only be required to wear a face mask where it is mandated by local regulations.)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Quick Covid Test/Antigen Test

Smart Dress:
• Smart outfit (For evenings out)

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sturdy water shoes/sandals
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear


Visas and Entry Requirements  

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here


Meals  

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.


Emergency Fund  

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!


International Flights  

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.


Trip Specific Safety  

Please take care when wandering about the city on your own, as pick pockets and purse-snatchers are common, particularly in the Old Town. Be safe and leave your passport, credit cards, traveller's cheques and cash you don't need in the hotel's safety deposit box. Most Quiteños are honest and genuinely helpful and friendly, but be safe and enjoy the city!


A Couple of Rules  

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy.


Health  

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes, as well as any personal medical requirements. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information.

Please note your Adventure travels to high altitude, in Quito and the highlands. This is medically defined as anything over 8,000 feet (2,440 meters). Most people can travel to 8,000 feet with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts to altitude differently and altitude sickness can on set with some people irrespective of fitness and age. For details on how to best prepare and what to do in the unlikely event you are effected on your adventure, please consult your physician.


Group Leader  

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.


Transport  

Private van, motorized canoe, walking.


What to Take  

Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. We recommend the use of a medium sized soft suitcase, duffel bag or backpack, whichever is easiest for you to carry. A good size daypack is also essential.

Rubber boots are very good for hiking in the rainforest, they help protect feet from plants and insects close to the ground as well as deep water. The lodge offers use of boots as a courtesy to our guests, available from size 5 to size 12.

How to keep things dry: We recommend that passengers bring zip-lock plastic bags or dry sacks for your lenses and camera equipment. A waterproof backpack will also help you to protect your camera gear or anything else you wish to keep completely dry. The humidity is high in the rainforest, however, if you follow the advice about packing appropriate belongings it should not be an issue.


Feedback  

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at [email protected] and we will send it on to you.


Newsletter  

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation - Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.


Solo Travellers  

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.


Emergency Contact  

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 

If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS

G Adventures Office Lima, Peru.
During office hours (Weekdays, 9-6pm Local Time): +51 1 241 1650
After hours Emergency number: +51 99 758 2712 (WhatsApp Available)

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999


Spending Money  

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.


Important Notes  

1. Please note that these Trip Details are based on the sample itinerary that was used to create your customized tour, meaning that some things listed here may no longer apply, including the service level, physical grading, and inclusions. For the specifics related to your particular personalized tour please refer to your tour vouchers or consult with your Private Travel GCO or travel agent.

2. THE TUNGURAHUA VOLCANO
Please note this tour travels to Banos. The Tungurahua volcano in the area around Banos is constantly active. G Adventures have operated countless tours to the Banos area over the years without incident. However, we are obligated to point out that travel to the area is at your own risk, to exercise caution when travelling in the area. Further, we urge you to check your insurance coverage with your insurance provider prior to travel to the Banos area.

3. All travellers are required to pay the tax on domestic flights in Ecuador. Foreign travellers are exempt from this, and proving you are indeed a foreign traveller can be done by providing us with your international ticket number (ITN). Travellers who do not submit international ticket numbers at least 30 days prior to Day 1 of their tour will be required to pay the domestic tax on all included flights.

4. ACCOMMODATION NOTE:
Please be aware that properties we stay in with only two stories may not have elevators installed and climbing the stairs with your luggage will be necessary.


Meals Included  

8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners


Local Flights  

Airline luggage restriction for flying to the Amazon Lodge:
Each passenger is allowed luggage up to 20 kilos (44 pounds) for checked luggage, as well as a carry-on item such as a backpack.


Laundry  

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.


Alert Message  

Please note that the Quito international airport (UIO, Mariscal Sucre) will be closed on the following dates for preventative maintenance on the runway: May 11, 18, June 1, July 6, 13, 20, September 7, 14, and 21, 2024 between the hours of 2am and 12pm. The airport will also be closed on June 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2024 between the hours of 2am and 2pm. For passengers flying in or out of Quito on these dates, please double-check flight schedules with your airline in case of changes. Internal flights within Ecuador and Galapagos will be adjusted accordingly and any changes to schedules will be communicated at the welcome briefing.


Dossier Disclaimer  

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.


Arrival Complications  

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact the emergency number listed below and on your voucher. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.


Optional Activities  

Baños
- Baños Canyoning Adventure (30USD per person)
- Banos Hot Springs Visit
- Whitewater Rafting Baños (30USD per person)
- Mountain Biking Banos
- Banos Horseback Riding (25USD per person)
- Baños Ziplining Adventure Bundle (25USD per person)


Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures  

Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures' itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra's largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation.

Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment.

Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.


Itinerary Disclaimer  

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.


About Accommodation  

On our Ecuador trip we use various different types of accommodations that are unique to the various environments experienced on this trip.


Tipping  

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service.


Travel Insurance  

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.


What's Included  

Your G for Good Moment: Itamandi Lodge Package 3D/2N - 1-8 paxs, Tena
Your Wellness Moment: Termas de Papallacta Hot Springs 2D/1N, Papallacta. Arrival transfer. Overnight in an historic hacienda. Explore the Otavalo handicraft market. Cloud forest reserve visit. Two nights at an Amazon lodge with jungle excursions. Excursion to Cotopaxi National Park. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.


Accommodation  

Hotels (5 nts), historic hacienda (1 nt), jungle lodge (2 nts), hot springs resort (1 nt).


Detailed Trip Notes  

Important notes about visiting the Amazon:

How to keep things dry:
We recommend that passengers bring zip-lock plastic bags or dry sacks for your lenses and camera equipment. A waterproof backpack will also help you to protect your camera gear or anything else you wish to keep completely dry. The humidity is high in the rainforest, however, if you follow the advice about packing appropriate belongings it should not be an issue.

The weather in the Amazon:
Year-round temperature average is 82°F (28°C), nights can be cooler. Since Ecuador is located right on the equator, the country does not experience extreme weather changes, and the weather is surprisingly comfortable all year around. Please be prepared for rain.

Digital camera users need only beware (as SLR users) that moisture can fog their lenses rapidly. Silica gel in the camera carrying case should do the job and remember to put your camera back in the case when not using it. Bring plastic zip-lock bags for protecting your gear.


Money Exchange  

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available some may not accept all international credit or debit cards. You may need to try at more than one machine if the first does not accept your card. You should also check with your bank before leaving to ensure that your card works internationally. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. Please bring USD banknotes in denominations smaller than 100, as they can be hard to exchange in Ecuador. 100 dollar bills of certain series (e.g. CB B2) can be especially hard to cash! CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than $100 USD (or equivalent). As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Day 1 Quito

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

Day 2 Quito

Today enjoy an included Quito city tour and visit to the equator line. After returning to your hotel, free time to explore the city.

Day 3 Quito/Otavalo

Depart Quito and drive to the highlands with a stop at the community of Peguche for a local lunch. Later, explore the largest handicraft market in South America, Otavalo market.

Day 4 Otavalo/Papallacta

Travel from Otavalo to the Papallacta and take a dip in hot springs. Later, opt to head out and explore the area by foot, book a spa treatment, or just relax and enjoy the mountain views.

Day 5 Papallacta/Tena

Travel to Tena and catch your motorized canoe to the Amazon lodge. Later, embark on a night walk to learn about the nocturnal creatures of the area.

Day 6 Tena

Start the day bright and early with a trip upstream to a parrot clay lick, where hundreds of vibrant parrots and parakeets gather to eat clay, which is vital to their diets. After breakfast visit AmaZOOnico, an animal rescue centre that rehabilitates, reintroduces, and cares for animals who are victims of illegal trafficking.

Day 7 Tena/Baños

Depart the Amazon and travel to the adventurous town of Baños.

Day 8 Baños

Free day to explore Baños. Be spoiled for choice with optional outdoor activities like hiking, ziplining, canyoning, whitewater rating or mountain biking.

Day 9 Baños/Quito

Drive back to Quito along the scenic Avenue of Volcanoes with a visit to Cotopaxi National Park en route. Enjoy stunning views of one of the highest active volcanoes in the world.

Day 10 Quito

Depart at any time.

Details

Duration: 10 Days

Service Level: Standard

Physical Grading: 2 - Light

Trip Type: TailorMade

Travel Style: Classic



Call Us: 01 2311889



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The Department of Foreign Affairs has up-to-date advice for Irish citizens on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more security, local laws, health, passport and visa information see https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/ and follow dfatravelwise