Ecuador Nature & Culture

From $1,000 pp

  • Duration

    7 days
  • Bookable From

  • Trip Style

    Privately Guided
  • Country

  • Physical Rating



Ecuador is a mesmerizing country rich in nature, culture, and diversity. Discover Quito, myriad indigenous markets, snow-capped volcanoes, hot springs, and more!

This nature and culture tour of mainland Ecuador immerses you in five different paradises located north and east of the mountainous Andean region. From walking the cobblestone streets of colonial Quito (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and visiting Latitude Zero at the Equator, to hiking in the intriguing cloud forest, to relaxing in hot springs in the paramo highlands, we will just begin to scratch the surface of the gems Ecuador has to offer. Then, we will bring you to Nono, a little jewel built in colonial times by the Jesuits, where the charm and hospitality of Villa Doris wait for you.

Endless adventures await on this 7-day, privately-guided tour!


  • Learn about colonial Quito on a city tour visiting iconic churches and plazas
  • Hike in the lush, evergreen cloud forest at 10,500ft above sea level
  • Visit the most traditional artisan markets in South America in Otavalo and nearby towns
  • Relax at the hot springs while enjoying an outstanding view of the highlands
  • Visit Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano on Earth!
  • Savour the delicious cuisine in every destination

During this adventure, you will experience Ecuador's vibrant and colorful culture as well as its diverse natural landscapes.

We will take you toward the north of Quito to one of the most colorful and well-known indigenous markets of Latin America where artisans display the best of their work. You can also look forward to an overnight stay at a 400-year-old hacienda, which is sure to be an unforgettable experience. In the paramo highlands, an ecosystem unique to regions lying above the tree line and below the snow line, we’ll make a relaxing stop to bathe in the hot springs. Here, we’ll also have the chance to do a small hike in this unique ecosystem. Finish the tour by visiting Cotopaxi, the world’s highest active volcano, where hiking and taking photographs are a must. Come, enjoy it all!

Seasonal Notes

Ecuador enjoys spring-like weather all year round. Most days we enjoy sunny mornings and cooler afternoons with temperatures around 55°F-64°F (12°C-18°C).

  • June to November: The dry season is generally the best time to visit Ecuador's cloud forest, with June to September being the dryest time in this Andean region. Days will be mostly sunny and warm with less chance of rain, making it ideal to explore the forest and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting. The dry season is also the best time to see many of the cloud forest’s endemic bird species, including the colorful Andean cock-of-the-rock and the elusive plate-billed mountain toucan. The cloud forest can experience rain even in the dry season, so still prepare for the possibility of wet weather if you travel during this season.
  • December to May: The wet season is when you can see the cloud forest in its most lush and green state, and when its stunning waterfalls will be at their fullest. April is typically particularly rainy. Note: The wet season can bring heavy rainfall and mudslides, which may make some trails and roads inaccessible.


Day 1 Quito [Ecuador] (arrival day)

Transfer from airport to hotel in Quito. We prioritize locally-owned hotels that represent our country and whose service and personality reflect the kindness of Ecuadorians.

Accommodation: Ikala Hotel or similar in Quito

Day 2 Discovering Quito

Maximize your stay in the beautiful city of Quito with a day tour organized by you and your personal guide according to your interests. Downtown, you must visit the iconic churches of La Basilica, La Compañía (the golden altar church), and San Francisco. Our plazas, a local market, and the Solar Museum at the Equator are also key things to see. Wander the colonial town to have lunch on your own and experience the variety of typical food in the city.

Entrance fees and lunch are on your own since you will decide what is or is not of interest.

Accommodation: Ikala Hotel or similar in Quito
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 High Altitude Cloud Forest

After breakfast, your guide will lead a hike through the Yanacocha Reserve located about 10,500 feet (3,200-3,400 meters) above sea level. In the early 1990s, this high-altitude cloud forest land was purchased by the Jocotoco Foundation, one of Ecuador's most recognized conservation organizations, and established as a protected reserve for 964 hectares of lush evergreen forest.

While home to many avian species, the reserve is primarily known for its hummingbirds. Among these is the highly endangered Black-breasted Puffleg, which was nearly driven to extinction due to habitat loss. We'll visit Zuro Loma, a small reserve, for a closer encounter with birds in this magical area.

Upon our return to Nono, you'll have time to rest or take photographs of the garden. Then we'll have a gastronomic experience that will delight adventurous foodies and fans of nostalgic, hand-made, artisan cuisine as we taste authentic flavors and typical dishes.

Accommodation: Villa Doris Country Lodge
Meals: Box lunch and dinner

Day 4 Ponchos and Weaving

After breakfast, depart towards the north of Ecuador to encounter one of the most famous indigenous markets in South America where colorful ponchos, fine weavings, and handicrafts are displayed in the villages of Otavalo, Peguche, and Cotacachi.  These craft-making villages are part of the rich history and culture of our country. Your guide will organize this tour according to your main interests.

Lunch will be on your own. Dinner will be at a 400-year-old colonial hacienda where you'll stay for the night.

Accommodation: Hacienda Pinsaqui or Cusin
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 5 Paramo Highlands & Papallacta Hot Springs

Papallacta Hot Springs is a must-see, must-enjoy destination in the country! The ride toward the hot springs offers an array of landscapes which makes the visit even more worth it. You'll go up over 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) in the virgin sector, then descend to just under 1,000 feet (3,000 meters) to the hot springs in the heart of the paramo highlands. At the Termas Papallacta Hotel Spa, you can relax and enjoy these medicinal waters that have an average temperature of just over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38-39 degrees Celcius) in the pools.

Enjoy a short hike at the Cayambe Coca Reserve to learn about the highlands, before returning to the village of Puembo where you'll stay overnight. Dinner is on your own.

Accommodation: Rincon de Puembo or similar

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 6 Cotopaxi Volcano National Park

Enjoy the Cotopaxi, one of Ecuador's most stunning landmarks and one of the most impressive volcanoes in Ecuador. The Cotopaxi Volcano National Park is less than a two-hour ride away, and there we can enjoy hiking and photographing the highest active volcano on Earth. Lunch will be at a lovely restaurant within the national park. We'll also visit a flower farm known for exporting its roses.

Accommodation: Rincon de Puembo or similar

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 7 Quito (departure day)

Return to Quito Airport or to your hotel in Quito.

We recommend combining this Ecuador mainland trip with a land-based trip extension to the Galapagos Islands!

Transportation to other sites in the country can be quoted upon request.


This trip can be customized upon request. Contact us about adjustments to fit your expectations in terms of trip duration, budget restrictions, and specific interests.

Inclusions & Exclusions

  • 6 nights' accommodation: 1 in Quito, 2 in Nono, 1 in Otavalo, 2 in the Tababela area

  • All Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

  • Private transportation

  • English speaking guide

  • Entrance fees, except while visiting Colonial Quito

  • Airfare to/from Quito

  • Meals, unless specified

  • Beverages, tips, and extras

  • Travel and health insurance


Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.

Prices are for double room occupancy unless indicated otherwise.

Prices vary by group size; contact us if you're a solo traveler or if your group size is not mentioned below.

  • Deposit per person

    25% of the trip price

  • Solo Traveler


  • Group of 2 Travelers - price per person


  • Group of 3-4 Travelers - price per person


  • Group of 5-9 Travelers - price per person


  • Single Supplement

    A single supplement is for travelers with a group who prefer their own private room instead of sharing a double room with another group member. $330


Our Outlook on Culture and Equality
How can the world be united if we do not understand that diversity makes us equal? The dreams of Ecuadorians are pretty much related to your own dreams.

We take you on a trip to discover the soul of our people and their living history; the richness of our culture and our regions, while supporting those who weave a dream for a better future for their families. Join us on this trip and go back home with a richer soul.

We hire guides and drivers who do an excellent job for our clients and who only rely on tourism as the major source of their income. At Villa Doris we hire a housekeeper who receives a fair salary according to the law of Ecuador.
We visit small enterprises to make sure that, through our visits, we contribute to their development and economic growth.

Cultural Heritage
Travelers will meet the makers of local products at Otavalo, Peguche, and Cotacachi in the north, and the embroiderers of Nono while visiting the cloud forest.
They will learn for instance how they obtain the colors for their textiles and how the whole family depends on the income produced by the workshop.
The women of Sisa Quinde receive our support, guidance, sales force, and logistic aid for them to embroider and sell their creations.

In Ecuador, eco-friendly practices are new to the industry. However, the accommodations chosen for this program are Ecuadorian-owned and we have seen these properties working hard to grow and to be very good referents to the industry. In this specific program, we are using only one-night stays in order for the clients to see as much of Ecuador as possible in a short amount of time.

Most accommodations are implementing eco-friendly practices such as changing our toilets to install water flow reducers and buying organic and local products to support small businesses and families in our neighborhoods. We are using bio-degradable cleaning products and offering bio-degradable toiletries for our guests.

Environmental practices
We carry tote bags and reusable plastic bottles for water. We bring all garbage back to the city to be taken to a recycling program.
We visit the reserves of Yanacocha and Zuro Loma which were created to protect the mammals and birds of the cloud forest.

Health & Safety

Please be sure you have traveler's insurance.

We have been certified with the Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel & Trade Council and we follow all regulations instructed by the Ministry of Tourism in our country.


What does the physical rating of "Easy" mean?

We will be walking or hiking at an easy pace.

What are the accommodations like?

We are staying at 4-star hotels, lodges, and haciendas. They are small and locally run, serve local/organic food, and use eco-friendly cleaning products.  They also use energy-saving lights, and water flow reducers.

Accommodation is in standard category rooms, all including breakfast.

When is the best time to do this tour?

Any month is perfect considering Ecuador is privileged with spring-like weather all year round. See Seasonal Notes for more details.

Can I add this tour to an experience in Galapagos?

Yes! We can run this tour either prior to or post a tour to the Galapagos Islands.

Can this trip be customized?

Yes, we can make as many adjustments as possible to fit your expectations, timing, budget restrictions, specific interests, etc.

Is this trip recommended for Solo travelers, Women, and BIPOC travelers?

Yes, the destinations we visit in this program are places where all tourists are respected. Our people are very polite and clients will be always assisted by our guide.

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