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Quito & Amazon

Visit Quito’s UNESCO center before flying to Ecuador’s Amazon, or ‘Oriente’ for a jungle adventure.

Itinerary & Prices

8 Day / 7 Night - Quito & Amazon
itinerary map

From Quito to Hacienda Zuleta

We pick you up in Quito and head on to one of the most unique hotels in South America, the Hacienda Zuleta. Dating from the late XVI century, the hotel lies in the spectacular Andean mountain range of Ecuador at 9,600 feet (2,800 meters) above sea level, and only two hours north of Quito, the capital of Ecuador.

Zuleta is a colonial working farm of 4,000 acres (2,000 hectares) that belongs to the family of Mr. Galo Plaza Lasso, a former president of Ecuador, for more than 100 years. It was chosen as one of the world’s “Top Ten Finds” by Outside magazine and named as one of the best Ecuador Hotel by National Geographic Traveler

Meals (L, D)

Hacienda Zuleta Building
Location
Hacienda Zuleta
Day
1 / 8

Otavalo Market Excursion

Today we visit the town of Otavalo, known throughout South America for its enormous and colorful market, and one of the most interesting towns in Ecuador. Still heavily populated by the local Kichwa indigenous culture, the roots and modern development of the local community can be clearly seen. Here our guide gives you some history of the town, the people, and the market before allowing you to explore in-depth.

Be sure to keep an eye out not only for the fine fabrics and clothing but also the traditional wooden carvings particular to this area of Ecuador. As part of our day at the market, we will visit the workshop of Master weaver Miguel Andrango, in the village of Agato. Miguel’s art has taken him abroad, mainly to exhibitions and fairs in the United States where the quality of his work is widely acknowledged. Your guide will explain how the alpaca wool is spun and how the colors are obtained from plant dyes indigenous to the area.

We take a drive to the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve and embark on a short stroll through the reserve until the welcome center where we learn all about the flora and fauna of the area. We venture on to the beautiful Cuicocha lagoon, which was formed when an ancient volcano collapsed and formed a caldera. The result is a deep-blue crater lake on the lower southern flanks of Mount Cotacachi which makes for spectacular viewing, the diameter of its crater is about 3km, and the lake some 180 meters deep.

After the hike, we will stop at the picturesque colonial town of Cotacachi, famous for its leatherwork. Here you will find a great variety of stores with top-quality leather articles, such as wallets, belts, bags, shoes, and clothes.

Meals (B, L, D)

Man Milking Cow With Kids
Location
Hacienda Zuleta
Day
2 / 8

Experience the Hacienda

Cheese Making: One of the most interesting activities that take place on the property is the cheese-making collective. A total of 14 different types of cheese are made in this building, ranging from the soft fresh traditional Andean cheese through to semi-aged and mature-aged cheeses. Here you take a tour with an expert cheesemaker and learn all about the process from its beginnings as milk from the community through to the end product.

Hacienda Zuleta: The hacienda itself is a hive of activity, and activities popular with our visitors are: a visit to the organic garden, feed the baby calves, take a walk of the hacienda’s premises, relax in the garden, learn about how traditional fabrics are made in the embroidery museum and learn about shepherding techniques with the resident vaqueros.

Condor Project: In the afternoon we have the choice between a hike and a horseback ride through the spectacular Andean scenery to the hacienda’s condor reintroduction project. We make a brief stop en-route at the site of some ancient pre-Incan remains. In the evening we can relax in the beautiful setting of the hacienda.

Meals (B, L, D)

Bunch of people riding horses
Location
Hacienda Zuleta
Day
3 / 8

Cruise Embarkation

AM: Enjoy your final morning at Hacienda Zuleta before embarking on your new cruise adventure! You will be transferred to the airport after breakfast for your flight from Quito to Coca.

PM: Our adventure begins in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. After a 30-minute flight from Quito to the Amazonian city of Coca, we will transfer to the dock and board our motorized canoe for a 90-minute journey down the river, taking in the Amazon, until we reach the Anakonda Amazon Cruise and receive our welcome aboard.

On the Anakonda, we will be joined by expert local naturalist guides, who will provide us with a brief, informative introduction to the Ecuadorian Amazon. Afterward, guests will have the opportunity to explore our cruise ship and admire the rainforest landscape as we glide down the Napo River. After dinner, we will take a nighttime forest walk to observe the rainforest’s nocturnal activity and vividly experience its biodiversity first-hand.

Meals: (B, D)

Ecuadoran Countryside
Location
Hacienda Zuleta to Amazon
Day
4 / 8

Yasuni National Park

AM: Early in the morning, we will visit Yasuni National Park, a pristine region of the Ecuadorian Amazon, home to the legendary pink river dolphin. In this area, we can also find anacondas, river turtles, and various primate species, as well as the colorful hoatzin, a unique bird known locally as the “stinky turkey”.

PM: In the afternoon, we will take a motorized canoe to a black-water lake, home to giant otters and the elusive manatee, and enjoy a pleasant hike in the riparian/gallery forest, with the chance to spot flocks of birds and marvel at the intricate organization of a colony of leaf-cutter ants.

Meals: (B, L, D)

Hand feeding pink river dolphin
Location
Anakonda Amazon Cruise
Day
5 / 8

Kichwa Family and Life Onboard

AM: We will start the day off by visiting an authentic Kichwa family on the banks of the Napo River, where we will receive the opportunity to learn directly from members of the local community.

PM: We will board the Anakonda for lunch as we continue upstream. Guests will participate in a cooking class with our expert chef and prepare exquisite traditional Ecuadorian. Guests are invited to try traditional handcrafting or enjoy our onboard facilities, including the Rainforest Spa, the spectacular view from our Amazon Hot Tub, cocktails at our Bar and Lounge, and stargazing from our Observation Deck.

Meals: (B, L, D)

standing knee deep in amazon with arms spread
Location
Anakonda Amazon Cruise
Day
6 / 8

Forest Adventure & Observation Canopy Tower

AM: Our guests can relax and enjoy the Anakonda Amazon Cruise during the morning and disembark to explore the nearby forest and discover a myriad of animals and plant species endemic to the Amazon basin.

PM: In the afternoon, we will visit a canopy tower built against a giant kapok tree and take in the view from the top as we loom above the lush treetops and look down on the sheer vastness of the Amazon. In the evening, we will take a canoe onto the river to search for black caimans by flashlight.

Meals: (B, L, D)

kayaking in the amazon rainforest
Location
Anakonda Amazon Cruise
Day
7 / 8

Disembarkation

AM: This is where our adventure ends! Enjoy the final part of our return journey, then disembark the Anakonda Amazon Cruise to take the motorized canoe for 90 minutes back to Coca.

Meals: (B)

birds feeding at the clay lick
Location
Return Home
Day
8 / 8
1 / 8

Accommodations

Cruises & Lodges

Amazon River Cruise Anakonda Ecuador

Anakonda

Award-winning boutique vessel exploring Ecuador's biodiverse Oriente in luxurious style.
40 Guests
18 Cabins
View

Hotel Options

Boutique

Hacienda Zuleta

Hacienda Zuleta Building