Phone: (607) 756-8676
Our Experience, Your Discoveries
We want to show you the world, and to have you truly inspired by it - exploring its breathtaking diversity. Our enthusiasm is stronger than ever to reach out and expand your horizons.
We hope you accept this invitation and join us on one of our journeys so that our experience becomes one of your many discoveries.
Spirit of Ecuador - A Cultural Exploration
Travel to Quito, Ecuador, exploring the capitals winding streets and rich colonial heritage. You then journey to Otavalo, in the heart of the Northern Andes. You can take time to learn about the people of this country, spending time with the artists and hand crafters of the smaller villages, and learning about the historical perspective of their fine crafts. The cultures of the highlands are by no means the oldest, but they are the most visited and known because of their geographical location and ease of access. Many communities that live in the highlands still maintain their cultural manifestations through dress, language (Quechua), and festivities.
Moving on to Baños, allows you to explore the great Ecuadorian outdoors. It is named for the Church of the Virgin of the Holy Water, Nuestra Señora del Agua Santa. The baths, baños, are located within walking distance of the center of town, so be sure to pack a bathing suit to experience the hot springs. For those that wish to be pampered, the beautiful spa and resort have optional treatments available.
Travel the Avenue of the Volcanoes, south to Cuenca, the most beautiful colonial city in Ecuador, and now recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site. Red tiled roofs, cobblestone streets, flowery plazas, and fascinating museums make it very special. Take time to mingle with your local guide in the bustling plazas and verdant parks. You complete the tour with a flight back to Quito or on to Guayaquil, then overnight, before your flight home the next day.
Day 1: Home - Quito, Ecuador
Today fly to Quito, Ecuador. At 9,000 feet in elevation, Quito is one of the world’s highest capitals, and one of South America’s most historic and charming cities. Your guide will meet you at the airport and assist with check in at your hotel, which is located close by the historical downtown. Three nights Dann Carlton, Quito.
Day 2: Colonial City of Quito
The winding streets of Colonial Quito reflect the Indian and Spanish culture, which dates back to the sixteenth century and is an important World Heritage Site of plazas, churches, and cathedrals. Some of the stops include Independence Square with its Presidential Palace, the dazzling gold-leafed La Compania Church, the San Francisco Square, and the Equatorial Monument. Dinner is on your own tonight and can be experienced at a number of excellent and inexpensive restaurants within a few blocks of the hotel. (B, L)
Day 3: Otavalo & Northern Andes
Depart for the famous Otavalo Market today, with a wonderful opportunity for you to see families working together to sell their products at the fair. The people of Ecuador are very proud, they have not lost their cultural identity despite the fact that Otavalo Indians travel all around the world selling their goods. You may travel to other artist villages, such as Inca’s Mitad del Mundo, Cayambe, or San Pablo. Lunch will be at a four hundred year old traditional hacienda. (B, L)
Days 4 - 5: Baños
Leaving Quito via the famous Avenue of the Volcanoes, travel to Baños, with various stops along the route. Situated in a valley of waterfalls and hot springs, Baños has a small town atmosphere, and is a base for exploring the great Ecuadorian outdoors. It is named for the Church of the Virgin of the Holy Water, Nuestra Señora del Agua Santa. The church is a place of pilgrimage for those who come to thank the Virgin for many miracles and to ask her blessing. The church was built in Gothic style from volcanic rock at the start of the century. The baths, baños, are located within walking distance of the center of town, so be sure to pack a bathing suit to experience the hot springs.
The second day in Baños can be spent taking advantage of the optional activities at the resort or traveling to the Avenue of the Waterfalls, which includes a cable car ride and hiking to the Devil’s Cauldron. Overnight Hotel Volcano in Banos or upgrade for additional charge to the Samari Spa. (B, L both days)
Day 6: Riobamba
This morning you can enjoy a horseback riding or bike tour, or if you prefer take advantage of the optional spa treatments available. After lunch you will depart for Riobamba. Known as the liveliest city in Ecuador's Central Sierra, Riobamba has old colonial charm, with cobbled streets, pastel-colored buildings, stately squares, and an overflowing Saturday market. Overnight Hosteria Abraspungo or similar. (B, L)
Days 7 - 8: Cuenca
This morning after an early transfer to the local train station, you will ride from Riobamba to Alausi, via the famous Devil’s Nose, capturing the breathtaking landscapes along the route. Continuing on after lunch you will arrive in Cuenca, where you will have two days to discover with your guide the beauty and charm of the most beautiful colonial city of Ecuador. The city's cobblestone streets, towering cathedrals, and marble and whitewashed buildings give it a colonial air unequaled in Ecuador.
Day 9: Cuenca – Guayaquil or Quito
El Cajas National Park offers varied and spectacular scenery; its 70,000 acres shelter everything from cloud forest to rocky lunar landscapes, but, the lakes (more than 200 of them) scattered among jagged peaks, which characterize the reserve best. You will then be taken to the Cuenca Airport to board your flight to Guayaquil or return to Quito, where you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight Dann Carlton in Quito/Hampton Inn in Guayaquil. (B)
Day 10: Quito - Home
Depart early this morning for flights home. (B)
Accommodations are clean, comfortable and pleasant, ranging from hacienda’s to hotels. Changes to accommodation level will have increase/decrease in pricing.
Food & Drink
Food is generally safe in Ecuador; however we do recommend taking precautionary medicine with you in case you are affected while traveling. Your local guide can offer guidance if you have concerns. Ecuadorian food is not spicy. Menus are usually simple, but the food is always good and plentiful. Breakfast menus are much like those in North America. Rice, meat, beans, and vegetables are usually served at lunch and dinners. Local cheeses are quite good. Delicious fruits and juices are abundant.
Note: Contact Strabo Tours if you are interested on extending your stay on a Galapagos Islands cruise.
FITNESS & HEALTH
Tour land cost: $2,695 US Dollars based upon minimum of 2 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.
Single room supplement: Please contact us for more details about the single room supplement. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.
Note: The land costs on international tours is based upon current exchange rates. Although the rate has been relatively stable, should it change, there may need to be an adjustment in the land cost.
Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds
A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic programs) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.
Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities listed as optional, or those taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, film or processing, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.
Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties.
Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.
Fitness and Health
If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).
You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.
Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.
Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.
There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.
Subject to Change
This itinerary has been carefully constructed to assure participants the best this destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. Above is a summary of typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.