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Ecuador Highlands & Northern Peru 13 Days

Ecuador Highlands & Northern Peru 13 Days


Ecuador Highlands & Northern Peru Overview

Ecuador Highlands & Northern Peru is a perfect mix of Ecuador and Peru.


Itinerary Ecuador Highlands & Northern Peru

Day 1: Quito Arrival

Meet and greet at the airport in Quito outside of customs. Assistance and transfer to the selected hotel. (Distance between Quito airport and the city one hour approximately).

Overnight in: Quito at the selected hotel


Day 2: Half-day colonial Quito  & Middle of the world (B)

This sightseeing tour offers the best of Quito with its rich cultural legacy, ornate facades, and dazzling gilt altars. Quito’s Historical Center, the largest and best-preserved in Latin America was built over the ruins of the Inca’s northern imperial seat. A fabulous example of colonial architecture and art blended with indigenous styles. Quito, founded in 1534 became the first city in the world to be declared by UNESCO in 1978 a World Cultural Heritage site. The visit will take you to iconic places such as the Plaza Grande or Independence Square to have a view of important colonial buildings: The Archbishop’s Palace, The Metropolitan Cathedral, The Government Palace, as well as other representative examples of colonial art and architecture.

After visiting the old colonial Quito, a short trip to the north of the city of Quito will lead us to our planet’s Latitude 0´0´0´. Here we will visit the Intiñan museum or Temple of the Sun Museum where we will be guided through the wonderful world of the Andean Cosmovision, Culture and Traditions. Afternoon at leisure.

Important note: If this visit takes place on a Sunday, passengers will visit the churches on their own since it is not allowed to guide during the religious services.

Overnight in: Quito at the selected hotel


Day 3: Full day Northern Highlands & Otavalo market (B, L)

Breakfast at the hotel. An early start departing from Quito will take you due north on a beautiful scenic drive to the province of Imbabura, a magic land located at 2530 m above the sea level surrounded by lakes and mountains of outstanding beauty.  The day opens the possibility to learn about the customs of the people living in the area.

The Northern Highlands are the home of the Otavalo Community. The Otavalos are known around the world for their weaving patterns and textiles that pre-date the Spanish conquest. The market is world known for its colourful textiles, woven on back-strap and shuttle looms its piles of ponchos and hand-made textiles, hats, Indian jewellery and creative handicrafts. This is a unique occasion to wander through this maze of colour and enjoy some fun bargaining and buying great quality handicrafts at superb prices. Close by is the town of Peguche where some of the Otavalo Indians live. Peguche, a picturesque town where its inhabitants are famous for their weaving abilities on hand made looms. This visit opens up the possibility to see the typical houses of the area and their way of living.

Lunch will be offered at one of the many charming guest houses or country inns of the area.

After lunch return to Quito.

Overnight in: Quito at the selected hotel


Day 4: The Antisana Area & Riobamba – Central Highlands (B, L)

Depart from Quito direction Riobamba. During this trip we will go through the Andean Region, covering approximately 400 km. If the day is clear, we might get a glimpse of the geometrically perfect colossus Mount Cotopaxi (5897m), the world highest active volcano.

During this overland trip from Quito to Riobamba, a stop at the Antisana Ecological Reserve is included where there might be the possibility to see the famous Andean Condor. Learn about the Andean Paramo (moorlands), enjoy on a clear day beautiful panoramic views of the Antisana volcano (stratovolcano), a large glacier which at 5,704 m is the fourth highest volcano in Ecuador.

Lunch is included at a hacienda or at one of the guest houses of the area. In the afternoon, continue direction Riobamba, founded in 1534 by the Spaniards. A stop is included in the highest point of this route at a mountain acclimatization lodge where you will learn about the tallest mountain in Ecuador, the Chimborazo, which at 6.268m

Due to its location near the equator, arguably is the farthest point from the earth’s center.

Overnight in: Riobamba at the selected hotel


Day 5: Riobamba – Ingapirca – Cuenca (B, L)

Breakfast at the hotel. We will drive through what was the pre-Inca territory of the Cañari culture until the Inca empire started its expansion into Ecuador. We will reach Ingapirca, a name given by the Incas, to the fortress and complex, which are by far the most important archaeological sites left by the Inca Empire in Ecuadorian territory. The Temple of the Sun is by far the most significant building in the complex. It was constructed in the Inca way with careful consideration of their beliefs, being the sun and moon worshipers and their knowledge of the cosmos. The Temple built high in the mountains at an elevation of 3.200 m is positioned in such a way so that at the right moment of the day, the sunlight would shine through the centre of the doorway of the chamber at the top of the Temple.

Located around two hours from the city of Cuenca, the Ingapirca Complex offers a fascinating blend of the Cañari and Inca architecture and vestiges of their culture on a single site. Visit the onsite museum which includes numerous samples of ceramic, textiles and metal works found on diverse digs around the area of influence of these two cultures, an evident proof of the expert hands of these pre-Hispanic communities. After this visit, the tour continues south direction, Cuenca.

Overnight in: Cuenca at the selected hotel


Day 6: Half-day Cuenca city tour (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. Visit Cuenca, the main icon of the southern Andes. Cuenca has preserved its rich colonial past, beautifully shown on its narrow streets, white houses with flowerpot balconies, impressive churches, with their majestic domes and towers. Not far from each other we find convents, museums, squares covered with flowers and monuments, all surrounded by the scenery of green hills, mountains and the presence of four rivers that cross the city. For all its beauty and well-preserved historical buildings, Cuenca was also declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1999. This is a walking tour in the Colonial area of Cuenca to discover the beautiful churches and house facades; visit a few of the artisan centres where there is the opportunity to learn about the ceramic items, the famous Panama hat, gold and silver jewellery and embroidery which are some of the handicrafts for which Cuenca is also known. Afternoon at leisure to explore Cuenca at your own pace.

Overnight in: Cuenca at the selected hotel


Day 7: Cuenca – Yunguilla – Machala (B,L)

Breakfast at the hotel. Travel overland from Cuenca, located in the Southern highlands to Machala located in the lowlands. The trip offers the possibility to see the changes in vegetation from the Moorlands to the lush green vegetation of the lowlands where extensive banana and tropical fruit plantations are what predominates. The day also brings the opportunity to visit small towns and villages located on the route.

Overnight in: Machala at the selected hotel


Day 8: Machala – Petrified forest of Puyango – Machala (B, L)

Breakfast at the hotel. The Puyango Petrified Forest or the El Bosque Petrificado de Puyango is a very unusual reserve. It is home to the largest known area in the world of exposed petrified wood, of which a lot comes from the Araucarias family – a tree that is not often fossilized. Petrified Forests like this one are not easy to come by, as trees that are dying will normally just decompose. The marine fossils that you will find in the forest occur because of the area having once been completely underwater. The main attraction of the Puyango Petrified Forest is the petrified trees that are found in the Los Sábalos and Chirimoyos streams. The trees have an approximate age of 100 million years and are perhaps the largest collection of petrified wood in the world; the largest specimen is 2 m in diameter and 15 m long. According to Shoemaker, a famous paleobotanist who studied the area between 1975 and 1976, the amount of petrified trunks contained in such a compact area represents one of the largest collections of this type in the world comparable perhaps with the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, U.S.A.

Overnight in: Machala at the selected hotel


Day 9: Machala – Huaquillas Tumbes arrival – Piura (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. Overland transfer from Machala to Huaquillas (the border between Ecuador & Peru). At your arrival at Tumbes restaurant, you will enjoy a local lunch. Then, transfer to your hotel in Piura.

Overnight in: Piura at the selected hotel


Day 10: Half-day Piura city tour (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. We’ll have a short visit to the main attractions of Piura, which was the first city founded by the Spanish conquerors when they arrived in 1532. We’ll drive around its Main Square, the Cathedral, the Vicus Museum (which has a collection of pieces from this local culture), and the well-known Casa Museo del Almirante Miguel Grau, the most important hero of Piura and Peru.

Visit the typical town of Catacaos, considered as the craft capital of Piura. This picturesque town is located about 12 km. from Piura city.

Something very characteristic of Catacaos is the innate ability of its artisans, considered the most talented of Northern Peru, who make wonders with gold and silver, as well as straw, wood, leather, clay and clothes.

Furthermore, you will visit the San Juan Bautista church, known as the Sistine Chapel of Piura due to its paintings.

Overnight in: Piura at the selected hotel


Day 11: Piura – Chiclayo: Huaca Rajada & Tumbas Reales Museum (B,L)

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Chiclayo on a private bus. At your arrival, we will start our excursion to the magnificent mud-brick burial platform of Huaca Rajada where the world-famous Tomb of the Lord of Sipan was discovered.  Admire fabulous gold artefacts, precious stones, and the ancient Moche civilization’s history.  Afterwards, visit the brand new Tumbas Reales Museum and discover the historical richness there.

Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum is one of the most spectacular museums in Latin America, named after the world-famous burial chambers discovered beneath the ancient adobe pyramids. The three-story, six-million-dollar museum contains by far the greatest intact discovery of gold artefacts in the Americas. It is shaped like the pre-Columbian pyramid under which Peruvian archaeologists discovered this amazing tomb in 1987.

Overnight in: Chiclayo at the selected hotel.


Day 12: Chiclayo – el Brujo Archaeological Site -Trujillo (B,L)

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, we will continue the trip toward Trujillo. On the route, we will visit El Brujo Archaeological Site. El Brujo pyramid rises about 98 feet above the surrounding desert and covers an area of roughly 330 by 330 feet. It was built with tens of thousands of adobe bricks. Its walls are covered with polychrome reliefs that show war motifs, its goods, animals, plants and net-fishing.

Just some years ago, a well preserved tattooed mummy of a young woman, who belongs to the Moche Royalty, has been discovered deep inside El Brujo pyramid. She has been called “Señora de Cao” and she is exhibited in the Lady of Cao Museum. Then continue to Huanchaco where you will enjoy a local lunch.

On your arrival in Trujillo check-in at your hotel.
Overnight in: Trujillo at the selected hotel.


Day 13: Full day Sun & Moon Huacas and Chan Chan – Trujillo departure. (B,L)

Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, visit the amazing Sun and Moon pyramids, the centre of power in the Trujillo valley during Moche ancient times.  Be impressed by a stunning set of mud-brick friezes on the walls of the Temple of the Moon.  Then visit a traditional family that descends from Mochica people.

Later visit the ancient mud-brick city of Chan Chan. This place was home to 100,000 habitants who stubbornly resisted the expansion of the Inca Empire. The archaeological remains of Chan Chan, 6 Km. (3.7 miles) northeast of Trujillo, are rather well preserved although built with mud bricks (“adobe”). Lunch at a local restaurant. Finally, transfer to the airport of Trujillo from your departure flight.



  • Transfers and excursions on a private basis
  • English-speaking guides
  • Accommodation in selected hotels
  • Mentioned meals
  • Entrance fees to sites
  • Luggage porterage at the airport only (2 pieces of luggage p/p) – only in Quito.
  • Hotel Municipal tax for overnight in Quito

Not Included:

  • Early check-in or late check-out
  • International and domestic airfare
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips for guides, drivers, and waiters
  • Minibar and laundry services
  • Activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Beverages during the meals
  • Airport taxes


Rates per Person in US$ in Double Occupancy (Private Service)


Hotels Category 3 * 4 * 4* (5* in Trujillo)
2 4836 4964 5266
3 3782 3904 4213
4 3262 3442 3693
5 to 9 2979 3105 3410

We accept all credit and debit cards

** Child rate upon request.

Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions

  • All rates are in US American Dollars per person.
  • Prices not valid on special dates such as Holy Week, Christmas 24th & 25th of December, and New Year’s Eve
  • Passengers must have a valid passport to enter to the country. Your passport should be valid for 6 months from your scheduled return date.
  • Any service not described on the itinerary must be paid additional or locally in the case of services such as: (luggage delay and others not included in the present quotation),
  • Any changes requested by passengers locally could involve extra costs and such costs must be paid locally
  • Reservations subject to availability of category and price, Rates are not applicable in special events
  • Standard rooms except where specified. We do not recommend triple accommodation for the comfort of the passengers. A triple room is generally a double room + additional bed (rollaway bed type)
  • Changes in the itinerary and / or services may occur on holidays.
  • The complete air itinerary with its corresponding record (PNR) is required. Without this information, we will not be able to provide assistance if any change or inconvenience occurs by the airline.

USD 3262


USD 3262

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    Ecuador Highlands & Northern Peru 13 Days

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