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Heart of the Andes

Best time to travel
Year round
Ideal length
11 nights
Perfect for
Families

At a glance

  • International return flights from Dublin to Quito.
  • All private transfers and domestic flights.
  • 11 nights’ luxury accommodation in Quito, Mashpi, Cuenca and Otavalo.
  • Enjoy guided tours of the vibrant cities and traditional settlements, including historic day trips to Otavalo, Quito and the Equatorial Monument.
  • Experience adventurous excursions and wildlife expeditions in Mashpi Rainforest, world's richest and most bio-diverse hotspots.
Let's plan your trip!

Introduction

Bursting with heritage and tradition, the Andes Mountains are home to incredible history and fantastic landscapes. Among the world’s largest mountain ranges, the landscape is a diverse formation of volcanoes, forests, lakes, glaciers and grasslands. Dotted throughout, ancient ruins and historic cities create a wonderful combination of culture and adventure. On this suggested itinerary, explore the heart of the Andes, discovering the forests, cities and beautiful towns of Ecuador’s terrain.

Trip Overview

Depart from Dublin to Quito.

Your driver will be waiting to privately transfer you to your luxury hotel in Quito for your two night stay.

Explore the colonial city of Quito and the middle of the world.

On a guided tour, explore ancient cathedrals, palaces and ornate churches. Enjoy a fun chocolate masterclass and continue to ‘Mitad del Mundo’, experiencing the equatorial line that marks the middle of the world.

Quito Ecuador
Transfer to Mashpi Rainforest, home to a profusion of plants and animals.

Journey through the western flanks of the Andres, admiring as vegetation changes as you take significant shifts in altitude. Follow winding country roads and arrive at your luxury lodge surrounded by nature, your home for three nights.

Mashpi Rainforest Ecuador
Adventure through the cloud forests and rainforests of Mashpi.

Witness the incredible surroundings as you set out on jungle trails, arriving at beautiful waterfalls and lagoons. Marvel at the beauty of the rainforest from the observation tower and as you adventure on open-air cable cars.

Mashpi Rainforest Ecuador
Immerse in this Ecuadorian jungle reserve.

The distinct forests of Mashpi Nature Reserve are home to glass frogs, capuchin monkeys, peccaries and even puma. A paradise for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts, guided excursions are aimed at providing the best wildlife viewing opportunities.

Monkey Ecuador
Next, depart for Cuenca, a city in southern Ecuador’s Andes Mountains.

Transfer to Quito for one night of relaxation before flying to Cuenca, where you’ll spend three nights.

Cuenca, Ecuador
Explore Cuenca and the Craftsman Trail on guided tours.

Admire the colonial architecture and magnificent churches, markets, squares and galleries of Cuenca. Explore the traditional settlements of the Andes along the Craftsman Trail, visiting workshops, farms, jewellers and markets.

Cuenca, Ecuador
Fly to Quito and transfer to Otavalo, a town in the Andean highlands.

Spend two nights in a luxury hacienda and enjoy excursions like horse riding, farm visits and even a visit to the Andean Condor Huasi Project, renowned for its rehabilitation of the mighty Andean condors.

Condor
Explore the Otavalo Market.

Bursting with colour and tradition, it is the largest indigenous market in Latin America and hundreds gather to trade their creations. You’ll also visit Cuicocha Lagoon, at the foot of Cotacachi Volcano and the town of Cotacachi, well known for its leather made goods.

Otavalo Market
Depart for the international airport for your flight home.

Arrive in Dublin.

Tailoring your holiday

OROKO Itineraries are created with you in mind and no two are the same. These can be used to help plan your trip - or we can design a completely different itinerary to suit you.

Let's plan your trip!
Accommodation

Where to rest your head

Looking for the best accommodation? We've got the contacts

Mashpi-Lodge

Mashpi Lodge

Offering an unusual, unique and breathtaking location, Mashpi Lodge has been designed to present guests with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Suspended in the cloud forest of the Mashpi Reserve, this enchanting destination is the epitome of sustainable luxury and recently featured in the BBC series, Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby. It is also a member of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. It’s a springboard for exploring the biodiversity of the forest beyond, with a contemporary design which contrasts with the natural setting.

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Mansion-Alcazar

Mansion Alcazar

As the name suggests, this luxury property is housed in a historic mansion in Cuenca’s historic centre. The boutique property exudes opulence, with glamorous interiors filled with colonial artworks and antique furnishings. Occupying an enviable position in Cuenca, it is within easy reach of the city’s finest sites including Parque Calderon, Cuenca New Cathedral and the Mercado 10 de Agosto. Return to enjoy a pampering treatment at the Shanti Boutique Spa, offering traditional Ayurvedic treatments and a Turkish bath.

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Hacienda-Zuleta

Hacienda Zuleta

Historic Hacienda Zuleta is an award-winning family-run farm in the Ecuadorian Andes outside Otavalo. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Andes Mountains and fertile farming valleys, Hacienda Zuleta is a haven for outdoor activities, particularly rewarding for walkers and equestrians. You can hike along mountain paths and through eucalyptus forests, go on horseback expeditions, mountain bike, or simply enjoy a leisurely horse-drawn carriage ride around the local area.

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Casa-Gangotena

Casa Gangotena

Casa Gangotena is a luxury hotel situated within an historic colonial mansion. Beautifully and eclectically appointed, the hotel’s recently restored interiors draw the eye with Art Nouveau and contemporary touches. Perfectly situated in the historic centre, it is within easy reach of Quito’s historic landmarks, museums and cathedrals.

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What people are saying

“I’ve been a customer of OROKO for the last 12 months and have booked family holidays, ski trips and short breaks. The whole experience is brilliant; you explain the type of holiday that you are hoping to have, without specifying necessarily where and the team will present you a series of ideas and options, all costed out. It takes away all the stress of planning a trip. On top of this, you receive a full itinerary, and all activities can be sourced in advance. I’m a big fan.”

Emmet & family – Abu Dhabi, Jan 2018 | Dubai, Apr 2018 | Tenerife, Dec 2018 | Skiing, Megève, Feb 2019

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