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Andes & Amazon between Quito and Lima

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  • Quito
  • Otavalo
  • Tena
  • Rio Verde
  • Baños
  • Cuenca
  • Punta Sal
  • Lambayeque
  • Huanchaco
  • Huaraz
  • Lima
  • Chugchilan
  • Riobamba
  • Ecuadorian Amazon
  • Coca
  • Lake Quilotoa

Overlanding is the best way to see South America by far! Dragoman have been leading the way in South American overland expeditions since 1990, so take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading to some unique hidden gems, well away from the usual tourist trail. If you've only got three weeks in which to sample South America, you couldn't do better than visit Ecuador and Peru. These two countries, rich in culture and landscape, are like South America in a nutshell, with terrain that ranges from steaming jungle to the dizzying pinnacles of the high Andes. Beginning in the buzzing Ecuadorian capital of Quito - a city that is a fusion of European and native cultures - you'll head into the atmospheric Andean rainforest on the upper slopes of the Amazon basin to explore the jungle from our fantastic lodge. From there we'll head into the stunning hills near Quilotoa and explore the area on foot, before overlanding to the serene colonial town of Cuenca. We'll then descend to the coast at Peru's idyllic beaches of Punta Sal, before crossing the stunning northern deserts to the myseterious ancient Moche and ChimA ruins of Chan Chan and Huaca de la Luna. Finally we will climb into the spectacular high Andes and visit the mountain town of Huaraz, before our fantastic and varied trip ends in Peru's busy capital of Lima. A truly unforgettable trip!

  • Day 1 Quito

    Border Information: if joining in Quito, you will most likely enter Ecuador at Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (IATA code: UIO). There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Quito before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Quito. A note on altitude: If you are joining in Quito, we strongly recommend arriving at least 24 hours before the trip begins to allow additional time to acclimatise. In Quito we will stay in a friendly local hotel in the 'New Town'.

    Visit one of the countless art galleries in Quito, such as the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana or the Museo Guayasamin - Cost: USD 6
    Visit the monument to mark the Equator at Mitad del Mundo - Cost: USD 3
    Take a trip on Quito's Telerifico to the top of the Cruz Loma mountain, getting breathtaking views over the city from a height of 4,270m - Cost: USD 8.5
    Visit the excellent Museo de la Ciudad, housed in Quito's oldest building, which explores the history of everyday life from pre-Colombian times all the way up until the present day - Cost: USD 3
    Take a walk around Quito's incredible Botanical Gardens, which showcases all of Ecuador's various ecosystems and their flora - Cost: USD 3.5
    Visit the Museo Mindalae, the extremely original project showcasing Ecuador's rich cultural diversity - Cost: USD 3
    Enjoy the fantastic view over Quito's Old Town from the statue of the Virgin Mary on top of the nearby Cerro Panecillo - Cost: USD
    Visit the Museo Nacional del Banco Central, showcasing the country's largest collection of Ecuadorian art and housing an impressive gold collection - Cost: USD 2

  • Day 2 Ecuadorian Amazon

    Today our journey begins with a drive to the edge of the Amazon basin near the town of Tena, where we head to our jungle lodge for an incredible 3-night stay. In the Ecuadorian Amazon we will stay in a comfortable rainforest lodge with meals included. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

    Spend 3 nights at our fantastic Ecuadorian rainforest lodge, taking in many activities such as boat trips on the Napo River, visits to local Quichua communities and treks through the jungle to some spectacular waterfalls and bat caves!

  • Day 3 to 4 Ecuadorian Amazon

    Over the next two days we will head into the Amazon jungle, enjoying rainforest treks exploring the nearby waterfalls and caves, and trips down the Napo River in motorised dugout canoes, hopefully spotting plenty of wildlife on the way. We will also see some ancient fossils and petroglyphs, and visit a local Quichua community.

  • Day 5 Rio Verde

    Today we will drive through the highlands of Ecuador, arriving in Rio Verde near the famous Tungurahua volcano. In Rio Verde we will stay at a well-equipped campsite with great facilities. Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

  • Day 6 to 7 Banos

    We will have two full days of free time to take part in a range of optional activities in Rio Verde, such as white-water rafting, trekking, canyoning, cycling, and other options. We will also have the opportunity to visit the nearby town of Baños and its popular volcanic thermal springs.

    Visit the volcanic thermal springs in the town of Baños, a very popular spot with the locals - Cost: USD 3
    Go on an adrenaline-fuelled half-day rafting expedition on the Rio Pastaza near Banos, one of the best rafting experiences in South America - Cost: USD 75
    Head out for an exhilarating half-day canyoning trip through the gorges near Baños - Cost: USD 50
    Head out on a horse riding trip through the beautiful volcanic landscapes surrounding Baños - Cost: USD 40
    Hire mountain bikes to freely explore the winding trails around Banos - Cost: USD 7
    Go out on a half day rock climbing trip to the walls of natural lava rock just outside Banos, which have routes suitable for people of all levels - Cost: USD 30
    Take out some quad bikes on a tour around the winding trails near Baños - Cost: USD 36
    Take the famous zip-lining course through the Puntzan Canyon near Baños, flying through the forest canopy and past several waterfalls - Cost: USD 20
    Explore the stunning gorges, forests, and landscapes of the Baños area by foot, possibly trekking the Machay River trail or visiting the nearby waterfalls of Pailon del Diablo and Machay - Cost: USD

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Overland expedition vehicle