Andes to Amazon

14 days
from
£1,999
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Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
AAX
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
6–16
Min age:
16

The best of mainland Ecuador: wildlife, jungles, volcanoes and the coast

Stunning Andean scenery, colonial architecture, fascinating Indian markets and verdant cloud forests are just the start. Follow the Avenue of the Volcanoes with great views of snow-capped volcanoes such as Cayambe and Chimborazo, before boarding the 'Devil's Nose' train to switchback down the western Andean slopes. In the Amazon Rainforest we discover the jungle and its incredible biodiversity, before ending at the Pacific coast to discover the mangroves by boat and visit a cacao plantation.

Highlights

  • Visit colonial Quito, the Otavalo Indian market and Cuenca's UNESCO Heritage Reserve
  • Overnight in the peaceful Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Two nights to soak up the sounds of the Amazon Rainforest
  • Ride the famous 'Devil's Nose' train
  • Visit the ruins of Ingapirca and Cajas National Park
  • Take a mangrove boat trip by the Pacific Coast and visit a Cacao plantation

Key information

  • 11 nights comfortable hotels, haciendas and lodge and 2 nights standard lodge
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Several areas visited are at high altitude
  • Travel by minibus, train and boat
  • Napo Wildlife Centre extension available
  • Countries visited: Ecuador

What's included

  • 13 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Airport arrival transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance 
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Quito.

    The group flight usually arrives into Quito this evening and clients will be met and transferred to the start hotel. Land Only clients can make use of our free airport transfer to the start hotel today - please read the joining information for more details.

    Accommodation: Hotel Vieja Cuba (or similar)

  • Day 2

    Quito city tour; Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve.

    This morning's short walking tour of Quito is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers. The heart of old Quito is a colonial masterpiece and the capital is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in South America, as well as being a UNESCO site. Leaving Quito behind we drive towards the North-Western slopes of the Andes where Bellavista Cloud Forest is located. Situated at the top of the Tandayapa Valley, Bellavista is a private reserve bursting with orchids, bromeliads, toucans, tanagers and hummingbirds. The area is a paradise for naturalists with a vast network of hiking trails.

    Accommodation: Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve & Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Spot birds in Bellavista; to hacienda.

    An early start this morning to appreciate the diversity of Bellavista and spot some of its many bird species. The reserve has previously won awards for its high bird count - there are 20 different species of Hummingbird to look for! Following this morning's excursion we drive towards Northern Ecuador and the beautiful hacienda that will be our home for the next few nights.

    Accommodation: Hosteria Pantavi (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    San Clemente Indigenous Community.

    After breakfast we travel towards the foothills of the Imbabura Volcano where the indigenous community of San Clemente is located at 2900m. The community consists of a number of local indigenous families whose main livelihood comes from farming and agriculture. We have a guided tour by one of the families, who will introduce us to a number of native and medicinal plants, explain traditional embroidery techniques, tell us about their culture and show us the day to day activities that take place within the community. A traditional lunch will be prepared using locally grown produce. This afternoon we drive back to our hacienda with the rest of the afternoon free to relax in the beautiful gardens of Pantavi.

    Accommodation: Hosteria Pantavi (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Walk at Cuicocha Crater Lake; visit Indian Otavalo.

    Drive to Cuicocha Crater Lake at approximately 3000m. This beautiful caldera (volcanic crater) is about 2 miles/3km wide and was formed over 3000 years ago by a massive volcanic eruption. We start a scenic walk along one section of the lake (up to 3 hours duration) to take in the impressive scenery, before continuing our journey to Otavalo. Otavalo is situated in a valley at 2250m, the town is well known for its bustling Indian Market. There are many of stalls and locals wear traditional colourful clothes - a fantastic introduction to Andean life and a good place to pick up some souvenirs. We have some time to soak up the atmosphere before continuing our journey. Overnight in a 400-year old colonial hacienda.

    Accommodation: Hacienda SuMerced (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Visit Papallacta Hot Springs; to Amazon Rainforest.

    A short journey driving over the dramatic (and breathless at 4069m!) Papallacta Pass. Located east of Quito, the Papallacta Hot Springs are regarded as the nicest of all Ecuador. We have some time to bathe in both hot and cold pools as the snow-capped Antisana Volcano (5758m) looms over the horizon.  We continue our journey, driving around the flanks of the Antisana Volcano before the descent into the Amazon Basin to our rainforest lodge. After a short briefing we take a night walk to discover our new surroundings - there are fantastic night time sounds to listen out for, a wonderful experience amidst the humidity of the rainforest. 

    Accommodation: Liana Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Rainforest exploration; AmaZoonico Animal Rescue Centre.

    Discover the Amazonian basin on foot. The incredible biodiversity of the rainforest environment will be explained by our indigenous guide, who will show us the most interesting and medicinal plants. There is a good chance of seeing kingfisher, parrot, oropendula and other bird species. Squirrel and Capuchin monkeys can be seen in this area, although other larger mammals are considerably more shy and harder to spot. The insect life is also fascinating, with beautiful butterflies flashing by and Army ants and Leaf-cutters on patrol. Visit the AmaZoonico Animal Rescue Centre where we can see some of the forest's larger inhabitants such as tapir, capibara, pecari and various species of monkey.

    Accommodation: Liana Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    To Banos; visit Devil's Couldron waterfall.

    Begin the wonderfully scenic drive west along the 'Road of the Waterfalls' with spectacular views of the upper Amazon Basin and the Andes towering above. The climb back to the highlands is mesmerising as we watch the ecology change and the many waterfalls cascade from the high peaks into the lush valley of the Pastaza River. There are good photo opportunities along the way, including a visit at the Pailon del Diablo (Devil's Cauldron) waterfall. We pass through Banos, a picturesque hot spring and pilgrim town adjacent to the 5000m high volcano of Tungurahua. There is some time to explore Banos before we drive to our hacienda in Patate.  

    Accommodation: Hacienda Leito (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Walk in Chimborazo N.P.; to Riobamba.

    Drive to the region of Chimborazo for a short walk (around one hour) in Chimborazo National Park, located at approx. 4600m. Due to the equatorial bulge the summit of Chimborazo is the furthest place from the centre of the earth! In the national park there are good possibilities to observe vicuñas, a relative of the llama. This afternoon our journey continues towards Riobamba where we stay overnight.

    Accommodation: Hacienda Abraspungo (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    'Devil's Nose' train ride; to Ingapirca and Cuenca.

    Today involves a colourful train ride across the Andes through the steep and famous 'Nariz del Diablo' or 'Devil's Nose' - one of the most difficult railways to have been constructed. If the weather is clear, we can see volcanoes as we chug slowly down a steep series of switchbacks with impressive drops. Afterwards visit the incredible Inca architecture at Ingapirca, the largest Inca ruins in Ecuador. The Inca Empire stretched along the Andes north through Ecuador into Colombia and south through Peru and deep into Chile. Ingapirca has fine examples of their famed brickwork as well as a solar observatory. We descend from the highlands to colonial Cuenca where we stay for the next two nights.

    Accommodation: Hotel Santa Lucia, Hotel Victoria, Hotel Carvallo (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Half day city tour of Cuenca.

    Like Quito's old centre, Cuenca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a charming place to explore. A guided tour this morning takes in the remarkably intact old town, where many artisans have taken up residence amidst the narrow colonial streets and famous landmarks. The afternoon is free to discover the town at your own leisure.

    Accommodation: Hotel Santa Lucia, Hotel Victoria, Hotel Carvallo (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Walk in Cajas N.P.; to Los Chorreras.

    A short drive this morning brings us to Cajas National Park, otherwise known as the 'Gateway to the Snowy Mountains' in local Quichua. This is a stunning area of lofty peaks, lagoons, lakes and rivers amidst pristine paramo vegetation. During a walk of around 2 hours we may encounter some of the 125 bird species recorded here, such as Yellow-billed pintails, Ecuadorean hillstar or Violet-throated metaltail. With good weather we are rewarded with stunning views of this well preserved national park during our walk. We stay in a hotel close to Cajas National Park for our last night in the Andean Highlands before we descend towards the coast. 

    Accommodation: Hosteria Dos Chorreras (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Mangrove boat trip; visit cacao plantation.

    Today we descend towards the Pacific and visit the Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve where we take a boat excursion through the incredible mangrove forest. This important eco-system has both Red and Black mangrove species and provides opportunities for seeing a number of aquatic birds and other wildlife along the many small river inlets. In the afternoon we visit a cacao plantation to learn about the production of one of Ecuador's biggest exports. After this we travel to Guayaquil, the main port town in Ecuador, for our final evening together.

    Accommodation: Grand Hotel Guayaquil (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 14

    Depart Guayaquil.

    The trip comes to an end today after breakfast and it's time to bid Ecuador and the rest of the group goodbye. Free transfers to Guayaquil airport are available to all clients today. Those on group flights will fly this evening and arrive in the UK the following day. 

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Post-trip Extensions

Napo Wildlife Centre Extension (XAX)

Code: XAX

Spend four nights in a luxurious eco-lodge overlooking Anangucocha Lake, and experience one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet - the Amazon Rainforest. The Napo Wildlife Centre is one of the best eco-lodges in the Ecuadorian Amazon basin. Located deep within Yasuni National Park, Napo Wildlife Centre is perched on a hillside in the heart of the forest. Its small number of rooms and large private reserve means that visitors have excellent chances of spotting some of the many mammals living in the forest. In this region over 500 species of bird have been recorded, as well as numerous monkey species, tamarins, tapirs, sloths, jaguars (rarely seen), caimans and lizards. The detailed itinerary can be found here.

Please ask your sales consultant for more details. 

Price from: £1699 (compulsory supplement of £760 for sole travellers) 

Essential Info

Visas

Ecuador

British passport holders do not need a visa for Ecuador. Very few other nationalities need a visa for Ecuador, but if you are in any doubt you should contact the nearest Ecuadorian Embassy. 

Vaccinations

Ecuador

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements, however, if you have travelled to a country at risk of Yellow Fever prior to arriving in Ecuador you will be required to have a valid Yellow Fever Certificate with you. Recommended vaccinations are: Typhoid and Hepatitis A.

If you will spend any time in the Amazon Rainforest we recommend a Yellow Fever vaccination. Please note that your certificate of vaccination may be inspected on arrival to this region.

Malaria is also a risk in some areas of the country (including the Amazon Rainforest) so we suggest you consult a doctor for more advice. 

Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in places visited on this trip. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

PLEASE NOTE: All visitors to Ecuador will be required to show valid medical insurance on arrival and cannot enter the country without it.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 3 dinners are included.

Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style with toast, cereal, eggs, fruits and tea/coffee all available.

For lunch and dinner, the tour leader will recommend various options in convenient locations, usually booking restaurants and eating with the group. Vegetarians can be catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests.

Weather

In Quito and the highlands it should be warm by day and generally dry. Maximum daytime temperatures are almost constant throughout the year at 20ºC, nights 8ºC. Some rain can be expected in February to May and October to November but storms, though heavy, are generally short. Quito and in general the highlands, are considered to have quite a pleasant climate, although the evenings can be chilly. In the jungle regions it will be hot with high humidity. There is always a possibility of rain at any time, but not to the extent of spoiling your enjoyment. The driest time in the jungle (in terms of rainfall levels, not number of rainy days) is October to January. On the coast at Guayaquil, the climate is tropical. Between December and April, it is sunny, hot and humid, with daytime temperatures often reaching the mid-30s. As the Humboldt Current moves north, the city tends to be cloudier and cooler between May and November, but temperatures rarely dip below 29ºC.

Is this trip for you?

This trip has been graded 2: Leisurely/Moderate

It will appeal to those interested in the astonishing variety of mainland Ecuador - Spanish and Inca history, Paramo highland, mangrove systems, rainforest, cloud forest and volcanoes. It is a busy trip, taking in a huge amount of scenery, flora, fauna and history in two weeks. Many of the areas visited on the trip are at high altitude and some short walks (normally one to three hours) are planned. A reasonable level of fitness is required for this trip.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels, Haciendas & Lodges

11 nights comfortable hotels, haciendas and lodges, and 2 nights standard lodge, all en suite.

Accommodation on this holiday is a real highlight as we stay in a mix of country haciendas (Spanish colonial estate houses), hotels and lodges. The haciendas offer a real retreat with welcoming staff and beautiful surroundings, whether surrounded by gardens or nestled in the mountains. Staying in the jungle is likely to be a memorable experience, our thatched bungalows nestled in the forest and only reachable by boat. Optional single supplement available, see dates and prices.

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed November 2019
    Gill Morriss

    Excellent trip with great variety

    We loved our holiday to Ecuador because of the very varied itinerary, the stunning scenery, a very friendly group and because Eddy was a capable and enthusiastic tour leader. In addition, the quality of the food and accommodation exceeded our expectations. Our favourite place was the Chimborazo National Park with the walk down from base camp being exceptional for the tundra like scenery and the fabulous view of the snow-capped high peaks of the Andes. In addition, the Amazon Rain Forest was brilliant for the boat journey to the lodge, the fascinating night walk, the animal rescue centre, visit to a local family and the wonderful wellies which were a necessity! People were friendly everywhere, the hotels wonderful, with some providing whirlpool baths and food was great with good variety. Nowhere seemed too busy and we didn’t see too many tourists. Eddy, our tour leader, worked hard throughout, conveying his enthusiasm for the country which, combined with his warmth, made him one of the best guides we’ve had. All in all, a fabulous trip that I would recommend to anyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Chimborazo national park.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes carefully.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Gill Morriss

    Excellent trip with great variety

    We loved our holiday to Ecuador because of the very varied itinerary, the stunning scenery, a very friendly group and because Eddy was a capable and enthusiastic tour leader. In addition, the quality of the food and accommodation exceeded our expectations. Our favourite place was the Chimborazo National Park with the walk down from base camp being exceptional for the tundra like scenery and the fabulous view of the snow-capped high peaks of the Andes. In addition, the Amazon Rain Forest was brilliant for the boat journey to the lodge, the fascinating night walk, the animal rescue centre, visit to a local family and the wonderful wellies which were a necessity! People were friendly everywhere, the hotels wonderful, with some providing whirlpool baths and food was great with good variety. Nowhere seemed too busy and we didn’t see too many tourists. Eddy, our tour leader, worked hard throughout, conveying his enthusiasm for the country which, combined with his warmth, made him one of the best guides we’ve had. All in all, a fabulous trip that I would recommend to anyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Chimborazo national park.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes carefully.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Gill Morriss

    Excellent trip with great variety

    We loved our holiday to Ecuador because of the very varied itinerary, the stunning scenery, a very friendly group and because Eddy was a capable and enthusiastic tour leader. In addition, the quality of the food and accommodation exceeded our expectations. Our favourite place was the Chimborazo National Park with the walk down from base camp being exceptional for the tundra like scenery and the fabulous view of the snow-capped high peaks of the Andes. In addition, the Amazon Rain Forest was brilliant for the boat journey to the lodge, the fascinating night walk, the animal rescue centre, visit to a local family and the wonderful wellies which were a necessity! People were friendly everywhere, the hotels wonderful, with some providing whirlpool baths and food was great with good variety. Nowhere seemed too busy and we didn’t see too many tourists. Eddy, our tour leader, worked hard throughout, conveying his enthusiasm for the country which, combined with his warmth, made him one of the best guides we’ve had. All in all, a fabulous trip that I would recommend to anyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Chimborazo national park.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes carefully.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Kevin Parsons

    Fantastic and Stunning!

    A stunning first trip for us to South America - Ecuador has it all. This trip took us on a journey through all the ecosystems of this beautiful Country, from the turbid Amazon with it's humid jungle to winding mountain roads overlooking houses clinging impossibly to the slopes from where a living was hewn from fields bathed in cloud. Subtle changes in the costume of indigenous residents highlighted this varied community, whilst equally subtle changes became the norm as one climbs from the rain through the cloud forests to the highlands with vegetation that appears barren until you look closely at the beauty of the tiny alpine flowers and plants.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, the desolate, windy expanse of the foot of Chimborazo had a beauty of it's own and, the sight of the volcano peak, with it's glaciers and blanket of cloud streaming from it's summit is a view I will remember forever. The experience was made more memorable when picking up a lump of basalt rock that, despite the cooling wind, was quite warm from the equatorial sun's rays.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ivan, our leader was clearly passionate about his Country and quite knowledgeable indeed on all aspects of the trip encounters. Always ready to share this knowledge, he was also quite willing to share photographs he had taken as well as help us to home in on wildlife so we could likewise capture the moment. He made every effort to include all the group and on the occasions where we had "free time" was always keen to show us more of the sights, which is how some of us found ourselves in a Medical museum in Cuenca poring over antiquated dental chairs, ophthalmic equipment and Iron Lungs!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take layers. The climate is such that whilst overall warm, layers help control the changes bought on by wind or the ever changing clouds that block then release the strong sun. We found simple cagoules with layers beneath plenty sufficient for the rain we encountered (which was minimal, it being the end of the dry season). As for mosquitos, we both dressed appropriately long trousers/sleeves when required, combined with liberal doses of Deet, Avon 'Skin so Soft' and mosquito coils at night whilst in the rain forest. Did it all work? - absolutely, I was not bitten at all, whilst Karen received a small bite when we decamped the coach unexpectedly to see a troop of Howler monkeys!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Muck in! Work as a Team with your fellow travellers and you will get more out of it. If you get a chance to try something out, go for it - that is how I found myself ploughing a furrow with an ancient plough pulled by two oxen! Embrace the local food, it is unbelievably tasty. I found green bananas quite pleasing whilst Karen took a shine to the local sugar can juice spiced with alcohol brewed from that very plant!
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Jeff Seymour

    You’ve got to see Ecuador

    If you want variety then look no further; this trip had it all and more. Scenery (stunning), history, wildlife and culture. Boat trips, train rides, walking, easy hiking, wildlife spotting. Volcanoes, Rain Forest, Cloud Forest, the Andes, sugar and cocoa plantations. I even learnt how to use a blowpipe. Great weather throughout the two weeks; only rained for one day (in the rain forest, so expected).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the Devils Nose railway but many, many other moments came a close second.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ivan Tarapuez is a typical example of an Exodus guide; simply excellent. His knowledge, friendliness and dry sense of humour made him special. A credit to his industry and country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pick up the phone and book the trip.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Craig McGarrity

    Andes to Amazon

    Gret indroduction to ecuador (Land)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Amazon Jungle

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Cloud Forest only really for bird watchers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Trip to Cotopaxi would be more widely appreciated than Bellavista (I think)
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Sarah (and Angus) Maude

    Stunning beauty in a geologically active area.

    Ecuador is a fascinating, varied and often stunningly beautiful. Apart from high up on some volcanoes, it is very green, with deep valleys dissecting the layers of rock formed of volcanic ash. The people are very friendly and the " indigenous " (as they are known) still live in traditional houses in some mountain areas and have colourful fresh food markets. The programme was well planned, taking in cloud forest, rain forest, the high Andes and the coastal plain. There were activities to appeal to various tastes including bird watching, exploring geologically active areas and wandering in the old colonial centres of towns like Quito and Cuenca. I enjoyed watching the scenery on the long coach journeys (occasionally obscured by rain, it being the wetter season). The hotels, especially the haciendas and the Santa Lucia in Cuenca, were comfortable and large portions of food usually tasty. With so many places included in the itinerary, the pace of the tour was fast with little "spare" time, but that enabled us to see and experience so much.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenic walk around the Cuicocha crater lake, beautiful and geographically interesting. The valley side train journey to the "Devil's Nose". The walk in the Cajas National Park - hills like the Scottish Highlands only bigger.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabian, our group leader, was excellent. He worked hard to ensure everything was in order every day but always appeared confident and relaxed. His experience and sense of humour made him a good "minder" for the group, keeping us in order! He kept us well informed about the places and our future movements. I like the way he has so much respect for his countrymen, not allowing us to take inappropriate or intrusive photos.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a full-on tour with little time to relax, except possibly on the long coach journeys - unless, like me, you don't want to miss seeing everything you pass.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you to Exodus and to Fabian for a wonderful experience.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    philip isenhouer

    The Pluses and Minuses

    This is a nice tour with some highs and low points. Highs: Sachatamia Lodge for birds and I mean lots of different types and numbers. Chachimbiro Hots Springs, excellent We got onaly a 10 minutes and a 30 minute boat ride in the Amazon River Basin. Cajabama Indian Market, great local color of locals selling and buying fruit, vegetables, plants. Hiking in Cajas National Park for animals viewing and great scenery Churute Eloological Reserve for mangrove swamp boat ride to see many birds and bird species. Lows: San Clemente Indigenous Community, slow moving and boring. Papallacta Hot Springs, over crowded Not enough boat on the river time in the Amazon Basin. Should be at least 2 hours per 2 days. Banos, over rated town

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sachatamia Lodge for birds and I mean lots of different types and numbers. Chachimbiro Hots Springs, excellent We got onaly a 10 minutes and a 30 minute boat ride in the Amazon River Basin. Cajabama Indian Market, great local color of locals selling and buying fruit, vegetables, plants. Hiking in Cajas National Park for animals viewing and great scenery Churute Eloological Reserve for mangrove swamp boat ride to see many birds and bird species.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabian is an outstanding tour guide. Exodus should be happy to have him

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go only in Andes dry season, July-September

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus needs to add more boat time on the Amazon Basin rivers. 10 minutes and 30 minutes are about 3 hours too little.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Brian Helsdon

    An excellent but busy trip

    This is an excellent tour in a country where variety really is the spice of life. You go from the Andes highands, in fairness this is most of the trip with heights, not including the peaks of 2600 to 3600 metres, to the cloud forest, rain forest and the hot and very humid coastal belt. It is very well designed but there are some long coach days. For example on day ten (to Cuenca) we did not finish until after dark having had two long coach rides. It also helps to be reasonably fit if you are to enjoy the more strenuous walks at Chimborazo and Cajas national parks. There are things I would leave out if I was designing the itinerary. For example there is the AmaZoonica Animal rescue centre which says it is not a zoo but it is really and a crowded and disorganised one at that. The Ingapirca ruins were really a non event and mostly reconstructions. One disappointment was the Mangrove boat trip. It did not happen. This was January 2nd and the boatmen simply did not turn up.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two moments stand out. The first was the climb up Chimborazo from 4800 to 5000 metres. It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. The second was at Cuenca. we were there on new year's eve. Totally unexpected and unplanned we came across a massive parade with local ethnic groups demonstrating their affinity with the deity. There were loads of floats and children and adults in colourful costumes plus music.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eddie was excellent, extremely knowledgeable and well organised. He was at ease with the group and enjoyed a joke. He had to cope with several issues affecting group members and did so calmly and effectively without this affecting the attention he gave the rest of the group, a real asset.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Outside of the rainy season you don't need a mosquito net for the rainforest. We didn't see any at all. For the rainforest take a bag that is big enough for all the things you will need for two nights in the rainforest. The boat to the lodge is not big enough to take the main bags. Also make sure you have a powerful torch both for the night walk and the room. There are candles but the matches and match boxes provided were useless.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take plenty of layers. On the last day we went from 3600 metres plus to sea level with temperature changes to match. It was the coldest and hottest day in one.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Rosemary Muirhead

    Excellent Trip

    We flew in 3 days early to see more of Quito, which was a good idea as had altitude headache first day. Could easily spend more time in Quito. Tour is full on, varied and really good. Poundland ponchos came in useful for showers, even in the hailstorm as we weren’t cold because we were walking. Spent $300 in total. Would recommend to anyone of reasonable fitness. Excellent holiday

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved the night walk through the rainforest.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Edi was excellent, best tour guide we have had so far.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Poundland ponchos, deet, if you like wine Clos litre boxes in the supermarkets are great for a pre dinner drink (a box costs $6 which is the same as a glass in the hotels)

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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