What’s included in this trip:
- 10 activities included
- Hotel and hostel pick up in Quito
- Visit a traditional family farm and enjoy a free breakfast on the Quito – Baños route
- Walk around Limpiopungo Lake in Cotopaxi National Park and get the best views of Cotopaxi Volcano
- Guidance at Quilotoa Crater with a light hike to the best viewpoints of the turquoise lake
- Gaze at the first church in Ecuador in Colta and learn about Ecuador’s history
- Experience traditional markets in Riobamba or Guamote to get a taste of the local food from the Andes
- Get off-the-beaten track with a walk to the Lakes of Ozogoche in Sangay National Park and get to know the locals at a remote indigenous community
- Walk around the famous El Cajas National Park and learn about the wildlife of the park
- Tour a cacao farm to learn about famous Ecuadorian chocolate and make your sweet treats in the traditional way
- Learn about paja toquilla and Panama Hats at a local community famous for their weaving
- Get a taste of Manabi culture at a local family farm in the coastal region
We always include:
- English/Spanish-speaking guide during the full tour
- Comfortable, safe buses with excellent drivers
- Meet locals, visit communities, and learn the culture
Hop-off points you can explore on your own:
- Quito: Experience this UNESCO Heritage site, visit the equator at the Middle of the World, and ride the TeleferiQo
- Cotopaxi: After your hike inside this national park with Wanderbus, hop off here to hike up the volcano, take a horseback ride, or explore the beautiful town of Machachi.
- Quilotoa: After exploring Quilotoa with your Wanderbus guide, hop off here to hike around or inside the crater and spend the night!
- Baños: Raft, bike, bungee, relax in thermal baths, swing off the edge of the world, and visit famous waterfalls
- Riobamba: Explore local culture and mountain climbing at Chimborazo Volcano
- Alausi: Ride the Devil’s Nose Train and walk around this charming small town
- Cuenca: Wander around the Old Town, visit tons of museums, and venture to Ingapirca ruins
- Guayaquil: Explore Ecuador’s biggest city, walk along the Malecon, and fly to the Galapagos Islands
- Montañita: Surf, party, and relax at the beach
- Puerto Lopez: Whale watch on the coast and visit Los Frailes Beach
Recommended Full Itinerary
Remember, this itinerary is just our suggestion – you can hop on and hop off at any of the main stops, extending your trip for as long as you like!
Day 1: Quito to Baños
Departure days: Every day except Sunday
|06:00-06:20||Depart from Quito from your selected pick-up point.|
|08:00||Stop for breakfast|
|09:30||Guidance at Cotopaxi National Park, home to one of the world’s highest active volcanoes.|
|13:00 – 13:45||Traditional lunch near Quilotoa|
|14:15||Guidance at Quilotoa. Explore the 3km-wide turquoise volcanic crater lake.|
|19:30-20:00||Arrive in Baños, home to steaming volcanoes, explosive waterfalls and hot thermal springs.|
FREE DAY to take a guided bike tour from La Casa del Arbol swing (selfie stick at the ready!) to the awesome Devil’s Cauldron waterfall.
FREE DAY to explore the subtropical town, rafting in jungle ravines, bungee jumping into the valley, spotting exotic birds, hiking in the foothills of the active Tungurahua volcano and finishing the day soaking in steaming hot springs.
Day 4: Baños to Cuenca
Departure Days: Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday
Point 1: Parque la basílica 6:30 am. View map
|06:30||Depart from Baños from your selected pick-up point.|
|09:30||15-minute stop at Balbanera church for photos.|
|10:00||Visit Guamote or Riobamba to explore one of the most authentic markets in the country. Time for a local breakfast in the market.|
|11:00||Depart Guamote or Riobamba.|
|12:00||Guidance at Ozogoche, 45 lagoons for hiking, fishing and spotting highland wildlife amid dramatic landscapes.|
|13:00||Lunch at Ozogoche, made by the local community.|
|15:00||Short stop to visit Alausi. Those who wish to take the train hop off at Alausi.|
|19:30-20:00||Arrive in Cuenca, ready to explore one of South America’s most intact colonial cities.|
FREE DAY to explore the historic and bohemian charms of Cuenca, including visiting the Pumapungo Inca ruins, walking along the riverside, checking out the art galleries and shops, visiting a convent and enjoying the cafés, bars and clubs.
FREE DAY to discover more of the treasures just outside the city, exploring Inca ruins in Ingapirca, marvelling at the beautiful river and skilled artisans of Gualaceo, and soaking in the volcanic hot springs under the stars.
Day 7: Cuenca to Montañita
Departure Days: Wednesday, Friday & Sunday
Point 1: Parque Calderón (main entrance to the Cathedral) 7:00 am. View map
|07:00||Depart from Cuenca from your pick-up point.|
|07:45||Stop for breakfast.|
|08:45||Guidance at El Cajas National Park for a wet and wild adventure among 200 lakes.|
|09:45||Depart from El Cajas.|
|12:00||Experience how to create your own chocolate at a local cacao hacienda and stop for lunch|
|15:15||Arrive in Guayaquil to drop off/pick up those who wish to stay here.|
|18:15||Stop in a local community to learn how to make the famous Panama Hats with paja toquilla|
|19:00||Arrive in Montañita in time to catch the sunset and hit the party scene.|
Surf’s up! Get out on the waves and enjoy the beach life of Montañita and its nightlife later!
Take some surf classes.
Check the sleepy fishing town of Manglaralto for a lazy lunch on the beach, or Olón’s more chilled vibe. Or else organize a hike in the dry forest ecosystem to the east.
Day 11: Return to Quito from Montañita
Departure days: Thursday, Saturday, Monday
Point 1: Los Caminantes restaurant at the Main road 6:50
|06:50||Depart from Montañita from your selected pick-up point.|
|07:30||Stop for a traditional coastal breakfast at beautiful Ayampe Beach.|
|08:45||Pick up in Puerto Lopez|
|12:00 – 13:00||Experience the Manabi culture with a local family and make your own traditional lunch|
|18:30-19:00||Arrive in Quito and be dropped off at one of our points.|
Bear in mind that, due to our bus schedules, you may need to add one extra day to our recommended itineraries at some stops before continuing your trip. It all depends on the day of the week. Please check our Timetables and Planning Guide.
If you want to do the Quilotoa loop, add three to four days.
If you want to take the Devil’s Nose train from Alausi, add two days.
If you want to go to Galapagos from Guayaquil, add five to seven days.
In Riobamba, our first town stop depends on which day the market is.
Tuesday: Riobamba hornado market
Saturday: Riobamba fair
If you want to take the Devil’s Nose train, hop off at Alausi, stay the night and board the Tren Ecuador early the next morning.
Passengers hopping off at Guayaquil must all be dropped off at the same spot – not at specific hotels.
If you want to go to Galapagos from Guayaquil add five to seven days to your itinerary.