Nature tour ecuador

Nature Tour Ecuador

During this tour you will get very close to the untouched nature of Ecuador. You discover the impressive cloud forest northwest of Quito where you can do birdwatching and observe the huge biodiversity. Ecuador’s Amazon region offers an amazing variety of wildlife and plants.

Number of days: 15 or more
Regions: Amazon, Andes
Interests: Birdwatching, Hiking & Trekking, Nature & Wildlife
Category: Superior
Total CO2 emission, in lb (per day for cruises): 870

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Day 1: Arrival in Quito

Upon your arrival in Quito, your English-speaking guide will meet you at the airport. They will take you to your hotel in Quito’s beautiful historic center.

Day 2: City Tour

Start the day’s activities with a visit to Quito’s colonial city center. It is Latin America’s biggest and best conserved historic center and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978. On a walk around the old town, your guide will show you some of the most beautiful buildings and churches. We recommend going up the hill “Panecillo” from where you have an amazing view over the city. In the afternoon you visit the botanical garden at the Carolina Park. This park gives you an overview of the different ecosystems in Ecuador’s different geographic regions. It also contains an ethno-botanical and an orchid garden.

Day 3-4: Cloud Forest, Santa Lucia

During the next days you will discover the cloud forest northwest of Quito in a community-run tourism project. You can choose between different activities like early morning visits to the clay lick of Andean birds, long or short hikes, walks to waterfalls, night walks to see some nocturnal animals and raptors. The private nature reserve also forms part of the spectacled bear’s habitat, and the newly discovered mammal olinguito.

Day 5-6: Cloud Forest, Mindo

While the Santa Lucia nature reserve lies higher up in the mountains, Mindo lays lower, thus offering different species of birds and plants as well as a warmer climate. You can hike in the area, visit a butterfly farm, learn about chocolate making, and enjoy the tranquility of the small village.

Day 7: Otavalo

Today you visit Otavalo and the surrounding area. Otavalo is famous for its enormous indigenous market. It is held every day on the Poncho Square, on Saturdays it extends and covers nearly a third of the whole town. You can find many different handicrafts produced in the surrounding villages: fine woven goods like blankets, hammocks, and tablecloths, jewelry made of silver or the tagua nut (also called vegetable ivory), musical instruments, leather goods, and many other things. Close to Otavalo is the beautiful Crater Lake Cuicocha inside the crater of the Cotacachi Volcano, at an altitude of 10,040 feet. It is called “Lake of the Gods” by the local indigenous people. On a walk along the lake's shore you can enjoy the region’s biodiversity, the view of the lake with its two small islands, and the landscape with the volcanoes Cotacachi, Imbabura, and Cayambe.

Day 8-10: The North

Ecuador’s North is still largely undiscovered by tourists, although there are many beautiful places to visit, especially for travelers interested in nature. The El Angel Nature Reserve contains the last remaining part of the thousand-year old forest of Polylepis Incana and the paramo andino with frailejones. In the Polylepis- or Quinua-forest you can find bromelains, orchids, hummingbirds and mountain toucans. In the paramo of El Angel you can find the meditating monks, the frailejones gigantes, which can get 13 ft tall. These endemic plants dominate the meager landscape. There are many lagoons like the Laguna del Voladero in this area. With a bit of luck you can see a corsa fox, puma, Andean bear or condor. Also worth a visit are the thermal baths of Chachimbiro, the salt town of Salinas, which you can reach by train from Ibarra, and the subtropical Chota Valley, home to a large population of Afro-Ecuadorians.

Day 11-13: Amazon - Cuyabeno

The last part of your tour leads you to Ecuador’s Amazon region. Discover the amazing variety of wildlife and plants in the Cuayabeno Nature Reserve. On guided hikes you get a deeper impression of the rainforest’s complex ecosystem. See exotic trees and plants like orchids, bromeliads, gardenias and several species of birds ranging from hoatzins, macaws, and toucans to cormorants, tanagers, and king-fishers.  The area is also abundance in reptile life such as yellow-spotted Amazon turtles, caimans, anacondas, and many other different snake species.  With a little bit of patience, you may also be able to glimpse the uniquely evolved pink river dolphins.

Day 14-15: Return Flight

From Cuyabeno you fly back to Quito, where you will spend one more night in a hotel close to the airport, before flying back home or on to Galapagos on your last day.

Rates and Services

Price per person: US$ 2,290.00
(based on 2 people traveling)

Price includes:

  • 14 nights in double rooms in comfortable mid-range hotels, with breakfast
  • professional English-speaking guide
  • private transportation
  • full board and excursions with local guide at Santa Lucia
  • flight to Lago Agrio
  • full board and shared excursions with local guide in the jungle

Not included:

  • international flights
  • meals not specified
  • drinks
  • entrance fees to museums, churches, etc. personal expenses
  • gratuities
  • optional excursions and activities
  • personal travel insurance


Click on the icons to see details about each visited place.


The accommodations of historical hotels in Quito as well as eco-friendly Lodges in a natural setting. Day 1 - Quito - Plaza Sucre Day 2 - Quito - Plaza Sucre Day 3 - Santa Lucia Lodge Day 4 - Santa Lucia Lodge Day 5 - Mindo - Mariposas de Mindo Day 6 - Mindo - Mariposas de Mindo Day 7 - Otavalo - Las Palmeras Day 8 - Norte - Pantavi Day 9 - Norte - Pantavi Day 10 - Norte-UIO - Mirolindo Hotel Day 11 - Selva - Siona Lodge Day 12 - Selva - Siona Lodge Day 13 - Selva - Siona Lodge Day 14 - Quito - Mirolindo Hotel  

Additional Information

Read more information about the Andes and the Amazon and if you are wondering what to pack, have a look at our travel tips! More questions or ready to book the Nature Tour? Purchases can be made conveniently via credit card and check wire transfer. Please contact us or add to your trip with the button below: