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[7 days] Ecuador Nature & Culture Northern Andes Mountains

  • Trip Type: Private (Guided)
  • Group Size: Min 1, Max 12
  • Departure Date: Flexible
  • Bookable From: All year round
  • Duration: Weeklong (7-9 days)
  • Physical Rating: Easy

Ecuador is a land rich in nature, culture, and diversity. This mesmerizing country is host to myriad indigenous markets and snow-capped volcanoes, has much to teach visitors about its colonial history, and offers endless adventures. This 7-day trip is your opportunity to see the gems of mainland Ecuador!

This nature and culture tour of Ecuador immerses you in five different destinations located north and east of the mountainous Andean region. From walking the cobblestone streets of colonial Quito, to visiting Latitude Zero, to a hike in the intriguing cloud forest, we will just begin to scratch the surface of what Ecuador has to offer. Then, we will bring you to Nono, a little jewel built in colonial times by the Jesuits, where the charm and hospitality of Villa Doris wait for you.


  • Enjoy the Colonial Quito city tour: visit iconic golden altar churches and plazas
  • Hike at 10,500ft above sea level through the lush, evergreen cloud forest
  • Visit the most traditional artisan market in South America
  • Relax at the hot springs while enjoying an outstanding view of the highlands
  • Visit the highest active volcano on Earth!
  • Savour the delicious cuisine in every destination

During this adventure, we will take you toward the north of Quito to one of the most colorful and well-known indigenous markets of Latin America where artisans display the best of their work. You can also look forward to an overnight stay at a 400-year-old hacienda, which is sure to be an unforgettable experience. In the paramo lands, lying above the tree line and below the snow line, we’ll make a relaxing stop to bathe in the hot springs. Here, we’ll also have the chance to do a small hike in this unique ecosystem. Finish the tour by visiting Cotopaxi, the world’s highest active volcano, where hiking and taking photographs are a must. Come, enjoy it all!

Related Trips:
[8 days] Immersive Amazon Adventure in Ecuador
[14 days] Self-Driving Experience in the Equator Land
[4 days] The Soul of Ecuador’s Cloud Forest

Seasonal Notes:
Ecuador enjoys spring-like weather all year round. Most days we enjoy sunny mornings and cooler afternoons with temperatures around 12°C-18°C ( 55°F-64°F). The best time to visit Ecuador’s cloud forest is, in general, during the dry season, which runs from June to August or September.

During the dry season, you can expect sunny and warm days with less chance of rain, which makes it easier to explore the forest and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting. The dry season is also the best time to see many of the cloud forest’s endemic bird species, including the colorful Andean cock-of-the-rock and the elusive plate-billed mountain toucan.

However, if you’re interested in seeing the cloud forest’s stunning waterfalls at their fullest, you may want to visit during the wet season, which runs from December to May. April usually has quite a bit of rain. During this time, the forest is lush and green, and the waterfalls are at their most spectacular. However, keep in mind that the wet season can bring heavy rainfall and mudslides, which may make some trails and roads inaccessible.

Some regions of Ecuador, such as the Amazon rainforest and the cloud forest, can experience rain throughout the year, so it’s important to be prepared for wet weather if you’re planning to visit these areas.

📋 Itinerary

This itinerary is customizable. Please contact Yugen Earthside for more information.

Day 01: Quito [Ecuador] (arrival day)
Day 02: Colonial Quito city tour, local market, Equator. Transfer to the cloud forest.
Day 03: Hike through the cloud forest to a conservation reserve in a Biosphere Area.
Day 04: Ponchos and weavings - visit the areas around the Otavalo market and sleep at a 400-year-old hacienda.
Day 05: Paramo highlands with incredible vistas and a relaxing time at the hot springs.
Day 06: Cotopaxi volcano park with a visit to a flower farm (roses for export).
Day 07: Quito (departure day)

We deeply encourage you to book this mainland Ecuador trip along with a package to visit the Galapagos Islands.

🌱 Sustainability

Our Outlook on Culture and Equality
How can the world be united if we do not understand that diversity makes us equal? The dreams of Ecuadorians are pretty much related to your own dreams.

We take you on a trip to discover the soul of our people and their living history; the richness of our culture and our regions, while supporting those who weave a dream for a better future for their families. Join us on this trip and go back home with a richer soul.


We hire guides and drivers who do an excellent job for our clients and who only rely on tourism as the major source of their income.

At Villa Doris we hire a housekeeper who receives a fair salary according to the law of Ecuador.

We visit small enterprises to make sure that, through our visits, we contribute to their development and economic growth.

Cultural Heritage
Travelers will meet the makers of local products at Otavalo, Peguche, and Cotacachi in the north, and the embroiderers of Nono while visiting the cloud forest.

They will learn for instance how they obtain the colors for their textiles and how the whole family depends on the income produced by the workshop.

The women of Sisa Quinde receive our support, guidance, sales force, and logistic aid for them to embroider and sell their creations.

In Ecuador, eco-friendly practices are new to the industry. However, the accommodations chosen for this program are Ecuadorian-owned and we have seen these properties working hard to grow and to be very good referents to the industry. In this specific program, we are using only one-night stays in order for the clients to see as much of Ecuador as possible in a short amount of time.

Most accommodations are implementing eco-friendly practices such as changing our toilets to install water flow reducers and buying organic and local products to support small businesses and families in our neighborhoods. We are using bio-degradable cleaning products and offering bio-degradable toiletries for our guests.

Environmental practices
We carry tote bags and reusable plastic bottles for water.

We bring all garbage back to the city to be taken to a recycling program.

We visit the reserves of Yanacocha and Zuro Loma which were created to protect the mammals and birds of the cloud forest.

  • Clear sustainable travel policy
  • Social / Environmental Impact
  • Use Environmentally Friendly Products
  • No In-Destination Flights
  • Responsible Waste Management
  • Local/Organic Food Served
  • Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
  • Use Water Flow Reducers
  • Provide Local Employment
  • Fair Wages / Fair Trade
  • Ensures Good Working Conditions
  • Supports Local Businesses
  • Connect Travelers to Local Products
  • Engage with Local Communities
  • Stay with Local Communities
  • Provide Authentic Experiences

📌 Location

Use the Google map to orient yourself about where in the world this trip is. The location indicates the starting point for this trip

🏷️ Pricing

Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.

Prices Include:

  • 2 lunches
  • 2 dinners
  • 6 nights of accommodation: 1 in Quito, 2 in Nono, 1 in Otavalo, and 2 in Puembo area. Accommodation is in standard category rooms, all including breakfast.
  • Private transportation
  • English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees, except while visiting Colonial Quito

Prices Exclude:

  • Travel and health insurance
  • Meals, unless specified
  • Beverages
  • Tips and extras
  • Deposit per person

    25% of the trip price

  • For 1 person

    Price per person

    $ 2270
  • For 2 people

    Price per person

    $ 1610
  • For 3-4 people

    Price per person

    $ 1120
  • For 5-6 people

    Price per person

    $ 1020
  • For 7-8 people

    Price per person

    $ 990

ℹ️ Other Info

If you're ready to book this trip or have any questions, contact us!

To book a program a 25% deposit is needed. Full payment is due 1 month prior to arrival.

The deposit is refundable if the trip is canceled more than 1 month prior to arrival.

This trip has a variable start date, so you can plan a departure date that suits you.

Please be sure you have traveler's insurance.

COVID precautions
Please be fully vaccinated and boosted before traveling. You may also need proof of a negative Covid test before arrival to the country. Keep a mask and hand sanitizer with you at all times.

We have been certified with the Safe Travels stamp from the WTTC and we follow all regulations instructed by the Ministry of Tourism in our country. All our suppliers and office staff have been vaccinated at least twice.

Q: What does the physical rating of "Easy" mean?
A: We will be walking or hiking at an easy pace.

Q: What is the accommodation like?
We are staying at 4-star hotels, lodges, and haciendas. They are small and locally run, serve local/organic food, and use eco-friendly cleaning products.  They also use energy-saving lights, and water flow reducers.

Q: When is the best time to do this tour?
A: Any month is perfect considering Ecuador is privileged with spring-like weather all year round. See Seasonal Notes for more details.

Q: Can I add this tour to an experience in Galapagos?
A: Yes! We can run this tour either prior to or post a tour to the Galapagos Islands.

Q: Can this trip be customized?
A: Yes, we can make as many adjustments as possible to fit your expectations, timing, budget restrictions, specific interests, etc.

Q: Is this trip recommended for
Solo travelers, Women, and BIPOC travelers?
A: Yes, the destinations we visit in this program are places where all tourists are respected. Our people are very polite and clients will be always assisted by our guide.

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