Ecuador Meetup Tour
Ecuador may be small compared to its neighbors, but it offers the best of the best of South America: sun-kissed beaches, deep indigenous history, friendly locals, and incredibly complex bio-diversity.
We explore it all on this tour from the beautiful city of Quito to off-the-beaten-path corners of the Amazon where we immerse ourselves in indigenous life. All along the way, we will see a plethora of wildlife.
Share this tour
Treetop walk on a suspension bridge above the Amazon
Join in a pachamanka ancestral culinary experience
Ride horseback through Cotopaxi National Park
Soak in volcano heated hot springs right outside your hotel room
Stay at a luxury Amazon Lodge with an expert local ecologist
Float down the Amazon river on a guide-paddled canoe and spot some amazing wildlife
Airport Pickup in quito
Welcome to Ecuador! We will pick you up from the airport after 8am according to your arrival time. Our first hotel is in the center of the beautiful city of Quito and designed to be the perfect blend between old world architecture and modern style. This evening is yours to relax as we wait for everyone to arrive.
quito colonial town
Our walking tour of Quito will lead us through a whirlwind of geography and astronomy, preserved ancient architecture, indigenous art, and neo-gothic cathedrals. We will visit the old town, Middle of the World Monument, La Compañia Church, and Intiñan Museum. We will stand at exactly 0° 0’ 0” on the line of the equator! The later afternoon is yours to wander the city center with your new travel mates before we meet back up for a proper welcome dinner at one of Quito’s delicious local restaurants. Meals: breakfast
cotopaxi national park
Start the day at Avenue of the Volcanoes! Hike through Cotopaxi National Park admiring the stunning “paramo”, or grassland landscape, with hummingbirds, wild horses, and loads of other wildlife while the Cotopaxi Volcano always lingers in the background. This afternoon, you’ve got options! Choose from one of three local activities (whatever you choose is included in the tour)…
We’ll saddle up for a horse riding! We’ll learn the typical dress of the “chagras” (Ecuadorian cowboys) and even play a little dress up. Then we will ride out across the paramo to the slopes of the extinct volcano, Rumiñahui. A legendary chagra from the area will come with you and share his knowledge of the countryside and the life lived in these areas. Meals: breakfast, lunch
The fun and all-inclusive cooking class is given by native women who will inspire and teach you their culinary secrets and techniques that have been passed down, generation to generation. Travel through history while learning about the most representative crops in South America and how to use ancient cooking tools. Examples of some dishes you might make are “Empanadas de Viento” with “aji”, a hot chili sauce made all over Ecuador with many varieties depending on the area and culture. Enjoy the dishes with some traditional “canelazo” after learning how to make this old as time hot tea, made especially to warm up your soul in the coldest areas of the Sierra.
The adventure is made possible with ladders, nets, swings, ropes, wobbly bridges, swinging logs, and other fun surprises. The course is about 20 meters above ground. The entire course is located near the Cotopaxi Volcano standing out in the background at a hacienda near their gardens.
Meals: breakfast, lunch
INDIGENOUS VILLAGES & CUICOCHA LAGOON
Today, we’ll visit several indigenous villages in the Northern area of the highlands and take a walk around the spectacular Cuicocha Lagoon within the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve and see first hand all of its bio-diversity. After this is one of the highlights of your Ecuador experience: a panchamanka ancestral culinary experience! Read more for all the details…
Pachamanka ancestral culinary experience
“Pachamanka” is a word derived from Incan times. In the indigenous Quichua language it means “Pacha” for Earth and “Manka” for pot. The Pachamanka is a ceremony performed during special occasions such as the summer and winter solstices and equinox of the agricultural calendar.
The pot used during the ceremony is heated by volcanic stones and filled with food like potatoes, sweet potatoes, mellocos (similar to potato), beans, carrots, beets, plantains, and meat wrapped in achira leaves. The pot is then covered with a cloth and buried in the ground to cook. The mound where the pot is buried is adorned with flowers from the region, transforming into a beautiful Andean altar where everyone can give their thanks and appreciation.
You will be able to participate in the ceremony just like the ancient Incans once did. The foods are cooked perfectly in the pot due to the intense heat produced by the stones below ground. All the nutrients are preserved in this manner of cooking, and it is especially healthy as no condiments or additional fats are used.
This delicious dish is accompanied by chicha, a non-alcoholic version of corn beer made from different types of maize. Overall, it is an amazing celebration and who cooks better than Mother Earth with friends gathered around?
OTAVALO MARKET & PAPALLACTA HOT SPRINGS
The Otavalo market is an ancient tradition and still is an important social and cultural event. Find music, handmade textiles, clothing, artisanal crafts, and other arts. Take some solo time to explore and shop knowing you’re supporting the locals. Later we will soak in springs naturally heated by the nearby volcano with a view that where you could spot hummingbirds, wild horses, or even a bear! Meals: breakfast
Coca to the amazon rainforest
This morning we’ll hop on a quick flight to Coca to begin an incredible 4 day Amazon experience! Once we arrive, we will be welcomed with a glass of wayusa and shown to our rooms all with views of the Amazon Rainforest. This afternoon, explore your new digs in the heart of the jungle and join your expert ecologist guide on a walk looking for wildlife. End the day with an incredible homemade dinner and maybe even a short trek to find some creepy crawlies that only come out at night. Meals: breakfast, boxed lunch, dinner
Wake up to the beautiful sounds of the Amazon and join your guide for an easy walk as wildlife wakes up for the day. Be on the lookout for monkeys, squirrel monkeys, toucans, parrots, sloths, and more! After this, you’ll take your time to enjoy a nice breakfast overlooking the lake and spend some free time relaxing in the lodge. You can lay in the AC, grab a drink at the bar, hang out by the lake pool, or have some tea at one of the Lodge’s beautiful lookout spots. A little later, we’ll take a canoe ride down the river, one of the most biodiverse places in the world. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Today you’ll get to experience some of the many adventures that Sacha Lodge has to offer in the Amazon. Walk across a bridge suspended over the rainforest canopy, paddle through creeks in search of monkeys and river otters, or climb to the very top of a giant kapok tree. Wander through the butterfly house and see hundreds of colorful butterflies flutter from flower to flower. When your adventure-packed day comes to an end, sink into your luxurious bed and get a good night’s sleep for tomorrow. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
back to quito
After a last delicious breakfast with the views of an Amazon sunrise, it’s time to make the journey back to Quito. You’ll take a boat ride for a last glimpse at the forest and then hop on a quick flight, arriving in Quito in time for a farewell dinner and some leisure time. Meals: breakfast
FAREWELL FOR NOW!
It’s time to say goodbye and make plans for our next trip together! Share a ride to the airport with a new travel friend, we’ll help you arrange it.
Extend Your Meetup Tour
You’ve already taken the time off of work, booked your flights and made the effort to get to South America. Why not extend your stay to really maximize your experience in the region?
Have you always wanted to visit Machu Picchu or visit Lake Titicaca? Now is your chance. This Ecuador itinerary can be combined with our Peru Meetup Tour!
If you’re interested in combined tour options, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for booking assistance and special combined pricing.
Our accommodation is hand-picked to give you the best combination of comfort, location, and style. These are photos from our collection of favorite hotels and resorts to give you a sense of the accommodation you can expect with us.
Hotel Termas de Papallacta
Think volcano views and lush jungle surroundings. Soak in the hot springs right outside your door and stay warm and relaxed as the fog rolls in.
Napo Cultural Center
Located among and run by the Anagu Kichwa community, this eco lodge is located in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon. There is a bar, restaurant, excellent food, and a jacuzzi. This place is some how both spiritual and luxurious all while supporting locals and being gentle on the environment.
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Expert guide
- 6 Breakfasts
- 4 Lunches
- 4 Dinners
- Local transportation, including domestic flights
- Airport pickup on day one
- All entrance fees and activities in the itinerary unless specified as optional
Specific Activity Inclusions
- Quito walking tour
- Middle of the world monument
- La Compañia Church
- Intiñan Museum
- Avenue of the Volcanoes
- Cotopaxi National Park
- Cotopaxi Volcano
- Horeback riding/Cooking class/Ropes course
- Cuicocha Lagoon
- Cayapas ecological reserve
- Panchamanka ancestral culinary experience
- Otavalo market
- Natural Hot Springs
- Kichwa Añangu community
- Playas trail
- Añangu creek
- Yasuni biosphere reserve
- Mama kuna trail
- Four days with a naturalist on the Amazon
- Visa fees if applicable
- Travel insurance (mandatory)
- Departure airport transfer
- Covid PCR test (currently mandatory to enter Ecuador as well as Galapagos)
ARRIVAL: Quito International Airport (code UIO) anytime before 6:00pm on the tour start day.
- We will will have an airport transfer waiting for you at the Quito Airport, when you arrive during the above arrival window. If you arrive a day or two early, an airport transfer is not included.
DEPARTURE: Quito International Airport (code UIO) anytime after 11:00am on tour end date.
- A return airport transfer is not included in the program cost. You will be responsible for booking your own transportation, or you can add it to your invoice as an extra service.
We can help you secure an extra night or two at the hotel before or after the start of the tour if you require it. Simply let us know!
- A deposit of $500 is required to hold your spot.
- Final payment is due 60 days before departure.
- Pay as much as often as you like until the due date.
- If you cancel your spot earlier than 45 days before departure, you can apply your payment to any trip within the next year.
- No refunds on deposits.
Last Updated April 15th, 2022
These are the most current Covid regulations that we have for Ecuador. Keep in mind these may change on short notice, so please be alert for more communication from SoFe.
All travelers over 16 years of age entering Ecuador or the Galapagos Islands must present a complete COVID-19 vaccination card, with at least 14 days validity
If you hold a US passport, you do not need a visa if you plan to visit Ecuador for 90 days or less.
Most other countries are able to visit Ecuador visa free or with a visa upon arrival. Please check the requirements for your specific citizenship.
- SoFe Travel requires all travelers be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Read more about our Covid policies here.
- The itinerary is subject to change due for any reason – weather, unexpected cancellations, impromptu local opportunities, or surprise additions.
- Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory or you may be refused to join the tour. See our guide for help choosing a plan.
- All bookings are subject to our terms and conditions.
What our travelers say
Best chance to get to know people in the network!
“I joined the SoFe Network on Facebook 3 years ago but joined the membership because I wanted to interact with people without the weirdness of Facebook social boundaries. It absolutely worked, and I’ve made so many friends and been on quite a few zoom events. The events are amazing, the people are amazing, best chance to get to know people in the network!” Kirsten | Membership
One of the best trips I’ve ever been on.
“I had always wanted to go to Morocco but I was hesitant to go alone which normally I have no problem doing. I saw this trip advertised on the Solo Female Traveler Network Facebook page and the more I looked into it the more I wanted to go. So I did..and let me tell you that it was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on…seriously.” Jennifer H. | Morocco
So much more than a tour.
“I have been on three tours with these ladies, and I can not even explain how amazing my experiences have been. It’s so much more than just a tour. I have made life-long friends who understand my wanderlust, met local people who taught me the warmth and kindness of the places we’ve visited, and I have left feeling empowered to travel more.” Megan S. | Bali