Cuyabeno National Park, Ecuador

Ecuador Tour by Cruise & Train: Amazon, Andes, Wildlife

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Customizable Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist

Countries Visited

Galapagos / Ecuador

Places Visited

Quito, Amazon Rainforest, Otavalo, Riobamba...

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Suggested Duration

12 Days

Explore exquisite Ecuador by cruising the Amazon and crossing the Andes by rail. First spend five days gently meandering down a rainforest river, stopping to connect with communities and discover the mystical wildlife of the trees. Then traverse between the volcanoes with a 4-day train journey from Andean Quito to coastal Guayaquil. This Ecuador tour by cruise and train pieces together the highlights of the country with...

Customizable Itinerary

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Trip Highlights

  • Spend five days cruising through the Amazon Rainforest on a luxurious riverboat
  • Meander across the resplendent Andes with a 4-day first-class train journey from Quito to Guayaquil
  • Take guided nature walks through the jungle and spend an afternoon with a remote tribal community
  • Travel along the world's most challenging train line and make a series of switchbacks to ascend the Devil's Nose Railway
  • Explore the first ever World Heritage Site and immerse yourself in the rich colonial charms of Quito
  • Get lost in the color and atmosphere of Otavalo, a vibrant market town surrounded by volcanic peaks
  • Discover the eclectic cultures of Ecuador as the train stops in a series of enchanting towns deep in the mountains

Detailed Description

Ecuador's majestic landscapes are difficult to explore by road. Towering volcanic craters stand above remote colonial villages, imposing Andean mountains are too high to pass while thick swaths of the Amazonian jungle are hundreds of miles from modern civilization. Instead, it's by river and rail that these exquisite destinations can be encountered. This handcrafted itinerary connects the mainland highlights of Ecuador with two unique journeys. Spend five days on an Amazonian cruise, heading deep into the jungle for an intimate wilderness immersion. You'll discover the fauna that lives in the trees as well as meet remote tribal communities whose way of life remains completely unchanged. After you fly back to capital Quito, the second half of the trip is spent on the Tren Crucero, a historic refurbished railway journey that weaves through the Andes.

Traveling by water is virtually the only way to go deep into the Amazon. A luxury 40-person vessel embarks into the jungle realm, taking you away from modernity and into a 50 million-year-old mystique. Admire the eternal green of the riverbanks and marvel at the biodiversity, before daily excursions provide increasingly intimate moments with the forest's dwellers. Day and night walks offer differing experiences with local fauna while a day with a tiny tribal community provides a new perspective on lifestyle. You'll admire the rainforest from a 35-meter observation tower, encounter several types of monkeys, and spend relaxing hours deciphering which of the 800 bird species are fluttering alongside the boat.

On day six you return to Quito for a couple of nights relaxing in the first ever World Heritage Site. Traditional music floats down streets of pastel tones while Moorish domes juxtapose with opulent palaces. A guided city tour unveils the key historical sites, and the teleférico takes you to high-altitude panoramas of the city and its volcanic backdrop. Then depart Quito on day eight and spend four days slowly crossing the Andes by historic train. You start on a steam locomotive and slowly crisscross through the mountains to Ecuador's charming historic towns and villages.

Day eight leads you to Otavalo and one of Latin America's most vibrant markets. Villagers walk for days to sell their handicrafts at this artisanal space, filling the town with their traditional clothes and colorful wares. The locomotive slices between volcanoes as you travel west and the restored carriages offer endearing vistas. This railway line has a century of history but has only recently been refurbished. It now celebrates a journey of yesteryear in all its pomp and glitz. On day ten the train must switch back to ascend the Devil's Nose cliff, a staggering engineering feat and a thrilling journey. And as you rumble further along the mountain slopes you connect quaint colonial villages seemingly stuck in time. Descend on day 11 to the coastal lowlands where your journey terminates in Guayaquil.

Starting Price

$5,455 per person (excluding international flights)

Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.

What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all activities and tours
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip

Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.

Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service

4.88 stars based on 212 reviews.

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