Ecuador's patchwork of cultures and habitats provide a surprising gastronomic journey. With culinary experiences as a focus, this culinary tour of Ecuador connects the major highlights of the mainland, from chocolate farms in the forest to city street food tours and ceviche along the coast. Gourmet delights in colonial towns, bush tucker in the Amazon, guinea pig in enchanting highlands... these 14 days reveal the eclecticism...
Quito – Gourmet Introductions to Ecuador
Towering volcanic cones welcome you to Ecuador, the snow-capped summits of Pichincha and Cotopaxi visible from the plane window as you arrive in the capital, Quito. You'll be picked up at the airport and transferred to a boutique hotel in the heart of the city's World Heritage zone. Check in, check out the view of the presidential palace from your balcony, and enjoy an afternoon at leisure. To introduce you to classic Ecuadorian cuisine, you'll dine at the city's most lauded fine dining restaurant this evening. The menu is lush and traditional, combining unusual fruits with roasted meat and plenty of fragrant surprises. Ecuador's landscape is blessed with fertility, and this meal will provide your first taste of some of the fruits that only grow in this corner of South America. But let's not pretend that Ecuador can match its exceptional local food with its local wine; accompanying the meal will be a selection of fine wine from Chile or Argentina.
Quito – Sensual Street Food Tour
Quito – A Cooking Class in the Capital
Quito – A Chocolate Farm in the Forest
Day 5 - 7
Amazon – Indigenous Recipes and Outdoor Adventures in the Rainforest
Cuenca – Charming Dining in a World Heritage Site
Cuenca – The Fabulous Incan Ruins of Ingapirca
Day 10 - 11
Loja – Traditional Dishes and Street Food in the Southern Highlands
Day 12 - 13
Salinas – Ceviche and Sea Lions Along Ecuador's Coast
Guayaquil – Fond Farewell to Ecuador
- Dine at Ecuador's finest restaurants when you're in Quito and Cuenca, and savor the creations of the country's gastronomic experts
- Explore the diverse street food of Ecuador and delight at how local food is centered around such sublime tastes
- Discover Ecuador's highlights at your own pace by mixing colonial charms with the Amazon jungle, then the majestic Andean highlands with an elegant coastline
- Spend the day at a gourmet chocolate farm and participate in turning fruit into luxuriant chocolate
- Three days in the Amazon Rainforest include learning how to forage and hunt for food in the trees and cooking with tribal locals
- Journey into the highlands and feast on traditional dishes like fried guinea pig and creamy repe (green banana) soup
- Complete the itinerary on the coast, where fresh ceviche is the popular local snack and exquisite seafood accompanies the sunset
Ecuador's landscape is one of sublime contrasts. Towering volcanic slopes tumble down into fertile valleys, deserted beaches are connected to the thick Amazonian rainforest, and a patchwork of indigenous cultures are harmoniously stitched together. Such geographical and cultural diversity helps create a truly unique culinary journey. Ideas are shared, traditions are savored, and the lavish green landscape is filled with endemic fruit. This isn't an exclusively fine dining itinerary; it’s a culinary tour of Ecuador for foodies seeking to explore the contrasting sides to the country. Throughout this handcrafted itinerary, you're immersed in the culinary treasures that illuminate local life. Cook with an Amazonian tribe, follow the aromas through atmospheric markets and pick cocoa from the trees. No two meals are ever the same, and many of the snacks from the street would be lavish gourmet offerings if they were served in Europe or the States. Consider reading more about our exceptional Ecuador tour companies and operators that go above and beyond to ensure you have an exceptional experience.
Following the scents and indulging your tongue is the center of this Ecuadorian experience. And by following the food you also discover the iconic highlights of mainland Ecuador. Capital city Quito is the first ever World Heritage Site, and it provides an elegant introduction to the country. In between cooking classes and street food tours you visit 16th-century golden churches and languid city squares. Day four's trip to Mindo takes you to an organic chocolate farm, complete with cacao facials and creating your own chocolate bars. While the Amazon doesn't strike anyone as a culinary center, three days in the rainforest help strip the foodie experience to its millennia-old basics. You'll spend a day with tribal hunters and practice using the blowgun. Then enjoy an afternoon with the tribe's women, concocting a meal out of very intriguing ingredients. This is organic cooking at its most genuine.
These two weeks allow you to weave your own blanket of culinary experiences and revel in the finesse and passion of the country's cooking. By day eight you're in the World Heritage city of Cuenca, a charming colonial leftover that's full of gourmet experiences. Two relaxed days allow you to explore both city and culinary style. Then it's into the Southern Highlands and Loja, a region that takes much of its influence from Peru. The dishes are peculiar and wonderful here, like fried guinea pig and repe (a creamy soup made from green bananas) cheese, cilantro, and avocado. With resplendent Andean peaks as the backdrop, this is another quaint region that combines exploring with relaxing. Completing the trip is coastal Salinas, where ceviche is so popular it sometimes comes as a free bar snack. Sample the very best the area has to offer and dine on fresh morsels from the ocean. Like always, these sensual overtones are mixed with remarkable natural experiences. You'll visit a boisterous colony of sea lions and take a boat tour to find colorful seabirds.
$6,365 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.
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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