AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators

Exclusive Self-Drive holiday in Ecuador

14 May 2018 - The UK’s leading specialist in travel to Latin America is thrilled to announce the launch of their first Ecuador self-drive holiday.

The UK’s leading specialist in travel to Latin America is thrilled to announce the launch of their first Ecuador self-drive holiday.

Self-Drive Ecuador: Back Road of the Andes is a unique, 10-day, off the beaten track adventure that ventures from the Andes to the Amazon before looping back. The journey explores the eastern foothills and valleys of Ecuador which are stifled with the giant ferns, creepers and orchids of misty cloud forest. Winding its way south through this ethereal landscape, parallel with the Andean spine and tracing what is known as the ‘eyebrow of the jungle’ is a newly-paved road, Route 45. The improvements to this road mean that places once almost inaccessible to visitors are now brought within easy reach of Quito and the country’s principal highland cities.

The journey begins in colonial Quito with 2nts in the historic centre before setting off towards the cloud forest of San Isidro. En route stop at Papallacta thermal springs for a dip and some lunch. Your forest lodge, Cabañas San Isidro, will be your base for the next 2 nights. This is one of the country’s prime locations for spotting the myriad of bird species of the forest. Close by is the local indigenous community of Santa Rita where you can visit their cacao plantation supported by Pacari Chocolate and immerse yourself in their way of life. Continue to Baños via Puyo, a market town serving various tribal communities and stop at a waterfall and the Omaere Ethnobotanical Gardens. Once in Baños, there are options to go rafting, tubing, horse-riding or cycling. The latest fad is for “swing jumping” where you jump from a bridge and swing like a pendulum.

The last section of the journey takes you to the Cotopaxi National Park, close to Quito. Drive along one of Ecuador’s key arteries - possibly one of the most scenic roads in Latin America. The aptly named Avenue of the Volcanoes is flanked by a regiment of dizzyingly-high snow-mantled mountains striding south of Quito down the Andean spine. Dotted around is a mix of deeply traditional indigenous and colonial settlements with horticultural and artisan markets and cottage industries.

The holiday costs £2,712 per person. The price includes car hire, car hire insurance, excursions, most meals and good-quality hotels. International flights are extra and start at £650 per person from Heathrow.

This exclusive itinerary forms part of a comprehensive collection of self-drive holidays on offer by the award-winning tour operator.

For further information visit call 020 8600 1881

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