Ecuador is world-famous for its high quality chocolate and a true experience of the small South American nation – complete with the opportunity to taste local chocolate – is available on a new seven-day tour of the Ecuadorian Andes, offered by Australian agency and South American specialists, Forward Travel.
The 2016 itinerary will take guests along the ‘Volcano Avenue’ from Quito to Cuenca in the highlands of Ecuador, staying in first class haciendas along the way. Guests can immerse themselves in local communities and surrounding scenery and take part in activities such as horse riding, cheese making, hiking and cycling.
The journey will begin in Quito, Ecuador’s capital before guests journey to the ‘Middle of the World’, an attraction where they can place a foot in each hemisphere across the line of the equator. The journey will continue to Cuicocha, a three-kilometre wide crater-lake, and the 17th century estate Hacienda Cusin. The following day travellers will partake in horse riding, mountain biking and hiking before a transfer to Hacienda “El Porvenir”, an authentic working farm surrounded by four volcanoes. The journey will continue through pine forests to a glacial Andean lake situated along the slopes of the Cotopaxi volcano, which at 5897m is the world’s highest active volcano. Guests will ride the famous Devil’s Nose train, which traces the most treacherous piece of railway in the world. The final night will be spent in Cuenca, a world heritage city complete with cobbled streets, cathedrals, monasteries, museums and city hall.
The tour costs from A$2490, twin-share and includes transportation, bilingual guide, museum entrance fees, excursions, 12 meals and six nights’ accommodation. An extra, seventh night and breakfast in Cuenca will be added for bookings made before October 15, 2015. The tour is available on any dates throughout 2016 and a single supplement is available from A$650.