Excursions

Amazon Jungle

Amazon Jungle

The continental Ecuador has an approximate area of 248.406,5 Km², of which 47% (116.604,06 km²) corresponds to the Amazonia (rain forest), which is almost half of the country. The Amazon region, characterized by its tropical forest, has an incredible biological diversity and is composed of the following provinces, from North to South: Sucumbíos, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Morona Santiago and Zamora Chinchipe.

Hiking in the Jungle

In terms of biological diversity, Ecuador is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It is the home of 1600 species of birds, 415 of amphibians and 3500 of orchids at least, representing 17%, 10% and 18% - respectively - of the world total.

The Amazonia is a unique ecosystem in the world, and scarcely populated: only a small percentage (5%) of the national population lives in the forests and the majority of these people are part of indigenous groups. In fact, in the Ecuadorian jungle live 10 of the 14 indigenous groups of Ecuador: Achuar, Andoa, Cofán, Kichwa, Secoya, Shiwiar, Shuar, Siona, Waorani and Zápara.

 

 

Jungle Lodge

Amazon JungleYou can experience the jungle by visiting one of the lodges; some are located within a few hours (bus) drive from Quito, some are further away and better to reach by plane.

Andeanface is not a jungle operator, but depending on your interests, available time and budget we can assist you by booking an extension in any of the following recommended lodges:

www.casadelsuizo.com
www.kapawi.com
www.laselvajunglelodge.com
www.yuturilodge.com
www.hakunamat.com

 


 



 

Cloud Forest

Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve

Deep in the heart of the cloud forest, where clouds and trees blend in a tapestry of mystery and magic, discover a protected reserve with an overwhelming profusion of life. It's a place for adventure, relaxation and deep contact with nature, home to hundreds of species of plants, birds and other animals.

Bellavista in the Cloud ForestThis natural sanctuary of 700 hectares (over 1800 acres), offers multiple accommodation options from a four story, thatched roof, 360 degree glassed geodesic dome (surrounded by 19 different kinds of hummingbirds), to a luxurious bamboo house, or a house alone deep in the forest!

The reserve has 9 kilometres of trails, ranging from easy to adventurous, which take you through primary and secondary forest, and to 3 hidden waterfalls.

 

 

 

HummingbirdThese misty mysterious forests provide a home to the endangered spectacled bear, mountain lion, tayra and more. Over 320 species of birds have been recorded in and around the reserve and the Tandayapa Valley, including some endangered species.

Located less than two hours away from Quito, on the edge of one of the 25 "biodiversity hot spots" in the World, the Tumbes-Choco-Magdalena region was named the first Area of International Importance for Birds in South America in 1997, making it a fantastic option for nature lovers.




 

Papallacta

Papallacta

Termas de Papallacta is a hot springs resort located 67 km East of Quito. When we drive to the area of Papallacta we cross the Andes from West to East reaching the highest point on the road at 4.000 m / 13,120 ft. From here, there could be great views of the so far unclimbed East face of Antisana, but that will depend on the weather.

Relaxing in the Hot SpringsPapallacta is located on the Cinnamon Trail, the route that the Spanish conqueror Francisco de Orellana took in 1542, when he crossed the Andean mountain range in search of gold and other treasures. It unexpectedly led him to discover the great Amazon River.

At an altitude of 3.220 m / 10,562 ft Papallacta has several thermal water pools and is also a gateway to the whole Ecuadorian Amazon Region.





Itinerary in Brief – One DayPapallacta Hot Springs

  • Pick up at Quito at around 8:30
  • Two hours drive to Papallacta
  • Two or three hours in the resort
  • Lunch
  • Back at Quito by 15:00

Note: This schedule is subject to change due to unforeseen difficulties.

Logistics

  • Duration: 1 day
  • Access: Drive in and drive out
  • Seasons: All year round
  • Equipment: Cold weather clothing, swimsuit and towel
 

Galapagos

Galapagos

A trip to the Galapagos Islands is a unique an unforgettable experience. The archipelago is world-renowned for its wildlife and beauty. One of the a few natural sanctuaries still left in the world.

Andeanface can find the right boat for your expectations since we have access to a large selection of quality cruises. Each of the boats that we use has been selected to offer the highest levels of service in their class.

Galapagos Animals are Found Nowhere Else in the WorldLocated on the Equator, 1000 kilometres off the Ecuadorian coast, the Galapagos consist of six main islands: San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Floreana, Santiago and Fernandina. There are also twelve smaller Islands, as well as over forty small islets.

The Galapagos have never been connected with the continent. Gradually, over many hundred thousands of years, animals and plants from over the seas developed there, and as time went by they adapted themselves to the Galapagos conditions and came to differ more and more from their continental ancestors. Thus many of them are unique: a quarter of the species of shore fish, half of the plants and almost all the reptiles are found nowhere else. In many cases different forms have evolved on the different islands.

Galapagos Animals are Found Nowhere Else in the WorldCharles Darwin recognised this speciation within the archipelago when he visited the Galapagos on the Beagle in 1835 and his observations played a big role in his formulation of the theory of evolution, "The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection", in 1859. It was to cause a major storm of controversy and to earn Darwin’s recognition as the man who "provided a foundation for the entire structure of modern biology".

Join us in the amazing Galapagos Islands to visit one of the most undisturbed ecosystems in the world!

 

 

 

Indian Markets

Otavalo Market

Otavalo is one of South America’s most important indigenous markets, and the most visited centre of ethnic tourism in Ecuador. The local inhabitants known as Otavaleños are proud and prosperous people, who have achieved international recognition not only as successful weavers and textile exporters, but also as a symbol of cultural fortitude among the indigenous people of Ecuador and the whole continent.
The OtavaleñoWoman from Otavalos are the descendants of former "mitimaes", people who were forced immigrants brought by the Incas as a way to establish political domination and control, when they invaded this part of the Andes just a few decades before the Spanish arrived.

In the market you will have a chance to buy local textiles and hand crafts. It is open every day, although Saturday is still the best day to visit. The textile industry is so big in this region, that the Plaza de Ponchos is now filled with vendors all the time. The Otavaleños also sell some textiles and crafts from other parts of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. If you plan to go there on a Saturday we recommend visiting first the interesting animal market as it starts very early in the morning. Bargaining is appropriated in the market and in shops.

The variety of shapes, colours, goods and people make the Otavalo market a paradise for photographers, who will enjoy a delightful experience.




Itinerary in Brief - One Day OtavaloVegetable Market Otavalo

  • Pick up at around 7:30
  • Drive to Otavalo
  • Three hours approximately to explore freely around the market
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Back at Quito by 18:00

Note: This schedule is subject to change due to unforeseen difficulties.

 

 

Saquisili Market

If your itinerary includes some trekking or climbing around the Cotopaxi area, the Saquisili market on Thursdays would be a very interesting place to visit. The village is located in the middle of the Cotopaxi Province.
According to a local economist, Saquisili has been for many years the largest indigenous market of Ecuador. It is famous for the way in which it’s seven plazas and most of its streets become packed with people, many of them are local Indians of nearby villages, and some even come from other provinces attracted by the variety of products and good prices.

Itinerary in Brief - One Day Saquisili

  • Pick up at around 7:30
  • Drive to Saquisili
  • Four hours approximately to explore freely around the market
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Back at Quito by 18:00

Note: This schedule is subject to change due to unforeseen difficulties.

 

 

Page 2 of 6

Climbing Difficulty Levels

The following scale reflects the difficulty of the climb considering the technical specifications, experience required, altitude and duration of the ascent. The grades are roughly estimated and you have to take into account the difficulty varies depending on your personal fitness and experience.

Intermediate - No previous mountaineering skills are required. Climbers should be in acceptable physical condition and it is highly recommended that participants have some backpacking experience. In some cases a rope may be used to belay some exposed places.

Advanced - Basic mountaineering skills required, experience in high altitude and use of climbing gear such as crampons, rope and ice axe is preferred, but not required. A moderate climb usually is on a glacier, you may have to cross some crevasses, the slopes are not so steep (max. 40%) and full gear is used on all climbs. Very good physical condition is required.

Strenuous - More than 6.000 m / 19,600 ft technical climbs with steep snow slopes and exposed ridges, you may encounter some crevassed sections. Experience in high altitude and proper use of equipment as well as some knowledge of mountaineering techniques are required. Climbers should be comfortable on snow and ice up to 50 degrees. An excellent physical condition is a must.

Ascension Success Rates

The following information is based on our own records since 2005. It represents the percentage of trips in which we have taken at least one client to the summit.
Besides the percentage, we also give you a brief description of the most common cause for not been able to reach the top.

Chimborazo: 70%
Icy conditions and lack of stamina from climbers ( clients running out of fuel!)

Cotopaxi: 85%
Strong winds.

Cayambe: 75%
Bad Weather.

Antisana: 65%
Not being able to cross the bergschrund around the summit.