Planning an Amazon + Andes Trip
Ecuador is a land of extremes, with towering Andean peaks and dense lowland rainforest, all within a day’s drive or half-hour flight! Consider making your trip to the Amazon even more of an adventure by combining it with an exploration of the Andes mountains.
While in the rainforest, you will have the opportunity to experience the distinct way of life in the jungle, and an extension in the Andes will acquaint you with how that differs from life in the highlands, as you see and experience the best that the central Andes have to offer.
Your trip begins with a 4-day/3-night stay at Sacha Lodge, where you will have the opportunity to participate in all of the staple activities, including the canopy walk, the Kapok observation tower, visiting an indigenous community and a parrot clay lick, day and night hikes, swimming and canoeing opportunities, and plenty of wildlife exploration.
On your fourth day, you will head out of the jungle and back into the highlands to Hacienda Piman, a traditional Andean hacienda that offers opportunities to hike, swim, and relax in the peaceful ambience of the mountains. This will be your base for a few days as you visit nearby Salinas de Ibarra, where you will have the chance to see the salt museum and the tiny artesanal mask-making town of Mascarilla.
The train will be one of your primary forms of transportation to and from these destinations. Interestingly, the railroad is one of the best in South America, meaning that you will enjoy an old-time atmosphere with all of the modern comforts aboard the train.
Your last day takes you on a whirlwind tour of the well-known artisan towns of Otavalo, where you can practice your haggling and Spanish in Latin America’s largest indigenous market, and Cotacachi, renowned for its fine leatherwork. Before returning to Quito, you will also get to explore a rose plantation where the famous Ecuadorian long-stemmed roses are grown.
Once you are back in Quito, your Sacha Amazon & Andes trip has concluded, but that doesn’t mean your adventure has to be over – explore Ecuador’s capital city to see one of the best-preserved colonial towns, and be sure to check out the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (City at the Center of the World)! Check out our Quito Travel Guide for more information.