32 days in Ecuador Itinerary

32 days in Ecuador Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Ecuador trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

Start: Melbourne
Fly + Drive:  31 h
1
Papallacta
— 1 day
Bus:  2 h 15 min
2
Tena
— 2 nights
Bus:  1 h 30 min
3
Banos
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
4
Quito
— 5 nights
Fly:  4 h
5
Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
— 1 night
Fly + Taxi:  5 h 45 min
6
Mindo
— 2 nights
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  5 h 30 min
7
Puerto Lopez
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
8
Salinas
— 2 nights
+2
Bus + Foot + Fly:  4 h 45 min
9
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal
— 3 nights
Ferry:  2 h 30 min
10
Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz
— 3 nights
Ferry:  2 h 30 min
11
Puerto Villamil, Isabela
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + Foot + Fly:  5 h
12
Cuenca
— 3 nights
Taxi + Fly:  29 h
End: Melbourne

1
day
Papallacta

Papallacta ©
A trip to Papallacta takes you to a small village situated at an altitude of 3,300 m (11,000 ft).
Start off your visit on the 20th (Fri): witness a stunning natural landmark at Termas de Papallacta.

To see traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Papallacta vacation planner.

Melbourne, Australia to Papallacta is an approximately 31- hour combination of flight and car. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 15 hours traveling from Melbourne to Papallacta. On the 20th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can take a bus to Tena.

Things to do in Papallacta

Spas Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Termas de Papallacta ©
Termas de Papallacta

2
nights
Tena

A jump-off point for exploring the rainforest and its rivers, Tena boasts a well-established commercial and tourist core, with a small airport and bus terminal and plenty of operators offering organized wilderness tours.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Sat): delve into the lush surroundings at Jatun Sacha Biological Reserve, then get to know the resident critters at Amazoonico Animal Rescue Centre, and then paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour. On the next day, admire the sheer force of Cascada de San Rafael.

For more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Tena travel route builder tool.

You can take a bus from Papallacta to Tena in 2.5 hours. Another option is to drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can catch the bus to Banos.

Things to do in Tena

Parks Nature Adventure

Side Trip

Jatun Sacha Biological Reserve
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Cascada de San Rafael ©
Cascada de San Rafael

3
nights
Banos

A trip to Banos, a relatively small town in the picturesque Andean highlands, ensures plenty of chances for outdoor activities like horseback riding, hiking, climbing, canyoning, and mountain biking.
Do some cultural sightseeing at La Catedral de Ambato and Catedral de Riobamba. Step off the beaten path and head to Zipline and Cascada el Manto de la Novia. Change things up with these side-trips from Banos: Ambato (Juan Benigno Vela Park, Parque Provincial de la Familia, &more) and Pro Bici (in Riobamba). The adventure continues: get impressive views of Tungurahua, learn more about the world around you at Museo Fray Enrique Mideros, get outside with Canopy double puerta del cielo, and look for gifts at Jacinto Guevara & Hijos Evanistas.

For reviews, maps, photos, and tourist information, use the Banos trip site.

You can take a bus from Tena to Banos in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Quito.

Things to do in Banos

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Ambato, Riobamba
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Pro Bici ©
Pro Bici
Tungurahua
Tungurahua

5
nights
Quito

Quito ©
High in the Andean foothills, Quito remains one of the world's most photogenic capital cities, featuring two dramatic mountain ranges as its backdrop.
Step out of the city life by going to Cotopaxi National Park and Laguna de Yahuarcocha. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Cascada de Peguche and Horseback Riding Tours. When in Quito, make a side trip to see Mercado 24 de Mayo in Otavalo, approximately Otavalo away. And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at Casa del Alabado, appreciate the history behind La Virgen del Panecillo, take in the local highlights with Walking tours, and admire the masterpieces at Centro Cultural Metropolitano.

For other places to visit, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Quito itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Banos to Quito takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. December in Quito sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 15°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can travel to Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.

Things to do in Quito

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Otavalo, Laguna de Yahuarcocha, Cotopaxi National Park
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Cotopaxi National Park ©
Cotopaxi National Park
Catedral Metropolitana de Quito ©
Catedral Metropolitana de Quito
Casa del Alabado ©
Casa del Alabado

1
night
Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve ©
A special set of environmental factors helped create Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, one of the most biodiverse national parks in Ecuador.
On the 31st (Tue), contemplate the waterfront views at Laguna Grande and then stroll through Cuyabeno Reserve.

For where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve online trip builder.

Traveling by flight from Quito to Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, taxi, and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Mindo.

Things to do in Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

Parks Wildlife Nature
Find places to stay Dec 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Laguna Grande ©
Laguna Grande
Cuyabeno Reserve ©
Cuyabeno Reserve

2
nights
Mindo

Mindo ©
Clinging to the western slopes of the Andes, tiny Mindo offers a big punch in terms of tourist appeal.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Wed): stroll through Paz de las Aves Bird Refuge, tour the pleasant surroundings at Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest Reserve, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Mariposas de Mindo - Butterfly Garden, and finally whizz through the canopy at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the dramatic scenery at Nambilla Cascadas, stop by El Escampadero, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read our Mindo sightseeing planning website.

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve to Mindo in 6 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus, taxi, and flight; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) early enough to travel to Puerto Lopez.

Things to do in Mindo

Wildlife Parks Tours
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Paz de las Aves Bird Refuge ©
Paz de las Aves Bird Refuge
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Zipline

2
nights
Puerto Lopez

Puerto Lopez ©
Sitting on the edge of a bay on the Pacific coast of Manabi Province, the small fishing village of Puerto Lopez acts as headquarters for the surrounding national park.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): head outdoors with Aventuras La Plata, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa de los Frailes, and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: appreciate the history behind Monumento del Surfista, glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, then stop by Pacha Chocolates, and finally see the vivid underwater world at Isla de la Plata.

To find more things to do and more tourist information, you can read our Puerto Lopez trip planner.

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Mindo to Puerto Lopez takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can drive to Salinas.

Things to do in Puerto Lopez

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Montanita, Playa de los Frailes
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Playa de los Frailes ©
Playa de los Frailes
Isla de la Plata ©
Isla de la Plata
Dolphin & Whale Watching

2
nights
Salinas

Salinas ©
The coastal city of Salinas is the westernmost city on mainland Ecuador and a leading tourist destination.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sun): head outdoors with La Chocolatera, then stroll through La Loberia, then kick back and relax at Playa de Chipipe, and finally take a leisurely stroll along Malecón Salinas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 6th (Mon): kick back and relax at Playa La Libertad, then stroll through Playa la Rinconada, and then get outside with Punta Carnero.

For ratings, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read our Salinas trip planner.

Getting from Puerto Lopez to Salinas by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can travel to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

Things to do in Salinas

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Santa Elena
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
La Chocolatera ©
La Chocolatera
Playa de Chipipe ©
Playa de Chipipe
La Loberia ©
La Loberia

3
nights
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno ©
The capital of the Galapagos Islands, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is located on easternmost island of the archipelago, San Cristobal.
Get outdoors at Cerro Tijeretas and Isla Lobos. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado and Puerto Chino Beach. There's lots more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at La Loberia, gain insight at Interpretation Center, don't miss a visit to Segunda Zona Naval de la Armada del Ecuador, and enjoy the sand and surf at Cerro Brujo.

To see reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Puerto Baquerizo Moreno trip maker app.

Getting from Salinas to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno by combination of bus and flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: fly. In January, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to ride a ferry to Puerto Ayora.

Things to do in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

San Cristobal
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Cerro Tijeretas ©
Cerro Tijeretas
Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado ©
Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado
La Loberia ©
La Loberia

3
nights
Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz

The largest settlement in the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora offers visitors to the islands an array of facilities and things to do.
Get some cultural insight at Galeria Aymara and Maprae. Step off the beaten path and head to El Garrapatero and North Seymour Island. And it doesn't end there: cast your line with a fishing tour, stroll through Los Gemelos, make a trip to Santa Cruz Fish Market, and take a leisurely stroll along Malecon de Puerto Ayora.

To see photos, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Puerto Ayora trip planner.

Traveling by ferry from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to Puerto Ayora takes 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in January, and nighttime lows around 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Puerto Villamil.

Things to do in Puerto Ayora

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Santa Cruz, North Seymour Island
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
El Garrapatero ©
El Garrapatero
North Seymour Island ©
North Seymour Island

2
nights
Puerto Villamil, Isabela

Puerto Villamil ©
Located in the southeast of Isla Isabela, Puerto Villamil is home to the majority of the island's 2,200 inhabitants.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Mon): contemplate the waterfront views at Laguna de los Diablos, contemplate the geological forces at Sierra Negra, and then glide peacefully along the water with categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_best_stand_up_paddleboarding_in_the_area. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Tue): cruise along Isabela Island Wetlands Complex, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Puerto Villamil, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Centro de Crianza Tortugas Gigantes Arnaldo Tupiza Chamaidan, then contemplate the waterfront views at Laguna Salinas, and finally make a trip to The Wall of Tears.

For other places to visit, photos, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Puerto Villamil visit app.

You can ride a ferry from Puerto Ayora to Puerto Villamil in 2.5 hours. Traveling from Puerto Ayora to Puerto Villamil, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can travel to Cuenca.

Things to do in Puerto Villamil

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Sierra Negra
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Sierra Negra ©
Sierra Negra
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

3
nights
Cuenca

Cuenca ©
Packed with impressive colonial architecture and a historic town center, Cuenca stands as perhaps the most charming city in the nation.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Museo Catedral Vieja and Iglesia de El Vergel. Discover out-of-the-way places like Plaza Abdon Calderon and Horseback Riding Tours. Step out of Cuenca with an excursion to Ingapirca Ruins in Ingapirca--about 1h 30 min away. There's still lots to do: see the interesting displays at Pumapungo Museo, pause for some serene contemplation at El Carmen de la Asuncion Church, shop like a local with Eduardo Vega Galeria Taller, and contemplate the long history of Cruz del Vado.

To find other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Cuenca trip maker.

Traveling by flight from Puerto Villamil to Cuenca takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Puerto Villamil to Cuenca is 1 hour. In January, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Cuenca

Museums Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Ingapirca Ruins
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Plaza Abdon Calderon ©
Plaza Abdon Calderon
Ingapirca Ruins ©
Ingapirca Ruins
Museo Catedral Vieja ©
Museo Catedral Vieja

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