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Ecuador, South America

March 9-21, 2019

bus tour including
Certified Sign Language Interpreter Service

March 9 QUITO
Arrival at the hotel in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The city has one of South America's best preserved historic centers. There are more than 30 monasteries in the city, many of them built in the baroque style. UNESCO declared the historic city center, where you can still find much of the colonial architecture, a world heritage site. The surrounding Andean mountain range is a beautiful backdrop for the city. Use the free time in the evening to take a short walk to explore the bustling city. Or rest and get adjusted to the high altitude of the city. Quito's elevation is 9,350 feet. Meet with your travel companions for dinner. We will have a briefing after dinner. (D)
After breakfast we drive south along the Andes, crossing through the Cotopaxi National Park. We will visit a rose farm plantation located at the base of a volcano. After learning the process of growing roses we will enjoy a delicious lunch. We will then continue our drive in the Andes until we reach the quaint town of Banos de Agua Santa. Once in Banos we will check into the hotel and have free time to discover the town. (B,L)

Ecuador has a remarkable diversity of birds

Packaged roses ready to be shipped

Ecuador is home to a great diversity of birds including beautiful hummingbirds. Join a walk to observe some of the birds, admire their colors and shapes. A beautiful waterfall can be seen during the walk as well. Ecuador has one of the world's highest concentration of volcanoes and with that an abundance of hot springs. In the afternoon you have the option the take a bath at the hot springs. Maybe try a "box steam shower" or simply relax and enjoy Banos' atmosphere. (B,D)
Today we will travel into the Amazon Basin. During the drive, you will notice the change in vegetation and climate. We will reach the city of Tena in the Amazon province of Napo. After checking in at the lodge, we will visit an indigenous community to interact with local native people. There we will learn about their traditions and costumes. Dinner will be served at the lodge. (B,D)

The Huasquila Amazon Lodge is our
accommodation for the next few nights

Would you like to know more about the lodge?

Cabin-style huts built in
traditional Kichwa style

The lodge was built with an environmentally friendly design

Modern amenities allowing you to fully enjoy your stay

Join a boat trip on the Napo River which is a main tributary of the Amazon River. As we travel further into the Amazon, we will have some stops including one at an animal rescue center. A short walk takes us to a Ceibo tree. In the past, the indigenous people made canoes from the trunks of this tree. Or you might want to go river tubing (approx. 20 minutes). Finally, we visit a community where we take a walk to observe caimans, a type of small alligator. The boat will take us back on the Napo River and we will return to the lodge for dinner. (B,D)
Today we will have a secondary rain forest walk, discovering medicinal plants typically used by the indigenous people. The walk also includes the visit of a cave and the opportunity to get in close contact with nature. After lunch we will visit the towns of Archidona and Tena. Return to the lodge for dinner. (B,D)

March 15 ANDES
We leave the Amazon behind and drive back into the Andes. On the way, we will cross seven climate floors and admire stunning landscape. We will arrive at our hotel which is located in the top of the Andes. In the afternoon we will have the opportunity for a short walk on the moorlands of the Andes admiring the "paramo ecosystem". Later, we will have time to use the hot springs located in front of our cabins. Or treat yourself to a massage (extra charge). Be mindful that the nights can be cold. But if we are lucky, we will see a sky full of stars. Simply enjoy the evening with your travel companions in our very cozy hotel lodge. (B,D)
March 16 ANDES
After breakfast, we continue to drive further north in the Andes until we reach San Pablo Lake. We will check in at the stunning Hacienda Cusin, a restored 17th-century estate which has beautiful gardens that invite you to relax. Most guest rooms are furnished with antiques and select Andean craft, most with log-burning fireplaces and open-beamed ceilings. In the afternoon, we will visit Peguche village which is famous for local handicrafts and has many family-owned workshops. (B,D)

Welcome at the Hacienda Cusin

The hacienda is a restored 17th-century estate

After breakfast we will drive towards Ibarra city to catch the Andes train. This is a great experience to discover the landscape of the Northern Andes in comfort. At the end of this two hour ride we will reach the village of Salinas. There, we have the opportunity to discover the history of the Afro-American people that settled in this area a long time ago. Later in the afternoon return by coach to the hacienda and enjoy dinner at the hacienda. (B,D)
March 18 ANDES
The highlight of today's visit is the famous handicraft market in Otavalo. Ecuador's indigenous peoples are famous for their skills weaving textiles into clothes, blankets and traditional outfits for the local residents. And the market has a lot to offer: hats in all styles and colors, musical instruments, leather goods, purses, spices, vegetable, meat, fresh food, flowers, and much more. The market is a festival of colors and interesting fragrances. After spending a couple of hours at the market we will visit the Parque el Condor where we will have a chance to see some typical birds of the Andes including the national bird of Ecuador, the Condor. Return to the hotel after an afternoon boat ride on San Pablo Lake. (B,D)

The market in Otavalo is famous for
fresh food and vegetables

Indigenous Otavalo people sell many
handmade products at the market

March 19 ANDES - QUITO
Today we will drive back to Quito. After checking in at the hotel, we invite you to join our guided city tour of colonial Quito. The city is located only 16 miles south of the equator and enjoys a year around spring-like climate. People have inhabited the area for more than 8,000 years. But the big change came with the arrival of the Europeans who declared Quito a city in 1541. Today, the city has more than 2 million residents. In 2002 the city started to renew its historical center that is now frequented by visitors from all over the world. (B,D)
March 20 QUITO
The visit of the Middle of the World Monument is a must if staying in Quito. After a 30-minute drive, we will arrive at the monument. It's a great spot for taking memorable pictures at the exact location of the Equator from which the country's name is derived. In the afternoon, we will take the Skylift (cable car) to reach an elevation of 13,450 feet and have a great view of the city and the Andes. Return to the city for a farewell dinner. (B,D)
Guests get ready for their homebound flights. (B)
Price based on double occupancy, including
accommodation, bus transportation, sightseeing
and meals (B - breakfast, L - lunch, D - dinner) as listed above:
$3,600.00 per person

Price and itinerary are subject to change at any time without prior notification. A non-refundable deposit of $500.00 per person ($1,000.00 per room) is due in order to make a firm reservation. The purchase of travel insurance is mandatory. Payments will be made via payment plan. A non-refundable cancellation fee of $100.00 per person will apply in addition to the loss of non-refundable payments. Flights, tips, airport transfers, etc. are not included. Flights can be booked through Kerstin's Travel. A passport, valid for 6 months beyond the completion date of your travel is required. Appropriate physical fitness is required since the tour includes walking at each stop and high altitude will be crossed in the mountains (7,500 feet). Minimum group size: 20 guests. Maximum group size approx. 40 guests.

Contact Kerstin's Deaf Travel to book your Bus Tour by sending an e-mail to kerstin@kerstinstravel.com

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