Quito, Mindo, Amazon, Papallacta, Cotopaxi2019-10-03T16:45:06-04:00

Project Description

Quito, Mindo, Amazon, Papallacta, Cotopaxi

9 days /7 nights

With a population of approximately 15,500,000 Ecuador possesses an astounding level of cultural and social diversity within its borders. Currently, Ecuador has an ethnically mixed population consisting of 65% mestizo (mixed indigenous – Caucasian), 25% Indigenous, 10% Caucasian, 7% African, and 3% Black. Cultural boundaries are also drawn between the three predominant geographical regions: the Sierra (Andean Highlands), the Costa (Pacific coastal shoreline) and the Oriente (Amazonian basin). The population is divided nearly equally between the Sierra and the Costa, with only about 3% of the population residing in the Oriente.

Ecuador is located in the area which formed the northern Incan Empire prior to Spanish conquest in 1533. The region’s indigenous roots and the influences of various pre-Incan civilizations remain evident in present-day society in food, religious customs, music and dress. The mixtures of cultures in Ecuador has also been influenced by later immigration, and one of the most vibrant and dynamic cultural groups to be found in Ecuador are the Afro-Ecuadoreans, descendants of African slaves brought in the 16th century for work on sugar plantations. Numbering approximately 500,00 and located primarily in Esmeraldas Province, the Afro-Ecuadorean population exerts a strong cultural influence over greater Ecuadorian society – whether it is with the distinctive rhythms of its marimba and salsa music, its dance festivals, or the international fame of its soccer players.

By far the largest ethnic group in Ecuador is the Andean Quechua, estimated at around 2 million. The Quechua have preserved their language and cultural traditions to a remarkable degree, and continue to represent a powerful political and social force within broader Ecuadorian society. The distinctive Andean flute music now heard worldwide, foods such as quinoa and cuy (guinea pig), and colorful woolen ponchos and elaborately embroidered blouses are all trademarks of the Quechua culture. Smaller Andean ethnic groups include the Saraguro, Cayambi, Pichincha, Panzaleo, Chimbuelo, Salasacan, Tungurahua, Waranka, Puruhá and the Cañari.

Ecuador has a calendar of folkloric events and religious festivals which is as diverse as its population: all major cities have annual festivals in celebration of their founding/independence days, and many smaller towns have events honoring saints and virgins which represent a fascinating fusion of indigenous and Catholic traditions. Ecuador offers lively festivals throughout the year. Many towns have unique celebrations which display the mixture of Spanish and indigenous beliefs that characterize Ecuadorian culture.

Traditional costumes, fireworks, bands, dancing, and alcohol are common factors in the festivals.

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Land only package price: USD$1,680 (CAD$2,380) per person double/triple occupancy
Airfare: From:$1000 per person including taxes

–          7 nights hotel accommodation
–          Round-trip airport/hotel transfers
–          Daily breakfast & meals as indicated in the itinerary
–          English speaking guided tours
–          Admission fees

– Tips and gratuities ($5 per person per day to the guide, $3 per person per day to the driver)
– Personal expenses
– Travel insurance
– Items not listed under inclusions




Depart Toronto on an overnight flight (6.5 hours) with Air Canada.

Flight: Air Canada AC#1950 23:15/05:45 hrs (Dec 23)

 DAY 2 – DEC 23 QUITO     Dinner

Upon arrival at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre airport, you will be greeted by our English speaking local representative. Head to head to Middle of the World which highlights the exact location of the Equator.

After the tour, drive to your hotel for check-in. Balance of the day is free at leisure.

This evening, enjoy your dinner in a beautiful restaurant Octava de Corpus

Hotel: 4*+ Mecure Hotel Alameda or similar (3 nights)

DAY 3 – DEC 24 QUITO     Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

After the breakfast, meet your guide at the hotel. Today is the opportunity to discover the heritage city of Quito by awakening travelers´ senses through a journey focused on the traditions that surround this ancient area.

During this tour, travelers will have the opportunity to visit, work, and taste traditional sweets from Ecuador as well as local artisans around La Ronda Street. Then, it´s time to have the first introduction to the cocoa and chocolate process and tastes by the hand of the most renowned chocolate shop, Pacari.

After producing many endorphins with the chocolate tasting, the group will continue walking the city center listening to the stories and history of the streets and ancient building until reaching the local family that prepares the traditional sweet called “Colaciones.” After all, this tasting, smelling, and touching experiences is time for an eye candy that blows traveler’s mind, and it´s no more than the Compania Church with its Golden walls, which represents the Baroque School of Quito. Finally, the best way to finish this journey is by visiting La Ronda and some of their artisanal shops and workshops.

After these activities, the group will return to their hotel to have some time to rest, and be prepared for a delicious dinner.

DAY 4 – DEC 25 MINDO     Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

In the morning meet your guide and then begin the journey to Mindo. Then, after a ground transfer of 3 hours approximately through the Andean mountains, the group will arrive at Mindo. At this Andean town famous for its butterflies, orchids, and chocolate, the group will have the chance to visit one of the local chocolate factories. Here the group will have its first introduction, in situ, to the cocoa production and manufacturing process by visiting the cocoa farm and factory. A local guide will introduce the group to the organoleptic characteristics of Ecuadorian fine aroma cocoa. In the end, visitors will not only be able to recognize the cocoa fruit, taste the raw cocoa seed, understand the importance of the toasting and fermentation processes, and then to get the chocolate paste that is sweetener later.

During the journey, the group will have lunch in one of the best restaurants in Mindo with an interesting menu that combines international and Ecuadorian dishes made with local ingredients. Later the group will return to Quito, but before the group can choose if they would like to visit the butterfly farm in Mindo.

Return to Quito, dinner in a local restaurant.


After the breakfast, the adventure down to the Amazon area begins. During the journey that crosses the Andean mountain range down to the entrance of the Amazon of Ecuador, the first stop of the group will be Guango. This area is ideal for watching hummingbirds while walking around a trekking path.

Then the journey continues up to arrives at Hacienda Santa Rita, owned by Pacari Chocolates. Here, travelers will reinforce the knowledge about chocolate gained in previous days.

Hacienda Santa Rita is the best place to understand in depth the importance of the chocolate and its production as well as the sustainable achievements of local producers, which is one of the key values of Pacari Chocolates.

Lunch will be served at the Hacienda, and then the journey will continue to Punta Ahuno, where
Casa del Suizo Lodge is located.

After arrive at this rainforest lodge, you will have time to rest and enjoy the facilities and services of Casa del Suizo, and depending on the weather and general conditions of the group there is a first activity such as visit to an indigenous community.
Hotel: Casa del Suizo or similar (2 nights)

DAY 6 – DEC 27 AMAZON     Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

After the breakfast, the adventure in the Amazon area begins. Casa del Suizo has a wide range of activities from trekking in the jungle, kayaking, tubing, tarabita (booked and paid by your own at the lodge), or visit to a local community. Nonetheless, the activities are organized once the group is in the lodge depending the weather condition, water level on the river, general condition of the passengers. As a result, th e best advice for the group is being open to enjoy the jungle and the lodge and flexible to changes.

DAY 7 – DEC 28 AMAZON – PAPALLACTA – QUITO      Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Today, after waking up surrounded by the greenery and peaceful rainforest, it´s time to continue the journey to Papallacta hot springs. Here, the group can enjoy and relax in one of the hot spring swimming pools and then lunch at the restaurant. Hotel: 4*+ Mecure Hotel Alameda or similar (2 nights)

DAY 8 – DEC 30 / COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK     Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

After breakfast we will departure for a short visit to the National Park. The Cotopaxi Volcano is one of the most important landmarks in Ecuador because it is the highest active volcano in the world. Lush endemic flora and fauna of the area can be observed, including: one of the most representative species is the Chuquiragua (also known as the mountaineer’s flower) wild horses, deers, llamas, and more. Whilst in the National Park you can also see Limpiopungo Lake, located near Rumiñahui volcano (4757 meters).

DAY 9 – DEC 30 DEPART QUITO     Breakfast

Today after breakfast you will be met by your guide and taken to the Airport in time for your international flight back home.

Flight: Air Canada AC#1951 08:30/15:05 hrs


All included sightseeing is subject to availability. The sequence of the itinerary can be changed by our local tour operators according to domestic schedule changes of flights, cruise ship, and other means of transportation. Domestic flights are subject to change. Your local tour guides will provide the final or more comprehensive details.

Please note that entry to another country may be refused even if the required information and travel documents are complete. It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter.

Living standards and practices at the destination and standards and conditions there with respect to the provision of utilities, services and accommodation may differ from those found in Canada.

Please review your itinerary to ensure that all information is correct. Check-in 2-3 hours prior to departure. Please note that flight times are subject to change. Please re-confirm flight times prior to departure.

Further terms and conditions may be found in Jade Tours’ brochure.

The purchase of any travel services from Jade Tours constitutes a contractual agreement between you and Jade Tours and represents your acceptance of terms and conditions set out herein. Please ensure you read and understand carefully these terms and conditions in its entirety.


Day 2 – Quito


Day 5– Amazon Area 

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY2019-10-03T16:42:17-04:00

The cost of all trips listed herein is based on travelers agreeing to this Limitation of Liability. To be eligible to take a trip with Jade Tours, travelers must accept each and all terms and conditions herein and assume full responsibility for any loss, injury, death or damage to them, their family or their dependents arising in connection with their participation in the trips. Travelers must have their own insurance appropriate to their needs and the needs of their family or dependents in respect of such loss, injury, death or damage.
Although Jade Tours endeavors to choose appropriate independent suppliers to provide services on the trips, Jade Tours has no right to control their operations and therefore makes travel arrangements for the trip on the condition that Jade Tours will not be liable for any act or omission of any independent supplier or any unrelated third party. The services provided by independent suppliers are subject to the local laws where services are provided, and any conditions imposed by those suppliers. The liability of the independent suppliers may be limited by their tariffs, conditions of carriage, tickets and vouchers and international conventions and agreements.
In consideration for participating in the trips, travelers agree not to sue Jade Tours in respect of, and forever release them from, all liability for economic loss and physical or mental injury, direct or indirect, arising in connection with the trip – including, without limitation, permanent disability and death; any emotional distress; any loss of services, financial support, aid, consortium or companionship; and any damage to or loss of property – in each case even if caused in whole or in part by the conduct, including the negligence, of Jade Tours, except where such loss, injury or damage is caused by reckless or fraudulent conduct on the part of Jade Tours or its employees, in which case the traveler retains the right to sue only Jade Tours in respect of that conduct.
Travellers further agree that they will indemnify and hold Jade Tours harmless in respect of any claims arising in connection with the trip made by: i) the traveler’s family members, dependents or heirs, or ii) third parties, which the traveler, their estate, their family members, dependents or heirs have sued, if damages are recovered from such third parties, to the extent the third party obtains any indemnification from Jade Tours; except where the loss, injury, death or damage is caused by the reckless or fraudulent conduct on the part of Jade Tours or its employee(s).
Jade Tours and / or its agents, act only as agent for travelers in all matters pertaining to the trips, we shall not be liable for any claims, losses, damages, costs, expenses, delays or loss of enjoyment, of any nature or kind whatsoever, resulting from events beyond our or a supplier’s reasonable control, including but not limited to acts of God, strikes, lockouts or other labour disputes or disruptions, wars, blockades, insurrections, riots, earthquakes, weather conditions, floods or acts or restraints imposed by government authorities.
In further consideration for participating in the trip, travelers agree that Jade Tours, or their designate, may use any photographic or film records of the trips for promotional and/or commercial purposes, without any remuneration to the traveler.
No person other than Jade Tours’ authorized representative may, by a document in writing, vary, add or waive any term or condition in this brochure, including any term or condition set forth in the preceding provisions.
Written notice of all claims accompanied by receipts, reports and other documents pertaining to the claim must be received within 14 days after your return from your trip. In writing to your travel agent and must be received by Jade Tours for investigation no later than 14 days after your return from your trip.
Travelers agree that Jade Tours is the trustee of the respective rights under this Limitation of Liability, which will apply to a traveler’s trips with Jade Tours, and any transfer of a reservation to another trip, including any deviations or extensions. This Limitation of Liability is binding upon all members of the traveler’s family, dependents, estate, heirs, successors and legal personal representatives. Any claim or dispute arising out of or relating to this Limitation of Liability or its interpretation, the trip, or the traveler’s relationship with Jade Tours will be resolved exclusively in the courts of the Province of Canada in which the particular office of Jade Tours is located and with which traveler had contracted their trip and will be governed exclusively by laws of that province of Canada.


By sending a deposit toward the trip purchase and completing the traveler information form, clients certify that they do not have any physical condition or disability that would create a hazard to them or other travelers and clients have received all necessary vaccinations. Please consult a travel clinic or doctor. Travelers needing special assistance due to a physical condition must advise Jade Tours in writing at the time of booking.

TRAVEL INSURANCE2019-10-03T16:40:47-04:00

Jade Tours strongly recommends that all travelers review and purchase trip cancellation insurance and heath insurance to ensure appropriate coverage to meet the needs of the traveler when confirming a trip, in case of any cancellation penalty, loss of property, or liability of medical treatment during the trip. Please consult your travel agent or Jade Tours for premium; if we do not receive payment for the insurance at the time of the final trip payment, it will be deemed the clients have declined coverage.

CANCELLATION AND REFUNDS2019-10-03T16:39:30-04:00

All cancellations must be received in writing and fees are as follows:
90+ days prior to departure $400 per person
89-60 days prior to departure 50% of tour price
59-0 days prior to departure 100% of tour price
Cancellation fees may vary with some hotels during peak season.
Non-refundable Air tickets. Tickets issued in conjunction with tour packages are subject to the terms and conditions imposed by the airlines. Jade Tours will not be responsible for any changes/cancellation penalties imposed by the airlines.

DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT2019-10-03T16:40:11-04:00

A non-refundable deposit of $400 per person plus the applicable insurance premium is payable at the time of booking. Deposit amounts may vary in peak season. Final payment is due 60 days prior to departure. A booking made within 60 days of departure must be paid in full upon confirmation of tour. Tour prices are not guaranteed unless full payment is received.