Ecuador Self Drive Avenue of Volcanoes

Drive from one end of Ecuador to the other along the legendary Avenue of Volcanoes on this 11 day self drive trip, designed for adventurous and independent travelers. At the end fly home or continue to the Galapagos!

Places you visit: Quito – Cotopaxi – Quilotoa – Baños – Alausi – Cuenca – Guayaquil

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“John worked hard to get us a holiday of a lifetime to Ecuador and The Galapogos Islands within our budget. He responded quickly to e-mails and requests, keeping us informed at all times. I can thoroughly recommend his company.”

R E Adams, August 2019.

Tour Itinerary

View a day by day summary below or

Day 1: Arrive to Quito, Ecuador

plaza san francisco at night quito

Upon arrival at the airport you will be met and taken by private transfer directly to your hotel in Quito’s historic old town.

Meals Included: None today

Suggested Accommodation: Casa Gardenia

Day 2: Chocolate tasting & private city tour

rooftops of quito ecuador

Explore the world cultural heritage site of Quito accompanied by an expert private local guide. As well as the old town, you’ll be taken to Quito’s more modern districts and we include chocolate tasting!

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Casa Gardenia

Day 3: Drive from Quito to Cotopaxi

pita river waterfall ecuador

Today you start your journey south to Cotopaxi national park. You will have a 4×4 car with GPS and a wifi dongle. We also include an explorer pack which has route maps, restaurant recommendations and sites of interest where you could stop along the way. Today you could stop at the Pita River for a hike to a waterfall. Dinner included at the lodge.

Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner

Suggested Accommodation: Chilcabamba Mountain Lodge

Day 4: Drive Cotopaxi to Chugchilan

cotopaxi volcano and llama ecuador

This morning visit the Cotopaxi national park. We recommend a walk around the Limpiopungo lake. You can also drive to the refuge and hike to the snow line for spectacular views! Drive on towards the Quilotoa loop, stopping at the charming Andean town of Chugchilan for the night.

Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner

Suggested Accommodation: Mama Hilda

Day 5: Drive the Quilotoa loop and onto Baños

quilotoa crater lake ecuador

Start early for a spectacular drive through some of the most beautiful scenery in Ecuador. Drive up to the magnificent Quilotoa volcano crater lake and hike around the lake. Continue to Baños, a sleepy town surrounded by dramatic scenery in the shadow of the Tungarahua volcano.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Samari Spa

Day 6: A day at leisure in Baños

swing in baños ecuador

Take your car and explore the area. There are many things to see in and around Baños. One of the most famous is the ‘swing at the end of the world’. You should also visit the Devil’s Cauldron, an incredible waterfall and one of the most spectacular sites in Ecuador.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Samari Spa

Day 7: Drive via Riobamba & Chimborazo to Alausi

llamas in chimborazo ecuador

Today you will continue south passing 14 active and dormant volcanoes, traditional haciendas, remote villages and stunning landscapes. We recommend the llama trail hike in Chimborazo (has to be booked in advance).  After a day of exploring, settle down in the historic town of Alausi, part of Ecuador’s cultural heritage.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: La Quinta

Day 8: Devil’s Nose & Ingapirca ending in Cuenca

ingapirca ruins ecuador

Today you will have a privately guided hike to the Pistishi lookout point from where you can get an amazing view of the Devil’s Nose train track. We have also included a private tour of Ingapirca, the most important Inca ruins in Ecuador. After this drive on to the pretty city of Cuenca.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Hotel San Juan

Day 9: A Private Tour of Cuenca

rooftops of cuenca ecuador

Cuenca is a charming and romantic place city with a small town feel. You will have a private tour with a local guide where you can enjoy the squares, gardens, rivers and cobbled streets. Don’t miss the flower market and the impressive cathedral.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Hotel San Juan

Day 10: Drive through El Cajas national park to Guayaquil

el cajas national park ecuador

The final leg of your journey to the coast is from Cuenca to Guayaquil. Stop off en-route in the El Cajas national park. This 70,000 acre reserve is home to a huge variety of landscapes including rocky structures, jagged mountain peaks, cloud forests and more than 200 lakes. Drop the car at the airport where your guide will be waiting to take you to your hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Suggested Accommodation: Unipark Hotel

Day 11: Departure or add the Galapagos!

isabela island galapagos

Today you can fly home, or continue your trip to the Galapagos islands, a short flight from Guayaquil. We can add on a cruise, a land based or an island hopping trip to the Galapagos. You would need 3 nights extra minimum, but we recommend at least 4 nights in the Galapagos. Get in touch with an expert to start planning your trip!

Meals Included: Breakfast

Our Suggested Accommodation

With this tour we have picked a selection of simple and mid range properties, many of which are small, family owned guesthouses. These are warm, welcoming and full of character where you can experience the best of traditional Ecuadorian hospitality.

We can tailor each trip to your requirements. Our specialists can suggest a range of different hotel options to suit your taste and budget.

We rate each hotel, lodge and boat in our collection on following scale.

ONE OF A KINDA special category reserved for only a select number of extraordinary hotels, lodges and boats that stand out not necessarily because they are the most luxurious, but because they are unique in what they offer

LUXURY – Among the best and most outstanding accommodation in our collection

FIRST CLASS – An excellent standard with a superior level of comfort & facilities

MID RANGE – A very good standard & a range of facilities

SIMPLE – Clean & comfortable but without all the bells and whistles

BASIC – Basic lodging with little or no facilities

Tour Inclusions

  • All accommodation
  • Any internal flights
  • Car hire for 8 days with GPS, unlimited mileage, wifi dongle, insurance
  • Car hire explorer pack
  • All private tours as specified in the itinerary
  • All private transfers
  • All meals as specified in the itinerary
  • All entrance fees
  • 24 hour emergency assistance
  • 100% financial protection with our ATOL license & ABTA membership
  • Our exclusive 100+ page trip guidebook, personalised to your trip
  • Full support from your dedicated specialist
  • International flights
  • Discretionary gratuities to drivers and guides
  • Travel insurance

Destinations you visit on this tour

Book this tour

Start planning your trip by calling us on 0208 191 7772 or complete the form below and we’ll get back to you within one working day.

All trips are operated by HeadsEast Ltd, UK Company registration number 6717612
© Copyright 2008-19 HeadsEast Ltd

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