A unique rural travel program and agricultural tour visiting both the Andean highlands and lowland coastal plains for a full introduction to Ecuador´s agriculture. Ideal for Agriculture students or people with a strong interest in farming and crops, local indigenous lifestyle and cultural interaction. Volunteer opportunities available.
Quito: Introductory presentation at the San Francisco University by a faculty member. City tour and visit to an Ecuadorian artist.
Visit to the Middle of the World with the guide who is a naturalist and ethnographer. Guayllabamba Valley to visit Bromelia plantations and organic farms.
Zumbahua highlands and Lake Quilotoa at 4.200 mts a.s.l, tundra where observations will be made of crops such as broad beans, barley, potatoes and visits to Indian communities famous for their native art. Stay at a typical country inn of the province.
On the way to Guaranda we will make a visit to the village of Salinas where different types of cheese, chocolates, dry mushrooms, body oil, natural essences and other local products made by the local community of Salinas.
Enjoy a spectacular mountain view of the town.
Opportunity to see camelids (llamas, alpacas and vicuñas) in their natural habitat. Spectacular view of the Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador and the Paramo vegetation typical of this zone.
Visit to the Jambikiwa Foundation where you can observe the work made by the local community with herbal medicine plants. Visit to a country side plantations around Riobamba city managed by Indian communities with an explanation of the chief of the Foundation.
A colorful impression of the vegetable gardens managed by local inhabitants of this region. Visit Ingapirca Inca ruins and a flower plantation in Cuenca.
Visit to the towns Gualaceo, Chordeleg and Sig-Sig to observe straw (mistakenly called Panama) Hats handcrafts, silver jewelry and a lovely landscape.
A free day in Cuenca to enjoy the city.
Continue to the Province of Loja. We will stop at the Indian community of Saraguro, where, amidst orchards and handcrafts and an explanation of agricultural practices we see women spinning lamb´s wool. If time permits, visit the Inca Baths located within an incredible landscape.
Continue to Vilcabamba and lodging in a pleasant country inn where we can enjoy a therapeutic massage and a full Spa for relaxation. There is a possibility of taking horseback riding tours.
After 2 nights of relaxation, we continue to the city of Zamora, famous for its gold mines and the entry to the Podocarpus National Park for a visit. Return to Loja for a presentation by an academic of the institution to learn about agricultural production in this Province.
Departure for the cities of Zaruma (Heritage of Humanity) famous for their architecture and landscape. Overnight in Zaruma to enjoy the city, visit to a gold mine, an orchid plantation. Visit the Puyango Petrified Forest and continue to the city of Machala, where you will have the opportunity of seeing plantations of bananas, mangoes and other fruits typical of the Ecuadorian coast.
Continue on to Guayaquil, on the way a visit a banana farm and cocoa plantation, a shrimp farm and mangroves. Free day for a visit of Guayaquil and surroundings. Return by air to Quito late in the afternoon.
Overnight and free day for leisure.
Return home or join a trip extension into the Choco rainforest or a Galapagos yacht cruise
The above is a sample itinerary prepared for a Agricultural tourism program. It can be customized to fit the needs and special interests of your travellers.