Travel around Ecuador´s fines relaxation getaways at an eased pace enjoying natural beauty, flower gardens, Spa treatments and local culture surrounded by splendid landscapes and exotic biodiversity. This sample spa trip is designed to offer the finest treatments enjoying the equatorial energy and the healing properties of the thermal waters that outspring from Ecuador´s volcanoes.
PM Transfer from Quito Airport to the beautiful San Jorge Eco-Lodge, your home for the next two nights.
Enjoy virgin nature and Ecuadorian tradition at San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Botanical Reserve within a comfortable Eco-Resort environment. San Jorge Botanical Reserve is situated on 200 acres, rich with stellar highland rainforest biodiversity found in wild natural surroundings. We are the only private native reserve near Quito, located in the Pichincha foothills. Our tours offer practical education on ecology, botany, ornithology, archaeology and the awareness of the surrounding environment, with bilingual, private guides. San Jorge Eco-Lodge is located just 17 minutes from Quito Airport, yet a world apart from the busy city.
Several options for today include a Horseback Riding Adventure, Guided Tour to the high barren plains. The same as a hundred years ago. Ride Mustang Horses with traditional saddles up to Pichincha Mountain OR you may elect to take our Sacred Waterfalls and Medicinal Plant Tour. In the San Jorge Botanical Reserve, we will trek to the highland tropical rainforest, visiting up to 5 sacred waterfalls. Learn about the medicinal attributes of the native plants, containing up to 250 different varieties in the region.
Room accomodations, with private bath and hot shower, include rustic built-in fireplace, lit for comfort and eloquence in the evening. Enjoy our tempered indoor swimming pool, sauna, Turkish bath, Jacuzzi, museum, library and explore our beautiful, vast gardens. Relax at our festive El Cucayo Restaurant, that serves fine National and International gourmet cuisine, and overlooks the valley of Quito.
City Tour of Old Colonial Quito the Capital of Ecuador, considered part of the Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO. During your visit you will learn about the colonial art in the churches, history, archaeology and folklore in the museums. Your specialized guide will provide complete information on the baroque colonial art. Tour around the city visiting the most important areas: Plaza de la Independencia, Plaza San Francisco, Plaza Santo Domingo, La Merced, La Compania and Penecillo. Continue on for a visit to The Middle of the World at the equator line.
Afternoon free to enjoy the in-house spa at the San Jorge Eco-lodge
Today we will depart on the old road connecting Quito and Nono, we will drive through lush cloudforest part of the Andean Choco region, an area famous for its bio-diversity and some of the best birdwatching in the world with around 300 species.
We will enjoy forest hikes and lunch at Bellavist cloudforest lodge surrounded by several species of hummingbirds. After exploring the cloudforest around Bellavista we will continue to Pedro Vicente Maldonado where we find a more tropical climate at Arasha rainforest Spa with its ecologically sensitive bungalows, ARASHÁ offers its guests a glimpse at the richness and tranquility of this most fragile region combined with the finest in tropical comfort.
From having a stress-relieving aromatic massage, to participating in any one of our many educational ECO-tours, to making chocolate out of cacao seeds, ARASHÁ is an experience that appeals to all senses.
Recognized several times by prestigious international tourism organizations as the finest resort in Ecuador, ARASHÁ has now been honored internationally for its impeccable personalized service, exquisite cuisine, and exceptional accommodations. Once here, guests are sure to find life's poetry in every corner of this unique paradise.
ARASHÁ is located in the richest “Hot Spot” on the globe, with more than 35.000 species of plants (which constitute roughly 10% of the planet).
Of these 35.000 species of plants, more than 50% are endemic to this area. This area also contains the largest variety of amphibians in the world, with over 664 distinct species and around 500 species of birds, wich most of them are endemic. At ARASHÁ you can watch over 150 species of birds.
Almost 450 amphibian species are listed as endangered and threatened. ARASHÁ is fully aware of this delicate issue and upon your visit, you will see the multiple conservation efforts that we have implemented as an organization and family.
Today we get to enjoy the natural surroundings at Arasha. We have several options between natural and man made attractions that will allow you to enjoy activities from relaxing to hiking in the rainforest.
Spring Fed Natural Pool
It is refreshing your mind and soul in a crystal clear natural spring.
It is rewarding your sweet tooth with a delicious chocolate fondue that you have made from natural cacao seeds.
Making earrings, rings, and much more. It is a creation of your very own jewelry in our artisan´s workshop.
Primary Forest Tour of Macallares
It is the amazement you will feel when walking through an unforgettable primary forest.
Nocturnal Tour of Secondary Forest with Torches
It is participating in a nocturnal tour and discovering what a tropical forest hides at night.
Cascades and Lagoons Tours
It is the smile you will have upon discovering one of our enchanted waterfalls.
Wild Orchids Guide you to the Caoni River
It is discovering and appreciating the wonders of a secondary forest on your way to the Caoni River.
Exotic Bird Watching
It is admiring the extraordinary variety of birds that call ARASHÁ their home.
It is finding your internal peace through natural oils and essences that will delicately balance all of your senses.
Health benefits of natural juices and exotic fruits workshop
It is the joy of learning about the local tropical fruits and the health benefits their juices provide.
Medicinal Plants workshop
It is understanding and learning about the astonishing variety of medicinal plants in our forests.
Complete body & spiritual cleansing with a Colorado Shaman at ARASHÁ It is feeling how nature cures you through a local Shaman.
Ecologically friendly 18 Holes Mini Putt-Putt Golf Course
It is enjoying a round of 18 holes of Eco mini-golf in the middle of a tropical garden.
Discover the World of Yoga
It is reaching complete tranquility through Yoga.
White Sands Beach along our Negrito Creek
It is the enjoyment of relaxing on our Negrito River beach or swimming in its pristine waters.
Finest tropical Comfort
It is enjoying the richness of this fragile region through exceptional tropical comfort, and unsurpassed personal attention.
Sangay Theater (Eco-educational & Classic Films)
It is our assurance that you will find life´s poetry in every corner of this magical and enchanting paradise.
Exotic Flowers arrangement workshop
It is the sharing of ideas in our tropical flower arranging seminar.
Rejuvenating Antioxidant Facial
Deep Cleansing Facial
Stress Relieving Facial
Body massage with aromatherapy
Aromatic detoxifing warm body wrap
Foot massage with reflexology techniques
Body massage with aromatherapy
Relaxing back massage with aromatherapy
Deep massage of neck and head
Alphapacer Treatment (Anti-depressive & Relaxing Treatment)
Today we travel to the northern Andes, we will visit several villages famous for their artisan work and typical snacks like leaf cheese and biscuits. we will be delighted by majestic views of Cayambe and Imbabura volcanoes. Visit the famous Otavalo Indian Market. We will have the opportunity to shop for world famous handmade wool and alpaca products. Also, visit San Pablo Lake, Cotacachi (leather village), and Cuicocha (Sacred Indian Lagoon), OR San Antonio de Ibarra (wood carving village). After a fun day of cultural interaction and visiting artisan shops and small villages we will check in at La Mirage Garden Spa.
La Mirage Hotel & Spa is an exclusive member of the Relais & Chateau chain. It is located in the town of Cotacachi (famous for its woodcarving). La Mirage has beautiful green areas and exclusively decorated rooms. The Mirage finely appointed guest rooms feature rich hues and imported fabrics in a refined atmosphere of sophisticated comfort each individually styled with a fireplace and the most up-to-date amenities. Guest facilities include a tennis court, a solar heated swimming pool, a spa centre complete with steam bath, Jacuzzi and aroma therapy massages.
Today we will enjoy a morning of Spa treatments at La Mirage. The Roman Spa is fully equipped with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi whirlpool, exercise room, and luxurious treatment facilities. Treatments and massages include Reflexology, Aromatherapy, and a Purification Treatment performed by a female shaman.
Enjoy the gardens and grounds where birds and animals abound. Enjoy horseback riding, mountain climbing, hiking, mountain biking, tennis, or swimming. You can even get married in our Wedding Chapel! One of the best gourmet restaurant in Ecuador rounds out this paradise - and fresh flowers are everywhere!
Bird watching enthusiasts will enjoy the variety of birds inhabiting the area!
Back, Neck, and Shoulders
Herbal Bath Wrap
A Touch By Angels
Hot Stone Massage
Mirage Ecuadorian Volcanic Clay Body Treatment
After lunch we will travel southbound through passing Quito and entering the Avenue of the volcanoes, we will enjoy majestic views of Cotopaxi, Pasochoa, Illinizas, Rumiñahui and other volcanoes as we reach our Inca hacienda San Agustin de Callo.
In the foothills of Cotopaxi the Hacienda San Agustin de Callo still with its original Inca stonework is the home of the Plaza family and one of only two major Inca sites in Ecuador. The atmosphere is cosy and welcoming: the six individually styled rooms all have log fires, and in the dining room (which has spectacular views of Cotopaxi) they serve delicious home cooked Ecuadorian cuisine.
The menu will often include dishes such as llapingachos (a type of potato pancake), tamales (steamed corn maize stuffed with seasoned chicken, eggs, chillies, olives, and wrapped in achira leaves) and sopa de locro (cheese and potato soup). It is a perfect base to enjoy the wildlife of the National Park, or check out the colourful Indian Markets nearby.
We will start the day with an English breakfast at the Hacienda's Inca dining room with its view of Cotopaxi, provides guests with the perfect setting to savour the excellent cuisine. Our hosts are the Plaza Family. In 1921 the Hacienda was purchased by General Leonidas Plaza Gutierrez, leader of the Liberal Revolution. Plaza went on to become President of Ecuador in 1901 and -again in 1912, a position which was to be held by his son Galo Plaza in 1948. The Hacienda remains in the family to this day and is currently owned by the General's granddaughter Mignon Plaza, whose father, the distinguished congressman and legendary amateur bullfighter José Maria Plaza, continued to play a pivotal role in politics.
We will start our activities by exploring the hacienda´s archaeological site:
The Hacienda has been written about by the Spanish chronicler, Cieza de Leon (1553) and is one of only two major Inca sites in Ecuador. This temple or palace was built around 1440 a.d. by one of the last Inca emperors, Huayna Cápac, and to this day the remaining rooms prevail as a magnificent sample of the unique style of Inca construction. The site is currently being investigated by Dr. David Brown of the University of Texas, the funding of which was provided by the National Geographic Society. Previously unknown portions of Inca walls and foundations have been discovered throughout the restoration process of the house.
Our activities today will be carried through in the surroundings of San Augustin which is nestled in the foothills of Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world, San Agustín de Callo provides the perfect setting for those wishing to enjoy this unique countryside by horse, mountain bike or foot.
The high paramo with its unique abundance of flora, fauna is within easy reach of the Hacienda as is the Cotopaxi national park whose spectacular habitat is home
to the elusive condors, wild horses and Andean wolves.
Trails range from a few hours in length, taking you through typical high Andean villages such as Ticatilin with its whitewashed Colonial church, to longer day trips following little used Inca trails.
The Hacienda is ideally situated for off road riding in and around Cotopaxi National Park or the mountain range above the Saquisili market place. For those who wish to enjoy a spectacular down hill ride, four wheel drive transport takes you to the 'Refugio', located just below Cotopaxi's snow line at 4800 mts. Riders can then make the exciting descent to the park entrance where transport will be waiting to take you back to the hacienda and to a well-earned dinner.
Several Indian Markets are within a twenty minute drive from the hacienda
and include those of Pujilí and Saquisilí, one of the most authentic markets in Ecuador, with their colorful displays of produce, spices, fruits and hand woven ponchos.
We spend another night at our beautiful hacienda.
Today we will head towards the Eastern flank of the Andes to visit cloudforest town of Baños. Baños is the gateway to La Selva (Amazon rain forest). Here, the artisans have built their shops to sell the most amazing variety of indigenous products. You can learn how they work, the materials they use, and the way they live. Baños offers you a variety of activities, you can visit The Devil's Caldron and Inés María Waterfalls, or shop around the main plaza. The town is famous amongst local people for its thermal baths, there are several pools around town. Baños is also a Meca for adventure sports, allowing for a full day of trekking, mountain biking, canyoning, pendulum jumps, motorbiking and more. Nevertheless the main attractions of the area are its natural wonders... the avenue of the waterfalls, forests teeming with orchids and exotic birds, nature trails and lots of fun.
On our way to Baños we visit the indigenous Salasaca Market, interact with the Salasaca people, learn about their traditions, culture, and language (Quichua).
After a full day exploring the area we will check in at our mountain spa at Luna Runtun with a majestic view of surroundings and the town of Baños below.
Luna Runtun´s 63 acres are nestled within the Sangay National Park, a declared World Natural Heritage Site, and the view from Luna Runtun is dominated by the legendary Llanaganates National Park and the Pastaza Corridor.
Today we will enjoy the surroundings Baños and Luna Runtun, with an early morning hike. We have 11 different Baños hiking tours and treks for you to choose from, ranging in difficultly levels of easy to difficult. Some are full day trips while others can last around 45 minutes. After our daily exploration we will enjoy 2 ½ hours of SPA treatments from a menu of 25 spa treatments ranging from massage to body treatment that unlock the powerful therapeutic properties of the ashes and volcanic stones of Volcano Tungurahua.
The surrounding area where Luna Runtun is located is considered a magnetic vortex, a unique place where the planet's 4 essential life elements - Air, Earth, Water, and Fire - are found.
Air: Luna Runtun is situated in the gateway to the Amazon Rainforest, the Earth's respiratory system.
Earth: Nestled on the flanks of Volcano Tungurahua, Luna Runtun has been generously blessed with some of the planet's most fertile and fruitbearing earth.
Water: Volcano Tungurahua, Luna Runtun's astonishingly beautiful backdrop, is home to 70 crystal-clear waterfalls.
Fire: Constantly active since October 1999, Tungurahua showers the skies with her spectacular shows of fire and lava, allowing our visitors to partake in one of the world's most impressive natural fireworks displays from the safety of our spa.
After the treatments, relax and oxygenate your brain and lungs in our gorgeous gardens full of fresh air coming from the Amazon Rainforest, the world's respiratory system, and delight in the sights and sounds of the plethora of birds and butterflies that inhabit Luna Runtun. Walk barefoot in the fertile earth of our gardens. Plant a tree and name it! Finally, enjoy the sunrise while doing breathing exercises while taking in outstanding and unforgettable views.
We use for our treatments, pure, crystal clear mineral water from Tungurahua. The treatment rooms are decorated with handmade candles elaborated with natural colors and aromas of Luna Runtun's gardens. Extract yourself mud and clay from Luna Runtun's mine. Walk on a "carpet" of volcanic stones.
Plan to return from your hike today at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time to get in the spa frame of mind and prepare yourself to de-stress and relax. Wear your own Luna Runtun robe, a present from Luna Runtun, the Adventure SPA.
Volcanic ash and salt exfoliation
Hot clay bath
Hot hydrating bath
Steam bath with cold water contrast treatment
Full body massage
Utilizing three techniques to relieve tensions of commodity over stressed areas, this massage is applied to specific body parts
Healing Reiki brings the body into balance, allowing the mind to float away and the spirit to soar. Using the hands on the patient's body, this technique offers healing and enhances deep relaxation thereby stimulating energy pathways
Invigorating shiatsu massage to aid joint mobility deeply in every back muscle.
Shiatsu is the application of finger pressure to the energy pathways of the body in order to stimulate the system
This massage induces both relaxation and rejuvenation. Reflexology is a technique that comes from the Far East. Each area of the patient's feet represents a body organ that needs to be stimulated.
Note: not suitable for pregnant women
For children over six months old.
Skin care treatments
Facials for dry skin
Facials for oily skin
Hair care treatments
Capillar treatment for dry hair
Capillar treatment for oily hair
Manicures and Pedicures treatments
Luna Runtun Spa Manicure
Luna Runtun Spa Pedicure
Body waxing treatments
Lip or Chin
Shoulder and neck
carpet of volcanic stone, sauna
Overnight at Luna Runtun
Today we depart our hacienda and will drive around the highest mountain in Ecuador, impossing Chimborazo. As we pass by this giant, we will be visiting the surrounding wildlife reserve and enjoy the views of several highland birds and Vicuñas (elegant part of the family of the Llama). It is optional to hike up to the climbers refuge to enjoy majestic views and walk by the snowline.
We will enjoy lunch en-route and head towards Quito, tonight we will check back in to Hacienda La Carriona and enjoy an afternoon of leisure, here you can walk around the gardens, swim in the pool or relax in the turquish bath. Overnight.
Return home or join a romantic trip extension : Galapagos natural getaway or an Amazon eco cruise
The above is a sample itinerary prepared for a Honeymoon couple. It can be customized to fit the needs and special interests of your travellers