Andes Overland

Adventure Lima – Quito

Optional Excursions

It’s not required to book any of these excursions in advance. You can decide on the day before the excursion, making the overall trip more relaxed and spontaneous.

 

City Tour – Lima

In the historical quarter of Lima, all the most important buildings and squares are on show, from the cathedral to the city hall, palaces, and plazas.

Then we pass through the convent of San Francisco, the single greatest exhibition of colonial art in the Americas. It consists of the Basilica with its 21 altars, the convent itself, a museum with 11 Rubens paintings, more paintings by Zurbaran and Rivera, and other delights! It truly is a cultural goldmine.

The tour continues through traditional residential areas and parks of Lima, culminating in the most spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

 

Chan Chan complex, Huanchaco beach & Arco Iris Temple – Trujillo

In the historical quarter of Lima, all the most important buildings and squares are on show, from the cathedral to the city hall, palaces, and plazas.

Then we pass through the convent of San Francisco, the single greatest exhibition of colonial art in the Americas. It consists of the Basilica with its 21 altars, the convent itself, a museum with 11 Rubens paintings, more paintings by Zurbaran and Rivera, and other delights! It truly is a cultural goldmine.

The tour continues through traditional residential areas and parks of Lima, culminating in the most spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

 

Tucume and Huaca Las Balsas – Chiclayo

Túcume is an imposing site with 26 pyramids, which were the home of the Lambayeque culture. On the southwest corner of this complex is the Huaca Las Balsas, a small mound decorated with magnificent murals and mythological motifs. The complex is known locally as Purgatory, because of the shamanic history and a long staircase leading up to the Cerro Purgatorio, with a view over everything. It was a place of pilgrimage for the Lambayeque, Chimú, and Inca cultures.

 

Huaca Rajada & Huaca Ventarron – Chiclayo

Huaca Rajada is a Mochican archeological reservation, located 35 km southeast of Chiclayo. In 1987, Dr. Walter Alva investigated the site and discovered the tombs of priests, warriors, and other important Mochicans.

Huaca Ventarron hosts the oldest mural paintings ever unearthed in the Americas! They were recently discovered in a ceremonial center more than 4,000 years old.

 

Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum – Chiclayo

This museum, built in the form of a pyramid, is one of the most impressive museums in the Americas. Its interiors contain the remains of Moche kings, who were found in great tombs laden with treasure and sacrificed slaves. One of these was the mighty Lord of Sipan, a Moche warrior, and legendary ruler. A local expert guides us through the museum and tells us all about the historic figures who remained untouched for some 1,500 years.

 

Cajas National Park

This full day of hiking in the fantastic Paramo wetlands will require both warm and waterproof clothing, plus a packed lunch since we spend all day in the wild outdoors.

Wildlife can be spotted if we are lucky and patient. Our guide can indicate and describe interesting flora/fauna throughout the territory, across which we hike for either 2 or 4 hours, depending on choice. We take breaks for stories, rest and lunch, then in the late afternoon, we drive back to the hotel.

 

Ingapirca Ruins

These ruins are now an archeological park, where you can learn about the Cañari and Inca populations that once inhabited the site – simultaneously for a period. Our local guide will explain what the ruins used to be, the ancient cultural practices, how the sun temple worked, and where the gold was stored. There should be plenty of llamas hanging around, too!

 

Mountainbiking the Waterfall Route – Baños

After breakfast, we leave for a biking tour along the popular (and very long) Cascadas Route. The downhill section from Baños to the Pailon del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) waterfall is the one of the most scenic in Ecuador. Along the way, we pass a series of waterfalls, where activities such as zip lining, cable cars, bungee jumping and buggy riding are available. Finally, our transport takes us back to Baños, where we can relax and enjoy a thermal bath.

 

Rafting – Tena

Arriving in Tena, our first jungle town, we head out into the rainforest towards the village of Cando. With a life jacket, helmet, and safety briefing, we begin practicing the techniques required to navigate the river.

We soon encounter our first rapids, but we’re prepared for the adrenaline (and to get wet!) We continue crashing through whitewater, explore a hidden canyon, drift silently across calm waters, and take a dip to cool off, before stopping at a beach to enjoy a delicious picnic lunch, including some tropical fruits of the Amazon.

 

Horseback Riding at El Porvenir

Our horseback riding tour begins from the same Hacienda where we spent the night, entering the slopes of Ruminahui, going upwards, through and around the rocky hills towards the magnificent Cotopaxi volcano.

We will also be surrounded by several other imposing peaks, and the diverse valleys provide many ideal spots to take breaks and hot drinks. Finally, we return to the stables of the Hacienda.

 

City Tour & Mitad del Mundo – Quito

We begin the city tour in the heart of colonial Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage site where beautiful plazas, cathedrals, and palaces connect the grid of narrow streets.

One incredible example is the church of La Compañia (constructed in 1605), considered to be the finest example of baroque architecture in the Americas. We then drive up to the Panecillo Hill, perfect for panoramic views of the historic quarter.

The tour continues to the extreme north of Quito, where the dramatic Middle of the World monument marks the dividing line between hemispheres: the Equator, or 0º 00’ 00” to be precise. There are plenty of activities relating to gravity, balance, and photography. We then return to our downtown hotel.