Since 1993 the best option to visit Ecuador and Galapagos
The paramos surrounding Ecuador's volcanoes are perfect for hiking, horseback riding, llama trekking, camping and mountain biking. With Safari you can combine a fun filled active day with an excellent dinner and comfortable night at one of the historic hostals or haciendas reating your own fantasy holiday.
Ecuador is home to a variety of colourful Indian groups. The Otavalo and Salasacas Indians continue the 500-year old weaving practices of their ancestors, creating incredible handicrafts. Safari brings you into their villages and homes to see these age-old techniques. The Cayambe Caranques fiestas of Inti-Raymi and the Octavas (located high in the Andes and exactly at the equator) celebrate the great cultural significance of the passing of the sun. With Safari you are part of the party. Running the length of Ecuador and splitting the country into two from north to south the mountains and valleys of the High Andes form the heart of Ecuador. The Pan American road runs down the inter-Andean valley from the border with Colombia at Tulcan, to Loja, south of Cuenca where it turns west to the coast to cross the Peruvian border at Huaquillas.
Quito, the capital is located at 2900m in a valley on the western slopes of the Pichincha volcano, and there are several cities and towns to visit and stay at as one travels north and south in the highlands. Sadly the old railway service is limited to a once a week excursion on Sundays from Quito to Boliche, a service on Saturdays from Quito toRiobamba, and three times a week an excursion from Riobamba,down the Devil’s Nose and then back up again. There is no service from Riobamba to Quito and the service from Ibarra to San Lorenzo has been suspended. There are many hot and mineral springs, the most famous at Papallacta, 2 hours east of Quito and at Baños 4 hours to the south. There are also Hot Springs in Baños and near Cuenca. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in 1534, the Incas ruled the Andes for about 50 years from 1480, there legacy being the quechua language, still spoken as a first language by more than half of the population. The area is still home to a number of indigenous peoples, from the Cañaris, north of Cuenca to the black communities of the Chota valley in the north. The most famous are the Otavaleños. Bought here by the Cusceñous (Incas) at the end of the 15th century or early in the 16th century, the Otavalenians have maintained their own identity while successfully integrating into the modern economy. Their strength is their love of textiles, expressed in their weavings, coupled with a sharp business sense, that has led the young men and women of this nation to travel all over the globe selling their weaving and other artisan products from Ecuador. The peaks of the Andes are as distinct as the people. Cotopaxi (5987meters) the highest active volcano in the world has an almost perfect conical shape, as does the Sangay (5500meters), with major volcanic events taking place as frequently as every 15 minutes! In both cordilleras you will find remote areas, with excellent opportunities for adventure.
Geology
With only two exceptions the peaks of Ecuador are all volcanic in origin, formed as the marine plate is forced under the continental plate. Many of the volcanoes are still active including Sangay, Tunguahua, Cotopaxi, Pichincha and Quilatoa. Others are dormant. In the jungle both Reventador and Sumaco are still active.
The volcanoes dominate the landscapes as they do the geology. In the Papallacta valley there are cliffs with giant crystals of basalt, there are areas of volcanic mud, notably around Cangahua, which has given its name to this mud. The obsidian flows from above El Quinche provided knife-making materials to pre- colonial people of the Andes as far south
as Chile. Many of the volcanoes, like Cotopaxi, are no more solid than pumice and ash! Earthquakes are common throughout Ecuador as the land is being formed. The lahars around Cotopaxi look like frozen rivers when seen from the refuge. There are lava flows that flowed out of Antisana that blocked the rivers above Papallacta and caused a large lake to form. Volcanic layers laid down eons ago have been folded back on themselves exactly on the equator visible in cuttings on the road from Guallabamba to Tabacundo. The volcanic landscape has been modified by the action of glaciers. Forming the basins in the inter-Andean valley that are now separate provinces of modern Ecuador. A glacial moraine, where the continental divide crosses from one cordillera to the other, separates each province.
Suggested Clothing
You will find it surprisingly chilly in the highlands of the Andes once you are out of the sun. It is worth having a warm sweater or fleece, and a windbreaker at the altitude of Quito. By 4000m, the altitudes of the paramos it can get down to freezing at night, and feel much colder when it is windy. It is essential to have plenty of warm clothes and a hat and gloves. By 5000 m you are approaching the level of permanent snow and glaciation and so you need to have specialist clothing if you are staying at this altitude for more than a few hours. Good hiking boots are the best thing to have on your feet anywhere in the Andes, although on some of the treks at certain times of year it will be necessary to have rubber boots, which are easily available in Ecuador in sizes up to about #44 or #45. Do not forget sun block and sunglasses, both of which are essential and can be bought in Quito.
NEW ADDREESS Av. Del Establo 118 - Site Center Valle de Cumbaya Ecuador: (593) 2 2552 - 505 France 09.75.18.03.40 e-mail: admin@safari.com.ec Quito-Ecuador
Av. Del Establo 118 - Site Center Valle de Cumbaya Ecuador: (593) 2 2552 - 505 France 09.75.18.03.40 e-mail: admin@safari.com.ec Quito-Ecuador
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We just came back for a 21 days traveling around Ecuador and Galapagos.  We use safari tours by recommendation of a friend. They were very professional and help us with a lot of particular things. Hugo our guide for the land travel shows us many things that were not even included in our itinerary. The cruise on board the Archipell yacht was unforgettable. Safari organizes everything for us, all the transfers and hotels. We really can recommend Safari tours Ecuador.  Michel and Francoise, France
“ The best travel in my life” Anna Kraft. U.K.
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