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Ecuadorian Chocolate Experience: Quito, Mindo & Guayaquil tour

Ecuadorian Chocolate Experience: Quito, Mindo & Guayaquil

Great Value Vacations
4.3 . Great
93%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
6 days
From: $ 2,020 $ 337 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Stroll down "La Ronda," one of Quito's oldest streets, which is lined with traditional homes, small galleries, and quaint restaurants.
  • Enjoy a full-day visit to a cocoa plantation, on which you'll be treated to an authentic lunch and a chocolate tasting.
  • Spend time in colorful Mindo, a subtropical town surrounded by cloud forests and natural beauty.
  • Sit back, relax, and enjoy a stress-free vacation! Leave the driving and planning up to us.
  • While in Ecuador, be sure to taste local favorite foods such as ceviche, choclo, langostinos, and guinea pig - yes, you read correctly!

Short Description

You know what goes great with capital cities, lush cloud forests, and colorful villages? Chocolate! On this sweet vacation package, you'll experience everything from tours of Quito, to chocolate tastings, to butterfly farms, to cacao plantation visits. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Ecuador, a fascinating country of wildlife, picture-perfect landscapes, and cocoa galore.

Trip Type N/A
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Quito
End City Ecuador

Trip Includes

  • Round-trip economy class airfare into Quito (UIO), out of Guayaquil (GYE)
  • All airport and inter-city transfers
  • 2 nights in Quito at the City Art Hotel Silberstein, or similar
  • Quito City Tour with Equatorial Line Monument (6 hours)
  • Visit La Ronda with chocolate tasting
  • 1 night in Mindo at the Sachatamia Lodge Rainforest Reserve, or similar
  • Artisan Chocolate Tour
  • Visit to Mindo Butterfly Farm
  • One-way, economy-class flight from Quito (UIO) to Guayaquil (GYE)
  • 2 nights in Guayaquil at the Hotel Wyndham, or similar
  • Visit to a cocoa plantation, with lunch
  • Guayaquil sightseeing tour (2.5 hours)
  • Breakfast daily
  • *Please Note: These hotels do not accept children under 10 years old.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Quito!

Accommodation: City Art Hotel Silberstein

Escape to colorful Quito, a charming city surrounded by soaring snowcapped mountains. Known for its treasures of colonial churches, monasteries, paintings, and sculptures, Quito boasts an amazing blend of Spanish, Flemish, and Moorish architecture. It's also only about 14 miles away from the equator!

Upon arrival, enjoy a convenient transfer to your first accommodation. Settle in, then begin exploring the city! You might want to check out the La Floresta neighborhood, lined with trendy restaurants and yummy food trucks. Treat yourself to some of Ecuador's specialties: llapingachos, langostinos, and ceviche!

Transfer from Quito airport (UIO) to Quito hotel

Day 2: Quito

Wake up with a smile - it's your first full day in Ecuador! Start your day with a pleasant breakfast, then journey off on a sightseeing tour of Quito. Immerse yourself in colonial history, stroll down some of Quito's oldest streets, chat with locals, and even enjoy a chocolate tasting! Visit the Equatorial Line Monument called "Middle of the World," where you will have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of standing in both hemispheres at once!

Quito City Tour with Equatorial Line Monument (6 hours)

The tour of Quito will introduce you to this culturally unique city. See the Independence Square with the Government Palace and the Cathedral (outside), admire the facade of church La Compania de Jesus. Afterwards, visit the famous hill of the old town, Panecillo (little bread) where you will see the angel statue “Virgen de Quito.”

Later, visit the Equatorial Line Monument called “Middle of the World” where you get a truly rare experience to stand in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres simultaneously! The Equatorial Monument marks the spot where an 18th-century French scientific expedition established the exact position of the Equator. The area has been built as a typical colonial town, with restaurants, gift shops and Post Office with philatelic sales. Visit the monument and Ethnographical Museum, which shows the history of the Indian cultures of Ecuador.

Visit to La Ronda with chocolate tasting

Visit one of Quito’s oldest streets, “La Ronda.” An ancient path following the small Ullaguanga-Huayaco creek was the beginning of what is now called Calle La Ronda. The path was slowly lined with houses until the late 18th-century, when it is said to appear similar to today.

During the early 20th-century, La Ronda was the home of poets, musicians and politicians who left their mark on Ecuadorian history. The renovated street now has informational signs which detail some of these people and the houses they lived in. You will have the chance to meet some of the artists and talk to them about their work.

You will also enjoy a chocolate tasting and learn about the process of making great chocolate. See why Ecuador is one of the best countries in the world for growing fine cacao and learn more about cacao's history.

Day 3: Quito – Mindo

Accommodation: Sachatamia Rainforest Reserve Lodge

Indulge in an energizing breakfast, then relax on a two-hour drive from Quito to the small subtropical town of Mindo. Be sure to look out the window and take tons of photos along the way!

Located behind the volcano rich mountain chain of Pichincha, Mindo boasts the best of both worlds: the vast highlands and the tropical coast. Laden with cloud forests, impressive wildlife, and sparkling rivers, Mindo is the perfect destination for some rainforest adventure.

Once you're all settled in Mindo, you'll enjoy an artisan chocolate tour, and then a visit to a beautiful butterfly farm!

Transfer from Quito hotel to Mindo hotel

Artisan Chocolate Tour

Embark on an artisan chocolate tour, on which you will learn all about the processes of traditional chocolate production. As the tour comes to a close, get excited for your scrumptious chocolate tasting!

Visit to Mindo Butterfly Farm

Escape to the breathtaking butterfly farm of Mindo. Feast your eyes on tons of colorful, rare butterflies, then enjoy the peaceful experience of holding one in your hands!

Day 4: Mindo - Guayaquil

After breakfast, enjoy a convenient transfer to the airport and head to gorgeous Guayaquil! Known as the industrial and commercial center of the country, Ecuador's largest city, Guayaquil, is nestled on the western banks of the Rio Guayas. Its nautical, colorful vibe makes Guayaquil a fun hub of cuisine, culture, and nightlife.

Meet your transfer at the airport and relax during a quick ride to your next hotel. Spend the evening settling in and getting to know the city. You might want to check out the Malecon 2000!

Transfer from Mindo hotel to Quito airport (UIO)

Fly to Guayaquil!

Transfer from Guayaquil airport (GYE) to Guayaquil hotel

Day 5: Guayaquil

Accommodation: Wyndham Guayaquil

A day filled with chocolate - a dream? Not anymore! Today, spend the day at a cocoa plantation, where you will experience the ins and outs of chocolate production, from the seeds and sowing of cacao, to the molding and cooling of velvety chocolate. During the day, you will also be treated to a typical costeño lunch, which will be served in the serene natural environment of the plantation.

Visit to a cocoa plantation, with lunch

Your cocoa dreams are about to come true! Spend the day visiting an incredible "hacienda of cacao," where you will learn all about the cultivation of cacao and the production of its yummy product - chocolate! After the tour, you will also enjoy a typical costeño lunch in the peaceful, natural atmosphere of the plantation.

The Hacienda El Castillo is situated in Cerecita, just south of Guyaquil. This massive property covers over 700 acres and is mainly used for growing cacao, mangoes, and hardwoods. Upon arrival, feel welcomed with some tasty cacao juice, plantain snacks, and cheese in the farmhouse.

During your visit, you'll walk around the plantation and experience the entire process - from the seeds, to sowing, to harvest, to fermentation, and to the drying of cocoa crops. Then comes the fun stuff - the visit to the chocolate factory! See how traditional equipment is used to develop artisan, top-quality chocolate. Watch as cocoa nibs are toasted, milled, grinded, conched, tempered, and more. Once it's all cooled, you'll have the opportunity to taste some deliciously smooth chocolate.

Day 6: Depart Ecuador

Fuel up with an energizing breakfast, then enjoy one more fun activity before you leave the beautiful country of Ecuador! Embark on a sightseeing tour of Guayaquil and feel assured that you've experienced all the must-sees that this city has to offer.

After the tour, squeeze all your souvenirs into your bags and enjoy a comfortable transfer to the airport. Spend your relaxing flight home dreaming about your next adventure!

Transfer from Guayaquil hotel to Guayaquil airport (GYE)

Fly home!

Guayaquil Sightseeing Tour

Explore beautiful Guayaquil, a city that perfectly balances tropical paradise and bustling metropolis. Get to know the most interesting parts of Guayaquil on this amazing tour! Visit the city's most impressive landmarks, like the pleasant Parque Simon Bolivar, the Gothic Cathedral, the magnificent Malecon promenade, and much more.

Guayaquil has experienced some historically devastating fires, which destroyed many of its beautiful wooden houses. Today, only the small quarter of Las Peñas remains preserved and is now the oldest picturesque village of the colonial Guayaquil. This village is home to many famous people, it's known as an artist's haven, and is filled with small open-air exhibitions of paintings and sculptures.

Venture to the border of the Rio Guayas, where you will see Italian renaissance style architecture and the Palacio de Gobernacion. Pass by the Cementerio Geneal, which is lush with palm trees, beautiful decor, and eye-catching flowers.

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Price Per Day: $ 337 per day
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Ecuadorian Chocolate Experience: Quito, Mindo & Guayaquil

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The customer service was excellent

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
When I booked with Great Value I was nervous because it seemed too good to be true. Nope, just a really great deal. I was able to take my dream trip to Ireland and Scotland and it was within my budget. Everything was covered, my lodging, flights, and rental car. There was no hidden fees, or fine print that would nickel and dime me later on, as "good deals" usually have. I also had to change the date of my trip and the customer service was excellent and this change was simple. Thank you Great Value, I'll be using you every time I travel from now on
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Everything on the trip was excellent.

5.0
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Value5.0
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Lodging5.0
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Meals5.0
Everything on the trip was excellent. The only concern with any services from GVV was initial communications ahead of the trip regarding when and how we'd receive all our travel vouchers, as some were available online, and some were to be picked up in country upon arrival. It took no less than 5 phone calls to learn some vouchers would be picked up in country. The trip was outstanding, exhausting, but gloriously beautiful. It was exhausting from the perspective of moving around the country and only a few places were 2 nights. But, we knew that going in, and we wanted to see ALL of Switzerland and this certainly checked those boxes. We saw majestic mountains, we saw countless waterfalls and glaciers. The trains in Switzerland were all clean and we felt safe. The hotels were good with delicious breakfasts each morning. Overall, I would recommend GVV to a friend or family member and I would personally book another vacation with GVV.
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Our trip was amazing!

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was my first time planning a trip out of the country. I read previous reviews who had a good experience with Great Value Vacation. Our trip was amazing! The booking and reservations were easy to use with the vouchers provided. The staff was helpful. The only downside was I upgraded to have an automatic vehicle and they gave me a stick shift. It took a while to get sorted out but other than that I loved my trip! I will definitely use great value vacations again when I book my next trip. I opted for the additional wine tasting package and I did not regret it! I recommend adding those additional tours to get a more complete experience.
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Great customer service

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
My wife and I recently booked our vacation through Great Value Vacations. We were a bit nervous to travel to Europe for the first time, but we are glad we did. Great Value Vacations took care of us. Great customer service. Seamless transactions. They booked the hotels and flights for us. All we had to worry about were the daily activities! I would highly recommended them. The hotels offered through the package were as advertised: nice and in great locations. The flights times were also convenient. The best part was the price. I am thankful for the experiences Great Value Vacation was able to provide for us!
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Really enjoyed both of my trips

5.0
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Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
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Meals5.0
Really enjoyed both of my trips through Great Value Vacations. I went on one family trip to Ireland (Adare villa, rental car with trips out to Dublin, Cliffs of Moher and more) . The villa was very comfortable with a kitchen, three bedrooms, and proximity to the local shops /restaurants. We were able to upgrade to an automatic car and had fun navigating to each location on our itinerary. The trip as planned by the agency still leaves time for exploring on your own and since we picked a trip with our own transportation, we had flexibility on which tours we wanted to do and when.

My second trip was a solo trip to Scotland. I like to go on vacation by myself sometimes, but it can be hard to find ones where you aren’t penalized for being on your own. This train trip to Edinburgh, Inverness, and Glasgow worked out really well for me. The hotels were all near the train stations and in safe areas (good lighting, plenty of people, etc.). I got a good mix of options for sightseeing in each city. The hop-on, hop-off bus circuit was especially useful for getting around Edinburgh. I also added an extra tour on in Glasgow to see nearby castles and a distillery and was very glad to have done so as the views of the countryside were amazing!

Summary: Have enjoyed my previous experiences and would definitely use again
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Above and beyond our expectations

5.0
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Value5.0
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Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Just got back from our trip to Italy booked through Great Value Vacations & was our dream come true! We could not have gone if it were not for their unbelievable rates. Each 4 Star Villa we stayed at was above and beyond our expectations...I cried after leaving each part of our journey. I am so glad I took a leap of faith and would HIGHLY RECOMMEND booking with them. Besides the Villas being beautiful, great locations, clean, and great staff; each place we arrived at actually said, "They said to give you a very nice room." (with a rate of just under $1,900 a piece for 9 nights not counting travel days at 4 stars Villas in Rome, Tuscany, & Venice including airfare and rent a car... a few friends told us to expect the worst rooms at the places we were staying ~ NOT the case! Our rooms had the best views...I could go on and on. Every step of the way was smooth with no worries whatsoever. Thanks again GVV! LOVED IT!
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Trip ID#:

greatvaluevacations-PK-GC4P-SH-ECE-UIO

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