Chris is hosting a fabulous trip to the colourful country of
Ecuador with Senior Discovery Tours. This great value, 14 day tour
from Nov 7 - 20, 2017 is only $4,797 per person inc taxes, airfare and insurance.
Listen to Chris's message to you
If you want to take the worry out of travel – an escorted group tour with Senior Discovery Tours is the way to go. They pick you up from home. Your Tour Manager is there with you at the airport as you leave. You won’t have to worry about things like baggage, tips for maids, drivers or guides. You won’t have to check in or check out of hotels or keep track of admission tickets or booking meals. You won’t have to worry about what time you should arrive or leave or about finding your way in unknown places. You can just relax, enjoy the company of your fellow group travelers, and discover the world.
Founded in 1975, Senior Discovery Tours is Canada's largest operator of escorted tours for people aged 55 plus who love to travel. With more than 100 different international tours and cruises across six continents to choose from, they are well known for combining outstanding service and value with discovering the world.
Senior Discovery Tours include many excursions for which you would have to pay extra when travelling with other tour companies. Flights, hotels, meals, baggage handling, meals, pre-arranged sightseeing and entertainment, all taxes, travel insurance and tipping are all taken care of. The price is guaranteed in Canadian dollars, and there are never any hidden or unexpected surcharges.
Most meals are pre-arranged so you never have to worry about finding a restaurant in a strange place. On most tours, daily breakfast, dinner and sometimes even lunches are included in the price. In most Canadian cities, they will even pick you up and drop you off at home.
For many travelers the chance to share the experience with like-minded companions is one of the highlights of the trip. With Senior Discovery Tours everyone usually starts the journey together from a single departure point. And friends made on the trip are likely to be fellow Canadians who may not live too far away from you.
Since many of their clients are retired, Senior Discovery Tours tend to run tours in the shoulder season. They do not offer tours to Europe during the summer months when everyone is travelling with their families. A big part of their program is cruising – they offer Cruise itineraries including both Ocean Cruises and River Cruises. Itineraries range from Alaska to Europe to the Southern Caribbean. For Ocean Cruises they work with mainly Princess Cruises and for River Cruises they work with high end leaders in their field including Amadeus Cruises and AMAWaterways.
Ocean cruises, river cruises, city stays, tours, stay-put holidays, cycling and walking tours – Senior Discovery Tours have it all in Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, North America, South America and North and South America.
Travellers always rave about the Tour Managers at Senior Discovery Tours. They attend to every detail, ensuring your trip runs smoothly. Their energetic approach to travel enlivens every tour, and their experience prepares them to gracefully and expertly handle unexpected situations. Their Tour Managers are also expert at creating a positive group dynamic so that everyone enjoys a great sense of camaraderie.
Most of their tours offer a limited number of single accommodations so a single traveller can book a single room and pay a single supplement. If you prefer not to travel alone they can put you on their “Partner List” - but they do not arbitrarily match travellers up as room-mates. Potential partners are provide with each other’s phone number so they can contact each other and decide if they would like to share accommodations.
To find out more, or to book a tour, you should contact Senior Discovery Tours directly. By not going through a 3rd party travel agent or tour operator they believe it enables them to offer the best price possible. Friendly, experienced Tour Consultants are available to help you with all aspects of your booking and to help you choose the tour that’s right for you.
This is an invitation to join Chris on a fabulous “Ecuador Adventure” with Senior Discovery Tours. The Tour runs November 7-20, 2017 and Chris will bring his boundless passion for travel that is also part of his weekly broadcasts on Zoomer and CJAD 800. Share in his enthusiasm on this amazing voyage of discovery in Ecuador.
There are many wonderful highlights on this tour, starting with the ancient Spanish Colonial city of Quito. High in the Andes, this is one of the most beautiful natural settings of any capital city in the world. By contrast the tour includes a 3-night stay in a jungle lodge in Amazonia, with a visit to a native community located on the banks of the Napo River. Here you learn about the life of the local people. Especially exciting is a ride on a single gauge train that will take you through incredible mountain scenery and into the “Devil’s Nose”. And the tour ends in Puerto Lopez, a lovely seaside village, with a private boat ride to La Isla de la Plata, known as the “Galapagos’ Little Sister”.
Senior Discovery Tours Ecuador Adventure
We depart for Quito via Panama City with COPA Airlines. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel.
Our journey starts in Quito, the second highest capital city in the world. This exquisite city has the largest concentration of Spanish colonial architecture in South America, long recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will tour its colonial riches, including Compania Church (one of the richest in the Americas), Independence Square, the Government Palace and the Cathedral.
Our exploration of the mountainous heartland of Ecuador will take us to the Equator, from which the country was named. Here we visit the Monument to the Equator and we can stand with one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and one foot in the Southern Hemisphere. We also visit the Equatorial Museum which depicts the culture of the indigenous groups around the world who live on the Equator.
Our first stop is the town of Calderón to visit the famous bread-dough handicrafts workshop. As we travel through the Andes we will have the opportunity to see the llamas and alpacas that have been so important to the local people over the centuries. They are strange and cute, in equal measure!
Then we proceed through changing landscapes to Imbabura Province and the city of Otavalo, to stroll through the famous colourful handicraft market. We visit a weaving workshop in Peguche then continue to Cotacachi to shop for fine leather goods.
In a land of volcanoes, Cotopaxi is perhaps the most magnificent. If we are lucky with a clear day, we will see its summit snows which have already decreased by over 40% since the 1970's due to global climate change. The summit is a little under 6,000 metres
We first stop at the Salasca indigenous handicraft market before we continue down the waterfall route into the Amazon Basin. A hike down to the bottom of the Pailon del Diablo, or Devil’s Caldron waterfall, and a cable car trip across the Zamora River canyon in an open basket are optional. Later we’ll enjoy a panoramic tour in Baños.
We descend from the highlands to the tropical forest and arrive at our jungle lodge, Misahualli Lodge, for a 3-night stay. After settling in we will visit a native community located on the banks of the Napo River and learn about the life of the local people.
Amazonia is a whole new world. Our native guide will take us through the jungle on trails to discover the flora and fauna of this beautiful place. We will meet the local people and learn about their lives along the Napo River. Our canoe trips will be a serene experience of this green world. Many of Ecuador's Amazonian plants, animals and insects were only discovered within the last few decades.
At leisure to enjoy the facilities of our lodge and spend more time in the jungle with our nature guide, perhaps to watch the local exotic birds and/or visit a butterfly conservatory. At the lodge, we will have the opportunity to see indigenous dances and the preparation of chicha, a fermented maize beverage. We may also have the chance to see a blow gun demonstration and even try this for ourselves!
We travel to the city of Riobamba, perched up in the Andes and surrounded by volcanoes. Our route will take us past Chimborazo Volcano. At 6,262 metres (20,548 feet), this is the country's highest mountain - a thousand feet higher than Kilimanjaro in Africa!
We will pass by Urbina where we can learn more about the llamas and the alpacas, and enjoy the view of the Chimborazo Volcano. We will drive along Ecuador's famous "Volcano Row" where snow-capped volcanoes seem to float above the local towns and countryside.
Riobamba is a highlands city where we stay the night and see the oldest church in Ecuador: Iglesia de Balbanera. Its origins date back to 1534 and it's the perfect 'foreground interest' for a photo of Chimborazo in the background!
The tour is called an adventure and this part of our journey justifies that title alone! We will take a single gauge train through mountain scenery that looks impenetrable. It includes the "Devil's Nose" which is a switchback track on the cliffs of an Andean mountainside! Chris rode this in his youth and it's unmissable!
After the train journey we proceed to Cuenca via Ingapirca. Ingapirca are the largest Incan ruins in Ecuador and we will spend time there on this trip. The Incan Empire was truly massive, extending up from Chile through Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador as far north as Colombia. Here will see the Temple of the Sun, which is an example of the way the Incas did not use mortar, but fitted massive rocks together amazingly precisely.
Our tour of Cuenca begins with a stroll through the cobbled streets of this beautiful World Cultural Heritage city. This colonial jewel has many picturesque squares, balconies, churches, an incredible pink marble cathedral and people wearing traditional colourful costumes - a feast for the photographer! We will enjoy a museum visit, a panoramic view of the city from Turi Hill and a visit to a factory that makes the traditional Ecuadorian hats - a symbol of the country.
A day at leisure to explore Cuenca. The cobblestone streets are lined with beautiful colonial houses and scenic squares, so this city is ideal for strolling and exploring. Your Tour Manager will be on hand for suggestions. Cuenca is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca is set in a valley surrounded by the Andean mountains in the south of Ecuador. This inland colonial town, now the country's third city, was founded in 1557 by the Spanish king Charles V. Much of Cuenca's architecture dates from the 18th century and its cobblestone streets are a delight.
We drive to El Cajas National Park, world renowned for its 300 lakes. We’ll stop at the highest point 4,167 metres (13,671 feet), to view the beautiful landscape before descending to sea level. You will be amazed by the rapid and contrasting change of landscape and weather as we pass from the highlands to the cloud forest and then through tropical banana plantations. We arrive in Puerto Lopez, a delightful oceanside community with a fishing community set amidst banana plantations for a 2-night stay.
This morning we depart for a private boat ride to La Isla de la Plata, known as “Galapagos’ Little Sister”, as some of the same bird species are found on this island (blue footed boobies, black mask boobies, frigates, Vermilion Flycatcher etc). On our guided walking tour we will spot some of these local birds and enjoy the breathtaking views. There will also be an opportunity to snorkel and enjoy the marine life and coral reefs surrounding the island.
I am most looking forward to seeing the pictured blue footed boobies, as well as the other amazing bird life on the island!
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight back to Canada, via Panama City. All Western passengers, and those from Halifax, will overnight in Toronto and fly home the next day.
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