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The Best of Ecuador & Galapagos Luxury Travel 12 days

Price per Person
5479 USD
Service Level
luxury / 5 satar Htls.
Travel Style
Luxury Adventures
Activity Level
Level 2 Day2
Group Size
10 - Average - 6
Minimum Age
8 years old
Start / Finish
Quito / Quito
Season
Year round
Activities
Wildlife Trekking Biking Kayaking Snorkeling Swimming Cultural

Discover the Galapagos Islands through an active land tour that will deliver the most extraordinary of this world-class naturalist heaven. As you kayak, mountain bike, trek or snorkel you will experience incredible close encounters with sea lions, iguanas, giant tortoises, boobies, rays, a myriad of tropical fish! This is a socially and environmentally responsible tour that provides many benefits to local island communities. Learn and enjoy from top adventure and naturalist guides that will immerse you in the realm of natural history and evolution.


"Unique Experiences:"

  • Stop at a hummingbirds sanctuary in the heart of the cloud forest and look for a hummingbird with the beak two times larger then its body (sword-billed hummingbird)  
  • Snorkel through lava formations with sea turtles, penguins, sea horses, sea lions and sharks at Lava Tunnels

ico1 TREKKING IN COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK

ico1 BIKING IN THE CLOUD FOREST 

ico1 PARROTS CLAY LICK

ico1 KAYAKING IN THE ARAJUNO RIVER

ico1 AMAZOONICO RESCUE CENTRE & ANACONDA ISLAND

ico1 MISAHUALLI MONKEY TOWN

ico1 PAPALLACTA VOLCANIC HOT SPRINGS

ico1 HUMMINGBIRDS SANCTUARY IN THE CLOUD FOREST

ico1 CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION IN SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

ico1 ENCOUNTER WITH WILD GIANT TORTOISES

ico1 TINTORERAS AND LAVA TUNNELS IN ISABELA ISLAND

ico1 SNORKELING WITH SEA TURTLES, RAYS, PENGUINS AND SEA LIONS

ico1 RELAX ON THE WHITE SAND BEACHES

Day 1: Quito

Day 1: Quito
Day 1: Quito
ARRIVAL IN QUITO CITY


Welcome to Quito! The biggest, best-preserved colonial city of America was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and the second most important city of the old Inca Empire.
Depending on arrival time, a representative of EPL will be waiting for you at the airport to give you a first look of the city, then you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. Adventure Journeys can help you to organize a day trip.
In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel for a welcome briefing and there will be plenty of time to discuss details and answer any questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an informational and acclimation day. Later, the best place to end the day, a traditional meal in a lovely restaurant!

Accommodation: Swissotell visit website
Meals : Dinner

Day 2: Cotopaxi

Day 2: Cotopaxi
Day 2: Cotopaxi
TREKKING IN COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK

Cotopaxi snow-capped volcano is our main goal today. After breakfast, we will drive through the Andes enjoying magnificent views of the Avenue of Volcanoes. Once we reach the Cotopaxi National Park, we will have our first acclimation hike around Limpiopungo Lake at 13000ft (3800 meters) above sea level and see wild horses, wild bulls and some bird species. From here you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Cotopaxi volcano, one of the world's highest volcanoes.
Trekking time: 2 hours on flat terrain around Limpiopungo lagoon, elevation: 12,631 ft.
In the afternoon we will get a transfer to one of the most beautiful historic haciendas in the Andes to enjoy the views of the active Tungurahua Volcano!

Accommodation: Hacienda Leito or similar visit website
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Amazon Rain Forest

Day 3: Amazon Rain Forest
Day 3: Amazon Rain Forest
BIKING IN THE LLANGANATES NATIONAL PARK

This morning we will mountain bike from the Llanganates National Park down to the Pastaza River Canyon, enjoying the beautiful scenery of the cloud forest. The road brings us through some Andean farms and a beautiful canyon with many waterfalls.
While descending into the jungle, we will have a breathtaking view of Baños, very well known for its spectacular location right on the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano, which is active since 1999. This is the main attraction of this region. At the end of our biking experience we will hike down for 20 minutes to see ¨Pailon Del Diablo¨, the second largest waterfall in Ecuador.
In the afternoon, we will continue our journey towards Itamandi Amazon eco-lodge located by the Arajuno river, where we will spend the night.

Accommodation: Itamandi Eco-lodge or similar visit website
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Amazon Rain Forest

Day 4: Amazon Rain Forest
Day 4: Amazon Rain Forest
PARROTS CLAY LICK – KAYAKING THE ARAJUNO RIVER

Early in the morning before breakfast, we will take the canoe up the Arajuno River to the parrots' clay lick, to watch different types of this colorful birds, then we will continue and have a quick stop to see the pocket monkey, which are the smallest primate in the world. Itamandi will have served an amazing breakfast at your arrival, right after our kayak expedition begins at the Arajuno River. We will paddle down the river for about 2 hours discovering the beauty and wildlife that inhabit this river, such as neo tropical otters, parrots, king fishers, macaws, toucans.
At the end of the expedition we will reach the Amazon shelter, where many animals have found their second chance to be reintroduce into the wild. We will enjoy the peace of the river while having lunch. Later on we will arrive at the Anaconda Island where we will take a short walk to see the famous hoatzin bird and few caimans.
We will paddle for about 1 hour back to the lodge and enjoy the last look at the river. At the lodge we will have some relaxing time at the luxury pool.

Accommodation: Itamandi Eco-lodge or similar visit website
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Misahualli monkey town & Papallacta spa resort

Day 5: Misahualli monkey town & Papallacta spa resort
Day 5: Misahualli monkey town & Papallacta spa resort
HOT SPRINGS AND CLOUD FOREST HIKE

In the morning after breakfast we will driver through the cloud forest all the way up to Guango lodge, the paradise of hummingbirds! At our arrival we can enjoy a sample of the traditional coffee or a cup of hot chocolate. From the lodge you will see a large number of different small creatures, including the unique sword-beak hummingbird, only found in this cloud forest. We will have our lunch here and later we will continue to Papallacta Spa resort to soak in the volcanic hot springs and also go for a short walk into the cloud forest to see bromeliads and orchids.

Accommodation: Termas de Papallacta or similar visit website
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Santa Cruz Island

Day 6: Santa Cruz Island
Day 6: Santa Cruz Island
TRAVEL DAY TO GALAPAGOS

Today we get ready to explore the most amazing archipelago in the Pacific coast and the place where Charles Darwin based its theory of the evolution of species. We will board a morning flight from Quito to the island of Baltra.

Once arrived, we will head to the 'El Chato' Reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz, home to the famous Galapagos tortoise. Hiking through El Chato's beautiful scenery with those lumbering giants is an unforgettable experience! We also see other highland wildlife such as pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers and finches on our hike. We can also observe frigatebirds which gather to wash the salt off their feathers at a fresh water lake. In the afternoon we will have time to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn more about many of the endemic species we met during our adventure, as well as the ongoing conservation and management efforts on the Galapagos Islands.

Accommodation: Silberstein Hotel or similar visit website
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Santa Cruz Island

Day 7: Santa Cruz Island
Day 7: Santa Cruz Island
FREE DAY IN GALAPAGOS

Today, you can experience the Galapagos at your pace! You will have the option to relax at the white sand beaches, join a day trip to another island or a scuba-diving trip, just to mention a few alternatives. Prices and options available on request.

Our suggestion:
Enjoy a day trip to North Seymour, a small island home to many different species of animals. This is the best place to see the frigate birds with red balloon, the very romantic blue footed boobies dance, land and marine iguanas, Galapagos sea lions and fur seals, and other sea birds as swallow-tailed gulls, shearwater, and tropic birds. The walk takes around 2 hours in this magic place. After the walk we will go back to the boat for lunch, and then we will sail to Bachas beach which is a nesting area for sea turtles and where there is a small lagoon where flamencos can be seen occasionally.

Accommodation: Silberstein Hotel or similar visit website
Meals : Breakfast

Day 8: Isabela Island

Day 8: Isabela Island
Day 8: Isabela Island
TORTUGA BAY AND ISABELA ISLAND

We will have an amazing free morning by the best beach in the archipelago, Tortuga Bay, admiring crystal color waters and a white sandy beach packed with wildlife. Here it is possible to rent a surf board or kayak.

In the afternoon we will board a fast boat to Isabela, the largest island in the archipelago and the place where most volcanic activity in the Galapagos is reported. The island is being formed by 6 shield volcanoes, Alcedo, Cerra Azul, Darwin, Ecuador Sierra Negra and Wolf, 5 of them still active. Therefore the island is one of the most volcanically active place on earth. During our island crossing, we will be on the lookout for dolphins and whales (July to October).

Accommodation: Iguana Crossing or similar visit website
Meals : Breakfast

Day 9: Isabela Island

Day 9: Isabela Island
Day 9: Isabela Island
EXPLORING ISABELA ON TWO WHEELS AND SNORKEL AT TINTORERAS

In the morning we will head out on our mountain bikes to explore the beautiful coastline, taking us through an incredible ecosystem with a wide variety of wildlife. We start with a visit to the Wall of Tears, a massive wall built with lava rocks. This site dates back to the '50s, when Isabela was used as a penal colony and prisoners were forced to build the wall to keep them from going mad, because of the isolation they experienced.
As we continue our ride along the coast, we will get to the Tortoise Breeding center to learn about this fascinate species. While enjoying the great views we will see the flamingo lagoon, full of the lovely pink birds. This area is filled with birdlife, including American oyster catchers, herons, flamingos, finches and many shore birds, as well as the ubiquitous sea lions and marine iguanas.

In the afternoon we will visit Tintoreras Islet, located at a short distance from Puerto Villamil and home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos Penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. One of its beaches surrounded by mangroves is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully.
After dinner we can enjoy a breath-taking sunset on the beach of Puerto Villamil.

Accommodation: Iguana Crossing  or similar visit website
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Isabela Island

Day 10: Isabela Island
Day 10: Isabela Island
LAVA TUNNELS SNORKELING 

After our final breakfast on the Galapagos Island and the last photos taken of sea lions, we will have a short flight to Baltra's airport in time to catch the flight back to the mainland.
At night, and after you recover your energy, we will take you to a great restaurant to enjoy our last meal together.

Accommodation: Iguana Crossing 
Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Quito

Day 11: Quito
Day 11: Quito
TRANSFER TO BALTRA AIRPORT - FLIGHT BACK TO QUITO

After our final breakfast on the Galapagos Island and the last photos taken of sea lions, we will have a transfer to Baltra's airport in time to catch the flight back to the mainland.

Accommodation: Swissotell visit website
Meals : Breakfast

Day 12: Departure

Day 12: Departure
DEPARTURE & END OF SERVICES

Today our trip will end and you will have your International departures. Take with you your memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador soon to experience more of this enchanted land. We wish you a "buen viaje"!
Meals : Breakfast
  • Activities: Trekking in Cotopaxi National Park,  Road of Waterfalls in Baños, hiking to Pailon del Diablo waterfall, hiking in the amazon rainforest, encounter with local communities, explore the Amazon rescue center, hiking in the cloud forest with toucans, hummingbirds, parrots, etc, volcanic hot springs, biking to breeding center and flamingo laggon, snorkeling in Tintoreras, explore and snorkel Lava Tunnels best site for marin wildlife in the Galapagos, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, hiking with giant turtoises in Santa Cruz highlands 
  • Accommodations based in double occupancy: First Class hotel in Quito, First Class hacienda in leito, luxury eco-jungle lodge in Tena region in Amazon Rainforest, luxury Spa Resort Papallacta, Luxury lodging in Isabela, luxury lodging santa Cruz island in the Galapagos 
  • Transportation: Airfare Quito - Galapagos - Quito round trip, airport transfers (national flights), sea transportation Santa Cruz - Isabela islands round trip, comfortable land and sea transportation. 
  • Meals Included: 12 breakfasts, 5 lunchs and 4 Dinners
  • Gear: Hiking sticks, cross-country bikes (disc brakes and front suspension), helmets, life vest,  snorkeling mask and fins. 
  • Trip Leader: Certified AJ expert English-speaking adventure Trip Leader (minimum 4 people for this service) and naturalist local guides in Galapagos National Park

      NOT INCLUDED

  • My Own Room supplement cost $ 1320 USD
  • International flights
  • Airport transfer (international flights)
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Meals not described in the itinerary - estimated budget USD $240 USD
  • INGALA transit card: USD $20 per person, cash only (subject to change)
  • Galapagos National Park fee: USD $100 per person, cash only (subject to change)
  • USD $10 pier-use fee at Puerto Villamil
  • Snorkeling gear (mask and fins) for optional activities: USD $8 per day per person
  • Wetsuit for rent: USD $10
  • Tips
  • Passport,
  • Travel insurance,
  • Airline tickets,
  • Credit or debit card (see personal spending money),
  • Quick dry clothing,
  • Fleece top,
  • 4 shirts/t-shirts,
  • 2 pairs of shorts,
  • 2 pairs of long trousers,
  • 2 pair hiking pants/track pants,
  • Rain jacket,
  • Rain pants,
  • Sun hat or cap,
  • 2 swimming suits,
  • Sport sandals,
  • Hiking shoes,
  • Tennis shoes,
  • Day backpack 20L. (with rain cover)
  • Water bottle 1L. or camelback 1L.
  • Watch or alarm clock
  • Waterproof binoculars (if possible),
  • Insect Repelent
  • Sun Screen 60 SPF,
  • Flashlight,
  • Waterproof camera (if possible),
  • Money belt,
  • Sunglasses,
  • First-aid kit(should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, altitude medication, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking.
  • SMILE

REMEMBER: IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO TRAVEL 'LIGHT' !

NOTE: IMPORTANT LUGGAGE WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS ON FLIGHT FROM ISABELA TO BALTRA (25 lb.)

NOTE: IMPORTANT LUGGAGE WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS ON FLIGHT FROM ISABELA TO BALTRA (25 lb.)

ITINERARY DISCLAIMER

It is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described; however, due to our travel style, on occasions it may be necessary or desirable to make small changes. Weather conditions and unpredictable local circumstances may lead us to make alterations to the route and/or travel times. Hotels and flight schedules might change according to availability. Any mention to specific wildlife in the itinerary or trip details is not a guarantee that it will be seen during the trip.


FLIGHT TIME

2:45 hours each way from Quito to Galapagos. Regular size aircraft. About 140 passengers.
45 mins one way from Isabela to Baltra. Small size aircraft. 9 passengers.


PROVINCE

Pichincha, Tungurahua, Pastaza, Napo, Galapagos.


GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS

Andes highlands, Amazon rainforest and Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.


BOAT TRAVEL TIME

2 hours one way from Santa Cruz to Isabela
45 minutes each way - Lava Tunnels
15 minutes each way – Tintoreras




DRIVING TIME

2 - 3 hours a day while in mainland
45 minutes Airport transfers in Quito
45 minutes Airport transfers in Galapagos


KAYAKING TIME

2 hours


SNORKELING TIME

Tintoreras: 1 hour.
Lava Tunnels: 2 times of 1 hour each.


BIKING TIME

Mainland: 1 hour moderate uphill; 2 hours downhill (terrain: cobblestone, dirt, muddy and asphalt)
Galapagos: 3 hours flat terrain


TREKKING TIME

Quilotoa crater lake: 1 hour downhill from 13,000 ft. to 12,000 ft. and 1 hour and 20 minutes uphill same way back.
Cloudforest: 2 hours easy uphill; 1 hour downhill same way back.
El Chato Tortoises Reserve: 1 hour total


ACCOMODATION

All prices are based on double-occupancy. If you are travelling solo, you will be matched with another participant of your same sex. If you prefer to have a single room, please contact AJ prior to your departure to arrange your accommodation at an extra cost.


MEALS

Travelling with Adventure Journeys you will have the possibility to experience and taste local food and snacks. Your guide will help you identify typical food and suggest the best places to enjoy it. Some meals are not included in order to give you some flexibility about where, what and with whom to eat. You have the option to share these meals with the group, however there is no obligation to do this. If you have any allergies or food restrictions, please inform AJ prior to your departure.


YOUR TRIP LEADERS AND GUIDES

All AJ guides and trip leaders are highly experienced, licensed to operate in Ecuador and certified as Wilderness Adventure First Aid responders. We always carry a complete first aid kit in our trips. In some location and for some activities, local guides join the trip leaders to provide an added service. In the Galapagos Islands, minimum 4 participants for the AJ trip leader service are required.


WEATHER TEMPERATURES

Day 15-34ºC / 59-93ºF - Night 12-17ºC / 53-62ºF.


WATER

The waters of the Galapagos Islands are a unique mixture of warm and cold water, ranging between 65ºF and 85ºF


ALTITUDE

Quito: 2800 m (9,186 ft.)
Baños: 1820 m (5,971 ft.)
Amazon: 510 m (1,640 ft.)
Papallacta: 3300 m (10,827 ft.)
Galapagos: Sea level


DIFFICULTY LEVEL

Moderate 


SUSTAINABLE ECO-TOURISM

Clients receive interpretation and education about the ecology and conservation of the Andes, Amazon Rainforest and Galapagos Islands, and learn about the factors that threaten it. We aim to promote long-term conservation of both local people cultural identity and the environment. We transport out and recycle all non-organic garbage and we prefer to work with local suppliers. Your visit will encourage the local communities to support responsible eco-tourism as a sustainable alternative for their living.

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Born to Explore
    • Location

      Republica, E7-03 y Eloy Alfaro Oficina 307 
      Pichincha - Quito - Ecuador 
      EC170526

      Galapagos Office. - Pampas Coloradas, Isabelas 678 and Petrel streets  
      Santa Cruz Island - Ecuador
    • Contact Us

      +593 2 255 8805
      +593 95 955 5556
      + 593 99 623 6400

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