15 Day Ecuador - Galapagos Islands Tour
Day 1: Quito-Arrival Day
Arrive in Quito, the capital of Ecuador and a city famed for its high vantage point in the Andean mountains, and its ancient Incan significance. Transfer to your hotel with English-speaking guide and spend the day at your leisure.
Day 2: Full Day City tour in Quito & Equatorial Line
Ecuador is history, fascinating indigenous cultures, slow winding rivers and lush tropical forests, spectacular snowcapped volcanoes and some of the most exciting wildlife on earth.
The place to start is the ‘Mitad del Mundo’, a site located just 45 minutes north of Quito, where a monument marks the equator at its closest point to the city. Archaeological evidence shows that both pre-Inca and Inca civilizations recognised and celebrated the equinox, the day the sun is directly over the equator.
In the morning we will make the 45 minute journey northwest to the equatorial line, where we will walk the rim of the extinct Pululahua volcanic crater. Later we will visit the “Ciudad Mitad del Mundo” a group of buildings designed to explain the significance of the site, as well as the Ethnographic or Initñam Museum, located right on the Equator. Here you will have the chance to plant your feet in two hemispheres at the same time!
Back in Quito, we will visit the city’s impressive colonial centre, the reason Quito was the first city to be named a world heritage site. First on the agenda is a walk through the main plaza, the ‘Plaza de la Independencia’, where you will see the Government Palace, the Cathedral, and some of the most important churches built around the XVI and XVII centuries, including the San Francisco Monastery, a building begun only 5 days after the founding of the city.
Overnight stay in Quito
Included: Breakfast, excursion, transportation, entrance fees, English speaking guide, and accommodation.
Day 3:Full day Otavalo Indian Hues
The Indian market in Otavalo is famous for its craft work, and is a must for all visitors to the northern Andes of Ecuador. Here, under the watchful gaze of the majestic Mount Imbabura, visitors will find the quiet and harmony typical of this primarily Quichua speaking region.
The town´s famous craft market is one of the most visited sites in Ecuador, and with good reason. The market is filled with interesting colourful and sometimes rare objects and crafts. Do remember to bargain, but only if you´re interested. The market is held every day on one of the town squares at the foot of the majestic Mt. Imbabura. And to help you navigate the market your hosts will present you with a short explanation of the market´s and provide a map of the area. During the stay at the market we visit local workshops of handcrafts in Peguche.
Afternoon drive back to Quito. Overnight stay in Quito
Included: Breakfast, transportation, English speaking guide,excursion, activities, and accommodation.
Day 4:Quito-Papallacta- Tena
Breakfast at the hotel. Today depart from the Ecuadorian highlands down to the jungle in the east of the country. In Papallacta stop to see the famous hot springs. Afterward, continue to the areas on the edge of the Amazon. Take a canoe ride along the river, towards the lodge in the heart of the jungle. Arrive in time for dinner and enjoy a night-walk to admire the nocturnal wildlife.
Overnight in Tena.
Included: Breakfast, transportation and accommodation
Day 5: Tena - Rainforest - Tena
Seize the day and awake early for a short canoe ride upriver to visit the Parrot Saladero, a unique place where parrots and parakeets gather in order to obtain the minerals that help them to digest the fruits or seeds they eat. Hundreds of parrots descend to the clay wall to eat the mineral-rich soil. Return to the lodge for breakfast before heading out for a nature walk through the rainforest. In the afternoon, after lunch, visit an Amazonian Kichwa community to learn about their way of life and the interaction they have with the forest. Try a traditional fermented cassava drink and some of their traditional dishes. The visit ends with a traditional dance performed by the children of the community. Return to the lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.
Overnight in Tena.
Included: Breakfast, activities, accomodation and dinner
Day 6: Tena-Puyo-Baños
After breakfast at the lodge, say goodbye to the jungle and returned by canoe to the road. Arrive in Puyo where you can visit the Yana Cocha rescue center for Amazonian animals. Continue towards Baños, and stop at the wonderful Pailón del Diablo waterfall, considered one of the 10 most beautiful cascades in the world. Arrive in Baños a subtropical area close to the Amazon basin, known for its beautiful hot springs. Transfer for the hotel
Overnight stay in Baños.
Included: Breakfast, transportation, English speaking guide, entrance fees and accommodation.
Leisure day: Spend the day at your leisure, relaxing in the mineral-rich hot springs, discovering the local culture or shopping for souvenirs in the city center.
Overnight stay in Baños
Included: Breakfast, and, accommodation
Day 8: Baños-Cotopaxi-Quilotoa Lake
Today we’ll visit the Quilotoa volcano crater, where we will be able to appreciate the crater’s serene mysterious green lake. We’ll have the option of a short walk of about 1.7 kilometers / 1.1 mile along the crater's rim.
On the way back, we will stop to visit an art gallery in the community of Tigua, where we will be able to appreciate paintings representative of the folklore of this part of the Andes. The brightly colored style of the area’s artists, currently the third generation, has transcended local boundaries and is now internationally renowned.
Overnight stay in Cotopaxi
Included: Breakfast, transportation, English speaking guide, excursion , entrance fees and accommodation
Day 9:Excursion Cotopaxi National Park - Quito
We will visit Cotopaxi National Park where, weather permitting, you will be able to see the snowcapped summits of the Cotopaxi and Antisana volcanoes.
We will also visit the Interpretation center to learn about the history of this spectacular volcano’s major eruptions, as well as the local flora and fauna. We will then visit Lake Limpiopungo and explore the surrounding area on foot.
If you feel like a longer walk, a 2 hour hike will take us to Mt. Cotopaxi’s J. Ribas refuge (4,800 m) where you will be able to enjoy spectacular views of the volcano and the surrounding Andean peaks.
Overnight stay in Quito
Included: Breakfast, transportation , English speaking guide , excursion , and accommodation
Day 10: Quito-Galapagos
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport for a flight to Baltra, in the wonderful Galapagos Islands. From Baltra, transfer to the island of Santa Cruz by crossing the Itabaca channel on a ferry. Stop in the highlands of Santa Cruz, a lush, green natural habitat of the famous Galápagos giant tortoises. Visit a private ranch to enjoy a traditional lunch. After lunch, take a tour of the area and walk among the trees and look for the giant tortoises that prefer to stay near the small lagoons. Transfer to your hotel in Santa Cruz and spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Overnight stay in Santa Cruz.
Included: Breakfast, transportation, English speaking guide, and accommodation
Day 11: Galapagos (Santa Cruz)Half day excursion to Bay Exploration (sharing excursion)
This morning we will join a Puerto Ayora’s bay exploration, at the main dock we will have a quick 10 minute navigation to la Loberia Island named after a sea lion colony that inhabits there. This small island is a great place to snorkel in amongst sea turtles and a great variety of colorful fish, and for playing with the ever-friendly and inquisitive sea lions.
Our next stop will be a hike to the Tunel del Amor (lover’s tunel) with a great viewpoint from where if lucky you can watch resting white-tip sharks. On the way back we will visit Punta Estrada’s dock, where we’ll go on a walk to watch marine iguanas.
Overnight stay in Santa Cruz.
Included: Breakfast, local guide, transportation and accommodation
Day 12: Galapagos (Santa Cruz)
Leisure day- Spend the day at your leisure, enjoying the beautiful beaches or the wonderful wildlife
*Optional Tour: Navigable Tour to neighbor islands
Embark our motor yacht and enjoy of a daily excursion with a welcoming crew members and knowledgeable naturalist guide as you experience the remote islands in comfort and style.
Our daily excursions will take you to experience the Galapagos Islands in a safe and comfortable manner. We can visit North Seymour and Bachas, South Plazas, Santa Fe Island or Bartolome, and Sullivan Bay. Along the way, we might see leaping rays or other sea life, while enjoying the vastness of the Pacific. The yacht tour lets you see the Islands and their wildlife in their most pristine state. Island visited may vary according to National Park regulations
Overnight stay on Santa Cruz.
Included: Breakfast and accommodation
Day 13: Galapagos (Santa Cruz)Tortuga Bay
Walk to the beautiful beach Tortuga Bay where you can spot marine iguanas, go for a swim, snorkel or just relax on the sandy beach. Turtle Bay is a beautiful white sand beach, so named because it is a nesting site for the black turtle.
Charles Darwin Research Station
The Charles Darwin Research Center is the matrix of all the scientific researches in the Galapagos Islands. It is from these headquarters from where all the most sensitive conservation projects are being directed. The conservation and preservation of giant tortoises, marine iguanas among others are some of the examples of the Center labor. We can walk along the core of the Research Center where we can find the corrals where the giant tortoises are being breed as well as the corrals where the land iguanas are being studied. The Research Center offers a brand new Interpretation Center with some of the most important samples of the Center Collection.
Overnight stay on Santa Cruz.
Included: Breakfast, English speaking guide , transportation , excursion and accommodation
Day 14: Galapagos-Guayaquil
Breakfast at the hotel. Head back to the mainland, with a flight from Baltra. Arrive in Guayaquil, and transfer to your hotel in the city center. Guayaquil is the largest city in Ecuador and is located on the coast. Depending on your arrival time, spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Overnight stay in Guayaquil.
Included: Breakfast, transportation and, accommodation
Day 15: Guayaquil- Departure Day
Transfer to the Guayaquil airport with English Speaking Assistance
END OF SERVICES
Included: Breakfast, transportation , and english guide
2023 prices, double occupancy, in US$ with tourist superior hotels:
with 1 person = $5227
with 2 people = $3309
with 3 people = $2736
with 4-6 people = $2440
single supplement = $375
2024 prices, double occupancy, in US$ with tourist superior hotels :
with 1 person = $6507
with 2 people = $3557
with 3 people = $2942
with 4-6 people = $2624
single supplement = $404
can quote with higher class hotels
Hotels Used (all classes listed):
Hostal Real Audiencia or similar
Hotel Mama Cuchara
La Floresta Hotel
Sangay Spa Hotel
Samari Spa Hotel
Hosteria Rumipamba de las Rosas
Chilcabamba LodgeCotopaxi Pungo
Deja Vu in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island
Hotel Mainao, Santa Cruz
Ikala Galapagos Hotel, Puerto Ayora
Hotel availability - All hotels are subject to availability.
The following services must be paid in cash only: