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A 14-day itinerary to explore some of Ecuador’s most wonderful sights. You will travel to Quito, the capital of Ecuador and the first city in the world to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage site back in 1978. The trip will take you to the Amazon Rainforest, the largest tropical rainforest on Earth where you will see countless wildlife, navigate through Napo River in a motorised canoe and learn about the people of the Amazon, before bringing you to a wonderfully contrasting scenery: the awe-inspiring islands that have fascinated explorers, naturalists, sailors and occasionally even pirates – the pristine Galápagos!
The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago consisting of 13 main islands filled with spectacular landscapes and endemic species of birds, land and marine mammals. You will encounter unique species such as the Galapagos giant tortoises, sea lions resting on shores, flightless cormorants and land iguanas standing on lava fields, amongst many others. On board the vessel, you will enjoy luxurious and comfortable facilities. The expedition team will give you a quick brief before visiting each island, so you’ll know what to expect. Their aim is to safely bring you as close to the wildlife as you can get. You will find yourself snorkelling in turquoise blue waters, accompanied by sea turtles and other wonderful wildlife!
Day 1: Fly from the UK to Quito
Day 2–4: Quito
Day 5: Quito – Coca
Day 6–7: La Selva Jungle Lodge
Day 8: Coca – Quito
Day 9–13: Galápagos cruise
Day 14: Santa Cruz
Day 15–16: Santa Cruz – Baltra – Mainland & fly back home.
You will catch your overnight flight from the UK to Quito.
Once you arrive in Quito, you will be transferred by an English-speaking guide to the Hotel Mama Cuchara, to spend two nights in this historic property.
Quito was the first city in the world to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978. High in the Andes, this capital city is located between mountain peaks, and has maintained its character and rich history whilst modernising its infrastructure. Wander around the streets and appreciate the colonial architecture of Quito's historic centre.
The next two days can be spent at your own pace. Alternatively, you can choose a private city tour and visit the “middle of the world”, or perhaps a private full-day tour to the surroundings of Quito such as Otavalo. These are both optional; please ask our Travel Specialists for more details.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport and fly to Coca. Situated in the Amazon Rainforest, the city is the starting point for fascinating jungle tours and for anyone who wishes to discover its pristine wildlife.
You’ll be immersed in the beautiful surroundings, and will be transferred to La Selva Jungle Lodge on a motorised canoe ride. It will be the beginning of an unforgettable experience in the tropical rainforest!
Activities in and around the lodge are plentiful. Sharing the excursions with an international group and accompanied by an English-speaking guide, you will venture into the jungles and observe the region through fantastic trails: you’ll come face to face with various species of monkeys and birds – like the howler monkey and the famous Hoatzin, you’ll paddle through places such as the Igapo Forest and you’ll learn about the people of the Amazon.
You will be transferred back to Quito and stay overnight at the Quito Polo Club Hotel. Your next destination will be the pristine archipelago of the Galápagos!
A private transfer to the airport will be provided. You will then arrive in Baltra Island where you will be picked up to the Catamaran Ocean Spray or the Trimaran Camila, ready for the adventure of your lifetime!
On board the vessel, you will visit the magical islands and encounter their wonderful wildlife.
The island is famous for the Pinnacle Rock – an enormous rock that looks like a sharp tooth rising from the ocean. It is the most famous view of the Galápagos.
In the morning, the ship will approach the island from Darwin Bay, a coral beach where a trail will take you to the seabird colonies. You will observe many species of birds, from the red-footed boobies to short-eared lava owls and the Galápagos doves.
Espumilla Beach is a popular place for meeting marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs, which are brightly coloured coastal scavengers. You’ll also visit Buccaneer Cove, a place that was once the refuge of British buccaneers.
In Puerto Egas you will find black-sand beaches and great snorkelling sites. This is also the home to the curious Galapagos hawks and the quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards.
North Seymour Island
The small island near Baltra was formed after the uplift of a submarine lava formation. You can explore the rocky coast, passing colonies of blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigate birds.
Santa Cruz Island
The area is home to giant tortoises and lush green forests, hills and volcanoes. The highlands are situated in the northern part of the island and can reach elevations up to 2,835 feet!
The island can be defined as a long narrow stretch of white sand, rocks and tide pools. It is home to one of the largest populations of sea lions in the Galápagos Islands, and is also filled with many shorebirds like herons, oystercatchers and white-cheeked pintails.
After visiting these paradise islands and pristine wilderness, you will disembark in Santa Cruz where you will be transferred to Hotel Galápagos Habitat for two nights. You will spend the afternoon at your own pace.
This day will be your own, to enjoy the island and to relax. The Hotel Galápagos Habitat is an exclusive ecological experience, and the surrounding mangroves and stunning views of Academy Bay are reason enough to make you want to stay in and enjoy the hotel’s facilities from the outdoor patio and loungers, or from the newly renovated Almar Restaurant. You might even spot a few sea lions making themselves comfortable on the private deck!
You will be transferred to Baltra airport from where you will fly back to the mainland, to Quito, to connect with your international flight. You will arrive home the next day.
Price from £6,999 pp
The price is based on twin/double share, does not apply to high season dates (Easter, Christmas, New Year) and is only valid in this package. The selected hotels are indicative and subject to availability.
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