The sun in Ecuador can be seen on the smiles of its population. About 12 millions of mestizos, indigenous, black and white people live in this country. This journey take you through the spectacular Ecuatorian Andes, to one of the impressive areas in Ecuador and the beautiful and unique Galapagos.
Day 1 - Arrival in Quito
After you arrive in Quito, you will be taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is free at your disposal. Welcome to Ecuador!“
Day 2 - Quito City Tour
In the morning we visit the beautifully restored old town of Quito (entrance tickets are not included). The largest well-preserved colonial city in America was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. Our tour takes us from the Plaza Grande to the cathedral and the Presidential Palace, the lavish El Sagrario Church and La Compania, while learning a lot about places including Santo Domingo, La Merced and San Francisco. Then we will see the Monastery of San Francisco, a jewel of colonial art in America. Finally, we will visit Quito's landmark, the statue of the Virgen de Quito, El Panecillo. In the afternoon we will taking the cable car up Pichincha Mountain (4,100 m), which is an active stratovolcano, whose capital Quito wraps around its eastern slopes.
(If you arrive at the first day early enough, we can do the Quito City Tour at these day as well and have the whole second day for Pichincha Mountain.)
Day 3 - Quito - Cotopaxi National Park - Latacunga
After breakfast, we visit the Cotopaxi National Park (entrance fee not included). At the centre of the 34,000-hectare park, the picturesque volcano Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in the world. After a short hike through lunar landscape to Limpiopungo lagoon you have the opportunity to ascend 300 vertical meters to the José Ribas refuge, which lies at 4.800meters. At the end of the day we will have your accommodation in Latacunga.
Day 4 - Latacunga - Quilotoa Crater Loop - Latacunga
Inside the 3km wide caldera is a lake, brilliant green with minerals. The crater rim climbs to 3,915 meters at its highest point, but when the clouds roll in and swallow the sides of the caldera, it is just you and the lake below. We will do a trek around the rim of Quilotoa Lake, and hike mostly downhill from Quilotoa to Chugchilan (3-4 hours). From Chugchilan, we have a private transport back to Latacunga, where we will spend one night more.
Day 5 - Latacunga - Guayaquil
Today we will take a comfortable bus about 8h to the airport of Guayaquil. From there we can catch the flight to the Galapagos Islands at these day or the day after in the morning.
Day 6 - Galapagos (Day 1)
From the Baltra airport we transfer to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Here we check in and have lunch. At 2pm we begin our tour of the bay. During our boat trip we observe the cliffs, sea lions and beautiful seabirds. At 2.30pm we walk to Las Grietas to see lava formations, iguanas, various species of birds and Las Salinas where salt is produced naturally. We also see the cliffs where you can go snorkeling (the equipment must be rented in advance in a dive shop). About 4pm we relax at Playa Estrada, where you can sunbathe, swim and go snorkeling. After that we return in a boat to the hotel, at 7pm we have dinner. In the evening the guide or the agency representative provides us with some helpful information.
Day 7 - Galapagos (Day 2)
At 7.30am we eat breakfast and afterwards we visit the Marine Reserve Information Centre in Puerto Ayora. After that we walk about 45 minutes to Turtle Bay, observing land birds, reptiles, vegetation of the region, as well as seabirds, marine iguanas, the giant cactus forest and mangroves. About 10.30am we head for the beach, where you can relax in the sun, go swimming, practice snorkeling or rent kayaks. At midday we return to Puerto Ayora, where we have our lunch and visit the Darwin Station where you can see the Natural History Information Centre, a breeding centre for turtles and land iguanas, a cactus forest and some land birds. From here you we observe the famous turtle El Solitario George, which is the only survivor of its kind and has which scientists have tried to breed with females of similar species. After dinner we meet our guide or the representative of the agency again.
Day 8 - Galapagos (Day 3)
After an early breakfast, we take a boat trip to Isla Floreana (there is a chance to see dolphins and whales). At about 9am we arrive in Puerto Velasco Ibarra and later visit the top of the Isla el Asilo de la Paz which is a historical site where pirates and the first inhabitants of the island settled. Later our visit leads to the corral of the turtles that live in a semi-natural environment. After lunch in a local restaurant, we take a walk to la Lobería where we can see sea lions, marine iguanas, crabs and other endemic species of animals and plants. Afterwards we can enjoy swimming at the Playa Prieta and snorkel to observe the underwater life. About 3.30pm we go back to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island.
Day 9 - Galapagos (Day 4)
After a very early (6.15am) Breakfast we take a boat trip to the island Isabela, where we visit the Islote Tintoreras. There we can see several species of seabirds such as boobies, penguins, pelicans, etc.., marine iguanas, sharks and you can do snorkeling here to observe the marine life. There is also time for the Playa de Puerto Villamil. After lunch we pay a visit to the Wetlands to observe flamingos and other birds of the lagoon. Later we visit the Turtle Breeding Center. In the afternoon we go back to Puerto Ayora on the Santa Cruz Island.
Day 10 - Galapagos (Day 5)
After a 7am breakfast, at 8am we begin a visit to the Cráteres Gemelos (Twin Craters) which are volcanic depressions on the upper Santa Cruz Island, and admire the pajaro brujo, one of the most attractive birds of the islands. Here you can also see a forest of the endemic escalesia of the islands. At 9am we transfer to Baltra airport for the flight back to Guayaquil or Quito.
Included in the price:
- airport-hotel transfers
- land and sea transport
- daily breakfast and visits
- English speaking guide throughout the tour
- Accommodation in hotels in the program in a single, double or triple room
- All activities described in the program
- international flights
- flights Guayaquil - Baltra - Guayaquil
- not mentioned meals
- entry fees (approx. 60$)
- extra consumption