Adventure Tours   >   South America Adventure Tours   >  Ecuador: Volcanoes, the Amazon & the Galápagos Islands

Ecuador: Volcanoes, the Amazon & the Galápagos Islands Adventure Tour

South America

  • Ecuador

Take Ecuador by storm on this 15-day immersive trip through all of the country's essential highlights. Start on the mainland with a week to climb to new heights in Cotopaxi National Park. Canoe along Napo River in the Amazon to a jungle lodge and spend a relaxing and adventurous couple of days under the thick leafy canopy above. Then, circle back to Quito before hopping on a flight to the richly diverse plant, animal, and marine life of the Galápagos Islands. Spend another week exploring by land and sea, while coming face-to-face with many incredible creatures and impressive vistas. From indigenous culture and native species, to kayaking and sunset cocktail-sipping, there's an abundance of adrenaline and serenity to be found in small, but mighty Ecuador.


Itinerary Disclaimer  

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.


Money Exchange  

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available some may not accept all international credit or debit cards. You may need to try at more than one machine if the first does not accept your card. You should also check with your bank before leaving to ensure that your card works internationally. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. Please bring USD banknotes in denominations smaller than 100, as they can be hard to exchange in Ecuador. 100 dollar bills of certain series (e.g. CB B2) can be especially hard to cash! CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than $100 USD (or equivalent). As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com


Spending Money  

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.


Visas and Entry Requirements  

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here


Tipping  

On the Geluxe Collection tours, tipping is included for all included activities and meals. Tipping is not included for the CEO or Porterage. Should you want some basic guidelines on tipping for the activities you do on your own, please see below. At the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $10-15 USD per person, per day can be used.

For meals and activities not included in your itinerary, it is appropriate in Latin America to tip 10%. Though not compulsory, tipping is expected. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels and shows an expression of satisfaction.


Health  

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes, as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Please note your Adventure travels to high altitude, in Quito and the highlands. This is medically defined as anything over 8,000 feet (2,440 meters). Most people can travel to 8,000 feet with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts to altitude differently and altitude sickness can on set with some people irrespective of fitness and age. For details on how to best prepare and what to do in the unlikely event you are effected on your Adventure, please consult your physician.


Solo Travellers  

We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.


Safety and Security  

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.


Group Leader Description  

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, also known as a CEO (Chief Experience Officer). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.


Meals Included  

14 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 8 dinners


Optional Activities  

Baños
- Hot Springs - Baños (20USD per person)
- Horseback Riding - Baños (25USD per person)
- Hiking - Baños (Free)


A Couple of Rules  

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they utilize the services of paid sex workers, in any capacity.


Feedback  

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at [email protected] and we will send it on to you.


Transport  

Motorized Canoe, Private Vehicle, Walking, Speedboat, Ferry.


Emergency Fund  

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!


Newsletter  

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation - Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.


International Flights  

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.


Group Size Notes  

Max 16, avg 12.


Local Flights  

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE FOR DOMESTIC FLIGHTS TO/FROM THE GALAPAGOS:
Maximum one piece of luggage per person weighing a maximum of 23 kilograms (50 pounds), plus one carry-on piece weighing a maximum of 10 kilograms (22 pounds).


Meals  

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally, meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what, and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally, food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.


Travel Insurance  

Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.


Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures  

Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures' itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra's largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation.

Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment.

Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.


Important Notes  

1. ACCOMMODATION NOTE:
Please be aware that properties we stay in with only two stories may not have elevators installed and climbing the stairs with your luggage will be necessary.

2. THE TUNGURAHUA VOLCANO
Please note this tour travels to Baños. The Tungurahua volcano in the area around Baños is constantly active. G Adventures have operated countless tours to the Baños area over the years without incident. However, we are obligated to point out that travel to the area is at your own risk, to exercise caution when travelling in the area. Further, we urge you to check your insurance coverage with your insurance provider prior to travel to the Baños area.

3. ITINERARY CHANGES
The itinerary is subject to further changes dependent upon new regulations made by the Galapagos National Park or seasonal points of interest.

4. CONFIRM YOUR DETAILS
G Adventures requires your passport number, full name and date of birth at the time of booking. Please make sure you give this information to your travel agent.

Once you have confirmed your booking please give us your international flight details and advise us if you have any important issues such as allergies, special diets, etc.

5. GALAPAGOS ISLAND PARK ENTRY FEE
The Ecuadorian government currently levies a Galapagos Islands Park entry fee of $100 USD per person. This is payable at the airport upon arrival in the park. It is not included in the cost of the tour, and must be paid in CASH. This fee funds Park maintenance and supervision in Galapagos, as well as ecological study, conservation and infrastructure development in Ecuador's other National Parks. Entry fees and the funds they generate for the National Park System are among measures taken by the Ecuadorian government to protect its natural heritage.

6. TRANSIT CONTROL CARDS
The Consejo de Gobierno (local government council) have implemented a system of Transit Control Cards at a fee of $20 USD per person. This card is to be purchased in CASH at a counter in the Quito airport before boarding the flight to the Galapagos. Please retain this card along with your passport as you will be required to present this upon arrival to the Galapagos Islands. Please note that this applies to all tourists entering the Galapagos Islands and is a supplement to the existing entry fee to the National Park and is not controlled by tour operators or travel agencies. It is the first of a number of initiatives to track, control and maintain the sustainable tourism targets set out by the Galapagos National Park and the Ecuadorian government in an attempt to preserve the fragile environment of the archipelago.


Alert Message  

Please note that the Quito international airport (UIO, Mariscal Sucre) will be closed on the following dates for preventative maintenance on the runway: May 11, 18, June 1, July 6, 13, 20, September 7, 14, and 21, 2024 between the hours of 2am and 12pm. The airport will also be closed on June 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2024 between the hours of 2am and 2pm. For passengers flying in or out of Quito on these dates, please double-check flight schedules with your airline in case of changes. Internal flights within Ecuador and Galapagos will be adjusted accordingly and any changes to schedules will be communicated at the welcome briefing.


Group Leader  

CEO (Chief Experience Officer)/Naturalist Guide while in the Galápagos Islands (certified by the Galápagos National Park Authority), local guides.


Accommodation  

Hotels (12 nts), Amazon Jungle Lodge (2 nts).


Arrival Complications  

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.


What's Included  

Your Welcome Moment: Welcome Moment - Meet Your CEO and Group
Your Foodie Moment: Cooking Class at the Lodge, Cotopaxi
Your OMG Day: Bike Tour From La Suiza to Baños or Hiking Between Torre al Cielo and Casa del Arbol, Baños
Your Local Living Moment: Visit a Local Family in the Amazon, Tena
Your Foodie Moment: Chocolate Culinary Experience, Tena
Your Wellness Moment: Papallacta Hot Springs Visit, Papallacta
Your OMG Day: Hike Sierra Negra or Tintoreras Snorkelling Excursion, Isabela Island
Your Local Living Moment: El Trapiche Visit, Santa Cruz Island. Complimentary arrival transfer. Welcome dinner. Mitad del Mundo & Intiñan Museum Visit. Full-Day exploration of Cotopaxi National Park. Cooking class at the Cotopaxi lodge.. Pailon del Diablo Waterfall Visit. Baños Orientation Walk & Melcocha Demonstration. Visit with a Local Family in the Amazon. River Tubing in the Amazon. Medicinal Plant Jungle Walk. Chocolate Culinary Experience. Snorkelling Excursion at Los Túneles. Tortuga Bay Walk. Charles Darwin Research Station Visit. Garrapatero Beach Kayaking. Highlands Giant Tortoises Visit. Sunset cocktail-making experience. Free time in Baños, the Amazon, and on Isabela & Santa Cruz Islands. Internal flights. Farewell dinner. All tips included for activities and meals, except for CEO and porterage. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.


Highlights  

Hike in Cotopaxi National Park amidst stunning views and breathtaking altitudes, Head out on nature walks and learn about local life in the Amazon Jungle from the lodge, Soak in the natural hot springs of Papallacta, Set off on a snorkelling and coastal walking excursion at Los Túneles to spot wildlife, Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see and learn all about the giant land tortoises


Joining Instructions  

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

An arrival transfer is included when you arrive on Day 1.

Our driver will be waiting for you with a G Adventures sign with your name on it, and they will be waiting for you outside the luggage hall. There most likely will be many signs, so please check carefully for your name.

Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day.

Upon arrival to your Joining Hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon), look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don't see a note, please ask reception for details!

If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.

Excess luggage can be stored free of charge at the joining hotel during your tour if desired.


Dossier Disclaimer  

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.


About Accommodation  

On our Ecuador trip, we use different types of accommodations that are unique to the various environments experienced on this trip. From a lodge in the Amazon to an eco-friendly property in Cotopaxi, and a boutique hotel in the Galapagos, these are wonderful places to stay.


Laundry  

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.


Packing List  

Amazon:
• Knee-length socks
• Loose-fitting, light coloured hiking pants
• Loose-fitting, light coloured long-sleeved shirts
• Pack liners to waterproof bags

Cold weather:
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Scarf
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Visas or vaccination certificates (With photocopies)

Essentials:
• Toiletries (required) (Shampoo, bodywash, soap, etc.)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Swimwear
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Health & Safety:
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Face masks (Clients will be only be required to wear a face mask where it is mandated by local regulations.)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Quick Covid Test/Antigen Test (optional)

Marine:
• Drybag (Will help keep cameras and essentials dry)
• External battery pack
• Motion sickness tablets
• Sarong
• Snorkel gear (optional) (Only if own equipment is preferred.)

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sturdy water shoes/sandals
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear


Emergency Contact  

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change or flight cancellation within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, please call the emergency contact number to advise of your new arrival flight information. If you do not, we will not be able to rearrange your arrival transfer and you will need to make your own way to the starting hotel at your own expense. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS

G Adventures Office Lima, Peru.
During office hours (Weekdays, 9-6pm Local Time): +593 999 350 112
After hours Emergency number: +51 997 582 712

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999


Detailed Trip Notes  

Important notes about visiting the Amazon:

How to keep things dry:
We recommend that passengers bring zip-lock plastic bags or dry sacks for your lenses and camera equipment. A waterproof backpack will also help you to protect your camera gear or anything else you wish to keep completely dry. The humidity is high in the rainforest, however, if you follow the advice about packing appropriate belongings it should not be an issue.

The weather in the Amazon:
Year-round temperature average is 82°F (28°C), nights can be cooler. Since Ecuador is located right on the equator, the country does not experience extreme weather changes, and the weather is surprisingly comfortable all year round. Please be prepared for rain.

Digital camera users need only beware (as SLR users) that moisture can fog their lenses rapidly. Silica gel in the camera carrying case should do the job and remember to put your camera back in the case when not using it. Bring plastic zip-lock bags for protecting your gear.

CLIMATE:
Located on the Equator, the Galapagos climate is tempered by the Humboldt Current, so you do not experience extreme heat found elsewhere at this latitude. The warmest weather is December to June, when temperatures range from 22-33°C (72-90 °F), and the water temperature is in the mid 20s (mid 70°F). From July to November, temperatures are cooler and range from 18-24°C (60s -75°F), when average water temperature rarely reach 21°C (70°F).


My Own Room  

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops

Day 1 Quito: Welcome to Ecuador

Rolling mountains and snow-capped volcanoes pop into view as you descend into Quito. As you step off the plane, take in a lungful of fresh mountain air and notice it's a bit thinner than what you may be used to. Home to a spectacular variety of people, geography and biodiversity, Ecuador ignites the senses while beckoning your sense of adventure. We welcome you to Ecuador, and invite you to experience the crossroads of cultures, traditions and landscapes within its borders.

Arrive to Quito at any time and transfer to the hotel. Meet your fellow group members at the welcome meeting in the evening and get all the important information about the adventure ahead. Afterwards, head to a nearby restaurant for a delicious first dinner with new friends.

Day 2 Cotopaxi: The Middle of the World

Heading out of Quito you will soon reach the imaginary line that runs around the centre of our planet, both an important geographical marker as well as the name of the country. Scan the scenic landscape and watch as towering volcanoes come in and out of view, or peek out of the clouds as you drive south. You'll be warmly welcomed at our cozy lodgings perched on the majestic Cotopaxi Volcano, surrounded by stark and incredibly picturesque scenery.

Drive to La Mitad del Mundo Equator Monument for a quick pit stop and some photo opportunities. Continue to the Intiñan Museum where you can try experimenting with gravity along the equatorial line. Lunch will be had at a cozy, local restaurant with impressive views of a volcano. Arrive in Cotopaxi in the afternoon to your OMG Stay property where you will be welcomed with a traditional canelazo before dinner. Weather permitting, enjoy a bonfire in the evening with some tasty s'mores.

Day 3 Cotopaxi: Discover the National Park

Immerse yourself in the volcanic landscape of Cotopaxi National Park, home to one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. Breathe in the thin mountain air as you hike and explore this stunning area, home also to a small Inca archaeological site. Back in the warmth of the lodge, you'll savour a delicious meal and learn how to make a tasty regional treat.

Leave the hotel after breakfast for a full-day exploration of Cotopaxi National Park, including a visit to Limpiopungo Lake, a high-altitude hike, lunch, and the Pucara de Salitre ruins. End the day with a cooking class at the lodge where you'll learn how to make a traditional Ecuadorian sweet.

Day 4 Baños: Lush Landscapes

Imagine plunging waterfalls, lush forests, steep gorges and steaming thermal springs, and you'll have conjured Baños in your mind. This incredible setting sits in the shadow of one of South America's most active volcanoes and begins your time in an adventurer's paradise. Follow the Rio Pastaza to the Pailon del Diablo, a powerful waterfall in the midst of the jungle landscape. From thrilling walks to a demonstration of the best handmade candy in Ecuador, this introduction to Baños will captivate your senses at every turn.

Travel to Baños and stop along the way at Pailón del Diablo, where there will be time to walk the winding steps to the top of the waterfall. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant upon arrival to Baños before an orientation walk through the city with a melcocha demonstration. The evening is at your leisure.

Day 5 Baños: Your OMG Day

Baños is a hub for adventure activities, and today is all about how you want to best experience it with two great options to choose from. Set out on a cycling ride through the landscape on winding trails and roads from the La Suiza area back to the city. Or if you would rather stay on foot, join a guided trek to the Casa del Arbol and Torre Al Cielo, where you will encounter remarkable views of Baños and the Tungurahua Volcano.

Decide between biking or hiking this morning to fully immerse yourself in the landscape surrounding Baños. Sit down for lunch prepared using traditional cooking techniques and local ingredients. Choose between a range of optional activities in the area, and spend a free afternoon on your own. Dinner is at your leisure today.

Day 6 The Amazon: Life in the Jungle

The Amazon has sparked the imaginations of curious travellers everywhere for centuries, conjuring up images of exotic wildlife and dense green leafy jungle. The biodiversity of plant and animal life is staggeringly varied, and the cultural traditions of those who live here are evident in the day-to-day responsibilities of life along the river, dependent on the changing land. Journey along the river by canoe and experience the true cacophony of sounds, sights, and smells in this abundantly beautiful place.

Transfer to your lodge stay in the Amazon Rainforest. Travel by private vehicle to Punta Ahuano and then board a canoe and paddle along Rio Napo to the lodge where lunch will be served. Afterwards, visit a local family where you will learn about their day-to-day experiences and how the changing environment is posing a risk to their traditional ways of life. Have dinner back at the lodge followed by free time.

Day 7 The Amazon: River Tubing and Jungle Walks

Awake to the sounds of the forest, and listen for tropical birds and animals going about their daily rituals in the canopy above. Be fully present in this wild landscape while tubing along a river. Everywhere you go, the sights, sounds, and smells of the Amazon will follow creating a true sense of place. From medicinal plant walks to fresh meals at the lodge, your mind and body will be at complete ease in the middle of the jungle.

Pass the morning tubing on the river, searching for wildlife along the way. Refuel with lunch at the lodge before hiking through the jungle to learn about medicinal plants. Then, expand your knowledge of local food production while you collect cacao pods and learn about their importance to the nearby communities. There will be free time at the lodge before dinner.

Day 8 Quito: Papallacta Hot Springs

Sitting at an altitude of 3300m, shrouded in mist, is the town of Papallacta, renowned for its geothermal hot springs. Leave the sanctuary of the lodge behind, but find your inner peace and calm while soaking in the rejuvenating springs en route to Quito. Ease those sore muscles surrounded by nature, and close your eyes in bliss before the next leg of your journey begins.

Travel back to Quito. En route, the group will stop for a visit to the hot springs in Papallacta, and have lunch at a nearby spot serving delicious traditional Ecuadorian dishes. Arrive to the hotel in Quito in the evening and have dinner with the group at the on-site restaurant.

Day 9 Isabela Island: Welcome to the Galápagos

The journey is part of the adventure today as you make your way 1000 km from Ecuador's mainland to the Galápagos Islands. Home to creatures found nowhere else in the world, the surrounding marine reserve is a showcase of evolution and a true testament to the melting pot of species found in the islands, both on shore and in the water.

Start early for a flight to Baltra from Quito. Travel ten minutes by public bus to the ferry port across Canal Itabaca then transfer by private vehicle to Puerto Ayora. Grab some lunch before taking a speed boat to Isabela, keeping an eye out for whales and dolphins along the way. Check into your OMG Stay on the island and spend some free time exploring before an included dinner of delicious local specialties with the group.

Day 10 Isabela Island: Los Túneles Snorkelling

You will see firsthand today how unbelievable the wildlife is in the Galápagos Islands, both beneath the water and on land. Strap on the mask to snorkel and swim though the calm, clear and shallow water at Los Túneles-a unique geological site formed by a series of lava flows that created various arcs and tunnels above and below the water.

Transfer to the dock after breakfast where your boat awaits. Cruise along to Los Túneles for a thrilling snorkelling excursion to spot marine life under the water, then walk the coastal trail to look for blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and more. Eat lunch onboard the boat on the way back to Puerto Villamil and take the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure. Explore on your own, relax in the pool of the hotel or try out one of the many bars and restaurants in town.

Day 11 Isabela Island: Your OMG Day

Today you will be able to explore more of Isabela Island on your terms with the choice of two activities. Stick to the land and hike the Sierra Negra Volcano, one of five active ones located on Isabela Island, and rising to an altitude of 1124m. If you are looking for more snorkelling, take to the water and head to Las Tintoreras, an islet to the south of Puerto Villamil that forms part of the national park of the Galápagos Islands. The area is known for the reef sharks that can be seen swimming with fish and other marine life when the tide is low.

This morning, choose between a volcano hike or snorkelling excursion. Both options include lunch at a local restaurant on the island. The remainder of the day is free for optional activities offered on Isabela Island, or for lounging by the pool at the hotel property.

Day 12 Santa Cruz Island: Tortuga Bay & Charles Darwin Research Station

Swap islands today and travel to the second largest-Santa Cruz-located in the centre of the archipelago. You'll walk to Tortuga Bay, spend time at the beach named for its black sea turtles that nest there, and bask in the sun along this inviting stretch of white sand. Back in town, you will visit the research centre responsible for many of the studies conducted on the islands about the fascinating and prehistoric land tortoises.

Hop on a morning speedboat to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Transfer to the hotel and check in before walking to Tortuga Bay. Once the group arrives, there will be free time to enjoy the beach and choose to rent a kayak in the calm waters. Board a speedboat back to town for lunch. Finish the day with a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station before a free evening on your own.

Day 13 Santa Cruz Island: Life in the Islands and Kayaking

Travel to the highlands to a private ranch to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat and visit some lava tunnels. After lunch, stop by a working sugar cane mill where you can learn about the different distilling processes and techniques before heading to Garrapatero beach for some kayaking, tidal pool gazing or wildlife spotting in the lagoon. Enjoy a signature cocktail-making experience in the evening at sunset.

Spend another day traversing Santa Cruz Island from the highlands to the coast, watching the landscape undulate under waves and hills alike. You'll visit a local sugar cane mill, then look for wildlife like sea lions, flamingos and blue footed boobies from a kayak along the beach. Arrive back to town just in time to catch sunset overlooking the ocean.

Day 14 Quito: Back to the Mainland

While it's time to bid the islands farewell, there's no doubt your days here will be remembered. Incredible up-close encounters with animals and immersion into ecosystems that remain largely unchanged in a pristine slice of paradise will remain etched in your memory forever.

Spend the day travelling back to Quito. Enjoy a private transfer to Canal Itabaca, board the ferry across, then take a short public bus ride to the Baltra Airport. Fly to Quito and check in to the hotel before a farewell dinner with the group in the historical centre of the city.

Day 15 Quito

Today your adventure comes to an end, and you can depart at any time.

Details

Prices from: €6599.00

Duration: 15 Days

Trip Type: Small Group

Travel Style: The Geluxe Collection

Physical Grading: 3 - Average

Merchandising: New Trips

Service Level: Upgraded



Call Us: 01 2311889



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