Expand your connection with mother nature, and discover one of the most bio-diverse countries on our planet…

INTRODUCTION

This is a luxury Galapagos and Ecuador vacation with a difference. You will enjoy the comforts of wonderfully attentive service and accommodations to impress but on this trip you are assured to be out and about living with mother nature. The adventure begins in Ecuador at Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1978. Next, a flight across the Pacific Ocean which leads is to the inimitable archipelago of the Galapagos Islands to embark upon a luxury Galapagos cruise. Each day here will afford you opportunity to explore the diverse marine and island habitats in the capable hands of your expert naturalist guide. The adventure continues as we arrive at your luxury Ecuador Amazon Jungle lodge at Yasuní as base to explore the secrets of the jungle environment and its people. Your senses will be heightened. Live the thrills and excitement of taking a canoe down the Napo River or exploring primary Amazon rainforest territory. Each moment is truly unique as the flora and fauna never work from a pre-determined script, enjoy the surprises. This is a voyage of revelation in destinations where even mother nature has surpassed all expectations. Venture out to dream, explore and discover!

QUICK OVERVIEW BY DAY:

  • Day 01 – Arrive Quito
  • Day 02 – Morning City Tour of Colonial Quito
  • Day 03 – Luxury Galapagos Cruise
  • Day 04 – Luxury Galapagos Cruise
  • Day 05 – Luxury Galapagos Cruise
  • Day 06 – Luxury Galapagos Cruise & Flight to Quito
  • Day 07 – Quito to Yasuní Biosphere Reserve
  • Day 08 – Yasuní Biosphere Reserve
  • Day 09 – Yasuní Biosphere Reserve
  • Day 10 – Yasuní Biosphere Reserve
  • Day 11 – Yasuní Biosphere Reserve to Quito, International Departure
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Day 01 – Arrive Quito

Arrival to Quito Airport, collection by our representative and transfer to your Quito Hotel.

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Day 02 – Morning City Tour of Colonial Quito

We begin with a visit to the colonial heart of Quito founded in 1534 by Diego de Almagro. The city was made a UNESCO world culture site back in 1978 denoting its exemplary preservation of some of the finest building in all of the Americas. The finest churches are included on our tour of La Compania, the monastery of San Francisco and we follow with an insight to working life in Quito at La Ronda. To encompass the panorama of the city we will venture up Panecillo Hill aside the famous Virgin of Panecillo, where we will be able to admire the famous Panecillo’s virgin. Followed by lunch in the heart of the old city. In the afternoon we conclude our Quito visit at Republica del Cacao to enjoy and learn the secrets that have driven this brand to represent the ultimate Ecuadorian chocolate experience.

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Day 03 – Luxury Galapagos Cruise

This morning you will fly from Quito across the Pacific some 600 miles to the Galapagos Islands at San Cristobal Airport. You will be met by our representative and transferred to your cruise boat for an introductory briefing on your boat and safety procedures. In the afternoon we set course for Lobos Island and Kicker Rock. This is an excellent location to see pelicans, marine iguanas, sea lions, nesting frigates and blue-footed boobies. The sheltered channel also affords lucid waters for snorkeling to find sea turtles, white tipped sharks and even stingrays.

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Day 04 – Luxury Galapagos Cruise

This morning we arrive at Pitt Point on the east of San Cristobal Island. This location is the best in the islands to see blue, red and masked boobies in their natural habitat. The trek takes about three hours across a surreal volcanic landscape. After lunch, we will carry on to Witch Hill to take a panga boat trip under the carved rock formations of the sea. Your destination today is a secluded pristine beach which is home to sea lions and also an opportunity to partake in snorkeling along the shore. Watch out for the Sally Lightfoot crabs on the beach!

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Day 05 – Luxury Galapagos Cruise

Our arrival to Suarez Point on Española Island is with a mission to view the rare Waved Albatross that choose only this location for their breeding. Other birds too such as Galapagos Hawks and Red Billed Tropics frequent the island. A trek of about two hours allows us to explore the island and see some amazing marine iguanas in a rainbow of colors. Having taken lunch, we will set course for Gardner Bay at the Osborn Inlet. Our panga boat ride will offer opportunity for snorkeling in these calm sheltered waters to view sea lions, stingrays, green pencil urchins, parrotfish, butterfly fish and a host of other tropical varieties.

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Day 06 – Luxury Galapagos Cruise & Flight to Quito

This morning we come ashore at Bachas beach to marvel in its turquoise waters, sea-lions and the dark black lava shoreline, lofty sand dunes and witness the pink flamingos that abound around a salt-water lagoon. We conclude our cruise voyage with a visit to the interpretative center on Santa Cruz from where your guide will escort you to the airport and connect you to your onward flight to Quito. Overnight Quito Hotel.

All in all, your cruise will have enlightened you to the broad diversity of habitats that are so unique to the Galapagos. The most important thing you can bring away from your luxury Galapagos vacation is a new mindset of understanding the fragility of the wonderful world of nature for which we are so blessed to experience on this planet.

NOTE: Due to Galapagos National Park regulations, tour descriptions are subject to change at any time. Photos shown on this page are for reference only. The cruise ship/itinerary included in the program may vary depending on the level you require and departure availability.

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Day 07 – Quito to Yasuní Biosphere Reserve

Transfer to Quito Airport and we will take a half -hour flight to El Coca (Puerto Francisco de Orellana). Yasuní was named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1989 and is one of the most bio-diverse places on the planet. Here you will begin your luxury Ecuador Amazon Jungle lodge experience. We set out for two hours by motorized canoe on the Napo River which leads us to La Selva dock and a final paddle canoe to your lodge. You will be welcomed by the staff and made familiar with the facilities of the lodge. Later on, you will meet some of the naturalist guides and they will explain the experiences available and how to best enjoy this unique setting in the jungle. You will even have time to venture out along the Matapalo Trail to explore the animals as dusk falls and they become more active. Your evening is rounded off with a delicious dinner at your lodge.

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Day 08 – Yasuní Biosphere Reserve

Our day begins with a visit to the 120-foot-high observation tower to witness some of the spectacular birdlife and for sure some animal visitors too. You can also take the Tucaneta Trail where your guide will demonstrate the usage of medicinal plants that grow in abundance here. After lunch your guide will teach you of the eco-systems at work in the jungle and how they have evolved over time. This includes a trek along the Charapa Trail aside the nearby lagoon, often a great place to observe the animals such as monkeys that go there to feed. The last excursion is by canoe at night along the lagoon in search of our nocturnal visitors.

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Day 09 – Yasuní Biosphere Reserve

After breakfast we take a motorized canoe trip on the Napo River to a prime attraction, the parrot clay licks in their dazzling waves of color. As we move further along we will visit the Kichua Amazon community to gain genuine cultural insights to life in the Amazon for native people. This learning won’t be found in guidebooks. Following our lunch break we head out on the Coto Trail on the shores of the Garzacocha Lagoon. This is a wonderful experience with the low evening Amazon sunshine on your shoulders as you explore the wonders of the animal life including tamirs and tamarin monkeys and of course the medicinal flora which abounds in this very special diverse habitat. We conclude with your canoe ride back and dinner at your lodge to recount the many wonders of the day you have just experienced.

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Day 10 – Yasuní Biosphere Reserve

We start with an early morning excursion to the dock on the Napo River to begin our deep Mandi Cocha Forest jungle adventure. This includes primary forest discovery trekking for a number of hours. This setting affords the best opportunities to witness some of the larger primates in the jungle including deer, wild boar and tapirs. After an adventurous trek we arrive at Mandi Cocha and canoe amidst the semi submerged Igapo Forest, vigilant for giant otters in the waters and the many native birds in the canopy above. After lunch we continue on to the Garzacocha Lagoon and Ceiba Trail. This trail is at the pinnacle of excursions in the jungle and offers rarities such as the Hoatzin bird and perhaps an encounter with the smallest monkey the pimy armoset. If not, you are sure to witness the large groups of capuchin and squirrel monkeys on the shoreline. This visit includes a special night walk in the jungle for an added adventure.

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Day 11 – Yasuní Biosphere Reserve to Quito, International Departure

Following breakfast, we take a motorized canoe journey back upriver and transfer to El Coca airport. Here you will catch you flight to Quito and connect to your onward flight home.

Life is centered about perspectives and how we view and relate to our fellow beings and the natural environment about us. This luxury Galapagos and Ecuador vacation sets you out on a journey to live the incomparable wonders of Galapagos evolution at work in tandem with the secrets of the ways of life in the deep Amazon Jungle. These habitats are polarized from our normal lives and so, by experiencing them it educates your mind to find a broader and deeper perspective on living.

TOUR INFORMATION

Our trips are tailor-made to suit your requirements. Contact a luxury Ecuador Vacations expert for a comprehensive itinerary and pricing:

  • US$ 800+ per person per day (based on 5-star hotels)**
  • US$ 700 – 800 per person per day (based on 4-star hotels)**
  • US$ 600 – 700 per person per day (based on 3-star hotels)**

**NOTE: The price of the trip varies greatly depending on the level of cruise and hotels that are included in your trip. Talk to a travel expert about the level of cruise and hotels that best meets your budget expectations.

Included in the Price:

  • Guided excursions as described in itinerary.
  • Hotel nights + breakfasts.
  • Airport collections and drop-offs with check-in and baggage assistance.
  • 24 Hour emergency contact number and assistance (in-country).

Not Included in the Price:

  • International flights.
  • Domestic flight package. Flights needed Quito – Galapagos – Quito/ Quito – Coca – Quito. Approximate cost US$ 700 – 750. We can purchase these flights on your behalf.
  • INGALA Transit Control Card – US$ 20 pp (subject to change at any time).
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee: US$ 100 pp (adult) / US$ 50 pp (child) (subject to change at any time).
  • Tips or gratuities.
  • Other meals not stated in the itinerary.
  • Travel insurance.

Summary
You can travel to the Galapagos anytime of the year. There isn’t really a good or bad time to travel, simply different times. When you travel could depend on the wildlife that you want to see, breading patterns or when the water is warmer for snorkeling. There are many considerations! December – February offers a warmer climate, and sea temperatures also start to increase meaning that you’ll probably not need a wet suit for snorkeling come February. Over Christmas and New Year cruise prices are usually higher and cruises are usually difficult to find (often booked up 12-16 months in advance). March – April: These are the warmest months of the year and an increasingly popular time to travel. During these months you’ll want air-conditioning in your hotel / cruise to offset the scorching sun. May – July: Temperatures in the Galapagos start to cool off, so a great time for exploring the islands. This is a popular period to travel, so booking with lots of anticipation is important during this period. Towards the end of these months, nighttime temperatures can get a little nippy, so you’ll need to be prepared with a light jacket or jumper. August – November: These are the coolest months in the Galapagos. This period is known as the “garua” period as the islands and seas are encapsulated in a light mist. If hiking in the highlands you may require a light water-proof jacket. August and September are known for having choppier seas. These months are good for snorkeling as the water is clearer, but due to the lower sea temperatures a wetsuit is usually required. This would be considered low season in the Galapagos.

For the Amazon Jungle the high-water season is from December – March/April, so there is a higher chance of rainfall during this time. The low-water season is from May – November, but there is still a chance of rain, but typically less frequent.

Booking With Anticipation
We highly recommend that you plan your luxury Galapagos and Ecuador vacation with as much anticipation as possible. It is not uncommon over holiday periods and during high-season (April – July) that cruises are booked up 12- 16 months in advance.

Departure Dates:
Dates are flexible and customized to meet your needs. Let us know which dates work best for you and we will tailor the itinerary accordingly.

Suitability:
This vacation package is suitable for people looking for an active trip that includes light-adventure. It is suitable for all ages but consider carefully taking young children or babies to the Galapagos/Amazon. We recommend a minimum age of 8 years for children.

Difficulty:
Easy – Moderate: This travel package is suitable for most people. It is recommended to have a good level of fitness and mobility as island excursions can include moderately-challenging hikes of 1-3 hours (often in warm conditions). Some Galapagos excursions require wet landings, meaning that you’ll be taken close to the shore in a zodiac boat, and you’ll disembark in shallow water.

Destinations Visited:

  • Quito
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Yasuní Biosphere Reserve / Amazon Jungle

Vacation Package Type:

  • Sightseeing
  • Hiking
  • Light-adventure
  • Cruise
  • Wildlife
  • Amazon Jungle

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