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The Galapagos Islands | Ecuador | South America
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Wilds of Ecuador - 16 days map

Embark on an incredible adventure through the wilds of Ecuador from the lush Amazon rainforest to the volcanic islands of the Galapagos, teeming with endemic species. Explore colonial Quito, cross the Equator, shop till you drop at Otavalo market and soak up the grandeur of Cuenca.

Prices & Dates

Trip Highlights

Quito and the Centre of the World – touring of the UNESCO-listed colonial city and a visit to the Equatorial Monument
Otavalo – popular handicraft market
El Cajas National Park - glacial lakes and small forests of quinua trees
San Cristóbal Island – the colony of bachelor sea lions at Punta Pitt
South Plaza Island – striking black lava rock formations and bright orange ‘Sally Lightfoot’ crabs
Española Island – the bird colonies of Punta Suárez and a stroll along Gardener Bay
The Amazon Rainforest – jungle excursions on foot and by boat with plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities along the way
Cuenca – beautiful colonial city with traditional architecture and houses overhanging the Rio Tomebamba
The Galápagos – a cruise along the eastern islands
Santa Fe Island – giant prickly pear cacti and the endemic land iguana
Santa Cruz Island - the Charles Darwin Research Station home to ‘Lonesome George’


All touring and excursions in Galapagos on a shared basis
4 nights aboard the M/V Santa Cruz II on a full board basis, Horizon standard twin cabin (upgrades available on request)
All airport transfers (on a shared basis)
Services of professional English-speaking naturalist guides in the Galapagos
Guided tour of Quito, El Cajas National Park and Otavalo
3 economy flights - Quito to Coca, Coca to Quito and Quito to Cuenca
8 nights STANDARD accommodation and 3 nights at the Sacha Lodge, Amazon. Upgrading to SUPERIOR or DELUXE accommodation options are also available upon request. Accommodation rating – See Trip Notes for details
15 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 7 dinners
Services of local English-speaking specialist guides for sightseeing excursions
Entrance fees to sites visited as per itinerary unless otherwise stated
All relevant transfers and transportation

Not Included

International flights, Galapagos flights and visa
Tipping – an entirely personal gesture
Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US$100pp) and Migration Control Card (US$20pp)
Entrance Fees: USD$120pp Galapagos park fee & transit card, paid in USD


Day 1


Bienviendos a Ecuador! Upon arrival you will be met at the international airport and take a scheduled transfer to your hotel in Quito where the rest of the day is free.
Overnight: Quito

Day 2

Quito and the Centre of the World

This morning visit downtown Quito and its architectural treasures on a private city tour. Quito’s UNESCO-listed colonial quarter is one of the largest and best-preserved in South America. Your stroll takes you through Independence Plaza, past the Cathedral and the Presidential Palace, and on to the temple of La Compañia de Jesús with its dazzling gilded interior and the impressive façade of the Monastery of San Francisco. Touring continues with the Equatorial Monument that marks the exact point of the Middle of the World. With a latitude of 0°, you can stand with a foot in each hemisphere and collect a certificate for having crossed the Equator. Next visit the Ethnographic Museum to learn about the different Native American groups living in Ecuador.
Overnight: Quito  |  Breakfast

Days 3-5

The mighty Amazon

Quito – Amazon. A scenic flight over the majestic Andes mountains followed by a motorized canoe ride along the Napo River brings you to your stunning jungle lodge. Over the next three days you will have plenty of opportunities to discover the pristine Ecuadorian rainforest and its colorful characters. During the day venture out into the wilds for wildlife spotting and outdoor activities and at night share your stories with the other guests at the lodge as the sounds of the jungle create your very own soundtrack.

Swim in the local lakes, observe bird species from the mini observational towers, visit the vibrant butterfly house and explore the jungle at night on foot or by boat looking out for the glowing orange eyes of the black caiman. There’ll also be numerous hiking trails available along the Rio Napo or deep into the rainforest and for those looking for a bird’s eye view, the canopy walkway is the perfect vertigo-inducing experience.
Overnight: Amazon Jungle - Ecuador  |  Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3

Days 6-7

Otavalo Market

Amazon – Quito – Otavalo – Quito. After your final breakfast in the Amazon, take an easy walk on the boardwalk to watch monkeys one last time before departing your jungle lodge and heading back to Quito by plane. On arrival you will take a scheduled transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free.

On day 7 enjoy an excursion to the market town of Otavalo. A stunning journey through dramatic Andean scenery brings you to your first stop of the day, the small town of Calderón popular for the bread dough figurines sculpted into many shapes and sizes. Continue along the valleys of Guayllabamba and Cayambe to arrive at Otavalo in time for the famous market of local handicrafts. It’s the perfect time for souvenir shopping with stalls piled high with ponchos, scarves, blankets, woven belts (fajas), handbags and much more. Next stop is the traditional Indian village of Peguche where artisans weave in their homes. Lunch is taken at one of the charming haciendas in the area.
Overnight: Quito  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 1

Days 8-9


Quito – Cuenca. This morning a scheduled transfer takes you to the airport in Quito for your flight to Cuenca, the colonial jewel of the south. Considered to be one of Ecuador’s most beautiful cities, Cuenca is surrounded by the Cullca hills to the north and Turi to the south. Spend the next two days independently exploring Cuenca at leisure. Head down to the Rio Tomebamba to see the overhanging houses lining the slopes and colorful laundry hanging out to dry or wander through the colonial heart of the city and marvel at the UNESCO-listed architecture. You might also want to bag yourself a Panama hat from a local outlet.
Overnight: Cuenca  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 10

El Cajas National Park

Cuenca – Guayaquil. Departing Cuenca this morning journey through the El Cajas National Park, an expanse of glacial lakes, Andean cloud forests and volcanic peaks, on a private excursion. Stop for a stroll at Llaviucu Lake and to admire the views at La Toreadora Lake. Later continue to the coastal city of Guayaquil. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the numerous barrios, each with their own distinct flavor.
Overnight: Guayaquil  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11

The beautiful Galapagos

Guayaquil – Galápagos. Early this morning take a scheduled transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galápagos. Arriving on San Cristóbal Island you have the option to either visit El Junco, the only permanent body of fresh water in the archipelago, or visit the Interpretation Centre where visual aids will help you better understand the origins, geology, geography and history of the islands.

After lunch on board continue to the eastern tip of the island to see the eroded tuff cone of Punta Pitt. A trail ascends from the beach to provide spectacular views of the shoreline and the colony of bachelor sea lions that position themselves along the beach. If weather conditions are favorable there will be the chance to swim or snorkel at the nearby islets.
Overnight: Galapagos Islands  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12

Santa Fe and South Plaza islands

The sandy white beaches of Santa Fe Island are home to numerous male sea lion harems where bulls vie for the right of ‘beach master’ while smaller males masquerade as females to make stealthy mating moves. You’ll also find Galápagos hawks perched atop salt bushes and giant prickly pear cactus with trunks the size of trees. Snorkelling and swimming opportunities abound or you might prefer to stay dry on a glass-bottom boat.

Continue to the small, lava-formed island of South Plaza where the turquoise waters contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black rock of the shoreline littered with bright orange ‘Sally Lightfoot’ crabs. Further exploration of the island reveals yellow land iguanas sitting beneath cacti waiting for pears to drop.
Overnight: Galapagos Islands  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13

Santa Cruz Island

This morning visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration in the Galápagos. Meet the giant tortoise and visit the impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest, home to many land birds. Lunch is enjoyed in the cooler highlands of the island.

The afternoon brings with it several different options for land and water based activities. Trek along trails amid miconia forest, mountain bike down to Garrapatero Beach, sea kayak or visit an organic coffee plantation. There’s also the option to spend the day SCUBA diving, at an additional cost.
Overnight: Galapagos Islands  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14

Española Island

Enjoy a morning outing to Punta Suárez for an exciting walk over lava and boulder terrain to visit unique sea bird colonies of waved albatross, Nazca boobies and swallow-tail gulls. Among its land birds the Hood Island mockingbird, Galápagos doves and three species of Darwin’s finches are common highlights. In the afternoon explore the white coral beach of Gardener Bay to observe sea lions. There’s also the chance to swim, snorkel or ride aboard the glass-bottom boat. In the evening back on board enjoy a farewell cocktail and dinner.
Overnight: Galapagos Islands  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15

Baltra Island

Galápagos – Guayaquil. Disembarking at Baltra Island this morning, bid farewell to your captain, crew and fellow guests and transfer to the airport for your flight back to the coastal city of Guayaquil on the mainland. Upon arrival take a scheduled transfer to your hotel for the night. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the numerous barrios, each with their own distinct flavor.
Overnight: Guayaquil  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16


Today marks the end of your incredible journey through the wilds of Ecuador. After breakfast and hotel check out you will take a scheduled transfer to the airport in time for your onward international departure flight.

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are per person when there are 2 persons sharing a room. The 'Single Room' price is applicable when a single room is required, based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults.

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At a Glance

Trip Type
Any day of the year
Group Size
Min 2 / Max N/A
Hotel Rating
Standard hotels (superior & deluxe available on request). Plus 4 nights on board M/V Santa Cruz II Cruise
Tour Guide
Yes - for all included sightseeing
Breakfast: 15, Lunch: 10, Dinner: 7
Minimum Age
15 yrs, accompanied by an adult
Arr. Transfer
Yes - shared basis
Dep. Transfer
Yes - shared basis
Misty clouds over the Amazon Jungle in Ecuador
Brightly coloured textiles at a market in Otavalo
Charming town of Cuenca, fringed with rugged wilderness
Marine iguana on a rock on the Galapagos Islands
Marine iguana on a rock on the Galapagos Islands
Marine iguana on a rock on the Galapagos Islands
OTG001140Wilds of Ecuador - 16 daysSouth AmericaTailor-madeSouth AmericafalseEcuador