This is a Private Tour
12 Days From £2,877 pp / $4,459 pp
A whistle-stop tour of Ecuador’s highlights. Includes bird watching in the misty slopes of the Andean cloud forest, exploring the colourful wares and the indigenous market of Otavalo and getting up close to fascinating wildlife in the Galapagos Islands.
Domestic flights, accommodation, activities, some meals, 5 day Galapagos cruise on board the Beluga, naturalist guides, full ATOL financial protection
International flights, travel insurance, Galapagos park fee and transit card $110, some meals
Watch the abundance of hummingbirds in the misty cloud forest
Wander through the colourful indigenous market of Otavalo
View the mating dance of the albatross on Española Island
To book this tour or start creating your own tailor made itinerary call us on: 0207 407 1478 (UK) or contact us.
Day 1: Quito – Arrive Quito / Patio Andaluz
Day 2: Quito – City tour / Patio Andaluz
Day 3: Cloud Forest – Afternoon hike in the fores / Bellavista Lodge
Day 4: Cloud Forest – Hiking and bird watching / Bellavista Lodge
Day 5: Otavalo – Drive to Otavalo and explore market / Hacienda Cusin
Day 6: Otavalo – Free day to explore / Hacienda Cusin
Day 7: Quito – Return to Quito / Patio Andaluz
Day 8: Galapagos – Fly to the Galapagos and board yacht / Beluga
Day 9: Galapagos – Santa Fe and South Plaza Islands / Beluga
Day 10: Galapagos – Cerro Brujo, Kicker Rock and Junco Lagoon / Beluga
Day 11: Galapagos – Gardner Bay and Punta Suarez / Beluga
Day 12: Galapagos – Research Station and return to Guayaquil
Once out of the airport at nearly 10,000ft above sea level you are greeted by a spring-like climate and the snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano. After you have rested in the boutique hotel Patio Andaluz, our guide will show you the sights of this exciting capital.
From the hills around the city you will get panoramic views, and walking around the old town will take you back nearly 500 years to the Spanish conquest of the Incas. Every cobbled street has an ancient monastery or church and delightful plazas to sit in the sun, or talk to the hospitable locals.
In just two hours drive down towards the Pacific lie the misty slopes of the Andes known as the cloud forest. These verdant hills are a bird-watchers paradise with flocks of colourful tanagers, toucans and dozens of kinds of hummingbirds. The trees are festooned with orchids and bromeliads, like a scene from Indiana Jones.
You will spend a couple of nights in the Bellavista Lodge. The expert guides are on hand to show you the hidden wonders of the forest. Hike through the jungle to refreshing waterfalls. Watch the hummingbirds and the thousands of species of butterfly who make their home in these forests. You can also take an optional visit to view the spectacular cock-of-the-rock.
Bartering at the markets
Zig-zagging across the Equator, through the Andes, takes you to Otavalo, a market town in the shadows of volcanoes Imbabura and Cotacachi.
At the market you can bargain for handicrafts and fine weavings, you will meet the indigenous people of the Andes, the dignified Quechua Indians. You will also have a free day to explore volcanic craters, the beautiful lake Cuicocha, or perhaps biking or horse-riding into the countryside. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Condor Park should you wish.
You will stay at the charming Hacienda Cusin, a country inn with delightful gardens owned by a local family.
Follow Darwin’s footsteps
After a brief stop back in Quito you will fly out to the Galápagos Islands. Cruise the fabled islands where Darwin pondered the origins of species.
On the comfortable motor yacht Beluga you will be sailing to small islets home to tropical birds and scaly dragon-like iguanas. You land at least twice a day and there is plenty of opportunity to snorkel with rays and turtles and young sea lions.
One of the highlights will be Española Island where the waved albatross returns to breed each year after April. Colonies of dancing boobies will entertains you. It’s easy to see why the myriad of diverse wildlife inspired Darwin to his groundbreaking theory.
Click or tap on the pictures below to see the photo gallery:
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