Andes & Galapagos

This is a Private Tour

15 -days fom £4067 / $ 4,880 pp in shared double room

Experience the nature and culture of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Marvel at the lush vegetation of the Mindo cloud forest, waterfalls, butterflies and hummingbirds. Visit a chocolate farm. Explore Ecuador’s indigenous heritage at the world-famous Otavalo Market. Here indigenous people sell their beautiful textiles in traditional dress, plus paintings, ceramics, jewellery, tapestries and more at bargain prices. Hike around Cuicocha Crater Lake within spectacular Andean scenery. Fly to the enchanted Galapagos Islands. Stay in hotels rather than a cruise. Enjoy a week of nature and wildlife, snorkelling through lava tunnels, meeting giant tortoises, iguanas, sea lions and a variety of marine life, and learning about the history of the archipelago.

Tour Includes

Domestic flights, accommodation, 5-nights Ecuador, 8-nights in Galapagos, fully guided excursions and activities, transfers, breakfasts and some meals, English-speaking naturalist guides

Tour Excludes

International flights, Visas, travel insurance, Galapagos Park fee and transit card $130, meals not mentioned, wetsuit hire, personal items, tips


Watch hummingbirds in the cloud forest

Hike Andean crater lake of Cuicocha

Indigenous market and cultural encounter

Galapagos swimming with sea lions, penguins and turtles

Observing giant tortoises and iguanas in the wild

To book this tour or start creating your own tailor made itinerary call us on: 0207 407 1478 (UK) or contact us.

Tour Code(s):



15 -days fom £4067 / $ 4,880 pp in shared double room

The Trip

Day 1: Quito – Arrive Quito / La Casona de la Ronda
Day 2: Cloud Forest – Mindo / Septimo Paraiso
Day 3: Otavalo – Drive to Otavalo and explore market / Hacienda Cusin
Day 4: Quito Crater hike at Cuicocha – Quito / La Casona de la Ronda
Day 5: Galapagos – Fly to the Galapagos San Cristobal / Blue Marlin
Day 6: Galapagos – San Cristobal – Kicker Rock / Blue Marlin
Day 7: Galapagos – Fly to Isabela – Wall of tears / Cormorant Beach House
Day 8: Galapagos – Isabela – Flamingos and tortoises / Cormorant Beach House
Day 9: Galapagos – Isabela – Los Tuneles snorkelling / Cormorant Beach House
Day 10: Galapagos – Santa Cruz highlands and research centre / La Casa de Judy
Day 11: Galapagos – Trip to Santa Fe Island / La Casa de Judy
Day 12: Galapagos – Santa Cruz free day / La Casa de Judy
Day 13: Quito – Fly back to mainland / La Casona de la Ronda
Day 14: Quito – visit city centre then fly home

Day 1 – Quito
Welcome to Quito! The largest and best-preserved colonial city in the Americas – declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the cultural capital of South America and is located on the equator in a valley at the foot of the Pichincha volcano.

Depending on your arrival time, you can spend the day exploring Quito’s old town and surrounding area. We can help you organise a city tour (alternatively on Day 15 am). In the evening one of our guides will meet you in the lobby of the hotel at 18:00 for a welcome briefing. Today is an acclimatisation and information day.

Stay at La Casona de la Ronda (B)

Day 3 – Mindo Cloud Forest
Travel northwest of Quito to view Pululahua crater, the third largest inhabited volcanic crater in the world, home to more than 400 people. We then reach the small town of Mindo, nestled in the cloud forest. This area is filled with diverse flora and fauna, perfect for getting to know Ecuador’s diversity. Mindo and the surrounding cloud forest is a bird watcher’s paradise, especially for hummingbirds. In the afternoon we will visit a chocolate factory where you can see the process of cocoa from harvesting the seeds to the final product, like a delicious brownie or a cup of real hot cocoa.

Stay at Septimo Paraiso (B,D)

Day 3- Otavalo
Head back towards Quito with a stop at the Equator Monument. At the ‘centre of the world’ you can stand on both north and south hemispheres at the same time. Then head north through dramatic mountain scenery. Stop to admire the Imbabura volcano and Lake San Pablo on the way.

In Otavalo, wander the narrow-cobbled streets filled with Andean people. They wear typical blue ponchos, white trousers and long braided hair. Learn about their culture, food and native language. Bargain for beautiful textiles, alpaca rugs, knitwear, ceramics, jewellery, tapestries and much more. Continue to Peguche, a small village famous for its sacred waterfall.  The town is famous for musicians. Finally stop at Cotacachi, a centre for leather goods.

Visit a sustainable project called Sacha WarmiKuna (Women of the Mountain). This is a women’s project at Pijal, a small Andean village.  Observe their weaving skills and gain culinary knowledge. You can help prepare aji, a local spicy salsa, and share a tasty traditional lunch of fresh produce. Learn about the weaving of their textiles. Maybe purchase a handmade scarf. Later we arrive at the hacienda of Cusin, to spend the night. Enjoy an Andean welcome cocktail. The hacienda is steeped in history.

Stay at Cusin Hacienda (B,D)

Day 4 – Cuicocha Crater Lake
For those who like a challenge, take a 5-hour hike around the Cuicocha crater lake. If you prefer take a shorter walk. Enjoy breathtaking views of active Cotocachi volcano and the amazing valleys. On the trek, you will reach an altitude of 3,620 m (11,880 ft) and hike 9 miles around the crater. Then take a boat ride to the centre of the crater to watch bubbles coming up from the caldera of this volcano. In the afternoon drive back to Quito. In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel for a briefing about your Galapagos adventure.

Say at La Casona de la Ronda (B, L)

Day 5 – Galapagos – San Cristobal
Take a flight to the most amazing archipelago in the Pacific, the Galapagos Islands. The place that inspired Charles Darwin. Arrive at the island of San Cristobal. Take a short ride the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

In the afternoon we head to La Loberia, a beach favoured by Galapagos sea lions. You can spot them showing-off in the turquoise waters or dozing in the sand. Spot other creatures along the beach, like yellow warblers, frigate birds, and Darwin finches. On the rocks you can find marine iguanas, unique to Galapagos. There is time to go for a refreshing swim, explore the waters with our snorkel equipment or enjoy the beach.

Stay at Blue Marlin or similar (B)

Day 6 – San Cristobal – Kicker Rock
In the morning, take a speed boat to Kicker Rock, also known as the Sleeping Lion (Leon Dormido) because of its shape. The remains of an eroded ash cone, two vertical rocks rising above the ocean, separated by a small channel. This natural monument has become a favourite visitor site.  Home to many tropicbirds, frigate birds and boobies that fill the sky in this area. Below in the crystal waters spot rainbow wrasse, hammerhead, or white-tip reef sharks. After lunch, we will visit Sea lions Island (Isla de Los Lobos). This islet is full of noisy, frolicking sea lions. This island also offers great snorkelling as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.

Say at Blue Marlin (B, L)

Day 7 – Isabela Flamingo Lagoon & tortoises
In the morning, take a short flight to Isabela Island. This is the largest island in the archipelago. The island is formed by six shield volcanoes: Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf. Five of which are still active, making it one of the most volcanic places on earth.

In the afternoon, set-off on mountain bikes to explore the beautiful coastline. Follow a trail, with a wide variety of wildlife. Stop at the Wall of Tears, a massive lava rock wall. This site dates to the 1950’s, when Isabela was used as a penal colony. Convicts were made to build the wall to keep them busy. Along the coast, explore pristine, white sandy beaches, mangrove forests and lagoons. This area is rich in birdlife, including oystercatchers, herons, flamingos, finches and shorebirds. As well as the ubiquitous sea lions and marine iguanas.

One of today’s highlights is the Tortoise Breeding Centre, to see giant tortoises in various stages of development, from eggs to hatchlings, juveniles, and sub-adults. After dinner enjoy a stunning sunset on the beach at Puerto Villamil.

Stay at Cormorant Beach House (B)

Day 8 – Isabela Los Tuneles

Today explore the amazing lava formations now submerged along the coast. This magical is featured by the BBC/National Geographic in documentaries. This labyrinth of lava arches lies inside the breakers.  The crystal-clear waters are home to giant sea turtles, eagle rays, sea lions, fish, white tip reef sharks and more. The turtles navigate their own highway from the mangroves to the open sea through Los Tuneles. Enjoy fantastic snorkelling with these creatures, including the curious Galapagos penguin playing around.

Isabela offers many optional activities. For example, take the walkway through the mangroves for snorkelling at Concha de Perla, or relax on the white sand beach of Villamil.

Stay at Cormorant Beach House (B, L)

Day 9 – Isabela – Hike Sierra Negra
After breakfast drive to the highlands of to Sierra Negra volcano to start a hike. The volcano is the second largest caldera in the world, with a depth of about 1,500 m and nine kilometres across. Tortoises inhabit the crater below. Hawks hove overhead.

Lunch is at a local highland restaurant. This is a beautiful organic farm where the owners use home grown fruit and vegetables. Enjoy a delicious meal prepared over a lava rock grill. After lunch take a walk along the orchard trails or take a nap in one of their hammocks. Breath in the clean air above a giant mango tree.

Isabela offers many optional activities. For example, take a walk through the mangroves for snorkelling at Concha de Perla, or relax on the white sand beach of Villamil.

Stay at Cormorant Beach House (B, L)

Day 10 – Santa Cruz Island
Take the morning sea crossing from Isabela to Santa Cruz Island. After checking into the hotel. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn more about these gentle giants. Be inspired by conservation efforts in the Galapagos Islands. In the afternoon, travel to the El Chato Reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz. Here you can see the famous Galapagos tortoises in the wild. Take an unforgettable walk through the beautiful landscape with these lumbering giants. Spot other highland wildlife such as pintails, egrets, flycatchers, finches.  Frigatebirds come to wash the salt off their feathers in a freshwater lake. Return to Puerto Ayora, the Galapagos’ most populous town, for the evening.

Stay at La Casa de Judy or similar (B)

Day 11 – Santa Fe excursion
Visit the island of Santa Fe with an expert guide. The island has much to offer, including rare iguanas, a giant cacti forest and great snorkelling. This day trip from Puerto Ayora allows you to explore its highlights. Go in a small group and make sure you bring water and camera. The trail starts on the beach and takes you into a giant cactus forest, while the Galapagos hawk soars in the clear blue sky. On this unique island you can see crabs, night herons, marine iguanas, mockingbirds and Galapagos doves. Optional snorkelling is in Fisherman’s Bay where you can see sea turtles, rays, sea lions, fish, Galapagos sharks and much more.

Stay at La Casa de Judy or similar (B, L)

Day 12 – Santa Cruz
Today you can experience the Galapagos at your own pace, such as a self-guided walk through dry forest to Tortuga Bay (about 3 ½ miles). This is a beautiful white sand beach and nesting site for thousands of sea turtles. This is a wonderful place to go for a swim or a snorkel. Other optional excursions include a day boat trip to Floreana or Bartolomé Island (at an additional cost).

Stay at La Casa de Judy or similar (B)

Day 13 – Quito
After the last of the sea lion and iguana photos, you will be transferred to the airport at Baltra in time to catch the flight back to the mainland.

Stay at La Casona de la Ronda (B)

Day 14 – Fly home
Today is the end of your journey, you will be transferred to your international departure airport. Take your memories and photos with you on your journey. You will want to return to Ecuador to experience more of this magical country. We wish you buen viaje!


"Our guide's genuine love and enthusiasm for the island really shone through. I would have no hesitation in recommending you to friends or travelling with you again."

J John & J Palin

"A trip to the Galapagos is a unique experience and has left us with so many wonderful memories"

D & M Mercer

"Thank you for all your help and care in advising on and arranging this most memorable adventure for us. It was a fascinating, extra-ordinary utterly enjoyable experience"

A Tennant

“The Galapagos tour was fantastic, thank you so much for all your help organising. I had expected it to be incredible, but as you know, the wildlife and scenery still blows everyone away. The crew were brilliant, and the guide so knowledgeable. It was truly a treat to spend a week on board, and humbling to spend time in such a magical place."

M Welch...

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