Luxury journey Ecuador and Galapagos

20 days - From € 12,250 per person

Amazon - mountains and volcanoes - Galapagos - history

This beautiful journey takes you to the highlights of Ecuador. You will stay in outstanding accommodations where you will enjoy good service at special locations. You will get acquainted with the Ecuadorian capital, the Amazon, the Andes landscapes, stay on a typical Hacienda and end the trip with a luxury expedition cruise on the Galapagos.

Day 1: Amsterdam – Quito

Your luxury holiday through Ecuador starts today. You will board an intercontinental flight from Amsterdam to Quito. Upon arrival you will be welcomed by our local staff and brought to your accommodation.
Overnight stay: Illa Experience Hotel | bed & breakfast

Illa Experience Hotel

You will stay at the brand new Illa Hotel, located in the cosy district of San Marcos and only four blocks from the central square. The idea of the Illa Experience concept is that you will not only stay overnight, but that you will have an authentic experience and get acquainted with the culture of Quito. The hotel is housed in a historic mansion built in the 17th century. The building is spread over three floors and each floor is inspired by a different historical period.

Day 2: Quito

Quito, situated at about 2800 meters altitude in the Andes valley, is an attractive city with a rich past and a beautiful colonial center. At almost every place in the city there are views of one of the many volcanoes that surround the city. The old colonial part of the city center has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The colorful, picturesque streets, the busy squares and the authentic local atmosphere makes it definitely worth a visit. In the new part of the city center there are nice shops and markets to find. Your guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you along the most important sights of the old city, such as the old colonial center of the city, with the beautiful squares Plaza de la Independencia and Plaza San Fransisco. You will also pass the equator, where you will visit the monument "Mitad del Mundo".
Overnight stay: Illa Experience Hotel | bed & breakfast

Day 3: Quito - Coca - Napo Wildlife Centre (Amazon)

You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to Quito airport. From here you take a domestic flight to Coca, this is a 30-minute flight over the eastern part of the Andean mountains. You will be taken from Coca airport to the port of Francisco de Orellana. From here you will continue by boat and then by canoe to your lodge. Along the way you will be able to spot various birds, including herons and kingfishers. You will paddle along a narrow cove that is connected to a lake on which the lodge is located. There is a good chance that you will see monkeys and large birds such as toucans, parrots and macaws. Late in the afternoon you will arrive at the lodge, from where you have an overwhelming view over Lake Anangu. After a well-deserved dinner you will go search for caymans with the natural nocturnal sounds in the background. 
Overnight stay: Napo Wildlife Center | full board incl. activities offered by the lodge

Napo Wildlife Center

You will stay at the Napo Wildlife Center, which is fully built and run by the Añangu Kichwa community. This provides this community with a new form of income and as a result they have voluntarily stopped hunting. Partly because of this you can spot a lot of animals here. The lodge is located in the Yasuni National Park, a branch of the Napo River. The quiet location makes it possible to spot various animal species. More than 565 bird species live in the reserve. On sunny days there are hundreds of parrots on the clay wall. Furthermore, you will see a lot of monkeys ‘watching’ you and with a bit of luck you 'meet' the giant river otters.

Day 4 and 5: Amazon

These days you will have time to explore the spectacular surroundings of the Napo Wildlife Center. You will have the opportunity to participate in the activities offered by the logge. For example, visit the clay licks where various birds such as parrots, parakeets and macaws sit. Visit the indigenous Kichwa community of Añangu. Or make trips on the Napo River where you have the chance to spot various animals, such as the pygmy monkey, the giant river otter and various bird species. During the various excursions you will be accompanied by professional guides from the lodge who will help you spot animals. 
Overnight stay: Napo Wildlife Center | full board incl. activities offered by the lodge


 

Day 6: Amazon – Quito

In the morning you will leave early again by canoe over the Napo river. After two hours you will arrive in Coca. From Coca you take a domestic flight to Quito, where you will be brought to your hotel by our local staff upon arrival. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
Overnight stay: Illa Experience Hotel | bed & breakfast

Day 7: Quito – Cotopaxi

After breakfast you will be picked up at your hotel in Quito by your English-speaking guide and taken to your accommodation near the Cotopaxi National Park. On the way here you will drive over the avenue of volcanoes, enjoying beautiful landscapes. For the next few days you will have an English-speaking guide with rental car at your disposal, where you can choose where to stop or what to visit on the way. A visit to the national park of Cotopaxi with its 5897 meters high volcano is for many a highlight of their visit to Ecuador. Enjoy the paramo landscape and wild life like the llama, fox, falcon, deer and with some luck a condor! The Cotopaxi is not only a national park but also a strato volcano. The Cotopaxi is also one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and the second highest mountain in Ecuador. The volcano is located about 60 km south of Quito, in the province that also carries the name Cotopaxi. In Quechua the word Cotopaxi means 'Neck of the Moon'. You will stay in Hacienda San Agustin de Callo. The rooms are all attractively decorated and they have beautiful views of the surrounding volcanoes and hills.
Overnight stay: Hacienda San Agustin de Callo | half board (breakfast and dinner)

Day 8: Cotopaxi

Today you will visit the crater lake of Quilotoa. This lake is hidden between the Serrania and is considered one of the most beautiful natural monuments of Ecuador. You will make a nice walk along the paths towards Lake Quilotoa. This specific area has special characteristics that can only be found here. Desert, bizarre mountain landscapes and small colorful villages complete this beautiful landscape. These small Andean villages are surrounded by the Andean forest and Paramo landscapes. In the afternoon you will make a beautiful horseback ride in the surroundings of your accommodation. You can choose to visit small Andean villages that you will reach via ancient Inca trails. Or you can choose to ride a route through the pine forest towards the Cotopaxi volcano enjoying beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. 
Overnight stay: Hacienda San Agustin de Callo | half board (breakfast and dinner)

Day 9: Cotopaxi

Today you will go mountain biking in the national park. You will be picked up by your guide and taken through the pine forest to the Cotopaxi visitor centre by jeep. After a visit to the visitor center, you will continue to the highest part of the tour, which is 4,500 meters high. From here you will have a beautiful view and with luck you will have a view of eight volcanoes. You will prepare yourself for the mountain bike tour on the world's highest active volcano. The first part consists of dirt roads through volcanic ash and tundra landscape. For the next eight km you will need to use your brakes as you make your way down between the volcanic rusts and wild horses. With luck you will spot a condor or caracara. The jeep will take you to the lake of Limpiopungo from where you will start your last part by mountain bike. The next 16 km you cycle further down on unpaved roads through the pine forest. Afterwards you will be brought back to your accommodation.
Overnight stay: Hacienda San Agustin de Callo | half board (breakfast and dinner)

Day 10: Cotopaxi – Cuenca

This day you will be taken to Cuenca. Along the way you will enjoy beautiful landscapes and if you wish, you can discuss with your guide where you would like to make a stop.
Overnight stay: Mansion Alcazar | bed & breakfast

Day 11: Cuenca

This day you will make a city tour with your private guide through the beautiful colonial city of Cuenca. This former Inca city is regarded as the cultural capital of Ecuador and has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1999. The city owes its cultural charisma to the historic center with its narrow picturesque alleys, colorful squares with small local markets, many churches (no less than 52!) and stately colonial buildings. You will visit the impressive new cathedral on the central square and a local museum where religious art can be found. Your next stop will be the Tomebamba riverbank with its elegant overhanging buildings. Next you will visit the nearby archaeological site of the Cañari and Inca ruins, before continuing to Turi where you will have a great view over the whole city. After a visit to Turi you will be taken to one of the Panamanian hat factories of Homero Ortega, where you will see how these famous straw hats are produced. Of course you will get the chance to buy a real Homero Ortega hat, which is completely custom made for you. If desired, you can also visit the indoor market of Cuenca on this day, where everything is sold. After this you will return to your hotel. 
Overnight stay: Mansion Alcazar | bed & breakfast

Day 12: Cuenca – El Cajas National park – La Danesa

Today you will travel to Hacienda La Danesa, located near Guayaquil. On the way you will be taken to a beautiful mountainous nature reserve, the national park El Cajas. The altitude in this area varies between 3000 and 4500 meters and consists of mountains and a large number of glacial lakes. Here you can make a number of beautiful walks. Then drive further towards the coast to your hotel in Guayaquil. It is a beautiful route where you drive from the Andes to the coast, you leave the mountainous landscape and arrive in the coastal area of Ecuador, where you may encounter many banana plantations, sugar cane and cocoa plantations along the way. 
Overnight stay: Hacienda La Danesa | full board

Hacienda la Danesa

For the coming nights you will stay in the atmospheric Hacienda la Danesa, which has been owned by the Olsen family from Denmark for more than three generations. La Danesa, the Danish in Spanish, has only 6 rooms, which are stylishly decorated. Some former stables have been converted into beautiful hotel rooms. Dairy products and cocoa are produced on the hacienda. The hacienda is spacious, with a beautiful garden with many flowers and plants and a covered terrace where a barbecue and other meals are served. The meals are prepared with fresh natural and organic ingredients, with Ecuadorian influences. The atmosphere here is very homely, making you feel right at home.

Day 13: La Danesa

This day is scheduled off. Enjoy the rural surroundings where you will be staying. You will be surrounded by plantations, forests and rivers. The average temperature here is around 28-30 degrees. During your stay you can go cycling, hiking through the woods, tubing in the river and get acquainted with the production process of chocolate. It is a nice place to catch up on the impressions you have gained over the last few days before you continue your journey to the Galapagos. 
Overnight stay: Hacienda La Danesa | full board

Day 14: La Danesa - Guayaquil

Today you will travel further to Guayaquil (approx. 2 hour drive) where you will stay one night before continuing to the Galapagos Islands the next day.
Overnight stay: Hotel del Parque | bed & breakfast

Important: the program of the MT Camila, as described below, depends entirely on weather conditions. It is also possible to deviate from the route in order to have great(er) chances of observing animals elsewhere. The captain is ultimately the one who makes the decision for the route to be chosen. Flexibility is the most important point of departure on a cruise like this.

Day 15: Guayaquil – Baltra – MT Camila Galapagos Cruise

After breakfast you will be picked up and brought to the airport of Guayaquil. Here you will board the domestic flight to Baltra on the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival on the island of Baltra, you will be welcomed by the crew members of your expedition cruise and taken to the cruise ship, your home for the following days. After you have had the safety instruction on board of the cruise it is time to sail to Bartolomé. This island has an area of only 1.2 km2 and the highest point of this island is at 114 meters. This point can be reached via a path through a surrealistic landscape and along recent signs of volcanic eruptions. This walk is well worth the effort, because from this point you have a magnificent view of the famous "Pinnacle Rock". In 1993, a staircase was built on this path, because the large number of visitors made it very eroded. The beach at the Pinnacle Rock is also worth a visit. Here, from December to April, the green sea turtles come ashore for sunbathing. This is special, because in other places the turtles only come ashore at night to lay their eggs. During the day, they will not come out of the safe water quickly.
Overnight stay: MT Camila | full board

MT Camila Galapagos cruise

The MT Camila is one of the small-scale catamarans of Haugan Cruises. This luxury Galapagos expedition cruise has 8 spacious and comfortable cabins, each with its own balcony. The MT Camila is a triamaran, one of the newest ships on the Galapagos Islands, to offer more stability and comfort. The knowledgeable nature guides will accompany you during your visit to the various islands and will give you a lot of information about the biology and ecology of the islands.

Day 16: MT Camila Galapagos cruise

You start the day with a visit to the island of Rabida, also known as Jervis Island in English. This is known for its unique reddish chestnut brown terrain due to the oxidation of minerals in the lava. It is home to large populations of sea lions, pelicans and flamingos, as well as a thick forest of Palo Santo trees. Behind the red beach you will find a yellow saltwater lagoon, where large numbers of brightly colored pink flamingos can be seen, as well as male sea lions that have been driven out of their group. Towards the end of the morning you will have the opportunity to snorkel along the rocks, with sea lions and tropical fish. In the afternoon you will visit Puerto Egas, also known as James Bay, located on the west coast of the island of Santiago. There used to be a salt factory here. Here you will find a flat lava plate with many coves, tidal lakes and caves. Large numbers of Sally Lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas, sea lions and fur seals live here. The "Fur Seal Grotto" is the place to see the fur seals and to swim with them. Inland at Puerto Egas a path leads to the highest point of a 395 meter high volcano. From here you have a magnificent view over the coastline and the hinterland.
Overnight stay: MT Camila | full board

Day 17: MT Camila Galapagos Cruise

In the morning you will visit Darwin Bay, on the island of Genovesa. This bay with white sandy beaches and mangroves is a paradise for birdwatchers. Many birds build their nest here. What the albatross is for Espanola, is the red-footed boobies for Genovesa. The red-footed boobies also lives on other islands, but the largest colony can be found here. You can also see the Darwin finch, Galapagos pigeons and swallow-tailed gull. In addition to the many sea lions, the Galapagos fur seal can also be found here. At the beginning of the 20th century the fur seal was almost extinct here due to hunting. Luckily the population is increasing again. After lunch you will visit El Barranco located in the southern part of the bay of Darwin, also known as Prince Philip's Steps. Here you will make a climb to a plateau that is part of the piece of land that surrounds the bay of Darwin on the eastern side. You will see two species of petrels nesting here in cavities and holes in the lava. One of the most important predators here is the short-eared owl. The Nazca boobies can also be seen here.
Overnight stay: MT Camila | full board

Day 18: MT Camila Galapagos cruise

After breakfast you will visit the island of Mosquera situated between the islands of North Seymour and Baltra. Here you will find a coral reef which was created by a volcanic eruption. This makes the island only 160 meters wide at its widest point. You will find a large population of sea lions and shorebirds. Sometimes orcas are also seen here. In the afternoon you will visit the highlands of Santa Cruz, where the dry coastal vegetation changes to wet fields and overgrown forests with moss. A great contrast in landscape with the other islands you have already visited. You will visit the giant turtle reserve, where you will get a chance to see these special giant turtles from closeby. You will also see mockingbirds, finches and other bird species. 
Overnight stay: MT Camila | full board

Day 19: MT Camila – Baltra – Guayaquil – Amsterdam 

This day is already the last day on the Galapagos Islands. In the morning you will go to North Seymour, located north of the island of Baltra. This island has an area of only 1.9 km2 and is almost flat. On this island you can find breeding colonies of the frigate birds, the blue-footed boobies and the swallow-tailed gull. To impress the female frigate birds, the male will inflate his bright red throat pouches. To be even more conspicuous they will fly around in the vicinity of the female. You can imagine that this will be less easy with an inflated throat pouches, because they will lose their balance sooner. Funny to see. After this you will be taken to Baltra airport. Here you will board a domestic flight to Guayaquil. Upon arrival in Guayaquil you will transfer to your intercontinental night flight to Amsterdam.

Day 20: Amsterdam

You arrive in Amsterdam today.

Price: From € 12.,250 per person

On the basis of 2 persons travelling together
Depending on the time of booking, flight availability and period of travel

Included:

  • domestic flights, economy class 
  • 9 overnight stays, meals as mentioned 
  • 3 overnight stays in Napo Wildlife Center, on full board basis including excursions accompanied by professional guides 
  • 2 overnight stays in Hacienda La Danesa, on full board basis
  • 4 overnight stays on board MT Camila Galapagos cruise, on full board basis including excursions accompanied by professional guides 
  • Galapagos National Park one-time Fee (USD $ 100 adults, USD $ 50 children)
  • INGALA Transit Control Card one-time fee (USD $ 20)
  • all transfers and excursions as stated
  • our backup 24/7; locally and in the Netherlands
  • extensive travel documents package with small attention

Not included:

  • international flights, if you wish, we reserve these for you
  • early check-in / late check-out, based on availability, this is sometimes provided by the hotel. If you want to be sure that you have this, ask us about the additional cost
  • (Dutch) public tax Travel disaster fund; € 2.50 per booking
  • travel and cancellation insurance

Make an enquiry for Ecuador

Would you like to go on this rountrip? We can arrange the itinerary for you, but we are also happy to put together a program based on your wishes and ideas. Do not hesitate to contact us. Call us on +31 73 610 62 04, send an e-mail to info@sapapanatravel.nl or ask us to plan your taylor-made trip. We are happy to help.

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