In this itinerary you will enjoy in a fancy and luxurious way the very best of Ecuador and Galapagos. After visiting the monument that marks the Middle of the World and the colorful Otavalo craft market, you will head to Mashpi Lodge to enjoy amazing jungle biodiversity. The second part of this unique journey will bring you to Galapagos Islands aboard La Pinta Yatch. This cruise offers a relaxed atmosphere, with the highest standards of service.

Travel Information
Estimated Travel Date
Month:
Year:
Number of Travelers
Adults:
 
Children:

Personal Information
(*) First Name:
(*) Lastname:
(*) E-mail:
Alternative E-mail:
Phone Number:
How did you find us?
Country
Are you excited with your next trip? Please share with us your dreams and expectations, it will help us to tailor your travel experience:
(*) Help us to personalize better our proposals.
SHARED EXPERIENCES

Day 01 Quito

Reception at the airport and transfer to the selected Hotel.

Overnight at JW Marriott Hotel

Day 02 Quito

SCENIC TOUR AND MIDDLE OF THE WORLD:

A 4 hours visit to downtown Quito to relish in this urban jewel and its treasures of art and architecture. Quito’s colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved of South America, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The visit starts at the Independence Plaza, flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop’s Palace. Visit the temple of La Compañía de Jesús and its awesome gilded interior. Continue on to the Monastery of San Francisco, one the of great religious buildings of the New World; its impressive façade and atrium that lead to its Baroque interior influenced by Moorish style, with the winged Virgin of Quito at its main altar. Then continue to the Equatorial Monument, 25 Kms. (16 miles) North of Quito, which marks the exact Middle of the World, latitude 0º, where you can stand with a foot on each hemisphere. Visit the Ethnographic Museum inside the monument, which shows the different Native American groups living in Ecuador. Beside the monument there is a colonial-style town, complete with main square, church, post office, bullring, cafeterias, restaurants and many gift shops with postcards and souvenirs. You will get a certificate for having crossed the Equator.

Overnight in Quito

Included: Breakfast

Day 03 Quito

OTAVALO - NATIVE FAIR - PEGUCHE - QUITO

This full day excursion goes north, to the land of the Otavaleños and South America’s most famous Indian fair. Early departure from Quito towards Calderón, a small village that keeps the tradition of making colorful dough figurines of Indian dolls, llamas, flowers and even great Christmas ornaments. Continue to the textile market of Otavalo, where guests will enjoy visiting the many stalls full of ponchos, scarves, blankets, wall hangings, woven belts, hats, handbags and much more. Then, proceed to Peguche, an Indian village very near Otavalo that is home to the artisans who do the weaving in their homes; guests can learn about their culture and beliefs. Lunch is at one of the charming country inns or haciendas of the area like Pinsaqui, Puerto Lago or Cusin.

Overnight in Quito

Included: Breakfast, lunch

Day 04 Quito

MASHPI LODGE

Early morning departure passing the Equator Monument and Latitude 0, towards and the Pacific Ocean. After about two-and-a-half hours, arrival at the entrance to the Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve, which extends over the surrounding 1,300 hectares (3,212 acres) – a haven for wildlife and biodiversity. Here, stop at the Hummingbird Viewpoint to learn more about these irrepressible flying machines. Then wind your way 6 km (3.75 miles) further aboard electric buggies to reach the lodge itself, at approximately noon. Here guests are welcomed with a refreshing drink and checked in to their rooms. Lunch is served soon after, followed by a short time to relax. After lunch, the afternoon’s activities begin, these activities will depend on factors such as group size, physical abilities and weather conditions. Before dinner, guests will meet their Naturalist Guides for a short briefing about the next day’s activities. Optional night walks head out from the hotel following dinner.

Overnight at Mashpi Lodge

Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 05

MASHPI LODGE

For those who want to enjoy the beauty and magic of dawn in the forest – which is when most birds are active and calling, as well as when views are often most spectacular – early morning activities are organised before breakfast. Following breakfast, we head out from the lodge to explore, returning for lunch and a rest, before enjoying an afternoon amid Nature, then dinner, night walks and sleep.

Overnight at Mashpi Lodge

Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 06

MASHPI LODGE - QUITO

On the last day, there’s an early breakfast, followed by a shorter morning activity and check out. There’s then time to relax at the Lodge, watch a video presentation or birdwatch from the terraces. A substantial snack is served at 10.30am and we leave the hotel at 11am. About an hour away, we visit the intriguing archaeological site of Tulipe. We then drive back eastwards, winding our way up the Andes towards the capital, arriving at Quito hotels between 3 and 4 pm.

Overnight

Included: Breakfast

Day 07 Quito

Free day to enjoy the city at your leisure.

Overnight

Included: Breakfast

Day 08 Quito

MONDAY

Transfer from the hotel to the airport. Flight from Quito to Galapagos.

BALTRA AIRPORT

Morning arrival at Baltra Airport, transfer to the Itabaca Channel. A small ferry will take us across the Channel to the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. We board our bus to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, where guests will learn about the unique montane ecosystems and biodiversity. Lunch at a local restaurant.

EL CHATO (SANTA CRUZ ISLAND)

After lunch, travel by bus to El Chato Reserve, one of the best places in the archipelago to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The tortoises are easy to spot, lumbering around, eating grass and leaves and wallowing in the small pools that are common in the reserve. You may also spot some highland birds, like cattle egrets, mockingbirds, finches or flycatchers. There are several lava tunnels in the reserve, a great place to spot the barn owl. There is also a small lagoon covered in red algae where gallinules and Galápagos pintails can be found. Bus ride to Puerto Ayora to board La Pinta Yacht. Introductory Briefing including the expedition plan for Tuesday, welcome Cocktail and dinner.

Overnight at La Pinta Yacht

Included: Breakfast, lunch and sinner

Day 09

TUESDAY
BAHÍA BALLENA – WHALE BAY (SANTA CRUZ ISLAND)

After breakfast disembark (wet landing) at a beautiful olivine beach (a volcanic crystal that forms in fast-cooling lava). The area has historical relevance since a small community lived in this area in the late 1900s, collecting lichen (Rosella Tictoria), used in the textile industry. The trail leads guests to an old water hole used by the former settlers. There are also boobies, land birds and beautiful views of the northwest side of Santa Cruz Island to enjoy. Several activities are possible after the walk, such as snorkelling or a panga ride along the shoreline. Back on board for lunch.

SOMBRERO CHINO ISLET

Less than a quarter-of-a-square-kilometre in size, the tiny island of Sombrero Chino gets its name from its appearance: a Chinese hat. Lying just off the southeastern tip of San Salvador Island (James), this islet, only formed fairly recently, makes a beautiful visit as one explores along its 400-metre long trail, which begins at a crescent-shaped white sandy beach. Several species of shore birds can be spotted, along with marine iguanas, lava lizards, Galápagos penguins and sally lightfoot crabs. The cove offers excellent swimming and snorkelling opportunities with white-tipped reef sharks and tropical fish. Briefing and dinner.

Overnight at La Pinta Yacht

Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 10

WEDNESDAY
BARTOLOMÉ ISLAND

Disembark at Bartolomé Island (dry landing) for a hike to the summit. A great way to start the day! This is a steep climb up a wooden staircase with handrails and several resting and observation stops; the view from the top is worth the effort. Following the walk, a dinghy ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock, is rewarding, followed by time to enjoy the beach (wet landing) and some snorkelling, with possible Galápagos penguin sightings. Guests can also ride on the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world. Lunch on board.

SULLIVAN BAY (JAMES ISLAND)

After lunch, board the panga for the short ride to the landing site at Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago. Wet landing on a white coral sand beach and a walk over lava that flowed here less than 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of Galápagos. The last major eruption on Santiago was probably in the early 1900's. One observer aboard a sailing vessel reported that the ship approached the lava flow so closely that the pine tar used to seal the hull of the ship began to soften, and the captain had to hurry the ship away from the bay. Briefing and dinner.

Overnight at La Pinta Yacht

Included: Breakfast, lunch and sinner

Day 11

THURSDAY
DARWIN BAY (TOWER/GENOVESA ISLAND)

In the morning, a wet landing for an easy stroll observing thousands of birds, mainly frigate birds, red footed and masked boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. Optional walk over sharp lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views, or else return to the beach to enjoy swimming and snorkelling at this beautiful natural harbour. The more adventurous can snorkel along the cliffs or paddle sea kayaks. Lunch on board.

PRINCE PHILIP'S STEPS (TOWER/GENOVESA ISLAND)

The afternoon starts with a very interesting panga ride along the cliffs and then disembark (dry landing) on rocks for a steep climb (90 feet) up some stairs. Once at the top of the stairs, the land is flat, allowing for a stimulating walk of about a mile to the other side of this small island, observing large colonies of masked boobies, frigate birds and storm petrels. Those not wishing to disembark can enjoy a longer panga ride along the cliffs (depending on weather conditions). Farewell Cocktail, departure briefing and dinner.

Overnight at La Pinta Yacht

Included: Breakfast, lunch and sinner

Day 12

FRIDAY
BALTRA ISLAND - QUITO

Disembark on Baltra Island. Transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. Flight from Galapagos to Quito. Reception at the airport and transfer to the selected hotel.

Overnight

Included: Breakfast

Day 13 Quito

Transfer from the hotel to the airport.

Included: Breakfast

UP