The raw beauty of Ecuador presents the evolutionary splendor of nature, cascading from treasured flora and endemic fauna to fiery volcanoes. Whether you are immersed in the Amazon or cruising through the Galapagos Islands, the natural show is always authentic and iconic. Probe into these two majestic destinations with our Latin America escorted tour and discover a kaleidoscopic mix of cultures and landscapes, like never seen before.
(Day 1): Arrival in Quito
(Day 2-3): Tour of Amazon
(Day 4): Return to Quito
(Day 5): Cruising through Galapagos
(Day 6): Departure for home
Quito, Amazon Rainforest, Galapagos Islands
Upon your arrival in the capital city, your private guide will meet you at the airport and escort you to a nearby hotel where you can have a relaxing spa. While the valley twists and turns towards volcanic cones, the snow-capped peaks rise above. Today for you is all about lounging and settling down while admiring the tranquility of the Ecuadorian landscape from your hotel room. Also, enjoy a traditional Ecuadorian dinner at the hotel.
Wandering through the Amazon has always been a memorable journey. Today, you’ll be leaving the comforts of the Quito behind and head out for an adventurous Amazon tour. You’ll be driven through the Avenue of the Volcanoes, which is a series of iconic cones standing above ancient haciendas and small villages. On reaching Shell, you’ll take a light aircraft above the trees. The Amazon extends in every direction. You’ll meet with the Huaorani locals at the landing strip, who’ll then take you downstream in a canoe letting you deeper into the Amazonian jungle, hundreds of miles away from the road.
Witness the strange birds calling from the nearby trees: a kiskadee, a Yellow-rumped cacique. Ecuador homes over 1600 different species of bird species. Today is just the start as you slowly stroll down the Shiripuno River, thick jungle overhanging the water and the mysterious calls echoing across the landscape. As you arrive at the intimate Huaorani Ecolodge, an indigenous guide takes you on a hike through the nearby forest. This will allow you to learn about the basics of the environment and also about the Huaorani culture. After you check into your room, take a few moments to enjoy the view. Electricity is generated by solar and the lodge blends into the environment using local materials.
In the early morning of your next day in the Amazon, head out into the thick jungle accompanied by a Huaorani guide who lead you on a day of hunting and survival. You'll get the opportunity to learn how to use a blowgun, forage for fruit, work a machete, build a jungle shelter, and which insects can be on the dinner menu. Continue wandering to a viewpoint with a serene view of the canopy before having a traditional lunch in a local community, with a bowl of chucula (a sweet banana based drink) to wash it down.
After lunch, walk downstream to Cocha Pequena, which is a lake filled with iconic species such as anacondas and caimans. Observe endemic birds and squirrel monkeys shouting from above while many exotic creatures arriving to feast on the lake's mineral-rich clay. Stop at a saltlick on the return to the lodge to see normally nocturnal animals, including frogs, owls, kinkajous, and many strange insects.
Today morning, you’ll fly back to Quito. Another day in capital city Quito will connect the lofty landscapes of Amazon and Galapagos, and provide you a chance to reenergize and see another side to the country. Your local guide will show you the city of Quito on a walking tour. Marvel at churches laced in gold leaf, admire palaces overlooking grand plazas, stand beneath the Moorish domes, and explore churches blending a succession of styles. This old city of Quito was the world's first World Heritage Site and boasts the largest collection of colonial buildings on the continent. Enjoy a traditional lunch on San Francisco Plaza before the afternoon is at your hotel.
In contrast to the Amazon which is a 50 million years old ancient land, Galapagos is just 4 million years of age and is still erupting with volcanic menace. The land is home to only the most specialist of flora and fauna and is a stark, desolate place.
After flying down to the Galapagos, you’ll be driven across Santa Cruz Island giving you an idea of this specialism. Witness forests of daisies covering the grass, the plants rising almost 5 meters in height. You’ll soon find that giant tortoises also occupy the grass. They stroll across the green, slowly making their way across the island.
Spend the afternoon in the company of these special tortoises before boarding a luxury yacht with a capacity for 40 passengers. There is always an exceptional view from the yacht, whether it is cliffs covered with endemic birds, whales in the Pacific Ocean, or a starry night sky. After you check in into your cabin, enjoy a welcome cocktail with the crew and then dinner on board.
Today your time in Ecuador comes to an end. Disembark and transfer to San Cristobal Island to catch a flight back to Quito and then your international flight connection.
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