Ecuador and Galápagos Explorer

Comfort, Quito to Quito

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

If you're short on time but still want to experience the awe-inspiring majesty of hot springs and volcanos and the natural wonders of the Galapagos, then this is the adventure for you. Jaunt through the Amazon jungle, soak in soothing hot springs, and observe unparalleled wildlife in the Galapagos. Throw in unique accommodations at a historic hacienda and luxury catamaran, and you'll have made a month's worth of memories in two glorious weeks.

What’s included

  • Recharge: Papallacta Hot Springs Visit, Papallacta
  • Arrival transfer
  • Visit the community of San Clemente and enjoy a local lunch
  • Overnight in an historic hacienda
  • Explore the Otavalo handicraft market
  • Relax at Papallacta hot springs
  • Two nights at an Amazon lodge with jungle walks and canoe excursions
  • Flights to and from the Galápagos Islands
  • Certified Galápagos National Park Service guide and all landings, excursions, and transportation
  • Snorkelling equipment
  • Visit to a wildlife interpretation centre
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Traverse the amazon jungle with a local naturalist guide
  • Be surrounded by towering volcanoes
  • Learn about traditional handicrafts and folk art from local artisans
  • Meet the locals on san cristobal island
  • Explore the galápagos national park aboard the queen of galápagos

Itinerary

Day 1 Quito Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 2 Quito/Otavalo (1B, 1L) Spend a night in the Otavalo area and visit its world famous handicrafts market, the largest in South America. Villagers from the surrounding countryside come here every week to sell handmade goods as well as livestock, fruits, and vegetables. One of the most obvious signs of the Otavaleños' cultural integrity is their traditional dress. This is not just worn for the tourists at the Saturday market, but is worn throughout their daily life. Otavalo is justly famous both for its friendly people and its Saturday animal market. The market dates back to pre-Inca times when jungle products were transported from the eastern lowlands and traded for highland goods. Today's market has two different functions: the local market for buying and selling animals, food, and other essentials, and the crafts market for the tourists and other interested people. Included Activities: San Clemente Community Visit Otavalo Handicrafts Market Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Day 3 Otavalo/Papallacta (1B) Continue to the Papallacta Hot Springs Resort for onsite hot springs, optional spa treatments, and hiking excursions. There is plenty of time to soak, relax, and enjoy the mountain views. Included Activities: Papallacta Hot Springs Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours)
Day 4 Papallacta/Baños (1B) Baños is one of the most popular spots in the country. Many Ecuadorian families vacation here. One look at this delightfully green mountain town and you will know why. Baños means 'baths' and this is precisely what the town is famous for. Some are thermal springs from the base of Tungurahua Volcano, which means 'little hell' in Quichua. Other baths have melt water running into them from Tungurahua's glaciated flanks. Locals swear that the baths are good for your health; it’s definitely worth rising early to watch the dawn creep over the mountains from a hot spring vantage point. Included Activities: Papallacta Hot Springs Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
Day 5 Baños (1B) The town is the perfect setting for outdoor pursuits. Activities include horseback riding, canyoning, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and rafting on the River Patate.
Day 6 Baños/Yasuni National Park (1B, 1L, 1D) Transfer to the port to board a motorized canoe to go to La Selva's main dock. Continue on a short 15-min jungle walk leading to a creek. Enjoy a paddle by canoe across “Garzacocha” (the heron´s lagoon) in order to reach the lodge area. Upon arrival at the lodge, enjoy a welcome drink and get an introductory briefing. Take part in a short activity to be introduced to the rainforest. Additional Notes: All activities in the Amazon depend on weather and natural conditions. Not interested in hiking or canoeing? Feel free to relax at the lodge. Included Activities: La Selva Lodge Excursions Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours) Motorized canoe (1.50-2.00 hours)
Day 7 Yasuni National Park (1B, 1L, 1D) See the canopy of the rainforest from a tower, 43m (141 ft) in height, and choose from dozens of walks of varying lengths and difficulties; several routes can only be accessed by canoe. Choose from a variety of activities: wake up early for some bird watching or stay up late and go out on a boat to view caimans by flashlight. Learn about the environment and wildlife from the naturalist guide, who accompanies the group to ensure you get the most out of the excursions. The opportunities for birding, botany, hiking, herpetology, canoeing, photography, entomology, fishing, relaxing, and swimming at La Selva Lodge are boundless. Included Activities: La Selva Lodge Excursions
Day 8 Yasuni National Park/Quito (1B) Travel by boat back to Coca and catch a flight to Quito. Transport: Motorized canoe (2.50 hour(s)) Plane (0.50 hour(s))
Day 9 Quito (1B) Explore the city of Quito. Ask the CEO for suggestions on what exciting activities to take part in.
Day 10 Quito/Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (1B) Early morning, fly to San Cristóbal. Meet the CEO and transfer to the hotel for a first night's stay in the Galápagos Islands. Following lunch, begin exploring San Cristóbal visiting Laguna El Junco, the only freshwater lake in the islands. After, visit the Interpretation Centre to learn about the history of the islands, explore the paths near the centre for beautiful views. Additional Notes: Flights from Quito to San Cristobal depart between 8:10am and 10:10am depending on the day of the week. These will arrive into the Galápagos between 10:40am and 12:40pm with a refuelling stop in Guayaquil (you will not disembark the plane). You will generally arrive onto the boat in time for lunch before the afternoon activity. The National Park charges a visitor fee of USD100, payable on arrival, which funds park maintenance and supervision in the Galápagos, as well as ecological study, conservation and infrastructure development in Ecuador's other National Parks. Entry fees and the funds they generate for the National Park System are among measures taken by the Ecuadorian government to protect its natural heritage. Included Activities: Laguna El Junco Visit Interpretation Center Visit Transport: Plane
Day 11 San Cristóbal Island (1B, 1L, 1D) Before transferring to the boat, visit Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado to see giant tortoises. Included Activities: Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado Visit Transport: Archipell I
Day 12 South Plaza/North Seymour (1B, 1L, 1D) Morning landing at South Plaza, home to the largest population of land iguanas, for wildlife spotting opportunities and a walk through the cactus forest. In the afternoon, visit North Seymour for guided walks to observe birds and wildlife, including vast sea lion colonies. Included Activities: South Plaza Island Visit Seymour Island Visit Transport: Queen of Galápagos
Day 13 Chinese Hat/Bachas Beach (1B, 1L, 1D) In the morning, the boat arrives to a small little island off the southern tip of Santiago called Chinese Hat, named for its unique shape. Visit Bachas Beach in the afternoon, located on the northeastern tip of Santa Cruz Island. Included Activities: Chinese Hat Visit Bachas Beach Landing Transport: Queen of Galápagos
Day 14 Puerto Ayora/Quito (1B) Visit the Charles Darwin Foundation to see the giant Galápagos tortoises before the flight back to Quito. Included Activities: Charles Darwin Research Station Visit Transport: Plane (2.00 hour(s))
Day 15 Quito (1B) Depart at any time. Included Activities: Departure Day
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