Best of Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

Best of Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

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12 Days
From

$2677

$2603

Best of Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

12 Days Starting in Quito and ending in Santa Cruz

Visiting: Ecuador

Tour operator:

Indus Travels

Group size:

1 - 22

Physical rating:

Intermediate

From:
$2677
$2603 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $74

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

This small-group tour of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands will take you on a mesmerizing journey through one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in Latin America! Between indigenous markets, natural hot springs, and incredible opportunities to search for exotic wildlife, this tour will show you it all! Begin your trip in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, where you will discover famous landmarks such as La Ronda and the Middle of the World. From there you will visit the Otavalo Indian Market and Cuicocha Crater Lake before you travel to Papallacta, known for its breathtaking scenery and Natural Hot Springs. Next, you will explore the Amazon Island Park, the perfect place to learn about the Amazonian ecosystem and discover many species of fauna. Travel to Baños and visit Manto de la Novia and Pailon del Diablo, two of the most breathtaking waterfalls in Ecuador, and discover the Tungurahua Volcano with its magnificent views. Continue your journey to Quito and have views to Cotopaxi Volcan, and then catch your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival in Baltra, you will travel to Santa Cruz Island and get the opportunity to see Giant Tortoises! Finally, make your way to Isabela Island, known for its sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, sea turtles, pelicans, and Galapagos Penguins, before you travel back home for the perfect end to your tour of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands!

Highlights

  • Travel to Quito, situated in the foothills of the breathtaking Andes Mountains

  • Soak in the hot springs of Papallacta for the perfect thermal-bath experience

  • Search for flora and fauna in the Amazon, the worlds most biodiverse forest

  • Discover fascinating species of local wildlife on the famous Isabela Island

  • Explore the Flamingo Lagoon, the largest coastal lagoon in the Galapagos

  • Spot Giant Tortoises on Santa Cruz Island, endemic to the Galapagos

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1: Usa/Canada - Quito (Arrival)

Make your own way to the airport for your international flight to Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. Enjoy inflight meals and services. Upon arrival in Quito, you will be met at the airport by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Quito is the largest colonial town in the Americas and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you will see extensive architecture ranging from modern skyscrapers to colonial churches.


Overnight in Quito

Day 2: Quito (B/-/-)

After breakfast, you will enjoy a fully guided city tour of Quito. The tour begins visiting Quito`s downtown, one of the biggest and best-preserved colonial centers in South America. Our first visit will be Independence Square or “Plaza Grande”, surrounded by important historical buildings, followed by a visit to the iconic La Compañia de Jesus church, which dates to the 17th century and is considered one of the most beautiful baroque churches in South America. Among these attractions, other must-see highlights are The San Francisco Church and Monastery, built a few months after the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century and the Virgen of the Panecillo, an enormous statue built atop the Panecillo hill overlooking all of Quito, a truly unique view. After our visit to Quitos historic district, our journey continues toward the Middle of the World and a drive of about 30 km (18.6 mi) north of Quito, where the equatorial line divides the northern and southern hemispheres. First, we will visit the main monument built in honor of the French scientific expedition that arrived in Ecuador in the 18th century, and we will also visit the correct location of the equator line at the Inti Ñan Museum. After the visit we will return to Quito.


Overnight in Quito

Day 3: Quito - Otavalo - Papallacta (B/-/-)

Today, you will depart Quito and drive north to the mainly indigenous town of Otavalo driving north towards Imbabura, also known as the Lake Province, while enjoying an exciting trip by tasting exotic fruit in the Guayllabamba valley. Cross the Equatorial Line in Cayambe, where on a clear day, it is possible to admire its majestic snow-capped volcano (5,790 m. / 18,996 ft), the world´s highest point crossed by the equator. This is an ideal spot to try Cayambes famous salt biscuits with leaf cheese, this regions traditional snack. At the base of Imbabura volcano, you will be able to enjoy the picturesque view of Ecuador's largest lake - San Pablo. When we arrive in the town of Otavalo, it will be time to visit its world-famous Indigenous Market, the largest in South America. Here is where vendors proudly offer a stunning variety of weavings such as the famous ponchos, among other textiles like rugs, mittens, and scarves. This market is like a rainbow due to the colors of the textiles exhibited. Without a doubt, it is an ideal place to find handicrafts, jewelry, and other artisanal craftwork. Our trip will continue by visiting the small town of Cotacachi, which is well known for its hand- crafted leather products. Methods of tanning, stretching and molding the leather skins have been passed down through the generations and perfected into an art. In the afternoon drive to Papallacta.


Overnight in Papallacta

Day 4: Papallacta (B/-/-)

This morning you will travel the same route which was taken by Francisco de Orellana on his way to explore the legendary “El Dorado”, in the Ecuadorian Amazon Region, towards the moors of the Eastern Mountain range. During this trip, you will see a radical change in scenery due to the changing altitude. Surrounded by a beautiful landscape at 3,300 m above sea level, you will discover the Papallacta Hot Springs, where you can enjoy a relaxing bath in the natural hot waters.


Overnight in Papallacta

Day 5: Papallacta - Amazon (B/L/D)

This day after the lunch we will continue to Misahualli is an interesting tourist place in Ecuador located in the Amazon region of the Napo Province. Enjoy nature, adventure and gastronomy. The road will end at Punta Ahuano, a tiny port town on the northern bank of the Napo River, where canoes will await you for a short ride downstream to your lodge. Enjoy a refreshing welcome cocktail and unwind in the beautiful gardens full of jungle plants and flowers before enjoying a delicious dinner, accompanied by the nightly sounds of the Amazon Jungle.


Overnight in the Amazon

Day 6: Amazon (B/L/D)

We begin the day with an early breakfast. Walking through primary and secondary forest trails, we observe distinct species of birds and insects as well as a great variety of trees and medicinal plants. The guides explain how such plants are used not only in medicine, but also in construction and other local activities. Along the trails, there are several opportunities to up the adventure factor, with hanging bridges and vines for swinging from tree to tree like Tarzan. We go on to experience the true adventure of explorers past, building and navigating a raft! On a small river island our guide shows us how to bind balsa logs together with rope to form a ‘vessel, so those who wish can float down the Napo for about an hour, en route back to La Casa del Suizo. The duration of this visit is around 4 hours. Lunch at La Casa del Suizo, followed by “The Island”: a one-hour walk around a totally flat river island where we can spot a great variety of plants and insects. Later we visit the Mariposario (Butterfly House) where we witness the awesome life-cycles of butterflies.


Overnight in the Amazon

Day 7: Amazon - Banos (B/-/-)

After breakfast we depart for the trip up the mountains and continue to Baños. We will visit Baños, which is a small city is located in a valley with waterfalls and hot springs. One of the main attractions is the Tungurahua volcano and a variety of adventure sports. Baños waterfall route is one of the best natural attractions in Ecuador. Along a 20-kilometre stretch of the Pastaza River, there are over eleven waterfalls all worthy of seeing. The first waterfall we will see directly on the Pastaza River is the Agoyan Waterfall. This double waterfall is certainly impressive, but the best part is definitely the cable car that carries you over the top. Translated as Brides Veil Waterfall, the “Manto de la Novia” waterfall makes it easy to see how this it got its name. The 40-metre-tall, thin, and veil-like waterfall is best seen up close as the River Chinchín flows into the Pastaza. The “Pailon del Diablo” (Devils Cauldron) waterfall is easily the most impressive around Baños, if not the whole of Ecuador! Water flows forcefully over the 80-metre drop leaving everything and everyone around soaking wet.


Overnight in Baños

Day 8: Banos - Quito (B/-/-)

After the breakfast, we will continue to the Cotopaxi National Park During the journey, we can enjoy the marvelous view of the Cotopaxi Volcano, one of the highest active snow-capped volcanoes in the world, which stands at 5,897 m (19,347 ft.). To enter the national park, we will drive along the Pan-American Highway, until we reach the entrance of Cotopaxi National Park and drive on a dirt road through a pine forest until we arrive at the Limpiopungo Lake, a glacial Andean Lake located at 3,800 m (12467 ft) above sea level. From this site, we can have a magnificent view of the impressive Cotopaxi volcano and its surrounding Paramo landscape. Then continue to Quito.


Overnight in Quito

Day 9: Quito - Galapagos Islands (Santa Cruz) (By Flight) (B/L/D)

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Baltra Island, one of the famous Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival, you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your hotel on the island of Santa Cruz. In the afternoon you will head on a tour of the highlands where you will get the opportunity to see the Giant Tortoises in their natural environment. After lunch in the Highlands, you will be transferred to Puerto Ayora to check in to your hotel.


Overnight on Santa Cruz Island

Day 10: Galapagos Islands (Isabela) (B/L/D)

Early this morning you will travel on a public speedboat with your guide to Isabela Island, where you will head on a short boat ride to Tintoreras Islet. There, you may discover sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, sea turtles, pelicans, and Galapagos Penguins. Since the island is one of the main breeding sites for the marine iguanas, this is an excellent place to see these creatures from up close. After a hike through the islet, you can snorkel* in the nearby waters with multicolored fish, sharks, sea lions, and maybe even manta rays.

*Note that masks and tubes will be provided. Wetsuits will be available for rent.


Overnight on Isabela Island

Day 11: Galapagos Islands (Isabela - Santa Cruz) (B/L/D)

After breakfast, your guide will take you to visit the Flamingos Lagoon, the largest coastal lagoon in the Galapagos. This is an approx. 2km trail where you will get an explanation of the vegetation and geology of the young Isabela Island. Arriving in the Flamingo lagoon, you may be able to see flamingos feeding in this lake. This is an artificial lake, as due to the excavation for construction the lake was made up by the rain. From there, the trail will end in the tortoise breeding center. In this place you will learn more about the reproduction and breeding of the Tortoises. The Tortoise Center of Isabela was completed in 1994 and houses tortoises from the populations of Southern Isabela, many of which have experienced relatively high levels of poaching within the last 10-20 years. Visitors can see both hatchlings, tortoises, and the older breeding animals. In the afternoon you will return to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz by boat.


Overnight on Santa Cruz Island

Day 12: Depart Santa Cruz - Usa/Canada (B/-/-)

After breakfast, your guide will pick you up from the hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight home.

What's Included

  • 11 Nights accommodation in a twin sharing basis at listed superior hotels or similar

  • Daily buffet breakfast

  • Full board meal plan at the Amazon Lodge

  • Full board meal plan at Galapagos Island

  • All Arrival and departure airport transfers

  • All Transportation in AC modern vehicles

  • Services of English-speaking guide during the tours

  • All sightseeing as per the detailed itinerary

  • All entrance fees as per the detailed itinerary

  • Domestic round-trip airfare to the Galapagos Islands

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What's Not Included

  • Items of personal nature, tips and gratuities

  • Visa fees if applicable

  • Isabella Island Entrance Fee (USD 10 USD pp - to be paid locally in cash only)

  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee (USD 100 pp, to be paid locally in cash only)

  • Transit Control Card (USD 20 pp) & Lobito Fee – Batra Island (USD 10 pp) *Pre-tour purchase is mandatory. $30 Fee must be paid will the final payment 75 days prior to departure.

  • Arrival and departure transfers for Land Only travelers

  • Items not mentioned as included

Videos

Check out our Q&As

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but only in case it was previously agreed by both sides and arranged by us.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Our e-document package includes all local contact details, daily itinerary, airline e-ticket information, service vouchers, and travel tips which should be everything you require to go on your trip.

  • If I need one, who is responsible to obtain my visa?

    You are responsible for obtaining the proper travel documents for the destinations on your itinerary, including having a passport that is valid for at least 6 months before the date of departure and a visa if required. Please check the Visa section in the Know Before You Go document for the countries you will be visiting.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    No, not as standard. Solo travellers can book and occupy their own room for a supplement.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    We have been organizing unforgettable trips since 2001.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    Changes to an existing reservation up to the Final Payment Date, whatever the cause, will incur a $100 per person amendment fee, potential loss of any supplier fees (such as non-refundable event tickets, park permits, and sea cruise reservations) plus any costs for replacement services. On/ after the Final Payment Date, the $100 change fee is no longer valid, instead cancellations terms apply.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Jim & Terry L.  

Best of Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

21/03/2018

<p>Edison was our driver and guide. He was excellent! We couldn&#39;t have asked for better.</p>

Tim  

Best of Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

18/03/2018

<p>Edison was excellent. He went out of his way to make our trip wonderful. Our itinerary was diverse and the locations within Ecuador exceed our expectations. Edison was very knowledgable and gave us so many interesting and helpful information during our trip. He was always very respectful and helpful in all areas. We couldn&#39;t have asked for a better guide or person to be with us. We appraciate all that Edison did to make our time in Ecuador an experience that we will always remember.</p> <p>Thanks Edison for a great journey through your beautiful country!</p>

Mary Ann L.  

Best of Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

22/03/2018

Dates & Availability

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Wednesday - Sunday

Feb 28, 2024 - Mar 10, 2024
$2729 $2654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $75 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

Mar 27, 2024 - Apr 07, 2024
$2729 $2654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $75 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

Apr 10, 2024 - Apr 21, 2024
$2729 $2654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $75 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

Apr 24, 2024 - May 05, 2024
$2729 $2654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $75 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

May 08, 2024 - May 19, 2024
$2677 $2603 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $74 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

May 22, 2024 - Jun 02, 2024
$2729 $2654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $75 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

Jun 05, 2024 - Jun 16, 2024
$2729 $2654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $75 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

Jun 19, 2024 - Jun 30, 2024
$2729 $2654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $75 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

Jul 03, 2024 - Jul 14, 2024
$2729 $2654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $75 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

Jul 31, 2024 - Aug 11, 2024
$2729 $2654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $75 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

Aug 14, 2024 - Aug 25, 2024
$2729 $2654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $75 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

Aug 28, 2024 - Sep 08, 2024
$2729 $2654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $75 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

Sep 11, 2024 - Sep 22, 2024
$2729 $2654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $75 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

Sep 25, 2024 - Oct 06, 2024
$2677 $2603 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $74 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

Oct 09, 2024 - Oct 20, 2024
$2729 $2654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $75 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

Oct 23, 2024 - Nov 03, 2024
$2729 $2654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $75 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Sunday

Nov 06, 2024 - Nov 17, 2024
$2729 $2654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $75 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Indus Travels requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 45 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of indus travels charges.

    Up to 75 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 74 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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