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My love for South America started when I was living in Lima, Peru, and family and friends came to visit. That year I went to Machu Picchu 5 times! I do not have one drop of Latin blood in me, which is painfully obvious if you see me dance, and yet without realizing it for the past 15 years South America has been my home.
Latin America Specialist
- from $8,204 PP
- 11 Nights
- Year round
- 13 hours from London / 9 hours New York
Explore Ecuador’s highlights on this 12-day trip, staying in luxury accommodation with expert guides. You will start your tour at the capital of Ecuador, Quito. Built by the Spanish in 1534 on the ruins of an Incan city, it is one of the best-preserved old towns in South America. You will continue your adventure by travelling to the Cloud Forest for two nights at Masphi Lodge, a luxury property in the forest with a wide range of activities available. Your tour culminates in a 6-night cruise in the Galapagos Islands on the luxurious La Pinta Yacht. Spend your days on the water visiting the islands and spotting the incredible wildlife. Your naturalist guides will accompany you as you explore on foot, by boat or swimming taking in the flora and fauna of this unique ecosystem.
Our Flexi - Promise
Low Deposit To Book
Book your trip with us and pay a reduced deposit with the rest 90 days before your departure
If you are not comfortable travelling, you have the right to cancel and get a refund up to 45 days before your departure
ATOL & ABTOT Protected
Your trip with us is fully financially protected by our travel insurers. Peace of mind guaranteed.
No Change Fees
We will not charge you any admin fees if you would like to change your travel dates or destination with us
- 3 x Nights Casa Gangotena including breakfast
- 2 x Nights Mashpi Lodge on full board basis and shared activities
- 6 x Nights La Pinta Yacht full board and shared activities
- All transfers as listed in the itinerary
- All activities and entrance fees as listed in the itinerary
- English speaking guide
- Personalized itinerary that can be modified to suit your preferences
- 24/7 support from our dedicated staff
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive Quito
Welcome to Ecuador! On arrival into Quito airport you will be met by your guide who will transfer you to your hotel. Your guide will brief you on your trip, Quito and help you with anything you need.
Quito is the capital of Ecuador and one of the highest capital cities in the world at 2850m (9350ft) above sea level. The old town of Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage site as it is one of the best-preserved cities on the continent. The city was founded in the 16th Century on the ruins of the Incan settlement that was the hub of the Northern Inca Empire.
Day 2 City Tour Quito
This morning you will be met by your guide to explore Quito. You will start in the historic center at the main square, Independence Plaza. Historical buildings flanking the square include the main Cathedral, Presidential Palace and Archbishop’s Place. You will visit the La Compañía de Jesús which is one of the most beautiful churches in Quito with its intricate decoration and baroque style. Next, you will visit the Monastery of San Francisco which is a 16th century Roman Catholic church and monastery covering three hectares of land.
Your tour will continue just outside Quito with a visit to the Equator where you can stand with one foot in each hemisphere. There will be time to stop at the Ethnographic Museum to learn about the indigenous people of the area. Your guide will then transfer you back to the hotel. We recommend you head out into Quito’s old town for dinner tonight.
Day 3 - 4 Mashpi Lodge
This morning your driver will meet you and transfer you three hours outside of Quito to the rainforest. You will spend two nights at Mashpi Lodge in the cloud forest on the foothills of the Andes Mountains. You will spend time with naturalist guides learning about the ecosystems and the wildlife that lives there.
There are many activities available at the lodge, these include:
- Hummingbird Station – you can observe 19 species of hummingbird at the specially designed feeding station, the toucans are also often seen here.
- Night walk – head out into the forest at sunset to spot the nocturnal creatures including fireflies, owls and bats.
- Sky bike – hop on the aerial bikes to explore the forest canopy while you peddle on the track in the air crossing a gorge and river.
- Hiking trails – there are many opportunities to hike and one of the most popular trails is the route to the San Vicente Waterfall or the monkey trail which passes through the area of the forest where they live.
Day 5 Quito
This morning you will have time for another activity or you could visit the spa with an extensive range of treatments as well as a hot tub and yoga studio. The early morning is a great time for bird watching and the terrace outside the lodge is the perfect place to have a coffee and spot the many species that live in the forest.
You will then meet your driver for your transfer back to Quito. This afternoon you can pick up any essentials or souvenirs you need before you fly to the Galapagos Islands in the morning.
Day 6 The Galapagos Islands – North Seymour Island
This morning you will be met by your driver and transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Island. You will land on Baltra Island where you will be met and transferred to your boat, the La Pinta, your home for the next 6 nights.
You will have a welcome meeting where you will be briefed on the itinerary and safety procedures on board before you are shown to your cabins to settle in. This afternoon you will sail to North Seymour Island. You will disembark and your guide will take you on a walk on the island observing the bird colonies, sea lions and iguanas.
Day 7 Isabela Island & Fernandia Island
Today you will start by boarding a small landing boat (often referred to as a panga or zodiac) to Isabela Island. Your guide will explain the unique geology of the island and you will be able to snorkel off the coast of the island to stop the green sea turtles. In the afternoon you will visit Fernandia Island, one of the most untouched islands in the archipelago. The wildlife is abundant and there is the opportunity to spot Hawks, cormorants and penguins.
Day 8 Isabela Island
You will spend today exploring more of Isabela Island, it is the largest of the islands and has an extraordinary mix of magnificent landscapes and diverse wildlife. After breakfast, you will disembark at Urbina Bay to see the Galapagos land iguanas and giant tortoises. The area is also good for spotting several species of whales and sharks. After lunch you will sail to the secluded Tagus Cove, in years gone by it was a hideout for whalers and pirates. Now it is home to blue-footed booby and Galapagos penguins depending on the season. It is a great snorkelling spot and there is also the opportunity to kayak.
Day 9 Rabida Island & Santa Cruz Island
This morning you will start with a visit to Rabida Island and walk its red colored beach. The island is home to marine iguanas, mockingbirds and yellow warblers. We recommend you snorkel off the beach on Rabida Island or take a glass bottom boat trip. During lunch, you will sail to the north shore of Santa Cruz Island to explore Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) known for its land iguanas. There is a 3km walking trail through the dry vegetation where the iguanas live. The shoreline is known for its turtles, sharks and rays so keep an eye out for them while you are onboard.
Day 10 Santa Cruz Island
Today your guide will meet you and take you to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the prickly pear cactus forest. The Station is the hub for conservation on the Galapagos Islands since it was created in 1964. It offers guests the chance to learn about habitats and why the islands are so important. The station has a tortoise breeding centre where you can walk amongst the many different breeds who live there. You will then have lunch at the nearby Finch Bay Eco Hotel. After lunch, you will have a road transfer to the highlands of Santa Cruz where the famous Darwin’s Finches are found. The highlands are very different to the dry lowland areas. The highlands are lush and green due to the Scalesia trees and giant tortoises roam wind in the forests.
Day 11 Floreana Island
Today you will wake up at Floreana Island one of the smaller islands with about 100 residents. You will disembark at Post Office Bay to visit the post barrels where whalers would drop and receive post over the years. As ships sailed home, they would pick up any letters for their home countries. You will then continue to Baroness Viewpoint for beautiful views over the island. The beach is ideal for kayaking or swimming from before you head back to the yacht.
The yacht will sail to Punta Cormorant for snorkelling or a ride in the glass-bottom boat along the coast of Champion Islet, a tiny island with some of the best snorkelling in the Galapagos. The area is known for dolphins, sea lions, whales and penguins and a must for wildlife enthusiasts. You will then visit the beach on Punta Cormorant where the lagoon is home to greater flamingos.
Day 12 Baltra Island
This morning you will arrive at Baltra Island where you will disembark and meet your driver for your transfer to the airport.
What's not Included
- As we have clients from all over the world. Our itineraries do not include flights. If you would like us to include flights in your trip, we are happy to do so. Please speak to your travel specialist at the planning stage to include them.
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise all guests purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
Let’s get started making this itinerary yours.
Speak to experienced Destinations Experts about designing this itinerary around your budget and trip preferences
Why book with Unforgettable Travel Co.
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The Best Guides
What makes our trips extraordinary is the unique immersive experiences we include. We pride ourselves in our black book of sought after expert guides, game rangers and local contacts who believe in our philosophy, unforgettable.
From the moment you book your trip, we are on hand 24/7 to assist you throughout your journey. With regional offices around the world, we have ground logistics teams on hand to help you every step of the way.
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