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Galapagos + Amazon + Andes + Quito - 14 Nights itinerary

Traveling into mysterious jungles deep in the Amazonian rainforest, exploring the colonial heritage of historic Quito, experiencing indigenous communities in the Andean highlands, and making contact with the exotic evolutionary wonders of the Galapagos Islands, this tour allows you to explore four of the best and most diverse destinations in South America.

You will find that Quito is a treasure trove of architectural and artistic delights, boasting one of South America’s best preserved colonial centers. Your guide will take you to neo-Gothic and Baroque churches, leafy plazas, political buildings, lavish palaces and, depending on your tastes, you might also visit some of the city’s museums or boutiques, or simply stroll along the colonial cobblestone streets as you learn about the history of this vibrant city.

Leaving the hustle and bustle of the big city, we will head for the Galapagos archipelago, where snorkeling with sea lions, soaking up the sun alongside iguanas, and marveling at the natural beauty is just a typical day! Situated off the coast of Ecuador, this isolated haven of biodiversity is home to a dazzling array of birds, reptiles, fish and mammals that you won’t find anywhere else.

Leaving the land of evolutionary change, you will then head to a region where time stands still: the Amazon rainforest. Here, you will undoubtedly enjoy the rustic yet chic décor of your own upscale cabin at Sacha Lodge’s. Located in a private 5,000-acre reserve in the heart of the jungle, there is no end to the activities; and after a day of adventure exploring the Amazon, you’ll find that the Sacha Lodge is perfectly geared for total relaxation!

Still, before leaving Ecuador, you will have a chance to travel high into the Andes to discover traditional villages and truly indigenous ways of life. Filled with brilliant colors, pulsating music and exotic tastes, you’ll be introduced to the essence of South America on this final leg of your journey.

All in all — this Andes + the Galapagos Islands + the Amazon Rainforest + the Andean Highlands — will be a once-in-a-lifetime journey that you will never forget.

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Testimonials

“I was very happy in every way with your booking and Cuyabeno Lodge. It surpassed my expectations in every way. No hitches with flights and transportation. The lodge was beautiful. The staff was professional and friendly.”Tim Matheson

Highlights
Ecuador, Historic Quito City-Tour, Middle of the World, Galapagos Islands, Las Tintoreras Islet, Los Humedales, Tortuga Bay Beach, Amazon Exploration Activities, Canopy Walk, Caiman Spotting, Train Ride to Salinas, Otavalo Indigenous Market, Condor Park
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1: Arrival in Quito – Casa Aliso Boutique Hotel
Day 2: Historic Quito City-Tour – Middle of the World Excursion
Day 3: Quito – Galapagos Islands – Scalesia Lodge – Nature Hike
Day 4: Volcano Excursion or Los Tuneles Lava Tunnels – Concha Perla Bay
Day 5: Las Tintoreras Islet – Los Humedales
Day 6: Flight to Baltra Island – Las Grietas Pools – Tortuga Bay Beach – Finch Bay Hotel
Day 7: Islet Sailing Excursion – Finch Bay Hotel
Day 8: Baltra Island – Return Flight to Quito – Casa Aliso Boutique Hotel
Day 9: Quito – Coca – Sacha Lodge – Amazon Exploration Activities
Day 10: Exploring the Amazon – Canopy Walk – Caiman Spotting…
Day 11: Exploring the Amazon – Canopy Walk – Caiman Spotting…
Day 12: Departing the Amazon – Return to Quito
Day 13: Ibarra – Train Ride to Salinas – El Juncal – Yuracruz Grasslands – Watermill
Day 14: Cotacachi – Otavalo Indigenous Market – Condor Park – Quito
Day 15: Departure – Flight Home or Onward
SOUTH AMERICA MAP
Detailed Itinerary
Day 1
Arrival in Quito – Casa Aliso Boutique Hotel

Upon your arrival in Quito, you will be met at the new international airport and driven to Casa Aliso, a centrally located 10-room boutique hotel in the Ecuadorian capital.

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Breakfast
Day 2
Historic Quito City-Tour – Middle of the World Excursion

AM: This morning we will explore Quito’s colonial center: the best preserved historic district in the Americas. Here, you can learn about Quito’s history and artistic legacy while admiring the stunning architecture of its colonial buildings and the uniqueness of its pieces of religious art.

PM: This afternoon, we will continue to the famous “Middle of the World” complex on the equatorial line, where you’ll be able to straddle the planet’s two hemispheres. A great photo op..!!

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Breakfast
Day 3
Quito – Galapagos Islands – Scalesia Lodge – Nature Hike

AM: This morning you will be driven to the Quito airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Landing first on Baltra Island and then on Isabela Island, you will be welcomed and driven 20 minutes from the town of Puerto Villamil to Scalesia Lodge. Situated in the highlands of Isabela Island on the slopes of a volcano, this modern, luxurious, safari-style tent resort is in the middle of a 16 hectare (40 acre) property of a magical forest. From the resort are spectacular views of Isabela Island’s coast and the Pacific Ocean, as well as other islands of the Galapagos archipelago dotting the horizon.

PM: Following lunch and a chance to relax, we will visit Sucre´s Cave and enjoy a short walk to appreciate the typical vegetation and endemic plants of the island. We will then head to the Mirador de Mango lookout point, where you can take in the panoramic views of southern Isabela and the island’s agricultural area. This is also a great place for spotting Darwins Finches.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4
Volcano Excursion or Los Tuneles Lava Tunnels – Concha Perla Bay

AM: Today we will visit some of Isabela Island’s best attractions: the Sierra Negra and Chico volcanos. Sierra Negra is one of the most active volcanoes of the archipelago, and its crater – with a diameter of 10 kms – is considered the second largest in the world. “Volcan Chico” is also an active volcano, and sulfur vents can be seen spewing from it. This 6-hour walking tour will allow you to appreciate all the splendor of these amazing volcanoes. For those who do not wish to go on the volcano hike, an alternative activity is a visit to Los Tuneles. A 30 to 40 minute ride on a small speedboat will take you to this unique place where cooled lava flows have been impacted for ages by the ocean’s waves. This visitors’ site is a marine paradise for Whitetip reef sharks, Galapagos green sea turtles, Galapagos sea lions, manta rays, Parrot fish, Yellow-tail surgeon fish and many other aquatic species.

PM: After returning to the lodge for lunch, this afternoon you can enjoy Concha Perla Bay, where you will be able to swim and snorkel alongside tropical fish, sea lions, penguins and turtles. It’s also possible to observe up to 20 bird species here.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5
Las Tintoreras Islet – Los Humedales

AM: This morning we will visit Las Tintoreras, an islet formed by lava flows, and located 10 minutes by dinghy from Puerto Villamil. This islet’s name comes from Whitetip reef sharks (called “Tintoreras” in Spanish), which are frequently seen in the waters of this area. Other species that can be spotted around here include sea lions, marine iguanas and penguins, which all make this a perfect place for snorkeling.

PM: In the afternoon we will visit Los Humedales, a wetlands area with various trails along which you can find the four species of mangroves existing in the Galapagos Islands. This area is characterized by solitary beaches, lava tunnels, natural pools and estuaries where you can see flamingos and other birds. We will also visit the Isabela Tortoise Breeding Center, where the National Park’s staff is breeding turtles that are in danger of extinction. Some of this giant turtles have been released by the park authorities and can be found along the trails.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6
Flight to Baltra Island – Las Grietas Pools – Tortuga Bay Beach – Finch Bay Hotel

AM: Early in the morning, you will be driven back to the Isabela Island airport to take your flight back to Baltra Island, where you will be met and escorted to the town of Puerto Ayora, on nearby Santa Cruz Island. You will visit Las Grietas (“the Crevasses”), which is a one of the Galapagos Islands’ most enchanting locations; it consists of series of three elongated, almost rectangular pools amid tall lava cliffs.

PM: In the afternoon, you will visit Tortuga Bay Beach, located to the southwest of Puerto Ayora. Its name means “tortoise,” since it is the favorite place in the area for sea turtles to lay their eggs. After this visit, you will be taken to Finch Bay Hotel for dinner and the night.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7
Islet Sailing Excursion – Finch Bay Hotel

AM: Depending on the day of the week, on today’s day-trip we will sail to one of the following islands: Bartolome Island (Saturday, Sunday), Santa Fe Island (Wednesday), South Plazas Island (Tuesday, Friday) or North Seymour Island (Monday, Thursday)

PM: Overnight at Finch Bay Hotel.

NOTE: Itineraries in Galapagos subject to change without notice. The sequence of visits might be altered depending on arrival of flights to Baltra or Isabela, weather conditions, or other unexpected circumstances beyond our control.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 8
Baltra Island – Return Flight to Quito – Casa Aliso Boutique Hotel

AM: After breakfast, you will be driven to the Baltra airport for your flight back to Quito.

PM: Arriving in Quito in the afternoon, you will be driven to the Casa Aliso Boutique Hotel, located on a quiet street in Quito’s financial district, and a short walk from the Mariscal entertainment district.

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Breakfast
Day 9
Quito – Coca – Sacha Lodge – Amazon Exploration Activities

AM: This morning you will be picked up at your hotel and driven to the Quito airport, where you will embark on a 30-minute flight to the Amazonian town of Puerto Francisco de Orellana, locally known as “Coca.” Here, you will be met by your naturalist guide and board a large motorized canoe for a scenic 2-hour ride down the majestic Napo River to the Sacha Lodge.

PM: Upon entering Sacha Lodge’s private reserve, you will take your first walk along a raised boardwalk stretching through a dense flooded palm forest in which several species of monkeys are often sighted. Dugout canoes await to carry you across the Pilchicocha Lake to the lodge itself. You will arrive with time to settle in, do some birdwatching, swim or take a walk under the forest canopy before dinner.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 10
Exploring the Amazon – Canopy Walk – Caiman Spotting…

Activities based at Sacha Lodge are spread out over a wide area and allow visitors to explore several distinct but equally fascinating Amazonian habitats. A visit to the lodge’s on-site butterfly farm is not to be missed. Another of Sacha Lodge’s highlights is the “Canopy Walk,” which is one of only a few rigid, self-standing suspension canopy walkways in the world. Two of the three towers have observation platforms every 12 meters, making the towers accessible for everyone. The 275 meter (900 feet) long canopy walkway is suspended at a height of 36 meters (120 feet) above the forest floor. Another favorite activity of guests is to paddle dugout canoes along the nearby tannin-rich black-water creeks and lakes, where luxuriant lianas, bromeliads and palm trees thrive. Also, located ten minutes across the Napo River, you can find the Nueva Providencia Interpretation Center, offering Sacha Lodge guests the opportunity to speak with women from the local community and learn about the Kichwa lifestyle. This 2-day visit to the Amazon culminates with the tasting of local cuisine! But for adventurous souls, the day doesn’t necessarily end with dinner. Nocturnal jungle walks and canoe trips aided by flashlights often reveal creatures such as caiman, which are seldom seen during the day.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 11
Exploring the Amazon – Canopy Walk – Caiman Spotting…

Activities based at Sacha Lodge are spread out over a wide area and allow visitors to explore several distinct but equally fascinating Amazonian habitats. A visit to the lodge’s on-site butterfly farm is not to be missed. Another of Sacha Lodge’s highlights is the “Canopy Walk,” which is one of only a few rigid, self-standing suspension canopy walkways in the world. Two of the three towers have observation platforms every 12 meters, making the towers accessible for everyone. The 275 meter (900 feet) long canopy walkway is suspended at a height of 36 meters (120 feet) above the forest floor. Another favorite activity of guests is to paddle dugout canoes along the nearby tannin-rich black-water creeks and lakes, where luxuriant lianas, bromeliads and palm trees thrive. Also, located ten minutes across the Napo River, you can find the Nueva Providencia Interpretation Center, offering Sacha Lodge guests the opportunity to speak with women from the local community and learn about the Kichwa lifestyle. This 2-day visit to the Amazon culminates with the tasting of local cuisine! But for adventurous souls, the day doesn’t necessarily end with dinner. Nocturnal jungle walks and canoe trips aided by flashlights often reveal creatures such as caiman, which are seldom seen during the day.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 12
Departing the Amazon – Return to Quito

AM: After breakfast, we will walk back to the Napo River pier, where a motorized canoe will be waiting to take us back to Puerto Francisco de Orellana (“Coca”). From Coca, we will fly back to Quito.

PM: You will be met at the Quito airport at noon and driven north through the winding roads of the Andes, reaching the fertile province of Imbabura. On the way, we will stop in the town of Cayambe to visit the Quisato monument, situated right on the equatorial line. After lunch, we will also visit a rose plantation (closed on Sundays), to reach Hacienda Piman in the late afternoon.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 13
Ibarra – Train Ride to Salinas – El Juncal – Yuracruz Grasslands – Watermill

AM: This morning we will head out from Hacienda Piman to the city of Ibarra. After a brief walk around the town’s historic district, we will proceed to the train station, where you will board a locomotive for a 1-1/2 hour ride through the natural landscapes formed by the area’s mountains and sugarcane plantations. Arriving in the village of Salinas de Ibarra at midday, you will be welcomed by the community, whose members will demonstrate elements of their culture through music and dance presentations. We will continue exploring the area with a visit to the village of El Juncal and its interpretation center. In that locality, you can enjoy lunch with a local family.

PM: After lunch, we will return to Hacienda Piman. Traveling off the main roads, we will drive up into the Yuracruz “paramo” (grassland highlands).  On the way, near the village of Mariano Acosta, we will visit one of the oldest active watermills in Ecuador. In the paramo, you will have amazing views above the Imbabura and Chota valleys. At the highest point, la Carboneria, the view to the Cayambe volcano will invite you to walk downhill along the road through primary mountain forest, which is not only excellent for birdwatching but is also home to the elusive Andean Spectacled bear. Returning to Hacienda Piman at around 4:30 pm, you will have time to rest up and relax before dinner.

Note: The train operates from Thursday to Sunday. In case we cannot make the excursion on one of these days, we offer an alternative excursion to the El Angel Reserve, where you can explore this area’s strange and beautiful plants, as well as its forest and lakes.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 14
Cotacachi – Otavalo Indigenous Market – Condor Park – Quito

AM: We will leave Hacienda Piman in the morning to head back to Quito, stopping along the way in the leather goods town of Cotacachi, and continuing on to the famous indigenous handicrafts market in the town of Otavalo.

PM: After lunch in Otavalo, we will stop at Parque del Condor (“Condor Park”) before continuing on to Quito, which we should reach at around 5:00 pm. In the capital city, you will have your choice of places to dine and will spend the night at Casa Aliso Boutique Hotel.

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Breakfast
Day 15
Departure – Flight Home or Onward

AM: After a hearty Andean breakfast, you will be driven to the Quito airport for your flight home or onward … but not after we bid you a fond farewell.

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Breakfast
2017 - Price per person
RoomDoubleSingle
15 DaysUS$ 4,700US$ 6,110
Included in the price:
  • Accommodation in Quito, Galapagos, Sacha Lodge and Hacienda Piman
  • Breakfasts at your hotel in Quito
  • Full board in the Galapagos Islands, Sacha Lodge (in the Amazon) and Hacienda Piman (in the Andes)
  • Full day city-tour of Quito
  • Salinas-Ibarra train ride, Otavalo market and rose plantation visits
  • Airport-hotel-airport transfers in Quito for international and local flights
  • Water transportation in the Galapagos and around Sacha Lodge
  • Land transportation in the Andes
  • Airfare: Baltra-Puerto Villamil-Baltra (10kg per person only) and Quito-Coca-Quito
  • Guided excursions with an English speaking-guide
  • Local taxes
Not included in the price:
  • Airfare: Quito-Baltra-Quito (USD $475 to USD $540 per person, depending on season – subject to change)
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee: US $100 per person
  • Galapagos Transit Card: US $20 per person
  • Puerto Villamil entrance fee: US $10 per person
  • Meals in Quito (other than breakfasts)
  • Bottled and alcoholic drinks
  • Tips and gratuities
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Island Hopping 4D / 3 Nights
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Galapagos + Amazon + Andes + Quito

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“We booked our Galapagos/Peru trip through Surtrek and are very glad that we did.”A. Arima

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