DAY 1: ARRIVAL
At arrival at Quito airport, you will have a transfer to your hotel: Fuente de Piedra.
DAY 2 (B, L): CITY TOUR QUITO – EQUATOR LINE – PULULAHUA CRATER
Today your Ecuador complete tour will start! In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel, to start your Quito city tour. At first, you will go to the Panecillo Hill, with the famous Virgin Mary statue. You will have an amazing view over the city. Then you will visit all the highlights: the la Basilica church, the main squares and the San Francisco church. After a typical Ecuadorian lunch, you will go to the Mitad del Mundo Museum called Intiñan. Here you can do experiments, to prove the effects the equator has on gravity. After this, you will also visit the Pululahua crater before going back to Quito. Overnight in Fuente de Piedra or similar.
DAY 3 (B, D): QUITO – TENA
You have the morning off to visit for example the Teleferico, the Guayasamin Museum or other highlights of Quito. At 16.00 semi-private transportation will pick you up to go to your lodge in Tena, Cotococha Eco-Lodge or similar. After a long drive (3-4 hours from Quito) you can relax in the beautiful and spacious common areas of the lodge. The lodge is built in a rustic native design, surrounded by gardens with colorful and big jungle plants and flowers. Later a delicious dinner will be served in a romantic candlelight-setting at the restaurant. Afterwards you can enjoy a special welcome drink and a relaxing chat with the administrator to coordinate and discuss next day’s activities. Overnight in Cotococha Eco-Lodge or similar
DAY 4 (B, L, D): “AMAZOONICO” RESCUE CENTRE – QUICHUA FAMILY VISIT – CHOCO MAKING
After breakfast, you will depart by canoe downstram, to arrive at Misahualli where you stop to have a check by the marine police (don’t forget your passport). From there you will go further into the jungle to arrive at Rio Arajuno. Here you visit the AmaZOOnico Rescue Centre for animals. This is a center specialized in rescuing wild animals for conservation and reintegration into their natural habitat. Here you observe a variety of species such as toucans, parrots, monkeys of various kinds, ocelots, capybaras, and more. Then you back to the lodge but on the way you visit an indigenous community, where you will get to know a local Quichua family. They will show their ancient customs about how to wash the gold on the banks of the river, the development of traditional ceramics, the preparation of Chicha (typical drink) and the use of their hunting techniques with a blowgun. After this interesting introduction in the Quichua culture, you go back to the lodge. In the lodge you join a workshop on the process of how to make Artisan chocolate and you will taste it with delicious fruits. At 20.00 you will have dinner at the lodge. Overnight in Cotococha Eco-Lodge or similar
DAY 5 (B, L, D): “LATAS” FALLS – JUNGLE TREKKING PRIMARY AND SECONDARY FOREST
After breakfast you go by canoe upriver and after about 10 minutes you arrive at the banks of the Napo river where you start to have an entertaining walk of about 40 minutes, observing the flora and fauna of secondary forest. At the end of the journey you arrive at a breathtaking waterfall: “La Cascada de Latas”. You can have a refreshing bath in its clear crystal waters and you can enjoy the surrounding views. For lunch you go back to the cabins. In the afternoon you go on another hike in the secondary forest where you can find several species of medicinal plants and insects of all kinds. With a bit of luck you can see monkeys in the trees and lots of birds. After dinner in the lodge you will have time to sit at the campfire. Overnight in Cotococha Eco-Lodge or similar
DAY 6 (B): RETURN TO QUITO
After breakfast you go back to Quito in semi-private transportation. Overnight at Hotel Fuente de Piedra.
DAY 7 (B, L): OTAVALO PRIVATE TOUR
At 8.00 AM our guide picks you up at your hotel and you will go to Otavalo. First you make a stop at Lago San Pablo to enjoy the delicious local Cayambe biscuits. From there you go to the Condor Rescue Centre to enjoy a flight show of the Ecuadorian raptors. Please note that the Condor Rescue Centre is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. If it is closed you will make an extra stop in Cotocachi leathertown. Before lunch you will visit the Otavalo Poncho Market (biggest on Saturdays). You will have lunch at a local restaurant and in the afternoon you visit the Peguche Waterfall where you do small hike of about an hour. After this activity you go back to Quito. Overnight in Fuente de Piedra.
DAY 8 (B, L, D): QUITO – BALTRA – SANTA CRUZ – ISABELA
Early in the morning you fly from Quito or Guayaquil to the Island of Baltra (about 2 hours flight). At the Baltra airport, you meet up with our English speaking guide who will take you to the port of Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island). Afterwards, you take the public speedboat (capacity of the boat 24 people) to Isabela. This will take approximately three hours. After a brief rest at the hotel, you will head to the Flamingo Lagoon, which is the largest coastal lagoon found in the Galapagos and is one of the main reproductive sites for the grand majority of flamingos. Accommodation at Hotel San Vicente or La Laguna Hotel.
* Airport pick up on start day of the tour from Baltra airport (any arrival time is good) and airport drop to Baltra airport off at the end day of the tour (any departure time is good).
DAY 9 (B, L, D): SIERRA NEGRA ACTIVE VOLCANO TREK – CONCHA PERLA SNORKEL
Early in the morning, after breakfast, you’ll take an excursion to the Sierra Negra Volcano. The Sierra Negra Volcano is located 13 miles from Port Villamil and has the second largest volcanic crater in the world, with 6 miles wide and 300 feet deep. To arrive at this incredible sight you will travel in bus for 45 minutes to the Galapagos National Park, where you begin the hike to the Sierra Negra Volcano. This hike takes approximately 4 hours, it starts at 870 meters of altitude and at the top of the crater you will have reached 1040 m. After that you will proceed to the Volcan Chico, where you can feel the warmth of the ground as proof of the volcano’s activity. Here you will stop for a box lunch before returning to the hotel. After a brief rest in the hotel, you’ll have the chance to go snorkeling or swimming at Concha Perla where you can observe the colourful fishes, sea urchins, starfishes, sea lions, or even sea turtles. Accommodation at Hotel San Vicente or La Laguna Hotel.
On this day you can also take a Snorkeling Tour to Los Tuneles in Isabela instead of Concha Perla and Sierra Negra tour (+70 USD pp).
DAY 10 (B, L, D): TINTORERAS AND WETLANDS
Early in the morning after breakfast you will visit Tintoreras Islet. It is called like this due to a large crack, in which white-tip sharks known as Tintoreras come daily to rest at the bottom. You will have a transport which will take you to the pier of Puerto Villamil, here you will board a boat for 10 minutes to cross to the islet which is located across the bay. It will be necessary for passengers to use walking shoes or sneakers (closed shoes) to cross the volcanic rocks. You can also observe penguins, sea lions, marine iguanas and you can go snorkeling with colourful tropical fish while enjoying the beaches of Isabela.
After lunch you will have a little break and then you will have a tour to The Wetlands, here you will visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, where you will spot small and giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The next activity is a visit to The Wall of Tears.
From 1946 to 1959, Isabela was designated as a penal colony by the Ecuadorian government and prisoners were obligated to build a wall with enormous blocks of solid lava. Due to the arduous labour and hard conditions prisoners lived in, this site is known as El Muro de Lagrimas. Additionally, you will visit a small lava tunnel. “Tunel del Estero”, a 75m path with adequate lava plates ending in a staircase inside a lava tunnel. Above the tunnel you can see the intertidal landscape that offers a tapestry of Galapagos Sesuvium between “El Túnel del Estero” and Love Beach. The “Orchilla” view point, from this site you can see the bay and the town of Puerto Villamil, Sierra Negra Volcano, the Cerro Azul Volcano, islets and rocks. Finally the “love” beach. Love Beach, has a rocky sea access, is a site frequently used by the community of Isabela.
*Please have in mind that the total length of the walk in The Wetlands area is approximately 3 to 4 hours. Accommodation at Hotel San Vicente or La Laguna Hotel.
DAY 11 (B, L, D): CHARLES DARWIN’S STATION – TORTUGA BAY
Today, you will visit first the Charles Darwin Research Station. It is known for its amazing turtles, born from only 3 inches to 4 feet long. These species of turtles tend to interact with each other and also with humans, showing their heads for a pet. The new hatchlings are kept until they are approximately four years old and strong enough to survive. Then, you will go to Tortuga Bay. One of the most beautiful and relaxing shores in Galapagos. It is a harmonic destination on Santa Cruz island, with subtle and soft white sand, captivating blue waters, marine iguanas and flamingos. It is only 2.5 km from Puerto Ayora on a nice brick path (30-45 minutes walking). Overnight at Hotel Fernandina or Dejavu.
DAY 12 (B, L ,D): SANTA FE TOUR
This inhibited island is about 50 minutes navigating from the Puerto Ayora dock. You have a “wet landing” here which means there is no dock in Santa Fe, the boats gets on the beach and from there you will disembark in the sea so you bring shorts and shoes that can get wet. You will do a small hike and go snorkeling. There is a high chance you see sea lions. If you would like to receive pictures that the guide takes in Santa Fe please bring your own USB stick. Accommodation at Fernandina Hotel or Dejavu Hotel.
* There could be changes in the program of this day due to availability and National Park regulations. If so you go to Pinzon island instead with similar activities.
DAY 13 (B): THE TWINS – BALTRA
After breakfast, you will travel to Baltra Airport, but on the way you will stop by The Twins. These are similar to craters, but formed by a collapse of the Earth because of the lava flows that passed below it. Upon arrival to the airport, you will depart back to Quito.
Overnight at Hotel Fuente de Piedra or similar.
DAY 14 (B, L): PRIVATE TOUR PAPALLACTA HOT SPRINGS
After breakfast at 8 AM our guide pick you up at your hotel in Quito. From there you will drive about an hour to arrive at the Papallacta Hot Springs. But on the way you will pass 4.000 meters by car and if the weather is good you can see the amazing Antisana volcano. In the Papallacta village you have a delicious local hot chocolate. You will hike about one hour around a river where you can see beautiful flora and fauna (3.500 m). After that you have time to enjoy the Papallacta Hot Springs (outside pools). You will have lunch in a local restaurant (fresh throut is highly recommendable!) and then you drive back to Quito. It’s possible to make a stop at the Mercado Artesenal to do some extra shopping before you go home the next day. Overnight in Fuente de Piedra or similar.
DAY 15 (B): AIRPORT TRANSFER
Today you will have a transfer back to Quito airport.