A truly unique lifetime adventure blending the spectacular geography of Ecuador’s mainland of active volcanoes, immense canyons, vast tropical rain forests and powerful waterfalls, with the enchanted Galapagos Islands, where the magic diversity of fearless animals flourishing in a volcanic ecosystem create an awe-inspiring atmosphere. This is a perfect combination that includes a wide variety of outdoor activities, while discovering the highlights of Ecuador in the same journey.
12 Days / 11 Nights
Day by Day
- Day 1 Arrive to Quito, Carlota Hotel
Welcome to Quito! The largest, best-preserved colonial city of America declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and is located on the equator in a valley at the foothills of the Pichincha volcano. Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area.
- Day 2 Fly to The Galapagos – Isabela Island, Iguana Crossing Hotel
Today we get ready to explore the most amazing archipelago in the Pacific coast and the place where Charles Darwin based his theory on the evolution of species. We will have a morning flight from Quito to the island of Baltra. From here we will take a flight to the largest island in the archipelago and where the most of the volcanic activity in the Galapagos is reported.
- Day 3 Snorkel at Lava Tunnels – Isabela Island, Iguana Crossing Hotel
Explore the amazing formations of lava created by the last eruptions of the volcanic island along the seashore. The turtles navigate their own highway from the mangroves to the open sea through “Los Tuneles”. Here, we will have the best snorkeling opportunity with all these beautiful animals, including the curious Galapagos penguins playing around. Before or after the trip, you can enjoy some optional activities such as snorkeling at “Concha de Perla”, biking or just relax on the exotic white-sand beaches of Isabela Island.
- Day 4 Hike and Kayak – Isabela Island, Iguana Crossing Hotel
After driving up from Puerto Villamil to the trail head, we will prepare our backpacks for the hike into a young forest ecosystem, a world of recent geological history. Our destination is the rim of Sierra Negra Crater, an active volcano which last erupted in June 2018.
Upon arrival, we take in breathtaking views and explore the circumference of the massive, lava-filled crater, a caldera that is over six miles across at its widest point. If we feel energetic enough, we can continue our hike to Volcan Chico, a secondary crater that has a wild landscape of puffing fumaroles and colorful lava formations; great examples of the dramatic geological events that have formed the Galapagos Islands over millennia.
- Day 5 Charles Darwin Research Station – Santa Cruz Island, Finch Bay
In the morning, we will take a flight from Isabela to Santa Cruz Island. We will head to the ‘El Chato’ reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz, home to the famous Galapagos tortoises. Then, we head to the town of Puerto Ayora, the largest town in the Galapagos. We will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn more about many of the endemic species seen in the wild, as well as the ongoing conservation and management efforts on the Galapagos Islands.
- Day 6 Fly back to Quito, Carlota Hotel
After our final breakfast on the Galapagos Island and the last photos taken of sea lions, we have a transfer to Baltra’s airport in time to catch the flight back to the mainland.
- Day 7 Free day in Quito, Carlota Hotel
today is a day on your own to explore the beautiful surroundings of Quito, ADVENTURE JOURNEYS can help you to organize a day trip.
- Day 8 Hike in Cotopaxi, Samari Spa Resort
We leave Quito driving southwards along the gorgeous Avenue of Volcanoes, getting the chance to see the colorful Andean fields. On our way, we will reach 12,000 feet. (3657 meters). After arriving at the Cotopaxi National Park, we will go hiking around Limpiopungo lagoon of the foothills of the Rumiñahui volcano.
- Day 9 Biking in the Cloud Forest, Samari Spa Resort
We cross country mountain biking from the Llanganates National Park down to the Pastaza River Canyon, enjoying the beauty of the special cloud rainforest climate. The road brings us through some Andean farms and a great canyon with many waterfalls.
- Day 10 Canyoning in the Amazon, Hamadryade Lodge
We will hit the road of the waterfalls. The first stop will be at the Bride’s Veil waterfall, where we will take the Tarabita (cable car) to get across the Pastaza River. Then we will hike down to the Pailon del Diablo waterfall, the second highest in Ecuador. Later, we will go deeper into the jungle inside the Llanganates National Park.
- Day 11 Rafting in the Amazon, Termas Papallacta Spa Resort
We greet the day by preparing our gear to paddle the wild waves of the Jatunyacu River, located just a 5 minute drive from the homestead. After a very important safety briefing from our rafting guides, we will start our class III rafting expedition down the Jatunyacu River, well known for its clear waters and awesome rapids.
- Day 12 Departure day and end of services.
International departures, end of services. Take with you memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador soon to experience more of this enchanted land. We wish you a “buen viaje”!
- Snorkeling with sea turtles, rays, penguins and sea lions.
- Kayak to view wildlife.
- Tintoreras and lava tunnels.
- Charles Darwin Research Station.
- Encounter with wild giant tortoises.
- Sierra Negra Volcano.
- Spend time with a local indigenous family in the jungle.
- Cotopaxi volcano trek.
- Cloud forest biking and hiking.
- Amazon white water rafting.
- Amazon tropical rainforest canyoning.
- Papallacta hot springs.
Price from $4,995. Based on double occupancy, standard room.
Contact us for pricing and to connect with your personal travel expert.