Natural Treasures of Ecuador and the Galapagos

QUITO / OTAVALO / LASSO / RIOBAMBA / CUENCA / GUAYAQUIL / GALAPAGOS

10 days

/

9 nights
Classic Programs
Ecuador
10

/

9
Classic Programs
Ecuador
  • Day 1 Arrival in Quito
  • Day 2 Quito / Equinoctial Line / Otavalo
  • Day 3 Otavalo / Cotopaxi / Lasso
  • Day 4 Lasso / Baños / Riobamba
  • Day 5 Riobamba / Andean Train / Ingapirca / Cuenca
  • Day 6 Cuenca / Guayaquil
  • Day 7 Guayaquil – Baltra / Santa Cruz (Galapagos)
  • Day 8 Navigation North Seymour Island
  • Day 9 Navigation Santa Fe or Plazas Island
  • Day 10 Santa Cruz / Baltra - Guayaquil OUT

Useful Information

Day 1: Arrive in Quito.

Day 2: Quito / Equinoctial Line / Quito (1h30).

Day 3: Otavalo / Cotopaxi / Lasso (4 hours drive).

Day 4: Lasso /Baños/ Riobamba (road about 5:00).

Day 5: Riobamba / Train des Andes (1:30 Train) / Ingapirca / Cuenca (road about 5:30)

Day 6: Cuenca / Guayaquil (4 hours drive).

Day 7: Guayaquil flight to Baltra (2h flight)/ Santa Cruz (Galapagos)

Day 8: Santa Cruz Tour Navigable Seymour

Day 9: Santa Cruz. Tour Navigable Santa Fe o Plazas

Day 10: Santa Cruz / Baltra flight to Guayaquil (2h flight, no included ) or Quito (2h50 fligt, no included).

Flight to Europe (not included)

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Quito

Arrival at Quito airport.

Meet your English -speaking guide and transfer to hotel.

Free dinner. 

Overnight at the hotel Alameda Mercure UIO**** or similar.

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Day 2 Quito / Equinoctial Line / Otavalo

Breakfast at the hotel.

Visit the historic center of Quito, UNESCO Wrold Heritage site. Discover its architectural heritage dating from the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. Walk on the Independence Square where the Cathedral and the Archdiocesis is, embellished with arches and fountains. Continue to La Compañia (Church of Jesus), Mudejar baroque jewel whose interior is a golden fairy. Walk on the esplanade, always lively located opposite to the Church of San Francisco, built on the foundations of an Inca palace whose interior is home to masterpieces of Latin American religious art and surrounded by pretty colonial houses.

Lunch in a traditional restaurant.

Departure to the Middle of the World, which was established with precision crossing the Equator line in 1735 by French Geodesic Expedition. Visit the small ethnological museum that tells the Ecuadorian ancestral culture. Road to the Indian village of Otavalo to be present the next day at the famous market.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel EL INDIO INN*** or SIMILAR.

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Day 3 Otavalo / Cotopaxi / Lasso

Breakfast at the hotel.

Visit of the most important Indian market of South America.

Walk around the area devoted to fabrics and crafts and the fruit market, vegetables, seeds and spices …

All stalls are operated by the Otavalo community dressed in traditional costumes and jewelry.

Lunch in a traditional restaurant.

Road through the region Quiroga and páramos up Cuicocha to admire the old crater of Cotacachi volcano, now a natural lake.

Promenade to admire the flora and fauna around the lake to a sundial.

Continue to the national park overlooked by the Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world (5987 m). Walking in the nature reserve inhabited by llamas, wild horses, Andean wolves and with a little luck, see some condors.

Walk around the lake Limpiopungo.

Departure to Lasso, typical agricultural town where we find one of the oldest haciendas in Ecuador.

Dinner and overnight at the Hotel Reec Latacunga *** or similar

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Day 4 Lasso / Baños / Riobamba

Breakfast at the hotel.

Road through the “Avenue of the Volcanoes” to Baños, a charming town surrounded by sugar cane fields, orchards and Andean mountains covered by thick vegetation.

The hot springs and waterfalls complement the decor.

There will be a walk of about forty minutes to reach the site of the “Pailon del Diablo” embellished by an impressive waterfall.

Lunch in a traditional restaurant.

Departure to Riobamba through the legendary Pan-American Highway through the Andes.

Walk in the historic center of this typical town of the Andes of Ecuador.

Contemplate the beautiful snowy mountains including the Chimborazo volcano around Riobamba.

Dinner and overnight at the Hotel Abraspungo *** or similar 

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Day 5 Riobamba / Andean Train / Ingapirca / Cuenca

Breakfast at the hotel.

Early departure to Alausí.

Boarding the Train of the Andes *.

* Important: This path may be subject to unforeseen (landslides) and Ecuadorian railways can then cancel the train. In this case, the route will be offered by bus without passing through the “Nariz del Diablo”.

Crossing different landscapes distant villages before arriving at the “Devils Nose”, reach it through a zigzag road.

Lunch in a traditional restaurant.

Continuation bus until Inca archaeological site Ingapirca.

Located 3100m above sea level; the ruins are the most important pre-Columbian site in the country.

Ingapirca 15th century, during the reign of Emperor Huayna Capac.

The mystery of its actual use remainsa mystery, wondering if it was a fortress, observatory or a temple.

Departure to Cuenca, art city whose historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel Casa Merced *** or similar

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Day 6 Cuenca / Guayaquil

Breakfast at the hotel.

Discover the unique architecture of Cuenca composed of houses and churches in the colonial and republican styles.

Stroll through its picturesque streets and lush gardens.

Passage through the flower market on the square of the « Carmel de la Asunción » Church.

Visit the main halls of the Aboriginal Cultures Museum. Factory tour and museum hats “Panama” of the Ortega family.

Lunch will be served in a historical center of the restaurant.

Nice way to Guayaquil, Ecuador’s Pacific port.

Guayaquil is the largest city and one of the liveliest of Ecuador through its African heritage.

Panoramic tour of the town facing the Guayas River and the Pacific Ocean.

Dinner at a restaurant on the river

Overnight at hotel Gran Hotel Guayaquil **** or similar

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Day 7 Guayaquil – Baltra / Santa Cruz (Galapagos)

Breakfast at the hotel 

Transfer to the airport in Guayaquil. Flight from Guayaquil towards Baltra (flight not included). Transfer in three stages to the island of Santa Cruz

  1. 1st step transit from the airport to Canal de Itabaca(10 minutes by bus).
  2. Step 2 transfer by ferry to Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island (about 10 minutes).
  3. 3rd stage private transfer to the highlands (45 minutes) to visit a reserve of giant tortoises, emblematic animals of the Galapagos. These turtles migrate to the reserve in search of shade and water. Walk through the volcanic soil of the reserve.

Lunch at a local ranch.

The afternoon will be devoted to the excursion to “grietas” and to the beach “Playa de los alemanes” The “grietas” are an inlet surrounded by cliffs. The waters are populated transparent multicolored fish and birds. At the beach of the Germans we can observe iguanas and sea birds … and dive into the Pacific waters. Return to the hotel. Meeting with the guide for information about your visit to the Galapagos.

Dinner with local specialties in a restaurant at Puerto Ayora.

Overnight at the Hotel Villa Laguna *** or similar

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Day 8 Navigation North Seymour Island

Breakfast at the hotel.

Ferry transfer with support in English / Spanish.

Boarding of a board yacht can accommodate up to 16 passengers.

Navigation to Seymour Island (about 45 minutes).

NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND

Excursion to the island inhabited by colonies of sea lions, “blue-footed boobies,” dovetail-tailed gulls, lava gulls, frigates and two species of marine iguanas.

Desert scenery dotted with lagoons where flamingos fly away.

Lunch on board the yacht.

Navigation to Mosquera beach where you can go diving and snorkeling.

Dinner at local restaurant then free return to the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel Hotel Villa Laguna *** or similar

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Day 9 Navigation Santa Fe or Plazas Island

Breakfast at the hotel. The tours are booked depending on availability :

OPTION 1

Ferry transfer with support in English / Spanish. Board the yacht and navigate about 40 minutes to the island of Santa Fe. This visit will delight lovers of desert landscapes dotted with cactus. The island is home to species of endemic iguanas including the iconic Galapagos: large iguanas with a light color and a pronounced dorsal crest .. And of course, you will come across many sea lions and sea turtles in the cove. Short walk in the island and the possibility to go diving and snorkeling. Return to the yacht for lunchContinue walking with the possibility of also going diving and snorkeling. Back to the hotel around 4pm.

OPTION 2

Ferry transfer with support in English / Spanish. Boarding the yacht and sail to the South Plaza Island (about 45 minutes). This small island in the archipelago offers stunning volcanic landscape with cliffs formed by lava and covered with cactus. Walking tour to observe one of the largest sea lion colonies (over 1000 individuals) and many species of iguanas yellow purplish. You will find the gull to dovetail tail, phaeton (straw tail), the frigate, the blue-footed booby, the masked booby, the Audubon puffin. Sometimes you can see sharks, turtles and stingrays. In terms of flora, Plaza South is lined by a singular endemic plant, Sesuvium. Green January to June it turns bright red during the dry season, from June to December.

Lunch on board.

After visiting Punta Carrión, continue near the Baltra island to observe marine wildlife and snorkeling.

Dinner in a traditional restaurant. Free return to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel Hotel Villa Laguna *** or similar

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Day 10 Santa Cruz / Baltra - Guayaquil OUT

Breakfast at the hotel.

Transfer to Baltra airport with support in English / Spanish or French with supplement.

While being transferred, stop at Los Gemelos craters, impressive volcanic wells.

The place is full of birds, including the “red tyrant” and “lark”.

Flight to Guayaquil (not included, arrival in the afternoon).

Assistance for the flight back to Europe (not included).    

 

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