An epic journey through the best of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

Highlights of Ecuador and Galapagos Holiday MapDepartures: Weekly on Wednesdays

Length: 14 days / 13 nights

Destinations: Quito / Mindo / Quilotoa Lake / Cotopaxi / Galapagos Islands Cruise / Guayaquil

Archipel ICruise: 5 days / 4 nights on the Archipel I or Archipel II Galapagos catamarans.

Alternative Cruises: We tailor all our holidays to suit our own travel style and wishes and can change the Galapagos cruise included in this suggested itinerary with a wide range of alternative Galapagos cruises of different lengths and in different yachts to suit your preferred cruise style or budget. Please contact us for further information.

Highlights: Spend time in Ecuador's UNESCO World Heritage capital city of Quito before travelling to the natural beauty of Mindo Cloud Forest for bird and wildlife watching, visit the stunning Cotopaxi volcano, then journey to the Galapagos archipelago on a fantastic 5-day cruise.

Price: from £3,720 per person. Based on 2 people travelling together in our hand picked Standard-Class (3-star or equivalent) Ecuador hotel accommodation and the Galapagos Archipel I or Galapagos Archipel II cruise ship. We work with a wide selection of hotels in Ecuador and superior and luxury hotel upgrades are available.

Tailor Made: This is a suggested holiday that can be booked exactly as described if you wish or that can be used to help inspire you on the fascinating journeys and destinations in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Like all our holidays this itinerary can be tailored, customised and crafted by our friendly experts to suit your own travel style, personal requirements, wishes, budget and interests. Simply get in touch to discuss, and we would be delighted to create a truly personalised holiday for you.

Holiday Itinerary

Arrive in Quito at any time to start your holiday and we will meet you and escort you through the city to your hotel, where the remainder of the day will be free time for you to relax following your flight to South America.

Meals: None

Overnight: Central hotel in Quito

Today you will enjoy a city tour through the fabulous UNESCO World Heritage City of Quito. Visit the stunning Compañia de Jesús (Church of the Society of Jesus) with its fantastically ornate gold interior, and explore San Francisco Convent nearby on Plaza de San Francisco to learn about the fascinating religious history of this city. The tour concludes with a visit to the Virgen del Panecillo lookout which is dominated by a giant iconic landmark statue of madonna and which has incredible landscape views over Quito and of the Andes beyond.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: Central hotel in Quito

Quito
Quito
Quito

Today you will enjoy a free day to explore Quito. We include free time here to provide the opportunity for you to explore this fabulous city at your leisure. Quito is steeped in history with endless cobbled streets and colonial architecture all within walking distance of your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: Central hotel in Quito

This morning we will meet you early at your hotel to depart to the beautiful region of Mindo. The journey starts with a descent along a mountain road providing fantastic views of the Andean scenery before you arrive in the cloud forest region of Bellavista and your lodge accommodation where you can enjoy a light meal. You will then embark on a guided trek through the Bellavista landscape learning more about the rich plant life (including orchids and bromeliads), birdlife and animals that live in the cloud forest. In the evening you will have time to relax in the lodge and spot for the noctural wildlide active in this region, including an incredible variety of moths and night birds.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Meal

Overnight: Bellavista Lodge

This morning you may consider enjoying an early-morning pre-dawn walk near the lodge to admire the first rays of sunlight and to spot the birdlife active at this time of day. After enjoying breakfast at the lodge you have the choice of a guided hike through the cloud forest to a nearby waterfall or a self-guided hike following a trail through the cloud forest closer to the lodge to spot wildlife. In the afternoon you can relax in the lodge and enjoy spotting the hummingbirds that fly through the lodge gardens searching for food in the flowers or enjoy more of the activities provided by the lodge.

In the afternoon you will then be escorted back to your hotel in Quito for the evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Meal

Overnight: Bellavista Lodge

This morning choose from a wide variety of cloud forest and wildlife spotting excursions provided by the lodge. At around 3pm you will leave the lodge behind to enjoy the wonderful return journey to Quito complete with spectacular views of the cloud forest and the lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Central hotel in Quito

This morning you will embark on an excursion to visit Quilotoa Lake, one of Ecuador's most beautiful natural monuments. The journey from Quito to Quilotoa travels through a stunning region of Ecuador passing bizarre mountain shapes and tiny Andean villages, before arriving at Quilotoa Lake. The lagoon is huge in size, almost 3 kilometres in diameter, surrounded by the creater walls of the volcano and with waters that appear green or turquoise in colour with the occasional sulphur bubble appearing from within the lake - a stunning sight. If you feel up to it you can descend to the crater or hike along part of the rim. During the return to Quito you will also visit one of the local colourful artesan markets in one of the local villages.

Meals: Breakfast, Evening Meal

Overnight: Princessa Toa, Quilotoa

From your hotel near Quilotoa you will journey by road along the famous Volcanoes Avenue towards Cotopaxi volcano, the highest active volcano in the world at an altitude of 5897 metres. Upon entering the Cotopaxi National Park you will visit the museum to learn more about the park and the volcano, before continuing into the park itself stopping at Limpiopungo Lake at 3800 metres. This lake is set in beautiful natural surroundings and you can enjoy a short walk to appreciate the view and observe the wildlife which can include wild horses, ducks, hummingbirds and gulls. From here if you wish you can continue by road up the volcano to an altitude of 4600 metres to embark on a short hike to the Jose Ribas refuge for spectacular views of the volcano and the surrounding scenery. After the tour you will return by road to Quito.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: Central hotel in Quito

Archipel I Itinerary A5 Map

Day 9 (Thu) This morning we will escort you the short journey to Quito airport for a flight to the Galapagos Islands to begin your Archipel Galapagos cruise. Your excursions begin immedietaly with a visit to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, here you can spot Galapagos Giant Tortoises in the wild.

Day 10 (Fri) This morning visit "Tintoreras", a collection of jagged rocky islets that are home to a variety of sea life including white-tipped reef sharks, penguins and sea lions. In the afternoon you will land on Isabela Island to visit a lagoon to spot flamingos and to see Giant tortoises in the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Centre.

Day 11 (Sat) The Galapagos are a volcanic island chain, and this morning you will follow a "Pahohoe" lava trail at Moreno Point to spot birds and to learn about the lava landscape. In the afternoon enjoy an excursion along the coast of the Marielas Islets to spot flightless cormorants, sea turtles and penguins.

Day 12 (Sun) Tagus Cove is at the north of Isabela Island and is a wonderful location to spot penguins. You will also enjoy a hike to the cliff tops for views of Darwin Lake. In the afternoon visit Espinoza Point on Fernandina Island to observe colonies of marine iguanas and flightless cormorants.

Day 13 (Mon) Your cruise comes to an end with a visit to the stunning white sands of Bachas Beach, a nesting site for sea turtles. In late morning you will be escorted to the Galapagos airport for your return flight to the Ecuador mainland where we will escort you to your hotel.

Meals Days 9-12: Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Meal / Day 13: Breakfast

Overnight Days 9-12: Archipel I or Archipel II Catamaran / Day 13: Hotel in Guayaquil

galapagos boat excursion2
san cristobal tortoise centre
galapagos penguin

Archipel I Itinerary B5 Map

Day 9 (Thu) This morning we will escort you to Quito airport for a short flight to the Galapagos Islands to begin your Archipel cruise. Your first excursion is a visit to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, home to luscious green landscapes, the Twin Towers, and Giant tortoises in their natural habitat.

Day 10 (Fri) Head south to visit Cormorant Point on Floreana Island and enjoy an overland trail to a salt lagoon to spot flamingos. In the afternoon visit Post Office Bay, one of the more historic sites in the Galapagos, and nearby Baroness Lookout. The nearby sandy beach is home to Sally lightfoot crabs.

Day 11 (Sat) This morning visit the beach at Gardner Bay on Española Island, this beach is one of the most beautiful in the Galapagos and home to a colony of sea lions. In the afternoon visit Suarez Point and follow an overland trail past birdlife including Nazca boobies to reach a majestic blow-hole.

Day 12 (Sun) Pitt Point at the far west of the Galapagos island of San Cristobal is the only place in the Galapagos to spot blue-footed, red-footed and Nazca-boobies altogether in one colony making this a highlight of the cruise. In the afternoon visit Witch Hill to enjoy snorkelling in the crystal clear waters.

Day 13 (Mon) End your cruise with a visit to Lobos Islet to spot the iconic Galapagos birdlife including Great frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies. Later in the morning you will be escorted to the airport for your return flight to the mainland where we will escort you to your hotel.

Meals Days 9-12: Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Meal / Day 13: Breakfast

Overnight Days 9-12: Archipel I or Archipel II Catamaran / Day 13: Hotel in Guayaquil

floreana island post office bay
Espanola Sea Lions
blue footed boobies

At the appropriate time we will escort you from your hotel to Guayaquil airport where you will be able to check-in for your international flight and start your return journey home.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: N/A

Guayaquil
Guayaquil

Included

  • Two domestic flights within Ecuador (Quito - Galapagos Islands / Galapagos Islands - Guayaquil)
  • All excursions
  • English-speaking guides for all excursions
  • INGALA Galapagos control card
  • Entry fees to all sites included in the itinerary (with the exception of the Galapagos National Park Entry Fee which needs to be paid on arrival in the Galapagos)
  • Accommodation
  • All meals detailed
  • Private transfers to / from airports or hotels
  • All transport and travel within Ecuador

Not Included

  • International flights to/from South America. We exclude international flights to give the option to compare flight pricing or use air miles, however we can include and provide international flights as part of your holiday and any international flights booked through us would be ATOL-protected as part of your package with us. Depending on time of year, departure airport and airline preference flight prices start from around £500pp for economy-class return flights. If you would like us to include international flights or provide a quote just let us know your preferred departure airport when you enquire.
  • The Galapagos National Park Entry Fee (payable on arrival in the Galapagos).

MAKE AN ONLINE ENQUIRY

ATOL PROTECTION

This is a flight-inclusive package holiday. All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/atolcertificate.

Contact Us if you want more information or want to book this holiday. One of our Ecuador and Galapagos cruise holiday specialists will be more than willing to help.