The Natural History Highlights of Ecuador and the Galapagos

17 Days from £5352 per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you
17 Days
Tailor-Made Tour
Primate Watching
Birding
Snorkelling and Diving

Incorporating the prime wildlife highlights of mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, this comprehensive yet well-paced itinerary provides plenty of time to enjoy each location, uses exceptional naturalist guides throughout and features accommodation of a high standard. The Amazon rainforest is complemented perfectly by the Andean cloud forest, and a superb seven-night cruise of the Galapagos islands rounds off what is probably the ultimate Ecuador and Galapagos wildlife holiday.

Itinerary

Price from £5352 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms

Day 1 - Depart UK

Morning departure from London and fly to Quito. Evening arrival and transfer to hotel.

Staying at Patio Andaluz. Includes In-flight Meals.

Day 2 - Quito

Guided tour of colonial Quito. The capital city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a fascinating culture and the tour will include visits to museums, monasteries and churches as well as highlight the artistic design within the city. Afternoon transfer up into the Tandayapa Valley.

Staying at Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 3 - Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

Full day of small group guided activities in the 1730-acre reserve. The lodge is situated within the amazingly biodiverse cloud forest of the northwestern slopes of the Andean mountains. You will find a great diversity of epiphytic plants and orchids here and some stunning birds including up to 40 species of hummingbird and a lek (mating ground) of the Andean cock-of-the-rock. Mammals are seen less easily but many are present, and at night the recently discovered olinguito and its cousin, the kinkajou, make quiet visits to the lodge feeders.

Staying at Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4 - Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

Morning excursions from the lodge to search for wildlife in the forest. Transfer to Quito.

Staying at Garden Hotel San Jose. Includes Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 5 - Napo Wildlife Center, Amazon rainforest

Transfer to Quito airport and fly to Coca. Transfer to the lodge by boat through Yasuni National Park. Wildlife that might be seen on the journey include troops of howler, capuchin and squirrel monkeys, flocks of parakeets and three-toed sloth.

Staying at Napo Wildlife Center. Includes All Meals.

Day 6 - Napo Wildlife Center

Day for small group guided activities in the pristine rainforest around the lodge. Trails can be done on foot and by canoe and there are two clay licks visited by large flocks of parrots and parakeets. Giant otters, various primates including golden-mantled tamarins, black caiman and occasionally Amazon pink river dolphins can be seen. Climb the canopy tower for sightings of feeding birds, macaws and raptors and sometimes sloths and monkeys.

Staying at Napo Wildlife Center. Includes All Meals.

Day 7 - Napo Wildlife Center

Another day of guided activities at Napo.

Staying at Napo Wildlife Center. Includes All Meals.

Day 8 - Quito

Transfer to airport and fly to Quito. Met on arrival and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure.

Staying at Garden Hotel San Jose. Includes Breakfast.

Day 9 - Galapagos Islands

Transfer to the airport and fly to the Galapagos Islands. Begin a 7 nights Galapagos Islands cruise on board an tourist category of small ship (superior or luxury ship options also available).

Staying at Cachalote. Includes All Meals.

Day 10 - On board ship

Explore the Galapagos Islands above and below the water on guided excursions. Above water there are plants and wild yet remarkably tame animals whose geographical isolation and adaptation to the harsh conditions have led to the evolution of many unique natural histories, including marine iguanas, giant tortoises and the famous Darwin finches. Under water, cool currents have introduced otherwise cold water species to these tropical seas: penguins (the only ones found on the Equator), orcas and fur seals happily rub along with parrot fish, turtles and manta rays.

Staying at Cachalote. Includes All Meals.

Day 16 - Guayaquil

Return to airport and fly to Guayaquil. Fly overnight back to the UK

Includes Breakfast.

Day 17 - Arrive back in the UK

Includes In-flight Meals.

Travel Info

Are Flights Included?
Yes

Flight Info:
Fly from London to Quito and return from Guayaquil on Iberia via Madrid or KLM via Amsterdam.

Area Specialist

John Melton
specialist_john-melton

Although a year round destination, the weather in the Galapagos is cooler and calmer from May to November and the seas are choppier in August. Look out for the newly discovered olinguito (an arboreal member of racoon family) that comes to the feeders at Bellavista at night. While staying at Bellavista add an excursion to Paz de les Aves, where a cock-of-the-rock lek can be observed.

If you have any queries about this tour please feel free to call me directly on +44 (0)1803 866965 or...

[Our Guide] made the trip for us. She was knowledgeable, took her time and was very enthusiastic. This was a wonderful holiday and well organised. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

Dr R P - Bedfordshire

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Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge: -0.016140, -78.681130
Napo Wildlife Centre: -0.523806, -76.439912
Patio Andaluz: -0.218548, -78.511232
Garden Hotel San Jose: -0.190641, -78.352083