Ecuador,

Diverse Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands on a Budget

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Tailor-Made Tour
15 Days
From £3878
GEOIP Not Available
Snorkelling and Diving
Budget
Photographic

Tour Introduction

15 Days from £3878
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you

Even the most iconic of wildlife destinations don’t have to be out of reach. Experience Ecuador’s remarkable mainland and enchanting Galapagos Islands on this exceptional value-for-money tour. Traverse the Avenue of the Volcanoes; take the exhilarating Devil’s Nose train ride; and see the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Quito and Cuenca, before ending with six nights in the Galapagos Islands. With their dramatic volcanic landscapes and astonishing array of semi-tame wildlife which helped form Darwin’s theories, the Galapagos occupy a special niche. Enjoy snorkelling and exploring trails on Floreana, Isabela and Santa Cruz islands while staying in very comfortable and cosy accommodation ashore. With this tour you just can’t lose.

Full Itinerary

Price from £3878
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Arrive in Quito

Arrive in Quito. Evening arrival and transfer to hotel.

Staying at Hotel Fuenta de Piedra I. Includes In-flight Meals.

Day 2
Quito

Guided tour of colonial Quito. The capital city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with fascinating culture: the tour will include visits to museums, monasteries and churches and will highlight the artistic design within the city. The tour will also include a visit to the Equatorial monument that marks the divide between the southern and northern hemispheres (Ecuador means equator in Spanish). Here there will be a visit to the Museo del Sitio Inti Nan, dedicated to the cultures of Ecuador’s indigenous peoples.

Staying at Hotel Fuenta de Piedra I. Includes Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 3
Cotopaxi province

Depart Quito and transfer south into Cotopaxi province and the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Visit an indigenous market before continuing on through increasingly dramatic and beautiful mountain landscapes to Quilotoa crater lake. Those feeling energetic can walk down to the edge of the blue lagoon for a close view of the magical crater. Horses will be on hand for those who want a ride back to the vehicle. Transfer on to a historic ranch in the Avenue of the Volcanoes dating from the 17th century.

Staying at Hacienda La Cienega. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Cotopaxi National Park

Transfer to Cotopaxi National Park and make a short walk to the base of the impressive snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano. Continue higher up the mountain to the José Ribas refuge and make a short walk to see the powerful glaciers – at very high altitude. Afterwards transfer to a rose plantation for a short tour. Then continue to the town of Baños though this could be changed depending on local conditions at the time.

Staying at Hotel Floresta. Includes Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 5
Route of the Waterfalls

Morning visit to the main cathedral followed by a short exploration of the scenic town of Baños. Walk the Route of the Waterfalls which follows the Pastaza River gorge and passes through cloud forest before reaching the impressive Pailon del Diablo (Devil’s Cauldron) waterfall. In the afternoon, travel to Chimborazo volcano (6,310 m) for a chance to see herds of vicuña. A short walk to the Edward Whymper shelter will reward you with a tremendous view from 5,000 metres up. Transfer then to Riobamba.

Staying at Mansion Santa Isabella. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 6
Devil’s Nose Train Ride

Morning transfer through small villages and beautiful scenery to Alausi train station. Board the train for one of the world’s most breathtaking train rides, traversing down a sheer rock face known as the Devil’s Nose. After a box lunch, transfer to the largest Inca ruin in Ecuador the: Ingapirca archaeological complex. Continue to the beautiful colonial town of Cuenca for the night.

Staying at Hotel Casa del Aguila. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Cuenca

Morning city tour of Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attractive colonial city. Explore the promenade along the Rio Tomebamba, the imposing new cathedral, the daily flower market, and visit a workshop and museum for the famous Panama hat (made in Ecuador but bought in Panama by US gold prospectors passing through the canal to California during the gold rush). The afternoon is at leisure to relax or explore more of the city.

Staying at Hotel Casa del Aguila. Includes Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 8
Guayaquil

Transfer to El Cajas National Park and enjoy its high altitude paramo grasslands, lakes and quinua (paper tree) forests. Afterwards transfer to Guayaquil. There will be time for a short walking tour of the city starting at Parque Bolivar continuing by the Plaza de Administración, the Moorish Clock Tower, the Malecón 2000 and the artist district of Las Peñas with its spectacular panoramic view of the lazy Guayas River with its green mangrove belt.

Staying at Grand Hotel. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 9
Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

Transfer to airport and fly to Baltra, Galapagos. Transfer by bus and boat to Puerto Ayora and to your hotel on Santa Cruz. Explore the highlands of Santa Cruz, starting with a short but uphill walk to the Los Gemelos, a collapsed lava chamber. The remnants of the Scalesia forest here is home to much endemic flora and fauna, with Darwin’s finches frequently seen. Afterwards there will be a visit to a private reserve that protects the famous giant tortoises with time to enjoy close views of these prehistoric creatures. In the afternoon, transfer by speedboat to the Island of Floreana for hiking and snorkelling in the clear warm water hopefully with turtles, eagle rays and sea lions. In the evening – weather permitting – there will be some stargazing in the dark night sky.

Staying at Floreana Lava Lodge. Includes Lunch and Dinner.

Day 10
Floreana Highlands

After breakfast, transfer to the island’s highlands looking for wildlife and learning about the history of the region. Visit the cave used by pirates and a natural spring with narration from the guide on the history of the sites and description of the native Scalesia forest, found only in the Galapagos. In the late afternoon return to the lodge for an aquatic activity such as sea kayaking, snorkelling or paddle boarding.

Staying at Floreana Lava Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 11
Isabela

Today transfer to the Island of Isabela and to the Tintoreras, a group of small islands near the village of Puerto Villamil. This collection of small islands contains almost all the archipelago’s iconic wildlife including white tipped sharks, sea lions, turtles, rays, penguins, and of course pelicans and blue footed-boobies. There will be an opportunity for some snorkelling later on and it is not uncommon to have sea lions and penguins swimming alongside you. In the afternoon, visit to the giant tortoise breeding centre, passing lakes often used by the Galapagos flamingo.

Staying at Albemarle Hotel. Includes All Meals.

Day 12
Sierra Negra Volcano

Today have an excursion to the Sierra Negra Volcano to see the impressive crater, the second largest volcanic crater in the world at 4 miles in diameter. There is the option to walk close to the rim to see possible volcanic activity. Later, hike to Volcan Chico with its stark moon like appearance, a good spot to see endemic lizards basking on the rocks. The day will finish on the beaches in the town of Puerto Villamil for relaxation and swimming.

Staying at Albemarle Hotel. Includes All Meals.

Day 13
Isabela

Morning kayaking to look for turtles, rays, penguins, blue-footed boobies, sea lions and other wildlife. In the afternoon take mountain bikes along the wetland trail passing through extensive mangroves: the coastline here also has a large colony of marine iguana. Walking the trails should reveal much birdlife and wild giant tortoises. Enjoy guided tours of historic sites such as the Wall of Tears. On the return journey, stop at a natural water hole for wild swimming and finish the day back in town where you can either go snorkelling or just relax on the beach.

Staying at Albemarle Hotel. Includes All Meals.

Day 14
Santa Cruz

An early start to catch a speedboat (or flight in bad weather) to Santa Cruz Island and transfer to a remote part of the highlands. There will be a downhill mountain bike ride to Garrapatero Beach where there will be another sea kayaking activity with a chance to look for sharks, turtles and sea birds. After lunch explore Tortuga Bay, one of the largest and most scenic beaches in the archipelago.

Staying at Villa Laguna. Includes All Meals.

Day 15
Depart Guayaquil

In the morning visit the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora and learn about its successful breeding programs, conservation work and world famous research. Transfer to Baltra and catch flight to Guayaquil where you will connect with your international flight home.

Includes Breakfast.

Tour Accommodation

Ecuador The Andes

Hotel Casa del Aguila

Overview

Dating from the 19th century, the Casa del Aguila (House of the Eagle) is one of the most iconic buildings in Cuenca.

The beautiful hotel has elegant paintwork, archways and a central courtyard with a traditional chandelier hanging from the glass roof. The large wooden doors, petal-filled fountain, furniture and light colours all add to the hotel’s atmosphere and charm.

There are 17 rooms on 3 floors built around a courtyard, each with slightly different decoration. All have private bathrooms with hot showers, free Wi-Fi, climate control, telephones and safety deposit boxes. There is a roof terrace, restaurant, luggage storage and room service.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
17
Facilities

Restaurant, free Wi-Fi, room service, climate control, luggage storage and 24-hour reception desk.

Optional Activities

The hotel has a central position in Cuenca and is not far from Cuenca Cathedral, Parque Calderon and the Museum of Modern Art.

Ecuador The Andes

Hotel Fuente de Piedra 1

Overview

The Fuenta de Piedra 1 is an attractive colonial-style hotel built in 1996 that still showcases traditional Ecuadorian stonework and architecture.

The hotel is next to the historic but touristy La Mariscal district of Quito.

The 17 rooms are traditionally designed and have large windows affording good city views, cable TV, safety deposit box, direct dial telephone and private bathrooms. There is a communal patio area for guests to relax in and the helpful reception desk is open 24 hours. There is also free Wi-Fi available throughout the hotel

La Piedra Restaurant offers an outdoor buffet breakfast and serves Ecuadorian and international dinners.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
17
Facilities

Restaurant, free Wi-Fi, laundry service, cable TV, safety deposit box and 24-hour reception desk.

Optional Activities

City tours of Quito.

Ecuador Galapagos Islands

Villa Laguna

Overview

Located in Barrio las Ninfas, one of the best areas of Puerto Ayora, Villa Laguna is a friendly and charming hotel with attentive service however little English is spoken.

Accommodation is in 16 clean and comfortable rooms with en suite hot water bathrooms. The rooms are quite basic but all are smart and equipped with air-conditioning, a minibar and safety deposit box.

There is complimentary Wi-Fi in the lounge and there is a small swimming pool with sun loungers to enjoy and the hotel’s restaurant serves tasty local and international dishes.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
16
Facilities

Restaurant, lounge, hot water, TV, minibar, safety deposit box, swimming pool, air-conditioning and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Local Wildlife

Giant tortoises, Darwin’s finches, marine iguanas, sea lions, blue footed boobies, white-tipped reef and Galapagos sharks, eagle rays, barracuda, stonefish and turtles.

Optional Activities

Tours of Santa Cruz Island, wildlife watching, scuba diving and snorkelling, visits to the Charles Darwin Research Centre and to other nearby islands.

Ecuador Galapagos Islands

Albemarle Hotel

Overview

Albemarle Hotel is a luxurious family run hotel positioned just steps from a beautiful white sand beach near Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island. The hotel has a distinct Mediterranean architecture which blends well with its surrounds.

The rooms are simple but spacious and clean with air-conditioning, safety deposit box and TVs and most have views towards the beach or garden. Complimentary Wi-Fi available in reception and underwater cameras are available to rent. A buffet breakfast is served each morning, but other meals need to be taken at one of the local restaurants, which the friendly staff will happily recommend for you.

The hotel also features a rooftop terrace, ideal for watching sunsets with an evening drink, and there is also a small swimming pool and tropical garden with sun loungers.

The hotel’s location makes it an ideal base to explore Puerto Villamil and sites such as the Tintoreas Islands and its shark alley, the flamingo lake, the lava tunnels, Sierra Negra Volcano crater and the Concha de Perla natural swimming pool.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
14
Facilities

Breakfast bar, lounge, hot water, TV, minibar, safety deposit box, swimming pool, air-conditioning and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Local Wildlife

Giant tortoises, Darwin’s finches, marine iguanas, sea lions, blue footed boobies, Galapagos penguins, flamingos, white-tipped reef and Galapagos sharks, eagle rays, barracuda, stonefish and turtles.

Optional Activities

Excursions include visiting the Giant tortoise breeding centre, the Tintoreas Islands and its shark alley, the flamingo lake, the lava tunnels, sierra Negra Volcano crater and the Concha de Perla natural swimming pool.

Ecuador The Andes

La Floresta Hotel

Overview

La Floresta Hotel is situated close to the centre of the delightful town of Banos in central Ecuador. The hotel is quiet and cosy with traditional décor and artwork around the rooms and halls, and the communal area has a warm fireplace, TV and seating, table tennis room, gift shop and massage room.

In the centre of the hotel is a flower rich garden that attracts several hummingbird species and there are hammocks and balconies from which to enjoy them.

The hotel’s restaurant/café serves a daily tasty buffet breakfast, with lunches and dinners prepared on request.

La Floresta Hotel has 29 rooms including double, triple and family options, all with private bathrooms and free Wi-Fi – many rooms also have private balconies overlooking the garden.

A short walk from the hotel takes you into central Banos where several good restaurants and shops await discovery. It is not far to access the hot bath springs after which the town got its name, or the start or the locally famous waterfall trail.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
29
Facilities

Restaurant, free Wi-Fi, laundry/dry cleaning and ironing service, room service, child care, communal area, gift shop, massage room, table tennis room, cable TV, luggage storage and safety deposit box

Optional Activities

Table tennis and massage. Mountain bikes can be hired to explore the beautiful town of Banos, which is full of history and culture. The natural thermal baths are a star attraction. The surrounding area has many active activities on offer including horseback riding, treks, mountain biking, white water rafting and climbing.

Ecuador The Andes

Mansion Santa Isabella

Overview

The Mansion Santa Isabella is an elegant restored colonial house in the heart of Riobamba, central Ecuador. The building has been modernised to offer a high degree of comfort but has also retained the dark wooden furniture and style of the former house.

Its central location is handy for exploring the town, with the cathedral, Parc Sucre and Estadio Olimpico within easy walking distance.

There are 11 rooms distributed over 2 floors with a choice of triple, double and suites, all having private bathrooms, cable TV, free Wi-Fi, telephones, a seating area and beautiful bedspreads.

The suites have a hydro massage bathtub and are more spacious than the other rooms.

There is a small restaurant and lounge area and a laundry and dry cleaning service.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
11
Facilities

Restaurant, free Wi-Fi, laundry service, medical assistance, safety deposit box, 24-hour reception desk and concierge service.

Optional Activities

City tours of Riobamba.

Ecuador The Andes

Hacienda La Cienega

Overview

Hacienda La Cienega, a grand colonial-style hotel located close to the Cotopaxi volcano and National Park, is surrounded by beautiful gardens and walkways. The spectacular snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano can be seen from some of the rooms and the gardens.

The oldest hotel in mountainous Cotopaxi province, La Cienaga is elegantly decorated with colonial architecture and antique furniture.

The charming rooms are well decorated and have comfortable beds and private bathrooms. A family and deluxe suite are also available. There is free Wi-Fi in the public areas only and services include 24-hour reception, room service, luggage storage, laundry service, gift shop and concierge service.

The hotel restaurant serves delicious regional and international cuisine and there is a bar and lounge area in which to relax. A tennis court, children’s play area, games room and library are also available for the use of guests.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
34
Facilities

Restaurant, lounge and bar, concierge service, room service, luggage storage, free Wi-Fi in public areas, gift shop and tennis court.

Optional Activities

Horse riding, treks and excursions to the Cotopaxi volcano and the Quilotoa lagoon.

Ecuador Ecuador Pacific Coast

Grand Hotel Guayaquil

Overview

The Grand Hotel Guayaquil is located next to the Metropolitan Cathedral and in close proximity of the riverside city centre and the main airport.

There are 182 comfortable rooms, some quite basic but with private bathrooms, comfortable beds, air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi and room service.

The hotel has 2 restaurants: a charming a la carte restaurant dating back to 1822 and a second offering a buffet service. There is also a bar and lounge area, business centre, gym, sauna, swimming pool, massage room, squash court, pool table, 24 hour reception, luggage storage, room service, laundry and dry cleaning service and safety deposit box.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
182
Facilities

2 restaurants (a la carte, and buffet) bar and lounge, swimming pool, sun terrace, free Wi-Fi, room service, air-conditioning, luggage storage, laundry and dry cleaning, massage room, gym and sauna, pool table, safety deposit box and 24-hour reception.

Optional Activities

City tours of Guayaquil.

Ecuador Galapagos Islands

Floreana Lava Lodge

Overview

Floreana Lava Lodge is located on Floreana Island, the smallest of the inhabited islands in the Galapagos archipelago with just 150 residents, mostly living in the main town of Puerto Velasco Ibarra.

There are 10 simple pinewood cabins located just 5 minutes’ walk from the town and facing the bay. Each cabin has a single bed and two bunk beds, so can accommodate up to 3 people. Each has private hot water bathrooms, front porches with chairs facing the sea, air- conditioning, clock radio, reading lamp, hair dryer, safety deposit box and basic furniture.

There is a communal area in which to enjoy a welcome drink and discussions with other guests. Laundry and snack services are also provided.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
10
Facilities

Cabins are equipped with private hot water showers, air-conditioning, Wi-Fi and safety deposit box. There is a common guest area and laundry service is available.

Optional Activities

Kayakking, snorkelling, stand up paddle boarding.

Route Map

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Mansion Santa Isabella: -1.668786, -78.652053
La Floresta Hotel : -1.399967, -78.423122
Hacienda La Cienega: -0.772212, -78.619671
Hotel Casa del Aguila: -2.896580, -79.009557
Floreana Lava Lodge: -1.279903, -90.488598
Grand Hotel Guayaquil: -2.194661, -79.884720
Albemarle Hotel: -0.957756, -90.966264
Villa Laguna : -0.746440, -90.316361

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

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

Best Visited:

January to January

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

John Melton

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

I cannot fault the boat, the crew, or the food. I would not go on the big 100 passenger boats as we were first onto the beaches and in easy reach being smaller and closer inshore…The Galapagos is a one-off place where heaven meets the Earth…Your efficiency here and your guides in Quito are of such a high standard that I will not go anywhere without your organisation. Sorry, but you are stuck with us!

Dr N L - Devon