Best of Ecuador & Galapagos Wildlife
 
 
Quito with Cotopaxi Volcano  
Scarlet Macaw  
Marine Iguana  
 
16 day tour
Including flights and transfers
Prices from
£7195

Tour Highlights

  • Explore Quito's UNESCO World Heritage centre
  • Unique volcanic islands of the Galapagos
  • Observe Wildlife at Close Quarters
  • Exceptional Birdwatching in Amazon
  • Blue-footed boobies of the Galapagos
  • Snorkelling with sea lions and turtles
I'm enquiring about: Best of Ecuador & Galapagos Wildlife

Rainbow Tours takes your privacy very seriously and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please read our Privacy Policy so you can understand how we collect and use your personal data. https://www.rainbowtours.co.uk/content/privacy/
I'm enquiring about: Best of Ecuador & Galapagos Wildlife

Best of Ecuador & Galapagos Wildlife

Ecuador      Galapagos Islands

From deep in the Amazon rainforest, surrounded by a lush canopy of green, to the wildlife haven of the Galapagos Islands, this holiday lets you experience firsthand some of the best wildlife that Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands have to offer. In the Amazon, stay at an eco-lodge and explore small tributaries and waterways by dug out canoe, explore the rainforest under the cover of darkness and get a bird's eye view of the jungle canopy from observation towers as the sun rises. Once in the Galapagos, days are filled with a host of activities such as snorkelling, hiking and wildlife watching. Experience landscapes, flora and fauna unique to this incredible destination.


Day 1
Day 1
UK - Bogota
Depart the UK today on your overnight flight to the Ecuadorian capital of Quito via Bogota.
Day 2
Day 2
Bogota - Quito
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in the heart of the old town. This UNESCO World Heritage area is the perfect location to stay with its maze of cobbled streets, picturesque plazas flanked with colonial architecture and ornate churches.
Accommodation: La Casona de la Ronda
           
Day 3
Day 3
Quito
Today on a private city tour, explore the highlights of Colonial Quito. This is a city of narrow cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed walls , the city's many steeples and cupolas rise above the numerous ornate historic churches. Quito has one of the best preserved colonial centres in all South America, and it was declared a World Cultural Heritage site in 1978. For fantastic views of the city and the encircling volcanoes and mountains, visit the El Panecillo lookout point, instantly recognisable by the Virgin of Quito statue at its summit.
Day 4
Day 4
Quito - Coca, Amazon Gateway
Today fly to Coca, the gateway to the Ecuadorian Amazon. From here board a motorised canoe as you travel down the river to your jungle lodge, home for the next 3 nights. Getting here is certainly part of the adventure and upon arrival, enjoy lunch and settle in before your first excursion into the forest commences. After dining, venture out on your first night-time adventure.
Accommodation: Sacha Lodge
               
Days 5 - 6
Day 5
Amazon
A typical day in the Amazon begins at sunrise or earlier, taking advantage of the cool morning hours when the rainforest’s animals are most active. You might begin the day paddling dugout canoes along tannin-rich black-water creeks and lakes, where luxuriant lianas, orchids, bromeliads and palm trees thrive, always with the possibility of spotting animals, from the tiny pygmy marmoset to the feared ocelot or puma. Then, you could board the motorised canoe for a short ride along the Napo River to visit a local community, learning about their jungle way of life and testing out their cooking techniques, stopping to watch the parrot disco of the clay lick along the way.
 
You will return to the Lodge in the late morning, in time for lunch. In the time between lunch and your afternoon adventure, you are free to enjoy the Lodge, lounging on sun chairs with a book, or cooling off in the lake. Activities begin again between 3:00pm and 4:30pm and often continue into the evening, when the nocturnal insect and frog chorus begins. An afternoon excursion might see you trekking through pristine Terra Firme forest, where 150-foot kapok trees tower above and roots form huge buttresses to give trees support, your guide pointing out the crest owl territory and calling to the howler monkeys.
 
Days at the lodge do not end with the fading of the light, or even with dinner. Night walks and canoe trips, with the aid of flashlights, often reveal creatures seldom seen during daylight. Caimans (of the alligator family) and giant insects rule the jungle after sunset.
Day 7
Day 7
Amazon - Quito
Return to Quito today by air from Coca. Spend a night here relaxing before heading off to the Galapagos tomorrow!
Day 8
Day 8
Quito – San Cristobal (Galapagos)
This morning, transfer to the airport for a flight to the Galapagos via Guayaquil. Once on San Cristobal Island, you will be taken to your floating home for the next 7 nights. In the afternoon Visit the El Junco Lagoon. Located in the highlands, 19km from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, El Junco is located in the caldera of an extinct volcano. The highlight here is the beautiful lagoon that fills the crater of the extinct volcano, fed by rainwater. Frigate birds and occasionally some species of local water birds are spotted.
Accommodation: Letty
       
Day 9
Day 9
San Cristobal
In the morning visit Witch Hill, otherwise known as Cerro Brujo. Located on the northern coast, this eroded hill and its surroundings present one of the most picturesque beaches in the Galapagos with its white powdery sand and the abundance of animals. Wildlife includes sea turtles, rays, and various types of booby birds. The clear water provides an excellent opportunity for enjoying swimming and snorkeling. Highlights here include beautiful rock formations, sea lions, shore birds, finches and mockingbirds, snorkeling with tropical fish, anemones, sponges and coral.
 
In the afternoon, visit Punta Pitt, a tuff formation that serves as a nesting site for many sea birds including all three types of boobies – blue-footed, red-footed and Nazca, both frigatebird species, swallow-tailed gulls, storm petrels, shearwaters and brown pelicans. Punta Pitt is considered one of the best sites for birds in the archipelago, and is also home to a colony of sea lions. At Pitt Rock, snorkel or swim with sea lions and colourful fish such as King Angel and Surgeon fish.
Day 10
Day 10
Española Island
This morning visit Suarez Point. On the trail you will have the chance to see blue-footed boobies, albatrosses, and Nazca boobies. This island is the breeding site of nearly all of the world’s 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses. Between April and December, they are known to perform their wild mating ritual. You will also visit a beautiful site on the ocean front where there is a cliff that the large albatrosses use as a launching pad! Marvel at the famous blowhole that spurts sea water into the air. Highlights include spotting the Hood mockingbird, Nazca boobies, waved albatross (from the last week of April until the last week of January), red-billet tropicbirds, lava lizards, Galapagos hawk, blue-footed boobies, large cactus finches and marine iguanas.
 
This afternoon takes you to the spectacular Gardner Bay. Walk across a lovely white-sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim with sea lion pups. You may also see curious mockingbirds on the beach. Highlights here are the colourful marine life and the sea lion nursery.
Day 11
Day 11
Floreana Island
This morning head to Floreana Island’s northernmost point - Punta Cormorant – named after the British naval vessel HMS Cormorant and dating back to the late 19th century. From the landing beach a short track leads to a shallow lagoon that is famous for its flamingos. The brilliantly pink birds skim the salty waters for shrimp and tend to chicks on the nest. The trail then scales a low hillside through scattered Palo Santo trees to reveal an idyllic white-sand beach on the other side of the point. Standing at the edge of the lapping waves, look out for mammoth female sea turtles hauling themselves out of the sea to lay eggs in the sugar sand dunes that lay high above the tide line. For the birders White-cheeked Pintails, Blue-footed Boobies, Yellow Warblers, and Medium and Small Ground Finches can be found here.
 
In the afternoon, visit the famous Post Office Bay. You will land on a beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers placed a wooden barrel used as an unofficial mail box. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So, don’t forget your postcards, and don’t be surprised if the post card arrives to its destination before you even get home!
Day 12
Day 12
Santa Cruz
This morning, head into the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Accessible by bus from Puerto Ayora, the highlands of Santa Cruz are a deep green which contrast beautifully with the dry, lower part of the islands. The predominant vegetation in the highlands are Scalesia trees which create a lush green colour. The lava tunnels, over half a mile long, are underground and walking through them is a unique, surreal experience.
 
This afternoon stop at Los Gemelos. Spanish for “the twins” and true to the name, Los Gemelos are twin sinkholes, one on either side of the road running from Puerto Ayora to the north side of the island. The mammoth scale of the landmarks often elicits exclamations of wonder from visitors at first sight. The vertical walls of the sinkholes fall deep into the ground covered in a veil of greenery hiding the bottom of the pit. Walk along the craters’ edges before stopping at Rancho El Manzanillo to see giant Santa Cruz tortoises in the wild. On the ranch swap walking shoes for knee-high rubber boots and wade out in to the green fields to come close to majestic giant tortoises and search for the coveted Woodpecker Finch.
 
Afterwards, stop at the Fausto Llerena Giant Tortoises Breeding Center in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, where giant tortoises are bred in captivity; this is home to tortoises ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long adults. Subspecies of the giant tortoises interact with one another, and many of the older tortoises are accustomed to humans stretching out their heads for a photo opportunity. The babies are kept until they are about four years-old and strong enough to survive on their own.
Day 13
Day 13
Santa Cruz & Bartolome
On the northern shore of Santa Cruz stretch the Las Bachas beaches, this morning’s stop is at these beautiful beaches; two beaches together spanning a full kilometre. A short track leads visitors inland towards a shallow pond with the opportunity to spot flamingos, migratory birds in season, and scavenging shorebirds. The name “Las Bachas” derives from the mispronounced term “barges” –which the American forces had left behind after World War II. On our visit to Las Bachas there will be the chance to swim from one of the two sandy beaches and to look for sea turtles that use Las Bachas as one of their major nesting sites in the islands.
 
The island of Bartolome offers a volcanic moonscape. Passing through the arid volcanic landscape provides a chance to watch for lava lizards, Galapagos Hawks, and Blue-footed Boobies. However, the climber’s ultimate reward is one of the most beautiful panoramas in all of the Galapagos Islands – the view towards Pinnacle Rock with black, volcanic cones of Baltra, Daphne Major and Daphne Minor in the distance. On the way down watch how the sunlight catches the green of pioneering plant species in stark contrast against dark volcanic rock, and look forward to time swimming and snorkeling from the golden beach at Bahia Dorada. Galapagos penguins are known to frequent the waters.
Day 14
Day 14
South Plaza & North Seymour
Visit South Plaza Island this morning. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colourful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is the Sesuvium. During the rainy season its colour is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red. This excursion involves a dry landing and includes a moderate walk of 1.5 miles. Highlights include the land iguanas, the sea lion colony, Audubon’s shearwaters, swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca boobies and the spectacular cliff panoramas.
 
In North Seymour this afternoon, you will be able to see Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and magnificent frigate birds which are abundant on this island. North Seymour was formed by a series of submarine lava flows containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterised by its arid vegetation zone.
Day 15
Day 15
San Cristobal - Guayaquil
This morning stop at the Interpretation Centre. This site is part of an environment project. The tour of this centre will explore the natural history of the islands including human interaction and conservation efforts. The Museum of Natural History explains the volcanic origin of the archipelago, ocean currents, climate, and the arrival of endemic species. The Human History exhibit chronologically describes significant events such as discovery and colonisation of the islands.
 
After, fly to Guayaquil for your final night.
Day 16
Day 16
Guayaquil - Bogota - UK
Today transfer to Guayaquil to fly home overnight via Bogota.

Pricing Information & Dates

16 day tour, from £7195 per person
Price Includes:
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers
Price Notes
This is a suggested tailor-made itinerary based on a 7 night cruise aboard the Eric & Letty, we offer a variety of Galapagos vessels ranging in size and itineraries of different lengths from 3 nights to 4 nights. Please enquire for details so we can tailor the itinerary to suit your needs.

Tour Route Map

  1.   Quito
  2.   Ecuador's Amazon Rainforest

Accommodation on this Tour

La Casona de la Ronda
La Casona de la Ronda
Quito, Ecuador
La Casona de la Ronda La Casona de la Ronda is situated on a celebrated narrow, winding street dating back to 1480 and earning its name in 1580 from the traditional nightly rounds that took place in......
           
Letty
Letty
Galapagos Islands
Letty The Letty Cruise has capacity for 20 passengers in ten outside cabins. Shore excursions are arranged in small groups, led by a naturalist guide in a maximum group size of ten, one of the best......
       
Sacha Lodge
Sacha Lodge
Ecuador's Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador
Sacha Lodge Set within a private ecological reserve and with 26 thatched rooms, this lodge has a fantastic 275-metre long canopy walkway, nearly 30 metres high in the treetops, providing an......
               

Image Gallery

Call our experts now 0203 131 4707
Send An Enquiry Fill out our online enquiry form Request Callback Enter a time for us to call you Send An Enquiry Fill out our online enquiry form Request Callback Enter a time for us to call you
Calling from one of the countries below?
If so use the toll-free number listed.
USA611 3001 4894
Australia184 4332 5169
New Zealand184 4332 5137
Your bookings are protected by our travel guarantee Read More