Ecuador for the Connoisseur

Ecuador for the Connoisseur Ecuador for the Connoisseur
£10758

As you may have guessed from the title, Ecuador for the Connoisseur offers discerning travellers some extraordinary experiences.

From admiring the beautiful period architecture and faded glory of Quito’s Old Town you soon find yourself high up on an Andean hillside in the midst of the Mindo Cloud Forest, watching exotic birds and gazing at a profusion of vivid orchids.

Then comes the Amazon Basin – unmissable for connoisseurs of wildlife – where you’ll hike through untouched jungle, visit butterfly farms and even fish for piranha. But the climax of your tour has to be an unforgettable Galapagos cruise that takes you to the islands that inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution. You’ll go snorkelling and kayaking amid dramatic landscapes, visit historic sites and meet some of the archipelago’s famously fearless wildlife.

This is a sample itinerary to inspire your holiday – it can be tweaked in every way possible from the places you want to go to and number of days you spend in each, as well as hotels you stay in and activities you do. Get in touch with one of our experts by calling +44+4402073864646 and a consultant will start creating your perfect trip.

DaysLocationDetail
day 1

London – Madrid – Quito

 

Fly out of London in the early morning to …

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Fly out of London in the early morning to Madrid to meet your connecting flight to Quito. Here you’ll be met and taken to your hotel. You’ll find yourself within easy reach of the sights and wonderful period architecture of Quito’s Old Town – your hotel is itself a restored Neo-classical mansion and overlooks the grand Plaza San Francisco.

Stay: One night in a luxury room at Casa Gangotena – bed & breakfast

days 2 - 4

Mindo Cloud Forest

Now it’s time to experience the riches of …

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Now it’s time to experience the riches of the Andes and Mindo Cloud Forest. A three hour drive through takes you up to your lodge, perched 950 metres above sea level on the western slopes of the Andes. Your rainforest experience will include wandering through 1,200 hectares of an untouched reserve; hiking along forest trails to discover a staggering variety of plants, birds and wildlife.

You’ll discover sparkling waterfalls and crystal clear rivers to bathe in. You’ll stroll through gardens full of orchids and take in the view from above the canopy on an aerial tram. Ecuadorian guides will show you cotinga, cock-of-the-rock and umbrella birds – plus numerous other species – from three different birdwatching hides.

Stay: Three nights in a Yaku suite at Mashpi Lodge – full board

day 5

Quito

This afternoon you will take the shared shuttle service …

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This afternoon you will take the shared shuttle service back to your hotel in Quito where you will spend one night.

Stay: One night in a luxury room at Casa Gangotena – bed & breakfast

days 6 - 8

Amazon Basin

Your Amazonian expedition begins with a short flight to …

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Your Amazonian expedition begins with a short flight to Coca. From Coca you’ll cruise down the Rio Napo in a motorised canoe, before branching off onto a jungle creek in a traditional dugout canoe. Within 20 minutes you’ll arrive at your lodge, surrounded by dense tropical jungle.

This is the Amazon Basin and you’ll hike along its trails both during the day and at night, accompanied by expert naturalist guides who will share their vast knowledge of the rainforest with you. You’ll take canoe journeys into the interior, kayak across a stunning lagoon and watch wildlife from a 37 metre high canopy tower.

Expect to see – and hear – many of the 500 different species of local birds – including rarities like the zigzag heron, plus toucans and trogons, jacamars, tanagers, antbirds, hummingbirds and macaws as well as around 20 other types of parrot. Your lodge has its own butterfly breeding farm and you can even go with a local guide to fish for piranha.

Stay: Three nights in a cabana at La Selva Jungle Lodge – including all meals and activities

day 9

Quito

Today you bid goodbye to the rainforest and take …

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Today you bid goodbye to the rainforest and take a motorised canoe back to Coca for your return flight to Quito. In the afternoon enjoy a guided tour around the city’s Old Town.

Stay: One night in a luxury room at Casa Gangotena – bed & breakfast

days 10 - 15

Galapagos Cruise

A short flight down to Baltra Island kicks off …

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A short flight down to Baltra Island kicks off your Galapagos adventure. You’ll board Yacht La Pinta – a luxurious vessel carrying just 48 passengers – and be shown to your cabin. In the afternoon you’ll disembark at the beautiful island of North Seymour where you’ll have the opportunity to see numerous bird colonies, sea lions and land iguanas.

The following days are filled with wonderful sights, discoveries and unforgettable experiences. On Isabela Island you’ll board a panga to explore the coast whilst a naturalist guide points out the island’s interesting geological formations. Weather permitting, you will also be able to snorkel with green sea turtles. At Fernandina, the youngest of the islands, you will be met by a spectacular volcanic landscape and a procession of interesting wildlife including hawks, penguins and flightless cormorants.

On day three you’ll have the opportunity to spot several species of whales as you navigate the Bolivar Channel, before visiting the secluded Tagus Cove – a popular anchorage site for pirates and whalers in centuries gone by. On day four you’ll stroll along Rabida Island’s famous red-coloured beach, observing Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers and marine iguanas basking in the sunshine.

The following day you land on Santa Cruz Island and visit the world famous Charles Darwin Research Centre to see Galapagos tortoises in their natural surroundings. Then it’s on to Floreana Island and the historic Post Office Bay, before moving on to Punta Cormorant with its American flamingos and white-sanded beach frequented by nesting sea turtles. On day seven you will disembark at Baltra Island and catch a flight back to the mainland.

Stay: Six nights in a double cabin on board La Pinta – including all meals and activities

day 16

Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands

After your cruise you will have some time to …

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After your cruise you will have some time to relax at a beautiful eco-friendly hotel on Santa Cruz, situated in a secluded cove surrounded by mangroves. You will find yourself within an easy distance of the beach and the town centre of Puerto Ayora. Those wishing for more adventure can enjoy wildlife excursions, sea kayaking, cave tubing, snorkelling and scuba diving, whilst those looking to relax can simply laze in a hammock and drink in the wonderful surroundings.

Stay: One night in a standard room at the Finch Bay Hotel – bed & breakfast

days 17 - 18

Baltra – Guayaquil – London

Today you’ll be taken to Baltra Airport for …

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Today you’ll be taken to Baltra Airport for your flight to Guayaquil – where you’ll be met and taken to the city’s picturesque waterfront for a spot of lunch, or some last minute sightseeing. You’ll fly from Guayaquil Airport in the afternoon, arriving at Madrid the next day to meet your connecting flight home.

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Whether you're a new or existing customer get in touch with any of our Ecuador and Galapagos Islands experts. Everything we do is tailor-made, our experts are ready today to start creating your own personalised itinerary.


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  • It was a great experience and now I have dipped my toes in the Ultimate waters I shall be back for more.

    -
    JE, October 2014