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Best of Ecuador - 12 Days

Best of Ecuador

Ecuador · Private Tour · 12 Days
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Private Tour
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nature
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landscape
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cruise
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wildlife

Let the beauty of Ecuador seduce you. Explore its colonial cities and indigenous markets, hike the volcanic lakes of the Andes Range, and sail to the Galapagos Islands on a luxury cruise. 

Itinerary

Day 1 - Quito
Day 2 - Otavalo
Day 3 - Cotopaxi National Park
Day 4 - Cotopaxi National Park → Baños
Day 5 - Baños
Day 6 - Quito
Day 7 - Quito → Santa Cruz Island
Day 8 - Genovesa Island
Day 9 - Santa Cruz Island & Santiago Island
Day 10 - Santa Cruz Island
Day 11 - Santa Cruz Island → Quito
Day 12 - Quito

What is included

  • Ground transfers in private transportation, including to and from the airport
  • Domestic flight Quito-Galapagos-Quito
  • 4 day Galapagos Islands expedition on board Nemo III Catamaran
  • 8 nights accommodation at luxury hotels with breakfast
  • 3 nights accommodation on the Nemo III Catamaran in luxury cabins with private bathroom and AC
  • Full board meals during entire Galapagos Expedition
  • Snacks during excursions
  • Visits and excursions specified in this itinerary
  • Entrance fees to all visiting sites
  • Bilingual guide in mainland tour, naturalist guide in Galapagos

What is NOT included

  • International flights
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned in this itinerary
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Entrance to the National Park US$100 per person
Did you know you can make this trip even better? Customize this tour

day
1
Quito

Arrival to Quito airport, reception and transfer to your hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
2
Otavalo

After breakfast, we will take the road that takes us to the city of Otavalo, the most important indigenous city in the country where people are blessed for their handicrafts. 

The people of Otavalo are hardworking and talented people whose art has passed from generation to generation. Their fabrics, pendants, hats and embroidery are sold all over the world and are respected and bought by thousands of national and international tourists who come to see the Indigenous Fair in Otavalo

Every traveler who comes to Ecuador has had the dream of seeing this fair. The square of los Ponchos opens every day to offer its products, but if you want to see the best and largest fair in Latin America, you must visit this fair on Saturday when the four squares are open: Square of Los PonchosAnimals Square, the Handicrafts Square and the Food Court

After a brief tour of the square, you can buy some handicrafts and Andean fabrics to take home as a souvenir. Then we will return to the village of San Pedro de Cayambe to have lunch at a typical restaurant in the area or in a hacienda or a very old house and then be surrounded by hundreds of roses and watch the process until they finally reach to our hands. 

visit to one of the farms in the area will show us the science involved in sowing, harvesting and post-harvesting of roses and summer flowers. During this visit, we will visit greenhouses filled with different species, types or categories of roses and summer flowers. Their growing and harvesting times vary, depending of the flower. 

The Ecuadorian Rose is the most exported and preferred rose in the world. It can have a stem up to 2.20 meters long; this is one of the reasons why this country is unique. Because Ecuador is on the equator, it is possible to grow plants here which cannot survive in other countries. After our visit, return to the hotel. 

Overnight at the hotel.

Q
Quito → Otavalo110 km 1h 45min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Hacienda Cusin

Otavalo

day
3
Cotopaxi National Park

Early in the morning, after enjoying a delicious breakfast we will go to the majestic Cotopaxi National Park for an awesome life experience! Cotopaxi, the viewpoint of the Andes and the second most popular destination in Ecuador, is located just minutes from Quito. 

If you find in nature a stimulating experience, a visit to one of the highest volcanoes in the world, will leave its mark on you. At 5,897 meters above sea level, its perfect cone covered with glaciers rises to the sky, and the crystals of stalactites and stalagmites shine in the moonlight. 

From the summit, if climatic conditions are favorable, you can see almost all the elevations of the country. This park also has an important collection of lakes and mountain peaks. One of the most outstanding is Limpiopungo Lagoon, which reflects in its waters the majestic Ruminahui volcano 4,757 meters high, Santo Domingo Lake, surrounded by Incan stone walls, ruins of Pucaras and other stone platforms which are thought to have been built by pre-Columbian pastors. 

Overnight at the hotel.

Q
Quito → Cotopaxi National Park86 km 2h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
4
Cotopaxi National Park → Baños

After breakfast, we will have one of the most beautiful adventures. We will continue our journey to the town of Zumbahua

We will arrive to the viewpoint of the Quilotoa Lagoon which is a great place for capturing images. From there, we will appreciate its wonderful environs and turquoise waters surrounded by Pajonales, undoubtedly a landscape that will never be erased from your memory. 

To descend to the lake we will make a walk that lasts between 30 to 40 minutes, when we arrive we will relax and observe its wonderful waters that reflect the sky, we will walk around, and then return either on a mule or on foot, which depending on your fitness level can take about 45 minutes. 

On the way up we will take a break and enjoy an exquisite lunch, here you can also buy some handicrafts in the artisan market of the community. After a rewarding day, we will head to the city of Baños to rest in one of the accommodations with the most spectacular view of the city.

Overnight at the hotel.  

Q
Cotopaxi National Park → Baños163 km 3h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Luna Runtun

Baños

day
5
Baños

After breakfast, discover the Tree House, located in the village Runtun at 2600 meters above sea level. Here we will have the opportunity get on the famous swing of the End of the World, which is 7 meters hight. It is the best place to observe the Tungurahua Volcano and the landscapes of the Real range. 

We will continue our journey to the Manto de la Novia waterfall. Here you can get on the longest Tarabita in the country and cross the Pastaza River, without doubt an incredible experience. 

Later we will go for Verde River, where we will find one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country, Pailon del Diablo, also one of the ten largest jumps of the Ecuador with approximately 80 meters of height and a depth of 20 meters. 

Overnight at the hotel.    

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Luna Runtun

Baños

day
6
Quito

After breakfast, we will return to Quito to visit the Half of the World where we will observe the monument that divides the Northern Hemisphere of the Southern Hemisphere. 

It was built during the XVIIth century when a French expedition defined the exact location of the equator. If we have time, we can make an optional visit to Intinan or the Ethnographic Museum. 

At the end of the day we will transfer to the hotel that is 5 minutes from the airport where we will rest and take the energy to visit the beautiful Galapagos Islands aboard a cruise.

Overnight at the hotel.

Q
Baños → Quito176 km 2h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
7
Quito → Santa Cruz Island

After breakfast we will leave for the airport to take our flight to Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival at Baltra airport you will be greeted by a representative of the vessel then board the Nemo II, enjoy a welcome drink, and have lunch. 

In the afternoon, we will visit Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island. The name is Spanglish for barges which were wrecked offshore during the World War II. A common first landing site, there is a delightful swimming beach here, with a lagoon behind, and a longer beach for a stroll and wildlife‐ watching. The lagoon often in the back has large blue herons and small birds. 

On both beaches you can observe that some sea turtles are nesting, leaving footprints in the sand at the back of the beach, especially for the months of November to February. A wet landing and open area on the beach means that the tourist can explore at will.

Overnight on board Nemo III.   

p
Quito → Galapagos Islands 2h 15min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
t

Nemo III

Double Cabin with private bathroom, hot water and AC Galapagos Islands

day
8
Genovesa Island

After breakfast, we will visit El Barranco. Also known as Prince Phillips Steps, this is a demanding walk up a steep cliff, where tropicbirds, red‐footed boobies and other nesting seabirds can be found. We follow the trail through a Palo Santo forest to a storm petrel colony passing boobies and great frigate bird along the way. 

We wil then visit Darwin Bay, which is the caldera of a collapsed volcano. We will land on a small coral beach, were we will take an easy walk. For those that want this will lead into a more demanding walk over lava rock. 

This will allow for stunning views from the cliffs and allow apple time and opportunity to photograph the amazing bird life such as swallow‐tailed gulls, red‐ footed booby, Nazca booby, large ground finch, large cactus finch, sharp‐billed ground finch, small marine iguanas, and great frigate bird.

Overnight on board Nemo III.    

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
t

Nemo III

Double Cabin with private bathroom, hot water and AC Galapagos Islands

day
9
Santa Cruz Island & Santiago Island

After breakfast, visit and admire Dragon Hill. It is located in the northwestern part of the island of Santa Cruz, and takes its name because in 1975 it was one of the only sites on Santa Cruz Island where land iguanas found themselves in a healthy state. The iguanas were studied and then transported for breeding these animals in captivity, saving them from the wild dogs at that time. 

By 1979, the first species were born and the populations were transported to the island of Venice. Several iguanas were reproduced on this island, and then were repatriated to Dragon Hill in 1990. 

In the lagoons, there are shrimp, it is food for the flamingos, at certain times of the year it is more abundant and therefore the population of these birds is greater. 

Sullivan Bay, the main attraction of this bay is the Pahoehoe lava flow. It is one of the most incredible places to compare lava flows and their characteristics.

Overnight on board Nemo III.    

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
t

Nemo III

Double Cabin with private bathroom, hot water and AC Galapagos Islands

day
10
Santa Cruz Island

After breakfast, admire the incredible areas of vegetation at the highlands of Santa Cruz . 

There you will visit Las Primicias private farm. This reserve offers one of the best possibilities to see the enormous turtles of the Santa Cruz Island in their natural habitat. 

After that, we will drop you in Puerto Ayora to visit the Charles Darwin Scientific Station. An excellent way to start learning about the islands, their origin and training is to visit the station. You can also see how Galapagos turtles are raised and meet George, the famous solitary tortoise. The Science Station has its own beach that receives many visitors on the weekends.

Overnight at the hotel.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Hotel Sol y Mar

Galapagos Islands

day
11
Santa Cruz Island → Quito

After breakfast, our guide will pick you up to transfer you to Baltra airport, where you will take the flight to Quito that will be arriving in the evening.

Overnight at the hotel.

p
Galapagos Islands → Quito 2h 15min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
12
Quito

After breakfast, our guide will pick up you from your hotel to transfer you to the airport for your departure flight.  

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Accommodations

Quito
]

Hotel Plaza Grande

Otavalo
]

Hacienda Cusin

Baños
]

Luna Runtun

Galapagos Islands
t

Nemo III

Double Cabin with private bathroom, hot water and AC
Galapagos Islands
]

Hotel Sol y Mar

Quito
]

Wyndham Quito Airport

Price for luxury experience

Customizable private tour
Prices per person2-3 pax
Double Sharing
4-5 pax
Double Sharing
1 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2018$4781$4384

Photos

Nemo III Catamaran
Cotopaxi Volcano
Quilotoa Lake
Baños City, Tungurahua
Mitad del Mundo Monument, Quito
Roses Farm, Otavalo
Genovesa Island, Galapagos
Santiago Island, Galapagos

Map

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