Ecuador & Galápagos Nature

Ecuador, pure nature!

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Española Island

Antoine feeling about Ecaudor Nature tour

This 21-day “nature” themed trip to Ecuador will give you a broad overview of the extraordinary biodiversity of our adopted country. Ecuador is divided into four regions with radically different biotopes (Amazonia, Andes, Pacific Coast, and Galapagos Islands), it offers a magnificent playground for lovers of nature and wide-open spaces.
Following your arrival in Quito, we have decided to introduce you to the Andes Cordillera first, which is the longest mountain range in the world. You will go in search of the famous condor (emblematic animal of Ecuador) while walking through magnificent landscapes: Cotopaxi National Park, the Chimborazo reserve, and the Mindo region (a paradise for birdwatching). Then, your trip to Ecuador will bring you to meet the primary Amazonia, in the heart of the Cuyabeno Reserve. Finally, you will go to the Galapagos archipelago, which is another world…


Physical Difficulty

Culture and Visits

Nature and Activities

Recommended for


Tour highlights :

– Visit 4 reserves or protected parks during your trip to Ecuador.
– 5 nights in the incredible Galapagos Archipelago.
– 4 nights in the primary Amazon rainforest, in the famous Cuyabeno reserve. (or Yasuni depending on the accommodation class)
– Discovery of the Ecuadorian magnificent landscapes: Cotopaxi Parks and Chimborazo Reserve, Mindo and Quilotoa.
– Free time in Quito.-the capital-


Indicative route :

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Explore in more detail :

Day by day :

Day 1 : Transfer-in to Quito

Arrival to Quito. Transfert to the hotel.

Day 2 : Quito visit

Free day in Quito where you can visit the city at your own pace (churches, plazas, museums, historic streets, cable car, Panecillo, etc.)

Day 3 : Quito > Mitad del Mundo > Mindo

This morning you will go to the Mindo region. On the road you will stop at “Mitad del Mundo” in Quito. It is a monument symbolizing the equatorial line location. There you will find a museum with experiments showing the difference between north and south.

Day 4 : Mindo > Cotopaxi National Park

Meeting for the first time with the tropical rainforest to discover this lush nature. The early start allows observing the birds very well. From Mindo, you can go in search of the famous cock of the rock.
In the afternoon, transfer to Cotopaxi Park where you will stay in a superb typical hacienda.

Day 5 : Cotopaxi National Park > Tigua

You will visit the famous Cotopaxi Park which is the highest active volcano in the world with its 5,897m. You can go horseback riding, hiking or mountain biking. You will then travel to Tigua in a charming typical Andean inn.

Day 6 : Tigua > Quilotoa > Chugchilan (trek 1)

In the morning you will go to the Quilotoa lake, the starting point of your 2-day trek.

Day 7 : Chugchilan > Isinlivi > Riobamba (trek 2)

You will begin your second day of trekking towards the village of Isinlivi where your driver will meet you to return to Quito.

Day 8 : Riobamba > Chimborazo reserve > Riobamba

In the morning you will get to the heart of the Chimborazo reserve to the Hermanos Carrel refuge. You will see vicuñas in total freedom. You can take a more or less long hike there, according to your desire.

Day 9 : Riobamba > Baños

In the morning you will get to the heart of the Chimborazo reserve to the Hermanos Carrel refuge. You will see vicuñas in total freedom. You can take a more or less long hike there, according to your desire.

Day 10 : Baños > Quito

You will have a free morning in Baños. In the afternoon you will reach the Ecuadorian capital.

Day 11 : Quito > Lago Agrio > Amazon rainforest (Cuyabeno reserve)

You will travel from Quito airport to Lago Agrio, the gateway to the primary Amazonia. After a 2-hour cruise in a motorized canoe, you will arrive in your lodge by the lake in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

Day 12 : Amazon rainforest

Visits are planned by the lodge in question. You will tame the Amazon rainforest environment.

Day 13 : Amazon rainforest

Visits are planned by the lodge in question. You will tame the Amazon rainforest environment.

Day 14 : Amazon rainforest

Visits are planned by the lodge in question. You will tame the Amazon rainforest environment.

Day 15 : Amazon rainforest > Lago Agrio > Quito

You will be transferred by canoe and then taxi to the town of Lago Agrio where you will catch your regional flight to Quito.

Day 16 : Quito > San Cristobal island

Flight to San Cristobal then transfer to your hotel. You will have a free afternoon.

Day 17 : San Cristobal island – Española island

You will visit Española Island. This island is very well known for its Albatrosses which are endemic to this particular island.

Day 18 : San Cristobal island – 360 Tour

You will go around San Cristobal Island. You will have many stopping points for snorkeling.

Day 19 : San Cristobal island > Santa Cruz island

About 2-hour Transfer by speedboat. Arrived in Santa Cruz, transfer to the hotel, and installation (depending on the arrival time).
Free time to go to one of the accessible sites:
– Tortuga Bay
– Charles Darwin Station
– Grietas

Day 20 : Santa Cruz island – North Seymour island

Transfer to the Itabacca Canal where you will take a boat to North Seymour Island. This island is famous for its many birds and iguanas species.

Day 21 : Santa Cruz island > Baltra > Guayaquil or Quito – departure

Transfer to Baltra airport where you will take your flight to Guayaquil or Quito. You will wait for your return international flight.

B: Breakfast
L: Luch
D: Dinner

Guidance

Andes (2/3 p.) : Private transport with a local private driver/guide unique bilingual Spanish / English (vehicle type 4 × 2 or space).

Andes (4 people +) : private transport with driver and local bilingual Spanish / English private guide (space vehicle, minibus, or bus).

Amazon rainforest : collective transport and visits. Bilingual Spanish / English local naturalist guide.

Galápagos : collective visits. Bilingual Spanish / English local naturalist guide. Transfers on days 12 and 15 will be private to the Itabaca canal where you will take a “boat” (2mins) then a “bus” (20mins).

Required level

Physical: this trip focuses on Ecuador’s Nature discovery. Some walks will be planned. They will not be physically hard but you will have to accept to walk 2 to 3 hours straight.
Technical: no technical level is necessary during this stay.

Equipment

Clothing :

-1 or 2 light walking trousers
-1 or 2 warm walking trousers
-2 Fleece jackets
-1 breathable warm jacket (gore tex type)
-1 waterproof jacket (type kway)
– light t-shirts
– hike shoes
– casual shoes
-1 pair of gloves for high altitude walks
-1 warm hat for high altitude walks
– beach clothing -if necessary-
– cap

Additional :

-1 water bottle
– sunglasses
– solar cream
– hiking bag (between 25 to 45L)
– hike sticks
– camera
– binoculars

Accommodation

“Comfort” option: comfortable charming accommodation, 2/3 * type, clean and offering a service adapted to European and American customers and single rooms.
“Superior” option: superior accommodation type 3/4 * offering quality and personalized service. The bedrooms are spacious and tasteful.

Observations

– Transfers and visits times are indicative.
– Foresee between $ 5 and $ 30 per meal not included, per person.
– Tips: we recommend between $ 10 and $ 20 per worked day for a guide, and between $ 5 and $ 10 per worked day for a driver.