Adventurous

21-Day Ecuador Expedition The Mother of All Adventures

Welcome to Quito, the capital of Ecuador! Arrive at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO), where your driver will meet you to transfer to your accommodation in the city center, a one-hour trip. The entire city of Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, standing at an altitude of 9,350ft (2,850m). It welcomes visitors with its picturesque plazas situated between mountain peaks. A welcome dinner awaits you at your hotel this evening!

Overnight: Quito
Suggested Hotel: Hotel Patio Andaluz (or similar)
Meals: -/-/D

Today, after breakfast, your English-speaking guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you on a walking city tour. The colonial center of Quito was already named world cultural heritage by UNESCO in 1978 and is home to many beautiful, historic buildings and squares. You will visit the Plaza Grande and the beautiful churches La Compañía and La Basílica and walk down the oldest street of Quito—La Ronda. Later on, accompanied by your guide, we will head to a cooking class venue, which is located inside a colonial house in the heart of Old Town Quito. Get ready for a packed day filled with incredible sights, tastes, and smells. And at the end of it all …. you will be able to enjoy the delicious meal you cooked. Afterward, you will visit the equatorial monument, Mitad del Mundo, located just 26 km (16 miles) north of Ecuador’s capital city, Quito where French scientists determined the position of the central line many years ago. Ecuador is the place to come to stand on the Equator line, nowhere else on the planet is it easier to visit the Equator line or strike a pose with one foot in each hemisphere. Even Ecuador’s name was born of its location at latitude zero. You will visit the museum exhibits including a planetarium, ethnographic museum, art exhibits, a small-scale model of Quito city, an old train station, a beer museum, cocoa & chocolate exhibits, and a small chapel, for an unforgettable experience today.

Overnight: Quito
Suggested Hotel: Hotel Patio Andaluz (or similar)
Meals: B/L/

In the morning you will visit the market of Otavalo. Otavalo features one of the most important traditional markets in South America. Here, the indigenous people of the surrounding areas gather to trade anything from animals over handicrafts to fresh vegetables and fruits. Take a stroll through the streets and maybe try some of the local street food such as salted mangs, and fried chicken with cooked corn. In the afternoon you will hike around the crater lagoon of Cuicocha. On the trail, your guide will explain to you the high-altitude flora and fauna and the history of the once-active volcano. Alternatively, you can ride in a boat around the two islands. For your overnight stay, you return to Quito.

Overnight: Quito
Suggested Hotel: Hotel Patio Andaluz (or similar)
Meals: B/-/-

Enjoy another day in Mindo, filling the day with nature activities. Hike beautiful waterfalls, get an adrenaline rush during ziplining, or try a chocolate tour—it’s up to you. In the afternoon, you’ll head back to Quito.

Overnight: Quito
Suggested Hotel: Hotel Patio Andaluz (or similar)
Meals: B/-/-

Enjoy another day in Mindo, filling the day with nature activities. Hike beautiful waterfalls, get an adrenaline rush during ziplining, or try a chocolate tour—it’s up to you. In the afternoon, you’ll head back to Quito.

Overnight: Quito
Suggested Hotel: Hotel Patio Andaluz (or similar)
Meals: B/-/-

Head back to the airport for a short, early-morning flight to Puerto Francisco de Orellana, locally called “El Coca.” A representative will take you by private transportation to the city’s main dock at the Napo River. Here, you’ll hop on a motorized canoe and head down the river toward your lodge’s main dock. The final leg of the trip to the lodge will be completed in a paddle canoe. The only thing you must take care of during this part is your carry-on and camera equipment; staff will transport all other luggage. The manager will be waiting to greet you with a refreshing juice, snacks, and a short briefing with general information. After short rest, you’ll participate in some exciting activities:
A naturalist guide will give you basic information about the Amazon, its people, and its species. The idea is to begin your activities with a little bit of background knowledge on the amazing place you have just arrived in.
Matapalo Trail: This trail was named after the famous strangler fig, one of the many remarkable trees that you will find on this two-hour walk. Your guides will share their knowledge of the flora and fauna, such as the majestic mahogany trees that are over 400 years old. At this time of day, there is great natural light, and you’ll be able to witness diurnal and nocturnal animals beginning their daily transitional activities. Once back at the lodge after your hike, you’ll be able to enjoy some delicious dinner. During your free time in the lodge between activities, you can use kayaks, swim in the lagoon, have a massage, or just relax in your room.

Overnight: Yasuni National Park
Accommodation: La Selva Lodge or similar
Meals: B/L/D

Today, you’ll rise for an early breakfast to get a start on a jam-packed adventure day. You’ll be completing the following activities:
Observation Tower/Tucaneta or Mandi Forest. The first activity of the day will be taking a short 20-minute walk to the national park’s Observation Tower. This amazing construction will allow you to climb 120ft (36.5m) above the forest. You’ll be accompanied by a naturalist guide and a native guide; they will help you spot colorful birds, and maybe even certain primates. On the way back from the tower, there is the option of taking the Tucaneta Trail. Your native guide will show you some of the medicinal plants still in use today, and your naturalist guide will provide you with interesting information on the ecology and natural history of the Amazon. You can also opt to visit the beautiful lagoon of Mandi Cocha. A one-hour hike takes you to an igapó forest or a forest that is temporarily flooded by blackwater. Different species of birds and even giant otters can be seen here. Charapa Trail: After lunch at the lodge, you’ll head out on this one-hour trail to the edge of the lagoon. The loop provides numerous wildlife-watching opportunities, as different mammals, monkeys, and birds come closer to the lagoon at this time looking for food. It is also the perfect place to witness an Amazonian sunset.Night Canoe Ride: Your guides will take you around the lagoon on a canoe looking for nocturnal wildlife. You’ll get to see animals many visitors are unable to see. This is also a great opportunity for star gazing! Once back at the lodge, enjoy dinner and get some rest.

Overnight: Yasuni National Park
Accommodation: La Selva Lodge or similar
Meals: B/L/D

Get ready for another day of thrills in the Amazon. Today will be all about wildlife and culture. Parrot Clay Lick and Mandi Wasi: Make your way back to the Napo River and take a motorized canoe ride to the Napo Wildlife Center. Here, you’ll be able to witness the fascinating parrot clay licks. The result of erosion, the clay licks attract hundreds of parrots daily who come here to feed on their mineral-rich soil. Binoculars are essential to really capture the moment. Afterward, you’ll participate in an enriching cultural activity. A Kichua woman will welcome you at the community center to share the life of her people in the Amazon. This is quite special, as this part of the Amazon is so remote that it is not usually found on maps. The activity provides a unique opportunity to really get to learn more about the people of the region. Coto Trail: After the cultural exchange with the Kichuas, you’ll enjoy some lunch back at the lodge. You’ll then start off on a walk to the edge of the Garzacocha Lagoon. Groups of black-mantled tamarin monkeys and tapirs can be spotted on this walk. Your naturalist guide will introduce you to the different creatures that can be found on the trail, while your native guide shows you some millenary medicinal plants. A canoe ride back to the lodge provides the perfect ending for this activity. You’ll have dinner when you return to the lodge.

Overnight: Yasuni National Park
Accommodation: La Selva Lodge or similar
Meals: B/L/D

Mandi Forest Adventure: Not all lodges can offer an exotic trip into deep wilderness like where you are headed on this adventure. We will walk through an amazing primary forest for around 3 to 4 hours beginning at our main dock back at the Napo River. In this type of ecosystem, there are chances to find some of the biggest mammals of the rainforest, like peccaries or wild pigs, deer, or tapir.
Eventually, we will reach the lagoon of Mandi Cocha. Here we get into a fiberglass canoe and paddle through the amazing Igapo Forest. This is a temporarily flooded blackwater forest. Here we might see different species of birds and some of our guests, who are extra lucky, may encounter the elusive giant otter. Garzacocha Lagoon and Ceiba Trail: This lagoon is one of the most beautiful in all of the Ecuadorian Amazon. During this trip is when we have higher chances of spotting different species of monkeys and birds. Sometimes huge groups of squirrel monkeys join families of capuchin monkeys to look for food. Howler monkeys also like to spend the late afternoon around the lagoon, and you can hear their tremendous calls echoing on the lake. We may even see the famous pygmy marmoset, which is the smallest monkey in the world. Here there are 7 primate species that can be seen. More wildlife that can be seen includes the Hoatzin, a famous bird with a very strange appearance and adaptations, toucans, macaws, and many other species of birds. On a night walk, we give you the chance to enjoy the creatures and sounds of the Amazon Jungle at night. Sometimes we can see amazing things during this activity. Make sure that you bring a flashlight for this fantastic experience.
The lodge manager will provide you all the necessary information about your departure procedure for the next morning.

Overnight: Yasuni National Park
Accommodation: La Selva Lodge or similar
Meals: B/L/D

On your last morning in the Amazon, you’ll have an early breakfast before departing from the lodge. You’ll take a motorized canoe ride back to El Coca, where representatives will take you to the airport to help you with your checked luggage and boarding pass. Upon arrival back in Quito airport, your private driver will be waiting for you to greet you and take you to your hotel.

Overnight: Quito
Suggested Hotel: Hotel Patio Andaluz (or similar)
Meals: B/LB/-

After breakfast, you will leave Quito and head South to Cotopaxi National Park. You will visit Lake Limpiopungo, located in the highlands of the park. Here, you will have a spectacular view of Cotopaxi Volcano’s gigantic cone. Lake Limpiopungo offers a variety of birds, and occasionally even wild horses. A short walk around the lake will allow you to admire the Andean plant and animal life along the way. If time permits and the altitude doesn’t affect you, hike to the refuge Jose Ribas at 4800 m and enjoy the spectacular view.
In the afternoon, you will arrive at a traditional Hacienda near the National Park where you will spend the night.

Overnight: Cotopaxi
Suggested Hotel: Hacienda El Porvenir (or similar)
Meals: B/-/D

Today we will visit the picturesque volcano lagoon Quilotoa. You have the option to walk along the crater’s rim to enjoy the splendid view or hike down a path to the crater lake. The return can become a bit longer, so you have the option to rent a mule for the uphill hike. We will then continue our journey toward Baños.

Overnight: Baños
Suggested Hotel: Sangay Spa Hotel (or similar)
Meals: B/-/-

After exploring Baños several marvelous attractions, make your way to the impressive volcano Chimborazo. You should already be able to spot it several times along the way. If the altitude does not affect you, you could take a walk to the refuge Carrell at 4.800 m and enjoy the splendid view of the surrounding valleys and mountains. If your strength permits, you could hike even higher, up to 5.000 m above sea level!
Afterward, continue your journey towards Riobamba, a small Andean town where you will spend the night.

Overnight: Riobamba
Suggested Hotel: Hostería La Andaluza (or similar)
Meals: B/-/D

This morning you will continue your journey south to Cuenca, passing through the dunes of Palmira. If time and weather conditions allow, you will pass through Baños del Inca, which contains some special ruins and a fantastic hot spring. Continue your journey south to explore the Garden of Ecuador, the small town of Gualaceo to be able to appraise some beautiful orchids.
From here you will continue to Cuenca where you will be able to spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Overnight: Cuenca
Suggested Hotel: Mansión Alcázar (or similar)
Meals: B/-/-

After breakfast, you will leave Cuenca and head westwards to the Cajas National Park. This National Park comprises more than 200 interconnected high-altitude lagoons. The Cajas is not only source of many rivers, but even connects to the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. After a hike around the most prominent lagoon, you will be taken to Guayaquil.

Overnight: Guayaquil
Suggested Hotel: Hilton Colon Guayaquil (or similar)
Meals: B/-/-

Early this morning you will be picked up at your hotel to be taken to José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport so you can catch your flight to the Galapagos Islands. The recommended arrival time to the airport is about 3 hours before your flight as if it were an international flight due to extra controls than on a domestic flight, such as double baggage inspection, and the purchase of the Galapagos Migration Card (TCT). The flight from Guayaquil to the Islands takes about 2 hours. Please note that in Galapagos the time difference between Ecuador’s mainland is one hour less.
After arriving at Baltra Airport, your guide will already be waiting for you and take you to Santa Cruz Island. Enjoy lunch at a local farm in the highlands, followed by the observation of giant turtles in the wild. Then continue to the port in Puerto Ayora to check into the hotel. In the afternoon, visit the Charles Darwin Station, where scientists from all over the world meet and work together in environmental projects such as water analysis, animal protection, effects of tourism on nature, etc. Here you can visit the turtle rearing station, where the animals are raised before being released into nature. Land iguanas can be observed here too.

Overnight: Puerto Ayora
Suggested Hotel: Hotel Solymar Galapagos (or similar)
Meals: B/L/-

After a very early breakfast, today you will enjoy an amazing day trip to an uninhabited island.
Depending on the weather, scheduling, and permissions granted by the National Park, you’ll visit one of the following islands: Santa Fé, South Plazas, Bartolomé, or North Seymour where you will follow trails to discover their richness, while in the afternoon you will have the opportunity to explore the waters around.
Santa Fé and South Plazas are home to endemic land iguanas, while Bartolomé is known for its beautiful lava flows. On North Seymour, look for frigate birds and blue-footed boobies. Each island is unique, offering spectacular scenery and opportunities to see rare wildlife.
Lunch is included onboard, as well as walking and a snorkeling activity to maximize your experience.
In the evening, return to Puerto Ayora to enjoy some free time.

Overnight: Puerto Ayora
Suggested Hotel: Hotel Solymar Galapagos (or similar)
Meals: B/L/-

Today the Sierra Negra volcano is on your agenda. You can walk through spectacular lava landscapes and have views of the northern volcanoes of Isabela and Fernandina Island. The hike to the Sierra Negra Volcano will take place together with other visitors. The views are definitely worth the effort. You will see the second largest volcanic crater in the world and you will explore different vegetation zones. You will receive a lunch box for the hike. In the afternoon, you will take an internal 20-minute flight back to Santa Cruz Island. Overnight stay on Santa Cruz Island.

Overnight: Puerto Ayora
Suggested Hotel: Hotel Solymar Galapagos (or similar)
Meals: B/LB/-

Today the Sierra Negra volcano is on your agenda. You can walk through spectacular lava landscapes and have views of the northern volcanoes of Isabela and Fernandina Island. The hike to the Sierra Negra Volcano will take place together with other visitors. The views are definitely worth the effort. You will see the second largest volcanic crater in the world and you will explore different vegetation zones. You will receive a lunch box for the hike. In the afternoon, you will take an internal 20-minute flight back to Santa Cruz Island. Overnight stay on Santa Cruz Island.

Overnight: Puerto Ayora
Suggested Hotel: Hotel Solymar Galapagos (or similar)
Meals: B/LB/-

With no planned activities today, you’re free to enjoy the island’s beauty at your own pace. Hike to Tortuga Bay, go for a stroll in the peaceful town of Puerto Ayora, shop for souvenirs, explore hidden coves, or rent a bike to explore the highlands.
Today is for enjoying the beauty of the Galapagos, taking lots of photos, and slowing down the pace to truly appreciate island life. On this last evening on the islands, we have reserved you a dinner by the sea at one of the most beautiful and renowned restaurants in Puerto Ayora.

Overnight: Puerto Ayora
Suggested Hotel: Hotel Solymar Galapagos (or similar)
Meals: B/-/D

If there is enough free time before your transfer to the airport, do some last-minute souvenir shopping or take a last stroll through Puerto Ayora.
At the designated time, your driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the Itabaca Channel, which you will cross on a ferry. For the last part of your trip to the airport, take the shuttle bus to the terminal where you will take your flight back to Ecuador mainland. From there, you may connect your flight to depart back home.

Overnight: N/A
Suggested Hotel: N/A
Meals: B/-/-

Mainland:

– All Airport transfers
– All Tours in Private: Private English-speaking guide/driver
– Meals as mentioned in the program
– All entrance fees and permits to National Parks
– Accommodation: 4 to 4.5-star hotels:

Hotel Patio Andaluz (Quito): Standard King
Kapari Natural Lodge & Spa (Mindo): Suite
Hacienda el Porvenir (Cotopaxi): Master Suite
Sangay Spa Hotel (Baños): Plaza Suite
Hostería La Andaluza (Riobamba): Suite Simon Blivar
Mansión Alcázar (Cuenca): Suite Deluxe
Hilton Colon Guayaquil (Guayaquil): Executive Suite

The Amazon:

– All excursions as mentioned in the program
– All meals as mentioned in the program
– Internal Flights Quito – Coca – Quito included
– Entrance fee to Yasuni National Park
– River Transfers to and from the lodge
– English-speaking guide
– Excursions shared with a small group (max 12)
– Rubber boots
– Accommodation: 4.5-star Amazon Lodge:

La Selva Jungle Lodge: Suite King

The Galapagos Islands:

– All Airport transfers on the Islands (Santa Cruz private/shared)
– Internal Flights: Guayaquil GYE – Baltra GPS – GYE or UIO included
– Tour on day 16 in private
– Tours on days 17, 18 & 19 shared with a small group (max 12)
– All guided tours (English Speaking)
– Snorkeling Gear
– Meals as mentioned in the program
– Inter-island Flights: Santa Cruz – Isabela Island – Santa Cruz Included
– Accommodation: 4-star hotels:
Santa Cruz: Hotel Solymar Galapagos: Double King Ocean View
Isabela: Hotel Albemarle: Double King Ocean View

– International flights
– Meals not mentioned in the program
– Travel insurance
– Optional excursions, activities, and optional tours
– Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee ($100 per person in cash only)
– Galapagos Migration Card [TCT] ($20 per person)
– Wetsuits
– International Airport Fees if applicable
– Tips and Personal expenses

Contact Us Now

In Ecuador Tailor-Made we aim to help you have a unique and unforgettable vacation. We are ready to assist you in any way. Please fill the form below and feel free to contact us by any of our means of communication.

Contact Us Now

In Ecuador Tailor-Made we aim to help you have a unique and unforgettable vacation. We are ready to assist you in any way. Please fill the form below and feel free to contact us by any of our means of communication.