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Experience
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Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

Darwin's laboratory, stunning mountains and cultural treats

Imagine an early stroll along the quay in Puerto Ayora, the pelicans gathering in hope of some fisherman’s scraps. Or picture the sun rising across snow covered Chimborazo on the barren altiplano.

Perhaps the most diverse of all our Latin American holidays this is as good a microcosm of the best of Latin America as you will find. Starting in the Andes at Quito, the most charismatic of capitals we head south along the corridor of volcanoes, walking under Chimborazo (6,263m). You will learn how the summit of Chimborazo is the furthest point on earth from its centre. Taking a ride on the Devil’s Nose train is another highlight. We have many opportunities to observe and learn more of local life visiting homes, markets and communities along the way.

Cuenca is a beautifully preserved colonial city well worth exploring. Continuing from here we walk in the Cajas National Park. At over 3500m this lakeland landscape will be at the highest altitude we will reach on this tour.

We fly to Baltra Island, a small island of the Galapagos have lunch in our Puerto Ayora hotel before taking a boat for the two hour journey to Isabella Island. For our first island treat we pass a flamingo lake on the way to the hotel. We visit Sierra Negra Volcano, the 2nd largest volcanic crater in the world, visit a turtle interpretation centre and hopefully encounter a myriad of diverse Galapagos wildlife.

Returning to Puerto Ayora we explore the area and spend a day, travelling by boat, to one of the other islands with more diverse habitat, flora and fauna.

On each island we’ll walk with an expert naturalist guide to make sure we get plenty of exercise whilst enjoying the huge natural diversity of each island.

Activity Level
alt
You enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air, communing with nature and discovering the world at a relaxed pace. Short countryside strolls or sightseeing on foot make you feel good. You enjoy cities with art and culture and like to develop an interest in your surroundings. You are reasonably fit and healthy. No previous experience is required. Where walking is involved you can expect up to 5 miles of walking on well made paths with up to 300m of ascent.



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  • Dates, Prices & Holiday Information Sheet (PDF)
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    Date
    Nights
    Grades
    Depart From
    More Info
    Status
    Price From
    Date
    06 May 2018
    Nights
    15
    Grades
    Level A
    Depart From
    London (Heathrow)
    More Info
    Status
    Available
    Price From
    £4,999
    Date
    14 Oct 2018
    Nights
    15
    Grades
    Level A
    Depart From
    Provisional Date Only
    More Info
    Status
    Provisional
    Price From
  • Itinerary & Map
    06 May 2018 - 21 May 2018

    Day 1 - Quito
    We fly to Quito via Madrid. On arrival in Quito we transfer to our centrally located hotel for dinner and overnight. Quito is at approximately 2,800m so we need to take things a little easy on the first night.

    Day 2 - Quito
    After breakfast our local guide will take us through Quito's beautifully preserved colonial quarter. Later we venture out of the city to La Mitad del Mundo, the place were the position of the equator was first measured. We return to our hotel in Quito for dinner

    Day 3 - Lasso
    Leaving Quito we drive up to the Antisana National Park, for a gentle hike. The altitude here is around 3,300m and our walking will take account of this. The park is renowned for spectacular bird life so hopefully we will spot some notables on the way. Later if time permits we will visit one of the local rose plantations. Finally we continue to Lasso for dinner and overnight at the historic Hosteria La Cienega.

    Day 4 - Lasso
    Today we hike in the Cotopaxi National Park under the shadow of Cotopaxi volcano. We plan two separate shorter hikes to make sure we see the best of the area.

    Day 5 - Riobamba
    First we visit the indigenous market at Saquisili, one of the most famous Indian markets of Ecuador. We will enjoy a hosted lunch at Casa Del Perez. The owner is an artist and her place is a nice surprise for visitors. After lunch we continue to Riobamba where we should have time for an optional short walk.

    Day 6 - Riobamba
    After breakfast we drive to Estrella Del Chimborazo lodge for a gentle hike in the surrounding countryside. In the afternoon we stop at the Palacio Real community to learn something of the indigenous people of the area and, in particular, their relation with the lamas and alpacas.

    Day 7 - Cuenca
    Today we plan to take the train excursion from Alausi to Sibambe and return via the famous Nariz del Diablo (Devil´s Nose) railway. We continue by coach to Cuenca, with a visit Ingapirca ruins en-route. We will have dinner in a local restaurant in Cuenca.

    Day 8 - Cuenca
    Today will be an easy day. We will spend the morning on a guided tour of Cuenca city and then have a free afternoon to relax or catch up on some shopping.

    Day 9 - Guayaquil
    First we drive to El Cajas National Park for a walking amongst spectacular scenery. We might reach up to 4,000m altitude, which will very likely be the highest point reached on this holiday. On leaving the park we drive down through the mountains to Guayaquil, at sea level. A stark and fascinating contrast to the mountains.

    Day 10 - Isabella Island
    We fly to the Galapagos Islands. On arrival at the airport at Baltra we drive to Puerto Ayora for lunch. In the afternoon we have a two hour boat ride to Isabella Island and our beach side hotel.

    Day 11 - Isabella Island
    Our local guide will take us on excursions to Tintoreras to see the wildlife, particularly Sea Iguanas and Blue Footed Boobies. Later we will walk to the Wall of Tears, the atmospheric ruins of a formal penal colony prison.

    Day 12 - Puerto Ayora
    Today we return by boat to Puerto Ayora and transfer to our hotel. In the afternoon we will walk to Tortuga Bay and to the Charles Darwin Tortoise Conservation Centre.

    Day 13 - Puerto Ayora
    Today we will have an excursion to one of the outlying islands. The excursion will not be confirmed until the day but a wildlife spectacular is assured. the tour will be accompanied by a professional wildlife guide.

    Day 14 - In flight
    Finally we return to Baltra Airport to catch our flight to Quito and on to the UK.

    Day 15 - In flight
    We arrive back in the Uk.


  • Accommodation

    In tourist class hotels on the mainland and the Galapagos Islands.

  • What's Included
    • All flights and transfers.
    • B&B en suite accommodation.
    • Dinners at the hotels or local restaurants.
    • Local guide throughout.
    • Specialist wildlife guides in Galapagos.
    • All local transport costs.

  • Holiday Highlights
    • Coming face to face with a Galapagos sea lion.
    • Walking under Chimborazo.
    • Exploring Cuenca and Quito - beautiful colonial cities.
    • Perusing Saquisili Market - a huge market for locals selling every kind of local produce.
    • Enjoying a walk amongst the lakes in the Cajas National Park. Look out for the llamas and alpacas.

  • View More Details
     

    The Ecuadorian government have recently updated immigration requirements for travellers arriving in Ecuador. Any person entering the country must be able to show they have full medical insurance cover for the duration of the stay.

    The Ecuadorian Government reserves the right to refuse entry to anybody unable to produce the correct documentation.

    To avoid any confusion or delay at immigration we recommend you have full insurance policy details available for inspection at immigration rather than just a cover note.


  • Travel Information & Regional Departures
    • Flights Heathrow-Quito  via Madrid both ways, Iberia Airlines
    • UK add-on flights from £95 return, British Airways
    • Upgrades available, please ask for a competitive quote.

  • Holiday Photo Gallery
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  • Private Group Enquiry

    Planning a holiday for a group? For a quote or to simply enquire about the possibility of booking this holiday for your Walking Group please fill out the enquiry form below and our dedicated Private Group Department will get in touch with you shortly to discuss your options.

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Activity Level
alt
You enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air, communing with nature and discovering the world at a relaxed pace. Short countryside strolls or sightseeing on foot make you feel good. You enjoy cities with art and culture and like to develop an interest in your surroundings. You are reasonably fit and healthy. No previous experience is required. Where walking is involved you can expect up to 5 miles of walking on well made paths with up to 300m of ascent.



YOUR STORY STARTS HERE ...

Please select a departure date






 
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