From deep in the Amazon rainforest, surrounded by a lush canopy of green, to the wildlife haven of the Galapagos Islands, this holiday lets you experience firsthand some of the best wildlife that Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands have to offer. In the Amazon you stay at an eco-lodge and explore by boat, learning about life in the rainforest from the indigenous communities. Once in the Galapagos days are filled with a host of activities such as mountain biking, snorkelling and hiking. Based on Santa Cruz there are excursions to spot many of the birds and animals that are unique to the islands. This trip also includes the opportunity to explore Quito's old town, a UNESCO world heritage site and Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city.
Day 1 Fly from the UK to Quito in Ecuador. Overnight at the Patio Andaluz, a boutique gem in the heart of the historic centre.
Day 2 Quito’s old town is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the best preserved in Latin America. Explore the city's winding, cobbled streets on foot and take in the main highlights, including the Cathedral and Presidential Palace. After your historic immersion travel north to the Middle of the World monument (Mitad del Mundo) to stand on both sides of the equator simultaneously.
Day 3 Free day to explore the city and surrounds. Perhaps take the cable car to Cruz Loma and scale the Pichincha volcano, visit the cloud forest for a fantastic birding tour or Cotopaxi National Park for trekking.
Day 4 Take the short flight from Quito in the Andean highlands to Coca in the Amazon lowlands. From Coca airport travel a short distance to Port Francisco de Orellanan where you embark the motor boat that takes you along the winding waterways to Napo Wildlife Centre. The 2 hour trip also gives a great introduction to wildlife in the Amazon and en route you can spot many birds including herons, kingfishers, toucans, parrots and even macaws. You arrival at Napo Wildlife Centre in the late afternoon and cool down with a refreshing drink and the fantastic view of Añangu Lake.
Day 5 Today begins with an early morning excursion to the parrot clay lick which is around one hour from the lodge. From this base you can view 11 species of parrots, parakeets and macaws. The clay lick is most active in the morning! In the afternoon, hike along the forest trails to visit the Kichwa community of Añangu for an insight into Amazon life. After a further 30 minute walk there is a second parrot clay lick which often has different species from the morning experience. Return to the lodge in the late afternoon.
Day 6 This morning you visit the Kichwa community of Añangu where you will be able to spend more time with the local indigenous people and get a rare insight to their lifestyle. Afternoon jungle walk to learn more about the local flora which is used in medicine and daily life.
Day 7 On your final morning set off early for your last excursion and your final opportunity to see giant otters, saki monkeys or many other rare birds on the 2 hour boat trip to Coca. Depart the Amazon basin for your flight to Guayaquil in the coastal region of Ecuador via Quito.
Day 8 Depart Guayaquil for the short flight to the famous Galapagos Islands where your base for the next 4 nights is the comfortable Finch Bay Hotel. Located just outside the main town of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, the hotel provides an ideal base for exploring the island. Whilst based at the hotel all meals and excursions are included and vary on whether you choose the 3, 4 or 7 night package.
Day 9 Daily excursions depending on your choice of programme at the hotel. Experience a host of activities including mountain biking, snorkelling, hiking, sea kayaking and star-gazing. Each day there will be yacht trips to the nearby islands such as Santa Fe, North Seymour and Bartoleme to see sea lions, penguins, Sally light foot crabs, Blue footed boobies and albatross to name but a few. You can also get up close to the giant tortoises and visit the Charles Darwin Research Centre to get an overview of the history of these magical islands.
Day 12 Return to the Ecuadorian mainland for your final night at the Oro Verde Guayaquil. Explore Ecuador’s largest city including a visit to the Malecon, an attractive promenade where you can take in the views and dine at upmarket restaurants.
Day 13 Spend the day at leisure before taking your overnight flight to the UK.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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