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Rainforest and Galapagos

15 days from £6495pp plus international flights.

If you are a wildlife and nature lover, this Ecuador adventure to the Amazon rainforest and the unique Galapagos Islands will be just perfect for you!

Your holiday begins with an exploration of colonial Quito then continues with a visit to a wonderful rainforest lodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon. There are many activities you can enjoy here. Guided walks are lead by a local guide as well as an English-speaking naturalist who will tell you about the wildlife and the traditional usage of the forest. You can go on river excursions in a dugout canoe, and maybe take a night excursion (walking trip or by canoe) to view nocturnal wildlife. For activities guests are split into groups of 8 or so. Birdlife here is stunning, including cobalt-winged parakeets and hoatzins, but should also get a chance to see caybaras, pink dolphins, monkeys and tapirs.

The second half of your holiday is a superb 8-day cruise around the Galapagos Islands. Your home for the next week is a prestige class yacht with up to 20 passengers. This week your focus will be on birds and mammals which uniquely have almost no fear of man! Watch fur seals playing in their blue marine grottos, stare at curious seals as they swim next to you, converse with a blue-footed boobie, smile at the antics of the waved albatross mating dance, sit with a giant tortoise ... All this and more in dramatic volcanic island scenery.



You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Relax after your flight. The old part of the city is still very much as it was at the end of the colonial period, but entering the new city you find a very modern place with few relics from the past. Perhaps do a bit of gentle shopping in the gorgeous arts and crafts shops in the new town? 
Quito buildings


This morning you have a guided city tour. Quito is a city of two halves - old and new - with each having its attractions. It is home to 1½ million people. It became a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1978, and so modern building is now strictly controlled. Your tour should include some of the old and the new city. The afternoon is free for you to spend as you wish. Breakfast.

Hammock in rainforest lodge


Transfer from the hotel to the airport for your flight to Coca. You will be met on arrival and transferred to Napo Wildlife Centre for the start of your 4 day stay. The lodge's buildings keep the traditional native architecture with cool shaded terraces and inviting hammocks. There is a separate dining room and bar, and an observation tower. Meals include traditional Ecuadorian dishes. Full board.
Observation tower in rainforest


A full day of activities at Napo. Visitors are divided into small groups, each led by a native Aangu guide with great deal of knowledge in tropical forest biology. Exploring the lake and creeks by dug out canoe up to 11 species of monkeys can be seen. Giant otters are regularly observed, and all four species of caiman can be found. The surrounding forest is host to a stunning diversity of wildlife. Full board.

Deer in rainforest


Another full day of activities at Napo. The birdwatching around the lodge is excellent, with a bird list of 562 species. From the centre's 38m canopy tower over 80 species of birds have been seen in one morning! There are two parrot and parakeet clay licks inside the reserve where hundreds of birds congregate daily (weather permitting) to eat the clay from the river banks. Full board.
Parrots in rainforest


Today you return to Coca for the flight back to Quito and the transfer back to your hotel. Breakfast.
Eric yacht in the Galapagos


Fly to San Cristobal in the Galapagos where you will be met and transferred to your yacht, complete with interiors of polished teak, picture windows with panoramic views and a spacious sundeck. We quote the current yacht itinerary ('B') but please note the order of visits may vary slightly and, although unlikely, the yacht itinerary could be subject to change, even at short notice, for various reasons. This afternoon visit La Galapaguera Cerro Colorado. Breakfast, dinner.
Red-footed booby, Galapagos


Today visit the island of Genovesa in the north of the archipelago. We will see Prince Philip's Steps and Darwin Bay. It is well-known for its large colony of red-footed boobies, but other bird species are found here too such as lava gulls, mockingbirds and various finches. Full board.
Magnificent frigatebird, Galapagos


This morning visit Bachas Beach or Mosquera in Santa Cruz island. In the afternoon visit North Seymour which has one of the largest colonies of magnificent frigatebirds with their bright red throats. You also find blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls here. Full board.

Beach on Isabela, Galapagos


Today visit Fernandina Island's Punta Espinosa. Here we should see flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, pelicans and sea lions.  At Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago, we stop at Elizabeth Bay or Punta Moreno. Isabela is know for its big volcano and for its population of giant tortoises, though there are many other species such as penguins, blue-footed boobies and flamingoes.  Full board.
Turtle swimming in Galapagos


Today you continue your exploration of Isabela with visits to Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove. Full board. 
Opuntia cactus, galapagos


On to Santiago and we visit Puerto Egas. There are fur seal grottoes here and some great natural features such as lava tubes. Later we head to Rabida Island with its red beaches, sealions, doves, ducks and flamingoes. Full board.
Giant Galapagos tortoise


On Santa Cruz island you have the chance to visit the Charles Darwin Station or the Highlands where you'll find giant tortoises. In the afternoon continue to Santa Fe Island. There is a protected cover here which is great for swimming and snorkelling, plus lots of sealions that often quite like getting close and curious in the water! The land iguanas here are interesting too, and the birdlife is also excellent. Full board.
Fur seals in Galapagos


This is the last morning of your cruise and you visit the Interpretation Centre on San Cristobal before travelling back to the airport for your flight to Quito. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Breakfast. 


You will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight home. Breakfast.
Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £6495 (ex. international flights)

Price notes: Prices for 2020 based on 2 people sharing: £6495 pp


Transfers, ground transport, meals as specified, guides in the Ecuadorian Amazon, on the cruise and for the Quito city tour, Quito-Coca-Quito flight, Quito-Galapagos-Quito flight.


International flights, departure taxes, visas, travel insurance, meals not specified, drinks, Galapagos National Park tax currently US$100 but subject to change and payable locally is US$.

Getting there: 

This tour starts and ends in Quito. Flight prices from the UK start from around £675.

Departure dates: We have based this itinerary on the Letty for the Galapagos cruise. This means that you need to start this trip on a Sunday.  In addition, the specific routing of the Galapagos cruise is Letty's 'B' itinerary. If you would like to see the 'A' itinerary for this yacht, please go to the yacht web page.

If you want to use a different yacht this can be arranged too. 

places you will see

places you will see

Quito & the Equator
Quito & the Equator
Quito is at an altitude of 2800m, and since it is only 25km south of the Equator, mostly has very pleasant days and cool nights. The city took its name from the Quitus tribe who lived here in the pre-Colombian era. The equator, which divides the Earth into the northern and southern hemispheres and after which Ecuador is named. lies slightly to the north of Quito and is marked by a monument and a museum.
Yasuni & the Rio Napo region
Yasuni & the Rio Napo region
The Yasuni National Park is an important UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the largest tract of tropical rainforest in Ecuador. Rio Napo is a vast river, flowing from the Andes to the Amazon River and is some 550 miles long.
Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands
If you are a wildlife lover there is no doubt that the Galapagos Islands are a very special place to visit. With such a list of rare and unique species, and the lack of fear shown by the wildlife, it is truly an incredible experience. But don't just take our word for it!
 

holidays with heart
holidays with heart

How this holiday helps

This lovely nature holiday brings together two of Ecuador’s most sensitive natural areas – the Galapagos and the Amazon rainforest.  

In the Amazon we’re taking you to stay at a rainforest lodge which is owned by the local community who do things very sustainably and protect a large area of forest. You're getting the 'real thing' from your Amazon rainforest stay, and the community uses funds from the lodge to pay for education, health and conservation projects. The lodge has the Rainforest Alliance 'Smart Voyager' certificate for its efforts in conservation.
The yacht we've based this trip on has also been awarded with the Rainforest Alliance 'Smart Voyager' certificate. This means it is active in its care of the Galapagos Islands - the flora, fauna and inhabitants. We know that this matters to you as a nature and wildlife lover, as much as it matters to us and the many other clients we've sent on this trip. 

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facts and information

Time: GMT -5 hours

Flight time: There is an international airport at Quito and at Guayaquil. KLM and Iberia have routes via Europe to both cities. The flying time is about 14 hours. It is also possible to fly via America.

Language: Spanish is Ecuador's official language.

Visas: Not required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if visiting the rainforest. Malaria prophylactics are also recommended in the rainforest.



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