ECUADOR GALAPAGOS HIGHLIGHTS
16 DAYS/ 15 NIGHTS


OVERVIEW

The perfect combination for a dream holiday. On this tour you will visit three natural regions of Ecuador. The adventure begins at 2800 meters of altitude in Quito. You will visit Otavalo, with its craft market, the two highest volcanoes in Cotopaxi/ Chimborazo and part of the Amazon jungle, where you can enjoy the flora and fauna of the place.

Then you will fly to the enchanted Galapagos Islands. Here you have the opportunity to observe endemic animals such as the Galapagos Giant Tortoise, visit a beach, or lie near a sea lion at close range.

Highlights of the tour

  • Quito’s colonial old town
  • The colourful indigenous market of Otavalo
  • Mindo
  • Majestic volcanoes Cotopaxi and Chimborazo
  • Baños a place for the adventure
  • Amazon Jungle
  • Papallacta
  • Galapagos Islands

Tour factors

Difficulty 20%
Adventure 35%
Comfort 100%

Itinerary

Upon arrival at Quito International Airport, your German speaking guide will pick you up and bring you to your hotel in the heart of Quito. The old city of Quito was the first city in 1978 to be included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage. Ecuador Galapagos

Hotel: Vieja Cuba or similar Ecuador Galapagos

Included: Private transfer from the airport, German-speaking travel guide, accommodation in a double room Ecuador Galapagos

Today you will get to know the historic center of Quito, the largest and best preserved old town in Latin America. Ecuador Galapagos

Your guide will show you the highlights of colonial Quito with its churches, historic buildings and monuments. On the tour you will visit some of America’s oldest churches such as “El Sagrario” and “La Companía”. Ecuador Galapagos

You will also get to know the places of Santo Domingo, La Merced and San Francisco. On the hill “El Panecillo” you see the apocalyptic Virgin  and have a fascinating view over Quito. Ecuador Galapagos

Around 20 kilometers separate you from the center of the world, which you will visit in the afternoon. The center marks an impressive, approximately 30 meters high monolith. Ecuador Galapagos

Around the monument you will also find changing exhibitions, for example, to find out about the geology of this place and a planetarium. Although the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo is commonly regarded as the center of the world, the true equatorial line is about 240 meters further north. Ecuador Galapagos

You will also visit the “Museo del Sitio Inti Ñan”, which has built a private anthropological foundation next to the “official” equatorial monument. This beautiful solar museum is home to exhibits of local cultures and traditional ways of life. Ecuador Galapagos

During the tour, the amazing evidence of the exact position of the equatorial line is also demonstrated. In the evening you meet with the group and enjoy together a welcome dinner and let the first day end in Ecuador. Ecuador Galapagos

Hotel: Vieja Cuba or similar Ecuador Galapagos

Included: breakfast, dinner, German-speaking travel guide, entrance fees to sights, overnight in a double room Ecuador Galapagos

You say goodbye to the capital of Ecuador and head north to Otavalo. You can expect a landscape of crater lagoons, cacti and small mountain villages – certainly a wonderful contrast to the last days in the metropolis of Ecuador. Ecuador Galapagos

And the volcanoes Fuya Fuya (4,263 meters), Imbabura (4,621 meters) and Cotacahi (4,935 meters) provide a unique backdrop for images of Otavalo. Ecuador Galapagos

Saturdays is great market activity! The crafts and music of the Otavaleños are known worldwide. Indigenous culture also includes eye-catching, multi-colored craftsmanship and weaving – the market in Otavalo is colorful, hand-woven fabrics, woodcarvings and many other typical products worth more than a glance. Ecuador Galapagos

Besides the market spectacle with many souvenirs, you should also see the animal market and the food market! Ecuador Galapagos

Hotel: Las Palmeras Inn or similar Ecuador Galapagos

Included: breakfast, private transport, German-speaking travel guide, accommodation in a double room Ecuador Galapagos

After breakfast drive to Mindo in the cloud forest. For example, you can visit the Butterfly House or hike to the numerous waterfalls, and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot some of the 500 different species of birds, including toucans, parrots, kingfishers and hummingbirds. Ecuador Galapagos

In addition to the impressive hiking and wildlife viewing, the relaxed town of Mindo has much more to offer and if you like, you can optionally do other activities such as mountain biking, canopy, tubing, rafting or horseback riding. Ecuador Galapagos

Hotel: Sisakuna Lodge or similar Ecuador Galapagos

Included: breakfast, private transport, German-speaking travel guide, accommodation in a double room Ecuador Galapagos

Today’s trip takes you from Mindo to Cotopaxi National Park and its homonymous volcano. With its height of 5,897 meters, it is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and at the same time the second largest mountain in the country. Ecuador Galapagos

Its sight is incomparable: With its conical shape, it is almost a prototype of a volcano as it is imagined: a typical stratovolcano. Ecuador Galapagos

First, visit the Limpiopungo Lagoon, home to rare paramo waterfowl and wild horses. With the vehicle you reach the gravel road then the parking lot, from where you start the ascent of 300 meters to the refuge José Ribas (at 4800 m altitude, about 45 minutes).

The thin air of the highs makes the climb more difficult than expected, but it’s worth it, because at the top, you will be rewarded with a fantastic view and can warm up with a cup of tea or coffee.

At the campfire you can end the evening with a “Canelazo” (typical warm drink from the Naranjilla fruit) at our present accommodation.

Hotel: Chilcabamba Lodge or similar

Included: breakfast, private transport, German-speaking travel guide, accommodation in a double room

After a hearty breakfast, you will go south

On the way to the crater lagoon time seems to have stopped and you will discover the wild plateaus of the Andes, with their rugged mountain ranges, the vast plains, the small pine and eucalyptus forests.

Once at the top, the lagoon awaits you in different shades of blue and green depending on the time of the day and the season. From dark, velvety blue to emerald green to a rich turquoise, the play of colors awaits you on the shore of the volcanic crater lake.

Either enjoy the view of this unique landscape from the crater rim or plan the descent to the shore of the lake.

If, after the descent, you do not want to walk up the path again, you can hire a donkey from one of the many guides and climb the climb on the back.

The peaks of the neighboring volcano Iliniza are visible from afar and in good weather you can look up to the Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world.

The day ends with a short drive to Latacunga, where you will spend the night.

Hotel: Rumipamba de las Rosas or similar

Included: breakfast, private transport, German-speaking travel guide, accommodation in a double room

Today you visit the nature reserve Chimborazo. Chimborazo volcano, at 6,310 meters, is the highest peak in Ecuador and has long been referred to as ‘The Roof of the World’ as its summit is further from the center of the earth than the 8,848-meter Mount Everest due to the globe’s bulge in the equatorial area. You can drive to the first refuge at 4,800 m by car.

If you feel fit, after a short acclimatization, you can walk to the second shelter at 5,000m (about 45 minutes).

In the late afternoon you reach Baños, which is known for its thermal baths and a special candy (melcocha), a type of mass of sugar that is formed in theatrical gestures by being thrown over a hook on the door frame several times.

The atmosphere is relaxed, the climate ideal and the tropical rainforest in eastern Ecuador just a few miles away! An ideal starting point for hikes and to see an active volcano, the Tungurahua, in action.

Hotel: La Floresta or similar

Included: breakfast, private transport, German-speaking travel guide, accommodation in a double room

Today it goes from Baños in the rainforest. You drive down the Andes Cordillera on the scenic waterfall route through the Pastaza river and in Rio Verde you take a short hike to the thundering waterfall “Pailón del Diablo”, the most impressive one in Ecuador, a waterfall thundering down through several cascades.

On a steep stone staircase and often only shoulder-high corridors you can approach the last few meters to the waterfall.

Continue to Ahuano and continue by canoe to the jungle lodge. After the ride, you can relax for a while in simple cabins built in a rustic traditional style. The cottages are surrounded by gardens full of fascinating Rainforest plants.

A delicious dinner is served in a cozy atmosphere. Then discuss the program of the next few days with the local guide.

* Please note that this area is still part of the rainforest and therefore there are not many large animals in the wild.

Hotel: Liana Lodge or similar

Included: breakfast, dinner, private transport, German speaking tour guide, entrance to the waterfall “Pailon de Diablo”, overnight stay in a double room

There is a opportunity to hike in the rainforest, take a canoe to the animal rescue center, visit local communities, dig gold or practice shooting with the blowpipe.

Hotel: Liana Lodge or similar

Included: breakfast, full board, private transport, German speaking guide, accommodation in a double room

After breakfast it is time to say goodbye: First with the canoe, then with the vehicle you drive from the tropical rainforest again the central Andes to the pass of Papallacta on 4.200m.

Relax in the same thermal baths in the highlands and enjoy a break in a very special setting. The soothing effect of the water is enhanced by a hydro or air bubble massage and is a unique experience.

The last night on the mainland is spent near the airport.

Hotel: Posada Mirolindo or similar

Included: breakfast, dinner, private transport, German-speaking travel guide, entrance to the public baths, overnight stay in a double room

Breakfast in the hotel. Private transfer to Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito for your national flight to the Galapagos Islands.

Arriving on Baltra, your German-speaking guide will be waiting for you and you will take a shuttle service that will take you to the island of Santa Cruz. You drive over the island and also cross the highlands, where you will be amazed by the biodiversity and geology.

You start on the coast, traveling from the north on the road that leads us to Puerto Ayora, through the agricultural area and the often mist-covered forests of the highlands. Santa Cruz is home to all the different habitats found in the archipelago, and these are wonderful bird watching areas.

Whether it is the bright red feathers or one of the Darwin finches, almost every species of bird that exists on the islands can be found here. Afterwards you will eat at one of the farms and the best part is that you can watch the Galapagos Giant Tortoises right from the dining room.

If you drive down from the highlands to the transition zone where the turtle reservation is, you will not find any agricultural land but native vegetation. After lunch, drive to Puerto Ayora, where the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

Hotel: Deja Vu or similar

Included: breakfast, lunch, private transport, German-speaking travel guide, accommodation in a double room

This morning, after breakfast, you will take the speedboat for about 2.5 hours to the island of Floreana. This island has probably the most interesting settlement history, since here in 1793 whalers opened the first “post office”.

Floreana was also the first island populated by Ecuadorians in 1832.

On arrival at Floreana you will have some time at the pier to admire the endemic red marine iguanas and sea lions. These two species live peacefully together in the vicinity of the dock.

After check-in to the lodge, you will be served lunch. Then you will start the excursion to “La Lobería”, a sea lion breeding ground. You will take an easy hike along the coast for about 30 minutes.

You will also start your first sea excursion into the bright, turquoise waters where you will have the opportunity to swim with sea lions, sea turtles, manta rays and a variety of colorful coral fish.

Walk back into the city as you enjoy the colors of a typical Galapagos sunset and unwind at the hotel for dinner.

Hotel: Wittmer or similar

Included: breakfast, lunch and dinner, private transport, German-speaking travel guide, accommodation in a double room

After breakfast, your guide will pick you up and bring you to the highlands of the island. Your first destination of the day will be the cemetery, where you will be given a brief explanation of the place and tombstones of the Wittmers.

Your second destination will be the “Cerro Alieri”. This attraction is very interesting for those who are interested in the plants of the Galapagos Islands and bird watching and is only 15 minutes from the port. Over 48 different species have been discovered here, of which 56% are native and 33% endemic.

In addition, this site is considered to be an important conservation program for a critically endangered plant, Linum cratericola. It was believed to be extinct until 1997, when it was rediscovered by scientists and park guards.

Your third daily destination today is the Asilo de la Paz, around 45 minutes from the city. This is mainly a historic place where visitors can see pirate caves and fresh water springs, the main source of water for the local population.

In addition, the Wittmer family settled in these caves while they built their first house of leather and stone

Nearby you will find hives with various giant tortoises, which originally belonged to the inhabitants of the island.

Along the way, you will also find the giant tortoise species of this island, which were recently reintroduced after being declared extinct.

Return to the plain for lunch and then take the speedboat, which will take you to Isabela Island in just under 2.5 hours.

After arriving at Isabela, you can relax for the rest of the day on the pristine beaches of the largest and newest island in Galapagos.

Hotel: San Vicente or similar

Included: breakfast, lunch, private transport, German-speaking travel guide, accommodation in a double room

Today drive by car to the mountainside of the Sierra Negra volcano. This volcano is one of the elders of Isabela. You walk to the edge of the crater and then continue along the volcanic rim.

With a bit of luck, you can watch the Galapagos Sparrowworm on the way. You will learn about the geology of the Sierra Negra volcano, the largest part of which consists of Aa lava.

Lunch today is in the form of a box lunch. In the early afternoon we return to the small town of Puerto Villamil, so you have the afternoon at leisure and enjoy the white-colored sandy beaches.

Hotel: San Vicente or similar

Included: breakfast, lunch in the form of a box lunch, private transport, German-speaking travel guide, accommodation in a double room

After breakfast, your guide will accompany you to the Flamingo Lagoon. On the approx. 2km walk your guide will tell you about the vegetation and geology of this young island Isabela.

Hopefully you can also observe flamingos at the lagoon. It was created artificially, as the lagoon was filled by rain by the removal of the earth during construction.

After this stop, visit the turtle hatchery where you will learn more about the reproduction and hatching of turtles.

Once back in Puerto Villamil, take the speedboat to the island of Santa Cruz. The rest of the afternoon is at your disposal in Puerto Ayora.

Hotel: Deja Vu or similar

Included: breakfast, private transport, German-speaking travel guide, accommodation in a double room

After breakfast, visit Charles Darwin Station. Here you will find information about the habitats, local protection measures and other relevant statistics.

The most impressive attraction of this establishment is certainly the turtle breeding station, where you can see turtles of various species and sizes. Visitors can move freely here and have the opportunity to take close-up photos with the turtles.

In addition to completing your stay on the Galapagos Islands, you will have the opportunity to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, where the legendary Lonesone George is exhibited as the last survivor of its kind.

After the visit, your guide will take you to the airport so you can take your flight back to the mainland.

Hotel: —

Included: breakfast, private transport, German speaking tour guide

PRICE PER PERSON1:

3’496,00 EUR

Included in the price

Tour map

Not included in the price

  • International and national flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Optional excursions and additional programs
  • Personal expenses and tips
  • Travel and health insurance

Travel Insurance

To protect your travel investment, we strongly recommend that you acquire your own travel insurance. Travel insurance covers medical expenses, interruption and cancellation of travel, theft and other damages incurred when traveling at home or abroad.

Visa and Entry Requirements

Ecuador requires a valid passport (valid for at least 6 months). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the latest visa requirements.

¹ All prices without guarantee. Please note that these are guideline prices and they may change.

hola

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