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14 Day Ecuador with 4 Day Northern Galapagos Cruise

14 days with Gate 1 Travel   Rating: First Class


Itinerary
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This 14 day "on-the-go" program features the highlights of Ecuador & the Galapagos in an active itinerary which includes several walking tours as well as some early starts and long days.

DAY 1, Saturday - Depart for Ecuador
Arrive in Guayaquil, Ecuador's sprawling and vivacious port cityl. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city's many museums, botanical gardens or stroll along the lively riverfront promenade.

DAY 2, Sunday - Guayaquil City Tour & Parque Historico
Your discovery of Guayaquil begins at the main square, with its stirring memorial to the Heroes of the Independence, symbolizing the triumph of the Republic against the Spanish. Continue to Seminario Park (Parque de las Iguanas), a favorite place of bird watchers and home to arboreal Iguanas. Next, experience the many ethnological influences present in Ecuadorian culture by viewing the contrasting architecture of a Neo-Gothic Cathedral, a Moorish clock tower and La Rotonda Monument. Continue to the lovely riverside Garden of Malecon and Santa Ana Hill where the city was founded in the 16th century. Continue to Parque Historico and learn about the history & culture of the region. Return to your hotel for an evening at leisure. (Breakfast)

DAY 3, Monday - Baltra, Las Bachas - Santa Cruz Island
Embark this morning on a journey to the "beginning of time" as you transfer to the airport for the flight to the astonishing Galapagos Archipelago of volcanic islands, five million years in the making. Arrive at Baltra Airport, meet your naturalist guides and transfer to the pier to board the M/V Santa Cruz II. Lunch on board with time to settle in before this afternoon's excursion to Las Bachas on Santa Cruz Island's north shore. Here, enjoy the delightful white sand beach with briny lagoons just a few steps from the sea, a feeding ground for various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. Tonight, a welcome cocktail on board with a briefing by a naturalist guide on tomorrow's exciting activities followed by dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 4, Tuesday - Buccaneer Cove, Puerto Egas (James Bay) - Santiago Island
Awake early and get ready for the thrilling explorations that lie ahead on Santiago Island. Discover the extraordinary cliffs of Buccaneer Cove, once an important site for 17th and 18th-century sailors, now home to large numbers of marine birds, sea lions, and adorable Galapagos fur seals. View the amazing natural formations including Elephant Rock, the Bishop, and a remarkable natural cave. Swim along the rocky shoreline or, snorkel in the company of friendly marine turtles. Later, on the trails at Puerto Egas, you view land and marine birds in this landscape of tuff-stone layers with Sally lightfoot crabs roaming the lava rocks. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds next to colonies of fur sea lions. Enjoy dinner and evening at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 5, Wednesday - Rábida and Bartolomé Island
A morning panga ride takes you along the jagged shores to Rábida Island with its volcanic rocks surrounding a striking red sand beach. Your walk brings you close to a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas and several species of Darwin's famous finches. Very close to the beach, a salt pond seasonally hosts migrating flamingos. Try snorkeling at this beach, a perfect place to learn! Experienced snorkelers will appreciate the exceptional combination of underwater marine life and submarine landscapes. After lunch, travel to the golden beaches of Bartolomé Island, dominated by the iconic Pinnacle Rock, an impressive towering lava structure that rises from the ocean's edge. After snorkeling and swimming, a chance to ride on a glass bottom boat with incredible views of the underwater life. Later, option for a steep hike to the summit of this diminutive island with fantastic panoramic views of the archipelago. In the evening after dinner, attend a briefing by a naturalist guide. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 6, Thursday - Prince Philip's Steps, Darwin Bay - Genovesa Island
Start the day with a steep hike (90 feet) up Prince Philip's Steps, named in recognition of Prince Philip's visit to the Galapagos in 1964. Atop the flat rocky plateau, observe large colonies of Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, frigate birds and storm petrels. Alternatively, panga rides are available along the cliffs (conditions permitting). After relaxing on board, afternoon visit to Darwin Bay, a coral beach that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can be spotted along with tidal pools where sea lions swim. An easy stroll takes you to an observation area to view hundreds of birds, including gulls, herons, finches, and mockingbirds. Tonight, a fond farewell to your newfound friends on this last night on board your Galapagos Cruise. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 7, Friday - Baltra Island, Depart for Quito
Disembarkation at Baltra Island. Then, proceed to the airport for the flight to Quito through Guayaquil. Arrive late afternoon in this historic city in the high Andes at the base of the Pichincha Volcano and transfer to your hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure to discover this charming city independently. (Breakfast)

DAY 8, Saturday - Quito City Tour & Visit to the Middle of the World
The morning's tour begins with a visit to the colonial section of Quito to walk along the narrow cobblestone streets and feel the charm of 16th-century Quito. See the Independence Plaza, the Cathedral, Presidential Palace, and the Archbishop's Palace before visiting La Compañia de Jesus Church, with its beautiful gilded interior or the Church and Monastery of San Francisco, one of the great religious buildings of the New World with its impressive facade and atrium. Afterward, visit the Middle of the World Monument, located at a latitude of 0º, and stand with one foot in the Northern and one in the Southern Hemisphere. This afternoon, transfer by bus to Otavalo. This evening, enjoy an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager and fellow travelers, followed by a Welcome Dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 9, Sunday - Otavalo Market, Transfer to Papallacta
This morning visit Peguche, known for its beautiful waterfall. Then, take a tour of the market in Otavalo, one of the largest in South America run by the local Otavaleños. Here, enjoy the lively market atmosphere and browse the various stalls for traditional goods such as handwoven cloth and rugs, jewelry and more. This afternoon, transfer to Papallacta located in the Andes Mountains. The remainder of the day is at leisure or join the optional tour to Papallacta's spas and hot springs, for which it is famous. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Optional: Termas de Papallacta Spa Package (PM)

DAY 10, Monday - Transfer to Amazon Resort
After breakfast, transfer by bus to La Punta Ahuano on the Napo River where you will board a canoe that will take you to your Amazon lodge*. Enjoy the serene tranquility that the lodge has to offer and prepare to be amazed by both the wildlife and the culture inherent to the Amazon. In the afternoon, visit Ahuano to have the opportunity to meet a local Quechua family and learn about their way of life first hand before returning to the hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

*Upon arrival the lodge is approximately a 5-10 minute walk uphill from where passengers will exit the canoe. Passengers are required to transport their own carry on luggage.

DAY 11, Tuesday - Hike in a Private Nature Reserve
This morning, after a canoe ride you can hike in the Misicocha Private Nature Reserve for approximately two hours while viewing the beautiful flora and fauna up-close. The Amazon rainforest is the world's largest ecosystem, so be sure to keep an eye out for the innumerable species of tropical plants and insects. Enjoy the views as you cross suspended bridges and fly through the jungle on a short zip line basket ride. At the end of the hike, take a rafting trip on a traditional balsa log raft*. Balance of the day is at leisure or, choose to participate in one of the optional tours, including the Butterfly Farm & Balsa Wood Carving Demonstration, Cacao Farm & AmaZOOnico Rescue Center or Canopy Adventure Park. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

*This is an active hike and sections of the path include steps. Also, those who participate in the rafting trip will need to step through the water to reach the raft and will get wet during the ride.

Optional: Butterfly Farm & Balsa Wood Demonstration
Optional: Cacao Farm & AmaZOOnico Rescue
Optional: Canopy Adventure Park 

DAY 12, Wednesday - El Pailon del Diablo & Baños
This morning, board a canoe for the short trip to La Punta Ahuano, continuing by coach to Patate. Stop along the way to visit the powerful El Pailon del Diablo or "The Devil's Cauldron"*, one of Ecuador's most beautiful waterfalls. Drive to Baños, an idyllic little town known for its hot thermal baths and the sometimes steamy Tungurahua Volcano. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, watch a demonstration on vegetable ivory, a traditional craft that utilizes palm nuts to make jewelry and animal carvings. In the late afternoon, check into your resort hotel** in Baños. Balance of the day is at leisure to enjoy all the amenities offered by your hotel or, explore the town of Banos, a short walk away. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

*It is an active hike to and from El Pailon del Diablo waterfall.

DAY 13, Thursday - Visit to a Rose Plantation, Lunch at Hacienda La Cienega
Today, enjoy a tour of a beautiful rose plantation. Although roses are not native to Ecuador, the country has a perfect environment for rose cultivation and is presently one of the world's major producers. On the plantation, you'll learn more about the farming process, from planting to exporting. Continue to Hacienda La Cienega for lunch, one of the oldest and most historical haciendas in Ecuador, belonging to the descendants of Marques of Maenza dating back to the 17th century, with a spectacular view of the Cotopaxi volcano, in the background. After lunch, time to wonder around the grounds of the Hacienda. Continue to the hotel in Quito for this evening's "Farewell to Ecuador" Dinner with your group. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 14, Friday - Depart Ecuador
Your vacation ends today after breakfast. (Breakfast)

Some flights depart shortly after midnight in the very early morning of Day 14 and will require a transfer on Day 13. Transfers depart the hotel approximately 4 hours prior to flight time.

Map
All This Included
  • All intra-flights: Guayaquil-Baltra & Baltra-Quito
  • 13 nights accommodations
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel & cruise porterage
  • 31 Meals: 13 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 10 dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager (Days 7-14)
  • Services of English-speaking local guides
  • Services of English-speaking naturalist guides in the Galapagos (Days 3-6)
  • Galapagos National Park Fee of $100
  • Galapagos Transit Control Card fee of $20
  • Entrance fees per itinerary

Highlights
  • Discover Guayaquil, a sprawling and vivacious city with striking architecture
  • Visit Parque Historico and learn about the history & culture of the region
  • Journey to the "beginning of time" as you travel to the astonishing Galapagos Archipelago
  • Snorkel/Swim on magnificent white sand beaches with astounding marine life
  • Observe areas with blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, Galapagos penguins and sea lions
  • Visit Buccaneer Cove, once an important site for 17th and 18th century sailors
  • Visit Colonial Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and walk through its cobblestone streets
  • Stand at the Middle of the World monument, situated at latitude 0º
  • Browse for local goods at the traditional Otavalo Market
  • Stay in the Amazon region, the world's largest ecosystem

†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates


Accommodations
Cuising: Cabin onboard MV Santa Cruz II
Guayaquil: Hotel Oro Verde
Quito: Hilton Colon Quito
Otavalo: Cabanas del Lago or Puertolago Country Inn
Papallacta: Termas de Papallacta
Amazon: Casa del Suizo
Baños: Samari Spa Resort

Notes
  • Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include flights Guayaquil-Baltra & Baltra-Quito. Some flights depart shortly after midnight in the very early morning of Day 14 and will require a transfer on Day 13. Transfers depart the hotel approximately 4 hours prior to flight time. Passport numbers for all passengers must be submitted before documents can be issued. The route and program may vary according to weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety issues and wildlife migration patterns. Wildlife and visits listed in the itinerary are based upon optimal conditions and therefore subject to change. Dry landing: Passengers step from the dinghy onto rocks or a dock. Wet landing: As the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, passengers step into knee-deep water and wade ashore. Sturdy shoes are recommended for this program.
  • Triple Rooms cannot be accommodated on this program. Apr 27 departure will be accommodated at the Puerto Lago Country Inn in Otavalo.
  • This moderately active trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces such as sandy and rocky beaches, stairs, steps and significant slopes. It takes approximately 2 hours to get to and from the areas populated with wildlife. You will experience wet landings in water, on sand or rocks and dry landings on wooden docks. The weather in Galapagos is hot particularly December through June. This trip combines an escorted portion with the services of a Tour Manager and an independent portion with services that include Local and Naturalist guides. Due to the high elevation, travel in the Ecuadorian Andes may cause some passengers to experience the temporary effects of altitude sickness. If you have any concerns about traveling to higher than your accustomed elevation, please consult your healthcare provider. This is a Partially Escorted program. 
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Gate 1 Travel terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.