Ecuador,

The Natural History Highlights of Ecuador and the Galapagos

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Tailor-Made Tour
16 Days
From £5915
GEOIP Not Available
Primate Watching
Birding
Snorkelling and Diving

Tour Introduction

16 Days from £5915
GEOIP Not Available
per adult.

Incorporating the prime wildlife highlights of mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, this comprehensive yet well-paced itinerary provides plenty of time to enjoy each location, uses exceptional naturalist guides throughout and features accommodation of a high standard. The Amazon rainforest is complemented perfectly by the Andean cloud forest, and a superb seven-night cruise of the Galapagos islands rounds off what is probably the ultimate Ecuador and Galapagos wildlife holiday.

Full Itinerary

Price from £5915
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Arrive in Quito

Arrive in Quito. Evening arrival and transfer to hotel.

Staying at Patio Andaluz. Includes In-flight Meals.

Day 2
Quito

Guided tour of colonial Quito. The capital city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a fascinating culture and the tour will include visits to museums, monasteries and churches as well as highlight the artistic design within the city. Afternoon transfer up into the Tandayapa Valley.

Staying at Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

Full day of small group guided activities in the 1730-acre reserve. The lodge is situated within the amazingly biodiverse cloud forest of the northwestern slopes of the Andean mountains. You will find a great diversity of epiphytic plants and orchids here and some stunning birds including up to 40 species of hummingbird and a lek (mating ground) of the Andean cock-of-the-rock. Mammals are seen less easily but many are present, and at night the recently discovered olinguito and its cousin, the kinkajou, make quiet visits to the lodge feeders.

Staying at Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

Morning excursions from the lodge to search for wildlife in the forest. Transfer to Quito.

Staying at Garden Hotel San Jose. Includes Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 5
Napo Wildlife Center, Amazon rainforest

Transfer to Quito airport and fly to Coca. Transfer to the lodge by boat through Yasuni National Park. Wildlife that might be seen on the journey include troops of howler, capuchin and squirrel monkeys, flocks of parakeets and three-toed sloth.

Staying at Napo Wildlife Center. Includes All Meals.

Day 6
Napo Wildlife Center

Day for small group guided activities in the pristine rainforest around the lodge. Trails can be done on foot and by canoe and there are two clay licks visited by large flocks of parrots and parakeets. Giant otters, various primates including golden-mantled tamarins, black caiman and occasionally Amazon pink river dolphins can be seen. Climb the canopy tower for sightings of feeding birds, macaws and raptors and sometimes sloths and monkeys.

Staying at Napo Wildlife Center. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Napo Wildlife Center

Another day of guided activities at Napo.

Staying at Napo Wildlife Center. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
Quito

Transfer to airport and fly to Quito. Met on arrival and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure.

Staying at Garden Hotel San Jose. Includes Breakfast.

Day 9
Galapagos Islands

Transfer to the airport and fly to the Galapagos Islands. Begin a 7 nights Galapagos Islands cruise on board an tourist category of small ship (superior or luxury ship options also available).

Staying at Cachalote. Includes All Meals.

Day 10
On board ship

Explore the Galapagos Islands above and below the water on guided excursions. Above water there are plants and wild yet remarkably tame animals whose geographical isolation and adaptation to the harsh conditions have led to the evolution of many unique natural histories, including marine iguanas, giant tortoises and the famous Darwin finches. Under water, cool currents have introduced otherwise cold water species to these tropical seas: penguins (the only ones found on the Equator), orcas and fur seals happily rub along with parrot fish, turtles and manta rays.

Staying at Cachalote. Includes All Meals.

Day 16
Depart Guayaquil

Return to airport and fly to Guayaquil. Connect with your international flight home.

Includes In-flight Meals.

Tour Accommodation

Ecuador Galapagos Islands

Cachalote Explorer

Overview

Originally a fishing boat built in 1988 in Vancouver, Canada, this spacious motor vessel was converted into a passenger ship in the early 2000’s. There are 8 ensuite cabins each with hot water, air-conditioning throughout, a large salon/dining area with flat screen TV and DVD player, sun deck, and other ample deck areas for relaxing. Cachalote Explorer also carries two kayaks for guest use.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
Yes
Capacity
16 passengers
Length
88 Feet
Class
First Class Motor Vessel
Cabins

1 Upper Deck cabin with a lower queen bed, lower single bed and single upper bed, 1 Upper Deck cabin with a lower double and upper single bed, 3 Lower Deck cabins with a double lower and upper single bed, 2 Lower Deck cabins with a lower queen bed, and one Lower Deck cabin with a lower single and a small upper single.

Facilities

Large lounge and dining area with flat screen TV and DVD, air conditioning, sun deck and other ample deck areas.

Ecuador Amazon

Napo Wildlife Centre

Overview

Owned and operated by the local Anangu Kichwa Amerindian Community, Napo Wildlife Centre is an upmarket lodge located within a pristine 52,000-acre private terra firma rainforest reserve forming part of the Yasuni National Park, the largest in Ecuador and comprising a huge tract of pristine Amazonian rainforest.

The lodge overlooks the beautiful Anangucocha Lake, which is home to a resident population of giant river otters, capybara, large numbers of water birds and the black caiman, an endangered relative of the alligator which reaches 4 metres in length. The surrounding primary rainforest is home to 11 species of monkey (including red howler, spider, woolly, squirrel, monk saki and golden mantle tamarin), sloths and a multitude of insects, reptiles and amphibians. Spectacular but more elusive residents include anaconda, jaguar, puma, tapir, giant anteater and giant armadillo.

Over 560 species of birds have so far been recorded at the lodge with highlights including macaws (scarlet, blue and yellow, red and green, chestnut-fronted, red bellied), mixed feeding flocks of antbirds, toucans, manakins (six species), hummingbirds, agami herons, five species of kingfisher and occasionally harpy and crested eagles.

A particular highlight at Napo Wildlife Centre is their pair of parrot clay licks which attract large numbers of parrots, parakeets and occasionally macaws to digest kaolin to counteract toxins in their diet. There is also a large canopy platform offering spectacular views over the rainforest where you have a good chance of seeing monkeys, sloths, canopy birds and rainforest raptors.

Each of the 16 bright and airy detached cabanas has a spacious bedroom, private bathroom, hot water shower and private porch with seating and good views over the lake and surrounding forest. There is also a good restaurant, bar and well-stocked library.

Your stay here includes a full programme of rainforest walks, canoe trips, visits to the clay licks and canopy platform – all in the company of the lodge’s expert naturalist guides and local spotters. Visits to the local community are also possible.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
16
Facilities

Restaurant, bar, well-stocked library, 24-hour electricity, laundry service, 120-foot canopy tower, internet service and kiosk.

Local Wildlife

Two parrot and parakeet clay licks, 565 bird species, 11 species of monkeys including the endemic golden-mantled tamarin, two groups of giant otters and other large mammals such as white-lipped peccaries and Brazilian tapir, and black caiman.

Optional Activities

Visits to the local Añangu Kichwa community.

Ecuador The Andes

Garden Hotel San Jose

Overview

The Garden Hotel San Jose, situated in the Puembo Valley just 20 minutes from downtown Quito, is built around a restored 18th century hacienda and set amongst 10 acres of beautiful gardens.

There are 37 en suite rooms with LCD TVs and Wi-Fi, 2 outdoor heated pools, a gym, restaurant and lounge/bar.

The hotel enjoys close proximity to the international airport and is an ideal base for travellers staying overnight before or after connecting to onward destinations.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
37
Facilities

2 outdoor heated swimming pools, a gym, restaurant, lounge and bar.

Optional Activities

Ecuador The Andes

Patio Andaluz

Overview

The 4-star Patio Andaluz is a beautiful boutique hotel located in the colonial centre of Quito within walking distance of the famous Independence Square. Its architecture dates back to the 16th century with grand archways and courtyards.

The central location is ideal for easy access to many of Quito’s museums and historical sights.

There are 31 stylish rooms and suites, all with private bathrooms, polished wooden floors, antique style furniture, warm Persian rugs, air-conditioning, cable TV, safes and free Wi-Fi. Facilities include laundry service, currency exchange, medical assistance, luggage storage, library, gardens and patio area.

The hotel’s elegant restaurant, set within the main courtyard, serves tasty Ecuadorian, Spanish and international cuisine. There is also a lounge and bar for relaxation.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
31
Facilities

Restaurant, lounge, bar, 24-hour desk service, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioned rooms, luggage storage, medical assistance and laundry service.

Optional Activities

City tours of Quito.

Ecuador The Andes

Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

Overview

Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge borders the Choco bio-region (one of the most diverse terrestrial environments in the world) and is surrounded by its own 1,730-acre reserve of orchid and bromeliad laden cloud forest containing the world’s greatest diversity of epiphytes. There have been over 330 species of birds recorded at Bellavista and the Tandayapa Valley with particular highlights including an Andean cock-of-the-rock display ground (lek), white-faced nunbird, rufescent screech-owl, swallow-tailed nightjar, crested quetzal, over 40 species of hummingbirds and the beautiful plate-billed mountain toucan. Mammal sightings are rare but species present include spectacled bear, puma, Andean coati and tayra.

The lodge has 11 fairly rustic bedrooms and two suites, many with private balcony, bathroom and stunning views over the surrounding cloud forest and distant volcanoes. All rooms also have hummingbird feeders attracting a number of these delightful birds to your balcony. There are also nine dormitory rooms.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
13
Facilities

Restaurant serving trout, chicken and vegetarian dishes but no red meat, lounge and bar.

Local Wildlife

Excellent birding with over 330 species of birds, an Andean cock-of- the-rock display ground and over 40 species of hummingbirds.

Optional Activities

Visit to cock-of-the-rock display ground and nearby reserves, zip line, Mindo River tubing, visit to orchid and butterfly farms.

Route Map

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Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge: -0.016140, -78.681130
Napo Wildlife Centre: -0.523806, -76.439912
Patio Andaluz: -0.218548, -78.511232
Garden Hotel San Jose: -0.190641, -78.352083

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

Fly from London to Quito and return from Guayaquil on Iberia via Madrid or KLM via Amsterdam.

Best Visited:

January to January

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

John Melton

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

The wildlife – especially in the Galapagos was superb + lived up to expectations. Our real Galapagos highlights were sub-aquatic – the marine life being spectacular – whales, manta rays, stingrays, sharks, sea lions, marine iguanas, octopi, plus so many huge fish!

Mrs M P - Kent