Ecuador & Galápagos

private tour
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18 days

Ecuador & Galápagos

“To see Ecuador, the Amazon jungle and the Galapágos Islands was unbelievable”

With this trip you will dive into the mega bio diverse Amazon rainforest, you will visit the huge volcanoes in the Andes, you will take walks around crater lakes, and you will hike over the beautiful paramo. Along the way you will visit colonial towns and local Indian markets. The trip ends with a visit to the unique Galapagos Islands, an absolute paradise for nature (and animal) lovers, and you come face to face with sea lions, iguanas or giant tortoises.

Are you up for this 18-day Ecuador tour with Andean Journeys?

  • NDiscover Quito with rich history and culture.
  • NVenture deep into the jungle with an amazing 4-day luxury tour.
  • NBuy handcrafted trinkets on Otavalo indigenous market.
  • NHike the highest active volcano of Cotopaxi.
  • NEnjoy unforgettable views of Quilotoa Crater Lake.
  • NSpot unique wildlife with the 7-day Galápagos tour of a lifetime.
DAY 1 - Arrival Quito
Quito Airport Transfer.
Arrival in Quito, assistance at the airport and transport to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to rest in order to avoid ill effects due to the high altitude.
DAY 2 - Quito city tour
Pick-up from hotel at 8:30 am.
Today you will enjoy a tour of Quito with your guide. The tour can be completely adjusted to your wishes. Let your guide know if there are specific activities or sights that you would like to see.

Activities according to your wishes. Before the start of the tour, our guide will offer all the options.

Example tour Quito: we take some time to visit the city center and famous museums that show the heritage and culture of Quito and Ecuador. We will walk a popular route that visits La Basílica del Voto Nacional, La Compañía (Gold Church), La Catedral, La Plaza and Church of San Francisco, La Ronda, La Plaza de la Independencia and, if the weather is good, we can go up to the viewpoint of the Panecillo. This tour will show you all the famous landmarks within Quito.

For people who love art and to try local food, you may want to choose to visit Guapulo viewpoint, the local market, the Botanic Garden or Guayasamim House museum. In the afternoon, we can continue to Mitad del Mundo (on the equater line), where you can visit the museums and do experiments to defy gravity as we know it!
Another great option is to take the Cable Cart to visit Rucu Pichincha mountain. This is a beautiful viewpoint of Quito city. Note that this is only possible in good weather.

We will stay the night at a gorgeous Hacienda in Otavalo.

Overnight at a Hacienda in Otavalo.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner.



DAY 3 - Otavalo Indigenous market tour
At 08:00 we pick you up from your hotel in Quito.

In the morning we will visit Quitsato Sundial: a monument on the Equator line. You are standing in the middle of the world! After some interesting explanations, we visit a local biscuits factory where they make bizcochos. We will enjoy a look behind the scenes of this factory.
On our drive to Otavalo, we will enjoy a beautiful viewpoint ‘Mira Lago’ where it is possible to see Cayambe volcano.

It’s time to explore Otavalo indigenous Market: one of the biggest indigenous markets in South-America. Handicrafts, souvenirs, Alpaca clothing and more, here you can find all kinds of beautiful, local products.

After a fulfilling visit, we will enjoy a local lunch in Cotacachi town. This is followed by a small hike to Cuicocha lake for some wonderful views.

Overnight in hotel in Quito
Meals Included: Breakfast.


DAY 4 - Arrival Yasuni Amazon - Canoe tour & Jungle walk
Today you will be picked up and transferred to Quito Airport for your journey to the Amazon jungle! At the airport representatives of the lodge will assist you with the check-in process and give you a short briefing about the journey.
After a 30-minute commercial flight to Puerto Francisco de Orellana “El Coca”, our representative will transfer you by private transportation to the city’s main dock at the Napo River.

The next two hours will be on a motorized canoe heading down river on what will be the beginning of an unforgettable experience in the tropical rainforest, the Amazon. At the end of the motorized canoe ride, you will arrive at the city’s main dock. Here your first close encounter with the rainforest begins, and the final leg of the trip to the lodge will be completed in a paddle canoe. The only thing you have to take care of during this part of the trip is your carry-on and camera equipment, all other luggage will be transported by La Selva staff.

The manager will be waiting to greet you with a refreshing juice, snacks and a short briefing with general information about your stay.
At approximately 5:00 pm your guides will take you on your first jungle walk. Mahogany trees over 400 years old can be seen and your guides will share their knowledge of the flora and fauna. Due to the time of day there is great natural light and the diurnal and nocturnal animals are beginning their daily activities.

After an exciting walk, dinner will be served. Find your seat and get comfortable while our waiters serve you each course.

Our lodge also provides some wellness opportunities, so you can enjoy the calming nature to its fullest.

Overnight at La Selva Lodge in Yasuni.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.



DAY 5 - Yasuni Amazon - Observation tower, 2 jungle trails & night canoe ride
After a nutritious breakfast, our second day starts with an early visit to our observation tower. This amazing construction will allow you to climb 120 ft above the forest. Your guides will help you spot the colorful birds of the Amazon, maybe even certain primates.

On the way back from the tower there is the option of taking the Tucaneta Trail where your guide can show you some of the medicinal plants still in use today.  He will provide you with interesting info on the ecology and natural history of the Amazon.

There is also the option of visiting the beautiful lagoon of Mandi Cocha. A hike of about 1 hour takes you to the lagoon where an Igapo Forest is present, meaning that the forest is temporarily flooded by black water. Different species of birds and even giant otters can
be seen here.

We will enjoy a well-deserved lunch and some rest.

In the late afternoon we will take the Charapa trail. This trail goes on for about an hour beginning at the lodge and ending by the edge of the lagoon. It is a great loop where different mammals, monkeys and birds can been seen that come closer to the lagoon at this time looking for food. It is also perfect for witnessing an Amazonian sunset from the water in the canoe.

After a visit to the lagoon, we will enjoy our night canoe ride. With the help of a spot light your guides will take you around the lagoon via canoe
looking for nighttime wildlife. This is also a great opportunity for star gazing!

Overnight at La Selva lodge in Yasuni.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.



DAY 6 - Yasuni Amazon - Parrot Clay lick, Trail & Canoe ride
Today you will make your way back to the Napo River and take a motorized canoe ride to the clay licks, one of the most fascinating displays of the wild world. Hundreds of parrots and parakeets gather here to eat the mineral rich soil, an important part of their diet. Binoculars are essential to really capture the moment.

After the clay licks we will take you to experience our Cultural Activity. An Amazonian Kichua woman will welcome you at their community center to share their life of the Kichua’s in the Amazon. This is special because it is part of the Amazon you do not find on the maps and provides the special and unique opportunity to really get to learn more about the people of the Amazon.

We will return to enjoy lunch and a rest.

Later in the day, we will visit Garzachocha lagoon and Ceiba trail. This is one of the most beautiful lagoons in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Here there are many chances to see monkeys and birds and sometimes families of squirrel monkeys join capuchin monkeys looking for food. The tremendous calls of the Howler monkeys can be heard in the afternoon and the smallest monkey in the world, the Pigmy Marmoset can be seen here too. Plenty of birds like the Hoatzin, toucans or macaws can also be seen flying overhead.

Just before dinner, our manager will provide you all the necessary information about your departure procedure for the next morning.

Overnight at La Selva lodge in Yasuni.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.



DAY 7 - Departure Yasuni Amazon - Back to Quito
Today is the last day of Yasuni. In accordance to your briefing the night before, you will have an early wake-up call, breakfast, and departure from the lodge.

The lodge staff will assist you with your checked luggage and the motorized canoe ride will head upstream back to Coca, where our representatives will take you to the airport to help you with your checked luggage and boarding passes.

Overnight in hotel in Quito.
Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch.



DAY 8 - Cotopaxi Volcano Tour
Ready for your next adventure? Awesome! Around 08:00 am your guide will pick you up from your hotel in Quito.

After a couple of hours driving, we will enter to Cotopaxi National Park 3200m (10498.69 ft.). On the drive, you will enjoy views and information about the area. The guide will give an explanation about the volcano, flora and fauna endemic of the Park. We will also stop for photographs in the lower part 3600m (11811.02 ft.).

(Optional: instead of hiking, you can also enjoy a 3-hour horseback ride).

We will arrive at the parking lot at 4600m (15091.86 ft.) where your guide will explain the hike to the José Rivas refuge. After a steep hike, you will arrive at the José Rivas refuge at 4800m (15748.03 ft.) to enjoy some incredible views and a great accomplishment.

After the hike back from Cotopaxi, we return to the parking lot. Here we can pick-up our bikes, because this is the start of mountain-biking downhill from the parking lot to Limpiopungo lake viewpoint!

After an active but fulfilling day, we will enjoy a lunch at a Chaupi community restaurant. Then, you will stay at a local Hacienda in Cotopaxi.

Overnight at a Hacienda in Cotopaxi.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.


DAY 9 - Quilotoa Crater Lake Tour

After a wonderfull night at the Hacienda, our guide will take you to another highlight of Ecuador: Quilotoa crater lake.

We will start with exploring a local market. You can stock up on some fruits or snacks here. To also give you an image of local life here, we will visit a native family house. They will happily show you around and teach you about their lifestyles.

Afterwards, we will depart to Quilotoa Crater Lake. The views at Quilotoa are unforgettable. We will walk down to the Quilotoa crater (3 hours). On the way back up, it is possible to hike or to ride a mule. Don’t forget to take pictures!

After a wonderful day, we will enjoy a well-deserved lunch.

On our drive to our next stop, we will take a moment at Toachi Canyon and stop for photos.

We will return to Quito.

Overnight at a Hotel in Quito.
Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch.


Day 10 - Papallacta hot springs

A relaxing day awaits us as we head to Papallacta hot springs. Your guide will pick you up from your hotel. We will make some stops along the way to the hot springs.

First, to get to know a little bit more about these hot pools, we will visit Papallacta Lake viewpoint and learn about the origin of Papallacta. We will hike with our guide to see the Paramo landscape and unique plants and animals of the area.

Then, you can enjoy a relaxing spa day at Thermas de Papallacta hot spring pools. You will have hours of free time to enjoy the pools and massages.

Overnight at the Hotel in Quito. 
Meals Included: Breakfast.


Day 11 to Day 17 - Galapagos islands - Cruise or land tour

On day 11 you will be transferred to the airport to fly from Guayaquil to the Galápagos Islands.

Depending on your wishes, you will enjoy a 7-day cruise or land tour. Everything in first class!

On day 17, you will fly back to Quito and have a transfer waiting for you to take you to the hotel.

6 nights in Galapagos.
1 night in Quito.
Meals: depend on the Galápagos itinerary.


Day 18 - Departure Quito

After an unforgettable trip, it is time for you to return home again.

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Quito airport for your next flight. We hope you had a wonderful 21-day trip of Ecuador!


  • N17 night(s) accommodation according to the itinerary.
  • NMeals: as mentioned in the itinerary
  • NPersonal English speaking guide.
  • NPrivate transportation.
  • NAll transfers: airport, hotel pickup and drop-off.
  • NAll ground transportation.
  • N24-hour support by our local staff.


  • KInternational and domestic flights (in case you request them, please ask your travel agent).
  • KVISA procedures, travel insurance, pre and post tour accommodation.
  • KOther expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).
  • KTips for guides, drivers and other staff.
  • KAnything not specified in the itinerary description.

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