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A VOYAGE TO THE MIDDLE OF THE WORLD
Begin with a journey through Quito’s colonial city center. It is Latin America’s biggest and best conserved historic center and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978. Dare Witness the rare camaraderie among humans and friendly creatures such as the giant tortoises, seals and penguins in Darwin’s Enchanted Isles !

 

  • From the colonial streets of Quito to the tropical rain forests of the Amazon Basin and the pristine shores of the Galápagos Islands, experience Ecuador’s many splendors and support locals as you travel .From Quito in the Andes, we’ll travel to the Amazon to discover its diverse flora and fauna and visit riverside communities. Then we explore the Galápagos Islands in depth. Each day, we’ll discover the Islands’ unique wildlife and snorkel among colorful constellations of tropical fish; by night, we’ll explore the towns and and learn about local customs and unique healthy dishes. Ecuador offers an astonishingly diverse tapestry of nature and culture that awaits our discovery.

    Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 13 nights (5 nights in Quito, 2 nights at Yarina Eco Lodge, and 6 nights in The Galapagos), and 22 meals (13 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 3 dinners).

    Promotional Departure Dates : September, October & November

    Destinations: Ecuador, Amazonia, Galapagos.

    Interests: Adventure, Culture & History, Nature Hiking, Snorkeling, and Wildlife Viewing.

    Places Visited: Quito, Amazon Rain Forest, the Galapagos Islands

    • DAY 1 : Quito

      Depart to Quito. After passing through immigration and customs, proceed to the aiport arrivals lobby, where our representative will be holding a board with your name on it. You will be greeted and then transferred to your hotel.The hotel is located close to the ciy center and the ambience is familiar and cozy.

      Meals: No

    • DAY 2 : Quito City Tour and Midle of the World

      In the morning, you will have a city tour of Quito. You will explore the bustling streets and squares of the largest historical centre in the Americas, and visit some of its most important churches such as the majestic La Compania and iconic San Francisco, guardians of a stunning multi-ethnic artistic and cultural heritage. You will drive through the traditional neighborhood of San Juan and finish the morning at the Panecillo hillside, with its breathtaking views of the old and modern parts of the city. Following the city tour, you will be driven to the “Middle of the World City” complex, which is located 11 miles north of Quito. Here, you will see the monument of the equatorial line, a 98 ft high stone trapezoidal monument with a brass globe on top. The monument forms the focal point of a park and leisure area with gift shops and restaurants.

      In the evening, welcome dinner with the whole group.Overnight in Quito

      Meals: B,D

    • DAY 3 : A Day in Otavalo & Surroundings

      Today, you visit the beautiful Cuicocha lagoon (guinea pig lagoon) near Otavalo. First, you cross the Valley of Guayllabamba and you drive by the Quitsato Solar Clock, site thru which the Equatorial Line passes. Heading further North, you pass Lago San Pablo before reaching Cotacachi and the Cuicocha lake. This area is perfect to enjoy the mild climate, an easy walk along the crater or a boat ride on the lagoon and the amazing landscape it offers. In the afternoon visit to Otavalo, this is well known for its famous handicraft market. It is held every day on the Poncho Square, on Saturdays it extends and covers nearly a third of the whole town. You can find many different handicrafts produced in the surrounding villages: fine woven goods like blankets, hammocks, and tablecloths, jewelry made of silver or the tagua nut (also called vegetable ivory), musical instruments, leather goods, and many other things. In the late afternoon, you return to Quito.

      Good to Know

      Guided tour – small group/private

      (Approx. 8 hours) Hotel pick-up at 8:00 AM

      Difficulty: Easy – Moderate

      Meals: B

    • DAY 4 : Heading to the Amazon Rain Forest

      TRANSFER TO THE AIRPORT

       Depending on your flight to the Amazon Rain Forest (Coca City), transfer to the airport in Quito

       Flight to Coca City

      Today, we’ll fly from Quito to Coca, a small town on the Napo River in the Amazon River watershed. From Coca, we travel to our lodge by boat on the Napo River, a tributary of the Amazon. In the words of writer Joe Kane in Running the Amazon: “The Amazon cannot be understood just as a river. It is a whole wilderness, a great integrated system of rivers and jungles.”

      For three days, we’ll have a rare opportunity to increase our understanding of the Amazon jungle—because it’ll be our home. Competition among the plants and trees for rain and sunlight is fierce here. Ultimately, only about 10% of light from the sun penetrates the jungle canopy and reaches the forest floor.

      We’ll enjoy a boxed lunch together as we cruise down the Amazon, arriving in the early afternoon to our lodge. We’ll have an orientation briefing at the lodge and take a walk to get familiar with our jungle surroundings. Our rain forest lodge is our home base in the Amazon. Here, you can explore trails that take you into the surrounding forest, take siestas in your own private hammock, and enjoy meals of fresh local fare while enjoying beautiful views of the nearby Napo River. Dinner will be at our lodge tonight.

      Meals: B,L,D

    • DAY 5 : Explore the Rain Forest

      After breakfast, we’ll take a nature walk in the rain forest, then return to the lodge for lunch and time to relax. Later in the afternoon, we’ll explore the forest further to learn about medicinal plants and see an example of primary forest. We’ll stay out until sunset and then have a dinner at the lodge this evening.

       

      Good to Know

      Guided tour – small group/private

      Moderate:

      Light walking on uneven terrain and some stairs

      Muddy paths

      Bring rain jacket and closed shoes with socks (boots available upon request)

      Meals: B,L,D

    • DAY 6 : Transfer to Coca – Flight to Quito

      After breakfast, we experience A Day in the Life of the people who live in the Amazon River watershed. Our small group size allows us to slip into the rhythm of daily life here, interacting with residents of the village and participating in local activities. We begin by visiting a local school (when in session) and meeting some of the students. After, we’ll visit a family farm, where we’ll have the opportunity to talk to the family members and learn about the medicinal plants and other local products they grow.

      After lunch, we return by motorized canoe on the Río Napo to Coca. We take a walking tour of the local market and dock area in Coca, then transfer to the airport for our flight to Quito, where we check into our hotel.

       Good to Know

      Guided tour – small group/private

      Difficulty: Easy – Moderate

      Meals: B,L

    • DAY 7 :A Day in the Andes

      In the morning, you leave for Cotopaxi National Park, we enter to the national protected area and our first stop will be at 3600m above sea level, in where we will have an explanation about the museum and the history of the place, also we will be able to try the famous coca tea which is good for altitude sickness (it is not a drug), and then we will continue into 4500m above the sea level on the car. From this point we will start an interesting steep trail of 45 min approximately into 4800 m above the sea level, the same height of mont blanc the highest point in Europe. Then we will descend to the bus and then will have lunch in the protected area. After lunch we return to the City of Quito, where we check into our hotel.

       Good to Know

      Guided tour – small group/private

      (Approx. 6 hours) Hotel pick-up at 7:30 AM

      Difficulty: Moderate

      Light walking on rocky terrain and hills

      Uneven   paths

      Bring cold weather jacket and closed shoes with socks

      Meals: B

    • DAY 8 :Heading to The Galapagos Islands

      TRANSFER TO THE AIRPORT

       Depending on your flight to the Galapagos Islands, transfer to the airport in Quito.

      Flight to Galapagos

      Transportation from Baltra Airport to hotel on Santa Cruz Island 

      (Approx. 1 hour)

      *Pick-up from airport – watch for sign with your name after disembarking the plane

      *Meet your guide or driver in the arrivals lounge and wait for your bags while our team at the airport processes your park entrance fee and immigration

      (have documents and $120 cash ready)

      *Take the van over Baltra Island, Ferry boat ride over channel, and bus or taxi over Santa Cruz Island to Puerto Ayora

       

      Tour of the Highlands of Santa Cruz

      Guided tour – small group/private

      (Approx. 3 hours) Hotel pick-up at 9:00 AM or 3:00 PM

      Moderate:

      Light walking on even terrain and some stairs

      Muddy paths and tunnel

      Bring rain jacket and closed shoes with socks (boots available upon request)

      *Visit the twin craters of Los Gemelos

      *See giant Galapagos tortoises roaming in nature

      *Cross through ancient underground lava tunnels

      Meals: B,L

    • DAY 9 :Uninhabited Island Tour

      Bartolome or North Seymour or South Plaza

      (Destination depends on tour availability during the reservation process)

      *All uninhabited island visits are guided group tours on 16-20 passenger boats

      *All of these tours include trail hiking and snorkeling with a naturalist guide

      Good to Know

      Guided tour – small group/private

      (Approx. 7 hours) Hotel pick-up at 6:00 AM

      Moderate:

      Walking over uneven terrain, rocks, and unpaved trails

      Bring rain jacket and closed shoes with socks (boots available upon request)

       Meals: B,L

    • DAY 10 :Transfer to Isabela Island by boat

      Private Charter

      (Approx. 2-3 hours) Hotel pick-up – TBD

       Good to Know

      Moderate – Strenuous:

      Bumpy ride any time of year

      Rough seas June to November – very bumpy!

      *Transport to Isabela Island on a narrow 30 ft. outboard motor boat

      *Poor ventilation and choppy seas can cause nausea, make sure you bring seasick medication

      *Transportation to hotel and briefing

      *Rest of the day free to explore the town and its beautiful beaches on our own

      Meals: B

    • DAY 11 :Bay Tour of Isabela (Las Tintoreras)

      Private charter

      (Approx. 3 hours) AM or PM hotel pick-up – exact time to be determined by local representatives

      Good to Know

      Moderate – Strenuous:

      Walking over uneven terrain, rocks, and unpaved trails

      Dry-landing – boat to land

      Open-water snorkeling – snorkeling from boat

      Bring closed shoes, water, sunscreen, hat, wear your bathing suit

      Small 15 – 20 ft. fishermen boats – maximum capacity varies

      *look for the small Galapagos penguins on the rocks or fishing

      *snorkel in the bay and look for sea lions, white-tip sharks, rays, sea turtles and reef fish

      *take a moderately strenuous hike through lava formations that are other-worldly

      *visit a marine iguana colony and a sea lion colony nearby

      Free Half-Day Suggestion: Tortoise Breeding Center, Wetlands, and Wall of Tears

      Self-guided

      Center is open 6am to 6pm

      Moderate:

      Paved and unpaved trails

      Bring walking shoes, water, sunscreen, bug spray, hat, wear your bathing suit

      *Walk to the tortoise breeding center and learn about an effort to preserve the Galapagos tortoise population

      *Visit the coastal wetlands area where you can see ponds, beaches, volcanic crevices and caves as well as shore birds, marine iguanas and the typical vegetation of the area

      *Bike to La Playita, Poza Verde, Poza del Diablo, La Playa del Amor, El Estero, and The Wall of Tears

      Meals: B

    • DAY 12 :Explore Los Tuneles @ Isabela Island

      Private Charter to Lava Tunnels/Los Tuneles (lava arches snorkeling) 

      Private guided tour

      (Approx. 5 hours) AM hotel pick-up – exact time to be determined by local representative

      Not available when strong currents make the entrance unsafe

      Good to Know

      Moderate:

      Light hiking over rocks

      Dry-landing – boat to land

      Open-water snorkeling from boat

      Bring closed shoes, water, sunscreen, hat, wear your bathing suit

      Small 15 – 20 ft. fishermen boats – maximum capacity 10 passengers

      *Travel along the coast of Isabela by boat to Los Tuneles, about 45 minutes (sometimes choppy water can make a bumpy ride)

      *Visit a labyrinth created by the interaction of lava flows and ocean currents

      *Trek across lava arches and bridges

      *Snorkel and enjoy an astonishing array of marine creatures

      Meals: B,L

    • DAY 13 :Return to Santa Cruz Island

      Morning Return to Santa Cruz Island by Boat – (Approx. 2-3 hours) AM Hotel pick-up TBD

      Good to Know

      Moderate – Strenuous:

      Bumpy ride any time of year

      Rough seas June to November – very bumpy!

      Bring sun and rain/splash protection, water, and $2 (exact change) per person for the water taxis

      *Transport to Santa Cruz Island on a narrow 30 ft. outboard motor boat

      *Poor ventilation and choppy seas can cause nausea, make sure you bring seasick medication

       (Inter-island plane upgrade recommended and available upon request)

       

      Tour of Charles Darwin Station

      (Approx. 2.5 hours total) 15 minute walk from most hotels

      HOURS OF OPERATION:

      8:00am to 12pm and 2:30pm to 5:30pm (closed from Noon -2:30pm)

      Easy – Moderate:

      Light walking, even and rocky terrain

      Bring walking shoes, hat, sunscreen, and water

      *Learn about and see the native and endemic flora and fauna of the area

      *Visit tortoise corrals with tortoises ranging from juveniles to adults

      *Visit land iguana corrals

      *Visit the new Exhibition Center created by locals and the Charles Darwin Foundation

      *Relax in the shade by the refreshment area and enjoy the view of Academy Bay

      *Cool off at one of the two small beaches along the trail

       Meals: B

    • DAY 14 :Flight to Quito or Guayaquil & Return to Home

      Transportation to Baltra Airport

      (Approx. 1 hour)

      Pick-up time depends on the flight time

      Flight to Quito or Guayaquil in order to catch our international flight.

      Meals: B

    B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
  • Price Includes

    • Vacations’ expert pre-departure planning services.
    • South America Airport/hotel transfers .
    • Hotel accommodations including service fees and taxes.
    • Accommodations on 4 Star Hotels
    • Accommodations @ Yarina Eco Lodge
    • All meals scheduled while in Yarina Eco Lodge and others as indicated on the itinerary.
    • Daily excursions to the islands conducted by English-speaking naturalist guides.
    • Use of snorkeling equipment.
    • Evening briefings and lectures.
    • Excursion to  the Jungle

    Price Does Not Include

    • International airfare.
    • Galapagos National Park entrance fee ($100).
    • Transit control card ($20).
    • Meals not indicated on the itinerary.
    • Gratuities staff members and guides (suggested $20/day for the crew and $10/day for the guide).
    • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
    • Gifts and personal items.
    • Travel and Medical insurance.
  • Price per Person

    Category 2 to 5 persons 6 to 11 persons 12 to 16 persons
    4 Star $ 2,999 2,699 $2,499

    ** The prices shown above are in U.S. Dollars. See the cost of this tour in your currency here.

    Notes:

    1. The above prices are valid until on September,October & November,  2019.
    2. The Double prices are based on a Standard Cabin.
    3. Room/cabin upgrades and additional nights in each destination are available upon request.

    Departure Dates

    Every other Friday from September to November.