Ecuador


Ecuador is a country of four worlds: The towering Andejan peaks, the lush Amazon rainforest, sun-drenched beaches and a chain of volcanic islands.While Ecuador covers only 16% of South America is home to almost 50% of the birds species of the Continent.

“The city of Quito forms a harmonious ensemble where nature and man are brought together to create a unique and transcendental work” (UNESCO).


Remote Islands Expeditions will create and customize the expedition of your dreams. Here is one of our most popular expeditions for Ecuador:

Wonders of Ecuador Expedition


ECUADOR

Wonders of Ecuador Expedition

Itinerary Overview

Day 1

Arrive at Quito Hotel

Day 2

City tour of Quito

Day 3

Otavalo Market Visit

Day 4

Departure to the Amazon – Napo Wildlife Center

Day 5

Napo Wildlife Center

Day 6

Napo Wildlife Center

Day 7

Departure from Napo to Quito

Day 8

AM: Departure to the Galapagos Islands

PM: South Plaza Island

Day 9

AM: Santa Fe Island

PM: Cerro Colorado San Cristobal Island

Day 10

San Cristobal Island

AM: Punta Pitt

PM: Cerro Brujo

Day 11

AM: Punta Suarez Española Island

PM: Gardner Bay Española Island

Day 12

Santa Cruz Island

Fly to Quito and transfer to your hotel

Day 13

Fly back home


Wonders of Ecuador Expedition

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 – QUITO

You arrive at your Hotel The Swissotel in Quito, which is strategically located in a well know area of Quito.

INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast
ACCOMMODATION: Swissotel Quito
SERVICES: Transfer from the airport

Day 2 – QUITO

Today you will have a full-day tour visiting two remarkable areas of Quito: Quito Historic City Centre and the “Ciudad Mitad del Mundo” (Middle of the World City).

During the morning you will visit the historic areas of Quito City Centre including La Compañía Church and the San Francisco Museum.

In the afternoon you will visit Ciudad Mitad del Mundo, the Ethnographic Inti Ñan Museum.

“Ciudad Mitad del Mundo” means “The Equator.” Even though the equator runs through many cities around the world, Quito has become famous for it. Ciudad Mitad del Mundo consists of one dominant monument, smaller monuments that lead up to it, a small village that has been constructed around the equator site, and a quaint museum. It is a fascinating and exciting attraction and is located just about 20 km outside of Quito. The Equator was discovered and mapped out by a French geodesic expedition team that was led by an explorer named Charles-Marie de La Condamine in 1736. Even though those early geographers were about 250 meters off the mark, it was an extraordinary feat at the time!

INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch
ACCOMODATION: Swissotel Quito
SERVICES: Guided city tour, in English

Day 3 – OTAVALO

Barely two hours from Quito, the town of Otavalo draws visitors from around the world who come to this native community to shop at the world-famous handicraft market. The market features a dazzling array of handicrafts including tapestries, hammocks, jewellery, paintings, and colourful native clothing.

Otavalo itself lies in scenic northern Ecuador (Imbabura Province), surrounded by volcanoes, rivers, and lakes. For lodging, there wonderful local haciendas: centuries-old estates now converted into elegant hotels.

The Otavaleños are a very prosperous community of skilled textile weavers who gather to sell their products at the market in the city of Otavalo as they have done for centuries. Such regional markets have played an important role in Indian life, providing regular gathering places for trade and socializing. Today, increasing numbers of Otavaleños have also been traveling overseas to sell their handicrafts in Europe and North America. The Otavaleños are proud of their cultural heritage, hardworking people who have managed to overcome poverty without changing their way of life, their traditions, or their dress, while at the same time taking advantage of technological advances.

INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch
ACCOMODATION: Swissotel Quito
SERVICES: Guided Otavalo Market tour, in English

Day 4 – COCA – NAPO WILDLIFE CENTER

Just a 30-minute flight over the spectacular eastern Andes mountain range brings you to Coca and the beginning of this amazing experience. After landing, a 5-minute drive to the port in the Napo River will take you onto a comfortable covered motorboat. Here we start a boat ride along the Napo for approximately 2 hours. Look for aquatic birds and lush scenery on the way.

After arriving at Napo Wildlife Center’s welcoming area, we take a magical and peaceful 1-1/2 hour dugout canoe ride along a narrow creek that connects to the lake where the lodge is located.

There will be great chances to spot wildlife: various species of monkeys as well as large birds like toucans, parrots, and even macaws. You will arrive late afternoon at the lodge. After dinner a short introductory walk and cayman observation in a paddle canoe are the last activities before a well-deserved rest. Dinner at 7:30 p.m.

INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast, Box lunch, Dinner at the Center
ACCOMMODATION: Napo Wildlife Center
SERVICES: Transfer to Napo Wildlife Center

Day 5 – NAPO WILDLIFE CENTER

This morning we visit the best parrot clay licks in Ecuador!!!

An early start and paddle downstream on Añangu Creek will take us to the motorboat for a 10-minute ride for a wonderful view of thousands of parrots—mealy Amazon, blue-headed, and orange-cheeked, among others—landing on the earth to eat the clay.

Later, back to the welcome area and a short hike to the parakeets’ clay lick, where hundreds of cobalt-winged parakeets remain in the treetops searching for the best time to eat the salts, chemicals, and minerals contained in the organic matter. Lunch will be served in the welcome area.

In the afternoon, visit the interpretation area to see the traditions of the ancestral Kichwa community of Añangu and share a traditional ceremony with the shaman.

Back to the lodge, late in the afternoon, you’ll be welcomed back with refreshing fresh juice. Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m.

INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
ACCOMMODATION: Napo Wildlife Center
SERVICES: Guided tour

Day 6 – NAPO WILDLIFE CENTER

After a buffet breakfast, experience life above the forest floor as we visit the 36-meter canopy tower. This tower is located about 30 minutes from the lodge deep within the forest.

You will see many of the 567 species recorded so far, with a close look at colourful tanagers, macaws, toucans, flycatchers, and even spider or howler monkeys eating fruit in the nearby trees. The canopy tower opens a whole new world to the guests of the Napo Wildlife Center. Return to the lodge for a typical Ecuadorian lunch.

After lunch there are many options to choose from before you start the afternoon activity: swim in the lake with your guides, climb the dining room tree tower for more birds, or just relax in your hammock. In the afternoon, hike through a marvellous terra-firme forest to discover the ecology and the role of plants in the complex world of the tropical rain forest: vines, ancient trees, bromeliads, and orchids stand out in this impressive natural garden.

After the hike, explore the surrounding creeks with possibility of running into a giant otter family. Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m.

INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
ACCOMMODATION: Napo Wildlife Center
SERVICES: Guided tour

Day 7 – NAPO RIVER – COCA – QUITO

Early breakfast, and our last excursion canoeing back to the Napo River. As we paddle along the creek we’ll look for giant otters, saki monkeys, hoatzins, black-capped donacobius, and other birds. The motorized canoe will return you back to Coca for the flight back to Quito.

INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast
ACCOMMODATION: Swissotel Quito
SERVICES: Transfer out of the Napo Wildlife Center

Day 8 – THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

Baltra Airport

Our adventure begins with a morning flight to Baltra Island and immediate transfer to the dock to board the yacht La Pinta. There’s a welcome introductory briefing, boat drill, cabin assignment, and then lunch. We weigh anchor and start sailing for our first afternoon outing.

South Plaza Island

The turquoise waters of the channel here contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline, while a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus beyond, populated by yellow-grey land iguanas. Sea lion colonies abound along the coastline and sea birds soar in the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but spectacular island.

INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
ACCOMODATION: Yacht La Pinta
SERVICES: Transfer to the airport and to the yacht in Galapagos. Guided tour in English.

Day 9 – SANTA FE ISLAND – CERRO COLORADO TORTOISE HABITAT

Santa Fe Island

We take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed perched atop salt bushes. The Santa Fe land iguana, unique to just this island, may be spotted during the walk. Following the walk, we can snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier or ride the glass-bottom boat.

Cerro Colorado Tortoise Habitat

After lunch, we disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the island’s capital, and drive 40 minutes to the island’s southern shore. At Cerro Colorado we visit the breeding centre for highly endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest that is home to dozens of bird species, including the San Cristobal mockingbird and the San Cristobal lava lizard, both island endemics.

INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
ACCOMMODATION: Yacht La Pinta
SERVICES: Guided tour in English

Day 10 – PUNTA PITT (SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND) – CERRO BRUJO (SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND)

Punta Pitt (San Cristobal Island)

We land at the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island this morning. The trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline; we can observe frigatebirds plus a colony of raucous bachelor sea lions. After the walk, if conditions are favourable, there is a chance to swim from the beach and snorkel.

Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal Island)

In the afternoon following lunch on board, a dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers takes us to Cerro Brujo’s expansive white coral beach, great for walking, with rewarding bird-watching featuring seabirds and shore birds. Also, look out for Galapagos sea lions. These are the same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon back in September 1835.

INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
ACCOMODATION: Yacht La Pinta
SERVICES: Guided tour in English

Day 11 – ESPAÑOLA ISLAND

ESPAÑOLA ISLAND

Punta Suarez (Española Island)

Our morning outing at Punta Suarez provides an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including the waved albatrosses (April–January), boobies, swallow-tail gulls, mockingbirds, and the famous “blowhole.” Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas. Back on board for lunch.

Gardner Bay (Española Island)

In the afternoon, we set down at this beautiful white coral beach for a short walk to observe Galapagos sea lions, finches, and maybe a hawk, or just enjoy the beach. There is great snorkelling in this area, or else there’s time to kayak or enjoy the glass-bottom boat. The turquoise colour of the waters at this location will be a favourite one to photograph.

INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
ACCOMMODATION: Yacht La Pinta
SERVICES: Guided tour in English

Day 12 – CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION (SANTA CRUZ ISLAND)/BALTRA AIRPORT

Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)/Baltra Airport

Disembarking in the morning, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the captive rearing programme for the giant tortoises. Here we witness the efforts and results of Galapagos fieldwork and study done in the name of science. We transfer via bus across Santa Cruz Island and a short ferry ride to Baltra. Our journey ends at Baltra Island, where we transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. Baltra’s flat substrate (due to its uplifted origin) is the reason why the island was chosen back in the 1940s as the site for an airport.

INCLUDED MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch
ACCOMMODATION: Swissotel Quito
SERVICES: Guided tour in English

Day 13 – QUITO

QUITO – ECUADOR
FLY BACK HOME
END OF SERVICES


EXPEDITION INCLUSION/ EXCLUSIONS

WHAT IS INCLUDED

Hotel accommodations based on double occupancy
All transfers in and out of airports
Tours accompanied by an English speaking guide
Transportation: train, bus or others as specified in the itinerary
The meals as specified in the itinerary
Local flight to Napo Wildlife Center
All entrance fee to the places described in the itinerary
24 hours, 7-day week personalized assistance

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED

Visas
Local flight to the Galapagos islands
Entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park
Migration card for the Galapagos islands
Meals not specified in the itinerary
Alcoholic drinks
Luggage overweight
Travel insurance
International Flights
Tips and personal expenses


Options to add to your Expedition

Mashpi

The magical beauty of Mashpi can not compare with another place.

Located at 900 meters, (3,116 feet) above sea level between lower montane rainforest and cloud forests, only 3 hours (110Km) drive from Quito and you will be in this area surrounded by a profusion of plant species, from ferns and bromeliads to large numbers of orchid species, many newly-discovered.

A staggering 500 species of birds – including some 36 endemics – are estimated to inhabit the forest. Monkeys, peccaries and even puma make their homes inside the Reserve.

You can extent your stay in Ecuador adding 3 days/ 2 nights.

Contact us for more information.

Casa Gangotena Hotel

Casa Gangotena Quito Hotel is situated in a newly restored historic mansion overlooking Plaza San Francisco in the heart of the Old Town, the three-story Casa Gangotena harbours 31 rooms: a showcase of eye-catching style, contemporary design, antiques, furnishings, fine dining, modern technologies and quintessential comforts.

Beautifully and eclectically-appointed, the award-winning hotel invites its guests to explore and to relax, whether in the dining room, glassed-in patio, garden redolent with the perfume of native flowers, wood-panelled library, or else atop its panoramic third-floor terrace.

This Hotel is our favourite Hotel in Quito.

Contact us for more information or to include these options in your itinerary.