Welcome to South America

The scenery and biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands, combined with the culture and heritage of Ecuador, comes together to create one of the most fascinating and enchanting areas of the world. We’ll begin our tour of natural discovery in the capital of Ecuador, Quito, known for its Spanish colonial centre. From here we’ll travel into the Andean Mountain Ranges, through local villages and exploring plantations. Our journey will take us to the breathtaking coastal city of Guayaquil where we’ll then fly to the other-worldly Galapagos Islands of Santa Cruz and Isabela. Considered a living natural museum and a showcase of evolution, Darwin famously realised his theory of evolution here in 1835 and solidified the region as one of the best places on the planet to witness nature undisturbed.

Tour Highlights

  • Venture around the amazing city of Quito and The Middle of the World
  • Immerse yourself in the culture of the beautiful city of Otavalo
  • Submerge yourself in the relaxing thermal hot springs in Papallacta
  • Explore the megadiversity of the Galapagos Islands
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  • Dates & Prices

    The prices shown below include return flights from a specified UK airport. If you are travelling from outside of the UK, please .

    June 5 - June 20, 2020 (16 days)


    Standard Blind Price: £5999 Book Now

    Discounted Sighted Price: £4799 Book Now

    The prices shown below are for non-UK travellers and do not include return flights and transfers. If you are travelling from within the UK, please .

    Standard Blind Price: 5399 GBP Book Now

    Discounted Sighted Price: 4199 GBP Book Now

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    A sunset over the waters in Galapagos. The sky is ablaze with blues and oranges colours
  • Two Giant Tortoises face towards the camera

    What's Included

    • Flights and transfers from the UK (UK prices only)
    • Internal flights
    • 5 nights’ hotel accommodation at Reina Isabel Hotel in Quito
    • 1 night hotel accommodation at Quindeloma Hotel in Riobamba
    • 1 night accommodation at Victoria Hotel in Cuenca
    • 1 night accommodation at Unipark Hotel in Guayaquil
    • 4 nights’ accommodation at Deva Vu Hotel in Santa Cruz
    • 2 nights’ accommodation at Cally Lodge in Isabela Island
    • All breakfasts, 13 lunches and 14 dinners
    • Specified excursions
    • Services of local guides
    • Services of a Traveleyes tour manager
  • Excursions

    • Quito Tour
    • Middle of the World Visit
    • Cacao and Quesadilla Making
    • Otavalo Tour
    • Rose Farm Tour
    • Bizochos factory
    • Cajas National Park Visit
    • Los Gemelos Visit
    • Isabela Island Lagoon and Trails tour
    • Tortuga Bay Visit and Walk
    • Andean instrumental house visit
    • Termas de Papallacta spa visit
    • Mindo Cloud Forest Visit and Zip-lining experience
    • Chimborazo National Park Visit
    • Devil’s Nose Train Ride and Ingaprica ruins Visit
    • Cacao and Mango Hacienda Visit
    • Charles Darwin Research Centre Visit
    • Sierra Negra Volcano Hike and Concha y Perla Visit
    • Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre Visit
    • Galapagos Sail Tour
    A view of the square of Quite, where the Spanish colonial influences can be seen

Below is the itinerary for the holiday. Please click each day for more information.

Friday 5th June

Today we shall depart for our flight to Ecuador and our travels begin! Upon arrival into Quito, Ecuador, we’ll transfer to our hotel and settle in before enjoying a dinner together in a local restaurant.

Dinner included. Overnight in Quito.

Saturday 6th June

We’ll begin our exploration of this fascinating city today as we embark on a tour of Quito’s historic centre, joined by our local guide and a vision impaired guide from Quito’s local organisation ‘Quito con Sentidos’. We’ll visit San Francisco Square, where indigenous merchants from Tigua sell their paintings, the Plaza de la Independencia, Quito’s main square, to learn about the Metropolitan Cathedral with its striking historical tower, the Presidential palace and many other fascinating sites. After our city tour, we’ll head to ‘The Middle of the World’, a wide promenade that leads to the famous equatorial monument of Mitad del Mundo. Here you can also find exhibitions, souvenir shops, and sometimes can witness traditional dance performances.

This afternoon, we’ll delve into the flavours of Ecuador as we get the chance to create our own chocolate using fresh Ecuadorian cacao, and a delicious quesadilla – of which we will, of course, get to enjoy later on! Later, we’ll travel back to Quito for the evening.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Quito.

Sunday 7th June

After breakfast we’ll head out for our full day exploration of Ecuador, venturing to the charming countryside around Otavalo. We’ll pass by the impressive Imbabura Volcano, adorned as the holy father mountain by the Kichwa people and the Cuicocha crater lake that rests in the valley. As a result of the varied and fertile lands in this area, the local villages traditionally have specialised in agriculture, weaving, embroidery and woodcarving. We’ll explore a rose farm this morning, where we will be surrounded by the exquisite aroma of Ecuadorian roses which are used as a specialist ingredient in things such aschocolate!

We’ll continue our journey today, as we visit a Bizochos factory, where we will be able to sample local sweet treats typical of the area, such as ice cream and biscuits. After our delicious stop, we will travel to Otavalo Peguche Wuasi where we’ll discover everything there is to know about the art of hand weaving, a skill that plays a pivotal role in the lives of many who live here. Finally, we’ll end our day of discovery at the Andean instrumental house, where we’ll participate in a workshop allowing us to uncover the incredible music created by Andean instruments!

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Quito.

Monday 8th June

We’ll once again travel from Quito today as we journey to Papallacta, where we are in for a relaxing treat at the spas! Here we’ll be greeted by first-class facilities, including thermo pools and whirlpools. People travel all across Ecuador to bask in the glorious waters, said to have restorative powers, and surrounded by stunning landscapes, it is the perfect spot to take a break. After spending some time exploring the various pools, we’ll transfer back to Quito for the evening.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Quito.

Tuesday 9th June

Depart for Mindo Cloud Forest today, a pint-sized pueblo (town) nestled in between forested mountains. Here we’ll explore the quaint, yet bustling town and discover why it’s become such a firm favourite with travellers. From aromatic coffees, to chocolates that dazzle the taste buds, Mindo is nothing short of a sensual sensation. Here we’ll have the option to zip-line through the magnificent forest, taking in the incredible landscape and enjoying the sensation of gliding through the air.

After our adrenaline fuelled activity, we’ll stop for a sweet treat, as we create our very own chocolate bars! This afternoon we will transfer back to Quito for the evening.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Quito.

Wednesday 10th June

Today we make our way from Quito to Riobamba, visiting the wonderful Chimborazo National Park, located on the slopes of the highest mountain in Ecuador and is frequented year-round by adventurous travellers! We’ll discover the natural beauty to be found, the abundance of fauna and flora and the wildlife that call this place home. We’ll then continue our journey until we arrive at our base for the night in Riobamba, where we’ll enjoy another sumptuous dinner.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Riobamba.

Thursday 11th June

Following breakfast, we depart for another day of exciting exploration. Our journey begins in Alausi, a picturesque town filled with cobblestoned streets and traditional buildings. Here we’ll board the famous Nariz del Diable train, to travel along the ‘Devil’s Nose’. This renowned railroad was built to overcome the difficulties of travelling through this mountainous area, resulting in a zigzagged rail line with steep ascents and descents. Even to this day it’s considered an impressive feat of engineering and a must-do in Ecuador!  Along the way we’ll pass incredible scenery, enjoying views of the narrow gorge of River Chanchan, and discover the traditions of the Puruhas in Sibambe.

After our dizzying journey, we’ll travel to the Ingaprica Ruins, Ecuador’s best preserved Colombian ruins that stand proudly atop a hill, overlooking the rolling countryside. The exact use of the ruins is not truly understood and has been debated for years by historians and alike! We’ll enjoy an excursion through the ruins and discover some of the myths and stories around them.

Later, we’ll continue to our hotel in Cuenca for the night.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Cuenca.

Friday 12th June

Today we start to make our way to the beautiful coastal city of Guayaquil, making a few stops on the way! First we’ll visit Cajas National Park, situated in the western Andean Range. A scenic mountain road winds up to its highest pass: Loma de Tres Cruces, where we’ll be greeted by unparalleled views over the moorlands and the western slopes. We’ll also have the opportunity to take a walk around the park.

Our travels continue as we head to the cacao and mango plantation, where cacao, rice, mangoes, papayas and much more produce is cultivated!

Tonight, we’ll arrive into Guayaquil where we’ll enjoy a dinner together.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Guayaquil.

Saturday 13th June

This morning we’ll head to the airport where we’ll transfer to the Galapagos! Upon arrival there will be the local, compulsory entrance and transit card fees ($120, not included). We’ll then travel through the highlands of Santa Cruz to Los Gemelos. As we travel through the highlands, we’ll stop off en route to areas where the Galapagos giant tortoises are often gathered, in the hope we can spot some! We’ll then visit Los Gemelos, ‘Twin Craters’, sink holes created by the volcanic roof of empty magma chambers collapsing over time. The surrounding landscape is different to that found on other parts of the island due to the change in climate, surrounded by scalesia forests. This unusual climate has attracted a plethora of wildlife and unusual fauna.

Before we venture to our hotel for the night, we’ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. Founded in 1964, the centre works on conservation, restoration and sustainable development projects that work towards maintaining the natural wildlife and landscapes of the Galapagos.

 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Santa Cruz.

Sunday 14th June

Today we’ll head to another spot in the Galapagos, Isabela Island, the largest of all the islands. Here we’ll discover more of the beauty to be found on the islands, as we walk around lagoons and trails. Isabela is home to an abundance of wildlife, including pink flamingos! We’ll follow a trail that was designed to create a fascinating walk through nature, whilst still preserving the environment!

Later travel to our hotel for the reminder of the day.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight on Isabela Island.

Monday 15th June

Today we’ll have the opportunity to venture out to one of the most magnificent sites in Galapagos: The Sierra Negra Volcano; the third highest volcano on Isabela and the fifth highest in the Galapagos. We’ll embark on a half-day hike through the cloud forests up to a viewpoint, where we’ll be greeted by impressive views down the caldera.

After our hike, there’ll be the chance to cool off in the crystal-clear waters of the Galapagos at Concha y Perla, a shallow bay with calm and transparent waters. Here we can observe the fascinating Galapagos marine fauna, relax in the cooling waters and maybe even spot sea lions and penguins!

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight on Isabela Island.

 

Tuesday 16th June

We’ll travel to a local Tortoise Breeding Centre today, home to the Giant Galapagos Tortoise! After a huge fire in 1995 caused mass destruction on Southern Isabela, threatening the tortoise’s habitats, the centre was created to help rebuild the sub-populations. The centre had around 69 breeding adults, and sees around 250 young every single year. Included in this is the endangered Cerro Azul tortoise and the critically endangered Sierra Negra tortoise. We’ll discover the incredible work done here and the importance of the centre, and depending on luck, we may even see a hatchling!

This afternoon we’ll travel back to Santa Cruz.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Santa Cruz.

Wednesday 17th June

Today we’ll set sail to discover some of the surrounding islets off the coast of Santa Cruz. Depending on weather and conditions, we will either visit Bartolome, Seymour, Plazas or Sante Fe. Each boasts its own endearing qualities, wildlife, and outstanding beauty.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Santa Cruz.

Thursday 18th June

This morning we’ll head out to discover Tortuga Bay, earning its name from the black turtles that can often be found resting on the sand. Located in the southern part of Santa Cruz, the bay offers perfect white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Today, we’ll walk 45 minutes along a path between Opuntia cactus forests before arriving at the beach, where we’ll have time to relax on the soft sands, dip in the revitalising water and bask in the natural beauty of this part of the world.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Santa Cruz.

 

Friday 19th June

This morning we’ll transfer to the airport where we’ll fly back to mainland Ecuador. Our flight back to the UK departs later this evening.

Breakfast included.

 

Saturday 20th June

For those on the group flights, we arrive back into the UK today and bid farewell to the group!

Single supplement – £730

Please note at the time of publication UK passport holders do not need visas to enter Ecuador for under 90 days.

Upon arrival into the Galapagos, travellers must pay $120 transit and entrance fees (not included). Fees subject to change by the local government.

Hotel rooms in Ecuador and Galapagos are often oversubscribed by local tour operators and therefore are subject to change