Explore the best of Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands on this exciting and cultural adventure-packed 12-night journey, where our expert guides will show you iconic landscapes and a few hidden gems along the way. Begin your Ecuadorian adventure in the country’s colonial capital Quito, by staying at the historic Casa Gangotena, located right in the heart of this UNESCO-class city. Next, you’ll become a true explorer as you delve deep into the tropical Amazon rainforest, then, out of the jungle, we’ll lead you up to the rustic Hacienda Zuleta, peacefully sat atop the awe-inspiring Andes. Finally, we’ve organised for you to jump on board a luxury yacht, where you’ll wind through the beautiful, blue coves of the Galápagos Islands and observe some of the world’s most exotic wildlife.
Where better to start your Ecuadorian adventure than in the capital Quito, where for two nights you’ll rest up in luxury at the elegant mansion-turned-hotel – the Casa Gangotena. Centrally located 40 minutes from the airport, the Casa Gangotena overlooks the grand Plaza de San Francisco. A former Inca settlement bordered by Andean volcanoes, Quito is steeped in culture, and thanks to being so perfectly preserved, its old, bustling town centre earned its status as one of the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so take a step back in time as you amble around its charming, cobbled streets on our captivating city tour. From age-old churches and plazas to fascinating museums and galleries, you’ll be amazed by this city’s rich colonial heritage, and having planned for you to meet the local artists, you’ll be equally amazed by the range of colourful and contemporary art paintings. Since Ecuador is famous for its chocolate production, we’ve also arranged for you to try your hand at some chocolate making and testing as you go. Before you brave the jungle, you’ll taste the true flavour of Ecuador as you learn to cook up an assortment of authentic local dishes at the Zazu restaurant.Read more
Down in the Amazon
From the city, we’ll whisk you deep into the jungle for an unforgettable three-night experience. At just over three hours’ drive from Quito, a plane will be waiting for you at the Shell Mera airfield to take you a scenic 45 minutes east over lush, forest wilderness. Spend the next few days trekking ancient waterfall trails and spotting rare rainforest wildlife in a natural paradise unlike any other. Completely immersed in pristine nature, you’ll be enraptured by this magical jungle realm before you make your passage high into the Andes.
Up in the Andes
After a short half an hour flight from Coca to Quito, followed by a two-hour private transfer north to the beautiful, town of Otavalo, you’ll rest up for two nights at the Hacienda Zuleta. An old 16th century working farm with a unique and spectacular view over the enchanting Andean Mountains, the colonial, yet cosy Hacienda is crammed with rustic culture, boasting both a longstanding Pre-Inca, and later cowboy heritage. We’ve prepared a local archaeologist and novelist to accompany you through the ancient Pre-Incan ruins so you’ll gain a fuller picture of the region’s rich past. Beyond its incredible history, the Hacienda also offers a wide range of activities within its superb, Latin landscape, where your scope for outdoor leisure is seemingly endless, from its trekking and horse-riding to its cycling and sewing. Having horse-ridden down the valley to visit the Hacienda’s own Andean condor rehabilitation aviary, lounge on the courtyard and experience the wonder of traditional Ecuadorian cuisine. Sample some of their delicious local cheese or lunch on freshly caught rainbow trout, complimented with their organic garden vegetables. A step away from the Hacienda, we’ll ensure you visit the mountain town of Otavalo, where you’ll saunter its old streets and be charmed by its markets and artists – don’t forget to buy your authentic, souvenir poncho. After this culture pocket, we’ll drive you two hours back to Quito before your flight to the Galápagos Islands.
Your Galápagos Island Getaway
For your last chapter, a swift two-hour flight will take you west over the Pacific Ocean into Baltra Island airport in the stunning, seldom-seen Galápagos Island archipelago. From there, you’ll hole up for five nights aboard a luxury yacht, giving you plenty of time to both unwind on deck as well as explore one of the Pacific’s most treasured gems. From your first island stop to your last, you’ll meander through the Galápagos’ coves and bays, where you’ll be enthralled by the beautiful volcanic island scenery, and even more so by the locals. Abundant in flora and fauna, and where Darwin’s theory of evolution found inspiration, the Galápagos Islands are bursting with wildlife, from their Giant tortoises and diverse bird species to their wide and exotic sea life – you can even grab a chance to snorkel with sea lions. Having travelled the most part of the Galápagos puzzle, we’ll fly you under two hours to Guayaquil in mainland Ecuador before you embark on your journey home.