24 days,Quito to Quito

Cruise and swim the Galápagos Islands for eight days by yacht, searching for land iguanas in the cactus forests of South Plaza, snorkelling with rays and sea lions at the dramatic Kicker Rock, soak in hot springs, feel like a local on a Quichua homestay, encounter wildlife in the Amazon, shop at the Otavalo Market.

Experience the wildlife of the Galápagos and the diversity of the Amazon on this ultimate Ecuadorean adventure. Get to know Ecuador inside out—from the Andes to the Islands and miss nothing in between. Explore the jungle by canoe and stay with a local Quichua family. Scour the indigenous handicraft market at Otavalo for special treasures before flying to the Galápagos to spend a week exploring the islands aboard Xavier. Our exclusively operated fleet of yachts offers great value—there’s no better way to explore the region.

What's Included

  • Papallacta Hot Springs stay. Amazon Jungle homestay (2 nts). Amazon Jungle lodge stay with guided walks and wildlife-spotting (2 nts). Baños stay. Ingapirca ruins stop. Historic hacienda overnight stay. Otavalo visit. Seven nights in the Galápagos Islands. Incredible wildlife encounters. Daily opportunities for swimming and snorkelling. Snorkelling equipment onboard Galápagos yacht. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
  • 23 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners. (Allow USD285-375 for meals not included. Drinks and tips while on the yacht are extra. You must pay a USD10 Tourist Transit Card fee at the Quito airport and a USD100 (cash) Galápagos Park entry fee immediately upon arrival to the Islands (subject to increase).)
  • Hotels (10 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts), simple village cabañas (2 nts, multi-share), historic mountain hacienda (2 nts), twin-share cabin on board the motorized yacht (7 nts).
  • Public bus, plane, taxis, motorized canoe, private van, 4x4 vehicles, pickup truck, motorized yacht, panga.
  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) from Days 1-15, local guides, local naturalist guide (certified by the Galápagos National Park), local representative in Quito.
  • Small group experience; Max 16, Avg 10
Day 1 Quito

Arrive at any time.

Day 2 Papallacta Hot Springs (1B)

Travel by public bus to Papallacta Hot Springs and opt for a relaxing afternoon at the hot springs.

Days 3-4 Amazon Homestay (2B,2L,2D)

Travel by bus into the Amazon Jungle. Spend two nights with a local Quichua family at a homestay in a small village. Enjoy hiking to nearby waterfalls and cooking lessons.

Days 5-6 Jungle Lodge (2B,2L,2D)

Journey further into the Amazon to a jungle lodge. Included guided walks and canoe rides to learn about the natural history and to spot wildlife. Optional whitewater rafting excursion on the Napo River.

Days 7-8 Baños (2B)

Continue by bus to Baños. Numerous outdoor optional activities available like hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking or soaking in the hot springs.

Days 9-10 Cuenca (2B)

Private transfer south to the colonial city of Cuenca. Stop at Ingapirca ruins, the largest and best preserved archaeological site in Ecuador. Enjoy an included city tour. Optional day trips to Cajas National Park.

Days 11-12 Otavalo (2B)

Fly to Quito and drive to Otavalo. Visit the famous handicrafts market and the surrounding area.

Days 13-14 Cayambe (2B)

Travel to Cayambe and spend two nights in a 400-year-old hacienda at the base of volcano. Opt to visit Cuicocha and Cotacachi.

Day 15 Quito (1B)

Travel back to Quito and spend free time in the city before an informational meeting about the Galápagos itinerary in the evening.

Day 16 San Cristóbal (1B,1L,1D)

Transfer to the airport for the flight to the Galápagos Islands. Upon arrival meet the naturalist guide, and travel to the yacht, the Xavier. In the afternoon visit El Junco Lagoon to see the diverse vegetation surrounding the largest freshwater lagoon in the islands.

Day 17 Punta Pitt/Kicker Rock (1B,1L,1D)

Land in the morning at Punta Pitt, viewing a group of eroded volcanic cones. Here, observe different types of lava floes as well as colourful vegetation. Kicker Rock is a short distance away and an incredible snorkelling spot. it is home to a diverse set of marine life due to the nutrient-rich water.

Day 18 Isla Santiago (1B,1L,1D)

Morning excursion to Playa Espumilla, one of the most idyllic beaches in the Galápagos islands. Thick mangroves and flamingo and sea turtle nesting sites add to the charm. Continue to Buccaneer Cove to check out the towering cliff wall rock formations.

Day 19 Santa Cruz (1B,1L,1D)

In the morning, after to Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island. In the afternoon. there may be an opportunity to visit the highlands and see giant land tortoises in the wild.

Day 20 Chinese Hat/Black Turtle Cove (1B,1L,1D)

In the morning, arrive to a small island off the southern tip of Santiago called Chinese Hat, for its unique shape. Here it is often possible to see Galápagos penguins. The marine life here makes for fantastic snorkelling. In the afternoon, travel by "panga" to Black Turtle Cove to explore the extensive mangrove system and canals.

Day 21 Cerro Dragón/Daphne (1B,1L,1D)

In the morning visit Cerro Dragón, on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island. Visit with land iguanas and a salt water lagoon frequented by flamingoes and other species of birds. In the afternoon, visit Daphne Island. Here, there is abundant birdlife including a number of finch species, masked boobies, Galápagos martins and frigate birds.

Day 22 South Plaza/Santa Fé (1B,1L,1D)

Set sail and reach South Plaza Island in the morning. Walk through a cactus forest and see the diverse vegetation here. In the afternoon, explore Santa Fé Island. Santa Fé Island is well-known as a great place for watching (and swimming with) sea lions.

Day 23 San Cristóbal/Quito (1B)

Reach San Cristóbal in the morning. Disembark after breakfast then visit the Interpretation Centre. After, transfer to the airport for the flight to Quito. Transfer to hotel and enjoy one last night on the town.

Day 24 Quito (1B)

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