Ecuador & Galapagos Essential Tour
This wonderful accessible Ecuador and Galapagos adventure promises to take you on a journey through beautiful landscapes, colonial cities, indigenous cultures and of course wildlife. Straddling the equator – for which the country is named – the mainland is made up of Amazonian rainforest, mountainous highlands dotted with vibrant Andean villages, towns and tropical coastal plains, while sitting 620 miles off the coast are the Galapagos Islands considered one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife-viewing.
- *This tour requires a minimum of 2 people registered to guarantee departure
- The price is based on two people sharing a double room. Single rooms available - supplements apply.
- This tour runs throughout the year.
- Flights are not included, please contact our team to get a flight quote departing from any UK airport.
Quito is Ecuador’s capital built on the foundations of an ancient Incan city. It situated in the Andean foothills at an altitude of 2,850m. Quito’s well preserved colonial centre is a famous visitor attraction.
The Anzu is the perfect river if you want a fun and relaxing day floating through small rapids and relaxing pools in the midst of breathtaking rainforest.
Papallacta, a small village in Napo Province, is located at an altitude of 3,300 m in the Andes. It is situated just off the Eastern Cordilleras on the road from Quito that leads into the Amazon jungle.
The Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World City) is a tract of land owned by the prefecture of the province of Pichincha in Ecuador. It is located at San Antonio parish of the canton of Quito, 26 km north of the center of Quito. The grounds contain the Monument to the Equator, which highlights the exact location of the Equator (from which the country takes its name) and commemorates the eighteenth century Franco-Spanish Geodesic Mission which fixed its approximate location; they also contain the Museo Etnográfico Mitad del Mundo (Ethnographic Museum Middle of the Earth), a museum about the indigenous people’s ethnography of Ecuador.
The Galápagos Islands is a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. It’s considered one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife-viewing. A province of Ecuador, it lies about 1,000km off its coast.
One of the best spots for snorkeling, Kicker Rock or Leon Dormido is an amazing rock formation near San Cristobal Island. This amazing landmark located about an hour and a half to the north east of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Kicker Rock / Leon Dormido is a remnant of a vertical tuff cone formation, rising almost 153 meters (500 feet) from the ocean.
- Fully Accessible Tour
- Visit the Amazon Indigenous Community
- Learn indigenous dances, customs and traditions
- Rafting in the rainforest
- Visit to a Galapagos Islands
KEY: B | Breakfast; L | Lunch; D | Dinner
Day 1: Arrive in Quito
Depart from the UK on your flight to Quito. Upon arrival, take an accessible transfer to your hotel. Once settled in, you will enjoy dinner in Quito and have a briefing about the tour to prepare for the adventure ahead.
Day 2: Quito – Highlands – Baños | B, D
After breakfast you will be driven south towards Baños, journeying through the breathtaking scenery. You will pass through Cotopaxi National Park, which is dominated by the snow-capped Cotopaxi Volcano – one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. On the way you will stop at a rose farm plantation where you will learn the process of growing one of the finest roses in the world. Arrive at Baños de Agua Santa nested at the bottom of the Tungurahua active volcano. Transfer to your hotel where you will have leisure time to wander around and discover this unique town at your own pace.
Day 3: Baños | B, D
After breakfast you will visit the local market where you will have the opportunity to try local fruits and products. Continue with a cable car ride crossing the ravines of the Agoyán River, the tallest waterfall of the Ecuadorian Andes. Enjoy a spectacular view of the mountains and waterfall. After lunch you will be driven around Baños hailed as the countries adventure capital.
Day 4: Baños Highlands – Amazon | B, L, D
On day four you will drive deeper into the amazon basin of Ecuador, following the river ravine until you reach Tena city, nested in the amazon Napo province. Arrive to Huasquila Lodge. In the afternoon you will visit an indigenous community and have the chance to learn about their typical dances, customs and traditions. You will be taught how to prepare guayusa and make the famous chicha.
Day 5: Amazon – Rafting | B, L, D
We will start the day with a 1.5 hour drive to the Anzu River, perfect for fun and relaxation. Characterised by its warm waters the river is a delight for swimming and generally splashing about in the breathtaking rainforest. You will raft down the calm river, giving you the chance to admire the surrounding flora and fauna, truly one of the best ways to experience the magnificence of the Amazon. During the trip, you will have the opportunity to stop at several points of interest to take pictures and relax. Dinner and the rest of the evening are for relaxing and chatting at the lodge (play games, cards, etc.) while enjoying delicious tropical juice or wine.
Note: Even though the river is very calm, for safety reasons, we will raft down the river with a security kayaker at all times. Additionally, each traveller will wear a safety jacket, helmet, and all safety equipment. For the transfer in and out of the boat, we manually assist the guest by using a sliding board and/or manually lifting the guest into the boat.
Day 6: Amazon – Jungle Hike – Tena and Archidona | B, L, D
Off-roading! With the use of an off-road wheelchair, we will navigate through the secondary rainforest and learn about medicinal plants from a native guide. The path into the rainforest is maintained by the lodge and it includes stops along the way. If the weather allows it you will reach a small waterfall and one huge Ceibo tree to finish your hike. After lunch, you will visit the local towns of Archidona and Tena to share a typical afternoon with locals.
Day 7: Amazon – Papallacta – Quito | B, L
Today you will leave the tropical rainforest to enjoy a half-day in the Andes at one of the best thermal baths and spa in Ecuador. Here you can enjoy a chocolate bath or deep massage as well as the mineral healing volcanic pools. In the afternoon you will arrive in Quito where you will transfer to your hotel, have leisure time and dinner.
Day 8: Quito | B, L
In the morning you will discover Quito´s famous historical centre and admire its unique colonial architecture. You will visit one of the churches and several plazas from the Spanish era. In the afternoon you will visit the “Mitad del Mundo” meaning Middle of the World, here you will have the opportunity to get a photo straddling the line separating the northern and southern hemispheres. You will also have the opportunity to participate in different experiments in the interactive museum and have some time to wander around the central plaza to buy local souvenirs or enjoy a cup of coffee.
Day 9: Quito – San Cristobal – Loberia | B, L, D
Today you will visit one of the Galapagos Islands. Fly from Quito to San Cristobal Island (approx. 2 hrs, flight not included). Upon arrival take an accessible transfer to your hotel and once settled you will have lunch and a briefing of the tour. In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to snorkel at Lobería Beach. Visit a sea lion colony and look out for pelicans, other sea birds, sea iguanas and sea turtles.
Day 10: Giant tortoise – Highlands – Kayak | B, L, D
After breakfast you will visit Cristobal´s Giant Tortoise breeding centre. This is a great photo opportunity as you will see the famous turtles, but also have a short stop at El Junco Lake in the highlands of the island where you see some frigate birds and enjoy the beautiful views. In the afternoon you have the opportunity to go kayaking around the bay to see more birds and sea lions.
Day 11: Kicker Rock – Interpretation Center – Tijeretas | B, L, D
After breakfast you will make a boat ride of aprox. 45 minutes to a natural volcanic formation and have the chance to snorkel with rays, sea turtles and hopefully hammer head sharks. It is also a great opportunity to see blue-footed boobies, gulls and frigate birds. In the afternoon after a good rest you will visit the San Cristobal Interpretation Centre to learn a bit about its history, present and challenges for the future. You will visit Tijeretas Hill, also known as Frigatebird Hill, a lookout point located on San Cristobal Island, with views of Kicker Rock to the west and Shipwreck Bay to the south. At the base of Tijeretas Hill, there is a small cove perfect for swimming and snorkeling, a usual place for seeing sea lions and tropical fish.
Day 12: Playa Man – Quito | B
After breakfast, we will have a last chance to enjoy the beach before we catch our flight to Quito to connect with the international flight out.
- Accommodation as specified.
- Meals specified in the program.
- Wheelchair assistance in San Cristobal – Galapagos and Amazon plus off-road.
- Wheelchair for specific activities on every accessible wheelchair tour.
- Wheelchair transportation to all locations where needed.
- Private adapted transfers with portable ramps for airport – hotel – airport.
- Ground transportation for all tours.
- All the accessible wheelchair tours with entrance fees where needed.
- Certified bilingual guide at all activities (Spanish – English).
What's Not Included
- National park entrance fees (100 USD entrance Fee National Park Galapagos, 20 USD Ingala, only cash payment possible at site).
- National and international tickets (Approximate airfare cost Quito – San Cristobal – Quito 500 USD, depending on travel dates). We can organise it for you.
- Travel insurance (mandatory by Ecuadorian law).
- Drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic).
- Tips if considered appropriate.
- Laundry and similar services at hotels.
- We can help organise all of your fight elements for this tour, please contact our team to obtain a quote.
- Our travel consultants can also arrange free airport assistance for you should you require it. We will advise airports and airlines in advance of any special requirements you may have, as well as any equipment you may wish to take abroad.
- Airport lounges are also available to book so as to avoid the queues and relax in comfort before your flight. For more information and costs please contact a member of our team.
To join this tour, a valid passport is required (valid for the number of months needed for the country you are traveling to).
Please check with your GP or Nurse Practitioner about any necessary vaccinations or medications you will need to travel to this country.
Some countries will require a visa to enter and you can check this at https://www.gov.uk>foreign-travel
This is a group tour. We reserve the right to cancel this holiday if the minimum number of persons required is not reached until 12 weeks prior to departure. In this event we will re- pay to you the monies paid in full.
A JOURNEY THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY
Discover Ecuador on a photography tour