Mainland Ecuador & Galapagos Cruise

Ecuador Wonders Is a tour operator registered in October 2010 and began the activities since February 2011.piqueros Our main office is located in the north of the city of Quito, capital of Ecuador. Our team is highly qualified in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, all of them are professionals in the Tourism Industry with years of experiences.

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ITINERARY

Day 1: Tuesday. Quito

Arrival at Mariscal Sucre Airport, Quito. Transfer to Plaza Grande Hotel.

Adorning the Independence Square is located The Hotel Plaza Grande. With more than five centuries of history; during the Spanish founding of Quito, the lot where the house sits was given to the famous conqueror Francisco Pizarro, it was the first house to be built during the foundation of the city in the XVI century, later inhabited by the wealthiest and more recognized families of the city, in the early XX century, was the first luxury hotel in the city. From the beginning, this legendary building broke white the homogeneity of the surrounding colonial houses, and today is set apart because unique location in the historic heart of Quito’s main square – The Plaza Grande – boasting impressive views of the Government Palace, the Cathedral Church, and City Hall, as well as the Panecillo Hill in the distance.

Accommodation: Plaza Grande Hotel 

Check in – 14:00

Day 2-6: Wednesday-Sunday. Quito-Coca-Quito

Breakfast.  Transfer to the airport.

Travel on board the M/V AnakondaStandard Suite

Flight to Coca.

Itinerary 5days/4nights

Day 2: Wednesday
Quito – Coca – Napo River
Departure from Quito. A short 30-minute flight takes us to the frontier town of Coca (Francisco de Orellana) – and transfer to the dock, where we will embark on a motorized canoe and navigate down river about 1 hour, to board the M/V ANAKONDA AMAZON CRUISE. Throughout the journey we have a chance to admire the rainforest landscape and banks of the great Napo River.

Immediately after boarding the M/V Anakonda, we continue navigating downstream. Passengers will have their first opportunities to enjoy the exciting features of our cruise ship: the spacious social areas, comfortable suites, and an observation deck that offers spectacular views. An evening walk is organized after sunset; it gives us the opportunity to discover the forest’s nocturnal activity and listen to the incessant sounds of nature.

Day 3: Thursday
Border with Peru (The Heart Of Yasuni)
After a delicious breakfast, we disembark on land for our first daylight close-and-personal tropical rainforest experience, where we will learn about the relationship between plants and animals while closely watching out for samples of Amazonia’s fascinating biodiversity at every turn.

After lunch, the M/V Anakonda navigates to one of the most pristine and little explored sections of Ecuadorian Amazonia, home to the legendary pink river dolphin, black caiman and anaconda. We may also find river turtles and various species of monkeys, as well as the primitive Hoatzin, a one-of-a-kind bird locally known as “the Stinky Turkey”. The only way to actually visit this flooded ecosystem is by canoe, a ride that will reveal the beauty of a lush jungle world.

For our more adventurous passengers, please inquire about our glamping program.

Day 4: Friday
Meeting the Community – Activities on board – Island Exploration
Breakfast on board. We visit a school located on the banks of the Napo River, where we will have the opportunity to interact with children of the area and learn about the educational system of a remote jungle community in Ecuador.

We return on board the M/V Anakonda for lunch and a moment to relax while we navigate upstream. We will offer a lecture and documentary screening, and if time permits, learn about (and make) typical handicrafts of the area. In the afternoon, we explore one of the largest river islands of the Napo River.

Day 5: Saturday
Observation Tower – Limoncocha Biological Reserva
In the morning after breakfast, visit an observation tower 100-feet high, built against a giant kapok tree. From the top of the tower, we will be blessed with this unique perspective of the forest, looming over the treetops and the greatness of the Amazon Basin.

In the afternoon, we visit Limoncocha Biological Reserve, a fascinating protected area where more than 478 bird species and several monkey species have been recorded. This activity will extend into the evening, when we will have a chance to spot black caiman with the help of our flashlights. Return to the M/V Anakonda for dinner.

Day 6: Sunday
Return
In the morning, disembark the M/V Anakonda and transfer by motorized canoe to Coca (1-hour ride); flight to Quito.

Transfer to the hotel

Dinner at  La Belle Epoque Restaurant.

Accommodation: Plaza Grande Hotel  5 *, Royal Suite

(Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 7-11: Monday-Friday. Quito-Galapagos Islands-Quito- Papallacta

Breakfast. Transfer to the airport.

Cruise on board M/C Petrel

Flight to Galapagos.

Itinerary 5days/4nights

Day 7: Monday
AM: Arrival to Baltra Airport with transfer to M/C Petrel

Welcome to the Galapagos Islands aboard the M/C Petrel. The guide and crew will greet you and show you to your accommodations upon your arrival. Afterwards, the guide and cruise manager will hold a short briefing on all safety and emergency protocols, different areas of the vessel and the normal routine of the itinerary. The highlands of Santa Cruz are interesting due to the rich wildlife, hills, ferns, extinct volcanoes and lava tubes present. Throughout the highlands you can see the different agricultural zones where farmers plant a wide variety of fruits and coffee thanks to the rich volcanic soils. This area is great to spot wild giant tortoises and birds.

PM: Santa Cruz – Highlands

The highlands of Santa Cruz are interesting due to the rich wildlife, hills, ferns, extinct volcanoes and lava tubes present. Throughout the highlands you can see the different agricultural zones where farmers plant a wide variety of fruits and coffee thanks to the rich volcanic soils. This area is great to spot wild giant tortoises and birds.

(Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 8: Tuesday
AM: Santiago Island – Sullivan Bay

This is actually the second island that was visited by Charles Darwin.  It was originally named after James II, England’s King.  The island was a source of salt, water, and food for whalers passing by.  A salt mine was eventually created and it was used for salting fish and tortoise meat for future voyages.  Land iguanas once populated the island but they are now extinct.  We know this from Darwin’s personal notes talking about how there was no place to walk without stepping on iguanas or how they couldn’t even pitch a tent from the incredible amount of iguanas there was once.

PM: Bartholomew – Pinnacle Rock

Pinnacle Rock is a volcanic cone formed by magma expelled by an underwater volcano. The sea cooled the hot lava and as it exploded from contact, the pieces formed together this huge rock of many, many layers of basalt. The huge rock also has a beach where a small population of green sea turtles will nest during breeding season. Galapagos penguins gather here and swimming can offer beautiful sights of colorful schools of fish and curious sea lions.

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9: Wednesday
AM: Genovesa Island – Darwin Bay

Darwin Bay used to be a shield volcano, now you can see where one of the sides of its caldera collapsed after hundreds of years of erosion.  It is known for the wide variety of birds that can be seen.  Over 20,000 red-footed boobies are estimated to call this island home within the trees and bushes of Genovesa Island.

PM: Genovesa Island – El Barranco

In English. this visitor site is also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps.  It leads to a rocky path up a cliff that rewards guests with a remarkable view.  It is also home to a Palo Santo forest that is home to the nesting red-footed boobies and other shorebirds.

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10: Thursday
AM: Santiago Island – Egas Port

Egas port is also known as James Bay, home to quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. There are grottos and tide pools housing all kinds of different marine species. This is also one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos.

PM: Santiago Island – Espumilla Beach / Buccaneer Cove

As the second Island Charles Darwin discovered, it was originally named after King James of England.  Buccaneer Cove is an excellent opportunity for snorkeling and was once a refuge for passing sailors and pirates.  The underwater formations provide an amazing home for the many different tropical species of fish that can be found here.

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11: Friday
AM: Carrión Point

There is no place to land here, which means that the visitor site consists of a panga ride and/or snorkeling.  It is a sheltered lagoon with beautiful turquoise waters on the northern coast of Santa Cruz at the entrance of the Itabaca Channel.

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Quito.

Arrival to Quito.  Transfer to Papallacta Spa

Papallacta is famous for its hot springs,. Papallacta is a small village in Ecuador located at an altitude of 3,300 m in the Andes just off the Eastern Cordilleras on the road from Quito which leads into the Amazon jungle. Descending from the peak to Papallacta, one passes through the portal where the ecosystems transform from alpine to tropical jungle.

There are three important reasons to visit “Termas de Papallacta”: Health, recreation & relaxation.  The thermal baths are located on the banks of the Papallacta River in a unique natural environment; here we can find nine hot thermal pools and three cold water pools. The source temperature of the thermal baths varies between 30°C and 70°C (86°F and 158°F). At the pools the temperature ranges from 36°C to 40°C (97°F to 104°F).

Papallacta´s thermal waters contain sulfates, sodium, calcium, chloride and traces of magnesium which are odorless, colorless but have a slightly salty taste. The baths’ curative properties are anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and anti-rheumatic.

Accommodation: Termas de Papallacta 4*, Suite

(Breakfast)

Day 12: Saturday. Papallacta Hot Springs - Cotopaxi National Park

Breakfast. Transfer to the airport.

Cruise on board M/C Petrel

Flight to Galapagos.

Itinerary 5days/4nights

Day 7: Monday
AM: Arrival to Baltra Airport with transfer to M/C Petrel

Welcome to the Galapagos Islands aboard the M/C Petrel. The guide and crew will greet you and show you to your accommodations upon your arrival. Afterwards, the guide and cruise manager will hold a short briefing on all safety and emergency protocols, different areas of the vessel and the normal routine of the itinerary. The highlands of Santa Cruz are interesting due to the rich wildlife, hills, ferns, extinct volcanoes and lava tubes present. Throughout the highlands you can see the different agricultural zones where farmers plant a wide variety of fruits and coffee thanks to the rich volcanic soils. This area is great to spot wild giant tortoises and birds.

PM: Santa Cruz – Highlands

The highlands of Santa Cruz are interesting due to the rich wildlife, hills, ferns, extinct volcanoes and lava tubes present. Throughout the highlands you can see the different agricultural zones where farmers plant a wide variety of fruits and coffee thanks to the rich volcanic soils. This area is great to spot wild giant tortoises and birds.

(Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 8: Tuesday
AM: Santiago Island – Sullivan Bay

This is actually the second island that was visited by Charles Darwin.  It was originally named after James II, England’s King.  The island was a source of salt, water, and food for whalers passing by.  A salt mine was eventually created and it was used for salting fish and tortoise meat for future voyages.  Land iguanas once populated the island but they are now extinct.  We know this from Darwin’s personal notes talking about how there was no place to walk without stepping on iguanas or how they couldn’t even pitch a tent from the incredible amount of iguanas there was once.

PM: Bartholomew – Pinnacle Rock

Pinnacle Rock is a volcanic cone formed by magma expelled by an underwater volcano. The sea cooled the hot lava and as it exploded from contact, the pieces formed together this huge rock of many, many layers of basalt. The huge rock also has a beach where a small population of green sea turtles will nest during breeding season. Galapagos penguins gather here and swimming can offer beautiful sights of colorful schools of fish and curious sea lions.

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9: Wednesday
AM: Genovesa Island – Darwin Bay

Darwin Bay used to be a shield volcano, now you can see where one of the sides of its caldera collapsed after hundreds of years of erosion.  It is known for the wide variety of birds that can be seen.  Over 20,000 red-footed boobies are estimated to call this island home within the trees and bushes of Genovesa Island.

PM: Genovesa Island – El Barranco

In English. this visitor site is also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps.  It leads to a rocky path up a cliff that rewards guests with a remarkable view.  It is also home to a Palo Santo forest that is home to the nesting red-footed boobies and other shorebirds.

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10: Thursday
AM: Santiago Island – Egas Port

Egas port is also known as James Bay, home to quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. There are grottos and tide pools housing all kinds of different marine species. This is also one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos.

PM: Santiago Island – Espumilla Beach / Buccaneer Cove

As the second Island Charles Darwin discovered, it was originally named after King James of England.  Buccaneer Cove is an excellent opportunity for snorkeling and was once a refuge for passing sailors and pirates.  The underwater formations provide an amazing home for the many different tropical species of fish that can be found here.

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11: Friday
AM: Carrión Point

There is no place to land here, which means that the visitor site consists of a panga ride and/or snorkeling.  It is a sheltered lagoon with beautiful turquoise waters on the northern coast of Santa Cruz at the entrance of the Itabaca Channel.

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Quito.

Arrival to Quito.  Transfer to Papallacta Spa

Papallacta is famous for its hot springs,. Papallacta is a small village in Ecuador located at an altitude of 3,300 m in the Andes just off the Eastern Cordilleras on the road from Quito which leads into the Amazon jungle. Descending from the peak to Papallacta, one passes through the portal where the ecosystems transform from alpine to tropical jungle.

There are three important reasons to visit “Termas de Papallacta”: Health, recreation & relaxation.  The thermal baths are located on the banks of the Papallacta River in a unique natural environment; here we can find nine hot thermal pools and three cold water pools. The source temperature of the thermal baths varies between 30°C and 70°C (86°F and 158°F). At the pools the temperature ranges from 36°C to 40°C (97°F to 104°F).

Papallacta´s thermal waters contain sulfates, sodium, calcium, chloride and traces of magnesium which are odorless, colorless but have a slightly salty taste. The baths’ curative properties are anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and anti-rheumatic.

Accommodation: Termas de Papallacta 4*, Suite

(Breakfast)

Day 13: Sunday. Cotopaxi - Quito

Breakfast at the hotel.

Visit Cotopaxi National Park.  Upon arrival to the park there is an introductory briefing about the habitat of the Andean paramo or moorlands, its flora and fauna in the small Interpretation Center. Continue on to Limpiopungo Lagoon to observe a variety of birds and occasionally wild horses. On clear days, the Cotopaxi Volcano is the magnificent backdrop. A short walk around the lagoon allows the observation of the Andean flora.

Return to Quito

Accommodation: Plaza Grande Hotel  5 *, Royal Suite

(Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 14: Monday. Quito OUT

Breakfast at the hotel.

Transfer to the airport for your international flight.
(Breakfast)

INCLUDES:

  • Private transportation and tours with English Speaking Guide in Mainland Ecuador as described on the itinerary;
  • Shared transportation and tours with English speaking guide in the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands as described on the itinerary;
  • Accommodation as listed on the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed on the itinerary;
  • Entrance fees as listed on the itinerary.

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Flight to/from Coca;
  • Yasuni National Park Entrace Fee / USD 20 per person;
  • Community Entrace Fee / USD 70 per person;
  • Flight to/from Galapagos Islands;
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee / USD 100 pp (subject to change);
  • Ingala Transit Control Card / USD 20 pp (subject to change);
  • International flights;
  • Travel Insurance (optional)
  • Health insurance (obligatory);
  • Tips;
  • Personal expenses;
  • Items not specified.

 ITINERARY subject to change without prior notice