Mainland Ecuador – Galapagos Hotel

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: Thursday. 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  5 *, Royal Suite

Check in – 14:00

Day 2: Friday. Quito - Galapagos Islands - Quito

Breakfast. Transfer to the airport four your flight to the Galapagos Islands.

Upon arrival, at the airport on Baltra Island, we travel across the Itabaca Channel to Santa Cruz Island.  Crossing the canal to Santa Cruz takes 5 minutes. From here,  we will travel across the island to Puerto Ayora and to your hotel.

Lunch

After lunch we will visit the Charles Darwin Station.  The Charles Darwin Research Station are located side by side on the outskirts of Puerto Ayora. There is an interpretation centre open to the public where you may also view the tortoise rearing program. Those guests who have not have the opportunity to explore the highlands of Santa Cruz and see tortoises in their natural habitat will have the chance to see tortoises here. And for those who have already seen them in the wild, a visit to the Centre will expand their knowledge of this unique, iconic Galapagos animal.

Accommodation: Finch Bay Hotel 5 *, Ocean View

(Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner)

Day 3-4-5: Saturday - Sunday-Monday. Full Day Activity Options

Breakfast.

According to the availability you can visit one of the next options per day:

Bartolome Island:
Bartolome is famous for Pinnacle Rock, a towering spearheaded obelisk that rises from the ocean’s edge and is the best-known landmark in the islands. Galapagos penguins—the only species of penguin found north of the equator—walk precariously along narrow volcanic ledges at its base. Sea lions snooze on rocky platforms, ready to slide into the water to play with passing snorkelers.

North Seymour Island:
North Seymour was lifted from the ocean floor by a seismic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. Cliffs only a few meters high form the shoreline, where swallow-tailed gulls sit among the ledges and rocks. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stands just above the landing, usually without leaves, waiting for the rains to burst into bloom. This island is teeming with life!

South Plazas Island:
South Plaza is a small island full of fascinating wildlife, both along its shore and along its dramatic, wind-swept cliffs: sea lions, land iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, Opuntia cacti and vegetation that changes colours according to the season. South Plaza is one of Galapagos’ most impressive visiting sites.

Santa Fe Island:
Santa Fe offers one of the more beautiful and sheltered coves in the islands. Its turquoise lagoon is protected by a peninsula of tiny islets forming an ideal anchorage. The island lies to the southeast of Santa Cruz within sight of Puerto Ayora. Like North Seymour, Santa Fe has been uplifted seismically, and you can see underwater lava formations.

Tortuga Bay & Highlands of Santa Cruz
Tortuga Bay is located to the southwest of Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island. Its name means “turtle”, and the island received this moniker because it is sea turtles favourite place to lay their eggs. The stunning white sand beach is considered by many the most beautiful in the Galapagos archipelago. The beach is reached via a marked and cobbled two kilometre path that starts at the west end of Charles Binford Street; guests must sign in and out at the National Park control point at the beginning of the path– it is open from 6:00 AM to 6:30 PM daily. There is excellent bird-watching along the path, with plenty of Darwin’s finches and other sea birds. And for active visitors, it is a great place to kayak, snorkel and surf!

There are two beaches at Tortuga Bay: “Playa Brava”, aptly named for its persistent swells, ideal for surfing; and “Playa Mansa”, one kilometer further along the beach, a mellow cove, protected by a natural basalt barrier. Generally conditions here are suitable for snorkeling year-round. It’s also a good place for swimming and kayaking. Beware of limited natural shade and the glare of the sun on the white sand. Return to the hotel around midday.

After lunch we will visit Highlnads of Santa Cruz.

We depart the hotel towards to the Highlands of Santa Cruz, where a bus will take us for a visit to the Giant Tortoises Reserve in their natural habitat, a once in a lifetime experience! Pass the Village of Santa Rosa going through the Guayabillo forest to the Tortoise Reserve, here it is easier to view them on one of the farms where they share the fields with cattle, watch out for the only “TORTOISE CROSSING” signs in the world !. There are also many mosses, ferns and other epiphytes on the trees, watch out for the small and large tree Finches. Our first stop is at Los Gemelos, the Twin Pit Craters, these are a pair of collapse or pit craters, one on either side of the road in the Scalesia Zone, great depressions of volcanic material, formed by a long process of slow sinking of the ground, here we get an excellent opportunity to see Scalesia Pedunculata, ferns, mosses and orchids can be seen in the surroundings.

Accommodation: Finch Bay Hotel 5 *, Ocean View

(Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner)

Day 6: Tuesday. Galapagos Islands - Quito

Breakfast.

After breakfast, we leave the Finch Bay Hotel.  Transfer to the airport for your flight to Quito.

Arrival to Quito.  Transfer to the hotel

Accommodation: Plaza Grande Hotel  5 *, Royal Suite

(Breakfast,Dinner)

Day 7: Wednesday. Quito - Coca

Breakfast.

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Coca.

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.

Accommodation: M/V Anakonda 

(Breakfast, Box Lunch,Dinner)

Day 8: Thursday. Border with Peru (The Heart Of Yasuni)

Breakfast.

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.

Accommodation: M/V Anakonda 

(Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner)

Day 9: 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.

Accommodation: M/V Anakonda 

(Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner)

Day 10: 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.

Accommodation: M/V Anakonda 

(Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner)

Day 11: Sunday. Coca - Termas de Papallacta Hot Springs

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

Arrival to Quito.  Transfer to Papallacta Hot Springs.

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: Monday. Termas de Papallacta Hot Springs - Cotopaxi

Breakfast.

After breakfast we will continue our trip to the province of Cotopaxi.

Travel through the amazing landscape of the Avenue of the Volcanoes towards San Agustin de Callo.  San Agustín de Callo constitutes the only lived in museum of Inca Imperial and Spanish Colonial style. This hacienda has been receiving guests since the 15th century, and therefore has a rich historical tradition. Built on the site of an Inca Palace (dating from 1440 and built by one of the last Inca emperors), the building today retains many examples of Inca stonework, along with colonial additions.

Accommodation: San Agustin del Callo 5 *

(Breakfast,Dinner)

Day 13: Tuesday. Cotopaxi - Quito

Breakfast.

After breakfast, we will go to visit Cotopaxi National Park.

The Cotopaxi National Park, an ecological sanctuary of 88,920 acres, around the magnificent Cotopaxi Volcano, which rises 5897 meters (19,347 feet) above sea level. The evergreen landscape of the Ecuadorian highlands is one of the main attractions, along valleys and mountains covered by multicolored fields.
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 the hotel for lunch.

In the afternoon we will return to Quito.  Quito city tour is perfect for seeing fascinating panoramas, churches, domes and roofs that have an important historical value. You will admire and learn about colonial art, architecture, culture, legends, and traditions. Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 9.350 feet. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic Center in Latin America. The architecture and rich interiors, are pure examples of Quito School of sculpture, which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art. After four incredible hours exploring the Old Town, you’ll understand why Quito was the world’s first city named to UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage list.

Accommodation: Plaza Grande Hotel  5 *, Royal Suite

(Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 14: Wednesday. Quito OUT

Breakfast.

After breakfast, 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 (opti0nal)
  • Health insurance (obligatory);
  • Tips;
  • Personal expenses;
  • Items not specified.

RATES AND ITINERARY subject to change without prior notice