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Ecuador’s dramatic landscape is waiting to be discovered by you - a unique and diverse country where Colonial charming cites with copious stunning architecture, meet the majestic snow-peaked Andes and quaint traditional market towns found peppered across the valleys. The star attractions are of course the luscious Amazon jungle bursting with a flourishing rich ecosystem, and the Galapagos Islands famed for their pre-historic endemic species. A memorable experience that will stay with you for a lifetime…
Depart the UK for your flight to Quito. Arrive in Ecuador’s Capital, then meet your guide and transfer to your accommodation. Spend the afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Quito. Your first inclusive meal is dinner.
Breakfast, and then head out to explore the highest Capital city in the world. Rich in culture and grand architecture, submerge yourself in the buzz of this fast-paced city. With green gardens and parks to break up the Neogothic buildings, Quito really is a stunning city to explore. After a tour around the city, take a transfer to the Equator line for a unique photo opportunity – the country’s name literally translates as ‘Republic of the Equator’, and Quito is very proud to stand on this significant Geographical site. Dinner at your accommodation.
Breakfast, and then meet your guide to follow the Yumbo trails. These paths were used by the Indigenous groups to trade between the Andes and the Pacific Coast before the arrival of the Spanish. These networks of trails are found deep in the luscious forests of the Andes and offers spectacular views over the mountains and valleys. Dinner at accommodation.
Breakfast, and then depart your accommodation for a flight to Coca – your starting point for your adventure to the Shiripuno River rainforest retreat. Transfer to Shiripuno River Lodge, located in a remote setting right in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest. Settle in and dinner at your lodging.
Breakfast, and set off for your rainforest tour – learn about the hugely diverse population of fauna and flora, the impacts of Man on the environment, and the ongoing battle of preserving the World’s fragile habitats for generations to come. Navigate the dense vegetation with your experienced guides. Dinner back at your lodging.
Breakfast, listen to the birds and mammals waking up for the day to come! Track the animals with your guide for a chance to see them for yourself, if you’re lucky you may catch a glimpse of a Howler monkey, an exotic scarlet macaw or even a jaguar! Learn about the pharmaceutical properties of the plants and how this is translated in today’s modern medicine. Dinner back at your lodging.
Breakfast, head out with your guide to discover the Amazon basin and the Shiripuno River that flows through the greenery. Learn about the native Huaorani people who still occupy the land, and the goal of the ecotourism programmes to support and respect the local communities and their traditional way of living. Enjoy your last dinner at your lodging in such a special setting.
Breakfast at the lodge, before embarking on your journey back to Coca for your flight back to Quito. Arrive in Quito for lunch and leisure time. Relax for dinner at your accommodation.
Breakfast, meet your transfer to the market town of Saquisili. Normally a quiet humble settlement, see this town come to life with an impressive weekly market which attracts hundreds of residents from all around. Watch the local people trade sacks full of grain, handicrafts and colourful yarns to make shawls, to live produce! Next take a trip out to Cotopaxi National Park – one of Ecuador’s most popular nature reserves with 4 snow-topped volcanos positioned within the area. A beautiful spot to admire the panoramic views, as well as the complex ecosystem – home to wolves, pumas, Andean speckled bears, red brocket deer, condor birds, wild horses and Andean foxes (Colpeo). Check in to local accommodation for dinner.
Wake up in picturesque Andean surroundings. Breakfast, and then meet your guide for an excursion to the volcanic-crater lake of Lagoon of Quilotoa. Enjoy a lakeside walk surrounded by vast clear skies and a mountainous backdrop. Dinner at accommodation.
Breakfast, and then out with your guide to explore more of the awesome Andean scenery and pass through indigenous villages to observe the local culture and working life. Dinner back at accommodation.
Breakfast, and then set off for the Avenue of Volcanos, an outstanding journey through the dramatic volcanic landscape. Pick out the different seven peaks, learn about the activity of the volcanos, and study the highest active volcano in the world! Transfer back to Quito for dinner and overnight.
Breakfast, then transfer to the airport for a flight to the Galapagos Island of San Cristobal. Visit the Interpretation Centre – an excellent introduction to the education and research of the natural history and the essential conservation work on the islands. Check in to accommodation, and then spend the afternoon snorkelling at Predial. Share the waters with resident sea lions and admiring the endemic marine life in one of the most unique underwater locations on Earth! Dinner at your accommodation.
Breakfast, then spend a morning at Hacienda El Cafetal (coffee plantation) – learn all about coffee production. Continue to Galapaguera for the chance to see the legendary Giant Tortoise and study the programme to introduce them back into the wild– a dream for many to get up close with these prehistoric creatures. Finish your day at Loberia beach, an important sanctuary to many sea lions, marina iguanas, yellow warblers and plant life. Dinner at accommodation.
Breakfast, and then take a boat out to the small island of Lobos. The ‘Sea Lion Island’ is fittingly named after the large sea lion colonies lazily basking on the rocks around the bay. Also observe the native blue-footed booby bird that nest on this island. Next visit the impressive ‘Sleeping Leon’ or ‘Leon Dormido’ landmark – two volcanic rock formations jutting out of the sea that is said to look like a sleeping lion when observed from the South, hence the Spanish name. Finish your day at Cerro Brujo – one of the most beautiful white powder beaches in the Galapagos. Your last dinner in the Galapagos.
Breakfast, and then visit the Charles Darwin Station. See how more than 200 scientists and volunteers from all over the world are researching and working tirelessly to conserve and restore this delicate environment, working on several breeding programmes and reintroduction of species that were previously endangered on the islands, as well as working to educate the local people, authorities and tourists. Transfer to Baltra Island for your flight back to Quito, and onward connection flight back to the UK.
Arrive back in the UK with unforgettable special memories.
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