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'Andes, Amazon and Galapagos'

What makes this trip special?

A tale of two cities

A tale of two cities

Quito

Ecuador's capital city is distinctly divided into 2 main parts, the cobbled streets and colonial buildings of the old town and the highrises and trendy cafes of the new town. Both are worth exploring.

The middle of the world

The middle of the world

The Equator

Quito sits directly on the Equator line. A sturdy monument marks the location, whilst the Inti-Nan museum next door provides some humour with spiralling water and balancing eggs on a nail.

Introducing the Amazon

Introducing the Amazon

Amazon rainforest

To experience the wildlife of the Amazon, you need only make a small hop by plane or road from Quito. In this itinerary you have the flexibility to choose which Amazon experience would suit you best.

Among the mountains

Among the mountains

Andes

High volcanoes, stunning scenery, colourful communities and historic haciendas all make up part of Ecuador's Andean mountain range. In this trip you can decide which location suits you best, Otavalo, Mindo or Cotopaxi.

'The closest thing to Eden on Earth'

'The closest thing to Eden on Earth'

Galapagos Islands

Enjoy a once in a lifetime experience on the Galapagos, choose from a variety of boats and itineraries for a voyage around the islands.

Itinerary map for Ecuador & Galapagos 'Andes, Amazon and Galapagos' holiday

Itinerary

  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Quito
  • 2 Quito
  • 3 Amazon lodge
  • 4 Amazon lodge
  • 5 Amazon lodge
  • 6 Andes
  • 7 Andes
  • 8 Quito
  • 9 Galapagos Islands
  • 10 Galapagos Islands
  • 11 Galapagos Islands
  • 12 Galapagos Islands
  • 13 Galapagos Islands
  • 14 Galapagos Islands
  • 15 Galapagos Islands
  • 16 Guayaquil
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Designer's notes

This is an absolutely classic trip, and one of my particular favourites. There are many special things about Ecuador and it is staggering how this trip brings together such a variety of different experiences.

There is a small but good selection of jungle lodges in the Amazon for you to choose from. There is a very wide choice of expedition cruises in the Galapagos, and availability is often a problem. Please contact us to talk through the options for the dates you are considering.

There are three choices in the Andes. The Otavalo option offers an experience of Andean cultures and ways of life, including the largest traditional market in the Andes. The Cotopaxi option is for walkers and dramatic scenery in the national park below a massive snow-capped volcano. Mindo is in the heart of the cloud forest with a rich variety of wildlife (especially birds), and is good for walking too.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Andes, Amazon and Galapagos'

DAY 1

Quito

You are met on the arrival of your international flight at Quito airport and are transferred to a 3* hotel (or your chosen upgrade), your base for 2 nights.

DAY 2
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In the morning your private English-speaking guide will meet you at your hotel and take you on a walking tour of the Old City. After lunch, visit the Equator at either the unconventional Inti-Ñan museum or the Mitad del Mundo complex. Alternatively you could take the cable car up Pichincha volcano, which would be best done in the morning, with your time in the Old City moved to the afternoon.

DAY 3
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Amazon

You are collected from your hotel for the journey to the Amazon. Usually this involves an early start, a short flight and a journey by boat at the other end to reach your chosen lodge in the Amazon. Please note that there are a variety of Amazon lodges at different price points and we can advise you on the one that suits you best. A 3 night stay is the norm for a visit to a land-based lodge, and is assumed here.

DAY 4
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Shared morning and afternoon nature excursions included.

DAY 5
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Shared morning and afternoon nature excursions included.

DAY 6

Andes

Returning to Quito, you are met at the airport and driven to your choice of three destinations in the Andes, for a two night stay. Your time is free in each location to relax at the hotel or for optional excursions which can be arranged by you locally at extra cost. Otavalo (Andean cultures: markets and craft villages) Stay at either Hacienda Pinsaqui and Hacienda Cusín. Both are convenient for visits to Otavalo and its neighbouring villages. Breakfasts are included. Cotopaxi (dramatic scenery: walking, riding, biking) Stay at El Porvenir, a beautifully located small hacienda style lodge situated on the edge of Cotopaxi national park, offering hiking, biking and riding. This is on a full board basis. Mindo (Andean cloud forests: walking, birding) Stay in your choice of cloud forest lodge in the Mindo area on a full board basis.

DAY 7

Free at your hacienda or lodge. Each has options for things to do, some at extra cost.

DAY 8

Morning free. Afternoon transfer back to Quito. Overnight at the same hotel as Day 1.

DAY 9
BLD

Galápagos

Transfer to the airport at Quito for a flight to the Galápagos, where you join your chosen boat for a voyage around the islands. This example shows a 4 night cruise.

DAY 10
BLD

Galápagos cruise.

DAY 11
BLD

Galápagos cruise.

DAY 12
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Galápagos cruise.

DAY 13

(Final day of the cruise) Disembark from your boat in time for a midday flight to Guayaquil, arriving in time for international overnight flights to Europe.

Guide prices for 'Andes, Amazon and Galapagos'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Napo Wildlife Centre 2 people sharing £2,095
Sacha Lodge 2 people sharing £2,075
La Selva Lodge 2 people sharing £2,160
Manatee River Boat 2 people sharing £2,495
Anakonda River Boat 2 people sharing £2,985
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel in mainland Ecuador
  • all accommodation
  • meals as indicated B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
  • all excursions with resident naturalist guides shared with other guests
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • travel insurance
  • airport and departure taxes
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • any optional excursions you may buy locally
  • Galapagos cruise of your choice x 7 night cruise (or shorter if preferred)

Customer reviews for 'Andes, Amazon and Galapagos'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.

Average customer rating 97%

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napo and the Galapagos

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Cruise around the Galapagos

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The mix was great - a really good balance : scenery, culture, rainforest, Galapagos - the animals/birds were amazing as they were so close.

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It was such a diverse tour that it is difficult to choose. We thought the people were kind, helpful and willing to help us to see Ecuador. We loved the wildlife and beautiful scenery. We though Cuenca was wonderful.

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Galapagos - absolutely amazing and fantastic. Cotopaxi volcano was beautiful. Rafting in the Amazon was great fun.

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The Amazon Lodge was wonderful and the wildlife was stunning!

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I can't choose!! Sorry

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Galapagos because I saw wildlife

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Galapagos

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The whole trip was excellent. If I had to choose it would be snorkelling in Galapagos.

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Quito.

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Seasonal information for 'Andes, Amazon and Galapagos'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Quito 15°C rainfall 117mm
2 Quito 15°C rainfall 117mm
3 Amazon lodge 30°C rainfall 232mm
4 Amazon lodge 30°C rainfall 232mm
5 Amazon lodge 30°C rainfall 232mm
6 Andes 19°C rainfall 79mm
7 Andes 19°C rainfall 79mm
8 Quito 15°C rainfall 117mm
9 Galapagos Islands 28°C rainfall 41mm
10 Galapagos Islands 28°C rainfall 41mm
11 Galapagos Islands 28°C rainfall 41mm
12 Galapagos Islands 28°C rainfall 41mm
13 Galapagos Islands 28°C rainfall 41mm
14 Galapagos Islands 28°C rainfall 41mm
15 Galapagos Islands 28°C rainfall 41mm
16 Guayaquil 31°C rainfall 172mm

Typical weather for January

rainchart

Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Andes, Amazon and Galapagos'

Days 1 - 2

Hotel La Rabida

Quito modern part
rating

Average rating 4.4 (16 ratings)

Hotel de La Rábida is a traditional Quito home that has been renovated and turned into a rather charming small guest house. It is situated in the modern part of Quito. It has characterful lounge with log fire and small patio garden.

Hotel La Rabida
Bedroom
Days 3 - 5

Napo Wildlife Centre

Napo River
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Average rating 4.9 (30 ratings)

Napo Wildlife Centre is located within its own 82 square mile reserve area within the Yasuni National Park–a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with the highest documented tree diversity in the world. The Centre was created and built by the Añangu community in partnership with charitable foundations.

The fast boat from Coca drops you by a beautiful creek that meanders into the forest. Here you are met by the lodge staff in small dug-out boats who slowly paddle you along, introducing you to the plants and wildlife of the forest as you travel (the journey can last 1½—2½ hours) . You emerge into a very beautiful oxbow lake with the lodge buildings nestling together on the opposite shore.

The Napo Wildlife Centre lodge offers individual adobe style cabins, spacious and well-screened, with 24hr electricity, fans and gas-heated hot water in en suite bathrooms. There are comfortable bar and dining areas in an large and airy main lodge building, which also offers a roof level viewing platform. Facilities include a canopy platform set in a 120ft ceiba tree. There is a good network of trails and a selection of excellent river excursions. The lodge is well run by experienced managers who are training local people to assist in (and eventually take over) its operation.

The terrain around the lodge (terra firma and varzea forest) is similar to the others on the north side of the Napo but accompanied by small hills which provide a variation of habitat that adds to the range of species that can be seen. An excellent range of wildlife, birds, plants, trees is almost guaranteed and the lodge’s recorded lists of birds, mammals, etc are top rate.

Napo Wildlife Centre
Lodge
Days 6 - 7

Hacienda Cusin

Otavalo
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Average rating 4.8 (16 ratings)

Hacienda Cusin is a restored 17th-century Andean hacienda. It is located close to Otavalo, next to the San Pablo Lake, and has attractive and extensive gardens. All rooms have private bathrooms some with their own fireplaces, whilst there is Wi-Fi throughout. In reception there are hot-water bottles available and there are over 20 activities, tours and expeditions available including horseriding to book locally.

Hacienda Cusin
Side wing
Day 8

Hotel La Rabida

Quito modern part
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Average rating 4.4 (16 ratings)

Hotel de La Rábida is a traditional Quito home that has been renovated and turned into a rather charming small guest house. It is situated in the modern part of Quito. It has characterful lounge with log fire and small patio garden.

Hotel La Rabida
Bedroom