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Take a look at the fantastic wildlife of Ecuador by visiting its two foremost natural highlights; the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands.

The itinerary shown below is based on travelling on board La Pinta, however we offer a variety of other vessels to suit all budgets. Please contact us for more information.

Suggested Itinerary

  1. Day 1: Fly to Quito

    Fly from London to Quito, arriving later the same day. On arrival you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your hotel. 

    Accommodation: Hotel Patio Andaluz, 2-nights.

  2. Day 2: Quito

    Optional sightseeing of Quito or excursion to the "centre of the world"

  3. Days 3-5 : Fly to the Amazon

    Transfer to Quito airport and fly east to the town of Coca. A short transfer takes you to the river port where you board a motorised canoe for your journey down the mighty Rio Napo into the heart of the forest. The final stretch of your journey will be Indian dugout that will take you right to the your lodge. 

    Accommodation: Sacha Jungle Lodge, 3-nights

  4. Days 4-5 : The Amazon

    Explore on foot and by boat in the company of a knowledgeable naturalist guide, and learn about the Amazon rainforest. Among the birds you may see are harpy eagle, the world’s second largest bird of prey, many tiny multi-coloured hummingbirds, as well as parrots and toucans, with their brilliantly-coloured plumage and typically long bills. In addition to a profusion of fl owers, many medicinal plants are found in the forest, and on jungle hikes native guides will show you how to identify these and explain, or demonstrate, their various uses

  5. Days 6-7 : Return to Quito, excursion to Cotopaxi National Park

    Returning to Quito, the folowing day you can take a full day excursion to Cotopaxi National Park, where you'll find mammals such as Andean fox and white-tailed deer, as well as prolific birdlife.

    Accommodation: Hotel Patio Andaluz, 2-nights

  6. Days 8-13 : Galapagos Islands

    Fly to the Galapagos Islands for a week-long voyage, cruising around the unique archipelago for close encounters with bird and marine life. 

    Accommodation: Galapagos vessel, 6-nights

  7. Day 14: Fly back to Quito

    Arrive at San Cristobal Island, and transfer to the airport for a flight back to Quito for a final night.

    Accommodation: Hotel Patio Andaluz, 1-night

  8. Day 15: Depart Quito

    Transfer to the airport for an overnight flight back to the UK.

  9. Day 16: Arrive UK

Key info

Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
  • Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 16 days from £9,195 pp
  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 15 days from £8,295 pp
  • Single supplement: From £5,695
  • When to go: Jan-Dec: Daily throughout the year
Featured locations:

Ecuadorian Amazon

This vast rainforest east of the Andes protects more species of plant and mammal than any area of similar size. It is home to an astonishing repertoire of wildlife, including 15% of the world’s bird species. There are over 100 species of mammals, and a network of rivers, steams and lakes to explore by boat or canoe.

  • Where: Amazon
  • Ideal for viewing: blue and yellow macaw, harpy eagle, jaguar, three-toed sloth, capybara
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Cotopaxi National Park

This ecological sanctuary surrounds one of the world’s highest active volcanoes, and is easily visited as a day trip from Quito. Andean fox and puma frequent the park, and the rare Andean speckled bear is found on the eastern slopes. Birdlife is also plentiful, including orange-faced falcon and Andean gull.

  • Where: Cotopaxi Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Andean condor, Andean fox, carunculated caracara, great thrush, guanaco

Galapagos Islands

Submarine volcanic activity caused this remarkable archipelago to rise from the seabed. Millions of years of isolation then allowed species to evolve through natural selection, creating a unique biological identity. There are no predators, so the animals know no fear – allowing close encounters.

  • Where: Galapagos
  • Ideal for viewing: blue-footed booby, Galapagos penguin, land iguana, marine iguana, giant tortoise
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Birdwatching

Genovesa

Isla Genovesa is one of the best places for birdwatching – here you can find the lava gull, the rarest gull in the world. A lava field on the north shore provides the ideal nesting place for storm petrels in its cracks and tunnels. The marine iguana is the only reptile on the island, and are the smallest in the archipelago.

  • Where: Northern islands
  • Ideal for viewing: lava gull, red-billed tropicbird, South American fur seal, South American sealion, Galapagos mockingbird
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Isabela

The volcanic slopes of the largest island in the archipelago are home to some 6,000 Galapagos tortoises. On the west coast the cold water currents produces an abundance of marine life and it is possible to snorkel with sealions. An uplifted coral reef provides brackish lagoons which are home to a variety of seabirds.

  • Where: Western Islands
  • Ideal for viewing: Galapagos penguin, South American fur seal, white-cheeked pintail, Galapagos hawk, land iguana
  • Excellent for: Penguin watching

Santiago

Santiago Island has a narrow, steep-sided point of land, which provides an extraordinarily beautiful landscape with cliffs and rocky pinnacles that create a nesting site for hundreds of marine birds. In the 17th and 18th centuries, pirates used this place to maintain their vessels and replenish their supplies.

  • Where: Central islands
  • Ideal for viewing: Galapagos penguin, South American fur seal, Galapagos hawk, lava lizard, American flamingo
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Fernandina

Fernandina is an active volcano with rugged slopes and unusual lava formations, which create some surreal landscapes. Its constant change of volcanic state and lack of plant life mean it is probably the least visited island.It is home to a huge population of marine iguanas, and penguins are commonly spotted.

  • Where: Western islands
  • Ideal for viewing: flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguin, land iguana, marine iguana, Sally Lightfoot crab
  • Excellent for: Penguin watching

Quito

Ecuador’s capital stands at an altitude of 2,850 metres on the slopes of the active volcano of Pichincha. Founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city, the old town is very atmospheric, and several day tours are available, including the Mitad del Mundo monument on the equator.

  • Where: Pichincha Province
  • Excellent for: City stopover, History & culture
Suggested accommodation options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Hotel Patio Andaluz

The Patio Andaluz is a lovely, boutique hotel located right in the heart of the old city, and was declared a National Monument by UNESCO in 1978. It has 32 elegant rooms, each decorated with traditional woodwork and furnishings, a restaurant specialising in national and Spanish cuisine, a cava bar and a library.

Sacha Jungle Lodge

Located in a 2,025 hectare private reserve of pristine rainforest, Sacha Lodge has been carefully designed to offer comfort whilst preserving the environment in which is sits. Its 26 en suite cabins are constructed from local materials using traditional methods and there is a spectacular 275-metre canopy walkway.