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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

    On arrival in Quito you will be met and transferred to the Hotel Patio Andaluz for 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

    Fly to the Amazon and spend 3 nights at Sacha Jungle Lodge, exploring the tributaries, forests and myriad of wildlife.

  4. Days 6-7 : Return to Quito

    Full day excursion to Cotopaxi National Park.

  5. Days 8-13 : Fly to the Galapagos Islands

    Fly to the Galapagos Islands for a 7 day (6 night) voyage, cruising around the unique archipelago for close encounters with bird and marine life. 

  6. Day 14: Fly back to Quito

  7. Day 15: Depart Quito

  8. Day 16: Arrive UK

You should note: Shorter Galapagos voyages are available

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 £8,195 pp
  • Single supplement: From £5,695
  • When to go: Jan-Dec: Daily throughout the year
Featured locations:


Ecuador’s capital stands at an altitude of 2,850 kilometres 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

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


The volcanic slopes of the largest island in the archipelago are home to some 6,000 Galapagos tortoises. On the west coast the coldwater 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

Ecuador Amazon Puyo Region

Puyo is the jumping off point for this part of the Amazon with most lodges being accessed by light aircraft from here. You can explore on foot and by boat with naturalist guides, learning about the rainforest and its prolific birdlife. In addition to a profusion of flowers, many medicinal plants are found here.

  • Where: Pastaza province
  • Ideal for viewing: harpy eagle, pink river dolphin, osprey, three-toed sloth, coati
  • Excellent for: River safaris


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


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 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

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
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.