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Travel to this outstanding region and combine two of South America’s finest wildlife destinations - the Amazon and the unique Galápagos Islands.

The Amazon rainforest is a rich paradise, home to an incredible diversity of mammals, birds and fish. From your luxurious eco-lodge in the heart of the jungle you will explore trails and rivers, and discover its colourful and varied wildlife.

Continuing your journey to the Galapagos Islands, you board a First Class vessel to sail from island to island in this unique volcanic archipelago to see its prolific birdlife and fearless land and sea-dwelling wildlife from close up.

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, 1-night

  2. Day 2: Fly to the Amazon

    Departing Quito, a 30 minute flight over the eastern Andes mountain range takes you to Coca, where you'll then board a motorised canoe along the Napo River for around two and a half hours, with lunch en route. After arriving at the lodge's entry dock, you'll disembark and then take a peaceful dugout canoe ride, paddling along a narrow creek that connects to the lake where the lodge is located. There are good possibilities of monkey sightings, as well as large birds such as toucans, parrots or even macaws. You should arrive at the lodge in the late afternoon, and after dinner there is an optional caiman observation around the lake.

    Accommodation: Napo Wildlife Lodge, 3-nights

  3. Day 3: Rainforest activities: canopy walkway, trail walks

    An early start takes you to the best and easy access parrot clay licks in Ecuador, about 1 hour away from the lodge, reaching them at around 8 o'clock.  A total of 11 species of parrots, parakeets and macaws can be seen. Later, hike along the forest trails to visit the Quichua community of Añangu and spend some time with a family there. Return to the creek and hike through the forest for about 30 minutes until you reach the second parrot clay lick where (subject to weather conditions) you will be able to see different species of parrots, parakeets and even macaws.

  4. Day 4: Rainforest activities: canopy walkway, trail walks

    After an early breakfast, depart from the lodge to the 36 metre canopy tower on the Napo, a great way to experience the life above the forest floor. You should see flocks of colourful tanagers pass right through the canopy, blue macaws and yellow macaws; birds that are virtually impossible to see from the forest floor far below are suddenly right beside you, oblivious to your presence. After lunch back at the lodge, you can hike along primary forest to discover the forest interior, with possibilities of finding lizards, or the unique and endemic golden mantle tamarin monkeys. After the hike, explore the lake and creeks by dugout canoe with chances of running into a giant otter family on the way…

  5. Day 5: Fly to Quito

    An early departure takes you on your last excursion, canoeing back to the Napo river; the creek may reveal new sights of giant otters, monk saki monkeys or many other rare birds. Then it's time to board the motorized canoe to return to Coca, and a flight back to Quito.

    Accommodation: Hotel Patio Andaluz, 1-night

  6. Days 6-9 : Fly to the Galapagos Islands

    Fly to Baltra in the Galapagos, where you'll transfer to your chosen vessel.

    Over the next few days, explore the Galapagos archipelago with its unique biological identity. You should see a phenomenal amount of wildlife as you cruise from island to island, and encounter sealions, land iguanas, frigatebirds, giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies to name a few.

    Accommodation: Galapagos vessel, 4-nights

  7. Day 10: Optional visit to see giant tortoises, then fly back to Quito

    Today there is an optional trip to see the breeding programme of giant tortoises at Cerro Colorado on San Cristobal, after which you'll transfer to the airport for a flight back to Quito for a final night.

    Accommodation: Hotel Patio Andaluz, 1-night

  8. Day 11: Depart Quito

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

  9. Day 12: 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: 12 days from £7,275 pp
  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 11 days from £6,325 pp
  • When to go: Jan-Dec: Departures monthly throughout the year
  • Activities available:
    • Boat trip
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

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

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

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

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

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station and Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre. The island’s rocky coastline and mangrove-lined inlets are good for marine life. The lush greenery of the highlands offers a welcome contrast, with its huge craters, lava tunnels and giant tortoises roaming freely.

  • Where: Central Islands
  • Ideal for viewing: giant tortoise, green turtle, marine iguana, vermilion flycatcher, Galapagos rail

San Cristóbal

Home to frigatebirds, red and blue-footed boobies, Galapagos tortoises and sealions, this was the first island on which Charles Darwin set foot in 1835. A crater in the highlands holds the largest freshwater lake in the Galapagos, which is home to a lot of birdlife. It has one of the two commercial airports in the Galapagos.

  • Where: Eastern islands
  • Ideal for viewing: blue-footed booby, magnificent frigatebird, South American sealion, great blue heron, swallow-tailed gull
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching

Napo River & Yasuni National Park

The Napo River region and the biologically diverse Yasuni National Park lie at the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Bird species number around 600 and mammal diversity is very high, with numerous primates and predators. A motorised canoe down the Napo takes you into the heart of the rainforest and its creeks.

  • Where: Napo Province
  • Ideal for viewing: sungrebe, harpy eagle, tropical kingbird, howler monkey, capuchin monkey
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris
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.

Napo Wildlife Centre

Napo Wildlife Centre is the only lodge in Yasunì National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Built and run in conjunction with the local indigenous community, each of its 16 spacious cabanas has a private balcony, and facilities include an observation tower with a 360° view of the surrounding forest and its wildlife.

This itinerary is available on the following cruise vessels:

Beluga

The Beluga is a small but surprisingly spacious and comfortable, first-superior class, motor yacht carrying 16 passengers in eight double or twin cabins. The vessel is air-conditioned throughout, and facilities include a lounge, bar, dining area and plenty of deck space. The crew of ten includes a naturalist guide.

Samba

The Samba is a tourist-superior class 23-metre traditional steel-hulled motor sailer offering comfortable and spacious accommodation for 14 passengers. There are seven air-conditioned cabins, a lounge, bar and dining area, together with ample open and shaded deck space. She has a crew of six, including a naturalist guide.

La Pinta

For the ultimate treat, this deluxe class motor cruiser is the ideal choice. Its 24 spacious cabins with floor-to-ceiling windows can hold 48 passengers; triple and interconnecting cabins are available for families. La Pinta carries a glass-bottomed boat and sea kayaks, and the crew includes four naturalist guides.