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17-DAY ECUADOR & GALAPAGOS MULTISPORT

17-DAY ECUADOR & GALAPAGOS MULTISPORT

$4998 per person

Jump right into the action with this adrenaline filled tour around Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands! Discover Ecuador mainland diversity as you bike down the slopes of an active volcano, horseback ride across colorful Andean fields, climb up waterfalls in the Amazon rainforest, fight large waves by rafting on the Jatunyacu River, trek to the rim of Cuicocha Crater Lake and soak in Papallacta volcanic hot springs. Share time with two local indigenous communities, learning all about their life-style and culture in the Andes and Amazon regions. Hop on a plane to reach the fascinating Galapagos Islands, where you will hike, bike, kayak and snorkel among sea lions, iguanas, giant tortoises, birds and a myriad of tropical fish, surrounded by the volcanic landscapes of this world-class naturalist heaven. A perfect outdoor adventure for dynamic travelers searching a life-changing experience!

Unique Experiences:

  • Organic cooking lesson with traditional fresh ingredients, side by side with local people in the heart of the Andes.
  • Snorkel with sea turtles, sea lions and hummer head sharks at Kicker Rock, the best site in the Galpagos islands.

 

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  • Departure
    Quito / Ecuador
  • Included
    Activities
    Domestic flights
    Land Transportation
    Meals detailed in the itinerary
  • Not Included
    Fees and entrances to parks and museums
    Airport tranfer in & out
    International flight
1
DAY 1: QUITO ARRIVAL DAY

Welcome to Quito! The biggest, best-preserved colonial city of America was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and the second most important city of the old Inca Empire. Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. Adventure Journeys can help you to organize a day trip. In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel for a welcome briefing and there will be plenty of time to discuss details and answer any questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an informational and acclimation day.

Accommodation: Swissôtel Quito or similar.

Meals included: none.

2
DAY 2: TREKKING THE COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast, we leave Quito driving southwards along the beautiful Avenue of Volcanos, while getting the chance to see the colorful Andean fields. On our way we will reach 12,000 feet. After arriving at the Cotopaxi National Park, we will go hiking around Limpiopungo lagoon of the foot hills of the Ruminñahui volcano, From here we will have the best views of the Cotopaxi Volcano, which is the highest active volcano in the world.

In the afternoon we will continue our drive towards the Llanganates National Park, which is known as the sacred mountain, until we reach the town of Baños, located at the entrance of the Amazon. Here we can enjoy the best night life by drinking cocktails and dancing salsa.
Accommodation: Casa de Luis or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

3
DAY 3: BIKING IN THE LLANGANATES NATIONAL PARK

This morning we mountain bike from the Llanganates National Park down to the Pastaza River Canyon, enjoying the beautiful scenery of the cloud forest. The road brings us through some Andean farms and a beautiful canyon with many waterfalls.

While descending into the jungle, we will have a breathtaking view of Baños. This town is very well known for its spectacular location right on the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano, active since 1999, which is the main attraction of this region. In the afternoon we will have some time to explore the town and then we will enjoy the best night life.
Accommodation: Casa de Luis or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast.

4
DAY 4: ROAD OF WATERFALLS AND CANYONING IN THE AMAZON

This morning we will hit the road of the waterfalls. The first stop will be at the Bride´s Veil waterfall, where we will take the Tarabita (cable car) to get across the Pastaza River. Then we will hike down to the Pailon del Diablo waterfall, the second highest in Ecuador. Later, we will go deeper into the jungle inside the Llanganates National Park. The name "llanganates" comes from the local native language and means "beautiful mountain". 600 years ago, the Incas hid here their golden treasure. Explorers spent many years looking for this treasure, but some of it has disappeared in this thick pristine jungle.

During a 3-hour hike through the tropical jungle, we will climb along several white-water waterfalls. This is a humid and warm area which will make our experience even more demanding, so get ready to wear your rubber boots and enjoy the magnificence of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Our local native guide will tell us about the incredible nature and wildlife we will see. We will spend the night at the Local Basic Jungle Lodge.
Accommodation: Amazon Homestay

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

5
DAY 5: JATUNYACU RIVER RAFTING AND VOLCANIC HOT SPRINGS

We will greet the day by preparing our gear to paddle the wild waves of the Jatunyacu River, located one hour away from the entrance of the Llanganates National Park. The beauty of this river will inspire you and reveal the magic of the Amazon rainforest. After a very important safety briefing from our rafting guides, we will start our class III rafting expedition down the Jatunyacu River, well known for its clean water and awesome rapids. We will have a lot of fun playing some games and also exploring one of the canyons. The end of the journey offers us a stop for a picnic, prepared by our guides.

We will conclude our day with a drive back up to the Andes, stopping to visit the paradise of hummingbirds in Guango Reserve and finally continuing up to the volcanic hot springs resort, where we will spend the night.
Accommodation: Termas Papallacta.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

6
DAY 6: HIKING THE CLOUD FOREST, HUMMINGBIRDS PARADISE & OTAVALO MARKET

After a 2-hour bird-watching tour through the cloud forest, we will travel across the Andes to visit Otavalo and its amazing indigenous handicraft market. Here, we will have a stop for shopping or exploring the market.

Later in the afternoon, we will be transferred to the slopes of Imbabura volcano to enjoy a nice cultural encounter with the local people and learn the traditional way of living while sharing the daily activities with the families. In the evening we will take part of an organic cooking lesson by using the local products. Our accommodation for the night will be a home-stay at different local families of the San Clemente community.

 

For lunch, we will head to Pijal, a small village located in the heart of the Andes to visit one of the AJ sustainable projects called Sacha WarmiKuna (women from the mountain). This is one fantastic effort developed by AJ and the local women with the main purpose to support their families and encourage the position of the women in the local society, providing them an alternative side work beside housekeeping, as a new option for an in-come. Once at the project you will experience an unforgettable cultural encounter, immersing yourself in the true spirit of the South-American woman and their skills for textiles and a deep culinary knowledge coming from the past generations. You will be part of the preparation of “Aji”, a local spicy salsa which is part of their identity, you will also share precious time with them and a tasty traditional lunch in which local women have used the fresh products harvested the same day from the surrounding organic fields. Later we will learn more about the weaving process of their textiles. Don’t miss the amazing opportunity to have the chance to give back, by buying handmade scarfs here. Later we will arrive at the beautiful, historical hacienda of Pinsaqui where we will stay overnight. Enjoy a typical Andean cocktail as welcome, and learn about the history of this place. .
Accommodation: San Clemente Community

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner.

7
DAY 7: CUICOCHA - QUITO

Today our challenge will be a 5-hour hike around the Cuicocha crater lake, with breathtaking views of the active volcano and of the amazing valleys located in Cotacachi-Cayapas ecological reserve. On this trek, we will reach an altitude of 11880ft and hike 9 miles around the crater.

At the end of our hike, we will take a boat ride to the centre of the crater to observe the activity of this volcano, watching bubbles coming up from the centre of the caldera. In the afternoon we will drive back to Quito
Accommodation: Swissôtel Quito or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

8
DAY 8: FREE DAY IN QUITO

Morning City Tour of Colonial Quito UNESCO old town and Free afternoon to explore Quito or take an optional day tour. ADVENTURE JOURNEYS can help you to organize a day trip or city tour.

In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel for a welcome briefing and there will be plenty of time to discuss details and answer any questions you may have regarding your Galapagos adventure.
Accommodation: Swissôtel Quito or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast.

9
DAY 9: TRAVEL DAY TO GALAPAGOS ISLANDS (SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND)

Today we will get ready to explore the most amazing archipelago in the Pacific coast and the place where Charles Darwin based its theory of the evolution of species. We will board a morning flight from Quito to the island of San Cristóbal. Once arrived, we will have a transfer to the hotel in the town of Puerto Moreno and a short briefing about the next days, before the adventure begins.

In the afternoon we will head to "La Loberia", which is home beach for large Galapagos sea lions. We can spot them launching over rocks or just lazy dozing in the sand. We will also get to see yellow warbler birds, frigate birds, and several species of Darwin finches along the beach. Inbetween the rocks we can find marine iguanas, which you can only see in Galapagos. We will also have time to go for a refreshing swim, explore the waters with our snorkel equipment and enjoy the beach.
Accommodation:  Seaside Inn or similar

Meals included: Breakfast.

10
DAY 10: SNORKEL AT KICKER ROCK AND CERRO BRUJO

In the morning, we will take a speed boat to Kicker Rock, also known as the Sleeping Lion (Leon Dormido) because of its resemblance. This site is located off the coast of San Cristobal. The remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea, two vertical rocks rising 500 feet above the ocean, form a small channel that is navigable by small boats. This Galapagos Islands natural monument has become a favorite sight due to the many tropicbirds, frigate birds and boobies that fill the sky in this area. Beneath the sea, the crystal waters offer a brilliant show of colorful tropical fish, such as rainbow fish, and sharks, like hammerhead-, reef- and white tip sharks. After lunch, we visit cerro brujo beach. This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, frolicking, jolly sea lions who will welcome us to their home with open fins. This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.

Accommodation:  Seaside Inn or similar

Meals included: Breakfast.

11
DAY 11: EXPLORING ISABELA ON TWO WHEELS

In the morning, we will take a short flight to Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago and the place where the most volcanic activity in the Galapagos is reported.

The island is formed by six shield volcanoes, Alcedo, Cerra Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf, five of them still active, and therefore the island is one of the most volcanically active places on earth. 
In the afternoon, we will head out on our mountain bikes to explore the beautiful coastline on an exclusive trail, taking us through an incredible ecosystem with a wide variety of wildlife. We will start with a visit to the Wall of Tears, a massive wall built with lava rocks. This site dates back to the '50s, when Isabela was used as a penal colony and prisoners were forced to build the wall to keep them from going mad, because of the isolation they experienced.
As we continue our ride along the coast, we explore pristine, white sand beaches, mangrove forests and lagoons. This area is filled with birdlife, including American oyster catchers, herons, flamingos, finches and many shore birds, as well as the ubiquitous sea lions and marine iguanas.

After dinner we can enjoy a breathtaking sunset on the beach of Puerto Villamil.
Accommodation: Cormorant Beach House or similar

Meals included: Breakfast.

12
DAY 12: HIKING TO SIERRA NEGRA VOLCANO AND KAYAKING IN TINTORERAS

After driving up from Puerto Villamil to the trailhead, we will prepare our backpacks and hike into a young forest ecosystem, a world of recent geological history. Our destination is the rim of Sierra Negra Crater, an active volcano which last erupted in October 2005. Upon arrival, we take breathtaking views and explore the circumference of the massive, lava-filled crater, over six miles across at its widest point. If we feel energetic enough, we can continue our hike to Volcan Chico, a secondary crater that has a wild landscape of puffing fumaroles and colorful lava formations. These are great examples of the dramatic geological events that have forged the Galapagos Islands over millennia.

In the afternoon, we will return to Puerto Villamil and we go kayaking in Tintoreras to watch sea lions, penguins, turtles and marine iguanas.
Accommodation: Cormorant Beach House or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

13
DAY 13: LAVA TUNNELS EXPLORATION

Today, we explore the amazing formations of lava created by the last eruptions of the Volcanic Island along the seashore. This magical place is been used by the staff of BBC /National Geographic for their documentaries. It is a labyrinth of lava arches inside the breakers with crystal clear water full of huge sea turtles, eagle rays, sea lions, fish, white tipped reef sharks and more. Turtles navigate their own highway from the mangroves to the open sea through "Los Tuneles". Over here, we will have the best snorkeling opportunity with all these beautiful animals, including the curious Galapagos penguin playing around.

Before or after the trip, you can enjoy some optional activities such as snorkeling at "Concha de Perla" or just relax on the exotic white-sand beaches of Isabela Island. We recommend you to take some time to visit the giant tortoise breeding centre.
Accommodation: Cormorant Beach House or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

14
DAY 14: SANTA CRUZ, CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION AND HIGHLANDS

In the morning we will embark on a fast boat from Isabela to Santa Cruz Island. Once we arrive, we will check in at the hotel. We will have time to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn more about many of the endemic species we met during our adventure, as well as the ongoing conservation and management efforts on the Galapagos Islands.

In the afternoon, we will head to the 'El Chato' Reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz, which is home to the famous Galapagos tortoise. Hiking through El Chato's beautiful scenery with those lumbering giants is an unforgettable experience! We also see other highland wildlife such as pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers and finches on our hike. We can also observe frigatebirds which gather to wash the salt off their feathers at a fresh water lake. We will return to Puerto Ayora to spend the evening in Galapagos' most populous town.
Accommodation: Silberstein Hotel or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast.

15
DAY 15: SANTA CRUZ FREE DAY - OPTIONAL DIVING

Today, you can experience the Galapagos at your pace! As an option, you can go on a self-guided exploration walk through a dry forest to Tortuga Bay (about 3 ½ miles long), a beautiful white sand beach and nesting side to thousands of marine turtles. This beautiful place invites for swimming or snorkeling. Alternatively, you can join any of the optional activities (at an extra cost), such as a trip to Floreana Island, Bartolome Island or a scuba-diving day trip, just to mention a few.

Accommodation: Silberstein Hotel or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast.

16
DAY 16: TRANSFER TO BALTRA AIRPORT - FLIGHT BACK TO QUITO

After our final breakfast on the Galapagos Island and the last photos taken of sea lions, we will have a transfer to Baltra's airport in time to catch the flight back to the mainland.

Accommodation: Swissôtel Quito or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast.

17
DAY 17: DEPARTURE

Today our trip will end and you will have your International departures. Take with you your memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador soon to experience more of this enchanted land. We wish you a "buen viaje"!

Meals included: Breakfast.

WRITE A REVIEW

Accomodation
Destination
Value For Money
Overall
Transport
Meals

What's Included?

  • Transportation: Airfare Quito - Galapagos - Quito round trip, airport transfers (national flights), one way flight San Cristobal-Isabela, sea transportation Santa Cruz - Isabela islands, private and comfortable land and sea transportation.
  • Accommodation based in double occupancy: 5* hotel in Quito, 3+ star hotel in Banos , home stay in the jungle, 5-star Spa Resort in Papallacta, home stay in San Clemente, 3+ star hotels in Galapagos.
  • Meals: 16 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 2 Dinners.
  • Activities: In Ecuador mainland: 2 hours horseback riding on the slopes of the central Andes, 3 hours biking in the Llanganates national park, 4 hours white-water rafting on Jatunyacu River in the Amazon rainforest, 2 hours canyoning at Pimpilala waterfalls, bird watching and hiking exploration in the cloud forest, soaking in Papallacta hot springs, 5 hours trekking around the loop of Cuicocha active volcano, share time with local indigenous people, salsa lesson, organic cooking lessons with local people in the Andes. In Galapagos: Snorkeling at Kicker Rock and Isla de los Lobos, trekking to the top of Sierra Negra active volcano in Isabela Island, snorkeling in Lava Tunnels, kayaking in Tintoreras, biking to the Wall of Tears, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, hiking in Santa Cruz highlands.
  • Gear: In Ecuador mainland: hiking sticks, high-quality MTB (disc brakes, front suspension), helmets, gloves, rubber boots, ropes, 7-people- rafts, life jackets, paddles. In Galapagos: snorkeling mask and fins, life vest, mountain bikes, helmets, kayaks and paddles.
  • Trip Leader:  Certified AJ expert English-speaking adventure Trip Leader and naturalist local guides in Galapagos National Park.

What is not included?

  • My Own Room supplement $805.
  • International flights.
  • Airport transfer (international flights).
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Meals not described in the itinerary - estimated budget USD $360.

  • INGALA transit card: USD $20 per person, cash only (subject to change).

  • Galapagos National Park fee: USD $100 per person, cash only (subject to change).

  • USD $10 pier-use fee at Puerto Villamil (subject to change).

  • Wetsuit for rent: USD $10.

  • Tips.

IMPORTANT DETAILS

ITINERARY DISCLAIMER: It is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described; however, due to our travel style, on occasions it may be necessary or desirable to make small changes. Weather conditions and unpredictable local circumstances may lead us to make alterations to the route and/or travel times. Hotels and flight schedules might change according to availability. Any mention to specific wildlife in the itinerary or trip details is not a guarantee that it will be seen during the trip.

FLIGHT TIME:

2:45 hours each way from Quito to Galapagos. Regular size aircraft. About 140 passengers. 45 minutes from San Cristobal to Isabela. Small size aircraft. 9 passengers.

BOAT TRAVEL TIME:

2 hours from Isabela to Santa Cruz.

45 minutes each way - Lava Tunnels.

45 minutes each way - Kicker Rock.

DRIVING TIME:

45 minutes Airport transfers in Quito.

45 minutes Airport transfers in Galapagos.

45 minutes each way to Sierra Negra.

PROVINCE: Pichincha and Galapagos.

SEASON: All year.

TERRITORY: Quito City and Galapagos Islands National Park.

ALTITUDE: From sea level (most activities) to 1 200m (3,937 ft -Sierra Negra Volcano).

AVG. TEMP. : Day 15-34ºC / 59-93ºF - Night 12-17ºC / 53-62ºF

KAYAKING TIME: 2 hours.

SNORKELING TIME:  1 – 2 hours a day.

BIKING TIME: 3 hours total.

HIKING TIME

Sierra Negra: 5 hours total.
El Chato Tortoises Reserve: 1 hour total.

WEATHER TEMPERATURES: December to May: 80ºF to 90ºF / 25ºC to 30ºC. June to September: 60ºF to 70ºF / 15ºC to 20ºC. October to December: 70ºF to 80ºF/ 15ºC to 25ºC

WATER: The waters of the Galapagos Islands are a unique mixture of warm and cold water, ranging between 65ºF and 85ºF

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Moderate to Challenge. This program is located in The Galapagos Islands, includes multisport activities, long hike to the Sierra Negra Volcano, snorkeling almost every day, sea kayaking to view wild life, and biking mostly on flat roads.

GEAR: Adventure and protective equipment, snorkeling mask, fins, life jackets, mountain bikes, helmets, kayaks and paddle.

ACCOMODATION: All prices are based on double-occupancy. If you are travelling solo, you will be matched with another participant of your same sex. If you prefer to have a single room, please contact AJ prior to your departure to arrange your accommodation at an extra cost.

MEALS: Travelling with Adventure Journeys you will have the possibility to experience and taste local food and snacks. Your guide will help you identify typical food and suggest the best places to enjoy it. Some meals are not included in order to give you some flexibility about where, what and with whom to eat. You have the option to share these meals with the group, however there is no obligation to do this. If you have any allergies or food restrictions, please inform EPL prior to your departure.

YOUR TRIP LEADERS AND GUIDES: All AJ guides and trip leaders are highly experienced, licensed to operate in Ecuador and certified as Wilderness Adventure First Aid responders. We always carry a complete first aid kit in our trips. In some location and for some activities, local guides join the trip leaders to provide an added service. In the Galapagos Islands, minimum 4 participants for the AJ trip leader service are required.

SUSTAINABLE ECO AND CULTURAL TOURISM: Clients receive interpretation and education about the ecology and conservation of the Andes, Amazon Rainforest and Galapagos Islands, and learn about the factors that threaten it. We aim to promote long-term conservation of both local people cultural identity and the environment. We transport out and recycle all non-organic garbage and we prefer to work with local suppliers. Your visit will encourage the local communities to support responsible eco-tourism as a sustainable alternative for their living.

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