Arrive in Quito, Ecuador, where you will be met and transferred to your local hotel.
Quito is located in a huge valley of the Andes mountains at an altitude of 9,455 feet; it’s a great place to extend your stay to explore the city, the surrounding volcanic mountain range, or possibly an extension to the colorful indigenous Otavalo market or the Cloud Forest.
Your Galapagos adventure begins on Baltra
Meals: None Lodging: Quito hotel
Day 2 Quito / Galapagos
This morning you will be transferred to the airport in time for your morning flight to the Galapagos. You will land on Baltra Island and cross the narrow Itabaca Channel to Santa Cruz accompanied by a bilingual naturalist guide who will take you to your safari camp in the highlands for a tasty lunch. You will then take a guided tour of the area, exploring various vegetation zones and microclimates, walking around pit craters, through lava tunnels, and getting acquainted with endemic Scalesia and Guayabillo forests. At the Tortoise Reserve, you will observe the islands' emblematic giant tortoises in their natural habitat and also the abundant bird life of the highlands. Your tour will end at Galapagos Safari Camp, where you can enjoy a sunset cocktail followed by dinner before retiring to your comfortable tent for the night.
You'll love the stunning views from the veranda of the Galapagos Safari Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner Lodging: Safari Camp
Day 3-4 Cruise to Neighboring Islands
Each day, after an early breakfast, you will take a boat trip to explore one of the neighbouring islands (North Seymour, Bartolome, Plazas, Santa Fe, Floreana, or Isabela). Each island has its unique natural habitat, and you will be guided through the evolutionary marvels of each destination. Also, the Galapagos Marine Reserve is the second largest reserve in the world. You will be able to snorkel off the boat and experience the richness of the area's aquatic species. Alternatively, if you are SCUBA-certified, you may replace one or both day trips with diving.
Get close-up views of Galapagos sea lions frolicking in the surf
In the morning, you will be driven to the eastern part of the island. At 490 meters above sea level, Cerro Mesa offers dramatic views, has the largest crater on Santa Cruz, and is home to numerous endemic plants as well as seven subspecies of finches and the Vermillion Flycatcher. After lunch, you will visit Garrapatero, a pristine beach where the contrast of mangroves, black lava, white sand, and turquoise water, in addition to the buzzing coastal bird life and the small lagoon habituated by pink flamingos, is sensational. Kayaking and mountain biking are possible activities.
Enjoy the sunrise and an early breakfast before you are transferred to the airport for your flight back to the mainland.
In Quito, you will be met and driven approximately three hours to the small jungle town of Misahualli. Your accommodations are in a tasteful, contemporary lodge, in an oasis of lush vegetation overlooking the Napo River in the Amazon rainforest, your base for the next three nights.
Take a short walk to one of the largest butterfly gardens in Ecuador, or enjoy a dip in the ozone-treated, rainwater swimming pool.
After a hearty breakfast, head out to visit the Jatun Sacha Chichicorumi Reserve, where you will enjoy a six-hour walk with an exceptional native guide through both primary and secondary rainforest. You will discover the mysteries of the forest, including medicinal plants, birds, amazing animals and insects, and colorful frogs and reptiles. Continue on to Santa Barbara, where you will meet an indigenous community set deep in the jungle. The trek includes a picnic lunch and a canoe trip back to your lodge. Please note that there are alternative activites to adapt to the needs of different interests and age groups.
Today is an exciting day of rafting through amazing canyons and rapids, and for swimming in calm waters or the Napo or Arajuno rivers. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the riverbank before continuing on your voyage. You may choose among class II, III, or IV rafting, depending on your inclination and abilities. Alternative activities may be arranged upon request.
A calm spot in the river where you are likely to spot birds and other wildlife
JOURNEYS International has specialized in ecotourism since 1978. We offer you the best nature tours, safaris, treks, adventure travel, family and cultural trips on earth. Whether you call it an eco vacation, adventure travel, ecotravel, ecotour, sustainable travel or responsible travel, for nearly 30 years we have been creating ecologically sensitive and culturally responsible travel to exotic destinations around the world. Specialty ecotrips include women's tours, Kilimanjaro climbs, exploration cruises, festival trips, student group trips and cross cultural and wildlife safaris. Read more about JOURNEYS International.