Monday 10th of February 2020 until Thursday 31st of December 2020
Ecuador in Luxury - 10 Days / 9 Nights - from $11320* per person (with World Journeys).
Experience the very best of enchanting Ecuador, staying at the luxury Casa Gangotena Hotel in the heart of historic Quito to discover this gem of a city. Move into the nature theme with two nights at the award-winning Mashpi Lodge, set in the Cloud Forest where the Amazon Basin and the Andes meet to create a home to an incredible diversity of birds, plants, animals and insects. Later cruise for five days in style around the Galapagos islands, a life-changing experience.
Day 1: Quito. Arrive in Quito and transfer to the wonderful Casa Gangotena, consistently rated amongst the very best hotels in all of South America.
Day 2: Quito. Enjoy a leisurely private walking tour through the historic heart of Quito. This delightful city, considered to have the most well-preserved colonial centre of any Latin America capital, was in fact the first city in the world to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit beautiful churches and the charming main square, where you can admire guards dressed in traditional costume at the entrance to the Presidential Palace, and wander cobbled squares before admiring the city from a panoramic viewpoint. You may wish to enjoy one of the complimentary excursions and activities offered at your hotel. Some options include an afterhours visit to the Carmen Alto Museum or a Chocolate and Cheese tasting experience.
Day 3: Quito > Mashpi Lodge. A scenic three-hour road transfer takes you to Mashpi Lodge. Situated in the Ecuadorian Choco rainforest and known as one of the world's greatest biodiversity hotspots, this multi-award winning luxury lodge is your base to begin the afternoon forest excursion. In the evening, enjoy the fine cuisine this lodge has become well known for after perhaps enjoying a treatment in the Wellness Spa.
Day 4: Mashpi Lodge. A full day of exploring with activities available to suit all levels of fitness. You can ride the Sky Bike along a cable stretched high in the forest canopy or, to see it from above, take the wonderful Dragonfly gondola and gently glide over the forest to admire the incredible variety of trees, ferns and birdlife that lives there. The more energetic can go on hikes with their guide, or if a quieter time is preferred, perhaps sit and be enchanted by dozens of alluring hummingbirds coming to feed close by. Later in the day, listen to the call of the Howler Monkeys and enjoy a night walk when the forest transforms as a whole new set of nocturnal creatures appear. Throughout your time at Mashpi Lodge, an English speaking naturalist guide and a guide native to the area will accompany you. They will share their knowledge of the forest, explaining some of the food and medicinal qualities of the plants, as well as locating many birds, insects and reptiles this region is so rich in.
Day 5: Mashpi Lodge > Quito. Time for morning activities before you transfer back to Quito and arrive in the late afternoon at the Casa Gangotena Hotel.
Day 6: Quito > Galapagos Islands. This morning fly to the Galapagos Islands, situated some 1000km off the coast of Ecuador, to commence your 4 night/5 day cruise. Choose from two itineraries offered by the 90 passenger Santa Cruz II (Northern Islands or Western Islands) or another two itineraries aboard the luxury 48 passenger La Pinta (Northern Islands or Eastern Islands). All meals, shore excursions and snorkelling equipment are included when on board. This afternoon you will commence your first excursion as your Galapagos adventure begins.
Days 7- 9: Cruising the Galapagos Islands. Each day is filled with both morning and afternoon excursions ashore as the history, geography and wildlife of these amazing islands is unfolded by your expert naturalist guide. Zodiac rides allow you to see more of the coast and snorkelling or glass bottom boat excursions reveal a wonderland of rich marine life beneath the waves. You will visit a number of islands during the cruise, each with their own unique personality which will be explained to you each evening in your pre-dinner lecture. The equatorial constellations will also be revealed during a stargazing lecture on board.
Day 10: Galapagos Islands > Guayaquil. Enjoy a final morning activity ashore in the islands, then fly back to Guayaquil and to connect with your onward flight.
Includes: • Tailor-made journey with English-speaking local guides • 5 nights hotel and lodge accommodation and 4 nights in a Horizon Deck Cabin (Santa Cruz II) or a Luxury Cabin (Yacht La Pinta) • Snorkelling equipment on the Galapagos Cruise (including a wetsuit on Yacht la Pinta) • Transfers and transport • Economy Class air ticket Quito/Galapagos Islands/Guayaquil • INGALA card for the Galapagos Islands • Entrance fees • 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners
Departs: Most Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the year.
Conditions: * It is our policy to present the cost of our flights & holidays inclusive of all airport and government charges. Please accept however that these charges are not within our control, therefore we reserve the right to pass on any increase. Travel agent professional service fees where charged, will be additional to the advertised prices.