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Amazon Basin and Galapagos

  • Amazon Basin and Galapagos

  • Amazon Basin and Galapagos

  • Amazon Basin and Galapagos

Amazon Basin and Galapagos

10 nights visiting Quito, the Amazon, and Galapagos.

Day 01 – Quito (-/-/-)

  • Upon arrival private transfer from the airport to Hotel in Quito (private English speaking guide)
  • Overnight in Quito

Day 02 – Quito / Coca – Sacha Lodge (B/L/D)

  • Departure transfer from the Hotel to airport to take your flight to the Amazon (private English speaking guide)
  • Flight from Quito to Coca.
  • canoe ride, canoe paddling, nature walks and jungle exploration
  • Overnight in Sacha Lodge

Day 03 – Sacha Lodge (B/L/D)

  • Hikes, jungle exploration, canopy walk, medicinal plant learning.
  • Overnight in Sacha Lodge

Day 04 – Sacha Lodge (B/L/D)

  • Hiking in the jungle, learn about the trees where native people believe the spirits of their ancestors live, canoe ride, sport fishing, observation tower
  • Overnight in Sacha Lodge

Day 05 – Coca / Quito (B/-/-)

  • Boat ride back to Coca, transfer out to the airport.
  • Upon arrival private transfer from the airport to Hotel in Quito (private English speaking guide)
  • Afternoon city tour of Quito.
  • Overnight in Quito

Day 06 – Quito – San Cristobal (B/L/D)

  • Saturday: AM Arrival at San Cristóbal airport / PM Punta Pitt: walk, panga ride.
  • Overnight onboard MV Santa Cruz II.

Day 07 – Santa Fe / South Plaza (B/L/D) 

  • Sunday: AM Santa Fe: Walk, snorkelling, panga ride and glass bottom boat. South Plaza: Walk.
  • Overnight onboard MV Santa Cruz II.

Day 08 – Santa Cruz (B/L/D) 

  • Monday: AM Charles Darwin Research Station: walk / PM Santa Cruz: multisport and other activities available such as: sea kayak, hikes, mountain bike,  experience sustainable agriculture.
  • Overnight onboard MV Santa Cruz II.

Day 09 – Española (B/L/D) 

  • Tuesday: AM Punta Suárez: walk
  • PM Gardner Bay: walk, snorkelling, swimming
  • Overnight onboard MV Santa Cruz II.

Day 10 – Baltra / Quito (B/-/-)  

  • Wednesday: AM Transfer out to Baltra airport
  • Flight back to Quito
  • Upon arrival private transfer from the airport to Hotel in Quito (private English speaking guide)
  • Overnight in Quito

Day 11 – Quito (B/-/-)  

  • Private transfer from Hotel to airport in Quito (private English speaking guide) for international flight.

Special Remarks:
B: Breakfast / L: Lunch / BL: Box Lunch / D: Dinner

Day 01 – Quito (-/-/-)

Welcome to Quito and Ecuador!. At the airport you will be greeted by one of our representatives, we will escort you all the way to your hotel, giving you a short briefing about Quito and the country in general with valuable information you need to know.

Quito airport is located about one and half hour from Quito depending on traffic conditions, please make sure you do not leave anything behind.

Private transportation and guide, handling of two pieces of luggage per person at the airport and the hotel)

Overnight in Quito. Hilton Colon. Deluxe room.

Day 02 - Quito / Coca - Sacha Lodge (B/L/D)

Depart Quito’s airport.  A 30 minute flight over the Andes Mountains leads you to a bustling oil town called Coca located in the Amazon Basin.  A quick lunch in Sacha’s private house and then its off to the town docks where you will board Sacha’s private canoes for the 2 hour journey down river to Sacha’s Lodges property.

A 30 minute hike through the rainforest leads you to lake Pilchicocha.  Here, you are met by native workers to paddle you across the lake to your final destination.
Arrive at Sacha Lodge around noon. Swim in Lake Pilchicocha, which is a black water lake home to many species of fish and animals.  A refreshing swim after arriving may be just what you need after being in the equatorial heat all day.
Bird observing from the mini tower offers guests an excellent opportunity to view several species of birds common around the lodge.  Also a great place to watch the sun set.

Visit the butterfly house with your naturalist guide to view the beautiful colors of many different species of butterflies.
After dinner, accompany your naturalist guide on a night walk through the rainforest to view the hundreds of different species of animals that can only be found at night.  Or maybe a canoe ride on the lake to view the spectacled and black caimans with their glowing orange eyes as you silently paddle across the lake to get a closer view.

Day 03 - Sacha Lodge (B/L/D)

Begin morning activity between 6:00 and 7:00  (full-day/ box lunch)

Begin walking on trail Liana Chica and arrive at the canopy walk, for spectacular views of the rainforest canopy and the many different species of vibrantly colored birds. Designed to be a self-standing rigid suspension canopy walk. It is one of only a few in the world!  Located within Sacha’s private reserve, 2 miles from the shores of the Rio Napo and 1 mile from the lodge, the bird walk gives guests the opportunity to get an up close and personal view of the rainforest canopy. Two of the three towers have observation decks every 12 meters making towers accessible for everyone.  The canopy walkway is at 118 feet high and 902 feet long, giving guests a “birds eye view” of all the wonders and beauty the tropical rainforest has to offer. The canopy walk is designed as a sturdy walkway enabling guests to casually move along while enjoying the spectacular views.

After the canopy walk, Liana Grande through terra firma and igapo forest habitats where native guides will explain many different species of medicinal plants that have been being used in their culture for hundreds of years.

Liana Grande will turn into the trail Higueron, which will take you through pristine primary forest with huge Kapok and Fig trees towering hundreds of feet above your head. Higueron will eventually lead to the Finca where an excellent lunch prepared especially for long day trips, will be served while you listen to the many species of birds around the Finca and enjoy the coolness of the covered picnic tables.
From the Finca, you may choose to take a leisurely hike along the Rio Napo, or choose a little more challenging hike on the trail Leoncillo to try and spot the elusive dusky titi monkey.  Either way the trails will lead you back to the main boardwalk for your final hike and canoe ride back to the lodge.

Day 04 - Sacha Lodge (B/L/D)

Leaving the lodge after breakfast, you begin your hike on trail Lagartococha.  This trail offers you the chance to learn more about the native people and their relationship with the forest.  Learn about the trees where native people believe the spirits of their ancestors live, and the mysterious “dwende” or devil-man of the forest. After arriving at lake Lagartococha, take a tranquil canoe ride through a natural swamp, which is the home of anacondas, caimans, and capybaras.

After the canoe ride, a walk on the other side of Largatococha may give you the opportunity to spot capuchin or squirrel monkeys playfully jumping through the trees. Return from the walk or canoe ride and head back to the lodge for a refreshing dip in the lake, or a nice relaxing nap in your personal hammock on your private balcony. After lunch, your native guide will teach you how to fish for the infamous razor-toothed piranha.  Keep in mind that piranhas will never attack a person and swimming at the same time is perfectly safe and fun!

Around 4:00 you will begin what many think is the best trail at Sacha, a silent canoe ride through the flooded Amazonian forest.  Where you have a good chance of being surrounded by troops of squirrel, capuchin, and howler monkeys.  Keep your eyes peeled for the shy and elusive river otter as well as the incredibly well camouflaged three-toed sloth!

After your eye-popping ride through the flooded forest, you will arrive at Sacha´s135-foot wooden tower built around an ancient Kapok tree.  Get close up views of vibrantly colored birds through Sacha´s powerful scopes, and watch the sun set with an amazing view of Mount Sumaco, a volcano, and possibly a view of the snow-covered caps of the Andes!

Leaving the tower just before or after sunset will give you an experience not soon forgotten.  A canoe ride back through the flooded forest at night will be an awe-inspiring experience.  Listen to the symphony of frogs and insects as you navigate through the narrow flooded forest trail, keeping your eyes open for caimans.  Watch the several species of bats flying over your heads and listen to the many species of nocturnal birds making their eerie nighttime calls.  Finally, after your mesmerizing canoe trip through the Amazon, you will arrive back at lake Pilchicocha and the welcoming lights of Sacha lodge.

Day 05 – Coca / Quito (B/-/-)

Breakfast and departure from the lodge by motor canoe. One last walk on the boardwalk to the river for about 20 minutes, and from there a 2 hour canoe ride back to Coca, then your 35 minute flight back to Quito will be awaiting. Arrive Quito in the afternoon, after check in you will begin the city tour of Quito.

Quito’s colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved of South America, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.   We will stroll at the Independence Plaza, flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop’s Palace. We will visit the temple of La Compañía de Jesús and its awesome gilded interior. We will continue on to the Monastery of San Francisco, one the of great religious buildings of the New World; its impressive façade and atrium that lead to its Baroque interior influenced by Moorish style, with the winged Virgin of Quito at its main altar. The tour ends at a lookout point with a great view of Quito.

Overnight in Quito. Hilton Colon. Deluxe room.

Day 06 – Quito – San Cristobal (B/L/D)

After breakfast you will be taken back to the airport for your Galapagos flight.
Arrival by plane to San Cristobal Island and transfer to the Santa Cruz II, anchored at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the provincial capital of the Galapagos Islands. Cabin assignment, introductory talk, boat drill and lunch.

Punta Pitt (San Cristobal Island).

In the afternoon, we disembark on the eastern tip of the island at Punta Pitt, an eroded tuff cone, whose trail provides spectacular views of the shoreline. This is the only site in the Galapagos where the three species of boobies can be found together. We can walk or enjoy a panga ride along the coast.

Day 07 – Santa Fe / South Plaza (B/L/D)

Sunday:

Santa Fe Island

After breakfast, we take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by many sea lions. The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the morning walk amid the giant prickly pear cactus. Snorkelling and swimming from the panga rounds off our rewarding experience, or if guests prefer, the glass bottom boat for non-snorkelers.

South Plaza Island

Following lunch and a rest, we disembark in this channel, whose turquoise waters contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. Beyond, a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide, playing with the thermals.

Day 08 – Santa Cruz (B/L/D)

Monday:

Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)

In the morning, we disembark (dry landing) for our visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station’s giant tortoise Breeding Center within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Following our visit, we board our transport to enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem.

Santa Cruz Island

We have several options available for the afternoon (hiking, mountain biking or kayaking in Tortuga Bay), which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader.  At the end of the afternoon’s activities, we return to Puerto Ayora and embark on the Santa Cruz II.

Day 09 – Española (B/L/D)

Tuesday:

Punta  Suarez (Española Island)

An exciting walk awaits at this site, where we enjoy its unique sea bird colonies, including waved albatrosses (April- January), Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tail gulls as well as a view of the Galapagos famous “blow-hole”. Also, look out for red-green-black marine iguanas. Back on board for lunch.

Gardner Bay (Española Island)

In the afternoon, the picture-postcard white coral beach of Gardner Bay provides a beautiful setting for observing sea lions, mockingbirds, finches as we relax. We can expect great snorkeling in this area.

Day 10 – Baltra / Quito (B/-/-)

Wednesday:

Baltra Island

On our last day, we disembark at Baltra Island and transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the continent.

NOTES:

  • Please remember that the exact route and program may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter. It’s also subject to change without previous notice due mainly to readjustment of the National Park policies and regulations.
  • Dry landing: guests step from the panga (dinghy) onto rocks or a dock.
  • Wet landing: as the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into around 8 inches of water and wade ashore.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • On days 2 and 6, please dress with comfortable shoes and clothes, bring a small backpack with any medicine you might be taking, sunblock, insect repellent and anything you need.
  • All your luggage will be sent on board the ship straight to your cabin.

PACKING CHECK LIST:

  • At Night: Cruise-Casual attire for dining; no shorts, swimwear or tank tops.
  • On Shore: shorts or fast-drying slacks, T-shirts, or long sleeved cotton shirts.
  • Walking shoes
  • Thongs or sandals
  • Wind-breaker
  • Hat with a brim
  • Bathing suits
  • Bandana to cover the back of your neck from the sun’s rays
  • Sunglasses (with holding strap)
  • Extra set of glasses or contact lenses + lens solution
  • Sun block (SPF30 or higher)
  • Insect repellent (Mosquitoes are NOT malaria carrying)
  • Grooming kit
  • Personal medication
  • Multi-purpose Zip-loc bags.
  • Camera gear, extra memory and charger (or extra batteries)
  • Lip balm (SPF30 or higher)
  • Portable computer or Tablet (intermittent and low-bandwidth WiFi available onboard)

Upon arrival into Quito International Airport, you will be met by our representative and will be transferred to your hotel. Private transportation and guide, handling of two pieces of luggage per person at the airport and the hotel)

Overnight in Quito. Hilton Colon. Deluxe room.

Day 11 – QUITO (B/-/-)

Private transfer back to the airport fir international flight.

PRICES PER PERSON IN DOUBLE ACCOMMODATION
Area Hotel / Ship Room/Cabin (*)
Quito Hilton Colon Deluxe room
Jungle Sacha Lodge Standard room
Galapagos MV Santa Cruz II Horizon Deck
Please enquire for pricing
(*): Other types available with a supplement

NOTES

  • For Christmas and New Year peak season surcharge applies.

EXCLUSIONS

  • International air fares
  • Meals or any other item not described in the itinerary
  • Early check-in, late check-out, services and non-mentioned meals in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses
  • Drinks during meals, hotel extras and personal spending
  • Tips for hotel staff

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