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Value Ecuador and Galapagos: At a glance

9 days from £2,620pp

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Value Ecuador and Galapagos: At a glance

9 days from £2,620pp

Price excludes international flights at the beginning and end of the trip


Private Journey


Day 1

Arrive Quito high in the Andes. Transfer to countryside hotel .
Quito, Ecuador

As soon as you arrive at Quito’s high altitude airport you are whisked off to the glorious Andean countryside surrounding the capital. You stay at a Pinsaqui, a Spanish colonial hacienda (country estate) with an illustrious history.

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Quito, Ecuador

Day 2

Day at leisure to explore the region.
otavalo indians

You have a day at leisure at the hacienda. While it might be tempting just to sit back and enjoy the views from the subtropical gardens, we recommend you visit the nearby market town Otavalo, famous for its weavings and other artisan work crafted by the proud – and prosperous - Otavalo Indians who still wear their striking traditional clothes.

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otavalo indians

Day 3

Transfer to Quito, guided walking colonial city tour.
old quito

Today you have a guided walking tour of the colonial highlights of Quito - the world’s first UNESCO Heritage Site city. Narrow cobblestone streets are lined with whitewashed walls and rising above are the steeples and cupolas of the city´s numerous spectacularly decorated historic churches. Walk through the main plaza, where you will see the baroque cathedral and other delightful 16th and 17th century churches.

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old quito

Day 4

Full day excursion to the Valley of the Volcanoes and Cotopaxi.

A full day trip down the Avenue of the Volcanoes one of the most picturesque routes in Latin America. As its name implies, the route passes an imperial guard of conical snow-draped volcanic cones, surrounded by lush pastures pitted with colonial market towns and tiny indigenous villages. You arrive at Cotopaxi National Park, dominated by the superb snow-tipped volcano of the same name. There are chances to go walking here, and at the Limpiopungo lake (3,850m) with expansive views. Relax over lunch at a mountain refuge on the northern side of the national park, before heading back to Quito.

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Day 5

Fly to the Galápagos Islands, transfer to hotel on Santa Cruz Island.
frigate birds galapagos

Drive back to Quito’s airport and fly to the Galápagos islands (2-4hrs, depending if there is a stop in Guayaquil on the way).  From the  airport at Baltra there’s a speedboat ride over to the archipelago's mountainous principal island, Santa Cruz, which hosts the capital, Puerto Ayora.  Transfer on to your hotel, Finch Bay which is just outside the town.

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frigate birds galapagos

Day 6

At leisure in the Galápagos, optional excursions.
South Plaza Island The Galapagos

At leisure at Finch Bay. Choose form a large number of different activities.  You can visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, the Highlands and Tortuga Bay. There are also optional excursions by motor launch to nearby islands of North Seymour, South Plaza, Santa Fe and Bartolome (itinerary confirmed locally). There are also sporting activities you might dip into including mountain biking, introductory scuba diving classes, snorkelling, sea kayaking and hiking.

North Seymour is a small island covered in boulders and scrubby bush. Large colonies of seabirds (frigates, blue-footed) breed here and there’s always a courting, mating or nesting ritual to see.

Santa Fe is one of the most beautiful islands, with a lovely turquoise lagoon. Some of the giant cacti there grow up to 10m high. There are land iguanas, sea-lions and lava lizards.

South Plaza  is famed for its lovely flora, including the prickly pear, Depending on the season, the ground vegetation changes colour from intense green to orange and purple. You’ll also see colonies of land iguana, and nesting birds such as the tropicbird.

Bartolome is a small, arid island with blue-black lava flows and white-sand beaches fringed by mangroves. You can spot penguins and go snorkelling there.

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South Plaza Island The Galapagos

Days 7-8

At leisure in the Galápagos, optional excursions.
Kayaking with sea lions in the Galápagos Islands

There are also sporting activities you might dip into including mountain biking, introductory scuba diving classes, snorkelling, sea kayaking and hiking.

You can also visit Puerto Ayora, a lively but laid back place bursting with shops, cafés, restaurants and banks. It’s a busy harbour, with tourist yachts and fishing boats coming and going, and the bay is full of fearless pelicans, iguanas and blue-footed boobies. Spend some time on the beach there and you may well be joined by a sea-lion or two. Nearby is the Charles Darwin Research station, where you can learn about the history of the islands and conservation projects, and Tortuga Bay, where you might spot giant tortoises and reef sharks.

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Kayaking with sea lions in the Galápagos Islands

Day 9

Fly to Guayaquil; connect with international flight.

Transfer back to Baltra airport and fly to Guayquil on the Pacific coast. Connect with your international flight. UK clients arrive home the following day.

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About Private Journeys

Private Journeys are pre-planned holidays crafted by our experts, featuring routes and combinations that are proven to work well.

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Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for over 37 years.
We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.

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