1-2hr drives by private vehicle in and around Quito. 2 flights (3.5hrs and 2hrs). 2 speedboats (2hrs each).
You'll be staying at countryside lodges and a remodelled old residence in mainland Ecuador, a beachfront hotel and a friendly guesthouse-style hotel in the Galápagos Islands.
Breakfast daily. Lunch days 2,3,9,10,11. Full board days 4,5.
• Mojanda to Otavalo Market walk, with community visits.
• Zuleta Valley hike with Andean cookery lesson.
• Climb Pasachoa peak.
• Hike Pedregal trail in Cotopaxi National Park.
• Climb to the snowline of Cotopaxi volcano.
• Walking city tour in Quito.
• Full programme of daily activities in the Galápagos.
Summary of nights
12 days, 11 nights: Otavalo region 2, Cotopaxi region 3, Quito 2, Galápagos 4 (Santa Cruz and Isabela Islands).
Included in the journey price
• Qualified bilingual local guides.
• All land transport
• Accommodation as specified
• Meals as specified
• Excursions as specified, including entrance fees
• International departure tax
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and gratuities
• Meals other than specified
• Optional excursions
The unit of currency in Ecuador is the US dollar.
It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses, but as most meals are included you should only need an extra $20-30 a day for drinks and souvenirs.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in Quito, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.
We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can spend as the dollar is the local currency especially in the Galápagos. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling or euros, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.
Tips are normally welcomed and expected. Local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. We recommend approximately $US5-10 per person per day for each of guides and drivers, depending on the size of the group.
Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.
Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.
If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.
This holiday is suitable for all able, fit visitors who have hiking experience and are used to an active lifestyle at home.
Lying at over 2,500m on the Equator, the highlands have a permanent spring-like climate. The rainy season in the Andes runs between November and April when there are showers most afternoons, so this departure falls in the height of the dry season when the sun is strong during the day, but at night the temperature drops dramatically (maybe as low as freezing point.). Given the proximity to the equator, altitude is the determining factor with regard to temperature. In the mountains at any time of year you should expect a variation between 15°C and 25°C.
In the Galápagos, from January to April it’s hot and the sun is relentless, with some sudden showers. May to July, and October to December is cloudier; August and September it’s often cloudy and cool, and a stiff breeze makes the waters choppier.
Your hikes are at high altitude (2,800-5,100m). A small minority of visitors may suffer temporarily from altitude sickness. Symptoms vary; most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. If you don’t recover in a day or two speak to our representatives; in very rare instances it is necessary to descend to lower altitudes. Most people are unaffected and if you drink plenty of water and allow your body to acclimatise (don’t exert yourself or drink alcohol) in the first couple of days after arrival, you will minimise your chances of suffering any symptoms.
Please refer to our Briefing Dossier for further information.
Clothing and special equipment
You should go prepared to encounter all seasons. A light fleece jacket and a waterproof waterproof/breathable shell makes a good combination for highland regions. You will need good walking boots, waterproof trousers, scarf, hat and gloves. Some trekkers like to use trekking poles: best to bring your own.
Sun screen and sunglasses are also highly recommended.
Don’t forget your binoculars, camera, charger and cards.
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements such as malaria prophylactics. For admission to the Galápagos a yellow fever certificate is required for anyone over 1 year old coming from an area with risk of yellow fever transmission. You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.
Cases of Zika virus have been reported in parts of Latin America. If you’re pregnant, or planning to be, you should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Clients with a different nationality should enquire or check with the Ecuadorian Consulate.
Esta - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/esta.html
This costs $14 per person. This must be applied for by you personally.
Passports must also be digital e-passports with embedded chip. Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.