Ecuador Amazon Rainforest & Galapagos Islands Tour
As we further open and expand our tours
in Latin America this is a tour we’re particularly very excited to lead you on.
Join us on our extensive Ecuadorian and
Galapagos Islands tour as we adventure deep into the Amazon by boat where
you’ll experience close encounters with the incredibly unique wildlife that
call this vast region home as well as meeting and learning from the indigenous
locals that will show us a trick or two on how to survive in the wilderness.
Extend your stay with our Group B tour as
we’ll explore what Quito has to offer by visiting the peak of Pichincha Volcano
with an altitude of 4000 meters, discovering the UNESCO world heritage listed back
streets on foot and climbing to the top of the Virgin of El Panecillo Statue
for breathtaking views of the capital below. We’ll even take up the opportunity
to enjoy the nightlife like a local and cruise around Quito by evening in our
very own Chivas with our personal DJ.
We’ll then make our way to Cuenca, Ecuador’s third-largest city and visit the Panama Hat factory – where Panama hats are originally from, get up close to human shrunken heads and wander the city’s historical square and alleys.
Our Group C part of the tour is not to be missed. We’ll head to Guayaquil which is Ecuador’s largest and most bustling city. We’ll explore the city’s waterfront by boat and indulge ourselves with the insane variety of local food this city holds.
We’ll then board a flight to Baltra – the gateway to the Galapagos Islands. Here this will be your once in a lifetime chance to explore the diverse marine life these islands behold and snorkel amongst turtles and friendly sea lions in the most pristine beautiful transparent waters Latin America has to offer.
Join us for any combination of Groups A, B and C or do the whole lot! As always, return Pioneer discounts apply, get in touch to book your spot.
Arrival at your convenience and transfer to our centrally located hotel
Meet at 6pm in the hotel lobby for a pre-tour meeting with your YPT guides and travellers continuing on from Colombia before we go out for dinner and drinks
Overnight in Quito
Saturday 20th November – Quito to El Coca
After breakfast we drive to Quito Airport and board a flight to El Coca that’ll put us right on the doorstep of Ecuadorian’s remote Amazonian rainforest (1 hour flight)
Upon our arrival we board a boat that’ll take us into the heart of Yasuni National Park – famous for being one of the world’s most biologically rich regions
Stop for a local lunch
We’ll then be greeted by our local guide who’ll lead us along a gentle hiking path to have unique opportunities to see the local wildlife in their natural habitats – optional kayaking is available to take you further off track for a more in-depth experience
Check into our Amazonian lodge to freshen up
Receive a warm welcome by the locals and greeted with a true Amazonian feast for dinner
Drinks & overnight at our lodge
Sunday 21st November – Amazon
We’ll start the morning off by seeing the colourful side of the Amazon by checking out the Clay Licks, Parrots and Parakeets – fantastic opportunity for photos
Stop by the local cultural centre with facts about the importance of the Amazon. Expect sizes to be all in number of Wales’s.
Climb to the top of a 40m canopy tower that’ll give us an incredible view across the tree tops
Jump aboard an indigenous catamaran ride – experience the traditional way of how the locals have been using the river for transport for centuries
Dinner and overnight back at the lodge
Monday 22nd November – Amazon
We’ll embark on a canoe tour that’ll give you a closer encounter with the river and wildlife that surrounds it – expect to see some of the 20 different species of monkeys, over sixteen hundred different species of birds, sloths and countless marine life.
Lunch back on land
We’ll jump on one of the most extensive hiking trails available and visit a local indigenous family – here we’ll learn how they’ve turned this wilderness into their home and the benefits of it
Dinner and overnight at lodge
Tuesday 23rd November – El Coca to Quito, GROUP A ENDS, GROUP B BEGINS
In the morning we’ll take part in a “Dream interpretation” session by drinking Wayusa – drank like tea this native plant is infused with naturally occurring caffeine and it can give of stimulative effects. YPT might be more about commies and unrecognised countries, but when in Rome…
We’ll say goodbye to our local guide and jump back on another boat to make our way back to El Cola
Board a flight back to Quito city where Group A of the tour concludes
Group B & C will continue and meet up for dinner and drinks in Zona Rosa AKA Gringolandia – Quito’s notorious famous nightlife district
Wednesday 24th December – Quito
Start the day off by walking off our breakfast and heading up to the very top of Panecillo Hill – the epicentre of Quito – for a perfect view of the bustling city below
For those seeking more of a breathtaking view you’ll have the chance to head further up the Virgin of El Panecillo Statue – this monumental sculpture is one of the biggest in South America, even bigger than Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue.
Lunch downtown at a local eatery – Quito’s cuisine benefits from a unique mix involving a variety of dishes inspired by both Coastal and Andean style
Begin our walking tour to learn more of the historical side of the city – Quito was the first city in the world to be listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Return to hostel to freshen up
For those who really want to soak up the party atmosphere we’ll jump on one of Quito’s famous Chivas – a brightly-lit decked out party truck with our very own DJ complete with drinks on tap that’ll take us around the city in style
Overnight in hotel
Thursday 25th November – Quito, TelefériQo, Mitad del Mundo
We’ll make our way to the top of Pichincha Volcano by catching the TelefériQo cable car reaching 4000m (13000 ft)
Providing the weather holds up, which is usually fine in the morning, we’ll have a view of another 6 volcanoes surrounding Quito, with the city laid out below us. Incredible opportunity for photos
Time to indulge ourselves with a local specialty, being that of the empanadas! – deep-fried parcels of sweet bread, filled with a little cheese and sprinkled with sugar. What better way to wash it down with a cup of Canelazo – a local specialty beverage made with raw sugar, cinnamon and a dash (or three) of aguardiente – fire water!
You have the option of riding on horseback even higher up the volcano, or alternatively have a ride on the rollercoaster in the amusement park back at the bottom of the volcano (extra charge)
We’ll drive 45 minutes to the famous Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World) monument just outside Quito – Mitad del Mundo was built straddling the equator. You can try out various science experiments here, one of them being if the myth is true about water going down the plughole in opposite directions on opposite sides of the equator
Lunch at Mitad del Mundo
Return to our hotel to freshen up
We’ll hit up a local joint that does an incredible Churrasco dish – a local version of a Brazilian dish which involves noodles mixed with chicken or beef.
Drinks in town followed by a good sleep at the hotel
Friday 26th November – Quito/Cuenca
Make our way to the airport and jump aboard a 45 minute flight to Ecuador’s third largest city of Cuenca – situated in a valley at about 2500m with a population of 450,000 people.
Visit to a hat factory to see the part-artisanal, part-industrial process of making Panama hats – it’s a common misconception that Panama hats are made in Panama, but in fact they are made right here in Cuenca! Hats are available to buy hats at factory prices – around $25, though the very finest hats cost $800 or more!
After lunch, for a truly local experience we’ll catch the newly-inaugurated streetcar to the local hot mineral springs baths to restore your wellbeing after being on a few boats and flights from earlier in the trip
Dinner at a local restaurant
Overnight in Cuenca
Saturday 27th November – Cuenca
Morning walking tour of the historic centre of this UNESCO World Heritage city
Climb up to the roof of the ‘New’ Cathedral with its very distinctive domes for a view down to the main city square
After lunch we’ll visit the Pumapungo park, where you can see real live (well, dead actually) human shrunken heads – a ritual that involved using a severed human head that was used for trophy, ritual, or trade purposes.
Dinner, drinks and overnight at Cuenca
Saturday 28th November – Cuenca to Guayaquil
Jump on a bus and head to Guayaquil – the largest and most populous city of Ecuador. This four-hour trip through the Cajas National Park will take us high up into the mountains with spectacular views of the cloud forests before dropping down to the Pacific coast.
Check into our guest house located in the heart of the historical quarter of Guayaquil
Head down to Malecón (sea wall) park to board a boat as we believe one of the best ways to see Guayaquil is along its waterfront
Guayaquil is nowadays the economic and industrial capital of the country, and for centuries everyone wanted a piece of it, so the conquistadores built a look-out on top of a handy hill to watch for invading pirates and Brits. There’s 650 steps to the top, but to make things easier there is a bar roughly every 10 steps, so our challenge is to make the journey to the very top!
Dinner and overnight in our guest house with the tour concluding for our Group B members
Sunday 29th November – Guayaquil to Galapagos Island: END OF GROUP B, GROUP C BEGINS
Head to the airport to board our two hour flight to Baltra – the gateway to the Galapagos Islands. On our way we’ll pick up our Galapagos National Park permits
Once arriving we’ll then transport across Santa Cruz Island to our hotel
Begin our boat tour of Academy Bay – visit “La Lobería”, named because of the colony of sea lions that are located here. You can snorkel and play with these friendly animals, observe goldfish and countless sea turtles.
We’ll then make our way to the Canal of Love, where you can see whitefin sharks and marine iguanas in the “Playa de los Perros”.
Overnight in Galapagos guess house
Monday 30th November – Santa Fe
We’ll start the day off by a Santa Fe boat tour – Santa Fe is a small island of 24 square km located in the central part of the archipelago, southeast of Santa Cruz.
Walk along the beach of Santa Fe – here we’ll have an up close glimpse of the sea life and playful sea lions
Explore the picturesque turquoise lagoon – perfect for snorkeling with its calm waters and numerous sea lions!
Lunch onboard our boat
Head back to our guest house on Galapagos
Dinner, drinks and overnight
Tuesday 1st December – Isabela Island / Poza de Flamingos
We’ll head to a Giant Turtle Breeding Centre located on a bay with beautiful shallow, calm and transparent water allowing you to observe the fascinating marine fauna of Galapagos. Swimming with the sea lions and penguins is highly encouraged!
Lunch on the beach
We’ll move to Tintoreras for more frolicking and absorbing all of what the nature of Galapagos has to offer
Dinner and drinks on our last night in this island paradise
Overnight in the Galapagos Islands
Wednesday 2nd December – Galapagos to Guayaquil
We’ll have an early morning start for a one hour walk (roughly 5km) to Turtle Bay. The route is perfect for bird watching; it’s easy to spot several species of finches when you walk the path.
One hour transfer back to Baltra and board our two hour flight back to Guayaquil
Tour concludes with YPT able to assist with airport transfers and onward travel
• Flight tickets to and from the tour
• Visa Fee if applicable (YPT can provide full visa support)
• Single supplement
• Dinners, drinks and personal spending
• Extra activities not included on the itinerary
We have expert guides ready to help answer any questions you may have.