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Luxury Ecuador and Galapagos

13 days from £9,260pp (excl. international flights)
Quito  → Cloud Forest  → Galapagos Islands  → Guayaquil

Explore the diversity of Ecuador & Galapagos in luxury

Indulge in the ultimate luxury adventure through Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, a journey that seamlessly blends natural wonders with opulent accommodations.

Begin in Quito, where the historic charm of the city meets modern sophistication at Casa Gangotena. Explore cultural treasures, savour gourmet cuisine, and unwind in a luxurious hotel.

Next, venture into the enchanting Cloud Forest, a haven of biodiversity. Immerse yourself in the lush greenery, stay in an enchanting Mashpi Lodge, and discover unique wildlife on guided excursions with local naturalists.

Continue to the iconic Galapagos Islands, where the luxury mega-catamaran Ocean Spray cruise takes you to a diverse range of remote islands and secluded coves. Encounter endemic wildlife, from giant tortoises to marine iguanas, and explore pristine landscapes. The Galapagos Islands is the perfect opportunity to have up-close encounters with wildlife, snorkel alongside playful sea lions, swim with marine turtles, and observe unique bird species, including blue-footed boobies and waved albatrosses.

Conclude your journey in Guayaquil, where the luxury continues at Hotel del Parque, a charming boutique hotel. Unwind in elegant surroundings, enjoy fine dining, and reflect on the extraordinary experiences of your luxury Ecuadorian odyssey.

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The itinerary…

Day 1: Welcome to Quito!

Casa Gangotena plaza view min

Casa Gangotena, view onto Plaza San Francisco

Commence your Ecuadorian adventure with a daytime flight, arriving in Quito late afternoon or early evening. Upon your arrival, a Far & Wild representative will be there to greet you, ensuring a smooth transfer from the airport to your hotel, the luxurious Casa Gangotena in the heart of the colonial city.

Day 2: Quito Hands on Experience

Quito Casa Agave

Casa Agave

Begin your adventure exploring Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage site, exploring its colonial centre with landmarks like the Government Palace and San Francisco Monastery. Venture off the beaten path to experience the sights, sounds, and aromas of a traditional food market, where you can create your own fresh juices and partake in a herbal cleansing with a local "curandero." Dive into Ecuadorian food and market life to feel like a true local.

Continue your exploration with a chocolate experience into Ecuador's esteemed cocoa history and indulging in a chocolate tasting. Journey northwest to the equatorial line, walking the rim of the Pululahua volcanic crater and visiting the Intiñan Museum, where you can straddle two hemispheres simultaneously.

Conclude your extraordinary day at Casa Agave, a project devoted to the Andean agave culture. Discover Ecuador's identity through the first agave experience museum in South America, featuring a museum, botanical garden, distillery, and tasting. Immerse yourself in the spirit of Ecuador and its cultural richness on this unforgettable tour.

Day 3: Travel to the Cloud Forest

MP20060 Mashpi Lodge walk min 2

Hiking in Mashpi Reserve

With fellow Mashpi Lodge guests as we journey north from the city, tracing the western flank of the Andes alongside the equatorial line at "La Mitad del Mundo." Descend westward along the Rio Blanco, witnessing the gradual transformation of vegetation with each change in altitude until you reach the lodge around noon. After check-in, meet the lodge’s knowledgeable naturalist guides who will talk about the cloud forests, their characteristics, and their vital role in conservation efforts.

In the afternoon, embark on the Napa Path discovery through the forest, traversing diverse habitats including forest regeneration and expansive primary forest patches. Gain insights into Mashpi's ecological realities and the significance of forest conservation.

Day 4: Choco Reserve, Mashpi

MP20008 Observation tower min

Observation Tower at Mashpi Lodge

Experience the enchanting beauty of Mashpi's forest with our morning bird-watching activity. Early risers will witness a diverse array of fascinating bird species attracted by the dawn light with our knowledgeable guides provide insights, allowing guests to view animals up close through a telescope. After breakfast, embark on an adventure to the Observation Tower, offering a breathtaking view of the jungle canopy from 30 metres above the ground. Marvel at the 70% of the forest's biodiversity thriving in the treetops. Additionally, explore the forest on the air bicycle, a thrilling activity designed for two people, providing a unique perspective of Mashpi's nature.

In the afternoon, traverse the "Monkey Trail Howler" to reach the Life Centre. Here, observe birds and mammals from a wooden deck, and learn about butterflies and their metamorphosis in the butterfly area. Explore a "tropical garden" with fruit trees and delve into scientific research projects during a 30-minute talk, showcasing the incredible diversity of Mashpi's cloud forest. Immerse yourself in the wonders of nature during this 2 to 4-hour combination of activities.

Day 5: Return to Quito

Quito Plaza Grande

Quito's Plaza Grande

On your final day at Mashpi Lodge, savour the opportunity to delve deeper into the forest trails, discover a new waterfall, or simply find a tranquil spot to reflect on the entire immersive experience.

After check-out from the hotel the transfer will depart from Mashpi Lodge for Quito and includes a box lunch. Depart with the echoes of the forest, the rush of waterfalls, and the serene moments etched into your memories from this extraordinary adventure in Mashpi.

Day 6: Fly to the Galapagos Islands

Ocean Spray balcony

M/C Ocean Spray, stateroom balcony

Embark on an exciting adventure as you depart from Quito airport for your flight to Baltra in the Galapagos Islands. Your luxurious haven for the next 5 nights is the Ocean Spray, a mega-catamaran that promises an unparalleled level of comfort and service.

In the afternoon, your wildlife immersion begins with a visit to 'Chinese Hat.' This unique site provides rare and intimate encounters with Galapagos wildlife amidst well-preserved remnants of delicate volcanic rock, a sight exclusive to this location. Marvel at American Oystercatchers and Galapagos Penguins gracefully navigating the shores. Engage in hiking and snorkelling activities, immersing yourself in the extraordinary biodiversity of this iconic archipelago.

Day 7: Galapagos Excursions

Ocean Spray blue footed booby

Blue footed booby

Morning excursion on Isabela Island to explore the wonders of Vicente Roca Point. Marvel at the extraordinary geological formations that grace this unique site, providing a picturesque backdrop. Situated in the western reaches of the island, Vicente Roca Point benefits from the Cromwell Current, delivering refreshing cold waters teeming with nutrients for both the diverse terrestrial and aquatic species.

Enjoy an enchanting afternoon exploration of Fernandina's untouched beauty with a visit to Espinosa Point. As one of the most pristine islands in the Galapagos archipelago, Fernandina stands proudly as a haven untouched by foreign species invasions, preserving its unique ecological balance. Positioned as the most active and westernmost island, Fernandina boasts an unrivalled natural splendour. For those seeking an aquatic adventure, indulge in a snorkelling activity in the crystal-clear waters surrounding Espinosa Point.

Day 8: Galapagos Excursions

Isabela island

Isabela Island

Journey through time with a visit to Isabela's historic Tagus Cove. For enthusiasts of bygone eras, this site offers a captivating glimpse into the remnants left behind by pirates and sailors who frequented this area in the 1800s. Tagus Cove stands as a testament to the seafaring tales of yesteryear, making it a preferred pit stop for adventurous souls navigating the high seas.

Afternoon visit to Urbina Bay where millions of years ago, the bay rested on the ocean floor, dormant and untouched. Today, the result of volcanic uplifts has transformed it into a thriving habitat for diverse wildlife. Marvel at the convergence of land and sea as you encounter sea lions basking in the sun, land iguanas meandering through the landscape, and the unique spectacle of flightless cormorants.

Day 9: Galapagos Excursions

Sea lion

Sea lion

Morning aquatic adventure to Isabela Island’s Elizabeth Bay, a unique visitor site accessible only by panga to ensure its preservation of this pristine island. As you glide through the crystal-clear waters in the comfort of the panga, immerse yourself in the mesmerising beauty of Elizabeth Bay. Marvel at the vast abundance of marine life thriving beneath the surface, creating a captivating underwater spectacle. The clarity of the water provides a perfect opportunity for snorkelling enthusiasts to explore the rich marine ecosystem up close.

Isabela's enchanting Moreno Point is a haven for bird enthusiasts where the beautiful rocky shores unfold a captivating display. The coast lagoons at Moreno Point take centre stage, providing a unique opportunity to witness the graceful presence of white-tipped sharks gliding through the clear waters. It's a spectacle that adds a touch of excitement to the serene beauty of the surroundings.

Day 10: Galapagos Excursions

GPS tortoise

Galapagos Tortoise

Discover the heart of conservation and research at Santa Cruz's Charles Darwin Research Station, a pivotal destination for visitors eager to explore the wonders of the Galapagos Islands. More than a mere tourist site, this research facility stands as a beacon of scientific exploration and preservation.

In the afternoon, journey to the Highlands of Santa Cruz, nestled in the northern reaches of the island and boasting elevations that ascend to a remarkable 1500 metres. This enchanting region offers a stark contrast to the volcanic landscapes and rugged coastlines experienced on other islands. As you traverse the highlands, be captivated by the undulating hills, lush ferns, and the awe-inspiring presence of volcanoes that paint a picturesque panorama. The diverse wildlife that calls this area home adds another layer of intrigue to the experience, with giant tortoises, mockingbirds, finches, and a myriad of other species thriving in this verdant haven.

Day 11: Depart the Galapagos Islands for Guayaquil

Hotel del Parque external

Hotel del Parque stunning facade

Your last encounter with nature is at South Plaza Island, a diminutive gem in the Galapagos archipelago that packs a punch with its extraordinary biodiversity. Despite its small size, this island boasts a rich tapestry of flora and fauna that will leave you in awe. The striking contrast between the vibrant turquoise waters and the dramatic black lava provides a captivating backdrop for photography enthusiasts. South Plaza Island offers unparalleled opportunities to capture the mesmerising colours and textures that define the unique beauty of the Galapagos.

As your exploration of the captivating Galapagos Islands concludes, return to Baltra airport for the flight to Guayaquil. Bid farewell to the enchanting archipelago, with fond memories of its diverse landscapes, unique wildlife, and unparalleled beauty.

Upon your arrival in Guayaquil, prepare to indulge in the epitome of luxury at Hotel del Parque, a distinguished Relais & Châteaux boutique hotel nestled in an exclusive neighbourhood of the city. Unwind in the lap of opulence as the hotel's sophisticated charm and impeccable service create an atmosphere of indulgence and relaxation.

Day 12: Guayaquil

GYE Cerro Santa Ana

Guayaquil Cerro Santa Ana

Savour the final moments of your Ecuadorian journey with a leisurely free day in Guayaquil, allowing you to explore the city at your own pace or simply unwind and relax before your onward flight.

Day 13: Arrive home!


Duration: 11 nights

Location: Ecuador Holidays, South America Holidays

Price: £9260pp

From £9,260 pp based on two people sharing, excluding international flights.

The trip includes all accommodations and activities specified above. Rooms and meals are as follows:

3 nights at Casa Gangotena – Luxury Room, breakfast included.

2 nights at Mashpi Lodge – Wayra Room, all meals included.

5 nights onboard M/C Ocean Spray, Golden Stateroom, all meals included.

1 night at Hotel del Parque – Deluxe Room, breakfast included.

Also includes

All transfers, domestic flights within Ecuador, guides (private excursion in Quito, shared excursions at Mashpi Lodge & onboard Ocean Spray), Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US$100) and transit card (US$20) and other fees where stated as included.

This trip excludes:

Single Supplements.

International flights to/from Ecuador

Meals not mentioned as included.

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When to go

Find out the best time to visit Ecuador with our month by month guide.

  • Best
  • Good
  • Mixed
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

January

Best time for the coast and Galapagos due to warmer sea temperatures. Coastal regions enjoy warm temperatures, perfect for beach activities and water sports. Whilst it may occasionally rain, the weather is preferable for these activities compared to the dry season, which is cold and overcast. In the Andes, it is more likely to be humid and wet, meaning it is ideal for exploring cities and visiting indigenous markets, but less ideal for hiking and exploring. The Amazon rainforest is humid and wet and whilst the scenery is pleasant, the animals might be harder to find.

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February

Great time for the coast and Galapagos despite potential rain. It is still pleasantly warm along the coast and perfect for beach relaxation and water activities. The mountains see temperatures hovering at about 17°C (63°F) with the humidity and rainfall continuing. Visit Cuenca or Ambato for the Carnaval festivities during February. The Amazon rainforest remains humid, and increased rainfall means a higher chance of flooding.

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March

A pleasant climate across the country and cheaper than December- February. Coastal areas are temperate still, and the beaches get quieter as school holidays end. The Andes see temperatures from 12-21°C (54-70°F), hiking opportunities become more appealing as the rainfall starts to slow down. If Easter falls in March, don’t miss the Santa Semana celebrations in Quito. Humidity still reigns in the Amazon rainforest.

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April

Beaches and Galapagos are quieter, but the weather remains pleasant. Everywhere else is wet. Coastal areas bask in warm temperatures, perfect for beach adventures and water sports. However, it's worth noting that some regions may experience occasional showers. The mountain ranges can experience intermittent rainfall. The Amazon rainforest is still wet meaning the swollen rivers open up tributaries that are otherwise too shallow to access by boat.

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May

Things are getting cooler in Galapagos and on the coast. Whilst the rain clears up along the coast, it becomes colder and less pleasant, so avoid the beaches at this time of year if sunbathing or water sports are on your activity checklist. The Amazon is wet, and there can be frequent road closures. The humidity combined with the wet weather means peak mosquito season too. It is less likely to rain in the Andes in May, and hiking the volcanoes becomes more accessible.

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June

The high season for the mountains begins. Around the summer solstice is the celebration of the Incan festival of Inti Raymi, best celebrated in Otavalo or the Ingapirca archaeological site. Along the coast, temperatures range from mild to warm, with occasional rain showers. In the highlands, temperatures are slightly warmer and the climate is drier, making for better birdwatching possibilities. The Amazon region is hot and humid, with heavy rainfall.

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July

Best time to visit Quito as it rarely rains but also the most expensive time of year due to high visitor numbers. There is a greater number of travellers exploring the highlands for good reason – it is an excellent time to embark on the Quilotoa loop trail or to visit Parque Nacional Cotopaxi. Head to Guayaquil for its foundation celebrations to experience some Ecuadorean culture.

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August

August presents favourable conditions for visiting Ecuador, particularly in Quito, where a brief dry spell occurs. It is an opportune period to engage in hiking activities around the picturesque Andes, where the weather remains consistently manageable. Additionally, witnessing the remarkable 70km procession of La Virgen del Cisne (Virgin of the Swan) is a noteworthy cultural experience. Furthermore, the rainfall in the Amazon region begins to diminish, resulting in reduced hazards during hikes characterized by slippery terrain.

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September

September in Ecuador brings slightly humid conditions, but overall, the weather is reasonable for both the coast and the highlands. It is definitely better weather for hiking than surfing, however. September is best for its cultural offerings in the form of the Fiesta de la Mamá Negra in Latacunga where you can witness traditional dances, music, and culinary delights or the and the Fiesta del Yamor harvest festival in Otavalo.

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October

October is perhaps around the best time to visit the Amazon basin due to drier conditions (it will still be raining, just less). It is cheaper to visit the Galapagos and the coast at this time because it is too cold for beach activities. A great time to hike the mountains if you prefer lower traveller numbers.

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November

November sees a continuation of reduced rainfall in the Amazon, making it a great time to spot animals, and avoid mosquitoes! Spend time in any city at the beginning of the month to participate in Día de los Difuntos (All Souls Day) where you can partake in colada morada, a purple corn-based drink, and sweet bread shaped like babies called guagas de pan.

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December

In December, Ecuador offers a wide range of experiences that cater to various interests. Along the coast, the calm seas and excellent water clarity create ideal conditions for boat-based wildlife-watching, as well as diving and snorkelling adventures. For beach lovers, the coastal region provides an array of options, with beachside fishing villages and vibrant coastal party towns where one can set up camp and enjoy the festive atmosphere.


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