Tailor-Made Holiday

Ecuador Amazon, Andes and Galapagos

Stay in a jungle lodge in the Amazon, hacienda in the Andes and boat in the Galapagos

14 days

from £4,775pp (excluding flights)

This holiday takes in three distinct regions of Ecuador - Amazon Rainforest, the Avenue of Volcanoes in the highlands and the Galapagos Islands. A great first time trip.

  • Get a feel for the vibrancy of South America staying in the UNESCO capital city of Quito
  • Explore the Amazon Rainforest on foot, by boat and from high in the forest canopy
  • Stay in a traditional hacienda and experience life in the Andes
  • Cruise the Galapagos archipelago with a naturalist guide, get close to wildlife on land & underwater

This holiday to Ecuador and the Galapagos encompasses many of the highlights this country has to offer. Visit the capital city of Quito, a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage city with its colonial buildings, plazas and cobbled streets.

Explore the amazing ecosystem of the Amazon Rainforest with a naturalist and local guide, to give a deeper understanding of the flora and fauna. Opportunities exist to discover the rainforest, not only from high in the canopy but by dugout canoe and in treetop towers. Stay in one of the lodges in the jungle listening to the sounds of the jungle as you fall asleep.

In contrast to this hot and humid area visit the mighty Andes Mountains with its fresh spring-like climate. Stay in a traditional hacienda, climb a volcano or visit one of the local markets to really experience Ecuadorian life.

After spending time on the mainland fly out to the Galapagos Islands and join your boat to cruise around the magical islands with your naturalist guide. Spend time walking on the islands amongst the fearless wildlife, swim with the playful sea lions and learn about the fascinating evolving archipelago. 

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 4775 £ 950
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Fly London to Madrid

Fly Madrid to Quito


With Pichincha Volcano one side, Machangara Gorge on the other and the equator passing directly through, few can rival Quito's setting. Few also can match the splendour of its old town, with its colonial churches, mansions and plazas.

Quito was named as the first World Cultural Heritage Site in the world by UNESCO in 1978. This historical city sits at 2,850 metres and has the largest and best preserved historic centre and colonial quarters in Latin America.


You will be staying at Hotel El Relicario del Carmen, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Day at leisure in Quito
Wander the cobbled streets of this historic city, visiting Independence Square and its ornate churches. Visit the artisan markets, and spend time in some fascinating museums that include Casa del Alabado, the Guayasamin Museum, and the Intinan Museum. Catch the cable car up Pichincha Volcano at 4,100-metres for stunning views of Quito and the surrounding area, and travel further afield to see the equatorial monument and visit the vibrant market town of Otavalo. Visit the cloud forest and see a myriad of different flora and fauna, have lunch in a traditional hacienda, or journey through the Avenue of the Volcanoes.


You will be staying at Hotel El Relicario del Carmen, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Fly Quito to Coca


Arrive Sacha Lodge by dugout canoe
On landing in Coca, you are transferred to the port and the adventure begins. First is around a two hour motor canoe trip, followed by a walk along a raised boardwalk through a dense flooded palm forest to Pilchicocha lake, where the staff paddle you by dugout canoe to Sacha Lodge. Here receive a welcome cocktail and an introduction to the jungle, along with details of what the next few days has to offer, including animals to see in the local area. Wellington boots and waterproof ponchos are provided if needed.

Prepare for the early starts in the jungle, often 5:30 or 6:00 am, to catch the wildlife in their active hours. Please note that all flights to the Amazon have a weight limit of 20kg per person. Any excess luggage can be stored in a secure place at Sacha Lodge office in Coca or the hotel in Quito.

The Amazon region in Ecuador is located to the east of the Andes mountain range. Within this vast green wilderness are numerous national parks and forest reserves sparsely populated with indigenous communities where you can experience the rainforest, its people, and myriad of wildlife.

River dolphin, tapir, capybara, caiman, monkeys plus countless species of birds are just a few of the magical animals that hide in these forests. Mostly unexplored and more biologically diverse than the enchanting Galapagos Islands, the opportunity to stay in one of Ecuador’s jungle lodges, lost deep in the rainforest, is a life enriching experience.


You will be staying at Sacha Lodge, Full board

Day 4

Explore the area and its variety of wildlife
Today have the opportunity to see a vast variety of animals. These include monkeys, caiman, anteater, armadillo, sloth, giant otter, pink and grey dolphin, and birds such as toucans, parrots and macaws, as well as endless species of butterfly and insect. A favourite activity is to paddle dugout canoes along tannin-rich black-water creeks and lakes, where luxuriant lianas, bromeliads and palm trees thrive. Wherever an outing may lead, the possibilities of spotting animals, from the tiny pygmy marmoset to the ocelot or puma, are endless. Night walks and canoe trips, with the aid of torches, often reveal creatures seldom seen during daylight. Each excursion is accompanied by a local and naturalist guide.


You will be staying at Sacha Lodge, Full board

Day 5

Canoe around the lagoon and flooded palm forest
Early start this morning to be paddled by dug-out canoe around the surrounding lagoon and through the flooded palm forest. Opportunity to fish for the notorious piranha, Caiman spotting at night or join a nocturnal walk through the virgin forest trails.


You will be staying at Sacha Lodge, Full board

Day 6

Depart Sacha Lodge
Early departure to begin the journey back to Coca in a motorised canoe, spotting for monkeys and birds as they begin a new day in the Amazon jungle.

Fly Coca to Quito


Avenue of the Volcanoes and Cotopaxi
Two hours south of Quito, the ’Avenue des Volcanoes’ winds its way between the Andean foothills with views of the snow-capped volcanoes and very lush and green valleys. As well as the views, not least of Cotopaxi the highest active volcano in the world, Cotopaxi National Park is of note for its flora and fauna, in particular the Andean Condor.


You will be staying at Hacienda La Alegria, Full board

Day 7

Full Day Visit to Cotopaxi National Park and a Local Indian Market
Today explore Cotopaxi National Park and visit a local market in the area such as Saquisili, one of the most colourful and complete Indian markets in Ecuador. The entire town is at market on this day; a perfect opportunity to browse the local handicrafts for gifts and souvenirs.

Two hours drive south from Quito is the Avenue of the Volcanoes, a road that winds its way between Andean foothills dotted with volcanoes. The area offers fantastic views of the snow-capped volcanoes, lush green valleys and mountain lakes, the perfect place for many outdoor activities. Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, conical in shape and snow capped year round, not only a beautiful mountain to look at but a fun challenge to climb.

This area has many traditional haciendas, often remaining in the same family for generations, a wonderful place to stay to get a feel of the real Ecuador. The weekly markets here also offer a colourful insight into rural life for the Andean Indians communities.


You will be staying at Hacienda La Alegria, Full board

Day 8

Return to Quito


You will be staying at Hotel El Relicario del Carmen, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

Fly Quito to Galapagos Islands


It was Charles Darwin's 1835 exploration of the Galapagos Islands, whilst serving as a naturalist on HMS Beagle, and his subsequent 1859 publication On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection that first brought the world's attention to these fascinating islands.

Today the Galapagos remain a living laboratory of evolution where birds and animals have no fear of man. Blue-footed boobies, flightless cormorants, land and marine iguanas and giant tortoises roam freely and for anyone with an interest in natural history, wildlife and ecology, a visit to these islands is an unforgettable experience.

Located some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, the archipelago is now a National Park and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There are 13 islands (isles) in total and dozens of smaller islets and rocks - all the result of volcanic activity with exotic plant life, unique wildlife species and an extraordinary landscape fringed with blue sea.


San Cristobal Island
Transfer to the port and embark the ship. After lunch, head into Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, capital of the Galapagos Islands. Visit the Interpretation Centre, which explains the natural history of the Galapagos. Learn about the archipelago's fragile ecosystem and the conservation efforts currently underway.


You will be staying at Seaman Journey, Full board

Day 10

San Cristobal Island
In the morning, continue to the Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve; learn about the National Park's conservation programs and the process of assisted reproduction that is so vital to maintaining the population. Look out for mockingbirds, yellow warblers and Galapagos flycatchers.

After lunch, land at Cerro Brujo, which is located on the northern coast of San Cristobal Island. This eroding volcanic peak towers over a golden beach, which offers fantastic swimming and snorkelling. Home to numerous sea lions, this stretch of coast is said to be where Charles Darwin first stepped ashore. Visit a lagoon that is packed with migratory bird species, including black-necked stilts, ruddy turnstones, whimbrels and white-cheeked pintails.


You will be staying at Seaman Journey, Full board

Day 11

Española Island
Land at Gardner Bay's beautiful white coral beach. Explore the shoreline, looking out for Galapagos hawks, American oystercatchers, yellow warblers, lava lizards, marine iguanas and Darwin's finches. Afterwards, have the chance to swim, kayak and snorkel with sea lion pups from the bay's bustling sea lion colony.

In the afternoon, sail to Suarez Point, on Espanola Island. Step ashore and explore this geologically intriguing island - one of the oldest in the archipelago. Hike across the rocky landscape, up towards the nesting sites of Nazca and blue-footed boobies. Along the way, look out for iguanas, lava lizards, waved albatrosses and Galapagos doves. Also, watch out for the island's famous Soplador blowhole that can send water more than 20 metres into the air.


You will be staying at Seaman Journey, Full board

Day 12

Floreana Island
Cruise on to Floreana Island and land at Cormorant Point, which is a fantastic spot for birdwatching and features a large lagoon, containing everything from flamingos to pintail ducks. Nearby, lies the curious 'Green Beach', which gets its colour from the high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand.

In the afternoon, land at Post Office Bay. This unusual name comes from the placing of a wooden barrel on the island, for use as an unofficial mail box, in the 18th century. The tradition continues today, with visitors leaving addressed postcards in the barrel and sorting through left mail to deliver at home. Later, hike up to Baroness View Point for spectacular views of the coastline.


You will be staying at Seaman Journey, Full board

Day 13

Santa Cruz Island
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, which is home to tortoises ranging from tiny hatchlings to one-metre-long adults. The station runs a giant tortoise breeding program as part of its efforts to preserve this fragile ecosystem. It was home to the famous Lonesome George, for many decades regarded as the rarest creature in the world. Afterwards, transfer to the airport.

Fly Galapagos Islands to Guayaquil

Fly Guayaquil to Madrid overnight

Day 14

Fly Madrid to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Sacha Lodge

Sacha Lodge

Sacha Lodge offers a rainforest lodge experience on the banks of Pilchicocha Lake, downstream from Rio Napo....

View Accommodation

Hacienda La Alegria

Hacienda La Alegria

Hacienda La Alegria is a family-run organic farm situated one hour south of Quito in the heart of Ecuador's Andean region....

View Accommodation

Seaman Journey

Seaman Journey

The Seaman Journey is a comfortable 28 metre motorised catamaran which is surprisingly spacious and provides excellent value for money....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Ecuador

James Armitage, Travel Expert

"The help and great knowledge James offered really made the holiday special"

"James listened and managed our expectations and therefore made sure we were prepared for all eventualities when going on our holiday to Brazil"

"James was brilliant and all the advice was spot on."

Read More

Roxy Dukes, Travel Expert

"Roxy filled us with enthusiasm and came up with some great ideas for a trip. We liked the idea of a slightly 'off the beaten track experience' and some private bespoke activities and that's exactly what we've had. Thank you!"

"Roxy created a wonderfully interesting route which was the basis for a super trip. She also chose lovely places for us to stay and interesting activities for us to participate in, introducing us to the idea of private guided experiences which we thoroughly enjoyed."

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Enquire about this holiday:
Speak to an Ecuador holiday expert:

Tailor-Made Holiday Ideas

Booking a Tailor-made holiday gives you the flexibility to customise your journey, travelling when and where suits you.

Holiday Ideas in Ecuador

You are unique, so we believe your holiday should be too.

We listen to what you want and create a personalised itinerary tailored around you.

Your holiday. Your experience. Your way.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Call our Travel Experts on +01285 880 980
Start Your Journey
 

Expertise

  • Established for over 25 years creating journeys across 100 destinations worldwide
  • Exclusive access to the best private guides

PRICING

  • We negotiate the best rates with hotels and expert guides
  • Be protected from fluctuations in exchange rates

RESPONSIBLE STEPPES

  • Each time you travel with us we donate £5 to a local charity in the UK and £10 to an international charity

Fully Protected

  • Your monies are financially protected
  • 24/7 Emergency UK contact whilst abroad
 

Featured in the Press

Financial Times
The Telegraph
Sunday Times logo
CNT
Wanderlust

Our Partners

African Parks
Galapagos Conservation Trsut
OF_Primary_Logo_Tan
Restless Development
Save The Rhino
Tusk Trust
World Land Trsut
Gorilla Doctors
 

© Steppes Travel, 51 Castle St, Cirencester, GL7 1QD, United Kingdom