Tailor-Made Holiday

Family Holiday in Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

Combine the Amazon Jungle with the Galapagos Islands

14 days

from £5,525pp (excluding flights)

This two-week family holiday suggestion visits some of the most iconic sights in South America - the Amazon rainforest and Galapagos Islands. Unique places packed with incredible wildlife and a whole host of fun things to do. 

  • Stay in a comfortable lodge in a non-malarial area of the Amazon Rainforest
  • Learn bird calls, how to paddle a canoe or find food completing the Junior Naturalist Program
  • Travel around the Galapagos like an explorer on a catamaran purpose-built for the islands
  • Stay in a hotel with a beach and pool in the Galapagos, time to relax and reflect on the adventures


This holiday in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands takes in three different environments, the Andes, the Amazon rainforest and the Galapagos Islands. Quito gives the opportunity to explore a beautiful South American city surrounded by high mountain peaks, while the Amazon offers the chance to be an explorer swinging through the vines searching for monkey or sloths. End the holiday in the Galapagos islands, three nights on a boat to explore a selection of islands and wildlife with a specialist guide, followed by three nights in a beachfront hotel to give time to relax and spend time as a family. 

Quito

Begin your holiday in the UNESCO city of Quito surrounded by active volcanoes and the opportunity to walk across the equator. Keep all family members happy and explore the city in a fun way, go mountain biking, play traditional games on the oldest street in the city or visit a local school and join in with some classes or a game of football.
Quito offers a base to relax after the long flight, a place to get a feel for the country, and with hotels offering everything a family would need including swimming pools, interconnecting rooms, multiple onsite restaurants and fantastic views.

Amazon Rainforest

Travel to the Amazon rainforest and stay in a comfortable lodge that has a wonderful selection of facilities and activities for families. Spend time learning how to be a junior naturalist guide and visit one of the indigenous communities to learn about life in the jungle and more often than not there is the chance to join in with a game of football. Endless outdoor activities exist to keep everyone happy including bug collecting, kayaking, swimming, tree climbing and night walks, relaxing is also an option with a spa at the lodge and plenty of hammocks to rest and take in the jungle sounds.

Galapagos Islands

Fly from Ecuador's mainland to spend six nights in the enchanting Galapagos Islands. A place to see wildlife not found anywhere else in the world, with no fear of humans it will not run away, perfect for those with a short attention span. Spend a few days on board a boat travelling around the archipelago. Your specialist guide will show you all the islands have to offer both above and below the water - pirate caves, sandy beaches, volcanic lava tunnels, dancing blue-footed boobies and nostril squirting, prehistoric-looking marine iguanas. Whilst snorkelling with the playful sea lions, don’t forget to blow bubbles at them and see if they do it back. Your floating hotel whilst in the Galapagos, the Cormorant, is perfect for families, with interconnecting cabins, kayaks and snorkelling gear and being a catamaran it is quite spacious.

Finish your time in the Galapagos staying on one of the islands, offering time to relax by the pool, follow marine iguana tracks on the beach, swim in the sea, stake out the giant tortoises, kayak or visit the Charles Darwin Research Centre. The Finch Bay Hotel, named after Darwin’s finches that are always around, is a great family option. There is a peaceful beach on the doorstep, an open-air pool which sometimes gets visits from marine iguanas and herons, and the town of Puerto Ayora is only a short water taxi ride away. If you still have energy to burn, then hop on a mountain bike, jump in a kayak or head back into the water with a snorkel. There are many, many options to keep you and the family busy.

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 
£ 5525 £ 950
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Full board meals on the boat
  • Accommodation in Quito and Santa Cruz Island on a B&B basis
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Galapagos National Park fees
  • 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

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Day 1

Fly London to Quito


With Pichincha Volcano on one side and Machangara Gorge on the other with the equator passing directly through, few cities 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 a World Cultural Heritage Site 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 JW Marriott, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Half Day to Explore Quito
Today spend time exploring the beautiful colonial city of Quito with your guide. The time can be planned to suit your family interests, options include - play Ecuadorean games in La Ronda Street, the oldest street in Quito. Take part in some children's cooking classes and learn how to make some local dishes, visit and play in the water museum, go mountain biking at the Metropolitano Park or visit the amusement park and explore Pichincha volcano taking the cable car at 3,600 metres.

Between September and May you could also visit a school and interact with the Ecuadorian children - playing football, teaching English, or doing art activities or music.


You will be staying at JW Marriott, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Fly Quito to Coca


Arrive at the Lodge
At the airport in Quito, a La Selva representative will meet you and assist with check-in. After a 35 minute flight to Coca, meet another English-speaking representative of La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, who will welcome you to Coca, help you with your luggage and transfer you and your fellow guests to the pier.

La Selva Lodge is located between two to three hours from Coca by motorised canoe. The canoe is covered, in case of inclement weather such as rain or strong sunshine. The ride itself is interesting and a packed lunch is provided.

Disembark on the river for a short walk and a ride in a smaller canoe, your luggage will be handled for you. Reach the lodge and have a welcome drink and brief orientation meeting. Then you'll be shown to your spacious rooms and given the chance to rest and explore a bit before dinner. Child friendly meals and snacks can be made by the chefs, so no problem for fussy eaters.

La Selva is the perfect place for families to explore the Amazon rainforest, with lots of outdoor space to swing on vines, climb the canopy tower or kayak around the lake. Learn to be a junior naturalist guide with specially trained guides who can speak multiple languages including English, parrot and monkey. Adventurers kits are provided for children to get the most out of the experience.

During dinner, your group and guide will discuss the activities for the following day. After dinner, depending on the weather and the will of the group, there may be a short activity such as night wildlife walk or canoe ride near the lodge to see some wildlife. Many guests prefer to relax in the lounge with a cold drink from the bar or have a soothing massage in the spa.

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 La Selva Jungle Lodge, Full board

Day 4

Days at the Lodge
Days to spend exploring the area on foot or by boat with the naturalist guides. Breakfast is served early because there is so much to see and do, activities start at sun rise and finish at sunset, being near the equator this is around six. During the middle of the day there is plenty of time to rest, read a book, swim in the lake or get your magnifying glass out and look for bugs, there are 30 million species in the Amazon so you shouldn't find any trouble spotting some.

Activities on offer include - a canoe ride around the lagoon, take a short trail to look for pygmy marmosets, visit one of the indigenous communities and try some local food, stop at the school for a game of football or even try shooting a blow dart gun. If it is raining hard then visit the nearby butterfly farm.

After dinner, depending on the weather, there may be a short activity.


You will be staying at La Selva Jungle Lodge, Full board

Day 5

Further day to explore the Amazon rainforest


You will be staying at La Selva Jungle Lodge, Full board

Day 6

Depart the Lodge
Although you must depart the lodge early in order to get to Coca in time for your flight, breakfast will be served before you leave. Return the way you came: a canoe ride, followed by a short walk, and then a two to three hour ride on the motorised canoe to Coca. An English-speaking representative will accompany you. Once you reach Coca, you will be taken to the airport, checked in and directed to the waiting room for your return flight to Quito.


You will be staying at Quito Polo Club, Bed & Breakfast

Day 7

Fly Quito to San Cristobal Island


Embark Cormorant
This morning fly to San Cristobal in the Galapagos archipelago. After passing through Galapagos National Park inspection the national park guide will be waiting. The guide will accompany the group on the short bus ride to the waterfront. At the dock board a panga (dinghy) to make the short crossing to the Cormorant. Settle into the boat and have lunch and a briefing en route to the first visitor site of Kicker Rock, a spectacular rock formation said to take the form of a sleeping lion. This striking rock formation is found off the western coast of San Cristobal and stands around 150 metres above the water. Tropicbirds, frigatebirds and boobies can all be spotted here, whilst the surrounding sea is rich with marine life.

At the end of the day take a welcome cocktail, followed by the first briefing and dinner.

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 making a visit to these islands 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.


You will be staying at Cormorant, Full board

Day 8

Spend the day on Espanola Island
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.

In the afternoon, make a wet landing 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 and snorkel with sea lion pups from the bay's bustling sea lion colony.


You will be staying at Cormorant, Full board

Day 9

Visit 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. Afterwards, visit Champion, a small islet that is located just off Floreana Island. Here, have the opportunity to snorkel alongside the area's rich array of marine life.

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 Cormorant, Full board

Day 10

Disembark Cormorant
In the morning, 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, once regarded as the rarest creature in the world, for many decades.

In the afternoon, return to port and disembark.


Travel by boat and on foot to reach the Finch Bay Hotel

From the pier in Puerto Ayora take the small Finch Bay boat across the harbour, a two minute journey. From here walk down the gravel path for five to 10 minutes to reach the hotel. Your luggage will be taken for you.


You will be staying at Finch Bay Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

Finch Bay Activities
Days to spend at Finch Bay Hotel. Some suggested options - spend time in the outdoor pool, wander on the beach looking at the sealions and marine iguanas or hire a kayak and explore the bays. Take a short walk to Tortuga Bay, a beautiful sandy beach great for snorkeling, swimming and kayaking. Visit the fascinating fish market in Puerto Ayora where sea lions, pelicans, frigate birds and more wait for left overs or visit the Charles Darwin Research Centre.

Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos with the majority of the population living mainly in Puerto Ayora. This lively town has a selection of hotels, restaurants, gift shops and is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station.


You will be staying at Finch Bay Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 12

Free day to relax at the hotel or explore the area


You will be staying at Finch Bay Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 13


Travel by car and boat from Puerto Ayora to Baltra

Cross Santa Cruz Island from Puerto Ayora heading north, a 45 minute journey. Reach the channel between Santa Cruz and Baltra Islands, travel the five minutes across by boat, before continuing to the airport by road.


Fly Baltra 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.

La Selva Jungle Lodge

La Selva Jungle Lodge

La Selva Jungle Lodge is situated on Lake Garzacocha, deep in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest....

View Accommodation

Finch Bay Hotel

Finch Bay Hotel

Named after the Darwin finches which frequent the local area, Finch Bay Hotel is nestled across the bay from Puerto Ayora in a quiet beachside location on Santa Cruz Island....

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"

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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."

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

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