Ecuador & Galapagos Island Hopper

Company : Contiki
Activity: Tours
Countries: Ecuador / Galapagos Islands
Duration: 1 week to 2 weeks
Approx Costs: 2000 to 2000 £ Pound (UK)

From the heights of the volcanoes to the unexplored waters of Galapagos, this tour is a must for the lovers of the great outdoors. Whether you are snorkelling with Sea Lions & Rays, or chillling with the Giant Galapagos Tortoise, this adventure is epic!

Tour Length

  • 12 days

Itinerary

1  QUITO 
Welcome to Ecuador’s capital, Quito! Meet up with your Contiki Team & group before exploring – we’ll start the trip out right with a tour around the city so you can get your bearings. Our expert guide will teach you all about this city & the history of the Inca & Spanish invasion which happened in the 15th Century and you’ll get the opportunity to check out the colonial-era buildings that still stand in Old Town. This UNESCO World Heritage city is Ecuador’s second largest, with a population over 2 million. Later, visit the Equatorial line & wander between the two hemispheres as you visit the Inti Nan Museum. We’ll have dinner with the group so you can get you know your travel buddies. The city has a great nightlife scene & some great local treats to try. Ecuadorian fresh fruit juice and steaming cafe con leche are amongst some of the must-try delights on offer here. If you feel like doing as the locals do, you could sip on a canelazo, made from hot water, sugarcane alcohol, lemon, sugar, and cinnamon – it’s a typical drink of the Andean region.

2  QUITO TO TENA  
It’s out of the city & into the lush jungle with spectacular views and a thermal pool swim en route. A perfect way to spend the day.

3  TENA  
This morning is all about ME Time. This morning, have a lie in or opt to visit an indigenous community. Get your adrenalin pumping this afternoon on a class 3-4 rapids.

4  TENA TO BAÑOS  
We head to Baños today, the adventure capital of Ecuador, nestled under the still active Tungurahua volcano. Tonight get local as you learn to salsa at our included lesson.

5  BAÑOS  
With a free day, explore your way & Baños goes off! Situated in a valley of waterfalls & hot springs, Baños is a hub for travellers who love great weather, small town vibes & the great outdoors. Go horseback riding, canyoneering or abseiling.

6  BAÑOS TO GUAYAQUIL  
Today we’re off to discover Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city & its economic hub. This cosmopolitan city is one of Ecuador’s new hotspots, a walk down to the Malecón (Cities riverfront) is a must. For a bit of a historic enlightenment why not venture to Las Peñas, one of the most emblematic neighborhoods of Guayaquil, its narrow streets and interesting past makes it a great visit. Tonight we set sail on an evening cruise down the Guayas River in a Captain Morgan replica pirate boat, relax as see spectacular views of the city, Las Peñas, colourful Cerro Santa Ana, and the Malecón 2000. You’ll have the opportunity to buy drinks and nibbles while you enjoy the skyline by night

8  ISABELA ISLAND  
This morning we’ll grab some kayaks & get out on the water around Las Tintoreras where we’ll set out in search for the Galapagos Penguin – the only penguin found north of the Equator! On return, spot colourful fish as you snorkel the underground lava tubes. This area is often frequented by green sea turtles that like to rest on the calm, sandy bottom, so make sure you are on the lookout for these incredible creatures as you snorkel through the clear blue water. Then this afternoon we’ll walk to the Wall of Tears. From 1945 to 1959 this place held prisoners who were forced to build this wall stone by stone. At 25m tall, it took thousands of lives during its construction. Legend has it that cries of those lost can be heard at the site.

9  ISABELA ISLAND TO SANTA CRUZ ISLAND  
This morning we’ll head to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center to learn about the island’s natural history on a guided tour, before we take off Santa Cruz Island. Before heading to Santa Cruz Island, you can choose to chill or get active, it's up to you! If you feel like getting out and about, this afternoon’s optional activity is a guided trip to the gorgeous Tortuga Bay. You also have an opportunity to kayak in the bay in search of sharks, rays, turtles, and great blue herons. This pristine beach is absolute heaven! Not ready to wield a paddle? No worries – this is the perfect opportunity to sun bathe, body surf, surf, or look for marine iguanas, lava gulls and the famous blue- footed boobies. If you aren’t feeling up for the walk, take to the streets and go local or head to town to shop for souvenirs or relax.

10  SANTA CRUZ ISLAND TO SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND  
This morning we’ll pay a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, once home to one of the island’s most famous residents, the world-famous Lonesome George – who was 100 years old when he died. Here you’ll observe many species of tortoises and land iguanas brought back from the brink of extinction and learn about this centre and research facility. Later we're back on the boat as we head to our next island, San Cristobal. - keep an eye out for bathing sea lions that the island is known for! This island is made up of four volcanoes – all extinct – and later, we’ll head up into the highlands for a scenic downhill bike ride. Tonight, it’s all about relaxing over drinks at one of our favourite local spots while watching the sunset.

11  SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND  
Today we take to the water to get our last glimpse of the famous and equally incredible underwater world of Galapagos. First we’ll cruise along the coast in our boat where our Local Guide will point out the species of shore birds like the Great Frigatebird and other native species. Later we’ll head to Puerto Grande, a beautiful beach which is our final stop for the day. After lunch on board, spend your time swimming in the turquoise water or snapping photos of Kicker Rock in the distance. We’ll head back to town late afternoon where we'll be treated to one of the best BBQ’s in the Galapagos at one of the local’s favorite spots to celebrate a great Galapagos trip.

12  SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND TO GUAYAQUIL  
The trip is about to come to an end, but its not over yet. Make the most of the time you have left & soak up those last rays and have a few photos with the crew. Next up is Guayaquil, where it’s time to say ‘adios’ to your team & travel buddies.

What's Included

  • 11 nights twin-share hotel accommodation
  • 2 internal flights & transfers
  • Transport in a private air-conditioned coach, mini-coach or van
  • Sightseeing tours of all major areas
  • Local taxes & services charges (excluding compulsory US$100 entrance fee to Galapagos National Park, a US$10 INGALA fee (US$20 from March 1st 2015) & a US$5 Isabela Island tax which is only payable in cash)
  • An experienced & professional Trip Manager
  • English speaking local guides
  • 18 meals: 11 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 5 dinners

Tour Price

From £1845

Booking / Enquiry

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