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Galapagos & Amazon Quest: An Active Adventure

Dagmar Vacas, Gabriel Salas, Adventure Journeys
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1 Person
10 day
Dagmar Vacas, Gabriel Salas, Adventure Journeys
Reserve deposit (30%) $0
Second Payment Amount: $0
  • A 10-day active adventure in the Amazon rainforest and the Galapagos archipelago will be one to remember. We will spend our days soaking in the culture and traditions of Ecuador, and explore its breathtaking scenery by hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, and canoeing. Accommodations, some meals, and most transfers are included, and all the activities mentioned in the itinerary will be arranged for us. We’ll still have plenty of time to explore this spectacular country on our own, and out trusty guides will always give their best recommendations.

    • Welcome to Quito, the largest and best-preserved colonial city of America! Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, the city is considered to be the Cultural Capital of South America. Depending on your arrival time, you can spend the day exploring the old town of Quito and its surrounding area.

      Your guides can help you organize a day trip—make sure to ask in advance. In the evening, your guide will meet you at the hotel’s lobby for a welcome briefing at 6 pm, which is when you’ll go through the details of the adventure ahead. Get some rest, as tomorrow the adventure begins!

      Accommodation: Sheraton Quito Hotel or similar

      Quito city in Ecuador
    • Get ready to explore Galapagos, an incredible archipelago in the Pacific and the place where Charles Darwin based his theory of the evolution of species. Board a morning flight from Quito to the island of San Cristóbal. Once you arrive, get transferred to the hotel in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and go through a short briefing about the days ahead.

      From there, you will take a quick boat to Isabela, the largest island in the archipelago, where most of the volcanic activity in the Galapagos is reported. The island was formed by six shield volcanoes, Alcedo, Cerra Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf; five of them are still active, which makes the island one of the most volcanically active places on earth.

      Meals: Breakfast
      Accommodation: Cormorant Beach House or similar

      Isabela Island, Galapagos
    • Today you’ll explore amazing formations of lava created by last eruptions of the volcanic island. This magical place has been filmed by the BBC and National Geographic. It’s a labyrinth of lava arches made of crystal-clear water full of sea turtles, eagle rays, sea lions, sharks, and more.

      The turtles navigate their own highway from the mangroves to the open sea through Los Tuneles. Here is where you’ll have the best snorkeling opportunity with all these animals around you, including the Galapagos penguins! You can also enjoy some optional activities today, such as snorkeling at Concha de Perla, cycling, or just relaxing on the beach. Your guides recommend a visit to the giant tortoise breeding center located near the hotel.

      Meals: Breakfast
      Accommodation: Cormorant Beach House or similar

      Los Tuneles in Isabela
    • After driving up from Puerto Vilamil to the trailhead, prepare your backpacks and hike into a young forest ecosystem, a world of recent geological history. Your destination is the rim of Sierra Negra Crater, an active volcano whose last eruption was in 2018. Explore the circumference of the massive, lava-filled crater, over six miles wide at its widest point.

      If you feel energetic, you can continue your hike to Volcan Chico, a secondary crater that has a wild landscape of puffing fumaroles and colorful lava formations, which are terrific examples of the dramatic geological events that have forged the Galapagos Islands over millennia. In the afternoon, visit the Tintoreras Islet, whose turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos Penguins, marin turtles, and sea lions.

      Meals: Breakfast and lunch
      Accommodation: Cormorant Beach House or similar

      Sierra Negra volcano
    • In the morning, head to Santa Cruz Island to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. You’ll learn about many of the endemic species seen in the wild, as well as the ongoing conservation and management efforts on the Galapagos Islands.

      In the afternoon, head to the El Chato Reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz, home to the famous Galapagos tortoise. Hiking through El Chato’s beautiful scenery with those giants is a truly unforgettable experience! You’ll also see other highland wildlife such as pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers, and finches, as well as frigatebirds which gather to wash the salt off their feathers at a freshwater lake. Return to Puerto Ayora to spend the evening in Galapagos’ most populous town.

      Meals: Breakfast
      Accommodation: La Isla or similar

      Galapagos giant tortoise next to a hiker
    • After your final breakfast on the Galapagos Islands and some last pics of cute sea lions, you’ll transfer to Baltra’s Airport in time to catch the flight back to the mainland. Explore the city and get some rest, as tomorrow the second leg of the adventure begins!

      Meals: Breakfast
      Accommodation: Sheraton Quito Hotel or similar

      Quito, Ecuador
    • In the morning, you’ll drive down a panoramic road from an altitude of 3,000 m to 500 m (9843 ft to 1640 ft), witnessing a stark change in landscape and vegetation.

      Later you will stop at the Guacamayos-Macaw Lookout, located between Antisana and Sumaco national Reserves (low elevation cloud forest) for a view of clouds covering the Amazon rainforest. Arrive at the Arajuno River, where a 20-minute boat ride on a motor canoe takes you to the Eco Lodge. After a brief break, there’s an optional nocturnal hike to observe insects before dinner.

      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
      Accommodation: Amazon Lodge

      Amazon exploration on a canoe
    • Early in the morning with the sunrise, take a canoe up the Arajuno river to go visit saladeros (which is how the locals call a Parrot’s clay lick). Here you’ll have a very close encounter with them, as they come almost every morning.

      After breakfast, you will go for a hike in the Amazon pristine forest to learn more about the flora, fauna, and the techniques of survival that the people who live there need. In the afternoon, you will visit the nearby Kichwa community, which is when they will share their traditions and stories with you!

      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
      Accommodation: Amazon Lodge

      Saladero bird in the Amazon
    • Today you’ll head back to the Andes Mountains and stop at Papallacta hot springs! This is where you’ll relax in the volcanic pools and maybe take an optional spa treatment prior to going back to Quito.

      Meals: Breakfast
      Accommodation: Sheraton Quito Hotel or similar

      Papallacta hot springs
    • The trip has come to an end, but if you’d like to stay longer and explore Ecuador, just ask your guides for some recommendations!

      Meals: Breakfast

      Quito city below Cotopaxi
    • What you get on this adventure:

        • An experienced, local guide with extensive knowledge of the area (Wilderness First Responders) & naturalist local guides
        • 10-Day Amazon & Galapagos adventure
        • Transportation
          • Sea transportation Santa Cruz – Isabela islands round trip
          • Comfortable land and sea transportation
          • Canoe in the Amazon
        • Accommodation (based on double occupancy)
          • 5-star hotel in Quito
          • 3-star hotels in Galapagos
          • Amazon Lodge
        • Meals — 9 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
        • Activities listed in the itinerary
          • Trekking to Sierra Negra active volcano in Isabela Island
          • Snorkeling in Tintoreras and Lava Tunnels
          • Visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station
          • Hiking in the Santa Cruz highlands
          • Hiking in the Amazon
          • Visit to the local Kichwa Community
          • Night jungle walk
          • Swimming in volcanic hot springs
          • Hiking in cloud forest
        • Gear (hiking sticks, kayaks, life vest, paddles, snorkeling mask, fins)

      What’s not included:

        • International flights
        • Airport transfers for international flights
        • Airfare Quito — Galapagos — Quito (estimated at around $520)
        • Single room supplement
        • Travel insurance — mandatory
        • Meals not included in the itinerary
        • INGALA transit card ($20 per person, cash only, subject to change)
        • Galapagos National Park fee ($100 per person, cash only, subject to change)
        • $10 Isabela Pier Fee (subject to change)
        • Guide gratuities — optional
    • This Amazon and Galapagos adventure tour requires a good level of fitness and good health. The adventure is family-friendly and beginner-friendly, though keep in mind that you will have daily activities, such as hiking, sea kayaking, and snorkeling. These will usually be walks up to one hour, though one day will have a three-hour hike. Children over the age of 8 are welcome to join!

      It’s important that you wear comfortable walking shoes and that you can endure standing for prolonged periods of time. Check out the itinerary to see day-by-day activities.

    • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

        • Day pack large enough to carry all the items you might need throughout the day (around a 25-40L bag)
        • Hiking poles — optional
        • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
        • Spare clothes for layering
        • Light sweater or sweatshirt
        • Lightweight trousers, shorts, skirts…
        • T-shirts
        • Underwear and socks
        • Swimming suit
        • Sport sandals
        • Sneakers
        • Comfy shoes
        • Waterproof rain jacket
        • Wide brim or long bill hat
        • Cap
        • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
        • Headlamp or flashlight
        • Sunglasses
        • Camera — optional (but recommended)

      Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

    • A huge part of going on this Amazon & Galapagos adventure tour is getting to experience and taste the local cuisine. Your guide will give you terrific recommendations and suggest the best places to enjoy the food. Some meals are included in the price of the tour, but you also get enough free time and flexibility to pick out what suits you best. Ecuadorian cuisine blends the culinary traditions of Spain, the Andes, and the Amazon. The stars of the show are the fruit of the sea, though you will also find various meats readily available.

      If you have any allergies or food restrictions, please let us know upon booking! Your guides are happy to accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free diets, and they will coordinate substitute meals with chefs and restaurants.

    • Group sizes and pricing

        • For this Amazon & Galapagos adventure tour, the max client-to-guide ratio is 16:1.
        • It takes a minimum of 2 people for this tour to operate.
        • The price is based on double occupancy. If you’re traveling solo, you will be matched with another participant of the same sex. If you prefer to have a single room, you can add that at an additional cost upon booking at checkout.

      Amazon & Galapagos adventure tours can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

      Min. age requirements

        • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
        • Minors older than 8 may be permitted to join the Amazon & Galapagos adventure tour but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

      If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

    • To get to Quito, the starting point of your Amazon & Galapagos adventure tour, most people fly into Mariscal Sucre Quito International Airport (UIO). It will take you anywhere between an hour and an hour and a half to reach Quito city, depending on your mode of transfer. The cheapest way to reach the city is by taking the bus.

      The first day is all about reaching Quito and getting settled in. You will meet your guide and your team at a welcome briefing at 6 pm.

    • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

      Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

      We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. Yellow fever, Hepatitis B vaccination and Malaria Medication are recommended when traveling to the tropics. Please ask your doctor for advice.

      If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

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