Rainforest & Galapagos holiday

A wildlife enthusiast’s dream! Enjoy the Amazon rainforest and 8 days cruising the Galapagos Islands.

Rainforest and Galapagos

Prices from: £4,455pp for 13 nights

Enjoy a couple of days exploring the colonial charm of Quito, a UNESCO world heritage site with beautiful plazas and ornate churches.  Then travel to Napo – one of the most amazing places in the Amazon.

Your visit here will be full of activities on the trails, the lake and the canopy tower. You are likely to see lots of species of monkeys and of course there are caimans, lizards, turtles, frogs and army ants in addition to an array of birds. Larger mammals such as jaguars and pumas have been spotted in the area, although sightings are rare.

It might be your lucky day!

After an overnight back in Quito you will fly to the Galapagos to spend 8 days cruising aboard your small comfortable yacht. Nothing compares to the stunning volcanic scenery and abundant wildlife of this spectacular destination – spend your days visiting the islands and walking amongst the birds and wildlife.

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Summary

  • Quito – 2 nights
  • Napo – 3 nights
  • Quito – 1 night
  • Eric/ Letty – 7 nights

DAY 1: MONDAY Having landed at Quito airport you’ll be met and transferred to your charming city centre hotel. Nothing has been arranged for the remainder of the day, so you can unwind after your journey, enjoy some food and drink and look forward to the holiday to come!

QuitoDAY 2: TUESDAY Your guide will meet you at the hotel at a pre-arranged time to escort you on a tour of the city. This generally begins in the old town, with visits to a handful of Quito’s historic churches and the cathedral which dominates Plaza de la Independecia. The tour ends at the top of El Panecillo from where you can take in a wide angle view of the city and valley. The afternoon is free for further exploring or relaxing. Breakfast

DAY 3: WEDNESDAY You’ll take a flight from Quito to Coca this morning, where you’ll be shown to the waiting motorised canoe for the first part of the journey to Napo Wildlife Centre, which will take about 2½ hours. Transferring to a smaller dugout canoe you’ll be paddled the rest of the way (about an hour) to the lakeside lodge. Depending on when you arrive there may be time for a nature walk, though today’s journey is quite an adventure in itself! Full board  

DAY 4: THURSDAY The Amazon awaits! There are all manner of activities to choose from, such as walking trails, boat rides and canopy tours. You’ll have 2 main activities each day, in the morning and afternoon, in a small group led by a resident guide. The abundant wildlife includes several species of monkey, some of which are found only on the south side of the Napo River, caimans, lizards, frogs and turtles, as well as plentiful birds. For a different perspective you should climb the canopy tower to gain commanding panoramic views out over the treetops. Full board

clay licksDAY 5: FRIDAY Another full day in the Amazon. Today you might want to visit one of the clay licks where you can see hundreds of brightly-coloured parrots feasting on the mineral rich clay. Activity is at its height in the early morning and is weather dependent as the parrots will not visit in the rain. Later you might want to take a canoe ride along narrow water channels and around the lake. If you’re lucky you may see the resident giant otters. Full board

DAY 6: SATURDAY After breakfast you’ll begin the journey by water and air back to your hotel Quito. The canoe ride will give you a last chance to spot some the Amazon’s wildlife. Once back at the hotel you can relax and look forward to the next big adventure, in the Galapagos! Breakfast

tortoiseDAY 7: SUNDAY You’ll be transferred to the airport for the 4-hour flight to San Cristobal, where a crew member will transfer to your waiting yacht, Eric or Letty (both are identical). After lunch you’ll set off for La Galapaguera Cerro Colorado where there’s a giant tortoise breeding centre. You’ll be able to observe these gentle giants up close, a great introduction to the wildlife of the islands. Later there’ll be welcome cocktails with the captain before dinner. Full board

DAY 8: MONDAY Genovesa is one of the best bird watching sites in the Galapagos, and at Darwin Bay you should see swallow-tailed gulls and lava gulls by the shore, while amongst the mangroves you may catch sight of frigatebirds. In the afternoon you’ll land at the foot of Prince Philip’s Steps for the climb up to a lava field. On the way you should see nesting sea birds, and at the top there are often flocks of storm petrels. There should be time for swimming, snorkelling and kayaking before returning to the yacht. Full board

birdsDAY 9: TUESDAY The sandy beaches at Las Bachas are backed by a lagoon where flamingos congregate. You’ll have a panga (dinghy) ride at Black Turtle Cove, watching out for rays, turtles and white-tipped reef sharks. After lunch your guide will lead you a trail at Cerro Dragon, viewing flycatchers, yellow warblers, Darwin’s finches and land iguanas on the way. The trail ends at the top of a hill where there are wonderful views over the bay. Full board

DAY 10: WEDNESDAY Punta Espinosa on Fernandina is a great place to see marine iguanas, sea lions and flightless cormorants. After a refreshing swim you’ll head back to the yacht for lunch. Later you’ll land at Urbina Bay (Isabela), to view the exposed reef. You may see giant tortoises here, plus land iguanas and an array of birds. Time permitting you’ll take a panga ride at Punta Vicente Roca looking for turtles. Full board

DAY 11: THURSDAY Isabela is the largest of the islands and you’ll have more time to explore here today. The mangroves by Elizabeth Bay are perfect for a panga ride. Turtles, rays and shore birds can be seen, while further off shore you’ll observe a penguin colony. This afternoon you’ll land at Tagus Cove, once a mooring site favoured by pirates, who left graffiti on the rocks. You can explore by panga or kayak, and hike up a hill for views of other-worldly lava formations. Full board iguana

DAY 12: FRIDAY The rock pools at Puerto Egas are home to starfish and octopus, and popular haunts for herons, oystercatchers and marine iguanas. Your route continues to a grotto where sea lions can often be seen. In the afternoon you’ll step ashore on the red sand of Rabida, where more sea lions laze in the sun. Mockingbirds and finches abound, and the lagoon is popular with flamingos. There may be time for swimming. Full board

DAY 13: SATURDAY In the highlands of Santa Cruz you’ll have the chance to watch giant tortoises in the wild, continuing to a lava tunnel that you can walk through, a reminder of the immense seismic power that has formed and shaped these islands. After lunch you’ll pay a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, where you can see giant tortoise hatchlings and juveniles being looked after as part of the ongoing conservation work. You’ll have time to shop for souvenirs before going back to the yacht for dinner. Full board

DAY 14: SUNDAY This morning, at the Interpretation Centre on San Cristobal, you’ll learn about the history of the islands from its volcanic origins to the present day, a great way to round off your tour of the archipelago. Having said your goodbyes to the crew you’ll be transferred to the airport for the flight back to the mainland. Breakfast

 

Price from (pp sharing): £4,455 (ex. international flights)

Includes: Transfers, ground transport, 13 nights twin share accommodation (3 in hotels, 3 in a rainforest lodge and 7 on board Eric or Letty), meals as shown, guided half-day tour of Quito, guided activities at Napo Wildlife Centre, 8 day Galapagos cruise with daily shore excursions as offered by Eric/Letty, drinking water, tea and coffee on cruise, house wines and local beer with dinner on cruise, snorkelling equipment and kayaks on cruise, return flights to the Galapagos Islands from the Ecuadorian mainland.

Excludes: International flights, departure taxes, visas (not currently required by British passport holders), travel insurance, meals not shown as included, drinks, Galapagos National Park tax currently US$100 payable locally in US$, personal expenses, tips.

Getting there: This tour starts and ends in Quito. Flight prices from the UK start from around £675. We normally book these for you.

Departure dates: We have based this itinerary on the Eric (or sister yacht Letty) for the Galapagos cruise. This means that you need to start this trip in Quito on a Monday. In addition, the specific routing of the Galapagos cruise is Eric’s ‘B’ itinerary. It is possible to use Eric & Letty’s  ‘A’ itinerary for this holiday, which you can view on the yacht page.

NOTE: If you want to use a different cruise vessel this can be arranged too, which may alter the start day and will affect the overall price. Please click here for the full collection of Galapagos yachts.

Patio Andaluz

Patio Andaluz

Patio Andaluz is an attractive colonial building dating back to the 16th century and has been beautifully converted to provide elegant guest accommodation. The architecture features arches, alcoves, balconies and patios and the hotel is filled with antique furniture and has beautiful polished wooden floors. The en-suite guest rooms are tastefully decorated in keeping with the colonial style of the building. After a busy day sightseeing in Quito, return to Patio Andaluz and wind down with a glass of cava in the cosy bar, browse through a book in the library or enjoy some tasty tapas. Later you can have a delicious dinner in the El Rincon de Cantuna restaurant in the main courtyard, which specialises in Ecuadorian and Spanish food and has an extensive wine list.

Napo Wildlife Centre

Napo Wildlife Centre

Napo Wildlife Centre combines high standards of accommodation with superb guiding. Built in traditional style, the centre has several terraces fitted with hammocks, ideal for relaxing when not out exploring the Amazon. Your guest room has a bathroom with running hot and cold water, and a private veranda overlooking the lake. Communal areas comprise the restaurant, bar and reading lounge. You can’t miss the 20-foot high observation tower, from which you’ll get panoramic views of the rainforest.

Eric & Letty

Eric, Flamingo, Letty

These popular identical motor yachts carry a maximum of just 20 passengers. Cabins are fully air conditioned and have either a window or porthole and have private bathrooms with hot and cold running water. Thoughtful touches like toiletries, hair dryer, wardrobe and storage drawers to make your stay more comfortable. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the dining room and between meals you can enjoy a drink from the well-stocked bar, browse through a book or enjoy a DVD in the conference room. You can follow the yacht’s progress from the observation area or sundeck. If you’re feeling more energetic, you can go snorkelling or kayaking using the equipment provided.

walking across lava flow rock

Take the next step...

We know and love the Galapagos Islands, and would be delighted to help you plan your perfect Galapagos holiday. Call 01473 890499 and speak to one of our Galapagos travel specialists today.