Galapagos Islands & Amazon Kayaking Tour

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN QUITO
Welcome to Quito! The biggest, best-preserved colonial city of America was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and the second most important city of the old Inca Empire.

Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. Ecuador & Galapagos Insiders can help you to organize a day trip.

In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel for a welcome briefing and there will be plenty of time to discuss details and answer any questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an informational and acclimation day.

Accommodation: Anahi Hotel Boutique or similar

DAY 2: FIRST AMAZON EXPLORATION
Early in the morning we start our drive across the eastern Andean range towards the Amazon basin. This journey of 4 hours will show you fascinating landscapes of the Amazon forest, waterfalls and small, colorful local villages. Before we get ready for kayaking, a picnic will be served on the river shore. While exploring the upper part of the Arajuno River and paddling downstream for 2 hours, we are on the lookout for wildlife such as neo tropical otters, caimans, toucans, parrots, monkeys, etc.

After reaching and checking in at the Itamandi eco-lodge you will have the possibility to go on a night hike to discover all the beautiful night-active creatures. Our guide will tell you a lot about the wildlife in the jungle.

Accommodation: Itamandi Jungle Lodge

Meals included: Breakfast, box lunch & dinner
DAY 3: KAYAKING THE ARAJUNO RIVER
In the morning we start our adventure taking a hike for 3 hours in the heart of the pristine Amazon jungle to explore the secrets and wonders of this magical rainforest, ending up in a small Quichua community. We will share some time with local people, learning about their traditions and customs, like learning to prepare chocolate in the ancestral way, or enjoying a nice dance with the local children. Our kayak expedition begins here, at the Arajuno River.

We will paddle down the river for one hour discovering the beauty and wildlife that inhabit this river, such as neo tropical otters, parrots, king fishers, moocows, toucans and the smallest monkey in the planet (pigmy marmoset monkey). Later, we stop for a nice break and take our lunch. After lunch we take our kayaks and continue paddling down the river for two more hours until we reach an amazing Amazon animal shelter. Later on we arrive at the Anaconda Island where we will take a short walk to see the famous hoatzin bird and few caimans.

Once back at the lodge we will enjoy some relaxing time at the luxury pool.

Accommodation: Itamandi Jungle Lodge

Meals included: Breakfast, box lunch & dinner
DAY 4: PARROTS CLAY LICK – HOT SPRINGS AND CLOUDFOREST HIKE
Early in the morning before breakfast we take the canoe up the Arajuno river to the parrots clay lick, to watch different types of this colorful birds, then we continue and have a quick stop to see the pocket monkey, the smallest primate in the world. After breakfast we will go back up to the Andes to soak in the Papallacta volcanic hot springs and also go for a short walk into the cloud forest to see bromeliads and orchids.

In the late afternoon we will be transferred to Puembo, a lovely village close to Quito airport.

Accommodation: Posada Mirolindo or similar

Meals included: Breakfast
DAY 5: TRAVEL DAY TO GALAPAGOS (ISABELA ISLAND)
Today we get ready to explore the most amazing archipelago in the Pacific coast and the place where Charles Darwin based his theory of the evolution of species. We board a morning flight from Quito to the island of Baltra.

Once arrived, we head to the town of Puerto Ayora, the biggest town in Galapagos. From here we take a fast boat to Isabela, the largest island in the archipelago and the place where the most volcanic activity in the Galapagos is reported. The island is formed by six shield volcanoes, Alcedo, Cerra Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf, five of them still active, and therefore the island is one of the most volcanically active places on earth. During our island crossing, we will be on the lookout for dolphins and whales (July to October).

Accommodation: Casa Marita or similar

Meals included: Breakfast
DAY 6: HIKE TO SIERRA NEGRA AND SNORKEL IN TINTORERAS
After driving up from Puerto Villamil to the trailhead, we prepare our backpacks and hike into a young forest ecosystem, a world of recent geological history. Our destination is the rim of Sierra Negra Crater, an active volcano which last erupted in October 2005.

Upon arrival, we take in breathtaking views and explore the circumference of the massive, lava-filled crater, over six miles across at its widest point. If we feel energetic enough, we can continue our hike to Volcan Chico, a secondary crater that has a wild landscape of puffing fumaroles and colorful lava formations, great examples of the dramatic geological events that have forged the Galapagos Islands over millennia.

In the afternoon we will visit Tintoreras Islet, located at a short distance from Puerto Villamil and home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos Penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. One of its beaches surrounded by mangroves is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully.

Accommodation: Casa Marita or similar

Meals included: Breakfast and box lunch
DAY 7: LAVA TUNNELS SNORKELING & KAYAK IN TINTORERAS
Today, we explore the amazing formations of lava created by the last eruptions of the Volcanic Island along the seashore. This magical place is been used by the staff of BBC /National Geographic for their documentaries. It is a labyrinth of lava arches inside the breakers with crystal clear water full of huge sea turtles, eagle rays, sea lions, fish, white tipped reef sharks and more. Turtles navigate their own highway from the mangroves to the open sea through “Los Tuneles”. Over here, we will have the best snorkeling opportunity with all these beautiful animals, including the curious Galapagos penguin playing around.

In the afternoon, we return to Puerto Villamil and we go kayaking in Tintoreras to watch sea lions, penguins, turtles and marine iguanas.

Accommodation: Casa Marita or similar

Meals included: Breakfast and box lunch
DAY 8: SANTA CRUZ, CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION AND HIGHLANDS
In the morning we embark on a fast boat from Isabela to Santa Cruz Island. During our island crossing, we will be on the lookout for dolphins and whales (July to October). Once we arrive, we will check in at the hotel. We will have time to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn more about many of the endemic species we met during our adventure, as well as the ongoing conservation and management efforts on the Galapagos Islands.

In the afternoon, we 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 lumbering giants is an unforgettable experience! We also see other highland wildlife such as pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers and finches on our hike. We can also observe frigatebirds which gather to wash the salt off their feathers at a fresh water lake. We return to Puerto Ayora to spend the evening in Galapagos' most populous town.

Accommodation: Galapagos Inn or similar

Meals included: Breakfast
DAY 9: TRANSFER TO BALTRA AIRPORT - FLIGHT BACK TO QUITO
After our final breakfast on the Galapagos Island and the last photos taken of sea lions, we have a transfer to Baltra’s airport in time to catch the flight back to the mainland.

Accommodation: Anahi Hotel Boutique or similar

Meals included: Breakfast
DAY 10: DEPARTURE DAY
After breakfast or at your prefered time on this day, we will pick you up from your hotel and your guide will be dropping you off at the Airport International departures, end of services. Take with you memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador soon to experience more of this enchanted land.

Meals included: Breakfast

Price per person
Private Tour
$2,600
Shared Tour
$2,450
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