Among some of the most exotic sites in South America are the lakes and cites of mainland Ecuador and the sea and land of the Galapagos Islands. Seen together in a 12-day trip starting on the mainland and continuing through the Galapagos, these destinations comprise a one-of-a-kind South American exploration.
Arrive in Quito, a UNESCO world heritage site and an eclectic Ecuadorian city that has been carefully restored as one of the least-altered cities in Latin America. A two-night stay at the Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel offers luxury and charm in the midst of a city experiencing a cultural revolution including the new Museum of Pre-Columbian Art and numerous nearby restaurants, cafes and artistic sites.
Continue next via a short flight to the Amazon, and begin the journey to Sacha Lodge. The lodge is reached by a short hike followed by a guided boat ride across Lake Pichicocha and offers accommodations that are traditionally comfortable.
Here, 26 rooms feature thatched roofs and private terraces along with jungle views via the hammocks on site. Swim in the black water lake during the day and hike by night in the surrounding rainforest for views of magnificent bird varieties, butterflies, toucans, agoutis, monkeys and more.
While in the Amazon, explore Lake Lagartococha, embark on a hike across the Liana Grande trail, and learn about the local wildlife via canopy walk. Here, visitors are promised to see dozens of bird species, exotic plants and trees at every angle and can experience a relaxing rainforest adventure before continuing along to the Andes Highlands.