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.
The Andes are known for being the world’s longest continental mountain range, and the its highlands in Otavalo offer a place to experience natural beauty, culture, cuisine and long held local tradition. Local craft centers are a hotbed for artisans creating weavings, leather goods and woodcarvings, while a visit to the market of Otavalo also features ponchos, tapestries, handmade hats, Indian jewelry and other handcrafted goods. Local haciendas and hosterias make for a perfect place to enjoy an authentic Ecuadorian meal before visiting the Indian town of Peguche and riding on horseback to search for native bear species.
Depart the Highlands for the trip’s final destination: The famed Galapagos Islands. Here, arrive on Baltra Island for an unparalleled 5-day journey of the islands via the 40-passenger Isabella II vessel. A guided cruise of the central island over five days promises intimate and enriching wildlife encounters within the area’s volcanic landscapes among its underwater marine reserve. The Galapagos have been maintained over time so that visitors seeking wildlife on foot, by glass-bottom boat or snorkel can be sure to see land iguanas, sea lions dozens of bird species and more.
Begin in Santa Fe and South Plaza Island, followed by North Seymour and Northern Santa Cruz, and finally Bartolomè Island with its playful penguins, seals, manta rays and a spectacular white coral sand beach
To start planning your Ecuador and Galapagos adventure, please contact a Tribù Travel Expert at 858-201-3079 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.