Ecuador and the Galapagos for the Whole Family

Ecuador and the Galapagos for the Whole Family

Take the whole family on an adventure in Ecuador featured by localbusinessexplorer. Learn about Native American life and culture in the Amazon, see volcanoes up close, swim in waterfalls and experience the amazing wildlife of the Galapagos.

The trip begins with a couple of days in Quito where there is plenty of time to explore the city on your own. From here you continue to the Amazon near the village of Tena. Here you have a full three days to explore the Amazon jungle.

From Tena you continue to the pleasant town of Baños which is known for its hot springs which are best experienced at La Piscina de la Virgen. The journey continues to Riobamba which is located at the foot of the 6310 meter high volcano Chimborazo. There is plenty of time to explore the beautiful nature on foot or during a bike ride. From Riobamba, the tour continues to Cuenca. The city has a beautiful historic center and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you have the opportunity to make a day trip to the Ingapirca Inca ruins or just stroll around the city’s markets and sweet shops.

You continue from Cuenca to Guayaquil with a stop at a cocoa plantation where you can learn all about the delicious drink and its history. The next day you travel on to the Galapagos with a week of island lounging on the islands of San Cristóbal and Santa Cruz. There is plenty of time to explore the wildlife and beautiful nature on your own. Rent snorkeling equipment and swim among playful sea lions or cycle to one of the islands’ beaches where you can up close experience giant turtles, birds, iguanas and many other of the characteristic and unique animals that live here in the Galapagos Islands.

Day 1. Departure from Scandinavia

You travel from Scandinavia to Ecuador’s capital Quito where you arrive the same day. In Quito you will be picked up at the airport and driven to your hotel where you will stay for the next two nights.

Day 2. Quito on your own

Quito is beautifully situated in a valley of the Andes at about 3000 meters above sea level. The city consists of an older district and a more modern one. In the old town you will find beautiful historical Spanish churches, cobbled streets and lots of historical museums. In the modern part of the city you will find shopping, restaurants and a lively nightlife. There are also opportunities for hiking outside Quito itself, you can also take a lift up to the viewpoint Cruz Loma at 4100 meters above sea level. You can then hike up to a full 4,680 m.ö.h. and get a magnificent view of Quito and the surrounding area. Another nice excursion is to the “Mitad del Mundo” – the center of the world – the equator itself, which is located just north of Quito. Here you can stand with one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern hemisphere.

Day 3. Quito to Tena – adventure in the Amazon jungle.

Today you travel from Quito to the Amazon in a minibus with a driver. You make several stops on the way before you arrive in Punta Ahuano from where the last part of the trip is made by canoe to Casa del Suizo. You will meet a guide on arrival at the lodge and there is also the opportunity to rest by the pool before heading out to visit the local Quecha village. Here you learn all about how the Indians live by and with nature, you can taste typical food and see how to use a traditional blowpipe. Then in the evening you get to experience what it is like to fall asleep to all the sounds of the Amazon. Casa del Suizo is beautifully situated on the Napo River overlooking the eastern Andes. The lodge is surrounded by tropical rainforest and not far from the pleasant little Quecha village of Ahuano. Casa del Suizogen is permeated by a pleasant atmosphere and all rooms have electricity, hot water and a private patio overlooking the river and rainforest. There is also a swimming pool and an outdoor restaurant. There is room for both rest, swimming and socializing between the day’s activities. (F , L , M )

Day 4. On an adventure in the Amazon

After breakfast you go with your guide down the Napu River in a canoe. After about 20 minutes drive, you will reach the beginning of the hiking trail you then follow through the rainforest. During the hike, your guide tells you about flora and fauna and shows how the Indians traditionally hunt. There is a chance to see many animals as you walk slowly and carefully through the Amazon rainforest. Just a short distance from the Casa del Suizo itself is AmaZOOnico, a rehabilitation center for injured animals. Here you can usually meet tapirs, monkeys, snakes and a variety of birds of different species. After lunch, you then walk along the river with your guide to look at plants and flowers typical and unique to the Amazon. ( F , L , M )

Day 5. From Tena to Baños

You will be picked up at the lodge in the morning and driven to Baños – a nice little town that offers lots of adventures and activities whether you want to hike, go rafting or mountain biking. If you are more eager to take it easy, Baños are well known for their hot springs. The active volcano Tungurahua is a major attraction in the region and if you are lucky you will hear the rumble and maybe even see glowing lava at the top in the distance at night. ( F )

Day 6. Explorations in and around Baños.

You have the whole day on your own to explore and experience Baños. ( F )

Day 7. Baños to Riobamba

Today the journey continues by bus to the city of Riobamba. The city is located on a large plain surrounded by several snow-capped mountain peaks, including the mighty volcano Chimborazo. Every Saturday there is a big market in the city and if you are here even on a Thursday, a visit to the market in the city of Guamote is a must. If you want, you can also book a trip on the classic train journey Nariz del Diable – The Devil’s Nose. ( F )

Day 8. Riobamba to Cuenca

Now you continue on the Pan-American Highway to Cuenca. Late afternoon you arrive in Cuenca; Ecuador’s Capital of Culture where all museums have free admission. The city is a very nice combination of big city and nice atmosphere. Cuenca has 400,000 inhabitants and is easy to navigate where most are within walking distance. There are also lots of historic churches, good food, elegant colonial squares and an incredibly nice and accommodating culture. ( F )

Day 9. On a journey of discovery in and around Cuenca

You have all day to explore Cuenca and its surroundings on your own. Vii you can take a day trip to the Inca ruins Ingapirca or hike in El Cajas National Park. ( F )

Day 10. Cocoa plantations and Guayaquil

Today you drive to Guayaquil and on the way you stop at a cocoa plantation where you see how the cocoa beans turn into delicious chocolate, of course you get to taste too! With your stomach full of chocolate, you then go on to Guayaquil where you stay one night before the journey on to the Galapagos. ( F )

Day 11. Flight from Guayaquil to the Galapagos.

You are flying today to San Cristobal, Galapagos in the Pacific Ocean. You meet on arrival and drive to your hotel inside the small town where you have the rest of the day on your own. ( F )

Day 12-13 On an adventure at San Cristobal

The island of San Cristobal offers lots of nice hiking trails. You can also rent bicycles and explore the island on your own. Rent snorkeling equipment and snorkel among playful sea lions on the island’s isolated beaches. There are many nice restaurants where in the evening you can enjoy good food in a relaxed environment. ( F )

Day 14. San Cristóbal to Santa Cruz

Today you go on to Santa Cruz by speedboat and stay for three nights in the port city of Puero Ayora. Here you can stroll along the promenade, there are also cafes and restaurants. At the small harbor you see the fishermen coming in in the afternoon with their catch. The fearless sea lions, frigatebirds and pelicans often sit and wait on the bridge. ( F )

Day 15-16: On a voyage of discovery on Santa Cruz

You have all day free to continue exploring Santa Cruz and Puerto Ayora. You can visit the Charles Darwin Research Center, get close to the huge turtles, go swimming in Tortuga Bay, paddle sea kayaks, dive with hammerhead sharks at Gordon Rocks, surf at Ratonera beach, ride a mountain bike in Santa Cruz Highlands, take a ride in the volcanic terrain or snorkel among fin-finned sharks and sea lions at Punta Estrada. ( F )

Day 17. Flight from Santa Cruz to Guayaquil

Then it’s time to leave the Galapagos. You fly from Santa Cruz to Guayaquil where you meet and drive to your hotel which is not far from the airport. ( F )

Day 18 Departure from Guayaquil

Early in the morning you will be picked up at the hotel and driven to the airport to start the journey home to Scandinavia again. ( F )

Day 19 Homecoming

Overnight stays

Two nights in Quito at mid-range hotel
Two nights in the Amazon at Tena at mid-range lodge
Two nights in Baños at mid-range hotel
One night in Riobamba at mid-range hotel
Two nights in Cuenca at mid-range hotel
One in Guayaquil at mid-range hotel
Three nights at San Cristobal at mid-range hotel Three nights at San
Santa Cruz at mid-range hotel
A night in Guayaquil at mid-range hotel

Ecuador and the Galapagos for the Whole Family

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