The Ultimate Luxury Ecuador Exploration Uncover South America

Ecuador Tour Luxury Nature & Cultural Exploration

17 Days Similar tours from £8730

    The Ultimate Ecuador Tour

    Embark on an extraordinary 18-day luxury journey through Ecuador, where every moment invites you to discover the richness of diverse landscapes and cultures. Feel the vibrant energy of bustling markets, savour local flavours, and connect with the essence of Quito's rich history. Immerse yourself in the lush textures and indigenous traditions of the Amazon, surrendering to the enchantment of the rainforest.

    In the Galapagos, indulge in the thrill of snorkeling in crystal-clear waters and the serenity of biking through natural landscapes. Uninhabited islands reveal the essence of untouched nature, and unique farm visits offer insights into local life.

    This Ecuador trip ensures a luxurious exploration of the country's highlights, promising not just a journey through places, but a profound exploration of self and the world.


    Adventure, Culture & Gastronomy

    Tour Highlights

    Local Culinary Immersion: Delight your taste buds with hands-on Quito Cooking Classes and unique Galapagos Ceviche Cooking, forging a delicious connection with local traditions.

    Amazonian Adventure Trails: Immerse yourself in the heart of nature as you traverse the Amazon's trails, revealing the rainforest's secrets with knowledgeable local guides.

    Uninhabited Island Discovery: Engage in guided hikes and snorkelling tours on uninhabited islands, providing an exclusive glimpse into the untouched wonders of the Galapagos. 

    Highlands Cultural Encounters: Immerse yourself in the traditions of the Chimborazo region with a visit to the Guamote community, creating meaningful connections with local communities.

    Conservation Wisdom - Darwin Station: Gain insights into Galapagos conservation at the Charles Darwin Research Station, fostering a deeper understanding of efforts to protect giant tortoises and the islands' history.

    Tour Itinerary and Essentials

    • Detailed Itinerary Show All

      • Day 1 Welcome to Ecuador

        Step into the heart of Ecuador as we whisk you from the lively Quito International Airport to your chosen hotel. Our friendly team ensures a seamless transition, setting the stage for an unforgettable adventure.

        As you settle into your accommodations, feel the city's vibrant energy. Quito, nestled in the Andes, blends history and modernity in a captivating dance. 

        Overnight: Hotel Casa Carlota
        Meal Plan: None

      • Day 2 Quito's Cultural Feast

        This morning, embark on a captivating half-day tour exploring the UNESCO-listed Quito Historical Center. Marvel at beautiful churches, delve into museums and take in the panoramic views from La Virgen del Panecillo. Quito, founded on Inca ruins in the 16th century, boasts the largest and best-preserved historical centre in South America.

        Later, indulge your senses in a Quito Cooking Class. Navigate a local food market with the chef, discovering endemic fruits and vegetables. Don a chef's hat and apron, armed with a mini recipe book featuring traditional Ecuadorian delights: Locro Quiteño, Encocado, and Chocolate fondue.

        To end the day, savour the flavours of Ecuador with a delightful dinner in the historic centre. Casa Manuela, nestled next to the Sagrario Church, promises an authentic culinary experience, offering the finest local cuisine. Your taste buds are in for a treat as you unwind in this charming setting, capping off a day filled with cultural exploration and gastronomic delights.

        Overnight: Hotel Casa Carlota
        Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

      • Day 3 Amazon Odyssey Begins

        Embark on a 35-minute flight from Quito to Coca, a vibrant oil town nestled in the Amazon Basin. The real thrill begins as you board a 2-hour motorised canoe journey down the Napo River, surrounded by the lush Andean landscapes. Switch to a paddle canoe at the dock, immersing yourself in the Amazon's natural beauty for the final leg of your journey to La Selva Lodge.

        Arriving at the lodge, you'll have time to explore local trails before indulging in a delectable dinner. As night falls, experience the enchantment of the rainforest with a captivating night walk. Your Amazonian adventure unfolds, promising an immersive experience in the heart of nature.

        Overnight: La Selva Lodge
        Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

      • Day 4 Amazonian Immersion in Yasuni National Park

        Fuel up with an early breakfast before venturing to the Observation Tower & Tucaneta Trail. A 20-minute walk leads you to the awe-inspiring observation tower, soaring 120 feet above the forest. Along the trail, your guide unveils the rainforest's secrets, sharing insights into various medicinal plants.

        Embark for an afternoon adventure on the Charapa Trail. This one-hour loop, starting at the lodge and winding along the lagoon's edge, offers encounters with diverse mammals, monkeys, and birds seeking sustenance. As the day draws to a close, savour an Amazonian sunset from a canoe, a magical experience on the water.

        Before dinner, embark on a night canoe ride. Guided by spotlights, glide across the lagoon, immersing yourself in the nocturnal wonders of the rainforest. 

        In your free time between activities, seize the opportunity to kayak, take a refreshing dip in the lagoon, indulge in a soothing massage, or simply unwind in your room for a rejuvenating nap. Your day in Yasuni National Park unfolds with a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation.

        Overnight: La Selva Lodge
        Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

      • Day 5 A Kaleidoscope of Nature and Culture

        Embark on a motorised canoe ride along the Napo River to witness one of nature's most fascinating spectacles – the Parrot Clay Licks. Hundreds of parrots and parakeets gather, creating a vibrant display as they consume mineral-rich soil vital to their diet. Binoculars enhance this mesmerising encounter.

        Following the clay licks, delve into the rich tapestry of Amazonian culture with our Cultural Activity. A gracious Kichua woman welcomes you to their community centre, offering insights into the life of the Kichua people in the Amazon. It's a unique opportunity to connect with the local community and appreciate their traditions.

        Post-lunch, traverse the Coto Trail, a scenic walk from the lodge to the edge of the Garzacocha Lagoon. Keep your eyes peeled for groups of black-mantled tamarin monkeys and, if luck is on your side, glimpses of tapirs. The trail is a fantastic exploration of the region's biodiversity, creating lasting memories.

        Overnight: La Selva Lodge
        Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

      • Day 6 Farewell to the Amazon

        Savour your last moments in the Amazon with a tranquil walk along the boardwalk, a final opportunity to witness the playful antics of monkeys. Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the rainforest, creating lasting memories.

        Bid farewell to La Selva Lodge as you depart for Coca. Arriving at Coca airport, our team will ensure a seamless transition for your return flight to Quito.

        Overnight: Hotel La Palma Polo Club
        Meal Plan: Breakfast & Dinner

      • Day 7 Journey to Chimborazo's Heart

        Embark on a breathtaking journey through the Avenue of Volcanoes, a scenic route leading you to the majestic Chimborazo region. The 3.5-hour transfer promises awe-inspiring views of the Ecuadorian countryside, offering a glimpse into the country's diverse landscapes.

        Delve into Ecuador's rich cultural tapestry with a captivating tour of the Guamote community. This canton is the epitome of tradition, with 95% of its population being Indigenous, a stark contrast to the national average of 25%. Immerse yourself in community projects, explore quaint mountain villages, and visit an Indigenous family to witness their authentic housing, known as "choza." 

        Overnight: Hotel Andaluza or
        Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

      • Day 8 From Riobamba to Cuenca - A Cultural Odyssey

        Embark on a mesmerising journey from Riobamba in the high Andes to the captivating city of Cuenca. As you descend, the landscape transforms, treating you to ever-changing panoramas of the lower Andes. Sit back, relax, and absorb the beauty unfolding outside your window during this picturesque drive.

        Arrive in Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, steeped in colonial charm. Wander through cobblestone streets, taking in the rich history and architectural beauty that define this cultural gem.

        Venture to Ingapirca, Ecuador's largest archaeological site with Inca ruins. The Temple of the Sun, a significant structure, awaits your exploration. As you walk through the ancient grounds, let the history of this Inca stronghold unfold before you, offering a glimpse into the past.

        Overnight: Hotel Cruz del Vado
        Meal Plan: Breakfast

      • Day 9 Cuenca's Charms and Coastal Transition

        Today is your day to bask in the relaxed charm of Cuenca, one of Ecuador's most beautiful cities. Awarded South America's Leading City Break Destination in 2018, Cuenca beckons with UNESCO World Heritage Sites and captivating allure. Dive into the city's rich tapestry with a leisurely Cuenca city tour and discover why it holds this prestigious title.

        Following your exploration of Cuenca, embark on a scenic drive to the coastal city of Guayaquil. This approximately 4-hour journey meanders from the Andes to the coastal region, offering picturesque views of the diverse Ecuadorian landscape. As you traverse Cajas National Park, the beauty of the transition between regions unfolds.

        Overnight: Hotel del Parque Guayaquil
        Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

      • Day 10 Gateway to Galapagos Wonders

        Embark on an exciting journey as you fly from Guayaquil to the enchanting San Cristobal Island. Upon your arrival at San Cristobal Airport, a friendly driver will be waiting to escort you to your chosen hotel in the village of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. 

        In the afternoon, immerse yourself in the flavours of the Galapagos Islands with a unique San Cristobal Ceviche Cooking Class. Join local expert Mrs. Barbara to learn the art of crafting delicious fish ceviche, using the freshest local produce. Mrs. Barbara's culinary expertise, born from selling her special ceviche in town, has evolved into a complete experience at a local restaurant near Playa Mann.

        Later in the day, embark on a journey to the highlands of San Cristobal Island. Your first stop is El Junco, a sizable sweetwater lagoon, the only one of its kind in the Galapagos Islands. A short walk around the lagoon unveils its natural beauty. Continuing by car, you'll reach La Galapaguera, a sanctuary for native Galapagos plants and tortoises. Conclude the highlands tour at the scenic Puerto Chino beach, where you can indulge in snorkelling and soak in the beauty of the Galapagos landscapes.

        Overnight: Breakfast & Lunch
        Meal Plan: Golden Bay

      • Day 11 Kicker Rock Expedition

        Rise and shine for an exhilarating day! Head to Kicker Rock, one of the Galapagos Islands' most awe-inspiring landmarks. Arriving at the passenger pier, you'll board a speedboat ready to set sail on this thrilling expedition.

        Kicker Rock, composed of two volcanic rocks towering 140 meters above the water, is a marvel off the coast of San Cristobal Island. Known as "León Dormido" in Spanish, resembling a sleeping lion when viewed from the south, and "Kicker Rock" from another perspective, resembling a boot. This formation in the middle of the ocean is a haven for marine birds and diverse underwater life.

        Marvel at the natural erosion that has created a channel between the rocks, establishing an ideal habitat for sharks, manta rays, and a plethora of aquatic wildlife. Strap on your snorkelling gear and immerse yourself in the vibrant underwater world, surrounded by the wonders of the Galapagos.

        Overnight: Golden Bay
        Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

      • Day 12 Island Exploration - From San Cristobal to Isabela

        Prepare for your flight to Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos archipelago. Upon landing at Isabela Airport, you will be transferred to Puerto Villamil, where your island adventure continues. 

        Gear up for a self-guided biking tour through Isabela's mesmerising landscapes. Start by picking up your rented bikes in the village, then head towards the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center. Marvel at the young and old Giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Continue your biking journey to the historic Wall of Tears, a testament to the island's intriguing history.

        As you pedal along, keep an eye out for Giant tortoises near the road and relish the incredible views that stretch across the island. This self-guided biking adventure allows you to immerse yourself in Isabela's unique ecosystem at your own pace.

        Overnight: Hotel Casa de Marita
        Meal Plan: Breakfast

      • Day 13 Underwater Wonderland - Los Tuneles Snorkelling

        Embark on a mesmerising snorkelling tour to Los Tuneles. Discover the mesmerising world below as you snorkel in the shallow, clear waters. The site, aptly named "The Tunnels," showcases unique geological formations such as arcs and tunnels, both underwater and above. These formations, shaped by lava flows, provide a habitat for various Galapagos species.

        After this unforgettable underwater experience, return to Puerto Villamil. Your guide will drop you off at your hotel, leaving you with memories of an exceptional day exploring the hidden wonders of Los Tuneles. The rest of your day is for you to explore Puerto Villamil.

        Overnight: Hotel Casa de Marita
        Meal Plan: Breakfast

      • Day 14 Island Transitions - Isabela to Santa Cruz

        Bid farewell to the tranquil beauty of Isabela for the bustling town of Puerto Ayora.

        After settling into your accommodation, the afternoon is yours to explore or relax at your leisure. Whether strolling through the vibrant streets, indulging in local cuisine, or simply unwinding, Santa Cruz offers a blend of urban charm and natural beauty.

        Overnight: Hotel Finch Bay
        Meal Plan: Breakfast

      • Day 15 Uncharted Exploration - Uninhabited Island Tour

        Embark on an unforgettable adventure to one of the Galapagos' uninhabited islands.

        Upon arriving at the chosen island, engage in a guided hike to explore the diverse characteristics and wildlife that make each island distinct. From endemic species to unique landscapes, witness the wonders of the Galapagos on land.

        In the afternoon, dive into the crystal-clear waters for a snorkelling tour around the island. Encounter marine life in their natural habitat, adding a thrilling aquatic dimension to your exploration.

        As the day's exploration concludes, return to Puerto Ayora in the late afternoon. The guide will drop you off at the public pier, allowing you to leisurely walk back to your hotel or take a taxi. Spend the evening soaking up the charm of Puerto Ayora, reflecting on the day's island discoveries in this unique corner of the world.

        Overnight: Hotel Finch Bay
        Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

      • Day 16 Culinary Exploration and Conservation Insights

        Embark on a unique culinary journey with a visit to a local organic farm nestled in the highlands of Santa Cruz. Immerse yourself in the agricultural richness of the region, learning about local crops and getting your hands dirty in the process. Guided by the farm's experts, discover the art of cooking Ecuadorian dishes with fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables. 

        In the afternoon, delve into the scientific and conservation side of the Galapagos Islands with a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Established in 1959, this international non-profit organisation plays a pivotal role in scientific research and conservation efforts in the Galapagos. Gain valuable insights into the plans to protect giant tortoises and learn about the islands' history. 

        Overnight: Hotel Finch Bay
        Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

      • Day 17 Free Exploration

        Enjoy a leisure day to explore Santa Cruz at your own pace. Whether relaxing at a local café, discovering the charm of Puerto Ayora, adventuring to nearby beaches, or reflecting on your Galapagos journey, this day is for you to explore as you please. 

        Overnight: Hotel Finch Bay
        Meal Plan: Breakfast

      • Day 18 Homeward Journey - From Santa Cruz to Quito

        Today marks the final chapter of this unforgettable journey. 

        Bid farewell to the Galapagos Islands with a morning transfer from Puerto Ayora to Baltra Airport, where you will catch your flight to Quito. 

        As you connect to your international flight, we sincerely hope you've cherished the diverse landscapes, wildlife, and cultural richness experienced throughout this adventure.

        Meal Plan: Breakfast

    • What's Included

      • 17 nights' accommodation 
      • Private ground transportation 
      • Meals as defined in the itinerary
      • Local English-speaking tour guide
      • Domestic flights
      • Activities mentioned in the itinerary

      What's not Included

      • International flights
      • Meals not listed in the itinerary
      • Tips and other discretionary expense
      • Some park entrance fees


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