Wild Ecuador

Example Itinerary

Overview

Surprisingly diverse for a country of its size, Ecuador provides nature enthusiasts with a tantalising mix of ecosystems. From the volcanic altiplano to the luscious Amazonian rainforest and the unparalleled natural wonders of the Galápagos, it is the ideal natural playground for an activity-filled adventure in search of wildlife and beautiful landscapes.

After your cultural fix during a city tour and craft class in the colonial capital Quito, you’ll ...

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Meet the Expert

Speak to Richard to start planning your trip to Ecuador & Galapagos

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

How Tailor-Made Works

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Discuss your initial ideas with one of our experts, the types of things you want to see and do.

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Your expert will start designing your perfect trip. Within a day or two we'll send a suggested itinerary.

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At this stage you can still tweak anything from accommodation to experiences and dates, using our expert advice.

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Time to prepare for your trip, safe in the knowledge you'll be in the expert hands of local guides and drivers throughout.

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Relax and enjoy...through our partners you'll have support on the ground as well as 24-hour emergency assistance in the UK.

Example Itinerary

This is an example itinerary. Our experts have all travelled widely in the region and will be happy to tailor any of our itineraries to suit your tastes and budget, or build a trip from scratch.

Day 1 Arrive Quito

On arrival to Quito, you will be met and welcomed by your local guide at the airport. Transferring straight to your hotel, you can spend the rest of the day relaxing and acclimatising to the new heights and surroundings of Ecuador’s capital.

Day 2 Quito: History, Architecture & Culture Class

The day begins with an overview of the city taking one of South America’s highest cable cars up to Cruz Loma hill for a wonderful panorama of Quito. Weather permitting, it is possible to see some of the country’s highest peaks from here. Back down in the town, you’ll then learn about the country’s history via a walking tour through the historic centre’s colonial streets filled with impressive 16th and 17th-century buildings, palaces, cathedrals, churches and monasteries. The tour ends with one-on-one cultural class at a local school that aims to preserve traditional Ecuadorian arts and crafts; choose between wood carving, calligraphy, sculpture or gold leaf.

Casa Aliso Hotel Breakfast

Day 3 Quito – Pasochoa – Cotopaxi: Volcano Hiking

Departing the capital, you’ll drive through the scenic Avenue of Volcanoes on your way to the second stop of the trip, Cotopaxi. Spend some time hiking at the beautiful Pasachoa Wildlife Refuge, formed on the slopes of the extinct Pasochoa Volcano, for a warm-up to the active itinerary ahead. The refuge is home to over 100 bird species as well as orchids, bromelias and other epiphytic plants which can be spotted along its various walking trails. Later, continue on to your lodge where an open fire and a homecooked dinner await you.

Chilcabamba Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 Cotopaxi: Horse Riding with Cowboys

Horse riding is a time-honoured tradition in the Andean region and especially in the altiplano (high plateau) of Cotopaxi National Park. After breakfast, head out riding with real chagras (Andean cowboys) into the ruggedly beautiful national park, exploring its stretches of mountainous landscape while mixing in a bit of local flavour and transport. Heading back to the cosy lodge in time for a warm, homemade lunch after your morning out on the high plateau, the afternoon is then set aside to relax at the quaint lodge and perhaps enjoying a soak in the jacuzzi.
*Your morning tour can also be done via mountain bike, foot or vehicle to suit all preferences.

Chilcabamba Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Cotopaxi – Quito: Volcano Biking

Drive through paramo landscape this morning to reach the highest point of Cotopaxi National Park where you can enjoy views of the other surrounding eight volcanoes. After time to admire views of some of the world’s highest volcanoes, it’s time to elevate your heart rate cycling down dirt roads through volcanic ash to one of the few Inca ruins in Ecuador, located at 3,700m, the ideal spot to enjoy your packed lunch. Later, the cycling excursion continues through pine forest from Lake Limpipungo to the transfer vehicle waiting at the end of the volcanic bike route, ready to take you back to your hotel in Quito at the end of today’s physically engaging bike ride.

Casa Aliso Hotel Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6 Quito – Amazon Rainforest: Into the Jungle

A short domestic flight this morning brings you to Coca, the entry town to the Amazon, where you’ll board a speedboat to take you deeper into the rainforest to your lodge. Nestle into your beautifully designed cabin tucked away within the thick forest trees and meet your naturalist guide over an exotic lunch, before heading out on the first activity of your stay to explore the rainforest on foot. On hand to provide plenty of useful information, your guide will point out the area’s distinct flora and fauna under the afternoon light that manages to creep between the dense vegetation to the forest floor. Ponder these natural riches over dinner before heading out once more after night fall in search of nocturnal life.  

Sacha Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 Amazon Rainforest: Canoeing Down the Napo River

An early knock on the door wakes you for breakfast in the cool of the morning before heading out down the Napo River, peacefully paddling to the rhythm, sights and sounds of the forest residents gliding, chirping and rustling around. Small dugout canoes allow access to the network of narrower tributaries and waterways that feed the rainforest, their banks often being the best place for wildlife spotting. Making it back for lunch at the lodge, there will also be some downtime to relax in nature’s lush garden and perhaps take a dip in the protected black waters of Pilchicocha Lake, shared by caiman and giant river otters. Later, walk across a 94-foot suspended bridge to capture a truly magical photo of the sun setting over the misty forest canopy and bathing it in warm, orange hues to the call of howler monkeys.

Sacha Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 Amazon Rainforest: Wildlife Spotting & a Community Project

After breakfast visit the nearest clay lick on the edge of the Yasuní National Park to witness flocks of technicoloured parrots feeding on the side of an exposed part of the riverbank – a spectacular show of sound and colour. Later, you can visit the Shipati Warmi project, an initiative run by and benefitting the women of a local Yasuní community, for a conversation and taste of day-to-day life in these remote reaches of the world. Dinner is followed by a night-time expedition down the river in search of caiman under the starry night sky.

Sacha Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 Amazon Rainforest – Quito

This morning, transfer to Coca airport via the river in time for your flight back to the capital once again. Arriving in the afternoon, the rest of the day is left at leisure for a bit of independent exploration and shopping.

Casa Aliso Hotel Breakfast

Day 10 Quito – Galapagos Islands: Santa Cruz Island

A morning’s flight brings you to the world-famous Galapagos Islands, where you’ll be met and taken to the port to settle into a deluxe, family-owned and run yacht and meet the crew. Set out on your first excursion this afternoon to Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz Island. A trail leads you around a brackish lagoon where endemic shore birds, including Darwin finches, Galápagos flycatchers and yellow warblers, can be spotted amongst the typical dry zone cacti and vegetation. This is also an important nesting area for land iguanas occupying a lovely spot with views over the anchored boats in the bay and neighbouring islands. Then, head back to the boat for dinner and your first comfy night on board.

Sea Star Galápagos Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 Galapagos Islands: Santiago Island

After breakfast, this morning’s excursion leads you to Black Turtle Cove, one of the most unique ecosystems in the Galápagos, surrounded by mangrove forest home to green sea turtles and a baby white-tip reef shark nursery. Around these waters, schools of golden rays, spotted eagle rays and marine turtles can be seen as well as countless species of birds such as the iconic blue footed booby. This afternoon cruise over to ‘Chinese Hat’ (Sombrero Chino) off the coast of Santiago Island to visit its fantastic visitor site boasting terrific vistas. The path to the visitor centre begins on an idyllic beach where red Sally lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas and Galápagos sea lions can often be seen lounging on the sand - a great spot to take the zodiacs out and jump off the side for some snorkelling.

Sea Star Galápagos Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 Galapagos Islands: Genovesa Island

A dry landing on Genovesa Island this morning, a particularly special place for birders, provides an opportunity to climb up the natural stairway to the top of the island, passing by colonies of Nazca and red-footed boobies along the way. At the end of the trail is a wedge-rumped storm petrel nest positioned on one of the lava fields of this volcanic archipelago. There’ll then be the chance to kayak in the company of marine iguanas, Galápagos seals and sea lions before heading back to the yacht for lunch. This afternoon you’ll also experience a wet landing to reach the coral sandy beach at Darwin Bay. Navigating past sea lions and swallow-tailed gulls, you’ll find a flat trail through mangrove forests and salt bushes leading you to one of the best places to look for red-footed booby nesting sites. Low tide here also produces the best chance of seeing one of the world’s rarest gulls, the lava gull, of which there are approximately 900 in the entire archipelago. Enjoy some more snorkelling before reboarding the cruise and getting ready for dinner this evening.

Sea Star Galápagos Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13 Galapagos Islands: Santiago Island

Having navigated to Bartolome, you’ll summit the island to admire one of the Galápagos’ most famous views overlooking Pinnacle Rock and Santiago Island below. During the trail across the lunar-like landscape of this volcanic island you’ll observe spatter cones, lava tubes and a few hardy plants. The island also has a small colony of penguins, the only species to live in the tropics. This morning’s snorkel welcomes a good chance of meeting some Galápagos penguins, white-tipped reef sharks and playful sea lions. Cruising back towards Santiago Island, this afternoon you’ll explore Sullivan Bay on its south-eastern shore. Here the geological formations are the perfect place to learn about the volcanic activity and different coloured lava flows that have created and shaped the islands.

Sea Star Galápagos Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14 Galapagos Islands – Depart Quito

After a final breakfast on board, you’ll disembark at Santa Cruz Island to visit its highlands where the Galápagos giant tortoise reserve is located. After your visit to see these iconic land dwellers, you’ll transfer to the airport and fly back to Ecuador where your active wildlife adventure ends.

EXAMPLE ACCOMMODATION

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation listed here is intended as a guide only, to give you a taste of what we can do. Our experts can tailor any aspect of this itinerary and accommodation to suit your budget and tastes.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

14 days from £8,225

MEALS

As specified in the itinerary, sampling some of the country's finest cuisine.

TRANSPORT

Private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced, dedicated drivers.

ENTRANCE FEES

Tours and admission fees, including tickets specified in the itinerary.

EXPERT TEAM

Licensed English-speaking guides and a support team available 24/7.

ACCOMMODATION

As specified in the itinerary, using some of our favourite local properties.

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 11462 Wild Miles

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Wild Miles Club

When you book a trip with Wild Frontiers you are awarded points, which are based on the return distance from London to the arrival city of your trip. Points are awarded for all our holidays, including both our escorted group tours and tailor-made trips. When you accrue points, you will qualify for the following discounts on all future bookings:

Blue More than 10,000 points 2.5% discount
Bronze More than 30,000 points 5% discount
Silver More than 45,000 points 7.5% discount
Gold More than 60,000 points 10% discount

This itinerary is aimed to give you an idea of what we can offer. The price shown above is per person, based on two people travelling outside of peak periods. As this itinerary is only a suggestion and can be tailor-made to suit your interests and budget, your final price may differ.

Positive Impact of this Trip

Tree
Ten trees are planted per passenger on this trip
Community
Supports Wild Frontiers Foundation community projects
Wind Turbine
A contribution to renewable energy projects

WHEN TO GO

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you plan your adventure of a lifetime.

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

Meet the expert, Richard

Richard is our Latin America expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Richard by calling
1(833) 200-4640

Ecuador’s mainland is South America abridged; an exquisitely compact summary of what makes the continent special. In contrast, Galapagos is nirvana for wildlife lovers, a compellingly gorgeous freak of nature.

OTHER ITINERARIES IN ECUADOR & GALAPAGOS

Check out our group tours in Ecuador & Galapagos

As well as private tailor-made trips, we also offer small group tours (max size 12) to Ecuador & Galapagos. Led by an experienced tour leader, travel with a group of like-minded people on one of our award-winning group tours.

View Group Tours in Ecuador & Galapagos