Epic Ecuador Vacation from Islands to Highlands | Yampu Tours

Custom Travel Experiences Since 1998

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Epic Ecuador Vacation from Islands to Highlands

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PRIVATE TOUR - 15 DAY SAMPLE ITINERARY

FROM £$ 12846

Private Tour Highlights

  • Marveling at the flurry of wings and colors at Ecuador’s Clay Licks early in the morning, as a whirlwind of Parrots, Macaws and Parakeets perform their morning ritual.
  • Riding the one and only ‘Devil’s Nose’ train, while marveling at the stunning Andean scenery outside your carriage windows.
  • Witnessing the beautifully unique spectacle of Flamingo Lagoon, known to attract large numbers of this most famous bird.
  • Observing the colonies of Sea Lions, Lizards, Iguanas, Frigates and Blue-footed Boobies during a Galapagos tour.
  • Enjoying beautiful views of the Cotopaxi Volcano and enigmatic National Park.
  • Taking a walk through Independence Square in Quito, stopping off at the Presidential Palace, Cathedral, San Francisco Monastery and El Sagrario Church along the way.
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Overview

Yampu’s Epic Ecuador Vacation from Islands to Highlands is a comprehensive visit to Ecuador’s main attractions. This complete tour includes colonial Quito and Cuenca, two small and charming towns in the highlands of Ecuador, an adventurous train ride, the Galapagos Islands, and the Amazon Rainforest. Napo Wildlife Center is the ancestral territory of the Añangu Quichua community, which took the initiative to build the Center themselves.

If Napo Wildlife Center Lodge is not available, you will stay at the equally impressive Sani Lodge in the same area, where you will enjoy the same program as in Napo Wildlife Center Lodge.

Included in the itinerary is a First Class cruise in the Galapagos Islands. Due to current regulations, each cruise can only visit an island every 14 days. This sample 5 day itinerary runs every two weeks. However, we are able to offer a variety of other Galapagos cruises. Depending on your dates of travel, we can customize your itinerary to match the Galapagos Cruise departures.

Inclusions
Price includes:
Round-trip domestic air from Quito or Guayaquil to the Galapagos; round-trip domestic airfare from Quito to Coca; one-way domestic airfare from Quito to Cuenca; 4 nights cabin aboard a First Class boat, including all meals; hotel accommodation including breakfast; Napo Wildlife Center Lodge program including all meals; daily guided tours of the islands, led by naturalist guides; guided excursions with English speaking guide; and all transfers including baggage assistance. Also included is the $100 Galapagos Park fee, and $20 Transit Control Card fee.

*Please note that the Devil’s Nose train does not operate on Mondays. Departures are available from Napo Wildlife Center daily except for Sundays.

*All cruise itineraries are subject to change. Please note 5-Star and Deluxe clients have suite cabins built into their pricing package.
By traveling to the Galapagos with Yampu Tours, you will be making the choice to travel responsibly. As members of IGTOA (International Galapagos Tour Operators Association), Yampu donates $7 for every traveler that travels to the Galapagos with us. We are dedicated to helping preserve the islands while supporting sustainable ecotourism. As an IGTOA member, we are informed, involved, and concerned. There will also be an optional Galapagos Conservation contribution of $50 per passenger added to your final proposal.
The contribution will go towards:
•Creating benefits and educational opportunities for local people.
•Strengthening responsible tourism management.
•Building strong financial support for conservation among the travel industry and travelers.
•Promoting high professional standards for the tourist industry.
Exclusions

Gratuities, and local airport taxes that are payable in the country of destination are not included. Taxes and security fees that can be paid at time of ticketing are already included.

Best Time to Travel
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Best Good Consult

Pricing Details
  3-Star 4-Star 5-Star Luxury
Double N/A £$12846 £$13022 £$13892
Single N/A £$16726 £$17375 £$19116

Prices shown above are per person. Hotel categories do not adhere strictly to international ratings; Yampu has evaluated the hotels according to destination and availability. Prices include local airfare (where applicable), hotel accommodation including daily breakfast; all transfers with baggage handling, all guided tours in English and all entrance fees.

Please note that prices are subject to change based on availability and seasonality, especially during the holiday season from December 20th through January 5th each year. Please contact a Yampu Travel Specialist for more information on best times to travel.

Trip Type:

All our trips are operated on a private basis unless specified otherwise. This is only a sample itinerary; your Yampu Tour Consultant will personalize this trip for you according to your available dates, interests and type of hotels. This is your trip and we will work on making it perfect!

Tour Itinerary

Day
1

Quito

Flight to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito, be greeted for airport reception and transferred to the hotel.

Flight to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito, be greeted for airport reception and transferred to the hotel.

Day
2

Full Day Colonial Quito Tour & The Equator

The tour begins today with a visit to Independence Square where the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral and El Sagrario Church are located. Also visit the Church of La Compania (1605), and enjoy a brief visit to the church and monastery of San Francisco (1535). The oldest Ecuadorian church, the collection of artwork here includes paintings, sculpture and furniture dating back to the 16th century. Leaving the churches, visit the recently restored 24 De Mayo Boulevard, named after the battle which sealed Ecuador´s independence.

Also, visit La Ronda Street in Old Quito. Lined with colonial houses and inspired by painters, poets, musicians and historians, this visit gives a taste of traditional Quito. The tour will then continue 30-minutes outside of Quito, towards the Middle of the World. Visit the main Monument honoring the correct location of the equator and visit the Ethnographic Museum, located inside the Equator Monument. Or, visit the Inti Nan Museum, a scientific and cultural Museum located in the exact place where the Equator Line crosses. ...read less

Day
3

Quito - Baltra

Transfer read more...

Transfer to the airport for the morning flight from Quito to Baltra in the Galapagos. Upon arrival, airport reception and transfer to the Galapagos cruise.
This afternoon, visit Bachas Beach, located on the northern coastline of Santa Cruz. Here one can see the brightly colored flamingo lagoon, encounter marine iguanas, various sea birds, and sea turtles. This is a good location to swim and snorkel.

Included in the itinerary is a First Class cruise. Due to current Galapagos Islands regulations each cruise can only visit an island every 14 days. This sample 5 day itinerary runs every two weeks. However, a variety of other Galapagos cruises are offered. Depending on the dates of travel, the itinerary can be customized to match the Galapagos Cruise departures.
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snorkeling
Day
4

Genovesa Island

This morning, visit Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island. Genovesa is a collapsed volcano that ships are able to sail into through its large breached caldera and anchor at the foot of the steep crater walls. Genovesa is commonly referred to as ‘bird island’ because it is home to thousands of great frigate birds, red-footed boobies, noddy terns, lava gulls, tropic birds, doves, storm petrels, and Darwin’s finches.

This afternoon, visit Prince Philip’s Steps on Genovesa Island. El Barranco, also known as Prince Philip’s Steps, has a trail through a Palo Santo forest to an open area full of nesting birds that include masked boobies, frigates, and red-footed boobies. At the end of this trail are thousands of band-rumbed storm petrels nesting in the crevices at the cliff’s edge. One will also be able to see the short-eared owls as they hunt the storm petrels during the daylight hours
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Galapagos_Flying_Frigate_Ecuador
Day
5

Plazas Island, Santa Fe Island

This morning, visit Plazas Island. Plaza Sur was originally formed by uplifted lava and the terrain includes an impressive cactus forest. On land, see land iguanas, sea lions and several species of tropical birds.

This afternoon, visit Santa Fe Island, home to a cactus forest and a colony of land iguanas that are native to the island. Here one can also see the Galapagos mockingbird, magnificent frigate, brown pelican, and several species of Darwin’s finches.

This morning, visit Plazas Island. Plaza Sur was originally formed by uplifted lava and the terrain includes an impressive cactus forest. On land, see land iguanas, sea lions and several species of tropical birds.

This afternoon, visit Santa Fe Island, home to a cactus forest and a colony of land iguanas that are native to the island. Here one can also see the Galapagos mockingbird, magnificent frigate, brown pelican, and several species of Darwin’s finches.

Darwin_Center_Bird_Ecuador
Day
6

San Cristobal Island, Isla Lobos

This morning, visit Punta Pitt. This unusual volcanic formation is located in the northeast of San Cristobal Island. Here one is likely to see tiny lava lizards scurrying around the rocks as well as all three species of the Galapagos booby; Nazca, masked, and blue or red-footed boobies.
This afternoon, visit Isla Lobos, a tiny rock island, to see a colony of sea lions and a colony of blue-footed boobies. Continue on to Kicker Rock, a magnificent rock that jets out 500 feet high from the middle of the ocean and is shaped similar to a sleeping lion. The rock is split with towering vertical walls on either side that forms a narrow channel through which small vessels can investigate. There is no landing site here but the view from the boat will make a lasting impression.
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Galapagos_Kicker_Rock_San_Cristobal_Ecuador
Day
7

San Cristobal – Quito

This morning, visit El Junco Lagoon, San Cristobal.

This site is reached by road and is about a half hour drive from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The road goes through the small farming settlement of El Progreso. The lake itself is the caldera (collapsed cone) of an extinct volcano and is about 300 meters wide. The name El Junco is Spanish for sedge, which is present along the banks of the lake.

This afternoon, be transferred to the San Cristobal airport for the flight to Quito to be greeted for airport reception and transferred to the hotel.
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San-Cristobal-Ecuador
Day
8

Quito - Coca

This morning, transfer to the Quito airport for a 30 minute flight to Coca over the eastern Andes at almost 10,000 feet to the Amazon Basin at only 820 feet. Upon arrival in Coca, be greeted and transferred via the Napo River to the Napo Wildlife Center. Transfer will last approximately two hours during which one can enjoy a boxed lunch and view the exotic wildlife of the Amazon.

This afternoon, arrive at the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve to transfer to a smaller dugout canoe and enjoy a peaceful paddle up a small stream that connects to the lake on which the lodge is located (no motorized transport is allowed on the creek so wildlife isn't disturbed).

After one hour, reach the Anangu Lake and get the firsts view of the striking lodge. Upon arrival, enjoy a welcome drink before settling into the accommodations. After dinner, one will have the opportunity to join a night excursion, taking in the nocturnal sounds and sights. ...read less

Napo_Wildlife_Center_in_the_Water_Ecuador
Day
9

Ecuador Clay Licks

This morning, wake early and transfer by canoe to one of the two best clay licks in Ecuador to witness the colorful whirlwind of activity beginning at 7:30am. Here one can see 11 species of macaws, parrots and parakeets. The colorful birds arrive by the hundreds to eat the clay that is thought to detoxify certain nuts and seeds they eat. A specially designed viewing blind allows for close proximity and complete concealment so while the birds are performing their morning ritual, one can peacefully enjoy a coffee. As the activity at this lick begins to slow, make way to the second clay lick where one will be able to see different species of macaws, parrots & parakeets, weather permitting. Here, enjoy a boxed lunch while watching the avian activity. Late this afternoon, return to the lodge and enjoy a siesta before dinner. ...read less

parrot_clay_lick_ecuador
Day
10

Canopy Tour

After an early breakfast, depart from the lodge for the finest experience at a canopy tower on the Napo. The 36 meter high canopy tour is the perfect way to view the wildlife above the forest floor. While ascending the 12-story tower, pass through different levels of the forest and emerge on top of a huge Ceiba tree.

Here, cross onto a wooden platform that is actually built into the tree and experience the view formerly reserved only for the birds. The metal tower itself was constructed to the highest standards, galvanized, and carefully inspected by engineers; safety is the priority. ...read less

keel-billed-toucan-ecuador
Day
11

Napo Wildlife Center – Quito

This morning, depart from the Napo Wildlife Center early in the morning for the return flight to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito, be greeted for airport reception and transferred to the hotel.

This morning, depart from the Napo Wildlife Center early in the morning for the return flight to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito, be greeted for airport reception and transferred to the hotel.

Quito-Panoramic-View-Ecuador
Day
12

Quito - Cotopaxi NP – Banos

This morning, be greeted at the hotel in Quito and transferred privately to the Cotopaxi National Park. Here, admire the beautiful snow-capped volcano and will have an optional hike. Later, head to the Hacienda La Cienega, one of the oldest haciendas dating back to the seventeenth century, for a tasty lunch (included). After lunch, stop at Saquisili Market (if Thursday), or Latacunga Market (if Tuesday or Saturday). Transfer to Banos for an evening of leisure. Lunch included.

This morning, be greeted at the hotel in Quito and transferred privately to the Cotopaxi National Park. Here, admire the beautiful snow-capped volcano and will have an optional hike. Later, head to the Hacienda La Cienega, one of the oldest haciendas dating back to the seventeenth century, for a tasty lunch (included). After lunch, stop at Saquisili Market (if Thursday), or Latacunga Market (if Tuesday or Saturday). Transfer to Banos for an evening of leisure. Lunch included.

Quito_Cotopaxi_Closeup_Ecuador
Day
13

Banos – Riobamba

After breakfast enjoy a visit to the Banos waterfalls including Manto de la Novia, Pailon del Diablo and Ines Maria. During the visit, enjoy tastes of the local juice of sugar cane and melcochas. In the afternoon, transfer to Riobamba, visiting a local Indian Market en route (if open on that day).

After breakfast enjoy a visit to the Banos waterfalls including Manto de la Novia, Pailon del Diablo and Ines Maria. During the visit, enjoy tastes of the local juice of sugar cane and melcochas. In the afternoon, transfer to Riobamba, visiting a local Indian Market en route (if open on that day).

Riobamba-Costumed-Dancer-Ecuador
Day
14

Riobamba – Devils Nose Train – Ingapirca – Cuenca

Very early in the morning, after breakfast, we drive to the town of Alausi for a train ride to the famous “Devil’s Nose”. Due to the land topography, this portion is a masterpiece of railway engineering, commonly named “the most difficult railway in the world”. The descent is not an ordinary one, we start the ride at an altitude of 2,346 meters and go down to 1,860 meters in just 30 minutes, in a zigzag-carved railway tracks. Afterward the guide and driver will bring you to Tolte Community to enjoy the following activities.


  • You will be able to descend 330 stairs up to a view point, perfect place to appreciate the zig-zag from Devil’s Nose and take fabulous pictures.

  • You may choose between horse-back riding or biking tour in the surrounding areas of the local community to enjoy the landscape and see in a deeper way the local lifestyle (around 25 to 30 minutes)

  • Enjoy a lunch prepared by the local community (gourmet meals). There will be a Dancing show during lunch time.

  • Passengers will receive a key ring from devil’s nose train ride as souvenir

  • Passengers are able to take pictures with the llama and local people without additional cost.

  • Passengers are able to visit an organic local farm to see the where the community develops agro-tourism and produce the vegetables that will be served at the restaurant during the meals.


Return and travel south to Cuenca, visiting the ruins of the Inca fortress Ingapirca en route. This evening, overnight in Cuenca. Box lunch included.
Please note this train does not operate on Mondays.
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Day
15

Cuenca – Quito – Home

This morning, enjoy a city tour of Cuenca, visiting the Calderon Park, the new and old Cathedral, the Park of the Flowers, the City Museum and modern art, the Canari-Incas of all saints’ ruins, Canon of the Tomebamba and Turi River. In the afternoon, transfer to the airport to take the flight to Quito connecting with the international flight home.

This morning, enjoy a city tour of Cuenca, visiting the Calderon Park, the new and old Cathedral, the Park of the Flowers, the City Museum and modern art, the Canari-Incas of all saints’ ruins, Canon of the Tomebamba and Turi River. In the afternoon, transfer to the airport to take the flight to Quito connecting with the international flight home.

plane-home-flight

Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador

Baños, Ecuador

Riobamba, Chimborazo, Ecuador

Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge, Orellana, Ecuador

Places You'll See

  • Quito-Ecuador-Hillside

    Quito

    The magnificent city of Quito is bursting with cultural, historical, and artistic character. Along with its scenic parks such as Parque La Carolina, visit its enchanting museums like the Museo del Banco Central. Take a trip to the Mitad del Mundo, or the “Middle of the World”, where the first measurements to prove the earth was round, were taken.

  • Galapagos

    Become enchanted by the unique and seemingly intrepid wildlife native to the Galapagos Islands. Dive in with the underwater life, or stay above water enjoying the other several water sports. For a dryer experience, relax on the sandy beaches soaking up the sun. Spend time with Giant Tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Center.

  • Yellow-rumped-Cacique-Orellana_Province_Ecuador

    Coca

    At the convergence of the Napo and Coca Rivers within the Amazon rainforest rests the city of El Coca. This is where many begin their journey into the national park, but there are many things of interest in this bustling area to discover. Enjoy drinks at local restaurants and browse through the many different clothes boutiques before venturing on the Iconic Napo River or exploring the mysterious depths of the Amazon.

  • Banos

    On the foothills of the Tungurahua Volcano, lies the city of Banos. One of the final cities before reaching the depths of the Amazon, Banos offers many exciting activities to take in. Enjoy the picturesque waterfalls, such as the famous Cascada de La Virgin, or take on nature with jungle tours, rafting, bungee jumping and so much more at the capital of adventure!

  • Riobamba-Mission-Ecuador

    Riobamba

    One of the stops along the Pan-American-Highway is the scenic Riobamba. One cannot miss the views of the surrounding mountain ranges including Ecuador’s highest mountain, Chimborazo. Visit the local art museums and its neoclassical basilica, Parque La Libertad, to absorb the areas culture and history.

  • Cuenca-Cathedral-Ecuador

    Cuenca

    Well known for its stunning and historical architecture, Cuenca is a City that holds a great amount of history. Visit the historic center of the city that has been named a UNESCO Heritage Site with its historical structures. Take a tour of The Ruins of the former Inca Empire, Ingapirca, and learn of these ancient people.

  • Cotopaxi

    One of the highest volcanoes in the world is the stratovolcano Cotopaxi. Enjoy the areas unique flora and fauna as you trek or bike your way through the National park of the same name. Visit the Museum and visitor center to gain an appreciation for the area and possibly enjoy some time along the Limpiopungo Lagoon, made up of remnants of glacial activity.

Hotel Options

3 Star Properties

Riobamba : Casa Real

Riobamba : Hosteria La Andaluza

4 Star Properties

Quito : La Casona de la Ronda

Quito : Hotel Carlota Quito

Banos : Sangay Spa Hotel

Banos : La Florestra

Riobamba : Chimborazo Lodge

Cuenca : Hotel Victoria

Cuenca : Carvallo

5 Star Properties

Quito : Hotel Mama Cuchara

Quito : Illa Experience Hotel

Banos : Samari Spa & Resort

Banos : Luna Volcan Adventure Spa

Riobamba : Hacienda Abraspungo

Cuenca : Santa Lucia

Cuenca : San Juan Hotel

Luxury Properties

Quito : Casa Gangotena

Cuenca : Cruz del Vado

Testimonials

Jenny and Penny from Australia

Traveled March, 2010

Getting to Machu Picchu was a highlight & completed the lifetime package

I am home again after the most fantastic trip. Of course my feet have not touched the ground yet, so much to do & mail a meter high. My heartfelt thanks to you especially, but also all the crew both on the ground & manning the desks.We were never let down once. Always a smiling face in the foyer or standing at the airport gate. I don’t know how you pulled it all off especially with our last manic changes. It was hard work at times I will not deny it. The last 2 weeks were tight & we were both very tired, but getting to Machu Picchu was a highlight & completed the lifetime package. We stood there in awe. I will get Jenny to send you a photo to prove it, she is better at photos than me.I am so glad I booked those 5 nights in BA at the end & enjoyed the Tango show, shopping & galleries, high tea at a posh hotel. I will not hesitate to recommend both you & Yampu. I hope we cross paths one day or certainly when I return to that magical part of the world I will contact you.

Traveled To



Caswell & Teresa

Traveled December, 2014

I don’t know where to start but just let me say this was the BEST TRIP we have EVER taken.

I don’t know where to start but just let me say this was the BEST TRIP we have EVER taken. You thought of everything. I must admit I know you said everything would be taken care of but I thought yea, RIGHT, no way. Boy was I wrong, gosh you didn’t miss a thing. All the tour guides, the tours, the hotels were just outstanding. The tour guides took us to airports got our tickets to board flights geeze we were treated like royals. Machu Picchu was outstanding; we did the hike. I have to say I was a little apprehensive about it at first, but once we got started realized we would have no problem. We made it all the way to the top. The hotel there was just wonderful, the weather was nice also NO RAIN!! Galapagos!!! WOW it was JUST AWESOME!!! OMG the snorkeling was incredible. We got to go twice a day and honey we sure did not miss one trip. The hikes were great, we could not believe how close you can get to all the animals. I Really don’t have the vocabulary to express to you just how amazing this whole trip was. All the tours were outstanding loved having the private tours. All the guides were very knowledgeable, and I know this is true cause Caswell knows his history. I am recommending this trip to all my friends. Again thank you so much for preparing the trip of a life time.We were married 30 years January 2 and this was our gift to each other. Thank You,

Traveled To


Linda

Traveled May, 2014

Yampu Tours planned an amazing trip for our inaugural South America experience

Yampu Tours planned an amazing trip for our inaugural south-america experience. We wanted to cover 6 countries in one month so it would have been a nightmare if we had to plan it ourselves from Asia. Karolina from Yampu put together a great itinerary and gave great advice. She was also extremely patient when we wanted to change things around. All the planning happened over email super efficient. We were very pleased with the accommodation choices, activities planned and the quality of the local tour guides. Thanks again!

Let Us Customize This Trip For You

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