Welkom in Quito. Onze chauffeur gids staan u al op te wachten en brengt u naar het hotel in Quito.
Dag 2 - Quito city tour
Na de lunch zal uw gids en chauffeur u op ophalen aan het hotel. U rijdt naar het koloniale centrum van Quito waar u uitgebreid kunt kennismaken met de geschiedenis van Ecuador, het Incarijk, de Spaanse invasie en de periode van onafhankelijkheid.
Onder andere op het programma staan enkele belangrijke pleinen,
You’ll visit historic jewels like famous squares, churches and colonial buildings like the Independence Square, the Presidential Palace, the Archbishop Palace, the Municipal Building (City-Hall), the Cathedral; then visit to Mena Caamaño Museum (colonial wax-figures) or another Museum inside the district; also visiting the San Francisco and Santo Domingo Squares.
Dag 3 - Jungle adventure at Sacha Lodge
Depart Quito's airport at 11:00am (subject to change). A 30 minute flight over the Andes Mountains leads you to a bustling oil town called Coca located in the Amazon Basin. A quick lunch in Sacha's private house and then it's off to the town docks where you will board Sacha's private canoes for the2hourjourneydownrivertoSacha'sLodgesproperty. A 30 minute hike through the rainforest leads you to lake Pilchicocha. Here, you are met by native workers to paddle youacrossthelaketoyourfinaldestination.Arriveat Sacha Lodge around 15:30 or 16:00 pm (subject to change).
Swim in Lake Pilchicocha, which is a black water lake home to many species of fish and animals.
A refreshing swim after arriving may be just what you need after being in the equatorial heat all day. Bird observing from the mini tower offers guests an excellent opportunity to view several species of birds common around the lodge. After dinner, accompany your naturalist guide on a night walk through the rainforest to view the hundreds of different species of animals that can only be found at night. Or maybe a canoe ride on the lake to view the spectacled and black caimans with their glowing orange eyes as you silently paddle across the lake to get a closer view.
Dag 4 - Jungle adventure at Sacha Lodge
Begin morning activity between 6:00 and 7:00. Begin walking on trail Liana Chica and arrive at the canopy walk, for spectacular views of the rainforest canopy and the many different species of vibrantly colored birds. Designed to be a self-standing rigid suspension canopy walk, it is one of only a few in the world! Located within Sacha ́s private reserve, 2 miles from the shores of the Rio Napo and 1 mile from the lodge, the bird walk gives guests the opportunity to get an up close and personal view of the rainforest canopy. Two of the three towers have observation decks every 12 meters making towers accessible for everyone. The canopy walkway is at 36 meters high and 275 meters long, giving guests a "bird's eye view”of all the wonders and beauty the tropical rainforest has to offer. The canopy walk is designed as a sturdy walkway enabling guests to casually move along while enjoying the spectacular views.
After the canopy walk, Liana Grande through terra firma and igapo forest habitats where native guides will explain many different species of medicinal plants that have been being used in their culture for hundreds of years. Liana Grande will turn into the trail Higueron, which will take you through pristine primary forest with huge Kapok and Fig trees towering hundreds of feet above your head. After lunch, you may choose to take a leisurely hike along the Rio Napo, or choose a little more challenging hike on the trail Leoncillo to try and spot the elusive dusky titi monkey. Either way the trails will lead you back to the main boardwalk for your final hike and canoe ride back to the lodge.
Dag 5 - Jungle adventure at Sacha Lodge
Leaving the lodge after breakfast, you begin your hike on trail Lagartococha. Learn about the trees where native people believe the spirits of their ancestors live, and the mysterious "dwende" or devil-man of the forest. After arriving at lake Lagartococha, take a tranquil canoe ride through a natural swamp, which is the home of anacondas, caimans, and capybaras.
Return from the walk or canoe ride and head back to the lodge for a refreshing dip in the lake, or a nice relaxing nap in your personal hammock on your private balcony.
After lunch, your native guide will teach you how to fish for the infamous razor-toothed piranha. Keep in mind that piranhas will never attack a person and swimming at the same time is perfectly safe and fun! Around 15:30 you will begin what many think is the best trail at Sacha, a silent canoe ride through the flooded Amazonian forest. Where you have a good chance of being surrounded by troops of squirrel, capuchin, and howler monkeys.
After your eye-popping ride through the flooded forest, you will arrive at Sacha's 135-foot wooden tower built around an ancient Kapok tree.
Get close up views of vibrantly colored birds through Sacha's powerful scopes, and watch the sun set with an amazing view of Mount Sumaco, a volcano, and possibly a view of the snow- covered caps of the Andes! Leaving the tower just before or after sunset will give you an experience not soon forgotten.
Listen to the symphony of frogs and insects as you navigate through the narrow flooded forest trail, keeping your eyes open for caimans. Watch the several species of bats flying over your heads and listen to the many species of nocturnal birds making their eerie nighttime calls. Finally, after your mesmerizing canoe trip through the Amazon, you will arrive back at lake Pilchicocha and the welcoming lights of Sacha lodge.
Dag 6 - Sacha lodge - Quito
Breakfast and a departure from the lodge at 07:30am. One last walk on the boardwalk to the river, and from there a 2 hour canoe ride back to Coca for your 35 minute flight back to Quito. Arrive Quito at 12:30pm (subject to change).
At the airport your driver will pick you up and bring you to your hotel.
Dag 7 - Quito - Cotopaxi
Today you will enjoy a full day tour of Ecuador’s second highest peak, Cotopaxi Volcano. The easily accessible National Park is Ecuador's most visited mainland reserve. With its elevation of 5,897m/19,347ft Cotopaxi belongs to the highest active stratovolcanoes worldwide (latest eruption 2015).
At the main entrance you will be registered and assigned to a National Park naturalist guide. To acclimatise gradually, you will make several stops at different altitude levels.
Mariscal Sucre station contains a basic interpretation centre/site museum, cafe and botanical garden with native plant species. Above the tree line you will reach the desolate plains that have been flooded by mudflows when Cotopaxi's violent eruptions made glaciers melt. These paramo highlands with humid, arid, tundra, or freezing climates are home to semi-wild horses, carunculated caracaras, Andean condors, white-tailed deer, Andean foxes and even elusive spectacled bears and pumas.
Dag 8 - Riobamba via Zumbahua & Pujili market
Today the destination is Riobamba a provincial town, where there is a mix of cultures.
On Mondays You will have the opportunity to stop at the Pujili Market for strolling around and experience how local produce is sold in Andean Region of Cotopaxi. After that you will stop at Posada de Tigua for a delicious lunch.
You will continue your trip and visit Quilotoa Lagoon to continue your trip to Riobamba.
Dag 9 - Riobamba - Cuenca via Alausi & Ingapirca
Today your journey starts in Riobamba the destination are the Devil's Nose and the Ingapirca. The Devil's Nose Route is, without a doubt, the most impressive section of Ecuador's railway: a hair-raising trip down the rocky slopes of the Andes departing form the town of Alausi to the town of Simbambe on the way down to the Coastal Region. After that you will continue your journey to the most preserved archaelogical site, Ingapirca. The Ingapirca are the largest
known Inca ruins in Ecuador. After that you will continue your journey to Cuenca.
The city of Cuenca is located in the highlands of Ecuador at about 2,500 metres (8,200 feet) above sea level, with an urban population of approximately 400,000 rising to 700,000 inhabitants in the larger metro area.
The whole journey will take approx. 12 hours and the stop at the devil's nose and the Ingapirca each 1.5 hours.
Dag 10 - Full day city tour Cuenca with Gualaceo & Chordeleg
After a breakfast we will visit Cuenca.
Cuenca – Quito's counterpart in the southern Sierra – houses Ecuador's other historical downtown that has been declared UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site. In contrast to Quito you can still breathe Cuenca's relaxed provincial atmosphere.
In the afternoon we will visit Chordeleg & Gualaceo.
Chordeleg stands out for its famous jewellery workshops with ultra fine filigree masterpieces in gold, silver and white gold, soldered by dozens of local goldsmiths. You'll only pay for the gold or silver
price of its weight, whilst the skilful and laborious artwork is not charged!
In colonial times the Santa Barbara River used to be a gold digging zone, which is reflected in the wealth of the historical centre of Gualaceo. Admire the facades of colonial-style private mansions while walking to the central park and the proud church. In a sewing workshop you can see how traditional skirts are embroidered.
On the local food market of Gualaceo (especially Tue-Fri-Sun) typical dishes are prepared, such as cuy (roasted guinea pig), hornado (whole baked pork), tortillas (potato omelette) and sweet drinks as rosero (made from maize and fruits) and morocco (from maize and milk).
Dag 11 - Cajas National park to Guayaquil
Today you will make your way from Cuenca to Guayaquil, with a visit to El Cajas National Park. Ranging between 3,000-4,500m/10,000-15,000ft, it is an alluring outdoor paradise, where on a clear day you can marvel breathtaking views of jagged rocky peaks, outstretched paramo moorlands with about 250 scenic lakes, papertree (polylepis) fairytale bushes, waterfalls and crystal clear streams full of trout. This rich ecosystem is home to 150 species of bird, including carunculated caracaras, giant hummingbirds and the emblematic Andean condor, besides 19 unique species of flower, the endemic Cajas water mouse, and elusive deer, foxes, mountain tapirs, pumas, ocelots and spectacled bears.
You will stop at Cacao y Mango Hacienda for lunch, a lovely 12 hectare finca which has been owned by the same family for 65 years. Their abundance of crops includes cacao, mangos, plaintains, spices and more, encompassing 50,000 hectares of meandering mangrove waterways, dry tropical forest and salt flats. It’s a very personal connection and a chance to learn about the real lives and real people of Ecuador. Upon arriving in Guayaquil you will be taken to the Hotel.
Dag 12 - Guayaquil - Galapagos cruise
Today you will be transferred to Guayaquil Airport for your flight to the Galapagos. At Baltra Airport you have to pay your Galapagos National Park entrance fee and your luggage will be inspected. Transfer to Treasure of Galapagos.
The Treasure of Galapagos Catamaran is a modern double haul featuring balconies in all its 8 Junior Suite cabins. It also carries a massive Master Suite with its own private mini Salon, panoramic windows, a king sized bed and 2 balconies. As to be expected with a vessel this size, The Treasure of Galapagos Catamaran holds spacious areas both inside and out; yet still limited to 16 guests. A friendly staff provides services on board with a specialized chef catering a variety of gourmet meals and a certified level 3 guide. Guests aboard the Treasure will have all the right elements for an exceptional experience.
Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, you will pass through an airport inspection point to insure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, as well as to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid). A guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor.
Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors come here to observe and appreciate natural wonders, it is also interesting to learn how the protection and conservation of the islands are carried out.The main attractions are the National Park information center, the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises, and adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity.
El Edén is a paradisiacal tuff cone islet, just off the west coast of Santa Cruz (between Whale Bay and Dragon Hill).
The visitor site at Dragon Hill has been open for visits on 1993.This site is located in northwestern Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that lead to a hyper-saline lagoon behind the beach, frequented by flamingos, pintail ducks and other species of birds.
This site has been re populated with land iguanas from Seymour, Isabela and Santa Cruz islands.There is a short walk to the Hill, which offers a beautiful view of the bay.
Dag 14 - Las Tintoreras - Isabela
A delightful place to be reached by a nice zodiac ride. “Tintoreras” are small islands in front of Puerto Villamil coast.There is Heron lava on the lookout on mangrove branch, and Galapagos Penguin and sea lion often pop out on shore.White-tipped reef sharks are fairly common in the archipelago. Their name in Spanish is Tintorera, thus the name of this site as they are always found here resting in the shallow waters.
Sierra Negra is the 3rd highest volcano on Isabela and the 5th highest of the Galapagos (1124m / 3687ft.).
It is the only major volcano on Isabela whose crater regions are actually open to tourism. A mysterious half-day hike through the cloud forests takes you to a viewpoint at the rim, offering fantastic views into the impressive caldera (clear weather required, though unpredictable; prevailing winds mean that clouds usually tend to dissolve at the viewpoint).The caldera measures about 7 x 9km / 4.5 x 6mi across, and is the largest of the archipelago. Since the disco- very of so-called super volcanoes likeYellowstone it it is no longer listed as one of the largest craters in the world.
PM - Wetlands (Isabela)
Isabela Island is the largest and one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos archipelago. We land in Puerto Villamil, which has the second smallest population in Galapagos with approximately 3.000 inhabitants. First we will visit the Flamingos Lagoon; this place is the largest coastal lagoon found in Galapagos and is one of the main reproductive sites for the greater Flamingos. Afterwards we will follow a trail to the “The Wall of Tears”; from 1946 to 1959 Isabela was designated a penal colony by the Ecuadorian government. Prisoners were obligated to build a wall with enormous blocks of lava. Due to the arduous labour and harsh conditions in which the prisoners lived, this site is known as “El Muro de las Lagrimas”.There are a number of interesting sites along this route, such as the cerro Orchilla, El Estero, Poza Escondida, Playa del Amor and Pozas Verdes.
Punta Moreno is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcano Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcano. The trail runs along a lava flow Pahohoe (solidified lava in the form of corrugated or an accordion) into a complex of coastal lagoons, its main attraction are several species of birds which can be found around this lakes and mangroves
PM - Urbina Bay (Isabela)
Urbina Bay is located along the west coast of Isabela, between Elizabeth Bay and Tagus Cove. It is close to the base of the Alcedo Volcano.The coastline has undergone a major uplift in 1954, which caused the shore to expand three quarters of a mile out. Here you will be able to find corals, shells, and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. Urbina Bay is home to large and colorful land iguanas and giant tor toises of the Alcedo Volcano population. A lot of Darwin finches can be seen as well.
Dag 16 - Fernandina - Isabela
Punta Espinoza (Fernandina)
Fernandina is the third largest island in the archipelago and has a single visitor site: Punta Espinoza located at the northeastern tip of the island. Marine iguanas conglomerate in larger groups than in any other island.They bask around in the sand, swim near the shore and sometime block the way at the landing dock. Among the unique species found here, is the Flightless Cormorant.This bird had to adjust its way of survival and perfection its skills of finding food in the ocean.Their wings, tails and feet progressively adapted for swimming.To see these birds, is to witness evolution happening right in front of you.
PM - Tagus Cove (Isabela)
Tagus Cove, a tour along the cliffs in a zodiac will give the visitors a good chance to see the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant and other sea birds. From the landing dock it is about a 30 minute hike along the trail up to the top of the cliff from where you can view Darwin Lake, an uplifted ultra-saline lake saltier than the sea.You can also see several volcanoes from this location. Look carefully at the graffiti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove, it has been written by pirates, whalers and buccaneers in past centuries.
Dag 17 - Santiago - Rabida
Puerto Egas (Santiago)
Puerto Egas is a black beach is located at the west side of Santiago Island.Volcanic tuff deposits have favored the formation of this special black sand beach and this is the main attraction of the Island.This site is called Puerto Egas, because there was an attempt of company of Hector Egas, to start the exploitation of salt, which failed because the price of salt on the continent was very cheap, and did not justify its exploitation in Galapagos.The project was abando- ned and they left their infrastructure.
PM - Rabida
Rábida Island is unique because the red color of the rocks and sand.The volcanic material in this island is very porous and external factors as rain, salt water and sea breeze have acted as an oxidizing agent.A short walk along a trail lead us to a coastal lagoon behind the beach permits the observa- tion of land birds as finches, doves, yellow warblers and mocking birds. At the lagoon there is a colony of flamingos.
Dag 18 - Baltra - Guayaquil - Amsterdam/Brussel
Las Bachas (Santa Cruz)
These two small beaches are found to the West of Tur tle Cove. Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, making it a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches there is a small brackish water lagoon, where occasionally is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels.The other beach is longer, but it has two old barges that were abandoned during the Second World War, when the USA used Baltra Island as a strategically point to protect the Panama Channel.
Transfer to Baltra Airport (GPS) for your flight back to Guayaquil or Quito and back home.