based on 9 nights inc. flights & selected experiences
* Pricing is a guideline only and excludes special offers. Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
International economy flights and taxes from the UK
Full board and activities in the Galapagos and at Zuleta
based on 2 people sharing.
A wonderful introduction to the natural wonders of Ecuador, travelling from the Andes to the wildlife-rich Galapagos archipelago
Experience the Galapagos Islands on board a luxurious expedition vessel and enjoy a range of on and off shore excursions
Otavalo is the perfect playground for thrill-seekers - explore by bike, hiking or on horse-back
Go snorkelling with sea lions and green sea turtles in the Galapagos for an unforgettable experience
Ecuador & the Galapagos can be visited year round. The higher the altitude in the Andes, the cooler it becomes, especially at night. June to September is the best time to enjoy the Andes as this is the drier season. From January to June it is typically hot in the Galapagos and sees sunny days and blue skies interspersed with showers, while the rest of the year is generally cloudier and cooler. From July to September the seas can be heavier and boats tend to go into dry dock for their annual refurbishment around this time. The average temperature ranges from a pleasant 20°C to 28°C, however being on the equator the sun is very strong. Due to limited permits in the Galapagos we advise to book well in advance.
From adventures in the Avenue of the Volcanoes to wildlife encounters in the Galapagos Islands, this itinerary explores Ecuador's diverse ecosystems, celebrating its indigenous cultures and showcasing all that this tiny country has to offer. Take in Ecuador's absolute highlights, staying in luxurious accommodation throughout.
Begin your Ecuador journey in Quito for a few days of gentle exploration. Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage City set within a valley and filled with pretty colonial plazas and ornate churches in a variety of architectural styles. Two nights will afford you enough time to explore both the Old Town and the New Town which each have a distinct character and plenty to enjoy both day and night. A privately guided tour of the city has been included.
Fly on to the incredibly unique Galapagos Islands for a four-night cruise on board a luxurious expedition vessel. Activities include ocean kayaking, snorkelling alongside turtles, sharks and rays, visits to the Charles Darwin research Station, hikes into the highlands, visits to volcanic sinkholes and walks among colonies of giant tortoises, marine iguanas and sea lions. Free time allows you time to enjoy the facilities on board and there are plenty of opportunities to explore the diversity of the islands and encounter a variety of its fearless and endemic wildlife. Longer cruises or land-based stays are available too should you prefer.
Fly back to Quito and transfer to Otavalo, for a relaxing countryside retreat where you have plenty of options for adventurous and cultural activities. Spend three nights at the charming Hacienda Zuleta, which is surrounded by rolling hills and a perfect base for visiting the local indigenous market of Otavalo which is a fantastic place to pick up some souvenirs - we highly recommend leaving some space in your suitcase for colourful fabrics and beautiful jewellery!
Days at the hacienda can be as relaxed or as active as you like and it's best suited to travellers looking for an authentic experience – if wildlife is of particular interest then the area is great for birdwatching, while the Andean landscape provides the perfect playground for hiking, biking and horse-back riding for all abilities. There are also a couple of local projects which operate from the hacienda and nearby, allowing you to get a closer understanding of the close-knit communities which live in the area. We have included some horse riding during your your time here, which can be tailored to suit your abilities. Finally, drive back to Quito in time for your onward flight.
Hacienda Zuleta is a wonderful destination for families, offering activities in abundance to keep little ones entertained. From bonfires to kite flying and mountain biking to kayaking there is bound to be something to capture their interest.
Home to an incredible diversity of birds, Ecuador is a wonderful destination for birding enthusiasts and Otavalo is no exception. Its location within the dramatic Andes means it is home to the Andean condor amongst other rare species.
Scuba diving in the Galapagos is world-class, thanks to the abundance of tame marine life. You will typically come up lose with large rays, green turtles, sea lions and schools of sharks. The diving is suitable for intermediate and experienced divers.
With trails to suit a range of interests and fitness levels, hiking at Hacienda Zuleta can be tailored to you. Head out with a guide or go it alone and discover the picturesque surroundings of the Otavalo countryside.
Notorious for its wonderful scenery and beautiful horses, Ecuador's highlands are a joy to explore by horseback. Embark on an equestrian adventure through Otavalo's beautiful countryside, surrounded by mountains, lakes and waterfalls for dramatic views.
Descend the rugged hills of Otavalo's countryside by mountain bike for an adrenaline-fuelled afternoon. Staff at Hacienda Zuleta can drop you at one of the surrounding hilltops so you are free to follow one of the many exhilarating trails.
Enjoy a full-day mountain biking adventure and explore the volcanic landscape of the Galapagos Islands, encountering wildlife and speeding down rugged paths for a fun-filled alternative to the sea-based activities.
Soak in the city sights on this drive through tour of Quito, as the city's beautiful plazas are lit in vivid hues adding a magical feel to this already charming capital. Ascend one of the surrounding hills for superb views and enjoy a delicious dinner.
Explore the hidden treasures of Quito on this full day excursion, taking in the less visited sites of the city such as San Diego monastery and Santo Domingo church on the far side of El Panecillo, the iconic hill which watches over the centre.
Make the most of Finch Bay's location right on the beach and enjoy a full day of surfing in the crystal clear waters of the Galapagos, the perfect soft adventure to break up days of wildlife watching and excursions to the surrounding islands.
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Otavalo, Central Highlands, Ecuador
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