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Ecuador Highlights & Galapagos Islands:

Step into the footsteps of great explorers and enrich your experience!
Join us in Ecuador and its enchanted Galapagos Islands. This is where Charles Darwin was inspired to bring his theory of Evolution to life. As we hop from one island to another we come face to face with species unique only to this part of the world. On mainland Ecuador we visit Quito, the Avenue of Volcanoes and the amazing cloud forest. This is an adventure you will never forget!

Toronto – Quito
Group gathering and briefing at the airport. Board the flight for Ecuador. We arrive in Quito in the evening and will be greeted by our local guide who will escort us to our hotel.
Mitad Del Mundo & Mindo Cloud Forest
After breakfast visit Mitad Del Mundo (the Middle of the World). Approximately 25 kilometres north of Quito you arrive at the Equator Monument. The monument reminds us of the French-Spanish geographical expedition of 1736-1744, which, under the guidance of Charles de la Condamine just about defined the position of the equator. Here you can stand with one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern. You will also have the opportunity to visit the ethnographical museum in the centre of the monument followed by a fascinating visit to the Inti Ñan cultural museum.
After your visit here the trip will continue approximately 2 hours north-west to Mindo Cloud Forest. Upon arrival in Mindo you will have lunch before an educational visit to the Orchid and Butterfly farms followed by a short hike through the cloud forest to a water park where, if the weather permits, you can enjoy a swim in the river surrounded by spectacular cloud forest. If there is time you can do some guided tubing before the return journey to Quito. Overnight at hotel.
Excursion to Cotopaxi
This morning, after an early breakfast, you will start your journey north along the “Avenue of the Volcanoes” to Cotopaxi. Upon arrival you will visit Lake Limpiopungo in the National Park to acclimatize and hike around the lake whilst learning about its eco-system. From here you will drive up to the parking lot at approx. 4600 meters from where you will start the approx. 1 hour hike up to the Volcano refuge at approx. 4800 meters. Here, on a clear day, you can enjoy spectacular views of the Andes and also at anytime play in the glacial snow (A 15 minute hike from the refuge). After some informative time here, you will hike back to the parking lot and take your private transport to Tambopaxi for lunch. Return to Quito along the Pan-American Highway. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the national airport and fly to the Galapagos archipelago landing on the island of Baltra. Visitors pay the Galapagos National Park fees at the Galapagos airport. From here you drive to the nearby Itabaca canal which you will cross in a ferry to Santa Cruz Island. Here you continue your travel on the public bus, crossing the island from the north to the south to Puerto Ayora, a little harbor that is quite popular with sailors as well as with sea lions and pelicans. After lunch you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. The station is also a tortoise breeding and rearing centre, where tortoises of different subspecies are prepared for reintroduction into their natural habitats. The most popular inhabitant of this island is Lonesome George, he is the only survivor of his specific turtle species. After the visit you have the opportunity to explore the little village with its nice little shops and the fish market that attracts many seabirds as well. Accommodation at Hotel.
Santa Cruize Highlands
In the morning we will visit the highlands and the double crater Caldera de los Gemelos, which is known for its diversity of ca. 300 different fern species and the nearby “forest” of sunflowers. Exploring the highlands of Santa Cruz we pass by different vegetation zones, from the dry lower region full of cacti to the Scalesia forests in the humid highlands. In the highlands we will investigate one of the labyrinth-like Lava tunnels; some of them are up to 2 km long. Also we will take a walk through the natural habitat of the giant tortoises, visiting the Chato lagoon which is often frequented by frigate birds and other seabirds, which come here to wash the salt from the sea out of their feathers. For lunch we return to Puerto Ayora. In the afternoon we will hike from the hotel to the long sand beach Playa Tortuga. Here you have the opportunity to swim and to snorkel in the wide protected bay and observe the birds in the surrounding mangroves. We will spend the night at our hotel.
Excursion to Floreana
Our day begins with a speed boat trip to Floreana Island (approximately 2 hours). Just off the coast of Floreana, we’ll visit Enderville Islet to observe colonies of sea birds such as blue-footed boobies, masked boobies, and frigate birds. We’ll continue our trip to the nearby Champion islet, where we’ll snorkel with sharks, rays, sea lions, a variety of colorful fish, and other impressive marine fauna. In the afternoon we’ll enjoy lunch in Floreana’s port town, Puerto Velasco Ibarra. After lunch we’ll visit the island’s highlands, to a visitors site called “Asilo de Paz” to observe giant tortoises and land birds such as Darwin’s finches, vermillion flycatchers, and learn about the island’s native vegetation. Later we’ll hike along a trail that will lead us to the famous caves of Floreana that were once used for shelter by the first colonists in Galapagos. In the evening we’ll catch a beautiful sunset while we return to Puerto Ayora by speed boat. Stroll through the market in the evening to chat with locals at the restaurant of your choice near your hotel. Conclude this thrilling night at your hotel for overnight.
Academy Bay & San Cristobal Island
In the morning you walk to the harbour and start a half day trip in a small boat through the wide Academy bay. During the trip you can observe the variety of the underwater world along the pacific island and with a little bit of luck also see bigger inhabitants of the ocean, like marine turtles, white tipped reef sharks or rays. You visit the “Lovers Channel”, the beach “Playa de los Perros” and the bay “Bahia de Franklin”. A little walk leads you to “Las Grietas”, a natural basin between high rocky walls. Snorkelling with the sea lions at “la loberia” will certainly be the highlight of this excursion. After lunch you board one of the small speedboats that make the transfers between the islands of the archipelago and drive to the island San Cristobal. After a three hour cruise you reach its little harbour, “Puerto Baquerizo Moreno”. In the harbor, a basin of the friendly fishing village, we can see sea lions encircle the small boats.You walk from the pier along the promenade to your hotel at the “Playa de Oro”. Overnight at hotel.
Island San Cristobal - Quito
Quito - Toronto
In the morning you will make a walk through the dry forest to Frigate bird hill to observe the graceful flight of the frigate birds and other sea birds. Along the walk you will meet the famous Darwin finches and see lava lizards on the rocks beside of the paths. After our visits we check out from the hotel and take our transfer to the little airport of the island. Your return flight to the mainland after a final glance at the "enchanted islands", will surely have you enchanted too. After you arrive in Quito we bring you to the international airport from where you connect with your flight to Toronto.
Arrive Toronto

Many unique Islands of the Galapagos
Charles Darwin Station
Visit to a local Indigenous Market
Mindu Cloud Forest
The Avenue of Volcanoes and Cotopaxi

Short walks along the trails on the Galapagos Islands and hikes in the Cloud forest. Great opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving.

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