Ecuador in 12 Days
Essence of the Andes & Galapagos Adventure
This trip is a great overview of Ecuador and the Galapagos, with an added focus on the natural landscapes of the Andes.
- Free Cancellation
- Flexible Booking
- COVID-19 Protection included
- Exoticca is a member of ASTA
Begin in the Andean capital of Quito, known for its Inca ruins and colonial architecture before exploring Quilotoa Crater Lake. Enjoy the verdant landscapes of Baños the 'Gateway to the Amazon', before heading to Santa Cruz in the Galapagos Islands, where you can spot giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies and marine iguanas. End your trip in Guayaquil, on Ecuador's Pacific coast.
12 days trip including flights*
11 days and 10 nights in destination
YTO - UIO
GYE - YTO
GYE - YTO
* It may change depending of your departure city, departure date and arrival date.
The calendar does not display internal flights, trains or other transportation included in the itinerary.
Arrive at your Canadian departure airport, ready for a flight to Quito.* Arrive in Quito, the capital of Ecuador and a city famed for its high vantage point in the Andean mountains and its ancient Incan significance. Transfer to your hotel and overnight stay in Quito.
* If either your outbound or inbound flights depart in the early hours (before 4:00 a.m.) you must arrive at the airport the night before the indicated departure day.
* Optional Meal Package: Add 4 dinners and 1 lunch to your trip, so you can relax in the knowledge that you have a meal waiting for you! Includes: 2 dinners in Quito, 1 dinner in Galapagos, 1 dinner in Guayaquil and 1 lunch box for the journey from Galapagos - Guayaquil.
Please note: If you purchase the Optional Meal Package and your arrival flight lands late this evening you will be provided with a cold dinner box if the hotel restaurant is closed when you arrive.
Breakfast at the hotel. Begin the day with a 'meet and greet' at the hotel with your guide. Later, set off to the amazing Quilotoa Crater Lake, a vibrant, green-colored volcanic lake, thought to be 250-meters deep. Here, you have the opportunity to climb to the edge of the lake to enjoy beautiful views of the crater and its surroundings. Continue to the small town of Tigua, known for its traditional folk art paintings, before arriving in Baños, home to mineral hot springs and waterfalls and nestled within a verdant natural environment. Transfer to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day exploring this unique city, known as a gateway to the Amazon Basin. Overnight stay in Baños.
Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a free day in beautiful Baños, where there are plenty of opportunities to experience the rich natural environment. We recommend visiting the nearby Tungurahua Volcano, relaxing in the steaming hot springs, exploring the hills and waterfalls or heading into the Amazon Basin. However, you spend your day at leisure, be sure to make the most of these unique and breathtaking surroundings. We recommend an optional jungle tour.* Alternatively, opt for a little relaxation by trying a traditional Baño de Cajón!** Overnight stay in Baños.
*Optional Full-Day Jungle Tour in Baños: Depart for the city of Puyo to visit an indigenous community and taste a traditional local drink known as chicha. Continue to the Puyo River to enjoy an exciting canoe ride through the lush rainforest, making a stop for lunch. Afterwards, take a nature walk to the Hola Vida Waterfall, learning more about indigenous traditions and medicinal plants along the way before taking the opportunity to swim in the waterfall if you wish! End the day with an exciting 'vine jump' at Indichuris Viewpoint before returning to Baños.
**Optional Cajon Steam Bath Treatment in Baños: Experience an authentic Cajon Bath treatment, a traditional remedy to eliminate toxins and increase health and wellbeing. The treatment lasts for around 2-hours and involves sitting in a relaxing individual steam bath before enjoying the other facilities of the spa.
Breakfast at the hotel. Returning to Quito today, stop en-route at the Cotopaxi National Park, home to the famous Cotopaxi Volcano. Cotopaxi is 5897 meters high and is considered to be one of the highest active volcanos in the world. Look out for unique birdlife such as Andean Gulls and Hummingbirds as you take in the beautiful views of the snow-capped volcano at the center of this park. After exploring these unforgettable landscapes, continue to Quito, transfer to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. Overnight stay in Quito.
Breakfast at the hotel. Spend the day in Quito at your leisure, exploring the city or simply taking some time to enjoy the beautiful climate and natural environment. Admire the eclectic architecture of the city's colonial center or perhaps take a trip to the famous Middle of the World Monument. Alternatively, enjoy a culinary tour of Quito Market* or an exciting excursion to the Middle of the World Monument!** Overnight stay in Quito.
*Optional Half-Day Historic Centre Tour & Fruit Tasting at Quito Market: Begin with a guided tour of the historic centre, to learn more about the history of this thriving Andean capital. Continue to one of the largest markets in Quito and discover the rich variety of Ecuadorian fruits and delicacies with an authentic fruit tasting tour.
**Optional Middle of the World Monument Excursion: Visit the iconic Middle of the World monument to see the spot where the southern and northern hemispheres meet! Stand with one foot in each hemisphere, admire the views of the surrounding mountains and pay a visit to the interactive Intiñan Museum. Afterwards, enjoy Chawarmishqui tasting at the Agave Experience Museum and learn more about this versatile and delicious plant!
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport for a flight to Baltra, in the incredible Galapagos Islands! From Baltra, transfer to the island of Santa Cruz, crossing the Itabaca Channel by ferry.* Stop in the highlands of Santa Cruz, a lush, green natural habitat and home to the famous Galapagos giant tortoises! Visit a private ranch, where you'll receive an explanatory talk in English about the surrounding area and wildlife, before heading out to explore the nature trails at your own pace. Walk among the trees and keep a lookout for giant tortoises, who tend to congregate close to the lagoons. Admire the amazing scenery of lava tubes, created by ancient volcanic eruptions, and stop for lunch at your leisure (not included). Afterwards, transfer to your hotel in Santa Cruz and get settled. Overnight stay in Santa Cruz.
*Please note: The transfer from Balta to Santa Cruz is with a Spanish-speaking driver.
Breakfast at the hotel. Start the day with a half-day island tour. From Puerto Ayora take a boat trip along the canal to La Loberia, a bay known for its large population of blue-footed boobies and sea lions. Disembark the boat and begin a guided hike through the protected area in the hope of spotting white-tip reef sharks from a lookout point. Continue to Playa de Los Perros, a favourite resting place for the fascinating marine iguanas, especially on a sunny day. Take in the unique wildlife and natural environment, with its bright red rocks, cacti and turquoise ocean. Take the opportunity to experience a snorkelling excursion along the bay before hiking on to Las Grietas, a beautiful rock formation and crystal-clear swimming area. The remainder of the day is free at your leisure to explore the local town or simply relax at your own pace. Overnight stay in Santa Cruz.
Breakfast at the hotel. Spend the day at your leisure, enjoying the beautiful beaches and wonderful wildlife. Why not look for sea turtles and brightly colored Sally Lightfoot crab at Tortuga Bay or visit the volcanic calderas of Los Gemelos. We recommend an optional cruise to one of the many uninhabited Galapagos Islands!* Overnight stay in Santa Cruz.
*Optional Uninhabited Island Premium Cruise: Depending on the availability and weather conditions, visit one of several uninhabited islands, such as Bartholomew, Seymour, Plaza or Santa Fe on board a yacht to discover their incredible wildlife and untouched scenery. Hot lunch on board, snacks, towels and some drinks are included.
Breakfast at the hotel. Head back to the mainland, with a flight from Santa Cruz airport. Arrive in Guayaquil, and join a shared transfer to your hotel in the city center. Guayaquil is the largest city in Ecuador and is located on the Pacific Coast. Later, enjoy a walking tour of the city, visiting the Malecon, Parque Iguanas and Las Peñas neighbourhood. Overnight stay in Guayaquil.
Breakfast at the hotel. The day is at your leisure to do some last-minute souvenir shopping, or relax in the arty neighbourhood of Santa Ana Hill. Why not discover the lush surrounding landscapes of Manglares Churute Reserve with our optional excursion today?* Overnight stay in Guayaquil.
*Optional Full-Day Manglares Churute Reserve: Explore the ecological paradise of the Manglares Churute Reserve. The mangroves here host a rich array of bird species as well as howler monkeys. Journey through the wetlands on a 40-minute boat tour before following a 1.5 km walking trail, in search of howler monkeys!
Breakfast at the hotel. It's time to bring your adventure through Ecuador and the amazing Galapagos Islands to an end. At the indicated time, transfer to the airport for a flight back to Canada. Night on board.
Please note: Depending on the flight departure time you may arrive back in Canada today.
Arrive in Canada and end your trip.
*In case the advertised hotels are not available they will be replaced by one of these alternative hotels with the same quality: Hotel Rio Amazonas.
Included activity for day 2
Duration 02:30h Approx. Pick up time: 09:30 Approx
Stop at a local market for a taste of the local culture before visiting the amazing Quilotoa Crater Lake, known for its everchanging colour, depending on the position of the sun and the clouds.
Included activity for day 4
Duration 02:30h Approx. Pick up time: 07:00 Approx
Cotopaxi National Park Excursion
Discover the Cotopaxi National Park, located in the central highlands of Ecuador and famous for the stunning Cotopaxi volcano, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. Guided hike included
Included activity for day 6
Duration 01:30h Approx. Pick up time: 00:00 Approx
Visit to the Highlands of Santa Cruz
The "Parte Alta", as the mountains are called in Spanish, are an area of lush greenery known as the natural habitat of the giant Galapagos tortoise. Visit a private ranch and take a tour of the area.
Included activity for day 7
Duration 03:30h Approx. Pick up time: 08:45 Approx
Santa Cruz La Loberia Bay Tour
From Puerto Ayora take a boat trip along the canal to La Loberia, a bay known for its large population of blue-footed boobies and sea lions.
If you have reduced mobility you can request assistance for these activities by speaking to one of our experts
Suggested activity for day 1
Meal Package (4 dinners & 1 lunch) 3*
Add 4 dinners and 1 lunch to your trip. Includes: 2 dinners in Quito, 1 dinner in Galapagos, 1 dinner in Guayaquil and 1 lunch box for the journey from Galapagos - Guayaquil.
Suggested activity for day 3
Duration 12:00h Approx. Pick up time: 08:30 Approx
Full-Day Jungle Tour in Baños
Depart for the city of Puyo to visit an indigenous community and continue to the Puyo River to enjoy a canoe ride. Stop for lunch and take a nature walk to the Hola Vida Waterfall and end the day with an exciting 'vine jump' at Indichuris Viewpoint!
What's included: Transportation, Guide, Rain poncho, Rubber boots, Lunch, Entrance to the community
Suggested activity for day 3 in Banos
Duration 02:00h Approx.
Cajon Bath Treatment in Baños
Experience an authentic Cajon Bath treatment, a traditional remedy to eliminate toxins and increase wellbeing. The treatment lasts for around 2-hours and involves sitting in a relaxing individual steam bath before enjoying the other facilities of the spa.
What's included: Approx. 2-hour treatment
Suggested activity for day 5
Duration 03:00h Approx. Pick up time: 09:00 Approx
Half-Day Historic Centre Tour & Fruit Tasting at Quito Market:
Begin with a guided tour of the historic centre, to learn more about the history of this thriving Andean city. Continue to one of the largest markets in Quito and discover the rich variety of Ecuadorian fruits and delicacies with a fruit tasting tour.
What's included: Transportation, guide, fruit tasting
The price includes
- Included in all our trips. more information
- Departures from main Canada airports.
- International flights: Canada - Quito, Guayaquil - Canada.
- Internal flights: Quito - Galapagos, Galapagos - Guayaquil. *more information
- 10 nights accommodation in Charm and Superior category hotels.See hotels included
- 10 breakfasts.
- Visits and entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary.See itinerary
- All air taxes & fuel surcharge.
- Boat trip along the bay in Santa Cruz.
- English-speaking guide.
Entrances, drinks, tips and any other services not mentioned in what's included.
Transit control card (TCC)* (27CA$) and entrance to the Galapagos National Park * (135CA$).
* More information can be found in Offer Conditions.
* Documentation of the internal flights will be delivered at your destination. It is essential to fill in the passport information correctly for each passenger in the given boxes at the end of the reservations process.
We strongly recommend you consult your doctor regarding the possible effects of altitude sickness before you travel.
If you would like to travel with children, please contact Customer Services to find out the conditions.
- Entry requirementsYour passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Ecuador. Mandatory travel insurance.
- VisaCanadians do not require a visa for stays of less than 90 days in a 365-day period.
- CurrencyUS Dollar
- ElectricityTypes A and B, 110 V North American type plug
- HealthPlease consult your doctor regarding the vaccination against yellow fever and malaria prophylaxis. Travellers over 60 years must consult their doctor as the Yellow Fever vaccine can have serious side effects.
- Time zoneUTC -5
- Other useful informationIt is mandatory for tourists to carry a valid health insurance policy.
- Tourist Office websitehttps://ecuador.travel/en/
Remember to download your e-ticket to confirm the times of your flights and to complete online check-in using the airline’s website, or directly at the check-in desk at the airport.
Accommodation at the hotels is as indicated. In the event of any changes to accommodation, they will always be of the same, or a higher category. The category of hotels is not standardized across all countries in the world. For this reason, the criteria may differ depending on the destination country's own standards.
At the airport Galapagos passengers must present their transit control card (TCC) with their passport and pay the entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park. Cost: US$100 per person.
Exoticca Travel Stories
Creating unforgettable memories, one traveler at a time
I highly recommend traveling with Exoticca.
The itinerary gives a great overview of the diversity of nature and the people of Ecuador. The time in the Galapagos was the capstone of the trip. It is amazing! Biodiversity means so much more when you can see it yourself up close. Exoticca expertly managed the varied COVID testing requirements.
Save when buying your next trip thanks to super discounted prices that we negotiate with airlines and hotels.
Each one of our itineraries are designed to ensure you have the best possible experience in every destination.