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Ecuador 360: Cities & Santa Cruz Island

Ecuador in 15 Days, 13 Nights in Destination

From

£ 4,009

£ 2,599

/person

-35%

Valentine, Travel Expert

Valentine
Travel crafter

Dive into the beauty of Ecuador in this fully-immersive tour of the country; from its capital city, Quito, and other urban gems to the stunning and picturesque Galapago island of Santa Cruz.

Trip Highlights

  1. map-pin-check-icon
    Amazon
  2. map-pin-check-icon
    Banos
  3. map-pin-check-icon
    Cuenca
  4. map-pin-check-icon
    Galapagos Islands
  5. map-pin-check-icon
    Guayaquil
  6. map-pin-check-icon
    Quilotoa
  7. map-pin-check-icon
    Quito

Included

  1. All flights

  2. Accommodation

  3. All transfers

  4. Activities

  5. Breakfast only

Availability

  1. Departures available until December 2025

  2. Available Group tours

  3. Solo travelers from + £ 540

  4. Add up to 3 nights to your stay

  5. WHAT'S THIS?

Categories available

  1. charm included

  2. superior from + £ 1,200

  3. WHAT'S THIS?

Book with an expert for free:

+44 20 8068 3176

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June 2024
July 2024
August 2024
September 2024

Categories Available:

charm

From £ 2,599

Selected

  • Accommodation in Charm & Superior category hotels.
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superior

From £ 3,799

  • Accommodation in Superior category hotels.

Accommodation: 13 Nights

Itinerary

Live your Ecuadorian fantasy in this journey that will take you to all of the country’s main stops before hopping over to the beautiful Galapagos island of Santa Cruz. Explore urban Quito and Guayaquil, the incredible waterfalls of Baños, the impressive volcanoes of Guamote, the cultural heritage of Cuenca, the Amazon Forest and the immaculate beaches of Santa Cruz.

1st Day: UK/Ireland - Quito

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Arrive at your UK/Ireland departure airport*, ready for a flight to Quito. Arrive in the capital of Ecuador, 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.


You will have the option to add early check-in on arrival in the next step of the booking process. To guarantee optional services, we recommend that you add them to your current booking, as they are subject to availability.

Please note: The transfer from the airport to the hotel is a shuttle with a Spanish-speaking driver.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Mercure Alameda or similar
tripadvisor rating

1043 Reviews

See our full selection

2nd Day: Quito

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Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, a local representative will relay all the information regarding the next few days of your trip to you. Later, visit some of the city’s most emblematic sites, including the Historic Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and walk through its small streets, enjoying its beautiful squares (Independence Square, Government Palace) and visiting a traditional market where you can taste the wide variety of fruits found in Ecuador.

The rest of the day is free to spend at your leisure; take this time to start exploring Quito at your own pace. Alternatively, we recommend you take part in our optional Middle of the World Monument excursion*. Overnight stay in Quito.

*Optional Middle of the World Monument Excursion: Take a photo with one foot in each hemisphere against the backdrop of a mesmerizing mountain landscape. Visit the Museo Solar Intiñán, which features an interactive tour, and then enjoy a chaguarmishqui tasting at the Museo de la Experiencia del Agave to learn about the versatile and delicious plant used to make this ancient drink.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Mercure Alameda or similar
tripadvisor rating

1043 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Quito City Tour

Moderate

See more
Optional
Half day excursion in the middle of the world in Museo Intiñan

Light

See more

3rd Day: Quito - Baños

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Breakfast at the hotel. Today, you will make your way to Baños, known as a popular tourist destination thanks to its abundance of waterfalls. En route, stop by Cotopaxi National Park, where, if you are lucky, you will spot the Cotopaxi volcano in full activity! 

From here, visit the impressive Quilotoa crater lake, a green-colored volcanic crater lake that is 250 meters deep. Next, stop by Tigua, a small village known for its local art and discover their famous paintings in an art studio to acquaint yourself further with their artform. Arrive at your destination, check-in to your hotel and overnight stay in Baños.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Sangay Spa Hotel - Standa... or similar
tripadvisor rating

354 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Visit to Quilotoa and Tigua

Light

See more

4th Day: Baños - Amazon

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Breakfast at the hotel. Today, head over with your guide to Puyo, located in the Ecuadorian jungle and an important trading center in the Amazon region. Upon arrival, you will visit an indigenous community to acquaint yourself with delicious chicha, a traditional local beverage as well as their way of living, from their attire, to their hunting tools and everything in between.

Later, embark on a small canoe to descend Puyo River, an experience of a lifetime! At the end of the canoe ride, feast on an exquisite lunch. For those who are on the more daring side, a jump on the liana of the Indicuri viewpoint awaits you! 

Last but not least, on the way back to Baños, you will enjoy the sites of the majestic Pailon del Diablo waterfall. Return to your hotel and overnight stay in Baños.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Sangay Spa Hotel - Standa... or similar
tripadvisor rating

354 Reviews

See our full selection

5th Day: Baños - Guamote

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Breakfast at the hotel. Today, embark on a journey to Chimborazo, home to Ecuador’s highest volcano, standing at 6310 meters above sea level. With its last eruption having taken place around 550 B.D, this imposing and magnificent natural wonder is an inactive volcano. Once you have arrived at your destination, take in the views of the volcano, its landscape and vegetation. Take this time to snap some pictures to take back with you. 

In the afternoon, you will arrive at the small town of Guamote, the canton with the highest concentration of the indigenous population of Chimborazo, located in the central part of the inter-Andean valley, at an altitude of 3,050 meters above sea level with an average temperature is 12°c.

Enjoy the rest of the day exploring this picturesque town or take part in one of our two optional activities; either a cooking class where you will learn about classic dishes of the region* or a fire ritual experience with a shaman**. Overnight stay in Guamote. 

*Optional Cooking Class: Immerse yourself in the culinary delights of Ecuador with Inti Sisa Art Guesthouse's cooking workshop. Led by its talented kitchen staff, this workshop offers you the opportunity to learn and prepare traditional delicacies, allowing you to truly taste the flavors of Ecuador.

During the afternoon cooking class, you will learn how to make delicious quinoa croquettes. Guamote is located in the heart of Ecuador's quinoa region, making it the perfect place to discover the production process of this superfood. You will receive an explanation of how quinoa is grown and cultivated, appreciating its nutritional value and cultural significance. The highlight of the cooking workshop is, of course, the opportunity to sit down and savor the fruits of your labor.

**Optional Fire Ritual Experience: Immerse yourself in a transformative experience by participating in a session with a shaman, deeply rooted in the traditions of indigenous peoples. These communities continue to have a deep knowledge of traditional medicine and spiritual healing practices. Their beliefs center on the notion that physical and mental ailments are often connected to imbalances or disruptions in the energies within our bodies.

Participating in a session with a shaman offers a unique insight into the rich tapestry of indigenous traditions and their holistic approach to health and wellness. It allows you to tap into ancient wisdom and explore alternative perspectives on healing and the interconnectedness of the human experience.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Inti Sisa Art or similar
tripadvisor rating

159 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Photo stop at the Chimborazo volcano

Moderate

See more
Optional
Cooking class Experience in Guamote

Light

See more
Optional
Fire Ritual Experience in Guamote

Light

See more

6th Day: Guamote - Cuenca

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Breakfast at the hotel. Start your day by visiting and learning more about the Intisisa Foundation, which opened its doors in 1999, with the goal to offer educational support to the underprivileged local population of Guamote and surrounding areas, especially for girls and young women. On Thursdays there is an impressive indigenous market in Guamote.

Afterwards, continue heading south towards beautiful Cuenca. En route, visit the Ingapirca Ruins, the largest and best preserved Inca ruins known in Ecuador. Full of rich history, the site will introduce you to one of the most mysterious and fascinating ancient civilizations in South America. Upon arrival at your destination, check-in to your hotel and overnight stay in Cuenca.

 

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Hotel Carvallo or similar
tripadvisor rating

235 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Visit to the Inti Sisa Project

Light

See more
included
Visit to the ruins of Ingapirca

Light

See more

7th Day: Cuenca

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Breakfast at the hotel. Start off your day exploring the beautiful city of Cuenca on foot, with your guide. Cuenca is a city full of cultural heritage, where ancient and modern cultures converge. Its people, traditions, gastronomy, culture and architecture make it a must-see destination during your visit to Ecuador. 

Stop by the Homero Ortega hat factory, in the historic center of the city, where you will observe the process of making Panama hats, also known as straw hats, which despite their name are originally from Ecuador. The tour will pass through Calderon Park, where you will see the old cathedral of Cuenca, as well as the new one.

Along with traditional neighborhoods, such as San Sebastian and Vado, beautiful plazas and markets, which are famous in Ecuador for being representative of the local indigenous communities, the tour will also take you to the Barranco area, where you can admire the beauty of the Tomebamba River and its unique architecture.The rest of the day is yours to spend as you see fit. Take this time to further explore Cuenca at your own pace. Overnight stay in Cuenca.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Hotel Carvallo or similar
tripadvisor rating

235 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Walking city tour of Cuenca

Light

See more

8th Day: Cuenca - Guayaquil

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Breakfast at the hotel. Say farewell to Cuenca and make your way to Guayaquil, Ecuador 's largest city. En route, stop by for photos at the impressive Cajas National Park. 

Next, head over to a local cocoa community to see the process of chocolate making; from cocoa tree to chocolate bar and taste the delicious final product. Arrive in Guayaquil, check-in to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Overnight stay in Guayaquil.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Hotel River Garden - Stan... or similar
tripadvisor rating

172 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Photo stop at El Cajas National Park

Light

See more
included
Visit to a local cocoa farm

Light

See more

9th Day: Guayaquil - Galapagos (Santa Cruz)

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Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport for a flight to the Galapagos Islands. You will arrive at the airport of Baltra, one of the Galapagos Islands and then transfer to Santa Cruz Island. To get to Santa Cruz, you will be crossing the Itabaca Channel by ferry and then finish the last bit of the commute by car. 

Upon arrival, visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz, a very lush and green natural habitat home to giant Galapagos tortoises. You will then visit a private ranch; walk among the trees and look for the giant tortoises that prefer to stay near the small lagoons.

From here, make your way to the lava tunnels, which are formed when the surface of a lava flow solidifies, but the interior remains liquid, resulting in a river-like flow. Once at your hotel, you will have a meet and greet with one of our staff members who will explain the rest of your itinerary. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure for you to explore the island at your own pace. Overnight stay in Santa Cruz.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Albatross or similar
tripadvisor rating

49 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Visit to Santa Cruz's Highlands

Light

See more

10th Day: Galapagos (Santa Cruz)

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Breakfast at the hotel. Today, take part in a half-day tour starting at the port of Puerto Ayora where you will board a small boat that will take you across the channel to Academia Bay, also known as La Loberia. As you approach the bay, you will have the opportunity to gaze with awe at peculiar blue-footed boobies and other birds  resting on the cliffs.

Upon arrival, continue the guided tour walking along a path that leads to a lookout over the channel. If you are lucky, you may see white tip reef sharks resting in the waters below, a fantastic opportunity to witness these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

Afterwards, you will continue along the road to Playa de los Perros, a picturesque beach home to marine iguanas, towering cacti, red-hued rocks and turquoise ocean waters. From here, take part in a snorkeling excursion where you will dive into the crystal clear waters and discover the vibrant marine life that inhabits the area. Snorkeling equipment will be provided to enhance your experience.

To conclude, hike Las Grietas, a natural rock formation offering a unique swimming experience in a narrow turquoise canyon. Take some time to cool off and enjoy the refreshing waters. Return to your hotel and overnight stay in Santa Cruz.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Albatross or similar
tripadvisor rating

49 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Santa Cruz Island Bay Tour with snorkeling

Light

See more

11th Day: Galapagos (Santa Cruz)

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Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy the entirety of the day at your leisure. Take this time to further explore the island at your own pace. Why not enjoy one of the many nearby beaches for some well-deserved relaxation? Alternatively, we recommend you take part in a full-day tour of Santa Cruz*. Overnight stay in Santa Cruz. 

*Optional Full-Day Tour of Santa Cruz: Get to know the very best of Santa Cruz in this fully-guided tour of the island. Start by taking part in a light 45-minute hike where you will become acquainted with the local flora including cacti, palo santo and Sapote trees before reaching stunning Turtle Beach where you will get to enjoy its crystal-clear waters at your leisure; explore the marine wildlife of this area, rent a kayak and/or relax under the soothing sun.

From here, you will continue your day with a cooking class to learn how to make your very own Galapagueño ceviche; master the art of mixing fresh seafood, citrus juices and local spices to create a delicious and refreshing ceviche. Finally, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, an institution that has worked on conservation, restoration and sustainable development projects to ensure that the archipelago is well conserved.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Albatross or similar
tripadvisor rating

49 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

Optional
Santa Cruz Day Tour

Moderate

See more

12th Day: Galapagos (Santa Cruz)

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Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy the entire day at your leisure. Use this opportunity to take in the beauty of the island one last time before departure. Overnight stay in Santa Cruz. 

Please note: Optional sailing activities, at an additional fee, are available for you to book directly on site.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Albatross or similar
tripadvisor rating

49 Reviews

See our full selection

13th Day: Galapagos (Santa Cruz) - Quito

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Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, you will transfer to Baltra airport for a flight back to Quito. Upon arrival in the city of Quito a transfer by shuttle will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel for check-in. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Why not treat yourself to a nice dinner with drinks at one of the many restaurants this beautiful city has to offer? Overnight in Quito.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Holiday Inn Quito Airport... or similar
tripadvisor rating

157 Reviews

See our full selection

14th Day: Quito - Night on board

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Breakfast at the hotel. At the indicated time, transfer to the airport for a flight back to the UK/Ireland. Night on board.

Please note: Depending on the flight departure time you may arrive back in the UK/Ireland today.

15th Day: UK/Ireland

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Depending on the return flight schedule and the hotel breakfast service, you may not be able to enjoy the included breakfast on the last day.

Arrive in the UK/Ireland and end your trip.

Included activities

Included
info-icon

At 8am, before the start of the excursion, there will be a briefing session to explain the program.

Quito City Tour

Included activity for day 2 in Quito

A guided city tour to get to know Quito's most emblematic sights. Visit a local market, a number of picturesque squares and the narrow streets of the city centre.

Duration 03:00h Approx. Pick up time: info at destination

Physical rating:

Moderate

more information
Included

Visit to Quilotoa and Tigua

Included activity for day 3

During your transfer from Quito to Baños you will pass through the Cotopaxi National Park, where you will see a panoramic view of Lake Quilotoa and the village of Tigua.

Duration 08:00h Approx. Pick up time: info at destination

Physical rating:

Light

more information
Included

Photo stop at the Chimborazo volcano

Included activity for day 5 in Banos

On the way to Guamote you will make stops to see and photograph the impressive Chimborazo volcano, the highest volcano in Ecuador at 6,310 meters.

Duration 01:00h Approx. Pick up time: 08:00

Physical rating:

Moderate

more information
Included

Visit to the Inti Sisa Project

Included activity for day 6 in Cuenca

Visit the Inti Sisa Project to learn more about the community projects that take place in and around Guamote and Alausi and enjoy a tasting of traditional empanadas.

Duration 02:00h Approx. Pick up time: 08:00 Approx

Physical rating:

Light

more information

Show more

Available Activities

Activities are subject to availability. The price for each optional activity will be shown in the next step of the booking process.
Optional

Half day excursion in the middle of the world in Museo Intiñan

Suggested activity for day 2 in Quito

Visit the Intiñan Interactive Museum where you can perform experiments related to the equator and the Agave House for activities related to the Agave and its ancestral beverages.

Duration 04:00h Approx. Pick up time: 13:00 Approx

Physical rating:

Light

more information
Optional

Cooking class Experience in Guamote

Suggested activity for day 5

This workshop offers the opportunity to learn and prepare traditional delicacies, allowing you to truly taste the flavors of Ecuador.

Duration 02:00h Approx. Pick up time: info at destination

Physical rating:

Light

more information
Optional

Fire Ritual Experience in Guamote

Suggested activity for day 5

Participate in a session with a shaman for a unique insight into the rich tapestry of indigenous traditions and their holistic approach to health and wellness.

Duration 02:00h Approx. Pick up time: info at destination

Physical rating:

Light

more information
Optional

Santa Cruz Day Tour

Suggested activity for day 11 in Santa Cruz Island

Take this tour of Santa Cruz where you can visit Tortuga Bay, the Charles Darwin Research Station and take a ceviche class.

Duration 05:00h Approx. Pick up time: 09:00 Approx

Physical rating:

Moderate

more information

The price includes

  • premium-care-icon
    Included in all our trips. more information
  • Departures from main UK/Ireland airports.
  • International flights: UK/Ireland - Quito - UK/Ireland.
  • Internal flights: Guayaquil - Galapagos, Galapagos - Quito. *
    more information
  • 13 nights accommodation in Charm & Superior category hotels.
    See hotels included
  • 13 breakfasts & 1 lunch.
  • Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles.
  • Visits and entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary.
    See itinerary
  • All air taxes & fuel surcharge.
  • ATOL Protection.
  • English-speaking guide during the whole trip.

*The cancellation policy applicable is according to the Terms and Conditions available and agreed at the time of your purchase

Not included

Entrances, drinks, tips and any other services not mentioned in what's included.

Transit Control Card (TCC) and entrance to the Galapagos National Park. More information in "Offer Conditions". More information in "Offer conditions".

* More information can be found in Offer Conditions.

Travelers with passports from the following countries are required to present a tourist visa in their country of origin:

Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Burma, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, India, Iraq, Iran, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Congo, Senegal, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Vietnam, Myanmar and Yemen.

If your destination is in the USA or Canada, or if your selected flights to a different destination have connections in the USA or Canada, it is mandatory to have an ESTA (for USA) or an eTA (for Canada) before travelling.

ESTAhttps://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

eTAhttps://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta.html 

* 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.

For the flight to Galapagos we will transfer you to the airport 3 hours in advance in order to complete the required formalities.

  • Entry requirements

    Minimum of 6 months validity with one passport page. Mandatory travel insurance.

  • Visa

    No visa required for stays of up to 90 days

  • Currency

    US Dollar

  • Language

    Spanish

  • Electricity

    Types A and B, 110 V North American type plug

  • Health

    Please 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 zone

    UTC -5

  • Other useful information

    It is mandatory for tourists to carry a valid health insurance policy.

  • Tourist Office website

    https://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.

In the case of adverse weather conditions, for safety reasons or for any other reasons deemed appropriate, the order and duration of the excursions included in the itinerary may be changed or cancelled without prior notice. 

Galapagos transit control card (TCC) is mandatory and is checked at the airport in both Quito and Guayaquil before travel to the Galapagos Islands. Cost US$20 per person (subject to change) and made by cash payment.

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 until July 31, 2024, and from August 1, 2024 US$200 for adults and US$100 for children.

If you have reduced mobility, require the use of a wheelchair, or you would prefer this tour to be a private experience for you and your group, you must contact our Experts at +44 20 8068 3176 before booking to ensure that your needs can be met.

While on the road, it is highly unlikely that the vehicle will be equipped with wifi or bathroom facilities, though rest stops will be made for long trips. We recommend purchasing a new SIM card at the airport or placing an e-SIM before travel to guarantee internet connection.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office offer up-to-date travel advice by visiting https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice


Room allocation: We will do our best to accommodate your family in the same room. If availability doesn't permit this, we guarantee your family will be accommodated as close together as possible. Children will always be accomodated in a room with at least 1 adult.

Car seats: Not available in all destinations. Feel free to take your own if you need one.

Pay in installments

Pay only 60% today to reserve your trip.

Rest is paid in instalments according to your departure date.

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