• Active Ecuador

Outdoor adventures in beautiful scenery plus the Galapagos Islands

Days: 9 | From: $6,690/person

  • Includes accommodations at first class hotels that reflect the best of local culture
  • Includes active excursions and tours with superb private guides
  • Ideal for couples, small private groups, and families

Explore the Ecuador mainland by getting to know the area around Quito through active excursions. Finish by visiting the diverse Galapagos Islands.

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Talk to a Vaya Travel

1 (510) 548-8487

We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.

We consistently receive 5 star reviews from our discerning clients.

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At a glance

  • Quito
    4 nights: explore this colonial city and country around it on active excursions
  • Galapagos
    4 nights: Discover the Galapagos Islands

  • All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.

Customize this trip
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Sample itinerary

Day 1:

Arrive to Quito

Ecuador_Quito_White church and city view

Arrive to Quito, where your private guide will welcome you to the country and take you to your hotel, located in the heart of the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is a great part of the city for walking around, with traditional squares and architecture and a variety of shops and restaurants.

Accommodations: Patio Andaluz, 4 nights

Housed within a 16th-century colonial home arranged around a central courtyard, Patio Andaluz enjoys a prime location just off the Independence Plaza in historic Quito. The hotel is within walking distance of the iconic Plaza San Francisco, the La Compañia Church with its impressive gold leaf interior, and the Theater Sucre. As is common in traditional Ecuadorian architecture, the hotel's rooms and their windows face toward the covered inner courtyards rather than out to the streets (which reduces light, but also noise). The hotel restaurant, El Rincón de Cantuña, serves Ecuadorian and Spanish cuisine along with a variety of South American wines.

Upgrades and alternatives: La Casona de la Ronda, Casa Gangotena, Plaza Grande
Day 2:

Colonial Culture and Climbing a Volcano

Ecuador_Quito_Banco Central and church

Set out on foot with your private guide to explore historic Quito, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Visit the highlights of the colonial “Centro Historico,” then head to the Teleferico, one of the highest cable cars in South America. Reaching 12,150 feet in altitude, the Teleferico provides sweeping views of the city and surrounding mountains. At the top, explore the hiking trails that take you to a lookout point of the Pichincha Volcano.

Accommodations: Patio Andaluz, 4 nights

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3:

Pasochoa Hike

Ecuador Highlands: Cotopaxi Volcano

Set out early from the city to the private reserve at Hacienda Santa Rita. Here, your guided hike will take across roughly 12 miles of Ecuadorian countryside, through native forest and planted fields, enjoying views of the mountains Antisana, Cayambe, and Pasochoa.

Accommodations: Patio Andaluz, 4 nights

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4:

Mountain Biking Nono to Tandayapa

Mountain biking in Ecuador

Mountain bike through the highlands and cloud forest between Nono and Tandayapa. Setting out early from the city, you head to the town of Calacali, where your ride begins. Explore country roads and unpaved paths en route to the town of Nono, where you can stop to take in some local culture. Continue toward the cloud forest, an area of great biodiversity with many birds and orchids, and end in the scenic village of Tandayapa.

Accommodations: Patio Andaluz, 4 nights

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5:

Fly to the Galapagos Islands

Fly from Quito about 600 miles out over the Pacific Ocean to arrive at the Galapagos Islands. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your vessel.

Visiting the Galapagos Islands is a unique experience: a combination of sheer natural beauty, amazing wildlife, beautiful vessels, and fascinating natural history.

Accommodations: Anahi, 4 nights

The Anahi is a comfortable and well-appointed first-class catamaran with a high standard of service. The ship accommodates 16 passengers in 8 cabins, all with private bath and A/C. The yacht offers spacious and pleasant common areas, a library, movie room, dining room, and lounge. On the upper sundeck, there is a bar, lounge area, and Jacuzzi. All excursions are led by an experienced bilingual naturalist guide and include hiking, snorkeling, and kayaking. This is an excellent option in the first class category.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Upgrades and alternatives: Natural Paradise, Elite, Passion, Ocean Spray, Galapagos Safari Camp
Days 6-8:

Cruising and Exploring the Islands

Sea lions coming out of water at sunset; boat in background

The exact itinerary varies from vessel to vessel, but you will spend these days exploring the islands in depth. Your boat will travel between several different islands so that you can experience a wide variety of the unique wildlife and environments that the Galapagos offers.

The giant Galapagos Tortoise, the marine iguana, the waved albatross, the Galapagos penguin, and flightless cormorants are just a few of the species you can come across. There will also be daily opportunities to snorkel, where you can see what’s below the surface: giant sea turtles, rays, and sea lions, to name just a few. Each day you will enjoy excellent cuisine and the company of an expert bilingual naturalist guide.

Accommodations: Anahi, 4 nights

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9:

Return to mainland Ecuador & Depart for Home or Your Next Destination

Enjoy a final morning in the islands before flying back to Quito, where you can connect with your international flight home or continue your trip in mainland Ecuador.

If you have a long layover before your flight, we can set up a visit to nearby hot springs or transfer you to a hotel to relax and have dinner before transferring back to the airport.

More Photos From This Trip

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • Add a few nights in the Ecuadorian Amazon, a 30 minute flight from Quito. Our top choice is the Napo Wildlife Center, one of the top lodges anywhere in the Amazon.

  • Add extra days in Quito: Quito is worth exploring on your own, and we can arrange a variety of activities, including city tours, culinary excursions, visits to ruins and historical sites, and active options such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

  • Visit some of the highlights of mainland Ecuador, including local markets, volcanoes, the cloud forest, and historic haciendas, such as Hacienda Zuleta or Hacienda San Agustin de Callo, built on top of an Incan palace.

  • Include some downtime for rest and relaxation! Some free time to unwind or have a massage will allow you to feel refreshed and ready for the remainder of your trip. Many of our properties include excellent spas or wellness centers. We can help arrange these services or include properties that offer health & wellness amenities.

  • Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.

Reviews From This Trip

5 stars

  • We were amazed at all we saw in the Galapagos!! Loved snorkeling with all of the sea turtles, marine iguanas, sea lions and beautiful fish!! Water was so clear! Saw all of the wildlife we thought we would see. Definitely the trip of a lifetime!
    Elizabeth Carlisle
  • We had a wonderful experience. Everything was well planned and went very smoothly.
    Susan Klein
  • Best trip we've ever taken. Such a unique experience in such a beautiful truly unspoiled part of the world (Galapagos Islands). Would absolutely do it again. From start to finish service was phenomenal.
    Hollis Day

Call us to start planning your journey today:

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Why Travel with Vaya?

We're TRUE specialists

We’ve not only traveled there, we’ve lived there. Our smart and engaging specialists are all current or former expatriates with years of experience in the region.

Uplifting service

From the first phone call to after you get back, we're here for you every step of the way. We listen, create, customize and advocate for you, and design experiences that go beyond the expected.

Thoughtful travel

Our discerning sensibility and good taste go beyond just choices in hotels and top guides; we have a walk the walk commitment to the environment and are genuine leaders in conservation efforts.