• Ecuador Nature & Wildlife

Experience the Nature & Wildlife of the Amazon and the Galapagos

Days: 11 | From: $8,250/person

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

Start in the capital city of Quito before heading to the Amazon and exploring from a top-quality jungle lodge, taking fascinating excursions into the rain forest to see the area's diverse animal and plant life. Finish by seeing the diversity of wildlife found in the Galapagos Islands

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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
    2 nights: Arrive to this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage city
  • Amazon Jungle
    3 nights: stay in a premier ecotourism lodge
  • Quito
    1 night: pre-Galapagos night in Quito
  • 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.

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Sample itinerary

Day 1:

Welcome 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: Illa Experience, 2 nights

The Illa Experience is located in the historic Old Town district of Quito, within walking distance of cultural attractions, cafes, and restaurants. Rooms are decorated with modern, comfortable furnishings and decor. Each floor of the hotel is inspired by a different historical period, and each room offers underfloor heating and large windows with views of the iconic calle Junín or the Virgen del Panecillo. The restaurant offers traditional Ecuadorian dishes crafted with local ingredients.

Upgrades available: Casa Gangotena, Plaza Grande
Day 2:

Colonial Architecture and One-of-a-Kind Artwork

Ecuador_Quito_Banco Central and church

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

Visit the highlights of the colonial “Centro Historico,” and go up to a lookout point on the Panecillo for a great view of the entire city. Afterward, head into the new town to visit the remarkable Fundación Guayasamin, which houses the art collection of Oswaldo Guayasamin, Ecuador’s most famous 20th-century artist.

Seeing both parts of the city gives you a great overview of some of the different neighborhoods in this diverse Andean metropolis.

Accommodations: Illa Experience, 2 nights

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 3:

Fly Over the Andes to the Amazon Jungle

Fly from Quito over the towering Andes and land in the jungle town of Coca, in the Amazon basin. Travel downriver in a motorized canoe, then take a short hike into the jungle before boarding a dugout canoe to paddle across a jungle lake. Your lodge is the only lodge in the Yasuní National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and sits at the edge of Añangu Lake, a tranquil lagoon filled with piranha and surrounded by the sounds of howler monkeys and birdsong.

Accommodations: Napo Wildlife Center, 3 nights

Located in Ecuador's Amazon Basin, the Napo Wildlife Center is the only lodge in the Yasuní National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The lodge complex sits on the shore of Añangu Lake, within the ancestral territory of the Añangu Quichua Community. Each of the 16 individual cabañas are screened against insects, and each offers a private terrace with lake and rainforest views, private bathroom, electricity, and ceiling fan. The central structure of the complex, where meals are served, also offers several comfortable social areas, including a bar and reading lounge. Excursions are co-lead by experienced bilingual Ecuadorian guides and Añangu native guides, and include hiking, night walks, birding, canoeing, and climbing the two observation towers to look out over the jungle.

*Includes: Dinner

Alternative lodging options: La Selva Ecolodge, Sacha Jungle Lodge, Kapawi Ecolodge
Days 4-5:

Explore the Amazon Jungle in Search of Unique Plant and Animal Life

Explore the Amazon Jungle and learn about the life it supports.

Excursions vary depending on the weather and the time of year, but usually include visiting local oxbow lakes, taking night walks, and learning to scout for elusive animal and bird life in the vastness of the jungle. This is one of the most biodiverse places on the entire planet, and the sheer variety of plant and animal species is truly awesome. If you are doing a 5 day program, you would add one more day to explore additional sites in the area.

Accommodations: Napo Wildlife Center

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6:

Travel to Quito

Quito, Ecuador old town and basilica at night with mountains in the background

Fly back to Quito and overnight in downtown Quito or near the airport before heading to the Galapagos early the next morning.

Accommodations: Casa de Hacienda La Jimenita

The Casa de Hacienda La Jimenita is a comfortable family-run place, with spacious gardens and a games room with billiards table. The hacienda property also features an unusual, pre-Colombian archaeological site, which you can visit with a guide from the hotel. This is a simple and pleasant place located close to the airport, and is a very nice option for people with an overnight stop between flights.

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 7:

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: Passion, Anahi, Ocean Spray, Endemic
Days 8-10:

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 11:

Return to Quito / 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.

*Includes: Breakfast

More Photos From This Trip

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • 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

  • Very well planned and coordinated. Everything went smoothly. Great tour guide. Beautiful places. Overall, an amazing trip!
    Samuel Greengard
  • We especially enjoyed the Galapagos. The cruise was excellent. The islands varied a great deal and the mixture of activities - hiking, snorkeling, learning about nature, and relaxing - worked well. It was nice to see several other parts of Ecuador as well.
    Mark Zitter
  • Everything was planned so well and we were able to really relax and enjoy. The recommendation especially to the Napo Wildlife Center was a great one!
    Kari Simonian

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1 (510) 548-8487

Inquire About This Trip

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.