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Ecuador Holidays

The Endemico Deluxe Tour

12 Night Itinerary from £6,4026,462$7,963

Private Individual Tour

Combine the colonial splendour of Quito and the exuberance of the cloud forest with a deluxe island hopping experience in the enchanted islands of the Galapagos archipelago

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The Bellavista Cloud Forest, colonial splendour & Galapagos Island hopping

Combine the colonial splendour of Quito and the exuberance of the cloud forest with a deluxe island hopping experience in the enchanted islands of the Galapagos archipelago

Travel Highlights

  • Our deluxe tour of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands
  • Explore the beautiful colonial streets of Quito, spectacularly located in the Andes
  • Admire beautiful baroque churches and visit some of the best museums
  • Observe exotic birds up close in the misty Cloud Forest
  • Stay at the renowned Mashpi Lodge, deep in the heart of the forest
  • Go island hopping in the Galapagos archipelago, using two deluxe hotels as bases
  • A wonderful alternative to a cruise, with varied excursions and deluxe accommodation
  • Get up close to an extraordinary array of tame creatures for endless photo opportunities
  • Enjoy full day yacht tours and immerse yourself in spectacular volcanic landscapes
  • Spend a night glamping on Isabela island

Journey Breakdown

The Endemico Deluxe Tour
Travel Itinerary

Quito Days 1 - 2

Day 1 - Fly to Quito

Day 2 - Colonial Quito, baroque churches & museums

Itinerary Description

Day 1 - Fly to Quito

Fly with KLM from the UK to Quito, via Amsterdam arriving the same evening. You will be met on arrival by our representative and be transferred to your hotel in the heart of Quito. The Ecuadorian capital is spectacularly located high in the Ecuadorian Andes, surrounded my mountains and overlooked by the towering Pichincha volcano. It is a city noted for its UNESCO World Heritage listed colonial era centre, highlighted by some of the continent's finest baroque churches and lavish palaces and municipal buildings. Overhead cable cars glide effortlessly, affording panoramic views of the city and surrounding peaks.

Day 2 - Colonial Quito, baroque churches & museums

Our special half day tour will guide you through the grand colonial centre of Quito, starting at  the Independence Square, flanked by the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace and the City Hall. Stroll past the El Sagrario Church and marvel at the exquisite stone facade of La Compañía Church, where almost five tons of gold-leaf have used to cover the interior of this magnificent Baroque-style church. You will also have the opportunity to admire its famous paintings on the walls. We continue to San Francisco convent and its magnificent church, built over the ruins of the Inca Palace in the 16th century.

The tours includes a visit to the Metropolitan Cultural Centre, the home of former philanthropist Maria Augusta Urrutia and the Alberto Mena Caamaño museum, which has a waxwork depiction of the beginning of the independence struggle, as well as modern and historical works of art. Alternatively if your tour falls on a Monday you will visit the Casa de Alabado, which is a Precolumbian Art Museum located in the historic downtown area of Quito, in a 17th century colonial house. It keeps a collection of over 5,000 archaeological pieces, 500 of which are on permanent display. Continue up the road to the top of Panecillo Hill for a breathtaking view of Quito. (B)

Bellavista Cloud Forest Days 3 - 5

Day 3 - Into the Ecuadorian cloud forest

Day 4 - Exotic birds, waterfalls & forest views

Day 5 - Return to Quito

Itinerary Description

Day 3 - Into the Ecuadorian cloud forest

Today we drive out of the city and into the lush Bellavista Cloud Forest for a two night stay at the Mashpi Lodge. The three hour journey takes us into part of the Ecuadorian Choco rainforest, one of the world’s greatest biodiversity hotspots. Experience a shift in altitude (from 2,800 metres to 1,000) as we travel through the dry valley of Pomasqui towards the cordillera’s western flank, into misty cloud forest finally reaching Mashpi.

After settling into the lodge we head out to the scenic Napa Trail, ideal to explain the ecological succession processes and the importance of forest conservation for the Chocó region. Observe a forest of “iron palm”, the wood of which is used in house construction and spot the colourful birdlife. Every evening an expert naturalist will give a lecture on cloud forest ecology and scientific projects.(B,L,D)

Day 4 - Exotic birds, waterfalls & forest views

Up early to watch the cloud forest's bird life as the dawn light lures a variety of fascinating species in their search for food. After breakfast we visit the Sky Bike and Observation Tower. Looming above the treetops, Mashpi’s 30 metre high and 162 step observation tower allows guests to enjoy the protected forest in all its glory. The aerial bicycle makes for an original and exciting way to explore the canopy up close. Designed for two people to use at once, one person pedals the bike along a cable stretched between two points, around 200 metres apart over a gorge and river. Silent, easy-to-use and fun, it's an activity that provides guests with yet another vantage point to experience Mashpi’s lush natural world. Once completed, we walk back to the lodge via the San Vicente waterfall.

After lunch we will walk along the “Howler Monkey’s trail” across primary forest dominated by ancient trees. Once at the Life Centre, you will enjoy great view of the forest from the comfort of an expansive wooden deck, where wildlife abounds. Guides will identify the different birds and mammals that visit the fruit feeders. We also visit the “tropical orchard”, where many varieties of fruit trees, including banana, manioc, cacao, hot chili pepper, coffee and wild raspberries are grown. (B,L,D)

Day 5 - Return to Quito

After a final activity in the cloud forest, we will depart late morning and return to the capital Quito by road for an overnight stay ahead of your next port of call; the Galapagos Islands! (B)

Mashpi Lodge

Bellavista Cloud Forest - Deluxe Lodge

Located in the Ecuadorian Choco, just 3 hours’ drive from Quito, lies Mashpi Lodge, in the heart of a 1,300-hectare pristine lush tropical forest where you will experience the perfect fusion of nature and luxury. The lodge offers the perfect base for adventures in the Ecuador forest, where you discover the sounds and colours of nature, meet the world of hummingbirds & butterflies, and discover hidden waterfalls.

Perched at 900 m (3,116 feet), the Lodge is surrounded, by a profusion of plant species, from ferns and bromeliads to hundreds of orchid species, many newly-discovered. A staggering 500 species of bird - including some 36 endemics - are also can be seen. Monkeys, peccaries and even puma, although rarely seen, make their homes inside the Reserve. The highlight of any trip to Mashpi is a ride aboard the Dragonfly, an innovative cable system which carries you under, through and above the forest canopy: a unique way to see the world anew.

The rooms, arranged over three floors, all face north, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, some on two sides. You wake up to a captivating view awash with greens and browns, with trunks, branches, vines, leaves, birds and clouds all around. It's a bit like being in a capsule, observing life beyond from the comfort of your bed. The rooms' lighting is subdued, hidden LED lights running along the handsome wooden bedheads.

There are 22 luxurious rooms, including 3 'Yaku' suites and 19 'Wayra' rooms. The Lodge features a beautiful outside terrace with a pergola roof extends, tables and seating, as well as lounge chair - a wonderful location for a morning yoga session. On the first floor, there is a Library, with an extensive collection of books, which is used by guides and the resident biologist for talks and presentations. Close-by, the small boutique sells a range of books, guides, clothing and crafts, as well as essentials for guests. There is also a computer with internet access, and Wi-Fi is available throughout the lodge. The Wellness Space is opened to the breezes and sounds of the forest, perfect for relaxing after hikes, while specialized massages and treatments using natural local ingredients such as earth, stones, and herbs.

Galapagos Island Hopping Days 6 - 13

Day 6 - Glamping in the Galapagos

Day 7-8 - Full day exploration

Day 9 - Tortoises of Santa Cruz Highlands

Day 10 - Full day yacht excursion

Day 11 - Coastal Exploration & Charles Darwin Research Station or Tortoise Breeding Facilities

Days 12-14 Return to the mainland and back to UK

 

Itinerary Description

Day 6 - Glamping in the Galapagos

Take a morning flight to Baltra Island in the Galapagos archipelago and connect with a scenic inter-island flight to Isabela island, where you will stay overnight in safari style tents at the Scalesia Lodge. After lunch we head out to explore the archipelago through its wetland lagoons, the giant tortoise-breeding centre and the stunning white beach of Puerto Villamil. Head back to the lodge for dinner. (B,L,D)

Scalesia Lodge

Days 7-8 - Full day exploration

Over these two days you will enjoy two of these full day excursions (B,L,D):

Sierra Negra Volcano: walk along the rim of Galapagos’ largest caldera and see recent volcanic activity following the eruption in 2005 and the resulting fascinating formations. Wildlife focuses on the Darwin finches, flycatchers, mockingbirds, and occasionally the Galapagos hawk and rail. Stroll the beach at Puerto Villamil or rest in the afternoon.

Tintoreras Islets: board the bay cruiser to explore the maze of reefs and islets off the shores of Isabela, with a dry landing and a short walk over volcanic terrain. Wildlife includes boobies, herons, penguins, marine iguanas and the white tipped reef sharks in the nearby lava crevasses. Bring your bathing suit to enjoy snorkelling in the shallow reefs. After lunch at the lodge explore the wetlands of coastal Isabela and enjoy spectacular sunsets at Puerto Villamil.

Wall of Tears: follow a splendid coastal trail, wending through mangroves and brackish lagoons and traversing the arid palo santo forest until we reach the Wall of Tears, built by prisoners when Isabela was a penal colony. Wildlife include coastal Darwin finches, doves, stilts, ducks, flamingos, herons and giant tortoises.

Day 9 - Tortoises of Santa Cruz Highlands

This morning fly back from Puerto Villamil back to Baltra. Your guide will lead you across the Itabaca Channel to Santa Cruz Island, where the day’s visit includes a brief exploration of Los Gemelos - a natural volcanic formation in the upper end of the windward side of the island. Surrounded by a forest of high growing endemic daisies, this area is home to some of the most elusive land birds of Galapagos. Then we visit the Tortoise Reserve, admiring impressive lava tunnels en route to lunch at a restaurant in the highlands. In the afternoon, you will reach Puerto Ayora’s only pedestrian neighbourhood; Punta Estrada, where the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel is located. Check in and enjoy the hotel’s beachfront facilities. Overnight at the Finch Bay. (B,L,D)

Day 10 - Full day yacht excursion

Depending on the day and availability, you will enjoy a full day yacht excursion to one of the following (B,L,D):

North Seymour: your day includes a dry landing and walk over a mixture of sand and rounded boulders, where you can observe land and marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, frigates, sea lions and fur seals. We then visit Las Bachas, a stunning white beach with small brackish lagoons, home to various waders, such as plovers, stilts and flamingos. You have a chance to swim or snorkel here.

Santa Fe: the yacht will cruise to Santa Fe, an impressive volcanic island 17 nautical miles away from Puerto Ayora. After a wet landing on a fantastic white sandy beach populated by basking sea lions, we walk along a rocky terrain to find the island’s highlight: the endemic Santa Fe land iguana patiently waiting under the enormous giant cacti for falling fruits and pads. Other species here include pelicans, boobies and the archipelago´s top predator, the Galapagos hawk. Return to the yacht and enjoy one of Galapagos best snorkelling sites. After lunch on board the Sea Lion yacht, cruise back to Puerto Ayora, scanning the sea surface for pelagic birds and whales.

Bartolome: we board the Sea Lion yacht and sail a 21-nautical mile stretch along waters where Dolphins or whales are often seen. A dry landing marks the start of the trail over a wooden walkway with a staircase of 366 steps. There are several observation platforms on the way up to the summit of Bartolome, from where you can soak in one of Galapagos’ most famous views: the tilted pinnacle rock, the golden beach of Bartolome and the impressive lava fields of Santiago Island. Upon descending back to the coast, you will have a chance to scan the volcanic shore, in search of flashy Sally Lightfoot crabs and Galapagos penguins, before enjoying a soothing dip at the beach.

South Plaza: your day includes 2 highlights, snorkelling/swimming as Punta Carrion and South Plaza Island where an amazing abundance of wildlife greets you upon arrival: dozens of frolicking sea lion pups, patrolling alpha male sea lions, basking marine and land iguanas, stunning red crabs and various Darwin finches await.

Day 11 - Coastal Exploration & Charles Darwin Research Station or Tortoise Breeding Facilities

Depending on the weekday and availability, you will visit either Tortuga Bay and the Charles Darwin Research Station or Divine Bay and the Charles Darwin Research Station, a combination of wonderful beaches, wildlife and a speciailsed visitor centre. (B,L,D)

Days 12-14 - Return to the mainland and back to UK

Transfer to Baltra Airport for your flight back to the mainland, staying at the port city of Guayaquil.(B)

On day 13 (B), transfer to Guayaquil airport for your KLM overnight flight back to the UK, via Amsterdam arriving in the UK on day 14.

 

 

Finch Bay Hotel

Galapagos Islands - First Boutique

The charming Finch Bay Hotel stands surrounded by mangroves just a few steps from a private beach and offers a tranquil setting to relax and enjoy daily excursions. The hotel is located on Punta Estrada, on the island of Santa Cruz and across the bay from the small town of Puerto Ayora. Finch Bay accommodates 42 guests 21 twin-bedded rooms, each with private facilities, air conditioning and unlimited water supply as the hotel has its own desalinization plant.

This ecologically oriented hotel also has innovative garbage processing and recycling programs. The entire infrastructure as well as the activities are totally oriented to a concept of true ecotourism in a pristine natural environment. Delicious healthy international and Galapagos inspired menus are prepared daily, using fresh ingredients. The Finch Bay Hotel is accessible from the airport of Baltra from which it is approximately a 2 hour bus ride to Puerto Ayora and to the hotel.

The Endemico Deluxe Tour
Travel Details

Price Breakdown

Prices are per person. Please request a quote for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve & Easter.

SeasonLow SeasonHigh Season
Travel Dates
Room ArrangementTouristFirstDeluxeTouristFirstDeluxe
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room - - £6,402 - - -
Multiple Travellers - Own Room - - - - - -
Single Traveller - Own Room - - - - - -
SeasonLow SeasonHigh Season
Travel Dates
Room ArrangementTouristFirstDeluxeTouristFirstDeluxe
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room - - €6,462 - - -
Multiple Travellers - Own Room - - - - - -
Single Traveller - Own Room - - - - - -
SeasonLow SeasonHigh Season
Travel Dates
Room ArrangementTouristFirstDeluxeTouristFirstDeluxe
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room - - $7,962 - - -
Multiple Travellers - Own Room - - - - - -
Single Traveller - Own Room - - - - - -

Booking Terms & Conditions

What's Included

  • 13 Days / 12 Nights
  • International flights
  • Internal flights 
  • Accommodation as stated in the itinerary
  • 12 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners
  • Transfers to and from accommodation
  • Excursions with English-speaking guides
  • Transport and meals as shown
  • Prices are per person
  • 12 Nights
  • International flights
  • Internal flights 
  • Accommodation as stated in the itinerary
  • 12 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners
  • Transfers to and from accommodation
  • Excursions with English-speaking guides
  • Transport and meals as shown
  • Prices are per person
  • 12 Nights
  • International flights
  • Internal flights 
  • Accommodation as stated in the itinerary
  • 12 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners
  • Transfers to and from accommodation
  • Excursions with English-speaking guides
  • Transport and meals as shown
  • Prices are per person

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+44020 8762 0616 travel@veloso.com

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