Basic travel information
On our varied nature trip to Ecuador, you’ll see some of South America’s boldest natural sites, from the Amazon jungles and the Andes to the giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands and other non-human animals.
The journey begins in the historic World Heritage city of Quito. We travel from the landscapes of snow-capped Andean volcanoes and plateaus to the lush jungles and waterfalls of the Amazon. We traverse several vegetation zones, magnificent majestic canyons, idyllic villages and beautiful countryside.
In the Amazon region, we explore the heritage of the jungle under the guidance of a local Indian guide. We also visit Cotopaxi National Park or Quilotoa Crater Lake before the culmination of the trip, i.e. a visit to the uniquely famous Galapagos Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. We make excursions at sea and on land on several different islands, staying comfortably in Eco resorts. The Galapagos has plenty of time to photograph and follow the animals. On the way back, we also had time to explore Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city.
DAY 1 – HELSINKI – QUITO
Flights from Finland to Ecuador. We arrive in Quito in the evening and transfer from the airport to the hotel.
HOTEL IKALA QUITO OR SIMILAR
DAY 2 – QUITO
After breakfast, a noon guided tour of Quito, during which we visit the city’s most beautiful historical sites. At the end of the tour, we admire the view down the city from El Panecillo Hill. Afternoon free time for relaxation, exploring the city or shopping. (A)
HOTEL IKALA QUITO OR SIMILAR
DAY 3 – TENA, AMAZON
After breakfast, transfer from Quito to the Amazon lowland to Tena. Along the way, we stop at the hot springs of Papallacta. From the city of Tena, we move along the Napo River, to the Indian village of San Pedro. From here, the journey continues by canoe to our lodging in the middle of the rainforest, Yacuma Lodge, where we arrive late in the afternoon. (OH)
DAY 4 – AMAZON
After breakfast, a hike in the rainforest led by a local Indian guide. During the trip, we will get to know the plants of the jungle and their traditional uses, as well as look for local fauna such as monkeys and parrots. After lunch we visit an Indian village where we see local life. Those interested can also swim in the river or try fishing. (UNDER)
DAY 5 – YACUMA – BANOS
We leave the Amazon region behind and travel back to the Andes. The drive through Puyo to the small town of Baños offers dazzling scenery e.g. To the canyon of the river Pastaza. We also visit on the way by the waterfall. We stay in Baños, known for its hot springs and hiking trails. (A)
HOTEL SANGAY OR SIMILAR
DAY 6 – COTOPAXI – QUITO
After breakfast, transfer from Baños to the high Andean mountains. We visit the Cotopaxi Volcano National Park and the Limpiopungo Lake (3800m above sea level). In the evening we move back to Quito. (A)
HOTEL IKALA QUITO OR SIMILAR
DAY 7 – SAN CRISTOBAL, GALAPAGOS
Flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands. We arrive at the easternmost of the Galapagos Islands, the island of San Cristóbal, where we stay in the small town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, which is also the administrative capital of the Galapagos Islands. After lunch, we will visit the island’s information center, where local guides will tell you about the nature, geology, history and unique fauna of the islands. At the end of the afternoon, we take a trip to the beautiful area of Cerro de las Tijeretas, where we admire a community of two different frigatebird species before returning to our hotel for dinner. (A, L)
HOTEL MAR AZUL OR SIMILAR
DAY 8 – FLOREANA & ISABELA, GALAPAGOS
After breakfast, we embark on a 2.5-hour boat trip to the island of Floreana, known for its diverse fauna. Along the way we will get acquainted with e.g. To the smaller islands of Champions and Enderby and we snorkel in the rich waters of the Galapagos Islands. When we arrive at Floreana, we visit e.g. in a giant tortoise sanctuary and in caves once inhabited by pirates. From Floreana, in the afternoon, we continue a 1.5-hour boat ride to Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos Islands. We stay at a hotel on the island of Isabela. (A, L)
HOSTAL TORO REAL OR SIMILAR
DAY 9 – ISABELA, GALAPAGOS
We hike all day in the natural sites of the island of Isabela. The island is made up of six volcanoes, five of which are still active. We climb e.g. To the volcano Sierra Negra. In the afternoon we will continue to explore the interesting natural sites of the island of Isabela. (A)
HOSTAL TORO REAL OR SIMILAR
DAY 10 – ISABELA & SANTA CRUZ, GALAPAGOS
We wake up early in the morning and take a boat trip to the small islands of Tintoreras, where we hike and observe the rich fauna of the islands, including sea iguanas, sea lions, sharks, galapagos penguins and numerous other native animal species. After the trip we return to Isabela, from where we continue by speedboat to the second largest island of the Galapagos Islands, Santa Cruz, where the largest city of the islands, Puerto Ayora, is also located. Upon arrival in Santa Cruz, we check into the hotel and visit the famous research station named after Charles Darwin. (A)
HOTEL DEJA ‘VU OR SIMILAR
DAY 11 – SANTA CRUZ, GALAPAGOS
After breakfast, we will take a car ride to the central parts of the island of Santa Cruz, whose lush volcanic slopes are home to many of the island’s native bird species and, of course, the giant tortoises of the Galapagos. We will explore the island’s lava tunnels before returning to Puerto Ayora and our hotel. In the afternoon, the program includes a walk to Tortuga Bay, known for one of the best sandy beaches on the islands. The white sand beach, sand dunes, nearby sea iguanas and seabird communities, mangrove forests and an interesting cactus forest are sure to offer things to do for the whole afternoon. In the evening we return to our hotel where we enjoyed a joint closing dinner. (OH)
HOTEL DEJA ‘VU OR SIMILAR
DAY 12 – GALAPAGOS – GUAYAQUIL
In the morning, a car transfer through Santa Cruz Island to the airport on Baltran Island. We still had time to stop along the way to see an interesting lava formation known as the Twin Craters. From Baltrta a flight back to the South American continent, the city of Guayaquil. Depending on the flight schedule, Guayaquil will take a guided city tour in the afternoon or the next morning, during which we will explore the city’s main attractions. (A)
HOTEL UNIPARK OR SIMILAR
DAY 13 – GUAYAQUIL –
Transfer to the airport and return flights to Finland overnight. (A)
DAY 14 – RETURN TO FINLAND
MEALS: [A] BREAKFAST [L] LUNCH [I] DINNER
NOTE: Cotopaxi National Park has been openly open and closed to visitors in recent years due to volcanic activity. If the park is closed at the time of your trip, an alternative program will be implemented on the day of your visit.
Group size : 8-18 / person
The price of the trip includes
- Flights to
- All domestic flights
- Airport transfers
- All transportation mentioned in the itinerary
- Excursions mentioned in the itinerary
- Entrance fees for guided tours
- Services of a Finnish-speaking tour guide and an English-speaking local guide
- Meals and airport taxes mentioned in the itinerary.
The price of the trip does not include
- Travel insurance
- Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
- Food drinks
- Personal expenses
- Local airport taxes or possible exit fees are not included in the price of air tickets.
- Office expenses 10 € / person
We fly to Ecuador on KLM scheduled flights. The airline has the right to change its schedules, so do not book any connecting flights until you have received your flight tickets.
Finnish citizens do not need a visa to Ecuador. The Galapagos Islands Nature Reserve and Transit Card, as well as the airport transfer fee (total 225USD / person) are included in the group trip price.
For flight bookings in the Galapagos Islands, we need a copy of your passport personal information page . You can send us a copy after booking the trip by e-mail (eg as a jpg or pdf file) or by post to our office.
Check that your basic vaccinations are valid during the trip. Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for all travelers to Ecuador. Those vaccinated with yellow fever, including those coming directly from Finland, should keep a vaccination certificate with them. In the Amazon region, we recommend taking malaria prevention medication.
From July 2018, travel insurance covering medical expenses valid for the duration of the trip is a mandatory condition for entry into Ecuador. We recommend taking out travel insurance that covers, in addition to sickness, evacuation if necessary. We also recommend that you check the coverage of your insurance cancellation coverage.
The official language of Ecuador is Spanish. In addition, indigenous languages such as Quechua are spoken in the country. Few Ecuadorians speak English and learning a few Spanish phrases before the trip helps with daily interactions. We recommend that you bring a Spanish dictionary with you on your trip. A Finnish tour guide and a local guide will be happy to help if needed.
The currency of Ecuador is the United States dollar (USD). Ecuador has plenty of ATMs that recognize the most common international credit cards (Visa, Master Card, Visa Electron). We recommend bringing in US dollars in cash under $ 100 banknotes. Book cash for meals not included in the itinerary and tips from local staff. The on-site cash payment for the Galapagos Nature Conservation Fee and the Transit Card (total 220USD / person) will be paid for you by our tour guide on our group trips.
Due to the influence of the Andean Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Ecuador’s climate varies in different parts of the country, but all regions have two seasons; moist and dry. In the highlands of the cooler central part of Ecuador and in Quito, temperatures rise by more than 20 ° C during the summer and the rainy season is from November to June. The rainforest area has a tropical climate and a rainy season in April-August, although rain is received regularly throughout the year. The Galapagos Islands are located at equatorial altitude and the climate of the islands is quite tropical. Water temperature varies with the season and the direction of sea currents. You can travel to the Galapagos Islands all year round for the weather. Some of the islands are reassured by tourism and the number of visitors is controlled according to the breeding seasons of the animals.
The top culture is typical of Ecuador. However, it should be remembered that it is always voluntary. The exception to this is airport bag carriers, who get paid for tips. If the service has been good in the restaurant, you can leave 5-15% of the total amount of the invoice to the waiters. It is polite to give 1USD / bag to hotel bag carriers.
OUR TRAVEL DESTINATIONS:
The capital and second largest city of Ecuador, Quito is set in stunning scenery, surrounded by the Andes and Guagua Pichincha volcano. The city center is located at 2800 meters above sea level. Founded by Spanish conquistadors, Quito currently has more than 2 million inhabitants and is the second highest capital in South America after Bolivia’s La Paz. Quito’s historic old town is particularly atmospheric with its restaurants, cafés and theaters.
The small town of Baños in central Ecuador, on the lower slopes of the Andes, is known for its hot springs located around the city. Set in beautiful mountain scenery on the lower slopes of the Tungurahua volcano, the town of 10,000 inhabitants, the whole of Baños de Agua Santa, is now a popular tourist destination, offering a variety of activities from hiking to mountain biking in addition to relaxing, sulfur-rich hot springs. Also check out the toffee sold in Baños, known in Spanish as melcocha.
AMAZON, TENA & YACUMA LODGE
The eastern part of Ecuador belongs to the lowlands of the Amazon, covered by rainforests and crossed by rivers flowing to the east. The Amazon region covers almost 40% of Ecuador’s surface area, but the predominantly unknown region is home to just under 5% of the country’s population. The fauna and vegetation of the rainforest area is very diverse, and the area is also home to numerous Indian peoples, including huaorans, quichuas, shuars and zions.
The town of Tena, on the edge of the Amazon rainforest, is about 500 meters above sea level, making the city’s climate a little cooler than in the rainforest. Tena is a popular tourist destination for those looking for a variety of adventure and sports activities. In addition to rainforest excursions, you can go rafting and kayaking here.
Our accommodation Yacuma Lodge (yacuma-lodge.com) is located in the rainforest area of the Napo River east of Tena. The Napo River is a 1,075 km long tributary of the Amazon River that flows from the foothills of the Andes in Ecuador through a sparsely populated rainforest area to Peru, where it joins the Amazon mainstream.