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Ecuador: The Amazon...
 

Ecuador: The Amazon Rainforest & Galápagos Islands Cruise

12 days |  18 days with Peru extension
12 days |  18 days with Peru extension
Group size1530 travelers
Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

8
beaches on bartolome island in the galapagos islands in ecuador
wooden and rope bridge crossing over river in the amazon rainforest
green and brown cactus on a beach with red shrubs on santa cruz island
mountains in andes mountain range in south america on a cloudy day
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsHotels, flights & FAQ

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Discover Ecuador on a journey through the Amazon and Galápagos.

From the Andes highlands of Quito to the lush forests of the Amazon basin, you’ll experience it all. Venture into the heart of Ecuador to encounter colorful birds, exotic animals, and learn about indigenous Quichua culture firsthand. Then, snorkel with sea lions, spot blue-footed boobies, and make your way past mangrove swamps, lava flows, and sunny shores on a cruise through the Galápagos Islands.

Your tour package includes

  • 7 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 3 nights aboard the M/V Galápagos Legend cruise ship
  • 10 breakfasts
  • 7 lunches
  • 7 dinners
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Included highlights

  • Old Quarter Quito
  • boating on the Amazon
  • Ahuano village visit
  • wildlife on Santa Cruz Island
  • snorkeling with sea lions
Read more
Start planning today

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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Quito3 nights
Day 1: Flight & late-night arrival in Quito

Welcome to Ecuador! Arrive in Quito late this evening and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Quito
Included meals: Breakfast, Welcome lunch

Today, embark on a guided sightseeing tour of Quito, the Ecuadorian capital.

  • Marvel at the neo-Gothic Basilica of the National Vow
  • Enjoy a walking tour of Old Town, passing by the Legislative Palace, Independence Square, and the Metropolitan Cathedral
  • Enter the Baroque Church of the Society of Jesus to view its famed gold-leaf interior
  • Step inside the 16th-century Monastery of San Francisco

Gather with your fellow travelers for a welcome lunch.

Later, make you way outside of the city for a visit to the Equatorial Monument. Stand with one foot on either side of the equator before exploring the museum and surrounding colonial town.

Day 3: Free day in Quito
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Quito or add an excursion.

Otavalo & Hacienda

From $129 per person

Amazon Region2 nights
Day 4: Transfer to the Amazon Region
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Pass through the Andes Mountains on your way to Punta Ahuano, located in the Amazon rainforest.

  • View spectacular scenery, including volcanoes and cloud forests
  • Enjoy an included lunch at a local lodge
  • At Punta Ahuano, board a canoe for a short ride down the Napo River

Later, journey on foot to the indigenous village of Ahuano to learn about the traditional culture of the Quichua, the Quechuas of Ecuador.

  • Enjoy a tasting of chicha, a traditional corn beverage, and see how it’s made
  • Witness ancient spiritual cleansing rituals still commonly practiced today
  • Take part in a blowgun target-shooting contest

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Day 5: Cosano, amaZOOnico & butterfly house
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, board an authentic dugout canoe and set out to explore the surrounding rainforest with a local guide.

  • On a nature walk, keep an eye out for monkeys and the hundreds of tropical bird species that call the area home
  • See hunting traps traditionally used by local tribes and learn about how they work

Enjoy an included lunch at a local lodge before exploring more of the Amazon region this afternoon.

  • Pay a visit to the amaZOOnico Animal Rescue Center, an institution for wounded and displaced tropical rainforest animals
  • Stop at a nearby butterfly house to learn about the life cycle of this beautiful insect

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Papallacta1 night
Day 6: Transfer to Papallacta
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a short canoe ride back to Punta Ahuano, take a scenic drive through the Andes highlands. Stop in the small riverside town of Baeza for photos and lunch, then make your way to the village of Papallacta for a relaxing soak in its thermal pools. This evening, sit down for an included dinner.

Overnight Cruise3 nights
Day 7: Flight to the Galápagos & embarkation
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Depart from your hotel early this morning to fly from Quito to the island of Baltra in the Galápagos.

  • Head to Santa Cruz island to enjoy an included lunch
  • Visit the giant tortoise breeding center at the Charles Darwin Research Station
  • Travel to Puerto Ayora, where you’ll embark on your cruise

Sit down for an included dinner aboard the ship this evening.

Day 8: Genovesa Island & Darwin Bay
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Join your local guide as you get to know all sides of Genovesa Island.

  • Stroll through Palo Santo forest and the rocky lava plain, viewing birds and other wildlife as you go
  • Enjoy an included lunch aboard the ship
  • Walk along a tidal lagoon as you make your way up a rocky hill to a viewpoint overlooking Darwin Bay

Sit down for an included dinner aboard the ship this evening.

Day 9: Santa Cruz and Sante Fe Islands
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a dry landing, spend the morning exploring Santa Cruz Island.

  • Pass a brackish lagoon with your guide and keep your eyes peeled for shore birds and flamingos
  • Walk through dry zone vegetation before reaching Dragon Hill, where you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the neighboring islands

Enjoy an included lunch aboard the ship before making a wet landing to visit Santa Fe Island, known for its large population of sea lions.

  • Follow your guide on a walk, passing the cactus forest as you go
  • Stay on the lookout for the endemic land iguana
  • Take to the water for a snorkeling adventure

Sit down for an included dinner aboard the ship this evening.

Guayaquil1 night
Day 10: Bachas Beach & flight to Guayaquil
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

This morning, take a dinghy ride to Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island.

  • Walk along the beach to see sea turtle nesting sites and the remains of World War era barges
  • Spend time snorkeling in the water off the island’s shore

Disembark from your cruise on Baltra Island this afternoon. Then, board your flight to Guayaquil. Later tonight, gather with your group for a farewell dinner.

Overnight Flight1 night
Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Guayaquil & departure
Included meal: Breakfast

With your Tour Director as your guide, set out on a walking tour of Guayaquil, the largest and most populous city in Ecuador.

  • Starting in Centennial Plaza, drive along 9th of October Boulevard to the Plaza of the Administration, home to the city’s government and municipal buildings
  • Pass by the Moorish Clock Tower and enter Bolívar Park to view the famed statue of Simón Bolívar and the neo-Gothic Metropolitan Cathedral
  • Drive to the Malecon 2000 to see the Crystal Palace, Integration Square, Plaza of the Flags, and Plaza Olmedo before walking to La Rotonda
  • Make your way through Barrio Las Peñas, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods

Later, transfer to the airport for your overnight flight home or connecting flight to Lima if you’re extending your stay to explore Peru.

Arrive Home
Day 12: Arrival in the U.S.

Arrive home.

Extension to Peru
Fly to Lima to experience the best Peru has to offer—and, yep, that includes Machu Picchu. Continue your trip to see the legacy of the conquistadors and uncover the Lost City of the Inca, all with your expert Tour Director at your side.
Lima2 nights
Day 11: Flight to Lima
Included meal: Breakfast

After a day of sightseeing in Guayaquil, board your flight to Lima this evening.

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Lima
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, set out on a guided tour highlighting the capital city’s modern and colonial quarters.

  • Visit the Miraflores district and Parque del Amor
  • Stop in the San Isidro district to visit Huaca Huallamarca temple and its museum
  • View Plaza Mayor and the Municipal Palace in Lima’s historic center
  • Enter the Cathedral of Lima and descend into the catacombs below the Church of San Francisco
  • Step inside the Larco Museum and take time to view the pre-Columbian art

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Cuzco2 nights
Day 13: Flight to Cuzco
Included meal: Breakfast

Board your flight to Cuzco this morning, then enjoy a free afternoon to explore the city on your own.

Day 14: Sightseeing tour of Cuzco
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Set out on a sightseeing tour of Cuzco, the UNESCO-recognized ancient capital of the Inca Empire.

  • Stroll through ruins at Kenko, the “red fortress” of Puca Pucara and Sacsayhuaman, which was once completely covered in gold
  • View the towering Cristo Blanco statue, a thank-you gift from the Palestinian refugees who took shelter in the city during World War II
  • Stop at the colonial-era Plaza de Armas to enter Cuzco Cathedral
  • Walk through the city center and step inside the Convent of Santo Domingo, built by the Spaniards where the Inca temple of Koricancha stood

This evening, sit down for a dinner featuring local Peruvian cuisine as you watch a traditional folklore show.

Machu Picchu Region1 night
Day 15: Aguas Calientes via the Sacred Valley
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Stop in the Sacred Valley to see the sights en route to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu.

  • Peruse the colorful stalls of the wide-open Pisac Market, where you’ll find local fare and traditional crafts on display
  • Enjoy an included lunch in Pisac
  • Continue to the Ollantaytambo ruins to explore still-standing Inca homes

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Cuzco1 night
Day 16: Sightseeing tour of Machu Picchu
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

On today’s guided tour, you’ll uncover the lost city of Machu Picchu, one of the most spectacular archaeological sites on the entire South American continent.

  • Tour the ruins of the ceremonial center, cultivation terraces, and guard house
  • Visit Funeral Rock, the Main Temple, Temple of the Three Windows, Chamber of Ornaments, the Sacred Plaza, the Intihuatana stone, the Temple of the Sun, the Rock Quarry, the Ritual Fountains, and the Condor Temple
  • Sit down for an included lunch
  • Enjoy a scenic train ride through the Sacred Valley on your way back to Cuzco
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 17: Flight to Lima & departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Board your flight to Lima this morning, then relax in a dayroom before your overnight flight home.

Arrive Home
Day 18: Arrival at home

Arrive home today.

Show full itinerary
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Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Overall rating 4.6 out of 5

Based on 8 authentic traveler reviews
Sort by

    4 out of 5 stars

    7/30/19 by 4th-time traveler James

    5 out of 5 stars

    Ecuador and the Galapagos
    7/30/19 by 2nd-time traveler Hilda

    This was a great tour because we got to explore the country and the Galapagos Islands. My friend and I got to Quito before the rest of the group and went out on our own around Hotel Mercure, Quito. The location was excellent because it's near a Main Ave and artisanal markets. The tour to the Amaz...

    Read more +

    4 out of 5 stars

    Galapagos
    5/7/19 by 1st-time traveler Lani

    Was it absolutely necessary to have an additional tour guide for so many of our days? It seemed like our regular guide could have handled much of the excursions. Stopping for lunch outside the Monastary of San Francisco was a big waste of our time. They waited on everyone else before any of our gr...

    Read more +
    Go Ahead Tours replied on 6/10/19

    Dear Lani, Thank you for leaving us a review and f...

    Read more +
    Show more reviews

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

    Hotels

    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    Mercure Alameda Quito
    Mercure Alameda Quito

    This contemporary hotel is located in La Mariscal district of Quito. Guests enjoy two restaurants, a wine bar, a fitness center, and free Wi-Fi. Nearb...

    Read more +
    La Casa del Suizo
    La Casa del Suizo

    This modern rustic hotel is located on the Northern banks of the Napo River. Guests enjoy private terraces, an outdoor dining area, and a swimming poo...

    Read more +
    Termas de Papallacta
    Termas de Papallacta

    This unique, rustic spa resort is located in the Andean highlands. Guests enjoy thermal hot springs, a restaurant, and an outdoor pool. Nearby, you’ll...

    Read more +
    Galapagos Legend
    Galapagos Legend

    This boutique cruise ship sails in the waters around the Galápagos Islands. Guests enjoy a pool and jacuzzi, gym, and stargazing area. Nearby, you’ll ...

    Read more +
    Wyndham Guayaquil
    Wyndham Guayaquil

    This contemporary hotel is located near the southeast corner of the Atarazana neighborhood. Guests enjoy a rooftop pool and spa, fitness center, and f...

    Read more +
    Hotel Jose Antonio Lima
    Hotel Jose Antonio Lima

    This contemporary hotel is located in Miraflores. Guests enjoy Wi-Fi, laundry service, and a business center. Nearby, you'll find Miraflores Central P...

    Read more +
    Hotel Jose Antonio Cuzco
    Hotel Jose Antonio Cuzco

    This comfortable hotel is located in Cusco's Main Square. Guests enjoy the sauna, on-site restaurant, and terrace. Nearby you'll find Cusco Cathedral,...

    Read more +
    El MaPi by Inkaterra
    El MaPi by Inkaterra

    This contemporary hotel is located in Aguas Calientes. Guests enjoy Wi-Fi, a bar, and laundry service. Nearby, you'll find Machu Picchu, Phuyupatamarc...

    Read more +

    Flights

    Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
    Add our airfare package and you'll get:
    • Round-trip flight for your tour
    • Airport transfers at your destination
    • A great price locked in today
    • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
    • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
    • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
    • Find out more about flights

    FAQ

    Print FAQ

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