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Ecuador: The Royal Tour tour

Ecuador: The Royal Tour

Adventure Unbound
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
9 days
From: $ 3,440 $ 382 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Explore the tiny island of Baltra
  • The adventure begins with a tour of the Tintoreras, a group of small islands near the Puerto Villamil
  • Discover Galapagos in miniature on the Tintoreras you will see all of the archipelago’s iconic wildlife
  • Explore the Isabela highlands, and we start by hiking up to the crater of the Sierra Negra volcano
  • Visit to rim of the Volcan Chico, views so expansive
  • Enjoy some spectacular views over the central and northern parts of Isabela Island
  • See Santa Cruz Islands
  • Enjoy some swimming or snorkeling in Galapagos paradise

Short Description

Galapagos and Mainland Adventure Tour. On this superlative adventure, you leave the typical cruise-based trip to someone else and authentically experience the islands on a land-based, lodge-to-lodge adventure that tours both the Galápagos Islands and the Amazon rainforest and highlands in the Andes Mountains. On this superlative adventure, you leave the typical cruise-based trip to someone else and authentically experience the islands on a land-based, lodge-to-lodge adventure that tours both the Galápagos Islands and the Amazon rainforest and highlands in the Andes Mountains. You'll stay at beautiful local lodges during your vacation and experience a perfect, shorter alternative to our award winning Galapagos Unbound adventure.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Array
Itinerary Focus N/A
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Quito
End City Quito

Trip Includes

  • Tour leader and local naturalist guides
  • Double accommodation in Hotels
  • Meals detailed in the itinerary above
  • Motor boat transportation
  • Fluvial transportation
  • Kayak equipment
  • Visits
  • Airport transfers
  • Bottled water
  • Tips for carriers and porters

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Itinerary

Day 1:

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: The Lava Lodge

Arrival on Baltra: The tiny island of Baltra was a military base during the Second World War and has been the Galapagos’ principal airport for many years. The good news is that to protect the local environment the airport has been rebuilt, this time using the most advanced environmental techniques to reduce emissions and energy use. This is the first ecological airport in the world.

At the airport you will be met by our expert local guide who will give you useful background information before we transfer to Santa Cruz which involves public transport (no private vehicles permitted) overland to the Itabaca Channel and a short crossing on the public ferry. Now our journey really begins, with a visit to the impressive Los Gemelos craters and a look at the highland Galapagos tortoises.

At mid-day we enjoy a tasty specially prepared boxed lunch en route to the town of Puerto Ayora where our private speed boat will be waiting to take us on a two hour ride to the island of Floreana.

FLOREANA ISLAND

This peaceful island is home to the Galapagos’ smallest population, only 150 people, and is also the least developed and most natural of the four inhabited islands. Once a pirates’ lair, Floreana was the first inhabited island in the Galapagos and descendents of the original population still live here together with the mysterious tales and legends that surround their ancestors.

On Floreana we will be hiking, learning about the fascinating history of the local people, and seeing some of the Galapagos special wildlife (giant tortoises, frigate birds, Darwin's finches, sea lions, and petrels).

We check in at our lodge overlooking the Galapagos’ most beautiful and secluded bay. After that we will walk for 30 minutes towards La Loberia (a sea lion breeding ground) and then for our first marine encounter, snorkeling and swimming in the warm bright water with sea turtles, sea lions, spectacular rays and lots of shimmering fishes

In the afternoon we return to the lodge for a nice warm shower and dinner in the village.

Night Activity (weather permitting): star gazing

Day 2:

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: The Lava Lodge

After breakfast we leave to explore the Floreana highlands on our open-air bus (chiva), an unbeatable, historic, and comfortable way to see the island.

On the way our Naturalist Guide will point out the wildlife and give us an idea of the colorful history of some of Floreana's first inhabitants, such as the Wittmers (whose descendents still live on the Island), the ‘Baroness’, and the pirates that once visited here. They will also tell you about the "Enigma of Floreana", involving the mysterious deaths of several of the Island«s inhabitants, a riddle that has never been solved.After driving into the highlands, we reach Asilo de la Paz (Peace Haven) where our hike begins. We walk up to this historic site, explore pirate caves, and visit the freshwater spring that provides water for the entire Island. Along the way, you can expect to see giant tortoises lumbering around in the vegetation or even on the trail. We leave Asilo de Paz walking down through a rural area where the local people grow produce for their own consumption: this is a fascinating example about how these island people survived in this remote place and over the years were able to develop an understanding of the local environment and now work to preserve their unique agricultural knowledge. Once back on the coast we will be able to watch the extraordinary behavior of the frigate birds who ‘dance’ as they wash their salty wings in the fresh water. With a little bit of luck, we may be able to see males puffing up the red pouches on their chests in an attempt to attract females.

From La Primavera we continue by Chiva down towards Las Palmas, where the Island’s first permanent inhabitant, the eccentric Dr Ritter, lived and is buried. Arriving in 1926, this German physician believed that with a combination of exercise and the right vegetarian diet he would live to be 150 years old. He didn't, but his story is one of the many strange episodes that still abound on the island. On the way we will see spectacular views of the Floreana shoreline, and on arrival sit down to a special BBQ.

In the afternoon, back at the lodge, we do more marine exploration, snorkeling, kayaking and stand up paddling, SUP, our newest water activity. It is lots of fun, so come and learn how to walk on water.

Day 3:

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: La Casa Marita - Isabela

Today we take an early morning speed boat and transfer to Isabela Island where we will check into our hotel.

Our Isabela adventure begins with a tour of the Tintoreras, a group of small islands near the village of Puerto Villamil, that are named after the white tipped ‘Tintoreras’ reef sharks that swim in these calm waters. A Galapagos in miniature on the Tintoreras you will see almost all of the archipelago’s iconic wildlife: white tipped sharks, sea lions, turtles, rays, penguins, and of course pelicans and blue footed boobies. You will have a chance to snorkel in the bay Ð and don’t be surprised if some of the penguins or sea lions jump in to play alongside you in the water.

In the afternoon we walk from our hotel to the local giant tortoise-breeding center and on the way we may catch a glimpse of pink flamingos feeding in a lake. Once at the Center our guides will explain the process of breeding and then releasing into the wild these giant slow moving creatures whose Spanish name (meaning saddle) gave the Islands their present title. The breeding center is an important conservation tool and it is here that the islands’ giant tortoise population is presently recovering.

Day 4:

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: La Casa Marita - Isabela

Volcanic eruptions created all the islands in the Galapagos, and you will get to see this geologic process first-hand as we explore Isabela, one of the youngest and most volcanically-active islands of the archipelago.

We have the whole day to explore the Isabela highlands, and we start by hiking up to the crater of the Sierra Negra volcano, and then to the rim of the Volcan Chico. This fascinating walk usually begins with some morning fog and drizzle which sometimes persists in the shadow of the volcano, adding to its mysterious character. But when we reach the rim of the Sierra Negra crater, the second largest in the world after the Ngorongoro in Tanzania, you will see why it has been worthwhile. The crater is so large, and the views so expansive, that photos don’t even do it justice, but you should bring your binoculars and camera anyway!

Later, as we head towards Volcan Chico, you may get the feeling you are walking on Mars, but while the landscape appears desolate, a closer look reveals small lizards, scurrying about amongst the rocks.

After Volcan Chico under the shade of a lovely jaboncillo tree we enjoy a well prepared picnic lunch with the chance to enjoy some spectacular views over the central and northern parts of Isabela Island. In the distance, you will be able to see Fernandina, Pinzon and Santa Cruz Islands. We then head back down to complete our day of hiking (16 km in total) and relax on the beaches of Puerto Villamil.

Day 5:

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: La Casa Marita - Isabela

This morning we leave from the Villamil dock and the white sandy beaches of Isabela and paddle to Island Bay. En route we will be looking for turtles, rays, penguins, and blue-footed boobies; sea lions will probably paddle along with us as well. After watching the wildlife in the Bay, we will paddle back to the Villamil dock.

In the afternoon, we bike the Wetlands Trail where we can see marine iguana colonies and a number of different types of mangroves trees (all four can be seen here) as well as enjoying the network of trails, beaches and historic sites. At the end of the trail is the Wall of Tears, built in the late 1940’s by Second World War prisoners held at the US base on the islands. Our guide will explain the importance of the Wall of Tears, giving us a glimpse into the lives of the island’s previous inhabitants. On this network of trails you will catch some beautiful views of the village below and we will have the chance to see birds and, with luck, some wild giant tortoises.

We stop at the local swimming hole where you can take a refreshing dip. When we get back to town, there will be time to relax and enjoy some swimming or snorkeling in our Galapagos paradise or if you prefer to just sit on the beach and relax.

Day 6:

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Angermeyer Waterfront Inn - Santa Cruz

Today we start early, catching our speedboat in the morning and heading to Santa Cruz Island. From May to November, a flight is recommended rather than transfer by speedboat due to the possibility of rough seas.

When we arrive at Santa Cruz, we will enjoy a hearty breakfast close to the docks before heading up to the highlands for a busy day of multi-sport activities.

We drive to an off-the-beaten-path area of Santa Cruz Island, and when we reach a high point on the road we switch to mountain bikes for a long downhill glide on freshly paved roads to Garrapatero Beach. On the ride, we will pass small farms and enjoy views of the ocean and the distant islands.

Once we are on the beach at Garrapatero we may see a few local families, but few, if any, tourists. We will paddle the bay in sit-on-top sea kayaks, enjoying our last day on the water in the Galapagos, while looking for sharks, rays, turtles, and sea birds. Later we will have a specially prepared lunch before heading back to Puerto Ayora and our next adventure.

Once back in the town, you will have the option of staying and shopping for souvenirs, or (if time allows) walking the 3 km boardwalk to Tortuga Bay, and checking out one of the largest and most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos. At Tortuga Bay you can walk on the beach, swim, or even snorkel a bit more.

Tonight we stay in Santa Cruz’ largest town, the small picturesque port of Puerto Ayora. Although it has the largest population in the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora is still a small, intimate place where you will find friendly local bars, shops, and restaurants, as well as places to stroll along the water's edge. There is everything you need for a mellow night in the Galapagos.

Day 7:

After a morning visit to the Charles Darwin Research Center, we transfer to Baltra for our return flight back to mainland Ecuador. This is the point of the trip where you choose which extension you'd like to embark on. Each extension is built into a fully guided tour after we plan which activities you'd prefer. See your options below: Finish your tour and head on home (the least fun option).

Availability

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Price From $ 3,440
Price Per Day: $ 382 per day
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7 Adventure Unbound Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
5.0 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 7
Great 0
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
5.0
Guide
5.0
Activities
5.0
Lodging
5.0
Transportation
5.0
Meals
5.0

Ecuador: The Royal Tour

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They are just great!!!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
They are just great!!!
They have a no-nonsense ambience.
The Dormitory is adequate, very clean and comfortable.
The food was very tasty, homely and had a good variety.
The activities catered to our satisfaction. They are provided with lots of patience. Every staff member is so friendly and they ensure that you enjoy the outing.
We were a family with people from all are groups. They took care of every individual needs. Our aged mother was made very comfortable, and they arranged a chair for her at every activity area.
We spent almost two days and one night. And we enjoyed every moment.
If one is looking for a good outing, this is the place. Total value for money. Above all it's the passion of the staff that makes them better than most places around Bangalore.
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The hygiene and quality of food served was par excellence.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Just a couple of weeks ago, our team had been to ‘Eagles Unbound Adventure Camp’ for a team outing. It was one of the best outings that we have had and a lot of credit goes to Mr. Sunil Chris for being the perfect host. He and his team had ensured that every minute detail was taken into consideration and delivered as promised. The fact that the organizers were able to feel the pulse of our team and plan activities accordingly had built the right tone for team bonding. The hygiene and quality of food served was par excellence. I would recommend ‘Eagles Unbound’ to anyone planning a team outing.
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Wonderful place for day outing and adventure activities

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Wonderful place for day outing and adventure activities , and learning for personality development and come out from inner fear of adventure
good work keep it up ...
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amazing adventure activities and friendly staff.

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Great place to have a refreshing day with friends, family and co-workers.
amazing adventure activities and friendly staff. Food is nice too. They also have a great variety of adventure packages.
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A wonderful destination for camping and adventure activities

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A wonderful destination for camping and adventure activities in South India. well qualified instructors and world class equipments. safety and security is their prime concern.
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Amazing place with lots of adventures activities

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Amazing place with lots of adventures activities combined with military activities like obstacle course.. A must place to visit... Loved being there.. Worth the penny
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Cancellation Policy:

CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS

If you find it necessary to cancel your trip, you should notify Adventure Unbound in writing, by e-mail or fax immediately.  If written cancellation is received (call to verify) before the final balance is due, you will be given a refund less the amount of the deposit.  Deposits are not refundable.  If cancellations are made on or after the final due date, no money will be refunded.  If you are unable to go on the trip, you are welcome to find a replacement for yourself.  Please understand that once you’ve signed up, we lose the right to sell your reserved space to other individuals or groups.  Therefore, we regret that we cannot make exceptions for personal emergencies.  For this reason we strongly recommend you consider purchasing the Travel Protection Plan we offer.

For non USA-based trips, Adventure Unbound must make substantial payments to its suppliers (hotels, transportation companies, etc.) far in advance of the trip departure date.  If Adventure Unbound cancels any tour, trip or expedition due to acts of insurrection, force majeure, strikes, popular demonstrations, acts of God, earthquake, flooding, or any cause beyond its control, Adventure Unbound will refund the portion of the trip cost not already advanced to suppliers and use its best efforts to recover and refund the balance as promptly as possible.

If we are not able to provide a substitute trip, river, or altered itinerary and have to cancel the departure completely, you will be refunded in full. Refunds are limited to the amount actually paid to Adventure Unbound.

CANCELLATIONS FOR EXTENSIONS

There is a $100 per person non-refundable cancellation fee for all extensions.  Cancellations must be received no later than 60 days prior to departure to avoid additional penalties.  Cancellations made 59-30 days prior to departure incur a cancellation fee of 50% of the total fare.  Cancellations made 29-0 days prior to departure forfeit all fees paid.  For groups of 10 or more, cancellations must be received no later than 120 days prior to departure.  Cancellations made between 119-60 days incur a cancellation fee of 25% of the total fare.

Age Notes

Min. Age: 12

Additional Information:

Where are the Galapagos Islands located?

The Galapagos Islands (or Archipelago de Colon)are a Province of Ecuador located about 500 miles (800 kilometers) west of the Ecuadorian coast and are located directly on the equator.

When is the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands?

Whenever your schedule allows! Because it’s on the equator, air temperatures don’t change a lot. However water temperature does fluctuate as much as ten degrees during the year. The cooler Humboldt Current comes up from Antarctica from May to September/October and the sea is cooler and tends to be rougher at this time of year. Cooler water temperatures mean you generally see more sea life because there is more food for the animals that depend on the planktons and other sea nourishment. From November to April, the cooler Panama Current flows from the north and brings warmer water. The sea tends to be calmer at this time of year. If you’re going on our land-based tour then rough water is less of a concern. If you’re doing a cruise, and you are prone to seasickness, you might want to consider coming in the November to April time frame.

What is the best way to get to the Galapagos Islands?

From the U.S. and Canada there are daily flights via Houston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York and Miami, to both Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador. If you are short on time flying directly to and from Guayaquil may save you time as our Galapagos Unbound trip begins in Guayaquil.

Trip ID#:

EcuTheAdv

Trip Excludes

  • International flight to/from Quito or Guayaquil
  • Tips for guides and staff
  • International Airport Tax (will be included in your international ticket)
  • Beverages (one non alcoholic drink is included per meal, but extra beverages are not included)
  • Insurance of any type
  • Personal expenses
  • Cost of hospitalization and evacuation if necessary
  • Flight Guayaquil -  Galapagos – Quito ($550)
  • Galapagos entrance fees and immigration tax ($120 per person)

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