Day 1: Arrival to Guayaquil
AM OR PM
Set along the chocolate-brown Guayas River on the flat coastal plains of Ecuador is the city of Guayaquil.
Guayaquil's restoration efforts are impressive and the overall change in the city of the last decade has created a lovely and welcoming city worthy of spending an extra day exploring the mix of traditional and modern that gives Guayaquil a flavor of its own.
Transfer in to Oro Verde Hotel or similar
Day 2: Guayaquil Full City Tour
Breakfast at the hotel.
The visit of the city will start at Centennial Park on 9 de Octubre Avenue. Continue along this avenue to see how the city has been renovated, past the first fire station, the Masonic temple and some buildings from the beginning of the 20th century.
Opposite the Cathedral you can go into Seminario Park, also known as Iguana Park, which is famous for its iguanas lounging in the sunshine. Our next stop will be at the Southern Market at Malecon 2000, to visit Integration Plaza and the artisan market, the Union Club and the first fort in Guayaquil, where a statue of Jose Joaquin de Olmedo (first mayor of Guayaquil ) stands in front of the Guayas River.
The tour continues along Malecon Simon Bolivar to our next stop: Civic Plaza, where you can visit the Moorish Tower, City Hall and the Rotonda monument.
Continue by car to Las Peñas, the old neighborhood where the city was born, located at the foot of Santa Ana Hill.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.
Afterwards continue to Guayaquil's Historical Park, a project aimed at recapturing the culture and traditions of the coastal area.
The park has three areas: the wildlife area that is home to animals such as deer, tapirs, monkeys and wild cats; the urban zone that offers a reconstruction of life in Guayaquil during the 19th and early 20th centuries; and the traditional area that features gardens, a farmhouse, a handicraft center and rural architecture.
Transfer to the hotel.
Day 3: The Countryside Farms, departure to Salinas Beach
Breakfast at the Hotel.
A visit to learn more about Ecuador and its people that have been involved in cacao for more than 400 years. Nowadays, the cocoa bean continues to influence the lifestyle of thousands of Ecuadorians.
We will travel through the countryside of the coastal region discovering the secrets of cocoa and banana plantations, from the harvest to the exportation process.
We will stop for a country style lunch, where you can taste the typical food of the region.
We will drive around 2 hours, to reach the city of Salinas
Transfer in to hotel.
Day 4: Beach Day Punta Carnero - Anconcito
Breakfast at the hotel.
Enjoy and relax the beach.
Lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy famous Ecuadorian seafood or international menu available also.
We will drive to Punta Carnero and Anconcito, where you will observe birds and pink flamingos.
Great place for pictures.
Return to the hotel.
Day 5: Salinas - Guayaquil - Santa Cruz
Transfer to Guayaquil and airport in order to take the flight to Galapagos
Arrival to the Galapagos. Ferry crossing to Santa Cruz Island (10min.ride).
(Ask for private transfers details)
Check in at Aventura Lodge.
Luch at the lodge.
After Lunch, snorkel with Sea Lions, Sting Rays and Baby Reef Sharks in the shallow, emerald waters of Tortuga Bay, then witness the nesting site of the famous Marine Iguanas.
(Ask for Le Carte Dinner special price for our tour guests)
Day 6: Santa Cruz - Floreana
Breakfast at the lodge.
Depart to Tortoise Quest Tour. This tour begins with a trip to the lavish, lush green "Los Gemelos" (The Twins), two enormous collapsed lava chambers - an awe-inspiring visual reminder of the power of nature.
Afterwards, we visit a 600-acre private reserve where the giant Galapagos tortoises freely roam, graze and sleep.
After visiting the tortoises, we'll take a 5-minute ride to the entrance of a 450 meter (1350 feet) illuminated lava tunnel. Stalagmites, stalactites, sulfur and mineral colored walls all await you on this uniquely Galapagos experience.
Return to Aventura Lodge for Lunch.
Around 2:00 PM departure for Floreana. Sailing time is 1.5 - 2 hours.
Arriving on the dock, be greeted by amazing ruby red and turquoise colored Floreana marine iguanas.
Visit black Beach to enjoy swimming and snorkeling on the crystalline waters of this rare and beautiful place in earth.
Check in Floreana Lodge
Dinner at a local family restaurant, enjoy interacting with locals and listen to what they have to say about the mysteries of the island and the human history of this place.
Day 7: Floreana - Isabela
Breakfast at the local restaurant.
Departure in open-air bus that will transport you to the highlands of Floreana. Walk up to see the Asilo de la Paz (Peace Asylum) where an artisan spring that attracted pirates, whalers and later settlers to Floreana is located. See the Cueva de los Piratas (Pirate's Cave) where pirates carved temporary shelter out of the soft stone.
Cerro Pajas (Bird Hill) truly lives up to its name with a multitude of Floreana Finches. Visit a tortoise reserve where you can watch many of the giant tortoises up close and personal.
Around 11:00 AM departure to Isabela. Sailing time is 1.5 - 2 hours.
Arriving at Isablea port is a visual feast with stunning green and turquoise waters so clear, you can see sea turtles, sea lions and penguins as though looking through glass.
Check-in Isabela Lodge, lunch.
Around 2:30 PM departure to Las Tintoreras and Bay Tour.
Walk through a jagged 'AA' lava field, passing abundant colonies of marine iguanas, to see a small canal full of resting white-tipped reef sharks.
The black, treacherous lava field, the emerald green sea, the forest green mangrove and the cloud capped volcanoes of Isla Isabela is the sort of afternoon backdrop you will not soon forget.
Once you return to the dock, you can snorkel this warm, shallow bay surrounded by mangrove, for an opportunity to see white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, penguins and relax.
Dinner at the lodge.
Day 8: Isabela - Santa Cruz
Breakfast at the lodge.
After breakfast ride through town enjoying the simplicity of this traditional island and search for the Flamingo spots. Visit the Galapagos National Park Isabela Breeding Station where you will be able to know the different species of Galapagos tortoises, the growing process from the newborns up to the centenary individuals found on this statiosn.
Hike along a beautiful boardwalk for about 45 minutes enjoying part of the Isabela wetlands, with high opportunities to see flamingos and other stunning birds.
Before returning to the lodge, visit the well known Playa del Amor (Love Beach) and enjoy the magical feeling of this organic sand beach surrounded by mangroves.
Back to the lodge for lunch.
Arrive in Puerto Ayora 12:30-1:00 PM.
Check in Aventura Lodge and Lunch.
Around 3:00 PM depart for guided tour of the fascinating Charles Darwin Research Station.
After the Darwin Station, there will be some free time to shop for souvenirs or browse the shops along Charles Darwin Avenue.
Dinner 7:00 PM at the Aventura Lodge.
Day 9: Santa Cruz - Guayaquil - Cuenca
After Breakfast depart for airport 3 hours before flight.
Transport and guide from the hotel all the way to your airport gate.
Connecting flight from Guayaquil to Cuenca.
Arrival to Cuenca, transfer to Hotel Santa Lucia. Santa Lucia is a hotel unique unto itself in that it is actually one of Cuenca Ecuador's most historic antique buildings. Not only that but it is located in the Old Town district of Cuenca which is a living museum itself. Newly renovated with all modern conveniences, the Santa Lucia hotel is a gem in Cuenca's antique building collection.
Depart to one of the most important viewing-points of the City where you will be able to enjoy an exquisite dinner full of traditional flavors and a special folkloric show that will let you taste our Andean culture.
After dinner, transfer to the hotel.
Day 10: Cuenca City Tour
After breakfast depart to a visit to the old town will take us through magnificent churches, beautiful old buildings with wrought iron balconies and carved wooden doors.
Cuenca, with its colonial style and pleasant atmosphere, offers a memorable experience to its visitors. We will also ride along the Tomebamba River, while admiring the ancient houses perched on the river bank above. We will drive through some modern neighborhoods and enjoy a day panoramic view of the city from Turi.
Lunch at a Local restaurant.
Free afternoon to explore more of Cuenca in our own.
Overnight at Hotel Santa Lucia
Day 11: Ingapirca
Breakfast at the hotel.
After an hour and a half along the Pan-American Highway enjoying amazing countryside Andean landscapes, we reach the most important and well-preserved Inca complex in the country, Ingapirca, which was originally a worshipping temple for the sun. Here we do an easy walk around the ruins and visit the site museum.
Additionally, depending on the day of the week, we also visit picturesque Cañari Indian markets observing their traditional colorful customs, local artisans, beautiful churches and/or other highlights found on the way.
Lunch is included in a local restaurant.
Back to Cuenca.
Transfer to the Airport to take the flight to Guayaquil.
Transfer in from Airport to Oro Verde Hotel or similar.
Day 12: End of Services
Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer out to Airport. End of Services.