12 DAYS $8,999per person
12 days/11 nights
Private tour for a group of 12 food lovers including Guayaquil, a Luxury Charter in the Galapagos followed by an Eco Luxury Galapagos Resort, as well as a taste of Otavalo and Quito with 5 star accommodations and culinary delights throughout.
Day 1 Friday
Arrival to Guayaquil, Ecuador (D)
Take your international flight to Guayaquil. Upon arrival, reception by your tour leader and guide. Private 5 minute transfer to your hotel, and meet the group for our first dinner together. Sated Ventures welcomes you to Ecuador!
Day 2 Saturday
Flight to the Galapagos and board private charter (B, L, D)
After breakfast, our private driver will take us back to the airport. Assistance with check in and Galapagos processing. All ID cards and entrance fees will be prepaid for the group. Take a 2.5 hour flight to the islands, and then our adventure begins! Upon arrival, we travel by bus and boat to the cruise port, where our private charter awaits.
Welcome aboard the M/T Camila! The guide and crew will greet you and show you to your accommodations upon your arrival. Afterwards, short briefing and lunch before we begin our first Galapagos stop. All meals during the cruise will be taken onboard. The best way to see the Galapagos Islands is on board a luxury cruise, and the newly built Camila is a proud addition to the Galapagos. Guests travel in comfort to the different islands, where they have up-close encounters with wildlife. The Camila is elegant and swift. A motorized trimaran, the Camila is designed for comfort and stability and is outfitted with spacious cabins, a comfortable lounge, and Jacuzzi. On the Camila, we emphasize the remarkable Natural History of Galapagos, selecting guides who are knowledgeable about biology and ecology in addition to having excellent language skills and client reviews. Private balconies, kayaks, stand up paddleboards, jacuzzi on board, and lots of space for guests to enjoy.
Afternoon excursion: San Cristobal - Lobos Island/Kicker Rock
Lobos Island is aptly named after the many sea lions that reside here resting and playing along the rocky shores. It is also home to many different birds like pelicans, frigate birds and their nests, yellow warblers and more. Within the small channel the waters are very clear, making it easy to find sea turtles, sea lions, stingrays and perhaps even whitetipped sharks.
Activities: Short hiking, swimming and snorkeling.
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, various shorebirds, sally lightfoot crabs, frigate birds.
Day 3 Sunday
Galapagos Islands Private Charter (B, L, D)
Morning excursion: San Cristobal - Pitt Point
When arriving to Pitt Point, it will feel almost like you’ve landed on an extraterrestrial planet. You can see the many different developments over time of how volcanic activity formed this island. A hike up to the top beholds amazing views of the surrounding waters. Watch out for blue-footed boobie nests on the ground and keep an eye out for the redfooted boobies nesting in the trees once you reach the top of the island.
Activities: Hiking and kayaking.
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, various shorebirds, sally lightfoot crabs, Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, red-footed boobies.
Afternoon excursion: San Cristobal - Witch Hill
Passing by on a panga your guide and crew will show you amazing rock formations formed by the passing of time and erosion of the sea. You’ll finally arrive to a beautiful white sandy beach to spend the time swimming or basking in the sun. Frolic with sea lions who may swim by playfully or take a walk down the entire beach and back.
Activities: Panga ride, swimming and snorkeling.
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, various shorebirds, sally lightfoot crabs.
Day 4 Monday
Galapagos Islands Private Charter (B, L, D)
Morning excursion: Española - Suarez Point
This is the only nesting site in Galapagos where the Waved Albatross nests. They come back only once a year to meet the same mate, year after year. They spend the rest of the year at sea. Apart from these amazing birds are the Galapagos Hawks that can be seen and the amazing formations and blow hole on the other side of the island, reached by a hike.
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, marine iguanas, Galapagos hawk, waved albatross, redbilled tropic birds, various shorebirds, sally lightfoot crabs.
Afternoon excursion: Española - Gardner Bay / Osborn Islet
Gardner Bay is an excellent place to see sea lions lounging on the beach while mockingbirds get up close to see if they can steal water or crumbs. Over time, the mockingbird must have been offered water or food from tourists and now they have no fear of walking on your things or landing very close to you. It is so important not to feed or touch the animals. It can disrupt their normal behaviors and threaten their future.
Activities: Walking on the beach and swimming.
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, various shorebirds, mockingbirds, stingrays, sea turtles.
Day 5 Tuesday
Galapagos Islands private highlands tour (B, L, D)
Morning excursion: Santa Cruz - Bachas Beach Bachas beach has beautiful green and blue waters that contrast along the surf of the black lava shores. In the air various shore birds fly searching for food. On the shore you can explore the sand dunes and find a salt water lagoon with greater pink flamingos.
Activities: Walking on the beach and swimming.
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, various shorebirds, mockingbirds, sea turtles, flamingos.
After the excursion, return to the charter to check out and say goodbye to the crew. Private transfer from the port to the highlands of Santa Cruz. Our first stop, the Twin Craters. These two impressive craters were formed by collapsed magma domes and are now covered in thick forests of the endemic Scalesia trees. Great chance to observe the famous Darwin’s finches of Galapagos.
We then continue on to visit a local farm where we can encounter wild Galapagos Giant Tortoises in their natural habitat. Learn more about these intriguing and ancient beasts. Here we can also experience another geological formation of the Galapagos, with a visit to the lava tunnels found in this region, created by volcanic activity. Enjoy the exuberant endemic vegetation found in this humid zone of the highlands.
Lunch included in a local farm restaurant in the highlands.
After lunch, we visit a local coffee plantation to find out more about the process of growing and brewing Galapagos coffee - and a tasting. Then we head into the village and check into our waterfront hotel.
Welcome to our Galapagos Habitat Eco Luxury Hotel, an exclusive ecological experience. Our iconic hotel is situated right on the waterfront — surrounded by both Galapagos wildlife and mangroves that give a delightful sense of seclusion in the town of Puerto Ayora.
Day 6 Wednesday
Galapagos Islands private tour (B, L)
This morning we will visit the beautiful Tortuga Bay. The trail to the beach is 2.5km long and takes around 40 minutes to walk, at a good pace. The trail brings us directly to Playa Brava, a beautifully long beach of over 1km in length with fine, white sands. A perfect spot for surfing, but not safe for swimming. Tortuga Bay is divided into two beaches, at the end of Playa Brava there is a small peninsula. A trail crosses the peninsula, through a nesting area of marine iguanas, and brings us onto Playa Mansa. A beautiful bay perfect for swimming, snorkeling and kayaking. Here we can explore the marine fauna of the mangrove ecosystems. We return to Puerto Ayora by local speed boat. Lunch in a restaurant in town.
This afternoon we visit Las Grietas & Playa Aleman. From the Puerto Ayora dock we will take a 3 minute aqua-taxi ride to the public dock on the other side. There is a clearly-marked trail that leads us lead to the Alemanes beach after about five minutes. It is a bay where you can enjoy the fauna and flora of the island and snorkel. To get to Las Grietas, we follow the trail that leads off from the beach. The trail is along volcanic stones, so close-toed shoes are recommended to avoid accidents. Las Grietas is a volcanic formation which was created by the displacement of lava during volcanic eruptions. This has formed a steep cliffed gorge where a natural pool of fresh water enters from the highlands through groundwater seepage and meets the sea. A great place to swim and snorkel. Return to hotel and explore the village tonight for dinner on your own.
Day 7 Thursday
Flight to Quito and transfer to Hacienda Zuleta (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we travel back to the airport by boat and bus to take our 2.5 hour flight back to the mainland. Upon landing in Quito airport, reception and private transfer to the mountains. After an hour, we arrive to the magic of Hacienda Zuleta, where a beautiful lunch will be arranged for us in the organic garden - a traditional oven at our disposal to create our own pizzas with the local chef - open to participation or simply sit back and enjoy the scenery. Rest, unwind, and enjoy dinner tonight.
Hacienda Zuleta is a family owned, 2,000 hectares real estate with colonial buildings dating back to 1691. Situated within a tranquil and fertile valley between Cayambe and Ibarra, you will have the impression that you have travelled back in time. The expansive Hacienda Zuleta grounds include a working dairy farm, cheese factory, trout farm, horse stables and an beautiful organic vegetable garden where most of our food comes from. We also manage an Andean Condor Rescue Center and the Hacienda is surrounded by three beautiful Andean communities.
Day 8 Friday
Otavalo & Villages Exploration with Zuleta (B,L, D)
A beautiful breakfast awaits us before we set off to the largest indigenous market in South America. With our guide, we will explore the market and learn more about the industrious people of the Andes. The traditional local market is full of a variety of aromas and colours – try some of the local fruits, vegetables and spices. Later we visit the handicraft market, where many different indigenous people, with their unique traditional dress and customs, from all across Ecuador, sell their artisan products and wares.
After the market, we stop to enjoy the wonderful views of the San Pablo Lake at the base of the Imbabaura Volcano before we continue on to Peguche. Here we can visit a master weaver’s home and learn more about the traditional art of back-strap weaving, and also visit a family of Andean musicians who elaborate their musical instruments by hand and happily share their music with us. Lunch arranged for us while we are out in the countryside, perhaps in a local establishment, or a picnic overlooking the ancient tolas, pyramids of Ecuador.
In the afternoon, return to Zuleta and rest. Cheese tasting will take place today, as well as for those who want to participate, enjoy an empanada making class with the local chef. Dinner included.
Day 9 Saturday
Transfer to Quito and private tour (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we travel to the city of eternal spring, Quito! On the way, we visit the Middle the of World site. This is where the equator line crosses Ecuador – have a chance to stand with one foot in the northern hemisphere and one foot in the southern hemisphere! We visit the Quitsato Museum, a giant sun dial which is located exactly on the Equator line. Here our traditional thinking about the Earth is challenged through revolutionary theories proposed by the museum. In the museum’s agave garden we can learn more about this fascinating plant and the how it is used locally to produce delicious syrups and tequila. We then continue on to the town of Cayambe to see the local bakers at work and sample their bizcochos, a delicate savoury biscuit, served with coffee and fresh cheese or dulce de leche.
Lunch included in El Crater restaurant over-looking the Pululahua Crater. This afternoon we arrive to Quito. Before checking into the hotel, a visit to el Panecillo, the statue of the Virgin of Quito, offers us wonderful panoramic views across Quito’s historical centre. Check in and enjoy traditional tea time at the hotel. Then dinner.
Day 10 Sunday
Cotopaxi Volcano National Park Private Tour (B,L)
After breakfast, we meet again to travel south of the city to the Cotopaxi region. We drive down the avenue of the volcanoes, passing indigenous villages and markets on the way - depending on activity, we can stop for a taste of local fruit or other delicatessies. On arrival in the local hacienda, we are fitted out in chaps, ponchos and helmets before getting acquainted with our horses. A calm horse ride through the beautiful & stark paramo scenery takes us onto the foothills of the Rumiñahui Volcano, with panoramic views of Cotopoaxi, Pasochoa & Sincholagua Volcanos. Then a typical Ecuadorian lunch in a local mountain lodge.
After lunch we can continue on to the Cotopaxi National Park where we explore on foot with an easy walk around the Limpiopungo Lake in the ever-present shadow of one of the world’s highest active volcanoes – the perfectly cone shaped, snow-capped Cotopaxi. Besides the immense and interesting geological features created by the volcano’s past eruptions, we are on the look-out for paramo wildlife including wild ponies, white tailed deer, Andean fox and the endangered Andean Condor. We return to Quito in the afternoon with plenty of time to rest, have tea time, and find a wonderful place for dinner on your own tonight.
Day 11 Monday
Quito Private Tour (B, D)
Day to sleep in and enjoy the morning on your own. Tickets to the Guayasamin museum included for those who want to explore this national treasure.
This afternoon, meet us for a walking tour of Quito. We visit the old town of Quito beginning at the neo-Gothic Basilica with its unique gargoyles and vertigo challenging towers. In Independence Square we discover the cathedral and government palace with its colorful guards. The square, known as “Plaza Grande”, is an informal meeting place for the older generations of Quito. They congregate here daily to sit, relax, watch the world go by and catch up with friends. Walking a short distance, we come to the impressive La Compania de Jesus Church, with its intricate stone carved façade and incredible gold-leafed interiors. We include a visit inside the church which is classed amongst the most spectacular of all of South America, so not to be missed.
We then continue on to the nearby San Francisco Plaza, an area of the old town with an authentic indigenous ambience. As we wander the streets of Quito we will see many delicious treats on offer such as espumilla (meringue cream served in a cone) and empanadas (baked pastries filled with chicken or cheese). We can stop at a local sweet stall to sample the traditional Quiteñan candies, an authentic bakery to taste the sweet and savoury “quesadillas” and an ice cream parlour where we can experience the elaboration of hand made “helado de Paila”. A farewell dinner arranged tonight for the group.
Day 12 Tuesday
Flight Home (B)
After your last Andean breakfast at the hotel, check out and enjoy a 1 hour private transfer to the Quito airport for your international flight home. Assistance with luggage and airport customs included. Safe travels!
PRICING AND DETAILS:
Round trip flights from mainland Ecuador to Galapagos; all airport and land transfers, English speaking guide throughout, accommodation as specified, meals as specified (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner), entrance fees to visitor sites specified.
1 night Guayaquil, 5 star Wyndham Airport Hotel, double rooms
3 nights Galapagos Cruise, Luxury private charter Camila Trimaran, double cabins
2 nights Galapagos Hotel, 5 star Habitat Eco Luxury Hotel, double superior rooms
2 nights Otavalo, first class Hacienda Zuleta, double deluxe rooms
3 nights Quito, Luxury Casa Gangotena Hotel, double luxury rooms
Price does not include:
International flights, meals not specified, alcoholic drinks, mandatory travel insurance, personal expenses, and tips.
Requirements to enter Ecuador & Galapagos:
Passport valid for minimum 6 months on the day of departure
Covid19 Vaccination Certificate OR Negative Covid19 Test Result less than 72 hours old
Travel Health Insurance
25% non refundable deposit ($2,250) per person is required at booking
Balance due 90 days prior to departure
International airfare is not included, however Sated ventures offers assistance with all flights