Galapagos Land Safari and Amazon Cultural Immersion

Ecuador boasts history, fascinating indigenous cultures, slow winding rivers and lush tropical forests, as well as some of the most exciting wildlife on earth. Your journey will explore the incredible Galapagos Islands and the enchanting Amazon rainforest. The Amazon offers more than just exciting wildlife. During this journey visitors are given a unique opportunity to share time with people from ancient Amazon forest cultures: the Huaorani, the Secoya and other native people that share and preserve this globally important ecosystem. Here you will see this special world through the eyes of the people that live here, and learn what it means to have the rainforest as a home and have to fight to preserve it. This custom itinerary effectively condenses the perfect blend of Ecuador's exotic culture and environment into a 10 day trip you'll never forget!

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Quito

Arrival at Quito, the Capital of Ecuador. Our travel leaders will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. A brief get-together, orientation talk and discussion will follow over beverages and light snacks.

Overnight: Anahi Boutique Hotel

Day 2 - Quito - Isabella

Leaving Quito in the morning we arrive on the island of Baltra and transfer for a short flight to Isabela, passing over the spectacular Galapagos marine scenery. Once at our destination we will pay a visit to the breeding centre where the Islands’ giant tortoise population is presently recovering. Expert 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.

Overnight: Isabella Hotel

Day 3 - Volcan Chico

We start the day by visiting el Cura and then move on to El Mango with their stunning views of the southern part of Isabela. The walk then takes us up to the spectacular crater of the Sierra Negra, the second largest in the world and then on to Volcán Chico (little volcano) at the eastern rim of the crater.

At Volcán Chico you can see in miniature the process that formed the Galapagos. Two recent eruptions have laid bare the geology of the islands: massive lava flows, small cones and miniature tunnels can all be easily viewed and explored. Here you will be able to picnic on the top of the volcano and enjoy truly spectacular views over the central and northern parts of Isabela, as well as Fernandina, Pinzón and Santa Cruz Islands.

Overnight: Isabella Hotel

Day 4 - Tintoreras

Today we will visit will take a short tour of the small islands of Tintoreras, a Galapagos in miniature. Here we can see white tipped sharks at rest, plus sea lions, turtles, rays and penguins. You will also have the chance to snorkel in the bay.

In the afternoon we walk the Wetlands Trail through the mangroves (all four types can be seen here) and marine iguana colonies while 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 island

Overnight: Isabella Hotel

Day 5 - Isabella - Quito

Today we say goodbye to Isabela and fly over the spectacular island scenery once more to Baltra where we board our return flight to Quito.

Overnight: Anahi Boutique Hotel

Day 6 - Quito - Amazon Rainforest

Getting to the Huaorani’s world is part of the experience. We drive from Quito to the town of Shell, passing through the spectacular ‘Avenida de los Volcanes’ where you will be able to see some of the most magnificent scenery Ecuador has to offer. In Shell, a town named after the oil company, we board a small plane, flying for 35 minutes to Quehueri ´ono over spectacular rainforest panoramas. A dug- out canoe will then take us to the Lodge where, after settling in, you will get your first taste of the Amazon, and explore one of the short forest trails close to the Lodge.

Overnight: Huaorani Ecolodge (Lunch and Dinner included)

Day 7 - Amazon Rainforest

This is the day we get a chance to know the people of the Huaorani Community of Quehueri’ono. You will be able to join them in some of their daily activities and have a chance to share some of their history, myths and magic. Later, in the warmth of the evening we will relax in the company of the sounds of the Amazon rainforest.

Overnight: Huaorani Ecolodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

Day 8 - Amazon Rainforest

On the Hunting Trail. Accompanied by our guide and a member of the community equipped with lance and blow pipe, we explore the ways of the forest and the animals, entering the world the Huaorani share with them. You will be able to try your hand (or mouth) at the blow pipe and get to know more about this marvellous world that is now threatened by oil fields and palm plantations.

Overnight: Huaorani Ecolodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

Day 9 - Amazon Rainforest

A visit to the community of Nenkepare and a hike to a stunning waterfall are on the agenda. One of the highlights of the day is the early morning departure in dugout canoe or kayaking, poling silently as the sun begins to rise and the mist dissipates on the Shiripuno River. This is a chance to see forest animals that are often active at this hour. We will camp overnight at Nenkepare in comfortable, fully serviced tents and relax alongside the river listening to the forest chorus.

Overnight: Nenkepare Campsite (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included)

Day 10 - Amazon Rainforest - Quito

Leaving our fully serviced campsite in Nenkepare, we travel on the Via Auca to the town of Coca (the formal name is Puerto Francisco de Orellana after the Spanish conquistador/explorer) where we will board the flight back to Quito. The journey will be revealing. The road was constructed by Texaco in the nineteen seventies as a way to access the oil fields and as we move along its eroded surface we will experience what the oil industry brochures don’t show, and appreciate why the Ecolodge is so important to the rainforest , the Huaorani and their way of life.

Overnight: Anahi Boutique Hotel

Accommodation Information

Anahi Boutique Hotel

Anahi Boutique Hotel in Quito is a charming and stylish boutique hotel, guided by the prestige value of traditional hospitality service, catering to the most discerning travelers. It is modern and stylish yet distinctively Ecuadorian at the same time.

Isabella Hotel

Accommodation is in a range of special locally owned hotels that we choose depending on availability. All are comfortable, pretty, clean, en suite, beachfront in the village of Puerto Villamil

Huaorani Ecolodge

Huaorani Ecolodge is an intimate, harmonious and environmentally sustainable stay in the Amazon rainforest. It is a way to share time with the Huaorani and experience the richness of their natural environment, while creating the least possible impact on the surroundings.

The Ecolodge provides accommodation for a maximum of ten people housed in five comfortable, traditionally built, palm thatched cabins. All cabins are fully meshed to keep you safe from biting insects, and are spaced to provide privacy and a chance to enjoy the sounds of the balmy Amazon nights.

The restaurant provides nutritionally balanced meals, hygienically prepared with care and artistry by the local chefs. Locally grown produce is used wherever possible. Fruit, tea and coffee are always on hand and a bar is available for beer, wine and soft drinks. Locally made handicrafts and souvenirs can be bought from the community shop.

Related Travel Stories

Like This Trip? Please Share
Adventure Trips Home » South America » Ecuador Adventure Trips » Galapagos Land Safari and Amazon Cultural Immersion