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Andes, Amazon and Galapagos

Amazon, Andes and Galapagos

29th April – 14th May 2011

Summary of Trip

  • Galapagos and the Amazon two of the worlds top wildlife destinations
  • Specially chartered private yacht in the Galapagos
  • Led by top Galapagos naturalist and expert birding guides
  • Small group of up to 15 guests

Your chance to experience two of the worlds top wildlife destinations in the company of expert naturalist Santiago Bejarano and birding guide Andres de la Torre. This 16-day journey will take you first to the Amazon Rainforest, with its vast and rich birdlife, where over 600 species of birds await you and stunning spectacles abound, from large raptors to beautiful canopy flocks or the site of dozens of parrots and macaws on a clay lick. From here onto the Galapagos on our own private yacht, to visit this exceptional place famous throughout the world for endemism and wildlife with no fear of humans. The trip is planned to co-incide with the most intense courtship and nesting of seabirds on the Galapagos, as well as seeing many of the islands endemics, the chance to experience close encounters with Boobies, Frigate birds and Waved Albatross.

Details

  • 16-day trip begins in Quito and ends in Guayaquil
  • 8 days/7 nights on board the yacht, 4 nights at Sani Lodge, 3 hotel nights in Quito, 1 hotel night in Guayaquil
  • All meals included.
  • Tour Cost £3390 per person, excluding international flights Includes all accommodation, guide services, meals, transport, internal flights Quito-Coca-Quito and Quito-Galapagos-Guayaquil, non-bottled soft drinks.

Outline Itinerary
29 April – Quito
30 April - 4 May – Amazon Rainforest
5 May – Andes - Antisana Volcano
6-13 May – Galapagos
14 May – Return Flight to UK

NOTE:
Land cost includes:
  • Return domestic flights from Quito to the Galapagos Islands.
  • All accommodation meals and soft drinks in mainland Ecuador and aboard the yacht in the Galapagos.
  • The price is based on 2 people sharing a double room.
  • $10 Galapagos Migration Card.
  • The services of expert local naturalists and all transport in mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos.
Land Cost Does Not Include:
  • International airfare
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee ($100 per person)
  • Departure Tax from Ecuador ($43 per person)
  • Alcoholic beverages. Gratuities
Single Supplement:

If you prefer your own room, there is a single supplement cost of £150 per person for the time in mainland Ecuador. All boat cabins must be shared, except by special arrangement.

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or emailemail us today.

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Itinerary

29 April Quito – World Heritage Site Arrive in Quito early in the morning where we will be met by our local guide and taken to our hotel, the Hotel Quito, which has spectacular views over the valley of Cumbaya and an outdoor heated swimming pool as well as lovely gardens. Today we will explore the colonial old centre of Quito, declared by UNESCO to be a World Heritage site in 1979 due to its beautiful colonial architecture. We will have a light lunch in the old section and a welcome dinner in a leading local restaurant with live Andean music.

30 April Amazon Rainforest – Sani Lodge After breakfast we will take our flight from Quito to Coca in the Amazon basin. Here we will be met by our local guides and begin our Amazon journey along the River Napo, a tributary of the Amazon until we reach Sani Lodge our home for the next 5 days. The lodge is located between Yasuni National Park and Cuyabeno Reserve, two of the most diverse ecological reserves in the world, and enjoys a beautiful location by the side of a secluded lake deep in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazonian Rainforest. The wildlife viewing is simply spectacular. Over 550 species of bird seen in the rainforest around the lodge, 13 species of monkey and 1,000 species of butterflies, as well as 1,500 species of trees and hundreds of climbing vines and exotic flowers.

Sani Lodge is completely owned and operated by the local indigenous community, in whose territory of 100,000 acres of pristine rainforest the lodge is located. As well as one of Ecuador’s top bilingual biologist guides that will accompany us to the rainforest, we will also be guided by members of the local community, which will offer insight into the lives of the community and the unique opportunity to learn from their remarkable knowledge of the forest. During our stay we will get the chance to visit the home of one of the members of the community to see how they live in a sustainable way from the forest. All profits from the jungle lodge are reinvested into the community.

The Lodge accommodates only a small number of guests, which offers an intimate experience with the rainforest, with ten private, thatch-roofed cabins, each with a modern bathroom and spaciously designed for double occupancy (either with double or single beds). Electric lights are all run from solar energy, and oil lamps are provided for those who enjoy their rustic charm. The bar, lounge and dining room all overlook the lake and offer fantastic service, great food as well as privileged views of wild life and the setting sun. There is also an observation tower nearby for those who wish to soak up the wildlife as the sun goes down.

On our excursions we will paddle through exquisite flooded creeks in traditional dugout canoes, take gentle walks through forest trails, visit amazing parrot leks, take night hikes (for those who wish to!) with small groups and lots of scope for people to take things at their own pace. On 4th May After an early breakfast, we will begin our journey back along the Napo River, to Coca where we will take our flight back to Quito, arriving around noon. The afternoon and evening free to relax (evening meal not included today). Overnight Hotel Quito.

5 May - Antisana Volcano The Antisana Reserve includes Antisana Volcano, a spectacular high mountain (18,709 feet/5,704 meters) in the Eastern Andes. It is situated just east of the main ridge of the Andes -- hence with much snow and often enveloped by clouds. High Paramos around its base are relatively undisturbed and support a good number of Andean Condors. Laguna Micacocha harbors a population of Silvery Grebes. Also look for Black-faced Ibis, Carunculated Caracara, Andean Lapwings, Variable Hawk, the Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, the tiny Ecuadorian Hillstar and Andean Gulls. If we are lucky we may also see Andean Condor here.

6-13 May – Galapagos After breakfast we take our flight to the Galapagos Islands, arriving to Baltra airport at around noon. From here we will be transferred to our private yacht, the Tip Top III, a spacious and comfortable motor yacht which was fully refurbished in 2008, which has a fantastic friendly crew and is run by one of the oldest families in the Galapagos.

The yacht accommodates 16 passengers in 10 double cabins each with private shower and toilet. Just some of the luxuries you'll enjoy on the yacht's three decks are wall-to-wall carpeting, air conditioning, a TV, a VCR, a full sound system, an inviting dining room, a fully equipped bar, a library filled with a variety of reading materials, a spacious sundeck, and snorkelling equipment. Moreover, each of the craft's nine homey cabins is outfitted with a private bathroom with both hot and cold water, a personal safe, and a wardrobe. The vessel is also equipped with the most advanced navigational and safety equipment, all of which meets or exceeds international Coast Guard safety regulations.

6 May – Baltra A small islet that we will fly to, where we will be met by the crew of the yacht and go onboard for lunch.

Santa Cruz Bachas Beach A beautiful white sandy beach, turquoise water and a great place to practice snorkelling. A fantastic introduction to the islands with Greater Flamingos, Marine Iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions to welcome us!

7 May James Island – Sullivan Bay A spectacular lava flow built 100 years ago, but looks and feels like just yesterday. This gives us a perfect introduction to the volcanic origins of the islands and an understanding of their geology. A great snorkel site, with the possibility of snorkelling with Galapagos Penguins.

Bartolome With its distinctive Pinnacle Rock, superb lava flows and parasitic cones this island provides us with the iconic landscape view of the islands.

8 May – Genovesa One of the most spectacular sights in the archipelago are the thousands of male Great Frigate birds displaying their large red pouch as part of their mating display – our visit takes place at the height of this mating season guaranteeing a fantastic spectacle. Also Red-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, finches, Short-eared Owls and Storm-petrels.

9 May – James Island A chance to take look at one of the sites visited by Darwin (Buccaneer Cove) where he spent the majority of his land visits in the Galapagos. We also visit Puerto Egas, a beautiful walk along the coast and the best place for Galapagos Fur Seals, plovers, herons and oyster catchers.

10 May – Punta Vicente Roca A fantastic volcanic formation which we will visit by dingy. Located on the north-west side of Isabella Island, it provides a dramatic landscape of a giant collapsed shield volcano. Also great for seeing Brown Noddies, Blue-footed Boobies, Flightless Cormorants and Galapagos Penguins.

Fernandina Together with Genovesa, this is a ‘must see’ place in the Archipelago. Fernandina is the largest and most pristine of the islands and home to the largest population of marine iguanas as well as being the best place to see nesting Flightless Cormorants. It is also a good place to see the Galapagos Snake, Hawk and Lizard.

11 May Isabella – Urbina Bay A newly uplifted area with colourful land iguanas and lush vegetation on the foot hills of Alcedo Volcano that host the largest population of Giant Tortoises along with a population of Flightless Cormorants, the Galapagos Hawk and finches.

Elizabeth Bay Spectacular mangrove cove that will give us the opportunity to enjoy one of the best breeding grounds of the Galapagos Penguin as well as the chance to see green sea turtles.

112 May – Isabella Island (Puerto Villamil) Our first chance to see Giant Tortoises. The Galapagos has 11 different species of Giant Tortoise with five different species on the island of Isabella. We get the chance to see them at a new breeding site built by the Galapagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station. We will also explore the island in the hope of seeing some Giant Tortoises in the wild. The island is also a great place for Galapagos Penguins and marine iguanas.

13 May – Santa Cruz After an early breakfast we leave the boat to take a bus that will drive us up to the highlands of Santa Cruz, were we will have another chance to look for Giant Tortoises in the wild, and see the amazing forests of Scalacia (giant daisies!) before we go back to Baltra for our flight back to mainland Ecuador.
We arrive in Guayaquil in the afternoon, afternoon free to relax before a farewell meal together in one of the city’s leading restaurants. Overnight Grand Hotel Guayaquil

14 May Transfer to the airport for flight home.

Please note: Itineraries are unlikely to change significantly but are subject to change. Weather, wildlife breeding, instructions from the Galapagos National Park, specific abilities and interests of passengers as well as operational matters may cause your guide or captain to change the times or nature of your visits. Your guide will always endeavour to have the best itinerary for you within these constraints.

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or emailemail us today.

Accommodation

Tip Top IIITip Top III

The Tip Top III is owned by one of the oldest families in the Galapagos, which has a great reputation for good food, good service and a very helpful crew....

Sani LodgeSani Lodge

A beautiful lodge in a spectacular location, Sani offers a superb rainforest experience. 100% owned and run by the local indigenous community...

Hotel QuitoHotel Quito

The Hotel Quito, has arguably the best location in town, with beautiful views across the city of Quito on one side, and across the valley of Tumbaco...

Grand Hotel GuayaquilGrand Hotel Guayaquil

The location of the Grand Hotel is what makes this a great choice, just a few blocks from the Malecon, Guayaquil’s new promenade area along the River Guayas...

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or emailemail us today.

Think Galapagos

Rachel DexCall Rachel,
Ecuador Specialist
on 01964 552292
Contcat us online

Andes, Amazon and Galapagos

Andes, Amazon and Galapagos

Andes, Amazon and Galapagos

Andes, Amazon and Galapagos

Andes, Amazon and Galapagos

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