Arrival in Quito
You will be transferred to the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve to begin your adventure through the Ecuadorian jungle.Trekking in the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve.The reserve is roughly 400,000 hectares in area, most of that defined by Andean paramo vegetation, primary forests, rivers, and lakes. It is seen as one of Ecuador's protected areas with the greatest diversity of plants and animals.Lunch today is a picnic, and afterwards the adventure continues eastward to Shangrila in the Amazon rainforest.
In an adventure-filled day, you will shoot the rapids on the Misahualli River, possibly one of the most demanding rafting rivers. This is usually called the "Misahualli experience". Its extensive rapids are class IV, and these run through a deep, majestic canyon surrounded by virgin jungle. The river passes through a narrow spot, known as a "garganta" (throat) also with class IV rapids. The raft is directed past a spectacular 15 meter waterfall, and then come the "Tierra de los Gigantes" (land of the giants), the largest rapids in Ecuador. Rafting is only allowed from mid October to mid March; it's too fast to attempt outside this period.
Today's destination is Baños, one of the country's main and most popular tourist spots. The town if famous for its hot springs and friendly restaurants and stores, as well as its residents: both Ecuadorians and foreigners who have come to Baños to live and to work. You will visit the spectacular Pastaza Canyon, all green and growing, with plenty of waterfalls of different sizes and trails of various levels of difficulty you can hike upon. A stunning sight in the area is the famous 1000 meter waterfall, the "Pailón del Diablo".
The setting for today's excursion is the Ecuadorian Andes, specifically the 36,000 hectare Cotopaxi National Park, a wildlife sanctuary with an impressive volcano: Mount Cotopaxi. It's a day of biking through a region that is mostly covered the paramo ecosystem, yet there are remnants of ancient mountain forests, as well. At the bottom of the volcano is a small lake: Limpiopungo, home to plenty of bird species like Andean gull, coots, and sparrowhawks. However, you may be able to spy the majestic Andean condor.
Today is a unique excursion on horseback through the Antisana Ecological Reserve, a land of contrasts like no other, with perpetual snows and tropical rainforests and a volcano surrounded by plenty of lakes that touch the very edge of the Amazonian plain. The reserve boasts huge lakes and steep gorges covered with cloud forests. You will ride across this interesting ecosystem and gradually enter the jungle. The volcano, Mount Antisana (5758 m), is found in the reserve confines, and its three peaks are very hard to climb. The lakes at its feet reflect the ice covered summits. This is doubtlessly a place of indescribable beauty. After exiting the reserve, you will be transferred to Quito.
You will be transferred to the airport in Quito to take the flght to San Cristobal in the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, you will be transferred to the hotel. In the afternoon, you will enjoy kayaking in San Cristobal, an out of the ordinary experience.
Morning biking in the highlands of San Cristobal island, and visit to la Galapaguera of Cerro Colorado, where you will have the opportunity to observe the island tortoises, Geochelone chatamensis.
You will be transferred by boat from San Cristobal to Santa Cruz island, to visit the famous Charles Darwin station, the archipelago’s oldest private scientific research organization. Then, you will take the boat to get from Santa Cruz, to Isabela island.
You will be transferred from town, to begin the trekking at the border of the Sierra Negra crater, the second largest in the world (11Km diameter). You will border the crater until you reach Volcan Chico, where you will observe many fumaroles and craters i that give the illusion of being in Mars, an amazing place with incredible views.
This day, a small boat will transfer you to a small dock in Tintoreras islet, located a short distance from Puerto Villamil, home to a great variety of wildlife. You will begin a small walk that will let you see many white tip sharks resting, then you will observe sea lions, blue footed boobies, marine iguanas and amazing lava formations. Afte the walk you will get back to the boat and you will get very close to a penguin colony. Then, you will be able to snorkel to oberver the sea turtles, sea lions, penguins and much more.
Boat transfer form Puerto Villamil at Isabel Island to Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz Island, then, overland transfer to the airport in Baltra to take the departure flight to mainland Ecuador. Upon arrival in Guayaquil, transfer form the airport to the hotel.
Transfer from the hotel to the airport to take your international departure flight.