Galapagos Island Hopping & Amazon Manatee Cruise
Overdose on nature with this spectacular 11-day Galapagos Island Hopping & Amazon Manatee Cruise. Start your adventure with a land-based exploration of the outdoor classroom that is the Galapagos Archipelago, taking in azure waters, white sands, and an unrivalled bounty of marine and terrestrial wildlife on the way. Then transfer to the little-visited Ecuadorian Amazon for a 4-night river cruise through another of the world’s natural wonders where you’ll get up close and personal with monkeys, anacondas, caimans and river dolphins.
Starting from $7,690 per person
Pricing includes everything from your international arrival to your departure, with the exception of flights and a few lunches and dinners.
HOW IT WORKS
- Stay in charming hotels on islands in the Galapagos archipelago, with daily excursions and activities in the best sightseeing and wildlife watching destinations.
- Encounter giant tortoises in their natural habitat on the island of Baltra and explore underground lava tunnels created by the eruption of volcanoes.
- Visit the beautiful white sands of Playa Brava and enjoy swimming and snorkeling with marine iguanas.
- Kayak along the coast of Playa Los Alemanes looking for stingrays, turtles, Pelicans, Blue-Footed Boobies and Lava Gulls.
- Search for Flamingos and other birds at a semi-saltwater lagoon on Isabela Island and visit the giant tortoise breeding center to learn about conservation efforts on the islands.
- Snorkel at a variety of gorgeous locations, encountering Penguins, stingrays, seahorses, sea lions, sea turtles and white-tipped sharks.
- Take an unforgettable cruise through the diversity of the Ecuadorian Amazon, home to myriad bird, animal and river species.
- Get the chance to spy pink river dolphins, monkeys, caimans and myriad bird species including the oddly-named ‘stinky turkey’. If you’re really lucky you may even glimpse a wild manatee.
- Go on several fascinating forest walks and a night-time caiman-spotting cruise and ascend an observation tower for a bird’s eye view of the canopy.
- Find out how the locals live with a visit to a Quechua community on the banks of the river, before taking an Ecuadorian cooking class with the boat’s chef.
- Bask in the Amazon’s splendid sunrises and sunsets from the comfort of your floating hotel and enjoy excellent dining too.
In the morning you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos. Upon arrival in Baltra, 600 miles from the mainland, you will be met by your guide and taken to the highlands to be welcomed by Galapagos Giant Tortoises in their natural habitat. You will also visit lava tunnels found in this region created by volcanic activity. Lunch is served at a local restaurant before heading to your hotel to settle in.
In the morning enjoy a brisk 40min walk to Playa Brava, a long, beautiful white sand beach with incredible surf. Near the far end is a gorgeous bay with marine iguanas and amazing snorkeling and swimming. You’ll return to town for lunch by speed boat and then head out to Playa Los Alemanes to kayak along the coast near mangroves looking out for sting rays and turtles. Following the route to Punta Estrada you will enter little canals where you can observe Pelicans, Blue Footed Boobies and Lava Gulls. You can also snorkel near a small beach here to see colorful fish, Stingrays, White Tip Sharks, Sea Lions and Sea Turtles.
In the morning you will head to the dock for a windy 2hr island crossing by boat. On arrival you will enjoy an excursion (by car or bike) to a semi-salty lagoon to search for flamingos and endemic birds. For here you will head to the Giant Tortoise breeding center before snorkeling in Concha Perla, a natural sea-water lagoon with penguins, sting rays, sea lions, sea turtles and more. After lunch at a local restaurant you will embark on a shared boat tour (privately guided) to an islet to visit the Tintorera sharks with the opportunity for more snorkeling.
Enjoy a 45-minute boat tour (privately guided) to naturally formed lava tunnels created by the eruption of the Cerro Azul Volcano. Enjoy a trail walk on the lookout for blue-footed boobies and sea lions, then get a chance to snorkel among sea horses, penguins, sting rays and white tipped sharks. On your way back around the bay you may see sea turtles and snorkel again. Packed lunch is served aboard.
In the morning you will be transferred to the airport for a 30-minute flight to Coca. On arrival you’ll be transferred to the Manatee cruise for orientation and R&R. After dinner you’ll plunge straight into the Amazon on a nighttime forest walk to observe the forest’s nocturnal activity and experience the thrill of the vivid noises and aromas that come from so much biodiversity.
Early in the morning, you’ll visit Yasuni National Park, a pristine and undisturbed slice of the Ecuadorian Amazon, and home of the legendary Pink River Dolphin! In this area you may also see anacondas, river turtles and various primate species, as well as the colorful Hoatzin, a unique bird that is known locally as the “Stinky Turkey”. In the afternoon, you will go canoeing in a blackwater lake, home to giant otters and the magnificent, albeit elusive manatee. You will also enjoy a pleasant hike with the chance marvel at the intricate organization of a colony of leaf-cutter ants by the Giant Fig Tree – a truly majestic tree that is home to an abundance of wildlife.
Start the day off by visiting an authentic Quechua family who live on the banks of the Napo River, for some cultural immersion and the opportunity to learn directly from members of the local community. Back aboard the boat, you’ll be invited to participate in a cooking class with our chef who will share recipes and techniques for preparing exquisite traditional Ecuadorian food that you can replicate at home.
In the morning explore the nearby forest for a walk to discover the myriad animal and plant species that can only be found in the Amazon basin. In the afternoon, you will visit a canopy tower, built against a giant Kapok tree. The perspective at the top of this observation tower is truly glorious, looming above the lush treetops and providing a view of the sheer vastness of the Amazon Basin. In the evening, bravely venture into the river on a canoe to search for black caimans with the help of a flashlight.
In the morning, enjoy one last morning in the jungle before heading back to Coca. There, you will board your flight to Quito and connect to your international departure.
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