14 Day Exclusive Ecuador with Scuba Diving in the Galapagos

01/19/2020 through 12/15/2021
09/07/2018 through 12/31/2021
Kensington Tours

14 Day Exclusive Ecuador with Scuba Diving in the Galapagos
Blessed with some of the most scenic land- and seascapes you’ll ever witness, Ecuador is a destination tailor-made for the adventurous traveler. Come along with us and explore its bustling urban centers, the scuba-diving wonderland of Isla Santa Cruz in the Galápagos, the massive Cotopaxi volcano, and more on a trip designed to engage both heart and mind.

It all starts in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city, most important port, and the gateway to the Galápagos Islands. Guayaquil is much more than its superlatives, however, as you’ll discover on a private half-day tour of its must-see sights, including Parque Seminario, Palacio de Cristal, and the Malecón 2000 riverfront boardwalk. Later on, sample delicious local seafood at Casa Julián before heading across the ocean to your next stop: the fascinating Galápagos archipelago.

After a brief flight to Isla Baltra, you’ll be whisked away to Isla Santa Cruz and your home for the next few nights: the beautiful Finch Bay Galápagos Hotel. From this divine spot (named one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, no less), you’ll explore the island by land and sea, meeting its inhabitants up-close. Walk among giant tortoises in the highlands, kayak Divine Bay, learn about conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Station, and explore the life aquatic on a pair of scuba dives.

It will be a challenge to tear yourself away from Finch Bay, but further adventures await back on the mainland. Your next stop is Quito, the political and cultural capital of Ecuador. First, get to know the city and its famous UNESCO-protected core on a private tour that takes you down narrow cobblestone streets in search of must-see spots like Plaza de la Independencia, La Ronda, and Plaza de San Francisco, where you’ll be treated to a special tasting of cacao, the “food of the gods.” Later, step outside the city walls and into the foothills of the Andes on a cultural excursion to Otavalo, home to a world-renowned artisan market. In a nearby village, you’ll meet Miguel Andrango, a master weaver who works exclusively with pure alpaca wool, and be treated to a tour of his workshop. Active travelers will also have the chance to hike around the Reserva Ecológica Cotacachi-Cayapas and the gorgeous Laguna Cuicocha at the foot of the Cotacachi volcano.

Your last stop is an impressive one: the majestic Cotopaxi stratovolcano. (You’ll make a fittingly dramatic entrance, too – landing at the foot of one of the world’s largest volcanoes by helicopter.) First, take a private tour of the park to learn more about the volcano’s history at the interpretation center before visiting scenic Lake Limpiopungo for an optional hike to Refugio José Rivas, a stunning outlook 15,750 feet (4,800 meters) above sea level that offers incredible views of the Andes. Later, head out with a ranchero from a mountain lodge on a private horseback tour in search of stunning vistas and picturesque mountain villages before enjoying some well-earned downtime in the shadow of the mountains.

Diving in the Galapagos Islands can be challenging (although well worth it!). We highly recommend having your PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification as well as recent diving experience (within the last three months). Please ask your Destination Expert for more information and note that we can substitute any diving excursions for snorkeling at a reduced rate.

Kensington Tours creates private trips from the world’s finest ingredients. Tailor-made with care by your personal Destination Expert, your personalized trip is always a one-of-a-kind experience made just for you. Expert local guidance and 24/7 service come standard.

Itinerary

Day 1 Guayaquil
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Day 2 Guayaquil
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Day 3 Guayaquil To Galapagos To Baltra Island To Santa Cruz Island
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Day 4 Santa Cruz Island
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Day 5 Santa Cruz Island
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Day 6 Santa Cruz Island
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Day 7 Santa Cruz Island
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Day 8 Santa Cruz Island To Galapagos To Quito
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Day 9 Quito
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Day 10 Quito
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Day 11 Quito To Cotopaxi
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Day 12 Cotopaxi
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Day 13 Cotopaxi
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Day 14 Cotopaxi
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