Eco adventures for a greener world

0 Reviews

Wildlife MultiSport Adventure

Start Your Journey
South America
Ecuador,  10 Days From $ 2,950 per person Themes
Eco Adventure
Eco Wildlife & Nature
Eco Cultural
Styles
Little Greenies

Highlights

Explore the diverse highlights of Ecuador in only ten days with this complete multisport adventure. Only in Ecuador can you hike a glacier-capped volcano, raft a jungle river, and snorkel pristine seas full of marine life in a span of days! Discover unique wildlife and ancient cultures as you bike, raft, kayak, and hike the very best of Ecuador's Andes Mountains, Amazon Rainforest, and Galapagos Islands.

Top-rated naturlaist and adventure guides will lead the way through distinctive natural environments and world-class adventure activities, and you'll enjoy your evenings in carefully selected boutique hotels, colonial haciendas, and eco-lodges - a different way to see Ecuador's mainland treasures and the Galapagos Islands.

Summary

Trip highlights:

  • Explore a historical Andean hacienda on horseback.
  • Zipline across a deep canyon above the cloud forest canopy.
  • Mountain bike down the flanks of the world´s highest active volcano.
  • Raft Ecuador´s best one-day run on the Jatunyacu River (class III+).
  • Discover the spiritual world of the Kichwa Indians.
  • Relax and rejuvenate in the mineral-rich, curative Papallacta hot springs.
  • Stand with one foot in each hemisphere at Latitude Zero.
  • Get up close and personal with unique and friendly Galapagos wildlife.
  • Sea kayak and snorkel tropical waters full of marine life.
  • Mountain bike pristine coastlines and hike volcanic highlands.
  • Relax on beautiful white-sand beaches with marine iguanas and sea lions.

Availability

Flexible date(s). Please Contact Us.

Activity (Activities)

Horseback Riding
Cycling
Snorkeling
Kayaking & Rafting
Hiking & Trekking
Rainforest
History & Culture
Wildlife
Conservation
Eco Lodge

Green Approach

Eco-Luxurious

Certification

Rainforest Alliance Verified

Why Authentic Ecotourism?

The company's tours are socially and environmentally committed to sustainable ecotourism practices.  They are board members of ASEC (Ecuadorian Ecotourism & Adventure Association), and also preside over the presidency position through the company's general manager.

One of the company's larger direct impacts on the national ecotourism industry was helping to establish the first certification standards for nature-based hotels, and they are currently working on establishing minimum operational standards for adventure activities. The company works closely with the International Ecotourism Society (TIES), abide by Leave No Trace camping and environmental standards, are members of Sustainable Travel International (STI), and are certified as sustainable tour operators by the Rainforest Alliance.

Furthermore, the land-based tours have become a model for tourism in the Galapagos in which 70% of the funds from our tours are redistributed within the local Galapagos economy.

DAY 1: CLOUD FOREST ZIPLINE & COTOPAXI HORSEBACK RIDING
Our adventure begins heading south from Quito through the legendary Avenue of the Volcanoes towards Cotopaxi National Park. Along the way, we stop at a private cloud forest reserve, where we enjoy a short nature walk through this unique ecosystem.

Our path takes us to the edge of a canyon, where we get our first adrenaline rush flying across the gorge on a high-speed zipline, enjoying spectacular aerial views of the cloud forest canopy below. We then continue on to a 3,000-hectare hacienda that has been in the same family for seven generations. It was the first hacienda to raise fighting bulls in Ecuador, and the locals are proud of their
traditional Chagra (Andean cowboy) culture.

After a locally-grown Andean gourmet lunch, it's time to gear up Chagra style. We don ponchos, chaps, and cowboy hats, then set out to explore the expansive hacienda grounds on horseback. As we ride through spectacular volcanic landscapes,
we learn about the way locals grow potatoes, lima beans, quinoa, and other high-altitude crops. Our Chagra guide teaches us about traditional uses of native plants, and we safely admire the brave fighting bulls in their pastures. As we gain
altitude, we search for native wildlife, including the rare Andean Condor, the largest flying bird in the world. After our ride, we spend the evening relaxing by a roaring fire in the hacienda living room. (L, D)

DAY 2: COTOPAXI MOUNTAIN BIKING & SALASACA INDIAN COMMUNITY 

After breakfast, we drive towards the base of the imposing snow capped Cotopaxi Volcano. We set up our mountain bikes and explore the park's highland plateaus, endemic highland vegetation and wildlife. On our way we encounter llamas, wild horses, ducks, highland gulls and hawks. We ride mostly downhill to compensate for the high altitude until we arrive to the Pucara Inca Ruins where we learn about the Inca presence in the Cotopaxi area.

We also visit Limpiopungo Glacier Lake before we continue our journey through the Avenue of the Volcanoes. We arrive to the Salasaca community who are easily recognized by their distinctive colorful ponchos and dress. We meet a Salasaca family to share and learn about their way of life and millenary weaving techniques. The Salasaca have a long relationship with the Agave cactus which is used in the making of clothing, drinks, ropes, and other daily essentials. We continue on to the subtropical Patate Valley and to our hacienda where we dine and relax for the evening. (B, L, D)

DAY 3: PATATE MOUNTAIN BIKING & RAINFOREST HIKE 

In the morning, we drive through a scenic road with impressive views to the often fuming Tungurahua volcano. We set up our mountain bikes and begin riding through highland paramo. As we descend, the environment gradually melds into mountain cloud forest and later rainforest. We ride through a dry basaltic gorge, which is a hot spot for wild orchids. The canyon widens and deepens as we reach the Pastaza River Gorge, which forms spectacular waterfalls.

We stop to visit two of these waterfalls, Pailón del Diablo (Devil's Cauldron) and Manto de la Novia (Bride's Veil). We continue our drive down into the Amazon Basin. At the 600 meter level we reach Puyo, an Amazon frontier town where we will learn about balsa, bamboo and ceramic products. We continue through the Amazon highway until we reach our riverfront jungle lodge. In the afternoon we head out for a jungle walk. We will interpret the ecosystem and search for species particular to the tropical lowland rainforest. We explore under the canopy for trees such as balsa, cedar, rubber, kapok and cinnamon, as well as many bromeliads, orchids, vines, ferns, insects and even reptiles. The evening will be spent surrounded amazing jungle sounds while we relax in our river front cabins. (B, L, D)

DAY 4: JUNGLE RAFTING & PAPALLACTA HOTSPRINGS

We drive to the Llanganates National Park, which is part of a United Nations Biosphere Reserve. The water collected from the many streams in the eastern Andes slopes form the Jatunyacu River. We begin the day with a short jungle hike to reach some incredible naturally-formed swimming pools. Here we can jump, slide and swim in these incredible rock formations. We return to our put-in and begin our whitewater journey. Jatunyacu, which means "Big Water" is considered one of Ecuador's best one-day river runs. It has lots of big waves and fun play holes.

The river is flanked by spectacular jungle scenery, birdlife, and Kichwa Indian families that live along the shores in small bamboo and wood houses. In the afternoon we begin our return up the Andes, but first stop to meet the Waira Churis, also known as the "Wind Dancers". They are an extended Kichwa family, guardians of vast botanical knowledge and traditional music lore. Through their music and dance they express the harmonious balance between human and earth. Many of these nearly forgotten songs are played with animal and plant instruments. We continue our journey up the Andes as we enjoy fantastic vistas of tropical valleys, natural waterfalls, and lush green landscapes. We arrive to the hotsprings resort where we can choose to relax in any of 9 different thermal pools, ranging in temperature from 97ºF to 104ºF (36ºC to 40ºC). The pools are surrounded by cloud forest mountains and an occasional snow capped volcano. The mineral rich Papallacta water comes from underground geothermal springs. Spa services such as massages, aromatherapy, or other treatments can be provided at an additional cost when arranged in advance. (B, L, D)

DAY 5: CONTINENTAL DIVIDE HIKE & OTAVALO INDIAN MARKET

In the morning, we hike in the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve, which is located across the Atlantic – Pacific continental divide. The environment in this reserve is endemic highland paramo combined with cloud forest patches. The great amount of water retained in this sponge-like environment is the source to the largest water system in the world. Our hike through this reserve features a great number of lakes and wildlife such as dear, the elusive spectacle bear and the Andean Condor.

We continue our drive north though the Inter Andean valleys until we reach Latitude 0. Here we arrive to a middle of the world monument which is shaped as a star of eight points. This monument which is aligned with the solstices was established to recover the powerful ancestral symbol of the Quitu-Caranqui culture. We will learn about how Ecuador's geographic position influences food, traditions, diversity, industry and even ancestral politics. We spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the famed Otavalo market which is filled with colorful textiles and skillful handicrafts. We return to our hotel in Quito in the late afternoon to prepare for our Galapagos Adventure. (B, L, D)

DAY 6: GALAPAGOS TRANSFER & HIKE ON SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND

We embark on a morning flight from Quito to San Cristobal Island. Once we arrive we are briefed on the details of our trip as we have lunch at an ocean front restaurant. Our adventure begins with a hike to the San Cristóbal Interpretation Center, where we learn about the volcanic formation of the Galapagos archipelago and the unique evolution of life on the islands. We continue our hike towards Frigate Hill along trails of lava rock featuring splendid views of the coastline and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, while we explore dry forest and observe cacti, acacia, palo santo, Galapagos cotton, and other endemic vegetation.

This is also a good time to enjoy our first encounters with local wildlife, since Frigate Hill is often visited by Galapagos species such as the magnificent and great frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, gulls, herons, and numerous other land birds, including Darwin finches, warblers, and mockingbirds. On our way back we may stop for a refreshing swim at Carola Beach. In the evening, we explore town and dine at a waterfront restaurant. (B, L, D)

DAY 7: SEA KAYAK & SNORKEL ON THE NORTHERN COAST

The northern coast of San Cristobal Island is protected form the currents and offers the best sea kayaking in the archipelago. We set out in our expedition kayaks paddling north along the coast, exploring bays and coves filled with wildlife. We visit Darwin Bay, site where the HMS Beagle landed when Charles Darwin first arrived to Galapagos. Along the route we find colonies of sea lions, marine turtles, rays, blue-footed boobies, and frigate birds along the cliffs.

We reach Playa Ochoa and continue on to nearby Isla Lobos on the lookout for marine iguanas and sea lions. Isla Lobos forms a clear water channel where we can enjoy excellent snorkeling and the best sea lion encounters in the entire archipelago. We continue on to Leon Dormido, the jagged remains of an old tuff cone whose flanks are home to thousands of sea birds. At Leon Dormido, we enjoy exceptional snorkeling. Here we can see white-tipped, Galapagos and hammerhead sharks, eagle rays, golden rays, marine turtles and dozens of species of tropical fish, clams, starfish, and marine invertebrates. In the afternoon, we return to port for dinner and our last evening in our San Cristobal hotel. (B, L, D)

DAY 8: MOUNTAIN BIKE & KAYAK ON ISABELA ISLAND 

In the morning, we take a small aircraft inter-island flight from San Cristobal to Isabela Island. Isabela is the largest Island in the archipelago, formed by 6 shield volcanoes – Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf. All of these volcanoes except one remain active, making this island one of the most volcanically active places on earth. When we arrive we set up our mountain bikes to explore the beautiful coastline for its scenery and wildlife treasures. We begin with a visit to El Muro de las Lágrimas which means Wall of Tears, a historic site that dates back between 1946 and 1959 when Isabela Island was used as a penal colony.

The wall was built with lava blocks and had no other purpose than of keeping prisoners busy from the madness of isolation. We continue riding along the coast as we explore expansive white sand beaches, mangroves and brackish lagoons. This area is filled with birdlife such as American oyster catchers, herons, flamingos, finches and many shore birds, as well as sea lions and marine iguanas. In the afternoon we take our ocean kayaks and paddle out to Tintoreras, a set of small Islets within Isabela bay. The Islets are filled with wildlife and are home to the Galapagos Penguin, the only penguin that lives in equatorial region. We will also see sharks, marine turtles, sea lions and much more wildlife as we explore its many small coves and beaches. We receive the sunset in Isabela's white sand beaches and spend the evening in this tranquil port town. (B, L, D)

DAY 9: VOLCANO DISCOVERY HIKE IN THE ISABELA HIGHLANDS

From Puerto Villamil, we drive up to the highlands to where the road ends. Here we prepare our day backs and walk into an amazing geological world. We walk on dirt trails until we arrive to the rim of the Sierra Negra volcano. Sierra Negra is an active volcano which last erupted in October 2005. We explore along the rim of the huge 6×5 mile-wide (9×8 kilometer) lava-filled crater. We may also get views of the Perry Isthmus and the other Isabela volcanoes. We continue our hike all the way to Volcano Chico, an area of puffing fumaroles and extraordinary lava formations. These are dramatic geological examples of the forces that created the Galapagos Islands. In the afternoon we return to Puerto Villamil for our last afternoon in the Isabela beaches. (B, L, D)

DAY 10: ISABELA - BALTRA AND RETURN TO QUITO

In the morning we embark in a small aircraft flight (or boat ride) from Isabela to Baltra Island and continue with a flight back to the continent. (B)

 

 

Departure City

Quito

Finishing City

Quito

Group Size

Minimum of 4 people

Exclusions

  • Airfare to/from Galapagos,
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee ($100 USD)
  • Galapagos Transit Card ($10 USD),
  • Restaurant beverages,
  • Tips

Inclusions

  • Accommodations in standard and tourist superior hotels / haciendas / eco lodges,
  • meals as described (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner),
  • all land transportation,
  • all inter-island air and boat transportation,
  • two Galapagos airport transfers,
  • two mainland airport transfers, 
  • high-quality adventure and protective equipment, 
  • top-rated bilingual adventure and naturalist guides.

Best for:

Little Greenies

Other Necessary Information

All of the guides possess the following certifications:

  • University degrees in tourism, guiding, or environmental science
  • Ecuadorian National Guide Certification – Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism
  • Certified Naturalist Guide – Galapagos National Park
  • First Aid and CPR Certification
  • Graduate of our intensive in-house Guide Training Program
  • Five years minimum field experience

 

Some of the additional certifications the guides possess:

  • Wilderness First Responder – International emergency medical certification
  • Open Water Safety and Rescue – American Canoe Association
  • Mountain Bike Guiding and Maintenance Training Program

 

Rating Summary:
0 based on 0 votes

Read All About Ecotourism

View more blog entries