A truly unforgettable adventure! This tour of the Mashpi Rainforest and the Galapagos Islands takes you from beautiful Quito (the first UNESCO World Heritage Site) to its outskirts where cloud forest and rainforest meet in one of the most stunning locations imaginable.
Prepare to live the adventure of a lifetime!
Welcome to Mashpi Lodge and Reserve! Here, explorers embark on amazing treks through an unbelievable forest, across playful streams and mesmerizing waterfalls. Guests can even ride the Dragonfly gondola across 1.25 mi of forest canopy –an experience like no other! Following their time at Mashpi, explorers fly to the Galapagos and embark on a 5-day cruise aboard the stylish, modern, and comfortable Yacht La Pinta, visiting otherworldly sites in the company of the best park-certified naturalist guides, taking part in a wide variety of activities, and enjoying delicious meals in an incredible setting.
What is Included:
Ecuador is a country with countless incredible places worth visiting. On this tour, guests are treated to the perfect mix of three extremely special and important locations. Arriving in Quito and staying at Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel in the heart of the capital city’s historic center is a truly luxurious treat. Within the Metropolitan District of Quito, where cloud forest and rainforest meet, there is a place more inspiring than almost any other on the planet. Welcome to Mashpi Lodge and Reserve, home to an observation tower, gondola, butterfly sanctuary, and much more! Here, visitors enjoy guided treks full of adventure, enlightenment, and beauty. Following your time in the rainforest, you’ll fly to the Galapagos and board Yacht La Pinta. This recently renovated 48-passenger expedition vessel is equipped with state-of-the-art cabins, ideal spaces, and stunning views of the Galapagos Islands from almost every cabin and social area aboard. Our expert naturalist guides take small groups on enriching tours of remote sites throughout the archipelago, hiking over lava formed terrain, viewing all of the unique native and endemic species, snorkeling in the crystal blue waters, or even paddleboarding, kayaking, or riding along in a glass-bottom boat. Real adventure awaits!
Day by Day
Day 1: Arrive in Quito
A member of our team greets arriving visitors at the airport and assists them with their luggage. Then, it’s off to Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel in Quito’s historic quarter. On the ride over, the guide will provide a brief overview with lots of useful information about Quito and Ecuador.
Day 2: Old Town Quito + Middle of the World
The Historic Center of Quito is full of gems worth visiting! As the most well-preserved old town in all of Latin America, Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! After exploring this part of the city, it’s time to head over to the Middle of the World and learn all about the equator!
Day 3: Mashpi Lodge & Reserve
As morning arrives, guests pack their things and head off to Mashpi Lodge! A relatively short drive from the city of Quito. Once there, they’ll be greeted by the expedition leader who will provide an overview of the Reserve, the various facilities, and points of interest where guests take part in a variety of activities and hikes. Additionally, explorers are arranged into small groups and introduced to their expert guide. They’ll enjoy a delicious lunch and then head out on their first excursion! In the evening, guests are invited to participate in a night-time outing to a nearby stream where they can view all sorts of fascinating reptiles, insects, and more!
Day 4: Mashpi Lodge & Reserve
A full day in the glorious rainforest begins with an early morning bird watching workshop, a hearty breakfast, and a morning activity/exploration may take the form of a trek to a waterfall, a visit to the Life Center and Butterfly Sanctuary, a hike to the Observation Tower and Skybike, or a ride along the forest canopy aboard the Dragonfly gondola. After lunch, guests take part in another exciting adventure organized in conjunction with their guide. The evening offers visitors a chance to receive a relaxing spa treatment, soak in the outdoor hot tub, or enjoy a signature cocktail at the bar, before or after dinner.
Day 5: Mashpi Lodge and Return to Quito
It’s hard to say goodbye when you’re having a great time. Good thing there is one more early morning activity in which guests can take part before heading back to Quito. A relaxing and tasty lunch awaits on the drive back to town. In the afternoon, guests are welcomed back to Casa Gangotena and can enjoy the rest of their day at their leisure.
Day 6: Transfer to Airport / Fly to the Galapagos / Arrive aboard Yacht La Pinta
On this day, guests are transferred to the airport to catch an early morning flight to the Galapagos Islands. Upon arriving at the airport on Baltra Island, they’ll be greeted by members of our team, who will assist them with their luggage, bring them over to Itabaca Channel, where they’ll catch a panga (dinghy) ride over to Yacht La Pinta. Explorers are welcomed aboard by the captain and the crew. They’ll receive their cabin assignment and sit down to lunch. In the afternoon, the Yacht makes its way over to South Plaza Island. Here, turquoise waters complement a white sand beach and volcanic rock coastline. Travelers can observe colonies of sea lions and many frolicking seabirds.
Day 7: Santa Fe and San Cristobal Islands
The yacht’s first stop is Santa Fe Island, home to the Santa Fe Land Iguana. Following a coastal hike along part of the shore that takes you a little bit inland, guests can participate in a number of activities, including kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling in these crystalline waters. In the afternoon, La Pinta welcomes visitors to San Cristobal Island, where they disembark and head over to the Tortoise Breeding Center at Cerro Colorado. Here, they can observe Galapagos giant tortoises of all ages and sizes. Depending on time, guests may have a chance to briefly explore Puerto Baquerizo Moreno before returning aboard.
Day 8: San Cristobal Island
San Cristobal Island is home to Punta Pitt, one of the most exciting sites visited as part of this tour. Here, all three types of boobies are readily observed courting, nesting, and caring for their young. Additionally, guests can take part in numerous park-approved activities, like swimming and snorkeling, in and around the cove. After lunch, the yacht makes its way to Cerro Brujo for some more coastal exploration with the chance to enjoy gorgeous views and observe more endemic species.
Day 9: Española Island
Punta Suarez on Española Island is the morning destination. This location features a distinct lava terrain, unique seabird colonies, and even a famous “blowhole” geological formation. Between April and January, it is common to spot the waved albatross here at this location. After this exciting coastal hike, guests return aboard for lunch. Meanwhile, the boat makes its way over to Gardner Bay, where a lovely, coral beach awaits. Here, sea lions, mockingbirds, and finches are on full display. Explorers can enjoy the wide range of park-approved activities, which include: swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, and glass-bottom boat rides.
Day 10: Santa Cruz Island / Transfer to Airport / Farewell
The morning sees the ship arriving at Santa Cruz Island. Passengers disembark at Puerto Ayora and head over to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. They tour the grounds and check out the giant tortoise breeding program. Following this visit, guests are taken by bus to the opposite end of the island where they cross the Itabaca Channel and make their way over to the airport on Baltra Island, where they catch their flights back to the mainland. Safe travels!
STARTING AT USD 7,345 PER PERSON
Española Island is a great place if you're interested in getting a look at the three boobies of the Galapagos Islands!