Ecuador, Galapagos & The Amazon River Cruise - Avalon

Ecuador & Its Galápagos Islands with the Amazon 2018

12 Day Cruise from Quito to Quito

2018 Information. Switch to 2017 »

This exciting cruise vacation lets you sample the natural wonders of Ecuador and its Galápagos Islands. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Quito and have your photo taken at the “Center of the World.” You’ll also explore one of the oldest streets in Quito to visit with local artists and taste some Ecuadorian chocolate at a chocolate factory. Before taking to the sea, a highlight of your trip will be a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about conservation efforts for the giant tortoises. Then, embark on an exciting 4-night cruise among various Galápagos Islands on the recently refurbished Treasure of Galápagos. Have your camera ready as your Naturalist points out colonies of sea lions, pelicans, albatross, several species of Darwin’s finches, marine iguanas, flamingos, masked boobies, blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, storm petrels, short-eared owls, and other birds. Each day venture to a new island which is home to species found nowhere else in the world! You’ll also have a chance to snorkel in the tropical waters and perhaps get a look at sea turtles, sharks, and rays.

Following your adventure around the Galápagos Islands, continue on to encounter a new set of flora and fauna in the Amazon! From Quito, fly to Coca and travel by canoe to your Amazon lodge for a 3-night stay that includes a rainforest canopy walk, a guided night tour to see the wildlife that comes out at night, cruises through the flooded forest, and spend time with the natives on a visit to a local village and school. A remarkable cruise adventure!


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Highlights & Sightseeing

Day 1 Arrive Quito, Ecuador: welcome to Quito

Day 2 Quito: walking tour, visit San Francisco Monastery, La Compania Church, La Ronda Street, a Chocolate factory, and the Equatorial Monument; welcome dinner

Day 3 Quito–Baltra–Galápagos Islands (Embarkation) –Santa Cruz Island: fly to the Galápagos Islands; embark Treasure of Galápagos; visit Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island

Day 4 Galápagos Islands Cruising: Santiago & Bartolomé Islands: Naturalist-guided walks on each island; snorkeling

Day 5 Galápagos Islands Cruising: North Seymour Island & Mosquera Islet: Naturalist-guided walks on each island; snorkeling

Day 6 Galápagos Islands Cruising: South Plaza & San Cristobal Islands: Naturalist-guided walks on each island; snorkeling

Day 7 Galápagos Islands (Disembarkation) –San Cristobal Island–Quito: disembark Treasure of Galápagos; visit San Cristobal Interpretation Center; fly to Quito

Day 8 Quito–Coca–Amazon: fly to Coca; travel by boat and dugout canoe to your Amazon lodge

Day 9 Amazon: visit a parrot clay lick; guided walk through the jungle; night walk or canoe ride

Day 10 Amazon: cruise on the Napo through the flooded forest; visit a local community, school, and village; piranha fishing

Day 11 Amazon–Coca–Quito: return to Coca; fly to Quito

Day 12 Quito: your vacation ends this morning

Meals

  • American breakfast daily
  • 7 lunches
  • 8 three-course dinners including a welcome dinner in Quito and a farewell dinner on board the Treasure of Galápagos
  • Complimentary coffee, tea, and water on board throughout the day
  • Complimentary wine with all dinners on board

Notes

  • Maximum elevation on tour: 9,200 ft.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Quito, Ecuador

Welcome to Quito!

Day 2Quito

Included sightseeing showcases Quito’s colonial history and treasures including the historic stone murals of the Legislative Palace, Independence Plaza and the 16th-century SAN FRANCISCO MONASTERY, and the Jesuit’s LA COMPANIA CHURCH with its stunning golden altars. Next, take a walk down one of Quito’s oldest streets, La Ronda, which is home to many artist’s workshops and galleries. Here, you will have the chance to meet some of the local artists and talk with them about their work before visiting a CHOCOLATE FACTORY to learn why Ecuador is considered one of the finest chocolate producers in the world. After seeing the chocolate-making process, a tasting is a must! Top off your day with a photo in front of the EQUATORIAL MONUMENT in the “Middle of the World.” Stand in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres simultaneously and test the effects of the earth’s rotation through different experiments like balancing an egg on a nail. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 3Quito: Baltra–Galápagos Islands (Embarkation)–Cruising: Santa Cruz Island

Take a morning flight to Baltra, one of the remote Galápagos Islands. Upon arrival, embark the Treasure of Galápagos for five days of CRUISING among various Galápagos Islands. Each day, travel ashore to the remote islands with your expert Naturalist, who introduces you to the unique fauna living free and fearless of man. After lunch, join your Naturalist for a visit to the CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION, established to help conserve the Galápagos’ natural habitat and protect the famous giant tortoises. While here, learn about the tortoise-rearing program and see many of the various islands’ tortoises. Later, on board the ship, join a briefing on the next day’s adventure, followed by a Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

NOTE:
The ship’s itinerary may vary according to Galápagos National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, and seasonal changes to create the perfect cross-section of sites visited.

Day 4Galápagos Islands Cruising: Santiago & Bartolomé Islands

After breakfast, you will find yourself anchored in the western-central part of the archipelago where volcanoes are still active, attributing to the dramatic scenery. Join your Naturalist for an exploration of SULLIVAN BAY on SANTIAGO ISLAND, where you will walk on newly-formed (less than 100 years ago) lava flows reminiscent of the lunar landscape. Keep your eye out for lava lizards, marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and even the Galápagos penguin. This afternoon at BARTOLOMÉ ISLAND, hike to the summit for one of the best panorama views of the region with two beautiful bays and fascinating formations of lava flows and spatter cones, including the iconic Pinnacle Rock. End your visit with a chance to snorkel or swim off the beach with the playful sea lions, Pacific green turtles, harmless whitetip reef sharks, and if you are lucky—the Galápagos penguins! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5Galápagos Islands Cruising: North Seymour Island & Mosquera Islet

Disembark at NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND, where your Naturalist will point out colonies of blue-footed boobies, Magnificent and Great Frigate Birds, swallow-tailed gulls, and lava herons. This is one of the few spots where you can compare the Magnificent and the rarer Great Frigate Bird breeding next to each other. The shores teem with sea lions and marine iguanas, and are a good spot for snorkeling. In the afternoon, visit MOSQUERA ISLET, a sandy island with one of the largest concentrations of Galapagos sea lions in the entire archipelago. A walk on the white coral beach reveals shorebirds like the endemic lava gull, waders like the yellow-crowned night heron, and intertidal hunters, such as the striking reddish-orange Sally Lightfoot crabs. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Galápagos Islands Cruising: South Plaza & San Cristobal Islands

At SOUTH PLAZA ISLAND, wildlife includes sea lions, land iguanas, marine iguanas, and hybrid iguanas (only found on this island and a result of a cross between land and marine iguanas). Also known for its prolific birdlife, you will see blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, Audubon’s shearwaters, and many other species. This afternoon, visit the first site Charles Darwin visited in the Galápagos, CERRO BRUJO on SAN CRISTOBAL. Admire the stunning views of Kicker Rock before visiting a lagoon home to many migratory birds such as pelicans, black-necked stilts, ruddy turnstones, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and the great blue heron. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Galápagos Islands (Disembarkation)–San Cristobal–Quito

After breakfast, disembark the boat in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for a visit to the SAN CRISOTBAL INTERPRETATION CENTER. Here, you will learn about the islands’ volcanic genesis, their remoteness, ocean currents, special climate, the arrival of different species, and their establishment. Next, head to the airport for your flight to Quito, where you will have free time this evening to prepare for your return flight home tomorrow. (Breakfast)

Day 8Quito–Coca–Amazon

Fly from Quito to Coca and travel by boat down the Napo River to a small tributary where you transfer to a DUGOUT CANOE for the remainder of your journey to your Amazon lodge. Floating along the narrow river, discover the Ecuadorian Amazon, the world’s largest remaining tropical rainforest, where more life hums, buzzes, chatters, and bubbles than anywhere else on the planet. One Amazonian tree can host more ant species than all of the British Isles put together, one hectare of forest boasts almost as many frog species as all of North America, and the great expanse of jungle contains more than 20% of the Earth’s vascular plant species. Here, you can find a monkey small enough to sit on your fingertip, an 8-pound toad, a spider that eats birds, and the world’s largest snake—the 30-foot-long anaconda. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9Amazon

Early this morning, your Naturalist brings you to a parrot clay lick to see parrots, macaws, parakeets, and other species feeding. Continue with a walk through the jungle and learn of the medicinal plants and immense biodiversity that have been used by the native cultures for hundreds of years. Tonight, accompany your Naturalist on a night WALK or CANOE ride to discover creatures rarely seen during the day—you many even spot a caiman or two! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10Amazon

This morning, depart on a Napo River CRUISE through the flooded forest in search of the varied wildlife. Here, you will have a good chance of seeing troops of squirrel, capuchin, and howler monkeys, and maybe even the incredibly well-camouflaged 3-toed sloth. Later, visit a local community, school, and village, and spend some time with the natives to learn about their culture and way of life. Finish your day fishing for piranhas or even taking a refreshing swim in the same waters—the less brave can send their guide in first. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11Amazon–Coca–Quito

Depart by canoe this morning in search of monkeys, giant otters, and rare birds on your return to Coca for your flight to Quito. (Breakfast)

Day 12Quito

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

Isabela II
Treasure of Galapagos

Isabela II

Seeing the Galápagos Islands on board the 21-stateroom Isabela II goes beyond traditional cruising. It's an expeditionary approach that allows you to authentically discover and explore the natural wonders of this region. The Isabela II is built to luxurious standards and features an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere, allowing guests to enjoy all that the Galápagos is famous for intimate contact with the wildlife! Delve into this unique world with the Isabela II's crew and expert Naturalists, who share their passion for nature and conservation of this mysterious part of the world. The Isabela II features a Jacuzzi, exercise room, outdoor lounge, and an observation platform for dolphin and whale watching on the top deck. The ship's dining room, lounge, and bar are elegantly appointed, as is the well-stocked library/reading room. All staterooms are outside and feature air-conditioning, private bathrooms, hairdryers, and safety deposit boxes.

Included Amenities

  • Friendly, English-speaking crew and Cruise Director
  • Multimedia natural history lectures
  • Observation lounge
  • Gift Shop
  • Business center with Wi-Fi access
  • Snorkeling equipment including wetsuits (used June to December)
  • Sea Kayaks
  • Air-conditioned throughout
  • Cultural highlights on board
  • Multilingual Naturalists
  • Stargazing program
  • Bar/Lounge and Sun Deck Bar
  • Reading Room & Natural History Library
  • Jacuzzi
  • Glass-bottom boat
  • Hydrophone and "splashcam" for exploring the underwater world
  • Resident physician

Staterooms & Suites

Classic Cabin - 139 sq. ft.
Features
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle
  • Individual climate control
  • Shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Internal communication system
  • In-room safe
  • Large mirror in bathroom
DECK PLANS

Hotels

Quito
Coca

Quito

JW Marriott Quito

JW Marriott Quito Avenida Orellana 1172 y Avenida Amazonas, Quito,  Ecuador Avenida Orellana 1172 y Avenida Amazonas
Quito, Ecuador

Hotel as shown or similar
Deluxe

Recognized as one of the best hotels in Quito, the JW Marriott surpasses expectation and meets every comfort a traveler would need. With first-rate amenities, superb service, and exceptional cuisine choices, you can simply relax and enjoy your Quito experience. As it is nestled in the city center, there are also countless activities and conveniences for guests. Take in Quito's lively atmosphere and enjoy this city oasis, leaving the details to Marriott.

Hotel Amenities

Concierge desk
Gift Shop
Spa Services
Dry Cleaning
ATM
Elevator
Luggage Storage
Fitness Room
Ice Machine
Parking/Valet
Hot Tub
Restaurant On-Site
Bar/Lounge
Business Center
Pool
Beauty Salon
Room Amenities

In-Room Safe
Internet Access
Voicemail
Television
Phone
Complimentary Newspaper
Non-smoking Rooms
Room Service
Mini-bar
Hair Dryer
Cable/Satellite
Daily Housekeeping
Alarm Clock
Climate Control
Desk
Iron/Ironing Board
Air Conditioning
Coffee Maker
Wake-Up Calls
Complimentary Toiletries

Coca

Napo Wildlife Center

Napo Wildlife Center Río Yaupi N 31-90 y AV. Mariana de Jesus, Coca,  Ecuador Río Yaupi N 31-90 y AV. Mariana de Jesus
Coca, Ecuador

Hotel as shown or similar

The Napo Wildlife Center, Amazon Lodge, is the ultimate alternative luxury eco-hotel in Amazonian Ecuador. Amenities include a restaurant, bar, two parrot clay licks, two canopy towers, boutique, library, Internet, and laundry service.

Hotel Amenities

Restaurant On-Site
Gift Shop
Bar/Lounge
Dry Cleaning
Room Amenities

Window Opens
Internet Access
In-Room Safe
Daily Housekeeping

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)


Quito

Quito

Panoramic Quito by Night with Dinner

Panoramic Quito by Night with Dinner

Drive into the old Colonial city during the evening for views of the romantic plazas and the impressive public and religious buildings followed by dinner.

Price Range: $$$

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