Ecuador Eco-Adventure: Rainforest, Cloud Forest & Coast

See awe-inspiring wildlife in their natural habitats, hike in the shadow of Arenal volcano, explore Monteverde’s lush cloud forest and Costa Rica’s spectacular Pacific coast, and zipline above the forest canopy.
When: Year-round
Duration: 7 Nights
Accommodations: Hotels and lodges committed to sustainability and conservation

Destinations

  • Amazon – Napo River ~ Arenal National Park was created in 1994 and up until very recently, it was considered one of the world’s premier volcano-watching areas. While Arenal still has occasional volcanic activity, it has for the most part gone quiet. Despite the changes in volcanic activity, Arenal National Park remains one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica and the surrounding area offers a wide variety of activities for visitors.
  • Bellavista Cloud Forest ~ Acclaimed as one of the best wildlife refuges in the New World Tropics and home to more than 100 species of mammals, 400 species of bird, tens of thousands of insect species and 2,500 species of plants.
  • Antisana Ecological Reserve ~ Famous for its expansive white sand beaches that meet tropical rainforest along the shore. The park’s beaches and islets are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The more adventurous can try surfing on Manuel Antonio’s breaks.
  • Machalilla National Park ~

OTHER ECUADOR & GALAPAGOS ITINERARIES

Below are some of our sample itineraries, but note that we can customize the perfect Ecuador adventure that meets your needs.

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Sample Itinerary


DAY 1: Arrival/ Quito ~ Upon arrival, you’ll be met for your private transfer to Quito. The rest of the evening is yours to spend as you please. Overnight at Hosteria Rincon de Puembo.

NOTE: For evening flight arrivals, lodging closer to the new international airport will be selected for convenience.

DAY 2: Quito/ Napo Wildlife Center ~ Transfer back to the airport this morning for your 30-minute flight to Coca over the eastern Andes mountain range. Five minutes away at Port Francisco de Orellana, board a comfortable covered motorboat for your 2-hr transfer along the Napo River. Keep an eye out for an array of colorful tropical birds along the river’s edge. After arriving at Napo Wildlife Center’s (NWC) entry dock, disembark and then take a majestic and peaceful dugout canoe ride the rest of the way (1-2 hrs more). Late afternoon arrival to NWC. After dinner, optional lake tour in search of caiman. Overnight at NWC. (B,L,D)


DAY 3: Napo Wildlife Center ~ Early wake up to reach the best and easy access parrot clay licks in Ecuador, about 1 hour away from the lodge, guests reach there just before parrot activity kicks off at the clay lick between 7:30 to 8:30. A total of 11 species of parrots, parakeets and macaws can be seen. A visit that depends on weather conditions, but usually successful. Later, hike along forest trail to visit to the Kichwa community of Añangu and sharing time with a family on their activities. Return to the creek and hike through a Terra Firme Forest for about 30 minutes until we arrive to the second parrot clay lick where if the weather conditions help will be able to find different species of parrots, parakeets and even macaws. Lunch box served at the parrot clay lick observatory. Late afternoon arrival to the lodge. Overnight at NWC. (B,L,D)

DAY 4: Napo Wildlife Center ~ After breakfast at the welcome area, you’ll visit the Kichwa Community of Añangu. Here you’ll be able to spend some time with the local people and learn about their culture and way of life. Then, walk along the path next to the Napo River, in a new excursion in the Amazon. You’ll have the chance to spot various species. Plus, your guide will show you different species of plants and will explain their use in ancestral medicine. At the Community, you’ll visit the local school and the communal areas. You’ll learn how our Community has developed during the past years, improving education and health. After lunch (brought from the hotel), you’ll walk on a new trail starting at the Community that leads to the Añangu lagoon. During this walk you’ll get to know more about the flora of the zone, which is not only used for medicine but also for daily living. Arrive at the hotel late in the afternoon, for a well deserved rest and dinner. Overnight at NWC. (B,L,D)


DAY 5: Napo Wildlife Center/ Bellavista Cloud Forest ~ Early departure and last excursion canoeing back to the Napo river, the creek may reveal new sights of giant otters, Saki monkeys or many other rare birds. Entry docking area, use of restrooms and embarking on motorized canoe in order to return back to Coca, arrival approximately after 2 hours boat ride up river, in order to check for Coca – Quito flight. Transfer to Bellavista Lodge. En route to Bellavista, you’ll stop at the site where the 18th Century Royal Geodesic Mission took place and the equator (0°, 00′, 00″) was determined. As you continue to Bellavista, you’ll pass rivers, waterfalls, and deep valleys. Overnight at Bellavista Lodge. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: Bellavista Cloud Forest ~ Today, you have the full day to explore the trails of Bellavista. The trails of the reserve are teeming with enchanting bromeliads and orchids, tropical birds, and mammals like the endangered spectacled bear and elusive puma. Overnight at Bellavista Lodge. (B,L,D)                                                                                                                                                                

DAY 7: Bellavista Cloud Forest/ Quito ~ The morning is yours to enjoy Bellavista before your transfer to Quito. On the way to Quito, you’ll stop at the archaeological pools of Tulipe. You also have the option of stopping at the Mitad del Mundo (“Middle of the World”) Monument or Museo Intiñan where you may conduct scientific experiments on the equatorial line. Afternoon city tour of Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overnight at Patio Andaluz. (B)

Quito Basilica at Night

DAY 8: Antisana/ Termas Papallacta ~ Morning visit to the Antisana Ecological Reserve surrounding the Antisana Volcano. The reserve is comprised of six life zones and resident wildlife are abundant. The reserve is home to the spectacled bear, Andean wolf, and Andean condor. After touring Antisana, continue on to Termas Papallacta where you will spend the night (B,L,D)                                                                                                                                                             

DAY 9: Termas Papallacta ~ Free day to relax at the spa and enjoy the hot springs on site. If you’re up for a more active day, you can choose an optional excursion to the nearby Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve. Overnight at Termas Papallacta. (B,L,D)

Antisana Ecological Park in Ecuador

DAY 10: Mantarraya Lodge ~ After breakfast, you’ll be transferred back to the airport in Quito for your flight to Guayaquil. You’ll be met at the Guayaquil airport and transferred Mantarraya Lodge where you’ll spend the next three nights. Overnight at Mantarraya Lodge. (B,D)                                                                                                                                                             

DAYS 11-12: Mantarraya Lodge ~ These two days are yours to choose from a variety of optional activities on offer at the lodge. Activities include Machalilla National Park, whale watching, boat trip to Isla de la Plata, snorkeling, birding, kayaking, and scuba diving. Overnights at Mantarraya Lodge. (B,L,D)

Blue-footed Booby, Ecuador Coastline, Isla de la Plata

DAY 13: Mantarraya Lodge/ Quito ~ Continue exploring the area before transferring to the airport in time for your return flight to Quito. Overnight at Hotel Patio Andaluz. (B)                                                                                                                                                           

DAY 7: Departure ~ Transfer out from Hotel Patio Andaluz, to the International Airport to take your flight back home. (B)

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DETAILS

Meals: B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; Dinner

Pricing from $4320 per person based on double occupancy.

Package includes accommodations, guided activities on a shared basis, meals as listed, domestic flights (Quito-Coca-Quito; Quito-Manta-Quito), day trip to Isla de Plata, and ground transfers. A donation to support local conservation efforts will be made on behalf of all participants.

Exclusions: international airfare, passport/visa fees, travel insurance, taxis, optional activities, exit taxes, alcohol, gratuities, Machalilla National Park entrance fee, and items of a personal nature.

This sample itinerary is a suggested outline.  It can be customized to best suit your travel plans.