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Ecuador & Galapagos tour, 20 days

This is an impressive journey, both in terms of culture and nature. In Quito and Cuenca you can wander through the beautiful colonial city center and near Otavalo we visit the colorful Indian market. We stay 3 nights in ecolodge in the jungle. In Baños you can relax in the hot springs before we make an excursion to the Chimborazo Volcano. We make a spectacular train ride to the famous Devil's Nose (Nariz del Diablo). From the fishing village of Puerto López you go to Isla de la Plata, also called Small Galapagos. From Guayaquil fly you to the unique Galapagos Islands, where you will discover the different islands with their exceptional flora and fauna. Djoser, has been an Ecuador and Galapagos tour operator for over 10 years.


* Attention University Faculty Members:
   This trip can be customized for a FACULTY-LED, short term study program in Ecuador or in combination with another country.  We can help you to build a program that will include activities, selected meals, international flights, transport, guide and faculty costs, etc.  Contact:  Luke Neal (luke@djoserusa.com) regarding your program needs and preferences.   877-356-7376. 

Itinerary

  1. Quito
  2. Quito
  3. Quito - Mitad del Mundo - Otavalo
  4. Otavalo
  5. Otavalo - boat trip to jungle ecolodge
  6. jungle ecolodge
  7. jungle ecolodge
  8. jungle ecolodge - Baños
  9. Baños
  10. Baños - Chimborazo vulcano - Riobamba
  11. Riobamba - Devils Nose (train, included) - Ingapirca - Cuenca
  12. Cuenca, visit the villages Gualaceo and Chordeleg
  13. Cuenca - El Cajas N. P.
  14. Cuenca - Guayaquil
  15. Guayaquil, flight to the Galapagos Islands - San Cristobal
  16. San Cristobal
  17. San Cristobal - Floreana - Isabela
  18. Isabela
  19. Santa Cruz, visit the Charles Darwin Station
  20. Santa Cruz - flight to Guayaquil

Day by day

On the Road with Djoser
Djoser's active journeys offer an ideal balance of guidance and freedom. Our guide-assisted adventures cover the globe and feature wildlife, beautiful natural settings, historic sights and authentic cultural experiences. During Djoser travels, the daily schedule is not rigidly set.

The day-to-day descriptions describe the anticipated, or possible daily activities. Our travel days are obviously fixed, but each day the program may deviate depending on the preferences of the group, in consultation with the tour leader. The tour guide offers a program daily, with planned excursions.

You are never obligated to participate. Those who desire more freedom may go out exploring or may dine on their own. Your tour leader can offer suggestions for safe explorations and fun restaurants. You will find that Djoser participants will take advantage of this flexibility. We believe a sense of discovery is an integral element of a great trip.

We offer the land program only. Below, you will find the day-to-day description days numbered to correspond with that of the Dutch participants (which includes their transit days from/to Amsterdam). This is so that when you are traveling and refer to this day-to-day description, all travelers will be “on the same page” or the same day number.

Quito

Day 1 Quito (land begins)
Day 2 Quito
Day 3 Quito - Mitad del Mundo - Otavalo

We begin our Ecuador and Galapagos tour in Quito. The city of Quito is composed of a colonial part and a new section where you will find most hotels and restaurants. Old Quito has 32 churches and numerous plazas . The streets are steep and narrow and flanked by stately colonial houses with patios. This part of Quito is best explored on foot. In the evening be sure to visit the cozy pedestrian street La Ronda; you will find old houses, galleries, shops and cafes. The heart of the colonial center is formed by the Plaza de la Independencia, which is dominated by the large cathedral and the presidential palace. To the west lies the Plaza San Francisco with the big church and monastery of the patron saint of Quito, San Francisco. Along the way you will also see the Compania de Jesus church, which is considered by many connoisseurs as one of the five most beautiful churches in the world.

New Quito extends northwards from the center along wide boulevards. The most important is the Avenida Amazonas, where you will find some crowded terraces besides the larger souvenir shops. Furthermore, in this neighborhood (Mariscal) there are many restaurants, especially at the Plaza Foch, all close to the hotel where we stay. It is advisable to visit the Crystal Palace in the Itchimbía Park. The name of this cultural center stems from the glass, designed by architects who also designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The city parks El Ejido and El Alameda attract a pleasant crowd, espeically on the weekends. Local families walk in the parks, play sports, make music and picnics. A taxi ride takes you up the hill El Panecillo ("roll") in the Virgen de Quito, perched high above Quito. From here you are surrounded by a magnificent view over the city. On a clear day you can see the peaks of the volcanoes of Quito. Also on a clear day you can take a Teleferico, a modern cable car, up to 13451 ft altitude. Here you have a fantastic view of the very elongated capital of Ecuador. Quito also has many museums that are worth a visit.

On the way to Otavalo we cross the equator in the village of Mitad del Mundo , the “middle of the world”. Here you have indeed arrived exactly on the equator line. 

Otavalo
Day 4 Otavalo
The market of Otavalo is world famous. Indians stream from miles around to to morning early their colorful woven fabrics, rugs and ponchos to offer for sale. The market spreads over several squares of the town and has various “departments”. The Otavaleños are recognizable by the long black braid on their backs and their colorful clothing. Go somewhere to sit and watch the people from the high mountains (especially the women) , who often carry huge loads on their backs. It is a fascinating picture that has hardly changed over the centuries.

It is worthwhile to take a walk or horseback ride around Otavalo. It is also possible to visit several villages to see where Indian and artists work. There is also the possibility of a visit to the superb crater lake Cuicocha . Here you can enjoy boat rides on the lake or a long walk to a beautiful sections around the lake.

Jungle
Day 5 Otavalo - Jungle ecolodge
Day 6 Jungle Ecolodge
Day 7 Jungle Ecolodge
Day 8 Jungle ecolodge - Baños

On the route to the jungle for the first time you will witness the enormous variety and beauty of the nature in Ecuador. You will not know where to look first. Via a lush green landscape we descend to the lower part of Ecuador, with a tropical climate. All along the road you see bananas, coffee, cocoa and papaya trees.

The last few miles to the property in the jungle is covered with a traditional long canoe on the Chontayacu River. Our jungle ecolodge is certified by the Rainforest Alliance and completely built with natural, local materials. It is very comfortable. During our jungle experience you can take walks accompanied by local guides, who tell you much about the medicinal qualities of the plants that you encounter. In the evening you dine with the sounds of the jungle in the background. It is wonderful to conclude an exciting day in nature with traditional drinks around the campfire. From Puyo we drive through the valley of the Pastaza River up to Baños, where we take a nice walk to the impressive waterfall of Rio Verde can make. The attractive town of Baños, with the Tungurahua volcano looming menacingly in the background, is our next destination.

Baños

Day 9 Baños
Day 10 Baños - Chimborazo Volcano - Riobamba
Day 11 Riobamba - Devil's Nose train ride - Ingapirca - Cuenca Baños

Next you can relax in a small and friendly country town, which is famous for its sulphurous hot springs. Watch out, because since you' are practically on the equator, even on overcast days you can get a sunburn. In Baños you can also choose for more active pasttimes.. The hilly area with beautiful waterfalls is ideal for a beautiful hike. You can also go rafting, horseback riding, or mountain biking. It is said that the best aguardiente, a strong alcoholic beverage from sugar cane, is made in Baños. Try the ' Canelazo ': aguardiente with lime and cinnamon.

En route to Riobamba we can climb the “Coloso de los Andes ", as the Chimborazo Volcano is called with its height of 20702 ft to 16404 ft altitude.

The path rises steadily and offers spectacular views. After the walk there, for the athletic travelers there is the chance to take one of the most beautiful mountain bike tours in Ecuador. This ride gradually descends to 9842 ft and passes several completely different landscapes. Along the way, you are often greeted enthusiastically by highland Indians working in their fields.

Riobamba itself is also known as the "Sultan of the Andes". According to the Ecuadorians themselves, time runs about 30 years behind in Riobamba, hence even by Ecuadorian perceptions, this place exudes a a special atmosphere . In addition to a number of churches and the charming wide boulevards are views of the three high volcano peaks of Chimborazo, Altar and Tungurahua. From Alausí we travel by train on the famous Devil's Nose (Nariz del Diablo). This train is a very special experience by the sheer height of the train bridge. And also during this train ride you come across different beautiful scenery.

On the way to Cuenca we ride through the ruins of Ingapirca , the most important archaeological complex of the Cañari and Incas in Ecuador. The most unusual attraction is formed by the remains of the temple of the sun, which is situated amid the farm fields of the Cañari Indians. And although the center of the Inca Empire is Machu Pichu in southern Peru are, your image of the Inca Empire is completed with a visit to Ingapirca in Ecuador.

Cuenca
Day 12 Cuenca, visiting villages Gualaceo and Chordeleg (optional)
Day 13 Cuenca - El Cajas National Park

Day 14 Cuenca - Guayaquil

Although in terms of number of inhabitants, Cuenca is the third largest city in Ecuador, yet it has a provincial character. The center is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The colonial atmosphere is preserved in the cobbled streets, old churches and squares and stately homes with covered patios. The flower market at El Carmen is colorful and a walk along the Tomebamba River, is definitely worth your time. Cuenca is famous for the production of Panama hats and a visit to one of the factories is therefore almost a must. From Cuenca we take a trip to the villages Gualaceo and Chordeleg. Gualaceo is known for the special weaving techniques which are used for making ponchos and other articles of clothing. In Chordeleg you find numerous shops selling a variety of handicrafts. Gold and silver are especially popular with visitors. During a visit to the National Park El Cajas, you can take a walk at an altitude of 13123 ft in the beautiful mountain landscape with colorful mosses and about 230 lakes. Also along this route through beautiful quinoa forests, which has a fairy-tale like atmosphere. Via a spectacular ride descending to sea level we reach the west coastof Ecuador called Costa. . It is as if we begin a new holdiay because all facets of life here are totally different from other parts of Ecuador that we have visted.  The landscape becomes drier and the vegetation less exuberant.  Many forest areas have made way for shrimp farms. We drive to the bustling port city of Guayaquil, which will reveal a very different side of Ecuaodr. After a stroll through the lively center , the refreshing river boulevard, Malecon 2000, and a climb to the historic district of Las Penas, your will be surprised by this city which is filled with tourists.

From Guayaquil we fly to the Galapagos Islands.
 



Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands, named for the giant tortoises, lies about 620 miles from the coast in the Pacific Ocean. The archipelago consists of several islands and islets that have never been connected with the mainland. Actually the islands above the water are projections of an underwater mountain landscape of volcanic origin. They therefore do not conform to the image of a tropical island with swaying palm trees and white beaches. On the contrary, the shores are irregularly shaped from dark rock and the ground is stony and barren. Between the lava stones also beautiful white shell beaches where you can enjoy the sun and swim in the clear blue water among seals.

The stay in the Galapagos consists of five days and four nights, including the travel time to the islands. We stay in small hotels from which we make excursions with professional guides. Transfers between the islands are performed with a private speedboat so we can stop to observe animal events along the way. Sometimes we see dolphins, sea lions and special seabirds along the way. A local English speaking guide escorts the group.
 


San Cristobal

Day 15 Guayaquil, flight to San Cristobal
Day 16 Guayaquil, flight to San Cristobal Island

We arrive on the island of San Cristobal , on the east side of the Galapagos Archipelago. Compared to other islands San Cristobal is a lot more touristed. This is due to the airfield established in 1986. We visit the interpretation center where you will learn about the history of the Galapagos Islands. You get a look to the past with an eye on the present and the future. This is a must-see for the real Galapagos enthusiasts! A walk takes us to the shore at Cerro de las Tijeretas, a beautiful place to see two types of frigate birds. The landscape and the views are breathtaking. At the foot of Tijeretas Hill it is possible to snorkel. From the beach we see sea lions playing.

Floreana - Isabela - Santa Cruz
Day 17 San Cristobal - Floreana - Isabela
Day 18 Isabela

Day 19 Isabela-Santa Cruz, visit Charles Darwin Station

 Early in the morning we sail for about 2.5 hours to Floreana Island , where we visit the highlands of this historic island. We continue our way to Isabela, the largest island of the archipelago. She was named after the queen of that time, Queen Isabela of Spain. The island is formed by six volcanoes which run together: Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf. In the afternoon we visit the Turtles Breeding Centre. We also see flamingos in the Humedales area, a wetland. Optional on Isabela is a visit to the islands Tintoreras where you can observe sharks, marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins and various birds c. It is possible to snorkel there.

Isabela - Santa Cruz

From Isabela we travel to Santa Cruz. On this island we find on the south coast,  a number of low buildings, research laboratories and workshops of the Charles Darwin Research Station. The varieties of animals on the islands  inspired Darwin's influential theory of evolution, described in his book "On the Origin of Species."

Day 20 Santa Cruz - Baltra - flight to Guayaquil -

 In the morning we go to the highlands of Santa Cruz to see the giant Galapagos tortoise in its natural environment. In the afternoon we walk to Tortuga Bay, which has one of the most beautiful beaches of the Galapagos. It consists of fine white sand. Then we visit a protected beach where we can see a colony of marine iguanas and a variety of seabirds such as pelicans, seagulls and finches. We also find mangroves and cactus. On the last day in the Galapagos Islands, we take it easy. You can look around a bit in the port of Puerto Ayora, also the most densely populated place in the Galapagos Islands. We fly from Baltra to Guayaquil where we all depart for home.

We visit Charles Darwin Station Early in the morning. Then we sail in for about 2.5 hours to Floreana Island, where we visit the highlands of this historic island. We continue to Isabela , the largest island of the archipelago. It owes its name to the queen of that era, Queen Isabela of Spain. The island is formed by six volcanoes: Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf. In the afternoon we visit the Turtles Breeding Centre. We also see flamingos in the Humedales wetland area. Optional on Isabela is a visit to the islands Tintoreras where you see sharks, marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins and various birds. It is possible to snorkel. From Isabela we travel to Santa Cruz . On this island on the south coast, spread over a number of low buildings, are research laboratories and workshops of the Charles Darwin Research Station. The varieties of animals on the islands originally inspired Darwin’s influential theory of evolution, described in his book "On the Origin of Species."

Santa Cruz

Day 19 Santa Cruz
Day 20 Santa Cruz  - flight to Guayaquil (land ends)

In the morning we go to the highlands of Santa Cruz to view the Giant Galapagos tortoise view in its natural environment. In the afternoon we walk to. Tortuga Bay, which has one of the most beautiful beaches of the Galapagos. It consists of fine white sand. Then we will visit a protected beach, where we can see a colony of marine iguanas and seabirds such as pelicans, finches, and gulls. We also find mangroves and cactus. On the last day in the Galapagos Islands, we take it easy. You can still look around in the port of Puerto Ayora, also the most populated place in the Galapagos Islands. We fly back from Baltra to Guayaquil where our trip comes to an end.

Dates and prices

Departure dates 2017

Land Begins Land Ends Price Availability  
May-09-17
Guaranteed leave
May-28-17$3,9206 seatsbook now >
Jun-21-17
Guaranteed leave
Jul-10-17$3,9209 seatsbook now >
Jul-12-17
Guaranteed leave
Jul-31-17$4,0402 seatsbook now >
Jul-19-17Aug-07-17$4,0400 seats
Jul-26-17Aug-14-17$4,1050 seats
Aug-02-17
Guaranteed leave
Aug-21-17$4,1652 seatsbook now >
Sep-06-17
Guaranteed leave
Sep-25-17$3,9208 seatsbook now >
Sep-13-17
Guaranteed leave
Oct-02-17$3,92018 seatsbook now >
Sep-20-17
Guaranteed leave
Oct-09-17$3,92014 seatsbook now >
Oct-11-17
Guaranteed leave
Oct-30-17$3,85518 seatsbook now >
Nov-01-17
Guaranteed leave
Nov-20-17$3,85514 seatsbook now >
Dec-20-17
Guaranteed leave
Jan-08-18$3,92020 seatsbook now >

Departure dates 2018

Land Begins Land Ends Price Availability  
Feb-21-18
Guaranteed leave
Mar-12-18$3,85520 seatsbook now >
Mar-14-18Apr-02-18$3,92020 seatsbook now >
Apr-25-18
Guaranteed leave
May-14-18$3,92020 seatsbook now >
May-16-18
Guaranteed leave
Jun-04-18$3,92020 seatsbook now >
Jun-06-18Jun-25-18$3,92020 seatsbook now >

Conditions "Guaranteed leave"

Price includes

Included in our Ecuador and Galapagos tour package 2016

  • land package beginning and ending at hotels,
  • Breakfasts included
  • transportation, hotel accommodation with breakfast, stay in jungle including meals,
  • excursions according to program,
  • Dutch tour leader (speaks Dutch and English) (does not accompany in the Galapagos),
  • flight to / from Galapagos,
  • Six-day/ 5 nights  Galapagos program with hotel accommodation and transfers between islands by speed boat,
  • Visit Villages Gualaceo and Chordeleg
  • Visit Otavalo Indian Market
  • English speaking guide / biologist at Galapagos.
  • Tour Chimborazo Volcano
  • Devil's Nose Train Ride
  • Tour El Cajas National Park

Price excludes

Excluded in our Ecuador and Galapagos tour package:

  • international flights from/to United States,
  • meals not mentioned as includd and optional excursions,
  • entrance fees if not specifically named as included, visa(if applicable),
  • exit taxes (if applicable),
  • tips,
  • personal expenses,
  • travel insurance, airport transfers at arrival & departure.

See the Cost Overview for estimated out of pocket expenses

Cost Overview

 2016-2017

 
Single accommodations $700
   
Extension hotel city #1 Quito
Double room $90       
Single room $70
Extension hotel city #2 Guayaquil
Double room $95
Single room $75
   
Estimated out-of-pocket, weekly $270

Payment Schedule 

  • Deposit is due upon booking to hold your place
  • 25% of total costs due (or $500 minimum) 
  • Payments by charge card or check accepted
  • Balance is due 60 days prior to departure date. 

USEFUL WEBSITES

Weather:   http://worldweather.wmo.int/en/home.html

Consulate List:   http://www.state.gov/misc/list/index.htm

Passport/Visa Expeditor:   TRAVISA   http://www.travisa.com/

Travel Insurance Quote:  TRAVELEX 1-800-228-9792  http://www.travelexinsurance.com/quote/?nc=1  

Currency Conversion Cheat Sheet : http://www.oanda.com/currency/travel-exchange-rates

Center for Disease Control   http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list

Book your flights: Farecompare  http://www.farecompare.com/#quote

Practical information

Accommodations & Meals

Accommodations - As you journey through Ecuador, you'll stay in comfortable and attractive hotels, the rooms are equipped with private baths. The location is central, so you can get around on foot. Occasionally, the property is a little more remote, but that will be fully offset by the special atmosphere.
In the Amazon, we stay in a by the Rainforest Alliance Certified Yacuma Ecolodge. Your typical shelter, a so-called. "Cabana" andwas built by the local population. Power is generated by solar panels. These are “two-under-one-roof” cottages with a private bedroom and bathroom. The cottages are located in the jungle on a river and can be reached only by canoe. (In high season it may be that we stay in another similar ecolodge)

Some examples of our usual hotels (subject to change)


Quito  Hotel Fuente de Piedra II
Otavalo Hotel Coraza
Jungle Yacuma Ecolodge
Baños  Hotel Monte Selva
Cuenca  Posada del Angel
Puerto López Hotel Paciffico
Guayaquil Hotel Continental
Isabela Insular Hotel
Santa Cruz Hotel Fiesta
   
   
   


Single room - Djoser is single friendly! If you are traveling solo, we will match you with a same-sex roommate. If we cannot match you, there will be no additional room charge. For a reasonable charge, you may request single accommodations, subject to availability. Just indicate this preference on your booking form. You will find pricing for single accommodations on "Dates & Prices" page.

Hotel extensions -
It is always great to be well rested when you begin a journey such as this. If you would like to book an extension hotel night upon arrival in the city where the land program begins, let us know on your booking form. You will find the prices for extension nights listed on the "Dates & Prices"  page.

Meals -
In the accommodations you stay at a bed and breakfast. The meals during the stay in the jungle are included in the price.Other meals are not. I this way you are free to dine where and with whom you wish to.In major cities such as Quito and Cuenca you can opt for a European meal in one of the luxury restaurants, but of course there to find eateries which serves simple, local meals. You can assume that a restaurant that is frequented by Ecuadorians, is a good restaurant. Main components of the local cuisine are potatoes and corn. Make sure to try the "cebiche", a delicious cold cocktail. Soups are an important part of the meal, the most popular are chicken and potato soup. Here and there are restaurants where 'cuy' (guinea pig) is served, a specialty dating back to the time of the Incas. Most hotels offer a breakfast with coffee / tea and sandwiches. In other cases, the tour leader is always a nice restaurant nearby. Start the day a typical Ecuadorian plate with boiled corn!

Flights & Transportation

Booking your international flight - We provide the land package and transportation within the program as described. We do not arrange international flights from or to the United States or Canada. The land program will begin approximately two hours after the arrival of the Netherlands (NL) participants who will be arrive from Amsterdam. The land program will end about 4 hours prior to their scheduled departure time, which allows for time to get to the airport. The proposed flights for the Dutch participants and the land beginning and end times are listed in this section. They are subject to change based on flight delays or changes. We will keep you posted of any flight changes that we are aware of prior to the trip. When scheduling your flights, keep the following times in mind:

2016 Dutch participants' proposed flights: (subject to change)
Airline: KLM
NL participants arrive: Quito 2:35 PM
NL participants depart: Guayaquil 6:35 PM

Before you book your flight - To avoid flight change or cancellation costs get email confirmation from our office that the trip has enough participants to be a “GO”.

Verify the spelling of your name-within 24 hours - When you book your flights, double check your flight records to confirm that your name is spelled on your ticket exactly as it appears on your passport. Some companies (for example, ORBITZ) will only allow a 24 hour window to correct any errors without penalty. You may incur heavy fees for changes, forfeiture of your flight ticket, or even worse, you could be denied entry to a border upon arrival.

Send us a copy of your flight itinerary - We will forward to the tour leader so they will know when to expect you at the hotel and when you will be departing.

Keep in mind hotel extensions - If the Dutch travelers arrive early in the morning, we recommend that you arrange to fly in the day or night before so you will be meet the group. Some trips involve an immediate transfer from airport to the next town so make sure you will arrive before the others so you don’t miss the first meeting or transfer to the next location. We can arrange an extension hotel night for you. Prices for hotel extensions can be found in the "Dates & Prices" section

If the Dutch participants arrive in the late evening - Should they arrive very late in the evening, the group will have their first meeting in the morning in the hotel lobby. You can check in earlier and relax or explore on your own.

Airport transfer to/from hotel – not Included - If you will be arriving and or departing on the same flight as the Dutch travelers let us know. Then you can join them on the bus for the group transfer at no additional charge. Notify us in advance so we can alert the tour leader. If you schedule your flight at the same time as theirs, or later, you can join them on the group transfer to the airport at no additional charge. Otherwise, you can take an authorized taxi to the first hotel on the list we have provided for you. Private airport transfers can be very costly . If your flight is delayed, they are difficult to reschedule or cancel. With a taxi, you are not charged for waiting time or cancellations.

Useful link for booking your flights: Farecompare
We can also put you in touch with a travel agent who can arrange your flights for you. 

Local transportation - We travel in a private bus. This is managed by experienced Ecuadorian drivers. The advantage of this private transport is that we can stop along the way for a picnic, to a visit a village or to take pictures. It can therefore happen that we can spend a full day on the road, but with nice stops in between. To reach the bungalows in the jungle, we sail the last piece in a long, narrow canoe on the Chontayacu River. The ride from Riobamba to Cuenca we cover by train on the famous slope of the Nariz del Diablo. This is included in the fare.On the Galapagos Islands, we use for our own speedboat transfers. Each speedboat accommodates up to 16 passengers.With a full group therefore we use two speedboats, each with its own local Galapagos guide.

Money Matters

A summary of all trip costs can be found on our "Dates & Prices" page. Prices may fluctuate throughout the year depending on currency exchange, gas costs, etc.

Included in price of our Ecuador and Galapagos tour package 

  • Land package (begins & ends at hotel)
  • Tour leader (logistics coordinator, not a lecturer), speaks Dutch & English (accompanies up to but not including the Galapagos)
  • Meals and excursions during jungle lodge
  • Tour archaeological complex Ingaprica
  • Vist villages Gualaceo and Chordeleg
  • Flights to/from Galapagos
  • English-speaking guide in the Galapagos
  • Hotel accommodations with Breakfasts
  • Visit Indian Market in Otavalo
  • Tour Chimborazo Volcano
  • Devil's Nose Train ride
  • Tour el Cajas National Park
  • 6-day Galapagos program with 5 nights accommodation and transfers between island by speed boat.
     

When you book a trip

  • Deposit of 25% of total costs due
  • Payments by charge card or check are accepted
  • Balance is due 60 days prior to departure date


While you are traveling

Local Currency: Dollars
ATM Machines: Widely available 
Cash accepted:  Dollars in small bills
Credit Cards: Widely accepted


Tipping - 
It is customary to tip for services rendered. The tour leader will organize a tip jar at the beginning of the trip, from which tips to drivers, guides, hotel staff are paid. Depending on the size of the group, each participant will be asked to contribute $40 to $50. This does not include a tip for your tour leader. Tipping the tour leader is appreciated and the amount up to your discretion.

** You will find a list of all trip costs in the "Dates & Prices" section, including your estimated out of pocket costs.

Excursions

Freedom and choice are important elements of a Djoser trip. In addition to scheduled group activities, wherever possible, you may decide which attractions you wish to visit, and with whom. Unless otherwise indicated, entrance fees are not included in the price, so you have the freedom to make your own choices. One person may prefer to stroll through the market in search of bargains, while someone else may want to relax by the pool, go to a museum, or take a bike ride. Join the guide or break off with others in the group to explore on foot or with the local transport. Some attractions should not be missed, or they are not easily accessible, or are en route to our next overnight location and are therefore built into the program. In the "Dates & Prices" section you will find the estimated out-of-pocket, weekly expenses that have calculated in typical entry fees in addition to meals and other costs.

During our Ecuador and Galapagos group tour, the following excursions are included in the program:

  • We visit the village Mitad del Mundo right on the equater, the "center of the world."
  • Visit the world famous market of Otavalo
  •  With a traditional long canoe sail on the Chontayacu River to our ecolodge. From here we take walks accompanied by local guides, who tell you much about the flora and fauna of the jungle
  • On the way to Riobamba we climb the "Coloso de los Andes" , as the Chimborazo Volcano with its height of over 20,000 feet. After the walk there (for only the most fit) is the opportunity to experience one of the most beautiful mountain bike tours in Ecuador
  • On the way to Cuenca we ride through the ruins of Ingapirca , the most important archaeological complex of the Cañari and Inca
  • We visit the villages Gualaceo and Chordeleg
  • In El Cajas National Park , you can take a nice walk at an altitude of 13,123 feet in the beautiful mountain landscape with colorful mosses and about 230 lakes

Galapagos Islands: The program on the Galapagos is subject to change. We depend on many factors, such as weather, season changes, and political conditions, especially regulations regarding the protection of the area. This route may vary per trip. With a full group are deployed two speedboats. The regulations may be that both boats follow different routes and that the group is split.

  • San Cristobal: Visit to the interpretation center and Cerro de las Tijeretas
  • Hike through the highlands of Floreana and visit the Turtle Breeding Centre on Isabela
  • Hike to the crater of Sierra Negfa volcano the second largest volcano crater in the world.
  • Visit to the Pozas the Tintorias. In these shallow pools in the ocean are found turles, iguanas and other marine life.
  • Visit to the Charles Darwin Centre on Santa Cruz
  • Hike through the highlands of Santa Cruz. In the afternoon we visit one of the most beautiful beaches of the Galapagos, Tortuga Bay, but also a protected beach where we will be able to admire several species up close

Besides, there are several places to visit where you will need to pay entrance fees  (see estimated out of pocket expenses in cost overview)  
 

  • Visit Quito Crystal Palace in the park Itchimbía or go on a clear day with the Teleférico, a modern cable car up to 4100 meters. Here you have a fantastic view of the very elongated capital of Ecuador.
  • From Otavalo it is possible to visit the superb crater lake Cuicocha. Here you can get a nice boat ride on the lake or take a longer walk to beautiful part of it
  • Baños is famous for its sulphurous hot springs. Take this chance to relax!
  • In Cuenca visit a factory where the famous Panama hats are made. Also worthwhile are the colorful  flower market at El Carmen ias well as a stroll along the Tomebamba River, .
  • Galapagos  Islands: at various islands you can swim and snorkel in the beautiful bays. 
  • Visit the  impressive Kicker Rock where birds nest in the perpendicular walls. Provided the weather conditions permit, it is possible to snorkel here.
     
  • Your guide can help to suggest additional activities.
     

Travel Documents

When you book a trip we will provide you with more details about necessary documents. Passports should be current and valid for at least 6 months beyond your departure date. If a visa is required, you may need extra pages in your passport for your stamps. Check all visa requirements carefully and leave yourself plenty of time to send and receive documents before your trip.

Travel documents needed
Ecuador tourist visa needed – NO 

Visa expeditor - If you are anxious about the visa process, or if you are short of time, you can pay an additional fee for an expediting service. They will look over your paperwork and should be able to guaranty a swift return of your visa or passport. We can recommend Travisa.  You should check their website for the office designated for your state. 

USEFUL WEBSITES

Weather:   http://worldweather.wmo.int/en/home.html

Consulate List:   http://www.state.gov/misc/list/index.htm

Passport/Visa Expeditor:   TRAVISA   http://www.travisa.com/

Travel Insurance Quote:  TRAVELEX 1-800-228-9792  http://www.travelexinsurance.com/quote/?nc=1  

Currency Conversion Cheat Sheet : http://www.oanda.com/currency/travel-exchange-rates

Center for Disease Control   http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list

Book your flights: Farecompare  http://www.farecompare.com/#quote

Health Issues & Insurance

Health - Check with the  Center for Disease Control – Travelers information for recommendations. Keep in mind that they may recommend an inoculation or medication such as malaria pills, which may be necessary for one specific part of a country but not another, or for a particular season. Shots are expensive. Make sure to get only what is needed. We recommend asking your doctor for a prescription to combat a more serious intestinal disorder.

When you book a trip we will provide you with information regarding the usual recommendations for the region we will visit. You will be responsible to check with your travel clinic or physician to review your plans and to find out the most up-to-date recommendations and needs for your particular situation. Plan to get your inoculations four to six weeks in advance of your trip. Some offices may need to preorder the medicines so call in advance.It is wise to pay careful attention to what you eat. Also, we recommend you bring medicines such as pain-killer and for remedy for intestinal disorders (such as IMMODIUM). Bring a small first aid kit. Tweezers, band-aids, antiseptic cream, insect repellent , salt rehydration tablets. The tour leader will have a first aid kit.

Climate and altitude changes can sometimes cause illness. Be sure to drink plenty of water. Bottled water is readily available. Excessive alcohol intake contributes to dehydration and makes you more vulnerable to illness. Make sure that you get plenty of rest and enough food and drink during the trip.

Most people are recommended to get

  • Vaccinations against DTP, hepatitis A and yellow fever
  • Malaria tablets for the jungle
     

Insurance - For piece of mind, we recommend that you procure travel insurance. In the event of an illness or injury, an emergency evacuation can be incredibly expensive and you would want access to the best possible facility. Also, lost baggage or missed flights can mean added expenses, Even events at home may prevent you from taking a trip, such as a lost job or ailing family member. It is important to get travel insurance immediately after booking. Most companies have a brief window (within 10 days of booking) for coverage for a preexisting condition. You will be asked to provide us with travel insurance contact information before your departure.

You are free to choose your own provider. Over the years, we have recommended TRAVELEX. They offer a variety of plans and most importantly, they are responsive. Should you choose to go with TRAVELEX, you will contact them directly and the cost of your coverage will depend on the plan you choose. The cost will be based over the total cost of your trip and flights, and the amount is also subject to your age. Ask about the TRAVEL PLUS plan and the more economical TRAVEL LITE plan. 

* Arrange for insurance immediately after booking your trip so that you are covered for any pre-existing situation.

Click here for Travelex   1-800-228-9792 

Group Composition

Djoser travelers are active, enthusiastic travelers of all ages. Join an international group with travelers from the Netherlands, Belgium and North America, who will be the minority group on these trips. Most of our trips range from a minimum of eight participants to a maximum of 20 or 22. You will find couple and singles on our trips. Feel free to call us if you wish to know the demographic make-up of a particular trips (number of singles and age range).

Minimum group size: 8 
Maximum group size: 20


What to expect when traveling with an international group
Djoser, Inc. (the United States office) has been an Ecuador and Galapagos tour operator for over 10 years. Djoser, B.V. (the Netherlands office) has been an Ecuador and Galapagos tour operator for over 25 years. So together we bring vast experience. Most of our trips are arranged in cooperation with Djoser, B.V. in the Netherlands. Because they cater to the voracious travel appetites of the Dutch, we can offer a vast number of programs around the world with hard-to-find itineraries, with numerous departure dates.

On our Ecuador and Galapagos group tour, you will travel with an international group, with most participants from Holland and Belgium. The international make-up of our groups is the attraction for many regular Djoser travelers and adds another cultural element to the trip. Typically, there are only one to five North Americans per group. You will find that almost all of your fellow travelers have an excellent command of English and most are very willing to socialize. It’s a great idea to extend an invitation to a few travel mates for coffee or a drink early in the trip. They will appreciate your effort and this is a great way to break the ice. It will be easier for them to test out their English skills in a quiet, one-on-one setting. Group members tend to warm up to one another in a day or two. As with every tour group, compatibility has most to do with individual personalities.

The Dutch are experienced and hearty travelers. We attract travelers of all ages and we enjoy the mix! You will find our participants welcome opportunities for independent explorations in addition to group activities. No matter their age, Djoser travelers expect, and are up to lots of walking, hiking, biking, or whatever comes our way. The Dutch and Belgian travelers will fly as a group from Amsterdam. You will meet the group and tour leader at the hotel where you will begin the land program with the group.

Tour Leaders & Support Staff

In Ecuador, our trips are guided by an experienced Dutch guide who speaks Dutch and English. He or she will be responsible for the organizational and technical aspects of the trip. He/she coordinates with the driver, hotels, and other vendors along the way. The tour leader has extensive travel experience and expertise as well as a comprehensive training. In the Galapagos Island, a local, English-speaking biologist will take over the guidance.

Our experienced land representatives are situated in the destination country you will visit. We work closely with them and they function as the liaison between our office, the guide, drivers and hotels. They are also available in the case of an emergency and their number will be provided on your emergency contact list.

Climate & Geography

Our trips are organized with weather conditions in mind. On our website, we will provide you with a weather summary of the region: 

Check temperature and rainfall for specific cities on your trip, during your month of travel at    http://worldweather.wmo.int/en/home.html

In Ecuador you can encounter all climates: on the coast and in the jungle it is humid and tropical, while on the Andes snow lies on the peaks year-round. You should plan changing weather conditions.

In the jungle and on the coast, average temperatures around 77 ° F; in the 'Sierra', this amounts to average 68° F. At high altitudes and in the evenings and nights the other hand cool to freezing. Quito is also called the "City of Eternal Spring" because the temperature here is very constant is between 68 °F and 77 ° F . In the jungle rain falls throughout the year; in the rest of the country most rains come between October and April. This does not mean that Ecuador is not safe to travel in this season. Heavy rain often falls at the end of the afternoon, but during this season the nature is stunning. The climate in the Galapagos Islands is mild. Most rain falls between January and April. In other months, there is practically no rain, but it can be cloudy or foggy. Temperatures are between 62 ° Fand 71 ° F.

Photos & video

Book Trip/Trip Inquiry

Are you ready to book a trip?


* Submit this form to begin your reservation process.  Confirm that names exactly as they appear on a current passports.  If names on your international, domestic flights or visas (if applicable) do not match your name as it appears on your passport, some countries will deny you entry.

TIP:  Also verify your name on your flight records, within 24 hours after reserving to avoid change or cancellation penalties.   

* Pay by personal check or credit card:  Visa, Mastercard, American Express

* Call us with your charge card information.  Your place will be reserved upon receipt of funds for required deposit.

* Refer to the Prices & Dates page for an overview of your total costs & deposit 


* Download the Booking Form with Terms and Conditions

* Fax for with signatures for all participants 18 and over to  484-595-9140 . Or scan to us at luke@djoserusa.com

* Or mail Djoser, Inc., 154 Woodgate Lane, Paoli, PA 19301 - Attn: Luke Neal


Download Booking Form 

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Highlights

  • International groups of all ages
  • Galapagos tour: five-day visit to the most beautiful islands of the archipelago
  • Colonial architecture in Quito and Cuenca
  • Visit the colorful market of Otavalo and typical villages Gualaceo and Chordeleg
  • Stay in cozy Ecolodge in the Amazon
  • Spectacular Devil's Nose train ride included
  • Tour Chimborazo Volcano and El Cajas National Park