QUITO In its historic center you can distinguish several representative and iconic churches of the city dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; Some of the most visited are the Church of San Francisco, considered as a jewel of continental architecture for its mix of different styles combined over more than 150 years of construction. The majestic and historic Basilica of the National Vote, which due to its size and style is considered as the biggest neo-Gothic temple in America.
La Mitad del Mundo is another reference point in Quito, very famous because in this place the Franco-Spanish geodesic mission of the 18th century, determined the exact location of the equator or Ecuador where the name of the country comes from, this place has museums, restaurants, craft sites typical from the country, among other attractions.
In a natural elevation located at 9.843 feet above sea level, is “El Panecillo”, a natural viewpoint from where you have a privileged 180 degree view of the city of Quito; on the hill of this amazing place stands the “Virgen del Panecillo”, a giant sculpture composed by 7.400 pieces, this statue is listed as the largest aluminum representation in the world.
1st Day: Arrival to the city of Quito
You will be received at the Quito airport and transferred with a driver-guide (English-Spanish language). Once set in the hotel, you will have a free afternoon so you can adapt to the height of the beautiful city of Quito and settle in your room.
You can admire the beatiful city’s surroundings , have dinner at the hotel and accommodation.
2nd day: Getting to know the Wonderful Capital and Baroque Art -Panecillo Quito
On this day we will dedicate ourselves to discover the wonderful capital of Ecuador, we will visit the colonial center of Quito and its churches; the cathedral, the church of the “Compañia de Jesus”, the church of San Francisco and many other masterpieces of Quito Baroque art, then we will visit the Carondeleth Palace (only available from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with prior reservation of authorization for entry) and walk through the colonial center of Quito. (Consider that the tour schedules can be reversed due to the reservation at Carondeleth)
Free time for lunch in the surroundings.
Once the previous visit and the free time for lunch are over, you will be ushered by the tour guide to the Panecillo (10 minutes by car from the center) a hill crowned by the statue of the “Virgin of Quito”, this place offers a wonderful panoramic view of the city; We will restart the tour visiting Ichimbia, another emblematic place to have the best and incomparable view of the city of Quito and where you can take beautiful pictures.
Our staff will transfer you to your hotel for dinner and accomodation.
3rd day: Towards “La Mitad del Mundo” – Teleférico.
We will start our excursion in the morning to take the “teleferico”, a gondola lift that ascends through the Pichincha volcano, this is one of the highest gondola lift in the world, reaching a height of 12.492 feet above sea level.
Then we will head towards the “Mitad del Mundo”, we will make a stop at the “0º latitude”, where a 54m diameter circular platform represents the equator. The “Mitad del Mudo” Monument shows us the most famous example of a city divided between two hemispheres “the north and the south”.
At the bottom of the monument we will see a drawnline on the floor, which represents the imaginary edge between the two hemispheres of the terrestrial globe. The most beautiful experience that our travelers can enjoy, is to place one foot on each side of this line, take a picture and have the best memory of their lives right in the center of the earth.
We will be exactly in the middle of the world, where gravity has a notable decrease, for this reason when the traveler is in the “Mitad del Mundo”, his weight is less than anywhere else on earth.
Free time for lunch in the “Mitad del Mundo”, and we will continue our tour to the Intiñan Museum.
We will return to the hotel for dinner and accomodation.
Day 4: Mindo Visit to the Colibríes Garden – Waterafalls and Tarabita
Our tour will start early, in the morning hours, the tourist guide will pick you up at the hotel located in the center of Quito, the trip to Mindo will last approximately two hours, on the way you can see small towns such as Alaspungo, Calacalí and Nanegalito.
We will admire the landscape of the Andes Mountains.
Our first stop will be the visit to the Hummingbird Garden, a local farm to see 10 to 20 species of hummingbirds (depending on the season or time of the day).
After this tour we will get ready to walk for more than an hour in the cloud forest, which is well known for the sustenance of a biological community, which includes numerous species of endemic plants and animals.
We will observe a series of beautiful streams and waterfalls found in the reserve.
Free time for lunch in the surroundings.
Then, we will arrive at the Mindo Protected Reserve area (4.265 feet above sea level). Located northwest of Quito, this is one of the highest biodiversity sites in the world, this area is also known as the bird watcher’s paradise. Here you can enjoy many unique activities that include ziplines, rappelling, tubes, a chocolate factory and much more.
We will make the tour in Tarabita, an experience that you will always remember as you will feel flying over the beautiful vegetation of the place.
After a day full of activity and fun, we will return to Quito.
Day 5: Galapagos Islands – San Cristobal
You will be picked up at the airport by your private certified guide who will take you to the hotel. After your lunch with the guide, you will visit the Interpretation Center, where he will ex-plain to you about the formation, colonization and actual situation of the islands. You will then follow the trail to the Frigate bird hill, a viewpoint from which you have a beautiful view over the island. You will be able to snorkel in the shallow waters of Tijeretas Bay or Carola Beach (according to the tide your guide will take you to the best spot), where you can see sea lions, various tropical fish, and turtles. Your small hike will finish at Carola Beach from where you will go back to the hotel and have your evening free.
For dinner, you have several options in town to choose as the Descanso Marinero for delicious seafood, the Midori famous for its sushis, the Guiseppe’s for pizzas and the Rincon de Sebas for its excellent empanadas and local meals.
- Tour with a private guide
- Meals included: lunch
Day 6: San Cristóbal – Santa Cruz
At 6:30 am we will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you to the harbor where you will take at 7:00 am and share with other passengers the speedboat to Santa Cruz (approx. 2-hour ride). Your private local guide will receive you at the harbor and take you to the hotel. After check-in, you and your guide will drive to a ranch in the highlands to see giant tortoises in their native environment! After lunch, you will stop at Cerro Mesa Reserve, where you can ob-serve a huge crater, a remnant of the time when Santa Cruz was still a volcanic active island. You will continue to Garrapatero Beach where you will have the opportunity to swim. In the evening, you will be free to wander around Santa Cruz. You can choose among a lot of restau-rants in town for dinner. The Kioskos are a great option as well to enjoy a delicious typical meal. Every night, a street in the center of Puerto Ayora is closed to traffic where restaurants put tables and chairs so the guests can eat outside. We recommend you a walk at night along the pier where you can often spot juvenile blacktip sharks swimming!
- Shared boat to Santa Cruz (max 30 people) and then visits with a private guide
- Meals included: breakfast and lunch
Day 7: Uninhabited Island
You will participate in a yacht tour to an uninhabited island. That will either be Santa Fé, Pla-zas, Bartolomé or Seymour. The destination will depend on availability, weekday and program of the National Park. We will let you know immediately which island is available when you book the tour. On Santa Fé and Plazas you can spot endemic land iguanas. Bartolomé is known for beautiful lava sceneries and on Seymour you can see frigate birds, land iguanas, and blue-footed boobies.
- Shared tour max 20 on board
- Meals included: breakfast and lunch
Day 8: Santa Cruz – Baltra airport
If there is enough free time until your transfer to the airport we suggest that you visit the Charles Darwin Station (entrance free). Your driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the Itabaca Channel, which you will cross on a ferry. For the last part of your trip to the airport, you will take the bus. Your driver will accompany you to the check-in point where your program ends with your return flight to the mainland. Baltra is the world’s first green airport!
- Private transfer to the airport
- Meals included: breakfast.
Day 9: Baltra –Quito. (You can take option back to Guayaquil accommodation and city Tour)
The driver will pick you up at the Quito airport and transfer you to the hotel. At night a city tour will be held to see the city of Quito at night. Accommodation and dinner at the hotel.
Day 10: At the indicated time transfer Hotel –airport
Transfer from the hotel to the airport
- For the same price this day(9) you can choose to return with your flight to Quito or Guayaquil and take in the afternoon the excursion and know this beautiful city.
So you will be be ready for your flight the next day. (ask about ours options )