Xmas in Ecuador : Avenue of Volcanoes, Amazon & Galapagos

Quito, Ecuador

KS
Karina Safari
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40 reviews
Dec 16 - 29, 2022
Group size: 8 - 8
Xmas in Ecuador : Avenue of Volcanoes, Amazon & Galapagos
Quito, Ecuador

Karina Safari
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified
40 reviews

$NaN
Dec 16 - 29, 2022
Group size: 8 - 8

About this trip

Explore 3 unique eco-systems and the most beautiful landscapes of Ecuador iIN ONE TRIP! 

Travel from Latitude 0 along the Andean Range called the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" to the tropics of the Route of Waterfalls and down to the Amazon jungle! Take a flight to remote Galapagos Islands archipelago., the Enchanted Islands 

Travel assisted by professional english-speaking naturalist-guides in every region.

Trip HIghlights

Continental Ecuador (Andes): 5D/4N

💒 Walk the colonial streets of Quito (the capital of Ecuador) in a company of a local

🇪🇨 Step from northern hemisphere to southern, and balance yourself at Latitude 0 

🏔 Hike the foothills of iconic Cotopaxi volcano, admire the stunning emerald-blue crater lake Quilotoa, the Place of Power

🌟 Hunt for trophies at the vibrant local indigenous markets, meet Quechua people

💦  Zipline along the thundering waterfalls of tropical Baños sanctuary 

🌋  Treat yourself relaxing in warm volcanic-origin thermal springs of Papallacta


Amazon Jungle Adventure: 4D/3N

🐢 Take an adventure deep inland into equatorial forests of the Yasuni National Reserve,  a home to an incredible wildlife such as river dolphins, tapirs, caimans, anacondas, ocelots, howler monkeys, piranhas, toucans and more

🛖 Stay 3 nights in ecolodge - rustic cabins, designed to serve all your comforts

🌴 Visit the local indigenous community, and learn about their ways of life, that haven't changed for decades

🛶 Explore the unique green world of primary jungle walking the trails, from the observation tower elevated above the trees, and in daily motorized canoe rides on the maze of waterways and tributaries of the Amazon river

😎 Travel every day accompanied by a knowledgeable local naturalist guide


Galapagos Islands Hopping: 5D/4N

🦀  Following the steps of Charles Darwin, meet and interact with endemic Galapagos wildlife, terrestrial and marine

🐢 Take a 500-pound giant tortoise for a walk! 

🐳 Snorkel in a company of sea lion puppies, colorful reef fish, sea turtles and rays! 

🦎 Relax and soak in the sun with a family of lazy marine iguanas on a picturesque white-sand beach of Isabela island

🐦 Learn a bridal dance of blue-footed boobies birds, see how Pacific birds raise their chicks in a wild

🐧 Look for Galapagos penguins and pelicans fishing

🚢  Stay in comfortable small hotels by the water on the islands of Santa Cruz and Isablea, and travel by speed boat ferries to visit more islands on day-tours. Every single day will be full of ACTIVITIES, such as wildlife watching, easy hiking and snorkeling.  

Travel entry requiremenents

Updated June 27, 2022


Ecuador entry requirements (for ages 3 and over):
• a completed health attestation: https://declaracionsalud-viajero.msp.gob.ec plus…
• proof of medical & evacuation insurance, including Covid coverage, plus…
• proof of full vaccination, completed at least 2 weeks prior to arrival, OR
• negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding your flight to Ecuador

Galapagos entry requirements:
• proof of full vaccination, completed at least 2 weeks prior to arrival, OR a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding your flight to Galapagos.
• INGALA tourist migration card (the form will be provided by the airline before departure)
• Galapagos national park entry fee paid ($100 + 20 USD for adults, $50+20 USD for kids cash only)

Trip Cancellations

In if the Trip departure is canceled by Organizer, the amount paid by Participant will be fully refundable;

If the trip is cancelled by Participant due to any personal reason, the following penalties will be applied: 

Cancellation 89 to 45 calendar days before departure - up to 50% of the trip cost, including registration deposit 

Cancellation 44 to 0 calendar days before departure – non refundable

Altitude and Acclimatizing

At the elevation of the city of Quito (2850m) some people feel mild symptoms of altitude sickness. That's normal. The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. With altitude sickness, you may have a headache, nausea or trouble sleeping. 

As a suggestion for successful acclimatizing drink plenty of water and herbal teas, avoid alcohol drinks on the first days of your trip. If you have a headache, take medications immediately.


(!) People with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and pregnant women are strongly recommended to consult a therapist before having a high-altitude trip.

Electricity, WiFi, Cell-phone reception

110-120V, 60Hz, American socket, available everywhere along the trip


Cellphone reception available in towns, partial in the rural areas and Galapagos

No cellphone reception in the Amazon rainforest (satellite phone in the lodge only used for emergencies)


WiFi will be available in hotels  and public places

Money & Currency

- The official currency of Ecuador is US Dollar

- Bring some USD in cash with you.  Always have a variety of $5-$10-$20USD bills at hand, especially when you travel in the rural areas. Bills of $50 or $100USD are not common in Ecuador and sometimes are not excepted by smaller businesses.

- VISA and Mastercard are widely accepted in restaurants and hotels.  However always ask if the credit cards payments are accepted before you make an order. in the restaurant.

- ATMs can be found in the airpot of Quito, and in town

- There is no ATM in Baltra airport , limited and not always functional on Galapagos islands (tip: withdraw enough cash before departure to Galapagos)

Weather & Packing list

GENERAL ITEMS

Middle sized suitcase for your main luggage (please check out for the airlines restrictions for max allowed checked luggage weight)

Duffel bag for your luggage on Amazon tour

A small day-pack (for day-tours and in town walks)

Refillable water bottle (1-1.5L)

Personal first aid kit (personal medication for migraines treatment, Imodium or similar, motion sickness (dramamine), band-a

** If you bring a photo-camera: charger + extra memory cards (if you run out of memory space, getting a new one can be expensive or difficult. If you bring a tripod, make it a lightweight non-bulky


QUITO & ANDEAN REGION

Altitude 9500-12000feet, 

Average air temp: 55-70F, Windy, Possibility of rains in the afternoons (low in July)


Windbreaker jacket

Fleece jacket or warm hoodie

Hiking pants, windproof 

Sunhat

Sunscreen UV 50+

Lip balm with sun protection

Sunglasses

Tennis shoes

Cotopaxi day-hike: Trekking shoes, beanie & gloves

Refillable water bottle (1-1.5L)


AMAZON RAINFOREST

Altitude 0-1500Feet, Average air temperature 80-85F,

Very humid, High possibility of showers and thunderstorm


Lightweight pants (sweatpants/ bermudas)

Change of t-shirts

Long sleeve loose cotton shirt (protection against the sun and insects)

Swimming suite

Sunhat or bandana

A windbreaker jacket (for early morning and late evening canoe rides

Quick-dry sandals or flip flops for canoe rides

Sunscreen (SPF 50+). 

Mosquito repellent 

Sunglasses

Headlamp with extra-batteries

Binoculars – good to have for canoe rides and observation tower wildlife watching

Refillable water bottle (1-1.5L)


Provided gear at the lodge:

Raincoats 

Rubber boots for jungle walks 


GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

Altitude 0-3000 Feet, Average air temp 80-90F

Average water temp: Nov to May ~75-77F, June to Oct ~65-70F, Possibility of light rains


Light pants /bermudas

A change of loose t-shirts 

Long sleeve loose shirt (for sun protection)

Swimming suite

Sunhat

A light sweatshirt (for ocean evenings)

A waterproof jacket /windbreaker (for speedboat rides between Santa Cruz and Isabela isalnds)

Quick-dry sandals or tennis shoes for day-tours

Sunscreen (SPF 50+)

Sunglasses

Binoculars – optional 

Refillable water bottle (1-1.5L)


Provided gear on day-tours:

Masks and flippers for snorkeling 

Amazonian rainforest adventure

ECO-LODGE  & CABINS

Located in the natural reserve (national park), at the water, allowing you to experience a special affinity with wildlife. The Lodge is a few guest bungalows and a gazebo-dining room, a terrace for relaxing in the hammocks. All bungalows are interconnected by small wooden bridges and footpaths. Everything is built from the same simple eco-friendly materials as the native houses. Bungalows are built on platform on stilts, elevated above the ground. Each room is divided into two parts: bathroom cabin and a bedroom. The rooms are provided with bed linen, towels, toilet paper


ELECTRICITY is provided from solar panels. Do not forget to turn off the lights in your bungalow every time before leaving, to save the energy and also because light attracts small insects.

You won't find TV's, radio, hair-dryers, or iron in the rooms due to the high energy consumption. There is no laundry facilities at the lodge, that’s why bring a change of clothes. 

Artificial lighting is not arranged outside the bungalows during the night, as it can disturb or change the behavior of nocturnal inhabitants of the jungle. Therefore, every time you leave your room after the dark don't forget to take a headlamp or flashlight with you. 

You can charge your electronic devices/camera for free in the dining area.

WiFi is available to use in the dining are, however it can be slow


TAKING  A SHOWER

Water heating for taking shower in each bungalow is for max 18-19L per day and taken from rivers and lakes. Please, try to save the water when taking a shower. Be prepared for the fact that the water is heated from the sun, so if the day is cloudy, the water may be just warm,  but not hot as at home :)


ECO-FRIENDLY RULES:

For the sake of sustainability please try not to use any spray-fragrances or spray-deodorants (use repellent or sunblock in a lotion, not spray please). 

Travelers are encouraged to use their bio-gradable cosmetics/shampoos

Throw used toilet paper in the trash container in your bathroom (please follow this rule everywhere in Ecuador)


DAY-TOURS in the rainforest are always accompanied by local naturalist-guide and consist of moderate hikes and exploring the area in motorized canoe for up to 10-12 passengers. Naturalist guide is a true wildlife expert, who was born and raised in the region, he is a ranger who is looking out for animals and responsible for the safety of the group. Always listen to his advice and recommendations and try to keep quiet not to frighten the wildlife.

Swimming is possible in the rainy season when the water level in the rivers and lakes is high enough. Always follow the recommendations of your guide about the choice of places for swimming


VISITING NATIVE COMMUNITY:

Remember that you are guests in a completely different culture and traditions which may seem rather strange to a western world

Please don't take pictures or videos of locals without their permission 

Guests are usually offered to taste “chicha”,  the local beer made from cassava. Do not decline, as it may offend the hosts. You can sip a drink or just pretend you are drinking 

Please do not give money to local children, it may lead to begging. You can bring small learning materials, small gifts from your country. Locals will happily accept that


MEALS AT THE LODGE - FULL BOARD

Breakfast at the lodge is usually served at ~8AM, lunch  ~at 1PM, and dinner - at 7.30PM. 

Meals and non-alcoholic drinks  are included in the price of your package.

Drinking water for bottle refills are provided at no cost.

Tea and coffee are always available in the dining area.

Sodas and alcoholic drinks are available at the additional cost at the bar (although don't expect the variety except local beer and wine, it is allowed to bring your own alcohol)


TELEPHONE CALLS / WiFI

There is no telephone reception in the lodge. 

In the case of emergency, the staff of the lodge use satellite phone.

WiFi is available in dining area

Safetly tips for traveling in Ecuador

Ecuador is considered to be one of the most traveler-friendly and safest countries in South America. However, we would very appreciate if you keep in mind and follow a few simple rules for the success of your overall travel experience:

- Keep your valuables and travel documents in your hotel room in security-box or in your suitcase under the lock /code.  

- Save a photo-copy of your passport, vaccination certificate and travel insurance on your smartphone. 

- For city walks in Quito and day-tours elsewhere you don't need all your cash. Just take as much as your daily spending can be (snacks, drinks, souvenirs, admissions)

- Please do not leave your valuables, photo-cameras and wallets unattended

- Old town Quito can be unsafe after 6pm as any other city at night time, please stay away from exploring on your own.  Rural areas of Ecuador, Baños, Amazon and Galapagos are totally safe.

- Keep the name and address of your hotel you stay at,  and the cellphone of your travel guide 

- For cash withdrawals in Quito town use only the ones inside the bank buildings with security guard nearby  

Drinking water

Please use ONLY bottled drinking water.  Tap water is good for brushing your teeth

What’s included

  • Lodging
    Standard Hotels 3* on the Mainland, Upscale eco-lodge in Amazon jungle, Upscale Hotels 4* in Galaogos
  • Day-tours & activities
    All included excursions, day-tours, activities and arrangements
  • Included Meal Plan
    Jul 3-6, 10 & 11: Breakfasts, Jul 7-9 Jungle: Full board, Jul 11-15 Galapagos: Breakfasts & snacks on day-tours
  • Ground Transportation
    Private van on the Mainland (Jul 2-6); 2 shared airport transfers & canoe-rides in Amazon (Jul 7-10); Private airport transfers & land tours , 1 shared boat-tour & shared ferry rides (Jul 11-15)
  • Parking fees, tolls, gas
  • Professional Assistance
    Certified english-speaking local guides
  • Provided gear
    Jungle: Rain-ponchos and rubber boots ; Galapagos: Masks & fins for snorkeling (for day-tours only)
  • Flights
    International & Domestic (to/from Galaoagis, to./from Coca)
  • Admissions
    Galapagos NP: $120USD/adult ($50USD/child up to 12)., Yasuni NP $35USD, Papallacta thermal pools $9-23USD, Latitude0 - $5-8USD
  • Meals
    Lunches and dinners where not included
  • Travel insurance
    Required with Covid19 coverage
  • Optional activities
    Zipline rides & bungee jumping in Baños, horse-back riding in hacienda Cotopaxi

Available Packages

Adult (16+)
Available until October 15, 2022Sold Out
$4,465
Deposit: $1,200
Child (under 12)
Available until October 15, 2022Sold Out
$3,665
Deposit: $1,200
Teen (12-14)
Available until October 15, 2022Sold Out
$4,245
Deposit: $1,200
$NaN


Itinerary

Dec 16 (Fri)
Hola, Ecuador! Arrival in Quito

Arrival to Quito in the afternoon.

Meet with your local english-speaking guide at the airport terminal exit and drive to town (45min - 1 hr).

Free time to explore, relax and acclimate.

Overnight in Hotel Dann Carlton, Quito.


Quito altitude - 2850m

Your Organizer


KS
Karina Safari
40 reviews
Professional adventure travel organizer and team leader since 2006. Originally from Moscow, Russia. Lived and worked as a tour guide and destination expert in South American countries (Ecuador and Colombia) in 2009-2012. Moved to the U.S. in 2012. Resident of San Francisco bay area. Founder of Safarika Adventure Club, CA since 2013 (CST # 2112795-40). Join our tribe of active travelers! Experience epic bucket list destinations and world best trails you have only dreamed of in our unbeatable team adventures to South America and beyond

Reviews

Great guide, wonderful choice of hikes, we enjoyed it a lot
By Aleksey S for North Cascades Hiking Adventure (WA) on 27 Jul, 2022
GL
It was an amazing trip; actually 3 trips in one (Ecuador highlands, Amazon rainforest, Galapagos islands). Perfect organization throughput: transportation, local guides, high-end lodging and restaurants. Karina stayed in close contact throughout the trip and made sure here were no hiccups. Thank you a ton, Karina!
By Grigory L for Best hits of Ecuador: Avenue of Volcanoes, Amazon & Galapagos on 24 Jul, 2022
Amazing trip, we’ve seen volcanoes and waterfalls, amazing animals, ate delicious food and got to know the culture of this great country. Trip logistics was impeccably organized. We felt very supported along the way as well. Karina is the best in industry! Highly recommend!
By Maria S for Best hits of Ecuador: Avenue of Volcanoes, Amazon & Galapagos on 24 Jul, 2022
Amazing experience! Very well organized, awesome group of people. Lifetime memories are guaranteed!
By Andriy G for Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu & Rainbow Mt (Memorial day 2022) on 06 Jun, 2022
LZ
The best part of any trip is to meet new people and get to know everyone in a group. You can't find a better place to do this then gorgeous Hawaii. The food was diverse and delicious, abundance of fruit will surprise anyone. Accomodations were comfortable and spacious. I can't wait for the next adventure to meet new and old friends
By Larysa Z for Hawaii Big Island Encompassed: Best Hikes & Beaches on 12 Nov, 2021
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References

YM
One of the best trips I've done! I am mainly either a solo traveler or prefer to go with my family But 4 days hiking trip to Montana Glacier NP has changed my preferences :) Thank you very much, it's been a pleasure and FUN Met so many interesting intelligent people, would highly recommend if you enjoy active vacations
By Yelena M on 10 Sep, 2020
GL
I traveled with Karina to Patagonia in 2020 and it was awesome! Perfect planning & organization throughout the trip, including dealing with the unexpected (e.g. lost luggage). I really liked other folks in the group and made several new friends in this trip. I highly recommend Karina's trips to casual and semi-serious hikers, and plan to be a return customer myself.
By Grigory L on 14 Mar, 2020
Thank you, Karina, for a wonderful first time experience of active adventure trip! Everything is well thought and organized. Would recommend to anyone!
By Aizhan T on 20 Jun, 2019