What makes this trip special?
A 12 day journey that will take you from Ecuador’s capital Quito down to the beautiful cloud forests that cloak the western flanks of the Andes Mountains. Lush tropical forest filled with orchids, bromeliads and ferns, crystalline rivers, waterfalls and butterflies. These rare and unique forests are also home to a dazzling array of beautiful tropical birds. From here you return to Quito and from here you travel to the Galapagos Islands where you will join an 8-day cruise on board one of our handpicked yachts to enjoy one of the most unique and unforgettable wildlife experiences on earth.
- Experience pristine tropical forest and some of the best and easiest bird watching in the world.
- Visit a site where you can expect to see upwards of 20 species of hummingbirds alone in a single day.
- 8-days cruising the Galapagos Islands on board one of our handpicked selection of the best yachts
- Expert local guides, and private transfers – someone there to meet you off the plane and take care of you every step of the way
12 Days from £4281 per person, based on 2 people sharing and excluding flights
- Day 1
Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and taken to the lovely La Jimenita country house hotel, which is just 15 minute drive from the airport in Quito. A lovely peaceful place, with great access to the airport. Overnight.
- Day 2
Where rainforests meet mountains, a type of ecosystem known as 'cloud forests' prevail. Swathed in cool mists that form as humid air rises from the lowlands and chills, the trees are shorter than in a rainforest but are smothered in greater numbers of epiphytes - plants that grow on plants. So rich is the profusion of plant life that cloud forest can seem lusher than rainforest. In under two hours drive from Quito the cloud forests of western slopes of the Ecuadorean Andes provide an excellent taste of pristine tropical forests with some of the best and easiest bird watching in the world (with beautiful tropical birds that thrill both the novice and experienced bird watches alike). You will be picked up from your hotel and driven down to Mindo and El Monte by one of our team of bilingual naturalist guides, who will truly help bring alive this amazing region you will be visiting. Your first stop will be at Alambi, a private reserve next to the river, chance for a hot drink and your first chance to see some of the beautiful birds from this area. From here you head onto Sachatamia lodge for lunch, this will give you an unrivalled opportunity to see some of the spectacular hummingbirds found in the region which gather at the feeders around the lodge. In the area around the lodge some 20 different species of hummingbird can be spotted on a single day. You then continue down towards Mindo, for those who would like to, you can also make a stop at the ‘Orchid Garden’ in the village which gives you a chance to see some of the beautiful orchids found in the cloud forest area. From here together with your guide you will then head down to Mindo your home for the night.
- Day 3
You will have a full day and a half to explore the forest and the area, there is a lovely walk to a waterfall, a bioresearch station, nearby butterfly farm and along the river to name but a few. There is also the chance to organise in advance a visit to a Cock of the Rock lek for those who are interested. We will include a local English speaking guide to help ensure you get the very most out of your experience today. (B,L,D)
- Day 4
Cloud forest – Quito (La Jimenita)
The morning to continue exploring, then after lunch you will be picked up by our driver and driven back to Quito. Overnight La Jimenita (B,L)
- Day 5-12
On the morning of day 5 you will be picked up from the hotel by our guide and taken to Quito airport where you will take your flight out to Galapagos, where you will be met by your local guide and taken to board your yacht. Over the next 6 days you will cruise these remarkable islands on board one of our handpicked yachts.
- Day 12
Galapagos – Quito
After your last morning visit in Galapagos, today you will take your flight back to mainland Ecuador, where you can either take your connecting flight back home or extend your journey further….