Exploring the best of Ecuador
Head into the Amazon and spend four nights at Napo Wildlife Centre in the Yasuni National Park, the most biodiverse place on the planet. The journey arriving to the lodge is part of the excitement, travelling my motor boat then dugout canoe. Search for species such as caiman, otter, monkey, a plethora of birds and enjoy night-time jungle walks along with the remote location and spending time in the local community.
Return back towards Quito and out to the highlights for a couple of nights at Hacienda Zuleta, a working farm where you can either rest and enjoy simply being on the farm with its horses, cows, alpacas, condor and more, or you can choose to enjoy farm produced cheese with a bonfire, or activities such as mountain biking, horse riding, birdwatching, cooking or embroidery classes.
Enjoy a night back in Quito before heading out to the Cloud Forest and enjoy the rainforest with its walks, birdlife where you can spot hummingbirds and toucan, its waterfalls, bio luminescent species upon night-time walks, the skybike, dragonfly and/or searching for monkeys and more.
Return to Quito for another night before flying to the Galapagos for a week of never-to-be-forgotten animal, bird and marine encounters. Sail about on the Grace in style and comfort on an itinerary which takes you all over the Galapagos Islands snorkelling, swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, walking and spotting species such as shark, stingray, penguin, seal, many different types of bird, flamingo and more!
Enjoy a night in Guayaquil at Hotel del Parque where you can rest, walk about the Parque Historico on the hotel’s grounds, and enjoy fine Ecuadorian food, or perhaps a high tea in the afternoon.
Finish up with a night back in Santiago at Le Reve and either explore the city in the afternoon and its museums, art galleries, shops and more, or you might want to stay at the hotel and enjoy the pool or perhaps a spa treatment, before the end of your adventure.
- A full week in the Galapagos
- Searching for wildlife in the Amazon
- Hiking nature trails in the Cloud Forest
- Exclusivity at Hotel del Parque
- Farm life at Hacienda Zuleta
24 UNFORGETTABLE DAYS
This itinerary provides the perfect framework for a spectacular journey but it is an example only. All journeys will be individually designed and quoted on a case by case basis.
DAY 1 | SANTIAGO
Arrive to Santiago and check into your accommodation. Freshen up and head out again with your guide for a half day afternoon city tour exploring Santiago’s highlights.
DAY 2 | QUITO
Fly to Quito and check into your accommodation. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to rest or to head out and wander about the plaza as you wish.
DAY 3 | QUITO
Head out after breakfast along the Pan American Highway to the famous market of Otavalo. Visit the textile and vegetable markets, then continue to Peguche, a small Indian town just five minutes north of Otavalo. You can wander around the town and shop for handicrafts as well as wall hangings, scarves, blankets, shawls, woven belts and more. Enjoy lunch at an Indian home, prepared traditionally and with the opportunity to taste Andean delicacies. Return back to Quito late afternoon.
DAY 4 | AMAZON
Fly from Quito to Coca, before a 5-minute transfer to the port to start a motorized boat journey towards Napo Wildlife Centre. After approximately 2.5 hours on the boat and with your packed lunch which you eat along the way, transfer into dugout canoes for the remainder 1-1.5 hours to travel through small inlets to arrive to the lodge. Check in and the remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure.
DAY 5 | AMAZON
After breakfast, experience life above the forest floor by visiting the 36 metre canopy tower where you can look out for over 600 species of bird such as macaws, toucans, flycatchers or even spider or howler monkeys. After an Ecuadorian lunch back at the lodge, you can choose to hike through Terra Firme forest to explore its complex eco-system. After the hike, explore the surrounding lake and creeks, perhaps running into a giant otter family.
DAY 6 | AMAZON
This morning with an early start, take a short boat ride and visit the parrot clay licks. Return to the land area and take a short hike to the parakeet’s clay lick. Have lunch at Napo cultural centre and in the afternoon visit the interpretation centre to learn about the traditions of the ancestral Kichwa community of Anangu.
DAY 7 | AMAZON
This morning hike along the Tiputini trail, enjoying the mixture of terra-firma and swamp forests while searching for wildlife such as white-faced capuchin monkeys, sloths, pigmy squirrels and more. Return to the lodge for lunch and for some down-time. Later in the afternoon take a paddle canoe deeper into the areas of the surrounding creeks to see more wildlife such as the hoatzin and caiman.
DAY 8 | OTAVALO
After a VERY early breakfast, leave the lodge and return back to Quito the same way that you arrived. Road transfer to Quito’s highlands and check into Hacienda Zuleta where you can either rest this afternoon, perhaps with a cheese platter from the hacienda, or enjoy an activity such as cycling, horse riding, an embroidery or cooking class, if time allows.
DAY 9 | OTAVALO
Enjoy activities at the hacienda such as cycling, horse riding, a carriage ride, bird watching and searching for condors, an embroidery class, cooking class, or enjoy farm activities.
DAY 10 | QUITO
Prior to lunch, check out from Hacienda Zuleta, and enroute back to Quito, stop in and explore a rose farm/factory. Upon arrival to Quito, explore the city and its highlights with your guide, then check into your accommodation late this afternoon with the evening at leisure.
DAY 11 | CLOUD FOREST
This morning you are collected and transferred to Mashpi for your 3-night stay. Pass the Middle of the World enroute and note the latitude at zero. The journey takes 3-4 hours, and arrive to check in and for a late lunch. Meet your guides and plan your next few days, this afternoon perhaps for a walk on one of the trails such as the Capuchin Monkey Trail or the Strangler Fig Trail.
DAY 12 | CLOUD FOREST
Enjoy a range of activities with your guide such as visiting The Life Centre to admire small creatures such as butterflies and birds, or head out on more walking trails, ride the dragonfly or the sky bike. This evening you have the option to go out with your guide after dinner for a night safari/walk in search for creatures such as bats, luminescent wildlife, snakes, frogs and more.
DAY 13 | CLOUD FOREST
Enjoy another full day of activities with your guide including more walks and visiting waterfalls with a chance to swim, heading up the observation tower above the canopy to admire birdlife, or to visit the hummingbird garden with hundreds of hummingbirds where children can feed them and admire them drinking sugar water. Once more the opportunity is there to head out for a night-time safari walk after dinner
DAY 14 | QUITO
Rise early and head out with your guide for a final walk in the cloud forest or a final activity, before breakfast. Check out of the lodge late morning and return to Quito, arriving mid-afternoon. Check into your hotel and the afternoon is at leisure to walk about and enjoy the local surrounds
DAY 15 | GALAPAGOS
Fly to San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos and after a bus and zodiac ride, boat your boat, the MY Grace for your 7 night itinerary. Explore San Cristobal, Isla Lobos & Kicker Rock
DAY 16 | GALAPAGOS
Explore Espanola Island, Punta Suarez and Gardner Bay
DAY 17 | GALAPAGOS
Today visit Floreana Island, Post Office Bay and Baroness View Point, then in the afternoon go to Cormorant Point and Champion Islet
DAY 18 | GALAPAGOS
Step ashore at Santa Cruz Island and visit Dragon Hill, then the Highlands and Puerto Ayora
DAY 19 | GALAPAGOS
Head to Santa Cruz Island, Bachas Beach and in the afternoon, Chinese Hat
DAY 20 | GALAPAGOS
Stop at the small island of La Rabida and later visit Santiago Island and Sullivan Bay
DAY 21 | GALAPAGOS
Disembark onto Bartolome Island, Pinnacle Rock and Overlook. Later today explore North Seymour Island
DAY 22 | GUAYAQUIL
This morning visit Mosquera Islet and enjoy some last minute photos before transferring to the airport, then flying to mainland Ecuador. Check into the Hotel del Parque and the evening is at leisure to explore the Parque Historico’s grounds.
DAY 23 | SANTIAGO
Fly to Santiago and check in once more for the evening at Le Reve. The afternoon and evening is at leisure – you may wish to organize a spa treatment or simply relax by the pool before commencing your home bound journey.
DAY 24 | INFLIGHT OR END OF ARRANGEMENTS
After breakfast, check out of your accommodation and your itinerary comes to an end.
A handpicked selection
The Singular Lastarria – Santiago
Blending seamlessly into the bohemian neighbourhood of Lastarria, The Singular Santiago combines the style of early 20th century buildings with neoclassical French architectural influences. The result is a striking new addition to the Santiago cityscape. This trendy retreat embraces artistic heritage while adding cutting-edge modernity. Read More
Casa Gangotena – Quito
Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel sits within a carefully restored historic mansion overlooking the historic Plaza San Francisco. It offers 31 rooms decorated with eye-catching style and contemporary design. Sophisticated and eclectic Casa Gangotena retains all its historic charm with a sense of contemporary chic. Read More
Napo Wildlife Centre – Yasuni, Amazon
The Napo Wildlife Centre is located on the banks of the Anangucocha Lake, within the unique and ancestral territory of the Kitchwa Anangu Community, in the heart of Yasuni. Napo Wildlife Centre is a real paradise for nature lovers, eco-travellers and adventure seekers looking for an authentic jungle experience. Read More
Hacienda Zuleta – Ecuadorian Highlands
Located in the Andean highlands of Ecuador, Hacienda Zuleta is a colonial working farm of 4,000 acres with a distinctly homely feel. Paddock-to-plate style dining presents delicious homegrown produce while horseback riding, mountain biking and horse drawn carriage trips showcase the farm, mountain views idyllic rural life. Read More
Mashpi Lodge, Ecuadorian Cloud Forest
Mashpi lodge is a ‘National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World’ in the heart of the Equatorial cloud forest. With countless forest explorations on offer, it is the ideal springboard for discovering the rare species that thrive here, not only those within the realms of our understanding, but also those still being discovered. Read More
Quasar M/Y Grace
The M/Y Grace is an authentic classic adventure yacht for those seeking to explore the Galapagos in true style. M/Y Grace’s stellar past includes ownership by millionaire tycoons, royalty and stint in the British Navy. Set aboard the yacht to explore the Galapagos Islands on 7 night journeys with a maximum of 16 guests onboard. Read more
Hotel Del Parque – Guayaquil
Housed in a in a lovingly restored 19th century property, Hotel del Parque is characterful yet elegant, nestled in a tropical garden oasis where you will wake each morning to the sounds of parrots and spider monkeys. Enjoy the garden of orchids, tram lines through the grounds and an insight into the area's history. Read More
Exellent and wonderful, reaching way above expectations.Elizabeth Mackintosh
Julia you did a fantastic job - everything was first class. Well organised, efficient and stress free. We all agreed it was the best holiday we've ever had. Cant wait to travel with CSC again.Milford family
We are so happy we put our trust in CSC, we had an amazing adventure and would recommend them to anyone.Kim & Brad Balance
The trip exceeded my expectations and was the best family holiday I have ever had. Our children simply loved it and now I know more about African wildlife than they do about our own farm animals.Rowntree family
Classic Safari are the people who genuinely know other culture and offer incredible insight to perfectly meet your expectations.Melanie McMillan & Iain Jones
We loved it all. Our son wants to go back tomorrow. We would ALL go back again!Laurence & Remi Cunningham
An amazing experience - the best family holiday we have ever had. We were extremely impressed by the meticulous attention to our itinerary. I can't speak highly enough of all the elements of this exciting journey!Sheryl & Robert Taylor
Thank you for making our trip to Africa so spectacular. The attention to detail really made it special. It really was the trip of a lifetime.Paul Cozzi
Very knowledgeable and patient. Our trip was all that we hoped for. Wonderful!Jane & Robert Happell
Everything was perfect! Advice and information on destinations and activities hit everything I had hoped to experience. I contacted the Classic Safari Company upon recommendation and have now, in turn, recommended to others.Tim Bradley
You can't improve on perfection. I had my best birthday and holiday with my family celebrating my 80th birthday in Africa. Everything that Julia organised was perfect and the whole trip was a highlight!Buckingham Family
The trip of a lifetime, couldn't have dreamt of a better adventure if I tried.Emma Jeffcoat
Absolutely everything was first class & so well organised.Simon & Jackie Adams
Classic Safari Company has done it again! A unique experience that ticked all the boxes - wildlife, culture and dining experience. A dream come true!Ros Wheeler
Their experience and knowledge of Africa is evident and we couldn't have been happier with the total package. This has given us a taste for Africa - now we are ready for more.Andrew & Pip Stevens
If you want the most sensational experience in Africa let Julia and the staff at Classic Safari Co plan it for you! Their knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm for their job means your every wish will be fulfilled.Miriam & Joseph Harrison
Classic Safari is the place to go to for "top end" adventure travel.Ron & Alison Guthrie
Classic Safari Company were brilliant - 10/10Di & Kingsley Yates
The Classic Safari Company is the best I have dealt with. Extremely knowledgeable & professional, friendly, patient & understanding of first timers to Africa.Annette Whiley
It certainly was the best trip we have EVER had. The experiences were mind blowing. We want everyone we know to experience Africa - the animals, the people - magical.Jo-anne & Dean Mifsud
Would do it all again and not change a moment. Best holiday ever!The McGowan Tribe
An absolutely fantastic travel company - every one of the many trips they have organised for us over 22 years have been faultless and fabulous.Judith & Roger Williams