DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
The following description is intended as a detail of the attractions, meals and operations included in your one-day service. DO NOT consider it as an itinerary. Meals and accomodation is detailed in this description are subject to availability and may be modified because of this issue but without any changes in the established rate of the service.
B = Breakfast
L = Lunch
D = Dinner
BL = Box Lunch
Day 1 – April 15th, 2021
Transfer between Airport & Hotel in Guayaquil (or vice versa): includes guide, professional driver, baggage assistance (private)
Welcome to Ecuador and the City of Guayaquil! Being that it is a city with a tropical climate, the weather tends to be warm and humid.
At José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport, you will be greeted by a member of our staff who will escort you all the way to your hotel. On the drive, guests receive a short brief with valuable information about Guayaquil and the country in general.
The city is Ecuador’s main port and its largest city with a population of nearly three million. Guayaquil is arguably the country’s financial and commercial center. It lies on the banks of the Guayas River, 30 miles inland from the Gulf of Guayaquil. Guayaquileños are outgoing and open people, they enjoy street life and are fiercely proud of their heritage.
Day 1-2 – April 15th to April 16th, 2021
HOTEL WYNDHAM SANTANA
Your accommodation includes a daily breakfast.
Accommodation: Deluxe room
Day 2 – April 16th, 2021
Private transfer Hotel – airport
Flight Guayayuil – Baltra ( not include)
YACHT LA PINTA Western Islands. 7 Days/6 Nights (Friday to Thursday)
We’re delighted to have you on board for this journey of discovery to some of the most beautiful islands in the Galapagos. This itinerary will take us to the true origins of the archipelago, to a world only recently created by the titanic tectonic upheavals of our Earth’s crust, whose volcanic hot spot formed the islands in a blink of an eye in geological time. Fernandina Island is regarded as one of the most pristine island environments anywhere in the world, where life has evolved in its natural state, far from the intervention of man. From the west, we venture back to the Central Islands, landing at the intriguing red beach of Rabida and seeking out the land iguanas of Dragon Hill. On Santa Cruz, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and get up close to giant tortoises in their natural environment. In the south, we learn about the Galapagos very own "murder mystery", spot flamingos and snorkel at one of the best sites in the archipelago: Champion Islet. Back in the Central Islands, we head back to Baltra Island for the flight back to the mainland. You will find all corners of the Galapagos stunning, and they will delight you in different ways. Rest assured the crew aboard La Pinta will do their utmost to ensure your Galapagos experience is truly deeply moving and memorable.
Our adventure begins with a morning flight to Baltra Island and immediate transfer to the dock to board Yacht La Pinta. There’s an introductory welcome briefing, boat drill, cabin assignment followed by lunch.
North Seymour Island
Following an afternoon disembarkation, we enjoy a walk along the coast and the interior of this beautiful flat island, observing numerous bird colonies as well as sea lions and land iguanas. There are opportunities for coastal exploration by dinghy. Evening briefing, welcome cocktail and dinner.
Accommodation: Luxury Cabin
Meals included: lunch and dinner
Day 3 – April 17th, 2021
Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island)
Since there is no landing site at this location, the coastal exploration is by skiff, while naturalists explain the dramatic geology of the area, with remains of lava flows and tuff stone layers. There is abundant wildlife and, depending on the conditions of the ocean, we’ll be able to snorkel along the cliffs, hopefully in the company of green sea turtles.
Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
In the afternoon, we visit the youngest and most pristine island of the archipelago, Fernandina, one of many visitors' all-time favourites. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and abundant wildlife. Highlights include hawks, penguins, flightless cormorants and astounding views of the surrounding volcanic landscapes.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 – April 18th, 2021
Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)
After breakfast, we disembark at Urbina Bay, on the western side of Isabela Island, the result of an uplifting of the ocean floor. Here you can see corals, shells, and large and very colourful Galapagos land iguanas, as well as (occasionally) giant tortoises. Navigating the Bolívar Channel, there are good chances of spotting several species of whales.
Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
On the northwest of Isabela, secluded Tagus Cove provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries, and today makes a great visitor site. An uphill hike takes us to the back of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water. We can snorkel or ride kayaks amid the dramatic landscape before going on our hike.
Day 5 – April 19th, 2021
In the morning, we disembark at Rabida Island’s red-coloured beach. A stroll along the beach allows us to observe marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach. For non-snorkelers, we can ride our glass-bottom boat for an exploration of life underneath the waves.
Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz Island)
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Dragon Hill. Our walk includes circling a brackish water lagoon frequented by lagoon birds, while further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as the chance to observe land iguanas.
Day 6 – April 20th, 2021
Puerto Ayora & Charles Darwin Research Station
The morning visit heads to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest. These are the Galapagos' headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration.
Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
After lunch on-board, we head up to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island by vehicle. This is a great place to look for the emblematic Darwin’s Finches and the endemic Scalesia trees. The highlands are also great for exploring the exuberant vegetation where giant tortoises roam in the wild. This will surely be one of the most remembered visits of the whole voyage.
Day 7 – April 21st, 2021
Post Office Bay
After breakfast, panga ride along the maze of channels on Floreana’s north shore. We follow this visit by continuing to Baroness Cove with its breathtaking views of Floreana. We land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has been serving as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. Kayaking and some snorkelling can be arranged here.
Champion Islet & Punta Cormorant (Floreana Island)
Before disembarking at Punta Cormorant we can snorkel or ride our glass-bottom boat along the coast of an extinct cone called "Champion Islet". Later in the afternoon, our visit to Punta Cormorant takes in an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk by a brackish water lagoon where bird species like greater flamingos may be observed. On the other side of the island, we come to a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest.
Day 8 – April 22nd, 2021
Our journey ends at Baltra Island, where we transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. Baltra's flat substrate (due to its uplifted origin) is the reason why the island was chosen back in the 1940s as the location to building an airport.
Fligth Baltra- Quito (not include)
Please remember that the exact route and programme may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter. It's also subject to change without previous notice due mainly to readjustment of the National Park policies and regulations.
In order to ensure our biosecure "bubble" for both staff and guests on-board, at no point during our itineraries can guests deviate from the planned activities (e.g. go for a walk in Puerto Ayora rather than visit the Highlands; have lunch in Puerto Ayora rather than on-board).
-Dry landing: guests step from the dinghy onto rocks or a dock.
-Wet landing: as the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into around 8 inches (20 cm) of water and wade ashore.
Included: Accommodation, all meals, soft drinks*, island sightseeing, naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish only, wet suits and snorkelling gear, Internet*, taxes and transfers in the islands.
Not Included: Airfare to/from the Galapagos, Galapagos National Park admission fee (US $100 subject to change without notice), transit Control Card for Galapagos (US$ 20 per person), alcoholic beverages, gratuities, souvenir purchases, and personal expenses.
*Please note: soft drinks include juices and carbonated drinks, not “virgin” cocktails;
*Internet connections aboard consist of Wi-Fi in the yacht’s social areas; due to the Galápagos’ remote location, internet connections are intermittent and are low-bandwidth.
Return to Quito.
Day 9 – 11 April 22th – 23th, 2021
Transfer Quito´s airport to Casa Gangotena (private)
HOTEL CASA GANGOTENA
You will be staying at the award-winning Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel located on iconic San Francisco Plaza in Quito, the first-ever World Heritage Site.
Accommodation: Luxury Room
Day 10 – April 23th, 2021
Cultural Tour of Otavalo / Visit Middle of the World Museum (full-day): includes guide, professional driver, and lunch at a local restaurant (private)
Ecuador’s Northern Province of Imbabura offers some of the most majestic and peaceful scenery in the country. It is known for its many lakes, lagoons, mountains, and volcanos, as well as its marvelous cultural experiences. This full-day tour of Otavalo and the surrounding valleys offers the opportunity to experience both nature and folklore in a single journey.
On this day, we visit Mira Lago, a warm and inviting touristic area offering spectacular views of the San Pablo Lake and Imbabura volcano. Visitors get a chance to connect with nature in this stunning location.
Heading a little further north, we reach the small Andean town of Otavalo, known for its myriad markets that fill it with life and activity. The history of the Otavalo Market harkens back to the 16th century when indigenous merchants played a crucial role as traders and traveling salesmen. Nowadays, its exceptional offerings of textiles, jewelry, musical instruments, crafts, and more, make it a must-see for shopping but also for an authentic cultural market experience that has remained alive for centuries.
Along our journey, we stop in at textile workshop, where we take a closer look at the process of producing intricate traditional textiles. We will have a close look at the knitting process and how the colorful patterns are made.
Ecuador’s rich culinary culture invites you to get up-close and personal with hundreds of ingredients and products available at the Vegetable Market. These ingredients are the basis for many traditional dishes. Here, we admire some of Ecuador’s tropical fruits, like passion fruit and capulí (Andean cherry), which makes for a very lively and satisfying Andean experience.
Our day winds down in Tayta Gundo Kaya Wasi, which means Andean Music House in Kichwa. This traditional-style building houses a space dedicated to strengthening indigenous culture through popular Kichwa music. The cultural education project here promotes activities for children and young people from rural communities. We visit its quaint museum of wind and string instruments, as well as the workshop where these instruments are built using bamboo and other natural materials.
We have lunch at a local restaurant, where get to try delicious traditional food from the Province.
Back from Quito we will stop at The Middle of the World Museum, The best Ethnographic mueseum in Ecuador, located just over the Zero Latitud Line
Included • Private guide and professional driver, lunch, all entrance fees.
Not Included • Drinks, tips, personal expenses.
Day 11 – April 24th, 2021
Mashpi 3 days / 2 nights Itinerary
The adventure begins in Ecuador’s heritage capital, Quito, at our 8:30 a.m. pick-up time for guests staying in Quito’s main hotels (time will be confirmed by our Operations Department). Mashpi Reserve, a 1,200-hectare (3,000-acre) conservation property located within the Metropolitan District of Quito, forms a part of the Ecuadorian Choco rainforest, known as one of the world’s greatest biodiversity hotspots. The sudden shift in altitude from 2,800 masl to 1,000 masl (9,200 to 3,300 feet above sea level) will allow us to discover the spectacular natural diversity of the Andean landscape as we travel through the dry valley of Pomasqui towards the cordillera’s western flank, into lush, misty cloud forest, and enter the magical world of Mashpi.
After lunch and a briefing, we will be comfortably settled in our room where we will be able to rest before starting with our afternoon activities. During the briefing we will be introduced to the cloud forest and its conservation, the activities from which we can choose during our stay, and helpful tips about what to wear and what to bring to the excursions.
After a short rest, we will gather together at the lobby in order to head out on our first adventure exploring one of the trails of the Reserve, chosen by the guides depending on daily conditions. This walk will serve as an introduction to the ecological succession processes and the importance of forest conservation for the Chocó region. All of our trails offer great scenic beauty and each includes a unique attraction, such as a forest of “iron palm” (Iriartea deltoidea), special birdwatching opportunities, or other unexpected surprises.
For all our guests interested in knowing more about the cloud forest’s ecology, every evening we give a series of different lectures like the “Secret Wildlife of Mashpi, the trap camera project”, or the “Chocó, a biological hotspot”, which talk about the formation and diversity of the Chocó, and our scientific research projects. The lectures will be given by one of our naturalists or our resident biologist at 7:30 p.m.
Accommodation: Wayra Room
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 12– April 25th,2021
The forest always rewards the “early birds”, as the dawn light lures a variety of fascinating species in their search for food. A good place to find birds is actually right at the hotel’s terrace, with a cup of fresh coffee, tea or hot chocolate in hand, from where we can enjoy not only the beauty of the forest but also the many species that come to feed on insects and fruits at nearby trees. Our guides will help us spot what’s around, offering a peek inside their telescope for a close-and-personal view of the incredible bird richness Mashpi possesses. This activity begins at 6:30 a.m. and lasts about an hour. Then, enjoy breakfast at our hotel restaurant.
Our guests have the opportunity to live between 6 and 8 rainforest experiences on our most popular 2N/3D stay, as well as time to enjoy our new wellness offerings. Your guides will recommend the best daily programme for you and your group depending on your interests, your level of physical fitness and daily weather and trail conditions. Choose from our many trails and activities, including the following:
As you enter the realm of the rainforests, you will become aware of life at every step: mushrooms and “fox fire” fungi below, tree trunks festooned with orchids, lichens and mosses, giant ferns reaching up to the light above, coiling vines, swirling mists and clouds of moisture. And then, from nowhere, comes the sound of rushing water, a waterfall amid this glistening, green world, where you can wade through rivers, walk along their banks, revive your senses...
Two of the Lodge’s main trails are the Howler Monkey and Magnolia (named after an oak) trails. Both link up with the Tower #5 of the Dragonfly canopy gondola system. Along the trails, guests will learn more from both their Naturalist Guide and Local Guide about the myriad plants, insects and animals that inhabit this biodiverse universe. The guides will enthusiastically share their knowledge of their characteristics, behavior, and uses.
Due to Mashpi’s mountainous topography, trails are rarely flat. The Howler Monkey (mainly primary forest) and Magnolia (mainly secondary), although short – 2 km and 700 m, respectively – are steep. The trails’ steepness is an advantage since the hillsides enable more light to penetrate the forest, thereby increasing the diversity of plants and animals that one can observe at each stratum. Both trails have been specially adapted to make walking easier, using embedded recycled plastic crates to create steps and firm paths.
The way back uphill on both these trails can be aboard the Dragonfly, reached by wading through the shallow river in rubber boots, and walking the connecting trail to the Cotinga Tower.
A popular trail after completing the Sky Bike activity (see below) takes us to San Vicente waterfall, a 45-minutes-to-an-hour steep hike that demands good physical condition. You can also hike the Oxibelis trail that takes us to a small waterfall before heading back to the lodge. The combination of activities (Sky Bike, observation tower and hike) can take between 2 to 4 hours, depending on the trail chosen.
The Copal Waterfall trail offers a beautiful 2-hour-long hike featuring a landscape of moss-covered trees, bromeliads and orchids at every corner. The trail ends at a spectacular waterfall over 50 m high.
A refreshing natural juice and fresh towels will be waiting for us when we return the lodge, along with a varied and delicious lunch at the hotel restaurant. And the afternoon is yet again free for other activities. Consult your guide about the trail options and forest adventures that are best for you.
Water is key to life in Mashpi, and there’s nothing like a refreshing dip at the end of a walk. Several rivers cross the Mashpi Reserve close to the hotel, many forming beautiful small waterfalls, cascades and pools. The water temperature is between 18 and 20°C (64 and 68 °F).
Close to the lodge, the Life Centre is conceived as a place for learning and discovery, but also as a space for guests to disconnect, contemplate the views, sit in comfortable chairs, read a book, and enjoy a fresh cane juice.
The best way to reach the Life Centre is actually through the forest, so we take what we’ve come to call the “Howler Monkey’s trail”. This path crosses primary forest dominated by many ancient trees, being the “copal” (Dacryodes cupularis) the most emblematic of them. We occasionally get to listen to rare birds, such as the Rufous-fronted Wood-quail (Odontophorus erythrops) or the Rufous-crowned Antpitta (Pittasoma rufopileatum). Our guides are keen on noticing every sound that comes from the forest deep, hoping to reveal colourful birds or elusive howler monkeys, while our naturalist guide explains the habitat’s ecology; both share with us their extensive knowledge on forest plants and their medicinal uses.
Once at the Centre, guests will learn more about the butterflies that inhabit the region, being shown the process of these creatures from eggs to pupae to chrysalis to winged wonder. Some 200 species of butterfly have been identified to date in the Reserve, with nearly a dozen observable at the Centre. Other points of learning dozens of species of orchids, bromeliads and passion flowers all around the structure. We will also discover various species of host plants that butterflies use to lay their eggs on, such as passion flowers, birds of paradise, milk weeds and other species found in the garden.
Close to the Centre, we have established an area for growing medicinal plants (ideal for a reviving herbal infusion) and beyond, many varieties of bushes and fruit trees, including banana and plantain, manioc, cacao, tobacco, coffee, bread fruit, and heart of palm. These attract all sorts of wildlife, from birds to rodents to mammals – making for easier observation from the comfort of the Centre’s expansive wooden deck. Most of the interpretation at the Centre will be imparted by local guides or people involved with the project from local communities. Guests will find ingredients from these gardens in the dishes prepared back at the lodge.
There are few easier or better ways to appreciate the beauty of the Mashpi Reserve’s forest and hills than climbing the Observation Tower. Here, guests are able to enjoy an exciting bird’s-eye view and the dramatic panoramas that surround the lodge from the observation tower. This is a metallic structure, with a staircase that climbs to about eight-stories high (26 m or 85 ft), ideal for wildlife observation, particularly at dawn or dusk. Species that can be spotted here include toucans, woodpeckers, barbets, tanagers and parrots as well as raptors. The tower lies a 10-minute walk from the lodge.
Looming above the treetops, Mashpi’s observation tower allows our guests to enjoy the protected forest in all its glory. At 30 m (100 ft) above the ground, this is an ideal site for nature lovers, allowing us not only to appreciate the forest’s complex structure, but also the incredible species richness that thrives throughout the canopy (70% of the forest’s biodiversity is found here). We climb 162 steps to reach the top.
Of course, if we really want to see the amazing canopy life, we need to get a birds’ eye view. Luckily, this is now possible, thanks to the Dragonfly canopy ride. Glide through the tree tops at a relaxed pace and view the dense forest, interrupted by cascading waterfalls, from an air-born perspective. In 40 minutes, the Dragonfly takes us on a route covering 2 km (1.25 mi) and gives us the opportunity to appreciate the true immensity of the Reserve, contrasting delightfully with the discoveries of minute life forms that we achieve on walks through the dense forest below. Enjoy the Dragonfly on its own or combine it with other hikes and activities to make the most of your journey.
Located close to the hotel, the Sky Bike provides another original and exciting way to explore the forest canopy up close. Designed for two people to use at once, one person pedals the bike along a cable stretched between two points in the forest, around 200 m (655 feet) apart, crossing a gorge above a river flowing between rocks and trees below. Silent, easy-to-use and fun, it’s an activity for children over 8 years-old accompanied by an adult, providing guests with another chance to observe the natural world close to the lodge and even spot its denizens. To enjoy the ride, one must be at least 1 m tall (3.2 ft) (children must be accompanied by an adult). The bike ride takes no more than 20 minutes.
The forests of Mashpi boast 32 hummingbird species identified to date, inhabiting different specific altitudes, with around 19 species alone observable by guests. In order to make it easier to see these amazing creatures, a shelter with seating provides the ideal setting, with feeders for the birds strung from its roof. The site is located at a natural viewpoint, which, on clear days, provides breathtaking views of the Reserve’s forested hills.
The Mashpi forest is transformed at night, with far more activity visible than during the day. Optional night walks will head out from the hotel after dinner to discover its nocturnal creatures and their behaviour. The species range from moths as big as your hand to miniature glass and tree frogs, croaking toads, birds, owls, rodents and mammals, and even fox fire, an Avatar-like luminous fungus. It’s a magical world, often astounding at the micro level, and seldom explored, ready to be discovered in expert company.
The peaceful surroundings of the Reserve call out for a spiritual moment in which we unite body, mind and spirit. Keep up your practice at the yoga deck or just lie back and enjoy a massage, time in the outdoor hot tub (see which birds you can spot while you soak), or any of our spa treatments.
Each evening, at 7:30 p.m., our Naturalist Guides or resident biologist share the wonders of the Mashpi with our guests. Learn about ongoing research projects, conservation initiatives, natural history of the region and much, much more.
Day 13 – April 26th, 2021
Once again, our day begins early at 6:30 a.m. in the hotel lobby and takes advantage of the fact that many bird species come to the hotel to feed. After a cup of coffee, we walk down the road seeking out mixed-species feeding flocks: these usually feature different insectivorous bird species that move together while foraging. In a single flock, we may see over 20 different species, making these more-or-less common encounters an undeniable treat for bird aficionados. The activity takes one hour; we return to the lodge for breakfast.
There is time for a short hike today or one of our other activities. Check with your guide for the best option.
We return to the hotel for check out at 11:00 a.m. Our transfer leaves Mashpi Lodge at 11:30 a.m. We will be given a complimentary box lunch to enjoy during our drive back to Quito.
We would like to remind our guests that on their arrival day to Mashpi Lodge they will need to wait until after lunch and a briefing for their room assignment since check-out times are fixed. We invite you to observe the magnificent view of the Reserve from the comfortable public areas of the hotel while you wait.
Day 13 - April 26th, 2021
Private transfer from Mashpi to Quito´s airport.
*** END OF SERVICES ***
- Air transportation to / from Galapagos and airport taxes US$ 365 (subject to change without previous notice)
- Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US$ 100 subject to change without previous notice)*
- Migration Control Card (US$ 20 subject to change without previous notice)*
- Alcoholic beverages**, gratuities, gifts, laundry or valet services and additional items.
** Please note, we charge guests who wish to bring bottles of wine and/or spirits aboard our vessels a corkage fee of $27+taxes.
* At your request, we can include the Galapagos National Park entrance fee of US$ 100 and migration control card fee of US$ 20 (subject to change). However, please note that, due to administrative and operational reasons, these fees can only be included when guests travel on the operation departure date. This service does not apply for guests who travel before a departure date (even if the departure is with us).
¿Tienes dudas o deseas información a detalle?
+593 2 2406526
¿Quieres recibir información? Registra tu email aquí
Copyright © 2019, Rutacero Ecuador Cia Ltda. Todos los Derechos Reservados. Tatoo
Av. de los Granados E10-248 y 6 de Diciembre (esq). Quito 170504
Ingresa tus datos para acceder a tu cuenta