Welcome to Ecuador! You will be amazed and truly astounded by the beauty, culture and diversity of wildlife and geographical locations during this once in a lifetime trip!
Let's go on an adventure!
Arrival Quito, Ecuador.
Morning Local Market Visit and cooking class with a local chef.
Evening Wine Tasting at the Dome of Santo Domingo
Day 3 - 7
Flight Quito to Galapagos
Commence your 5 Night Galapagos
End your Galapagos program
Flight Galapagos to Quito
Day 9 - 11
Transfer Quito to Cloud Forest on Day 9
3 Night Mashpi Lodge program
Departure from Ecuador
With the help of our travel specialists, create a perfect trip planned around your specific interests, tastes and preferences. We will provide helpful tips and honest advice based on first-hand knowledge of the destination.
Upon arriving, you are met and transferred to your hotel.
Your guide will take you to the Mercado Central where you stop at various affiliated stations and the chef explains about the products and culinary traditions.
Together you’ll buy the ingredients for the cooking class. You will return to Altamira restaurant (walking or by transport).
The cooking class: we offer you a chef’s hat and an apron for preparing the three dishes you will cook; which are typical Ecuadorian recipes: a Locro Quiteño, an Encocado and a Chocolate Soup.
You are invited to participate and to become an international chef! You’ll have the chance to manipulate food, peel, cut, season, mix, and beat. During the class, the chef is accompanying and guiding you, he gives explanations and details about the history of each dish and its origin. After elaborating the three courses, you have the pleasure to taste what you prepared with the chef on the “patio” of a Colonial House.
The class ends with a round of applause for all participants.
Evening Wine Tasting at the Dome of Santo Domingo
Discover the night colors and lights of the Historical Center in Quito from the top of one of the most beautiful churches in Quito: Santo Domingo.
We will have the unique chance to have private access to the Domes of the Church and you’ll have a private tour of the Convent.
Here you will be welcomed with a nice house red wine paired with gourmet Ecuadorian snacks. This will be a romantic and nostalgic night to end up your day in Quito.
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. On arrival, you are met and transferred to your vessel for embarkation or taken to your hotel for your land-based program.
A Galapagos Islands visit is an unparalleled personal experience with the natural world. These enchanted isles promise to awe, entertain, and inspire.
Ten million years ago, the volcanic peaks that make up the islands formed. Today, the islands host a range of prehistoric rarities that have changed the course of scientific history. Off Ecuador’s Pacific Coast, the 13 main islands, six minor islands, and scores of rocks and islets that comprise the archipelago boast the highest rate of endemic species in the world.
The archipelago is inhabited by a mind-blowing multitude of flora and wildlife that – untouched by the continental world – possess a lack of fear for human audiences and are known to welcome visitors into their natural paradise.
Flightless cormorants—the only of their kind that have lost the ability to fly, the world’s northernmost penguin, playful sea lions, the last existing marine lizards on Earth, and multitudes of giant tortoises responsible for the naming of the islands.
Many of these animals having evolved into different species from their continental relatives. And the topography is just as strikingly diverse: from marble, white sands and tunnels of lava; to peaks of rugged terrain and vibrant marine habitats.
Enjoy a fascinating array of activities and excursions, allowing guests to explore the archipelago from multiple perspectives.
Overnight: Sea Star Journey
Pangas (inflatable dinghies) are the most used surce of accessing the different islands from vessels. Excursions by panga provide an up-close experience for exploring rocky islets, hidden bays, cliff faces, and mangrove estuaries.
Paddling at your own pace is another common way to explore the islands. With the elimination of loud motor noises and a low vantage point, kayaking offers up-close and personal wildlife encounters and the freedom to go wherever your curiosity takes you.
Led by Galapagos National Park naturalist guides, daily hikes offer a wonderful insight into the human endeavors, geological history, and wildlife of the islands. Most trails range anywhere from one to three hours and are suitable for all fitness levels and ages with optional extensions for those wanting to hike longer.
Snorkeling adventures allow visitors to explore below the water’s surface and see for themselves the unique and distinct marine life, for which the Galapagos are renowned. Instruction and all gear is provided and little or no experience is required.
Disembark your vessel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Quito.
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Mashpi Lodge is located 110 km (70 miles) from Quito in the western slope of the occidental flank of the Andes. The rapid change in altitude (from 9200 feet above sea level to 3280 feet above sea level) allows you to discover the wanders of the Andean landscape.
The drive usually takes 3 to 3 1/2 hours plus time for any stops on the way. The road crosses the valley of Pomasqui dominated by Andean dry forest, and then to the western flank of the Andes through the Cloud Forest and the road ends in Mashpi at the beginning of the tropical rainforest. The monument of “La Mitad del Mundo” (“Middle of the World”), mark the place where you cross the equatorial line and the obelisk commemorates the visit of the geodesic mission in the XVIII century as part of their studies measuring one arc of the meridian and their efforts to proof the elliptical shape of the earth.
Half way to Mashpi you stop to visit Tulipe archeological museum, a set of ruins that belonged to the Yumbo culture, one of the last cultures that settled in Quito before the arrival of the Incas and the Spanish. You will enjoy coffee and an Empanada (Turnover) prepared by local citizens of Tulipe and then continue the road for 60 minutes and arrive to Mashpi.
Upon arrival at Mashpi, check in. After you have been comfortably settled in your room, you will be greeted by one of our naturalists who will give you an introductory talk about the cloud forest and its conservation, the activities during your stay and some helpful tips about what to wear and what to bring to the excursions. This talk will take place before lunch at our library and lasts around 30 minutes.
Today, we have arranged a late check-out. You will have time to experience a morning activity, or simply relax at the lodge. At a pre-arranged time, you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight from Ecuador.
With the help of our travel specialists, create a perfect trip planned around your specific interests, tastes and preferences. We will provide helpful tips and honest advice based on first-hand knowledge of the destination.CONTACT US ABOUT THIS TRIP