Budget Ecuador and Galapagos holiday, 23 days
Description of Budget Ecuador and Galapagos holiday, 23 days
A thousand kilometres off the coast of Ecuador, you'll find the awe-inspiring Galapagos Islands. Explore both the breathtaking mainland and the isolated archipelago with this budget, 23 day adventure and wildlife tour of Ecuador and the Galapagos.
We spend the first half of this holiday on mainland Ecuador, split between the country's two biggest natural highlights: the Andes and the Amazon. Arriving into the capital of Quito, where we will enjoy some city sightseeing, we’ll go to Mindo where we'll try zip lining above the cloud forest, looking out for hummingbirds, and visit a butterfly farm. We will then spend four days discovering the wildlife, scenery and people of the Amazon rainforest, navigating the Cuyabeno River by canoe to get to our forest lodge. After returning to Quito, we will visit a Condor park and browse the stalls of a huge indigenous market, before hiking to the spectacular Peguche waterfall.
We then head south, towards the Andean Moutains, stopping in Cotopaxi National Park, home to Cotopaxi Volcano, where we can do hiking, biking or horseback riding. There is also chance to go rafting in Baños and visit the beautiful Quilotoa Lagoon, before taking a scenic drive to the old colonial city of Cuenca through the Andes and visiting Cajas National Park.
Finally, we fly on to the Galapagos Islands, where we spend six days visiting three of the main islands; Santa Cruz, Santa Fe and Isabela; and an uninhabited islet. Highlights include seeing Giant Galapagos Tortoises on the Santa Cruz Highlands, snorkelling at Los Tuneles among a myriad of marine species and bird watching.
PlanetWaste We free the land, sea, and waterways from rubbish and pollution. When going on our tours to the Galapagos and the amazon we have strict conditions on how people visit these places. The amount of pollution in the Amazon is very limited since the lodges we use are eco-friendly. The tours to Galapagos also have strict rules on how to control pollution since is a national park that is strongly regulated from the moment you are in the plane to Galapagos. That means that all of our guests that come on this tour will have to adapt to certain strict criteria on how to control waste. As soon as our guests arrive in the lodge in the Amazon or to the Galapagos islands, certain instructions will be given to them so that they also learn how to behave and respect these beautiful places and its environment.
Transport: The transportation in the Galapagos is designed and regulated by the National Park in a way that reduces the emission of carbon as much as possible. One clear example of this is the fact that there are only limited departure boats between Islands. The number of boats that go from one island to the other is regulated by the National Park. Since the boats are the main sources of pollution then it is the best way to avoid contamination by having limited boats and limited departures. This can complicate things a bit for our guest that sometimes want to go at different times but then we always explain the reasons why these measures are there and how this contributes to the preservation of these beautiful islands.
PeopleVolunteering & charity We support local projects & people through volunteering, fundraising or charity. As a company, we have a project in which we support a local volunteering organisation in the poor area of Quito. This organisation contributes by creating sports activities, giving English lessons and also by supporting young children that are in need of extra activities but do not have the resources for it. What our company does is donate 1% of our direct sales to this organisation so that they can have some resources to administrate the organisation. Apart from this we also organise an event with the organisation and the kids once a year.
Friends & neighbours: That people that work with us at the Andes part are local people that know how and where to find all things local. We support and promote the use of local restaurants and hiring local people to the hotels that we use as well as for the activities of our tours. Every time we take our guest to the Andes, we always offer lunch for them and we do so in local restaurants that we know have a good quality service but also delicious food. We try to make sure we support the people that make an effort to serve well and therefore we promote a better service in the tourism sector. In this way, tourism becomes one of the main sources of development in the Island and that is how with every traveler we contribute to this unique place in the world.