Galapagos diving and Ecuador trekking holiday
Description of Galapagos diving and Ecuador trekking holiday
This is more than a Galapagos diving holiday. Not only do you get some relaxation time on the beach after a week of world-class diving in the Galapagos, but you’ve just come here off the back of hiking in the Andes mountains.
On the first half of this trip you’ll spend four days trekking in the Andes. After an acclimatisation day in Quito, which gives you a great opportunity for a guided tour of the city, you can start your high-altitude trekking holiday. Going from lodge to lodge in the mountains, you’ll experience dramatic landscapes, perhaps accompanied by equally dramatic weather changes. You’ll well rewarded for your efforts every evening with hearty food in the lodges.
This part of the trip culminates in tackling Cotopaxi. Ecuador’s most famous mountain is its second largest, a perfect cone crowned with snow. You’ll walk right up to the volcano’s snowline, which takes you up to 5,100m above sea level – as far as you can go without technical equipment for tackling the snow.
From here it’s a flight to the Galapagos islands for time on the water. You’ll stay on a boat so you can enjoy up to four dives a day. The Galapagos is unique in the world for the incredible encounters you can get with animals that have not learnt to fear humans. Sea lions preying on sardines can be very inquisitive of your presence, whilst you’ll be amazed by huge gatherings of scalloped hammerhead sharks. You may be lucky enough to see gigantic whale sharks, which tend to come to the islands between June and November.
After a highly active holiday, you could spend a few days on land on the Galapagos, staying at a hotel on the beach. Water babies can snorkel or kayak – but you may just want to rest after all the excitement.
This trip can be tailor made to suit your particular interests; an example itinerary is below.
PlanetOur tailormade Ecuador trips aim for a 'Slow Travel' approach, where we encourage our guests to fly on holiday less often, stay for longer when they are there (don't fly all the way to South America for 10 days!), and when flying is unavoidable (such as reaching the Galapagos) to make sure the trip is a fully immersive and meaningful adventure, that is both enjoyable for the traveller but also benefits the places we visit.
We handpick accommodation with a focus on environmental responsibility, such as the charming mountain lodge in Cotopaxi, and an award-winning Galapagos eco hotel helping to protect the local flora and fauna.
In fact just by visiting the Galapagos, as well as other national parks on the mainland, you are also helping to support important conservation efforts. Indeed, the Galapagos provides a great example in how responsible tourism can thrive, providing both the opportunity for people to experience its wonders, but also limiting the human impact on the archipelago through strict national park regulations.
PeopleCommunity based tourism is a key element of our trips to Ecuador, and in fact our ground partners based in Quito are multi-award winners in this field. Throughout the trip we aim to involve local communities in our activities, such as across the Cotopaxi trekking days with where we eat and stay. The aim throughout is to provide non-touristy, authentic cultural experiences, that benefit the people from those communities directly.
We also avoid any international chain hotels or large cruise ships, prioritising independent local owner-run properties where possible. This keeps more money in the immediate area, and helps provides business and employment opportunities to local people, whilst providing us and our guests with a more genuine and enriching stay as part of our trips. All of our guides and drivers are also based out of partners local offices in Quito and the Galapagos, rather than contracting in European or North American guides.
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From £6800 - £7900 22 days excluding flights
Private in-depth tour of Ecuador and The Galapagos