- Luxury train journey through Ecuador
- Chocolate tasting
- See volcanoes
- Stay in lovely haciendas
- Cross the Equator
- UNESCO World Heritage Site of Quito
- Visit the Galapagos by small boat
- Unique wildlife of the Galapagos
Day 1 Guayaquil Depart London Heathrow on your flight Guayaquil via Miami. On arrival at you will be met and transferred to the Oro de Verde Hotel for two nights.
Day 2 Guayaquil. Half day sightseeing visit of Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city.
This visit includes the Centennial Plaza, the famous Moorish Clock Tower and Bolívar Park, and the Metropolitan Cathedral. At the southern end of Malecon 2000 see the Crystal Palace, Integration Square, the Plaza of the Flags, the Plaza Olmedo, and La Rotonda which commemorates the meeting of Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin, the liberators of South America.
Day 3 Duran – Yaguachi – Naranjito – Bucay
Transfer to the train station and board the Tren Crucero. This is a four day luxury train trip, part steam and part diesel, and overnight accommodation is at lovely restored haciendas.
Once aboard you will pass through typical coast plantations of bananas, sugarcane and rice. Continue to Naranjito and then by bus to a coastal hacienda to enjoy a typical ‘Montubio’ ballet. Later, visit a cocoa plantation to learn why Ecuadorian cacao is some of the best in the world and also enjoy a chocolate tasting. Afternoon departure to Bucay by bus where you will be offered an optional hike through tropical forest to learn more about this environment. Overnight at hacienda.
Day 4 Bucay – Huigra – Devil’s Nose Viewpoint – Alausi– Colta – Riobamba
Start your journey to the Ecuadorian highlands. The first stop is at the viewpoint of Pistishi to appreciate the amazing engineering feat of the ‘Devil’s Nose’, and then continue to Alausí along the zigzag tracks. Continue to Guamote and Colpa and then travel by bus to Calpi, an indigenous community in Chimborazo province which is a centre for raising llamas. Continue by steam locomotive to Riobamba for overnight.
Day 5 Urbina – Ambato – Boliche – Quito
Transfer to Urbina, the highest point in your trip at 3609m above sea level. From here, you will see the highest volcano in Ecuador. If weather permits, you may be able to enjoy beautiful views of the still active Tungurahua volcano. Continue your trip to Quito across the Avenue of the Volcanoes.
Day 6 Quito – Otavalo – San Antonio – San Roque – Ibarra
Drive north to see the impressive Otavalo indigenous market. A steam engine awaits you at the recently restored train station in Otavalo. Your journey ends back in Quito, where you will be transferred to your hotel. Three nights Hotel Patio Andaluz, in the heart of historic Quito Antiguo.
Day 7 Quito Half day excursion Quito and the Center of the World monument.
Quito’s colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved of South America, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll in Independence Plaza, visit the temple of La Compañía de Jesús, and the Monastery of San Francisco. Continue to the Equatorial Monument, 25 kms north of Quito, which marks the exact Middle of the World, latitude 0º, where you can stand with a foot in each hemisphere. Visit the Ethnographic Museum inside the monument, which shows the different Native American groups living in Ecuador.
Day 8 At leisure.
Day 9 Quito – Galapagos Yacht La Pinta – Western Islands
Transfer from the hotel to the airport for your flight to Baltra in the Galapagos. On arrival you will be transferred to the dock to board Yacht La Pinta. There’s an introductory welcome briefing, boat drill and cabin assignment followed by lunch. The yacht has some of the largest cabins of any Galapagos vessel with floor-to-ceiling windows in all cabins. La Pinta has 24 outside cabins all with air conditioning and private bathroom. Facilities on the yacht include dining room, bar, Natural History library, sundeck, boutique, Jacuzzi and fitness room.
In the afternoon visit North Seymour Island.
Day 10 Isabela/Fernandina
Day 11 Isabela
Day 12 Rábida Island/Santa Cruz
Day 13 Santa Cruz. Puerto Ayora & Charles Darwin Research Station
Day 14 Post Office Bay/Punta Cormorant (Floreana)
Day 15 Baltra. Your cruise ends at Baltra Island. Transfer to the airport for your flight back to Quito. On arrival check in for your flight to London via Miami.
Day 16 UK arrival
Train photo credits: Tren Ecuador