Ecuador Nature Explorer
A nature lovers' adventure cruising the wildlife kingdom of the Galapagos Islands and the delightfully unknown Cloud Forests
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Four-night luxury Galapagos cruise
- Excursions lead by naturalist experts
- Private tour options in Guayaquil and Quito
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Meet and greet airport service
- Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
At a glance
After two nights in coastal Guayuaquil, embark upon a four-night cruise of the Galapagos Islands where you will spend your days getting up close to its unique and often fearless creatures and discovering the distinct geology of the different islands. You can also dive into its waters to snorkel with its inquisitive and vibrant marine life
Then, return to the Ecuadorian mainland, for two nights in the charming capital Quito before journeying to the rather under-discovered Cloud Forests of the Chocó region. This pristine environment is one of the most biodiverse places on earth – home to a staggering 400 species of bird, 112 species of amphibian and reptile, monkeys and even puma. Based out of the incredible Mashpi Lodge, one of the most innovative eco lodges in the world, explore the canopy, waterfalls and forest floor on a range of expertly guided excursions.
Depending on your particular interests, we will include as many or as little activities as you wish, to ensure that your Ecuadorian adventure is just right for you.
Example Trip Itinerary
Meet and greet at Guayaquil airport
Private transfer to your hotel in Guayaquil
Accommodation in Guayaguil
- 11 rooms
- Roof terrace
- Complimentary WiFi
Guayaquil’s only boutique hotel, the Mansion del Rio is a refurbished early 20th-century villa of just eleven rooms still preserving the feel of a private residence. Original features and antique furnishings adorn the inside of the hotel with classically styled rooms that that look over the Guayas River. A roof terrace also makes the most of these views and the hotel’s position (especially if your room isn’t on the river side). Set into the hillside of the city’s Las Penas neighbourhood, you are moments from the Malecon and a ten minute drive from the airport. Maria, the owner, is very hands on and always ready to relay the interesting history of the house to recommending good places to eat in town. A hotel that is also monument to Guayaquil’s past and heritage, Mansion del Rio is a pleasing alternative to the city’s good business hotels.
- 294 rooms
- Outdoor pool
- Health Club and Spa
- Six restaurants
- Three bars
- Complimentary airport shuttle
Located close to the airport, the Hilton Colon is an excellent option for Guayaquil. It’s the best hotel in the city with the level of service and finish that one comes to expect from this brand. Recent refurbishment means that the interiors are elegant and contemporary. Features include a large outdoor pool area, an excellent spa and a choice of different restaurants. There is also an adjoining complex with shops and banks.
- 44 rooms and suites
Originally built as a grand charity centre in the heart of Guayaquil in 1891, it avoided demolition after being bought and reconstructed, piece by piece, in its current location within Parque Historico on the banks of the Daule River, and restored into an elegant boutique hotel. There are 44 guest rooms classically furnished with period local pieces, in subdued hues to contrast with the tropical park outside. Overlooking the waterfront, the Hotel del Parque’s restaurant serves sophisticated modern takes on Ecuadorian cuisine with a focus on fresh seafood and local ingredients.
The largest city in Ecuador and located on the Pacific coast, Guayaquil is the country's economic hub. With a good selection of fine restaurants and cultural establishments, we can help you make the most of your short time here.
Head out of Guayaquil to Hacienda El Castillo, a traditional cacao farm. After a warm welcome at the main house, visit the chocolate factory, where you will see all the process of turning cocoa beans into fine chocolate. Guests can also relax in the hammocks, hike and birdwatch in the original native forest or along cocoa and mango plantations. Enjoy a traditional lunch at the main house’s dining room before returning to Guayaquil in the early afternoon.
Private transfer to Guayaquil airport
Flight to the Galapagos
Private transfer and check in to your yacht in the Galapagos
GALAPAGOS CRUISE SHIPS AND YACHTS
- 24 cabins, all mid-ship with large picture windows and double or twin beds
- Connecting rooms available
- Family program on select dates
- Sun deck
- Al-fresco dining area
- Bottle of wine upon arrival for 4 night cruises; bottle of champagne or wine upon arrival for 7 night cruises
One of the top expedition vessels in the Galapagos, La Pinta is an excellent choice for those looking to combine comfort with a personal, expert service and high quality guiding. The vessel has capacity for just 48 guests, striking a good balance between size and facilities. All of the twenty four staterooms are located mid-ship on the upper deck and come with spacious double or twin beds. As one of the newer boats in the Galapagos, La Pinta is kitted out with the latest equipment and has an excellent restaurant and bar, jacuzzi, and a gym. All tours are conducted with small groups of just ten guests or less with expert naturalist guides and travellers can use snorkelling equipment, sea kayaks, wetsuits and take trips in the glass bottomed boat.
- Eight cabins
- Restaurant (a-la-carte dining in the evening)
- Two Jacuzzis
- Sun deck
- Massage room
The M/Y Galapagos Sea Star Journey made its maiden voyage in March 2011 and is one of the more comfortable and spacious options, with contemporary decoration that is uncommon in the Galapagos. There are seven 25m² suites and one large (35m²) Master Suite. Large picture windows throughout help to bring light in as well as giving great views out across the sea. Giving plenty of room to relax as well as beautiful en-suite bathrooms. Very spacious communal areas include a restaurant and bar, outside observation and sundeck, two Jacuzzis and a massage room with a range of therapies.
- 26 cabins
- 48 passenger capacity
- Single cabins available
- Lounge bar
- Dining room
- Al fresco dining area
- Observation/Sun deck
- Hot tub
One of the very best ships in the Galapagos, the Celebrity Xperience is an excellent choice for those seeking a high quality boat with comfortable and large communal areas on an expedition class vessel. All rooms have sea views with twin or double bed configurations. The staterooms on the upper deck have large picture windows from which to admire the views. Decoration is elegant and the rooms and bathrooms comfortable and well appointed. Communal areas include both indoor and outdoor dining areas, Jacuzzi and a large sun deck. Guiding is also of an excellent standard and in small groups.
- 20 cabins
- Sun deck
- Dining room and lounge
The Isabella II is a comfortable expedition yacht and also one of the smaller vessels of this standard in the Galapagos with capacity for just 40 passengers. The 20 cabins are relatively spacious with double, twin and triple rooms available. Decor is modern and sophisticated. On the main deck you’ll find the dining room, library and bar while the boat deck is home to the fitness room, an al fresco bar and hot tub. Guiding is excellent on the Isabela and there is state-of-the-art technology for multimedia presentations and natural history lectures. There are glass-bottomed boats, kayaks and pangas for exploring as well as snorkelling equipment for getting up close to the Galapagos’ incredible marine wildlife.
Spend your time cruising and exploring the Galapagos Islands on your choice of Jacada's selected luxury expedition cruises. The exact itinerary will depend on which you choose, our travel designer will help you choose which suits you best.
There will be a number of varied nature trails with your guides to the different islands on your itinerary to explore both the wildlife up close and the astonishing geology of the islands.
Small group excursions by inflatable 'panga' zodiac boats to snorkel and see the dense marine wildlife.
Flight from the Galapagos Islands to Quito (via Guayaquil)
Private transfer to your hotel in Quito
Accommodation in Quito
- 31 rooms
- Room upgrade will be provided subject to availability
- Box of Pacari chocolates upon arrival
Resembling something you are more likely see on a street corner of some Parisian arrondissement, the white neoclassical façades of the recently renovated Gangotena mansion stands majestically from the south western corner of Quito’s UNESCO-protected Plaza San Francisco. Removed you may think, but the hotel sits quite comfortably in this characteristically Old World part of town, and being conveniently positioned at the colonial and cultural heart of Quito its thirty-one rooms have magnificent views over the square and surrounding monuments. Inside the décor is elegantly traditional, but is kept quite minimal for a contemporary twist. Downstairs is the lobby, complete with marble floors, velvet Chesterfields, and peppered with the odd antique, as is the dining room, bar and conservatory central patio. Then via the spiral stairs (or lift) are the rooms that feature all the contemporary amenities matched to the more modern soft furnishings, but the high ceilings, mouldings, wall murals and marbled bathrooms nod loyally to the mansion’s past and the opulence of a bygone era.
- 22 Rooms, consisting of single, double and suites.
- Charming, central patio area, which is perfect for relaxing with a cup of coffee or a beer.
- Lounge area, with a fireplace.
- Hotel restaurant; serving local dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Welcome card with box of Ecuadorian sweets upon arrival
Step back into Ecuador’s fascinating history, with a stay at this charming historical hotel in the centre of Quito, which has quite rightly been awarded UNESCO status. Situated amongst the narrow, cobbled streets and baroque architecture this hotel is located in a restored colonial mansion, with 22 beautifully decorated colourful rooms, replete with décor from the colonial era. For some peace and quiet from the bustling bohemian streets, you can sit back and relax in the hotels central patio, carefully designed to represent the importance of Quito’s historical past and the present, modern day. Outside of the hotel you will find some of Quito’s most beautiful historical monasteries, churches and a splendid collection of art shops, cafes and restaurants. At the weekend this area is a very lively with a fantastic atmosphere, a great place to be to be immersed into Quito’s culture.
Enjoy Ecuador's capital, the first ever UNESCO World Heritage city. You'll have our list of recommendations as well as private guides on hand to enjoy the best of this historical city and contemporary hub. We can arrange a number of private, interest-led tours to booking fine restaurants for you. Talk to your travel designer about how you would like to spend your time here.
This full-day tour begins with an early start for the journey to Otavalo Market where you will enjoy amazing Andean landscapes. The day will consist of a visit to the town of Peguche and a handcraft tour, during which you will witness weaving processes at a local textile workshop. Lunch is also included and can be enjoyed at Pinsaqui, Puerto Lago or Hacienda Cusin.
Private transfer your lodge in The Cloud Forests
The Cloud Forests
Lodges in the Cloud Forests
- 20 rooms
- Three suites
- Outdoor terrace
- Restaurant and bar
- Expedition room
- Spa treatments
Set into one of the planet’s most important bio-regions, the futuristic Mashpi Lodge powered with 100% hydroelectricity really is a “contemporary cocoon in the clouds”. Praised for its ecological and contemporary design by being nominated for the likes of Wallpaper’s Design Awards, Mashpi’s steel and glass creation sits amongst 3,200 acres of pristine rainforest on a bluff that commands stunning views over the lush valleys, cloud forests and hills of the Tumbez-Choco-Darien bio-region (otherwise known as the Chocó). The 20 rooms and three suites are spacious and simply modern in decoration, with floor to ceiling windows that keep your attention on what’s outside rather than what’s in. The restaurant has been thoughtfully constructed with two-storey high ceilings and windows for walls so again you feel constantly in touch with the forest, whilst dining on local produce from exotic fruits blended with more savoury dishes and organic ingredients to home made chocolate. There is also a terrace with pergola roof for incredible views over the jungle canopy, perhaps spotting one or two of its creatures. Daily wildlife expeditions and nature excursions are led by the lodge’s team of Ecuadorian biologists and things like wellington boots and rain ponchos are provided. The aerial tram from the lodge allow for deeper daily explorations into the forest, and comes with an observation tower and Life Centre which has butterfly farms and terrariums for a really close up look to these species. Hikes, bathing in waterfalls and rivers are very much part of the Mashpi experience too.
Time to enjoy the natural evergreen environment of the misty Cloud Forests. If you wish we can arrange privately guided activities to fill your time here. Perhaps you would like to take a privately guided walk along the nature trails, enjoy a canopy tour, horse ride through the misty forests or take some time to practice some yoga. Mashpi Lodge is a stunning, design-led eco lodge set in the 1,300-hectare (3,200-acres) Masphi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve, part of the globally-important Tumbez-Chocó-Darien ecosystem. Spend your nights in high contemporary comfort and your days exploring the primary rainforest with nature trails, bathing in waterfalls and going on night-time walks; all to discover the array of creatures and delicate flora that reside here.
Private transfer to Quito airport
Get in Touch
Ecuador Nature Explorer
How We Work
We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.