Total Ecuador and Galapagos Explorer
A trip for those looking to make the very most of their time in Ecuador, uncovering its huge cultural and natural diversity
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Private tour options in Quito, Guayaquil, Otavalo and the Ecuadorian Amazon
- Luxury seven night Galapagos cruise and excursions lead by naturalist experts
- Meet and greet airport service
- Full support from your Travel Designer and Concierge before, during and after your trip
At a glance
For those looking to make the very most of their time in Ecuador, this private trip samples the huge diversity of traditional culture, exotic wildlife, unique flora and physical wonders of this country with plenty of time to explore and make the most of each location.
Though relatively small, Ecuador packs a huge punch with its distinct geography of mountains, highlands, Amazon rainforest and tropical lowlands, providing a microcosm of South America in just one country. And then, of course, there are the iconic Galapagos Islands with their incredible biodiversity.
Begin your adventure in the Andean region of the Otavalo, staying in an authentic hacienda and exploring the area on privately guided excursions before heading to the beautiful colonial capital, Quito. Then it’s on to discover the teeming wildlife and winding waterways of the Ecuadorian Amazon, while based at a remote eco lodge deep in the forest. Finally, in a fine finale for your luxury discovery of Ecuador, embark upon a seven night cruise of the Galapagos Islands, getting up close and personal with its fascinating wildlife on land and underwater.
Example Trip Itinerary
Private transfer from Quito airport to your hotel in the Otavalo
Accommodation in Otavalo
- 17 rooms
Our favourite hacienda accommodation in Ecuador. This 17th century property was formerly the residence of a much-loved president and remains in his family to this day. The illustrious history of the property shines through in every room, many decorated with antiques dating back to the original owners. The libraries and communal areas are replete with photographs, paintings and exotic furniture, many made as gifts from abroad to the former president. Far from being a museum piece the hacienda is still very active with more than 2,000 hectares of pastureland; mainly used for cattle and horses (the stables have around 100 horses) as well as a trout farm. The estate produces its own cheese onsite and there is also an interesting program for the rehabiliation of Condors. The surrounding countryside and nearby village are beautifully picturesque and relaxing. There are fifteen well-appointed rooms and service is helpful and friendly. A great deal of care is taken to ensure that you make the most of the wonderful surrounds and there are a number of activities possible including horse-riding, mountain biking, hiking, birdwatching and visits to the local community with its own weaving workshops. The hotel is located some distance from the Otavalo Market itself (just over an hour) so it makes most sense to make the visit to the market on the journey to (or from) Quito.
- 40 rooms (choice of standard to suites and even separate cottages)
- Games room
- Film Library
- Basketball & volleyball courts
Set in a converted Hacienda dating back to the seventeenth century in the small town of the same name, this is a charming property conveniently close to the market town of Otavalo. Decoration is warm and very much a mix of colonial and indigenous styles with warm colourful shades and period colonial style furniture. Though this is no longer a working hacienda and the formally vast grounds are now reduced, they are still large with stables, courtyards and beautiful gardens, not to mention many off and on-site activities to choose from.
During your time in the beautiful countryside of the Otavalo region, simply enjoy the relaxed, bucolic pace of life here and we can arrange a number of our privately guided tours for you to enjoy some traditional Ecuadorian culture.
Head to the Cuicocha crater lake to enjoy a short hike near the lake. Then continue to Otavalo to visit the famous Indian market, where people from the surrounding mountains come to buy and sell crafts, food and other goods. After lunch at a local hacienda, visit one of the community projects held in the area.
Private transfer from your Otavalo hotel to 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.
- Spa (gym, sauna, massage)
- Wine Cellar
A relatively new addition to the hotel scene in Quito, the Plaza Grande is not lacking in history. Set in a beautifully converted Belle Epoque mansion of one of the city’s founding fathers. The hotel is set in a prime spot in the beautiful old town on the Plaza de la Independencia. Fitting to the setting and history of the building the hotel is decorated in luxurious and opulent style with heavy drapes, tapestries and artwork adorning the walls. As well as the traditional fittings, rooms are appointed with all of the modern amenities that one might expect from a hotel of this calibre, with 42 inch flat screen televisions, jacuzzis and sound-proofed windows installed in all the rooms. Service is excellent and the hotel has several restaurants and a well-stocked wine cellar.
- 21 rooms, 11 suites
Patio Andaluz is just steps away from the main square of Quito’s UNESCO-protected colonial quarter and many of the attractions can be reached on foot. The hotel has been built in a converted old building set around a central patio ensuring that there is plenty of light in the day and spacious communal areas. A protected historic building converted to a hotel, every room is slightly different. Some of the larger suites have windows onto the front and are spaced over two levels with a connecting spiral staircase. Other smaller rooms have limited window space with light coming from the well-lit internal area of the hotel. Decoration is in the period style and the rooms are quite spacious and comfortable. Dining is in the central patio and the restaurant is among the better ones in the area. Staff are friendly and very helpful making this one of our favorite hotels in the historic area.
- Swimming pool
- Sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi
Enjoy a sense of serenity at Hosteria Rincon de Puembo. Away from the city of Quito, this charming hotel offers the perfect place to unwind, particularly if you are transferring in between destinations as it is located close to Quito airport. The warm and comfortable guestrooms, which range from standard to casita to suite, are individually designed with traditional features and modern-day essentials provided. Besides your room a number of other relaxing treats are also available here including a heated pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. Meanwhile, dining is taken care of with regional cuisine served up at Las Capulas Restaurant and tasty coffees and cocktails on offer at Bar Rio Cafe.
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.
The tour starts with a panoramic overview of the city and its surrounding volcanoes from one of the city’s viewpoints. Then stop at a local food, fruits and vegetables market. This is one of the oldest markets in the city and during the visit you will be able to enjoy the smells and colours of the fruits and vegetables and learn more about the history of this ancient market and the local products as well as some secrets of the local natural medicine.
Then continue to the Independence Square which is the centre of the political life of the country due to the presence of the President’s Palace. In the afternoon visit La Compañia church, known as the best example of baroque style in the country, and San Francisco Church, the first Catholic church built by the Spaniards in Quito. The tour ends with a visit to the museum Casa del Alabado, a Pre-Columbian art museum that owns more than 5,000 archaeological pieces from most of the communities living in Ecuador before the arrival of the Spaniards.
Private transfer from your Quito hotel to Quito airport
Flight from Quito to Coca
Transfer from Coca airport to your lodge in the Amazon
Accommodation in The Amazon
- Accommodation for 38 in cabins
- Nearby fully catered campsite
- Restaurant and bar
- Observation tower
Focusing supporting the local community and protecting its biodiverse surroundings, Sani is an ecolodge set in 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres) of beautiful rainforest between two of the most diverse ecological reserves on the planet. Make yourself at home in a rustic, yet spacious cabin, offering an intimate experience of the Amazon rainforest. Up to 38 guests can be accommodated in thatched-roofed cabanas and family-sized cabins, which are all screened to keep insects out and have eco-friendly solar lights. Warm fabrics and rich wood panels made for an inviting place to relax as you take in the sounds of the jungle. The more adventurous can stay at the camping site, an hour away from the lodge. Together with local guides, guests make their way to the site in canoes. Tents are on platforms with thatched roofs to provide a little extra shelter, and all meals are prepared on site by a chef. Twitchers will have a field day as there are some 550 species identified in the area. It is estimated that on a 4-day trip you may come across around 120 of these, while real enthusiasts may even hit the 250 mark. These flit between 1500 species of tree along with 1000 types of butterfly and 13 monkey species. From the top of the 37m high tree tower, get an awe-inspiring view of the region, before heading out at dusk to explore Oxbow Lake – home to the endangered black caiman. Night time is when the forest truly comes alive, with night hikes to discover an astounding world of insects and animals. Take time to visit the Sani community and the Kichwa people and let them show you how their traditions still shape their lives today.
- 15 suites
- 8 cabanas
Possibly one of the most luxurious lodges in this very remote region, La Selva is a delightful and first class Amazon experience. Eight naturally designed cabanas and fifteen suites are decorated simply but comfortably, all with private bathrooms and the suites come with their own private balcony and jacuzzis in the family ones. The staff are fantastically helpful not to mention a very enthusiastic team of bilingual guides to take you out to explore the rainforest each day. La Selva sits on the border of the Yasuni National Park looking over the Garzacocha Lagoon and Napo River, so you couldn’t be better placed for your daily explorations. The scheduled activities of daily (and night time) jungle expeditions and canoe rides are included, and there is a good choice of special activities and programs (wellness, family, honeymoon). For a remote Amazon ecolodge, the food is top knotch too.
- 16 cabanas (450sq ft)
- Bottle of house wine on arrival
The Napo Wildlife Centre is one of the best run and most environmentally sound lodges in this area of the Amazon. There are 16 lakefront bungalows which are all spacious and decorated simply but comfortably with king size beds in every room. Each bungalow also has its own private balcony (with hammock) from which to enjoy the views. Guiding is excellent and the lodge has a great observation tower from which to view the area as well as a macaw clay lick (one of the only one in the area). No motorised vehicles are allowed anywhere near the lodge and the last part of the journey to the lodge itself is by canoe.
- 5 bungalows
Located in a closer position to Quito than other Amazon lodges, the Hamadryade does not require a flight to be reached. This is one of the most stylish and exclusive offerings in the Amazon with just 4 spacious and beautifully decorated private bungalows. The location a little closer to civilisation means that wildlife spotting is a little more difficult than other lodges. However, the location is beautiful and the added advantage is the possibility to visit the local indigenous communities. The facilities here are unparalleled in the Ecuadorian Amazon with a sense of style and finesse that is unavailable elsewhere. Rooms are equipped with such comforts as Egyptian cotton sheets, hot shower and floor to ceiling windows. Activities possible from the lodge include rainforest walks, rafting, visits to local communities and trips down the river.
- 26 en suite rooms
- Restaurant and bar
- Butterfly House
Slightly closer to the town of Coca, Sacha lodge is more easily reached than other lodges (just 2.5 hours journey). The location is still excellent however and the lodge is one of the best in the area. There are 26 comfortable cabins nestled in the jungle all including private bathrooms and hot showers. The high thatched roofs mean the rooms are spacious and airy and whilst by no means luxurious they are comfortable considering the wilderness location. There are interconnecting rooms perfect for families. Guiding is generally of excellent quality with all tours in small groups and accompanied by two guides, a local, native guide raised in the area and a bilingual naturalist. The lodge also has a very pleasant dining area and a canopy walk through the jungle great for spotting birdlife. The self standing suspension canopy walkways, 275m long and 36m high, is one of only a few in the world.
During your time in the Amazon you will be able to choose from a host of activities which will allow you to marvel at the incredible biodiversity of this magical area, which will allow you to experience nature at it's best.
Transfer from your Amazon Lodge to Coca airport
Flight from Coca to Quito
Flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands
Accommodation in Galapagos
- 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.
- 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.
- 50 staterooms and suites (100 guests)
- Two Restaurants
- Onboard team of naturalist guides
- Main Lounge
- Snorkelling Area
- Piano Bar
- Beauty Salon, Fitness Centre, Jacuzzi, & Massage Room
The latest addition of luxury cruise ships to explore the Galápagos Islands, Silver Galapagos, will sail all year round on carefully planned itineraries and is naturally suited to in-depth explorations of this spectacular region. Built to accommodate 100 guests and 75 crew, this is one of the larger boats sailing the islands but with more amenities, greater luxury, professional butlers and a maximum of 14 guests per excursion, the Silver balances its size well with attentive service and intimate guiding. Offering all ocean-view accommodations most with private verandas, a dedicated team of naturalists onboard and complimentary shore excursions at all ports, the Silver Galapagos offers intrepid adventures with all-inclusive, elegant interludes. Observe unique ecosystems, hike through lush mangrove forests and across volcanic fields, watch for wild flamingos (in season), read cave inscriptions from the 1800s, and learn about conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Plus there will be many opportunities to swim and snorkel with the sea-life found in the tranquil clear waters. The more you explore, the more you will marvel at the wonders of nature.
- Ten deluxe double staterooms
- Inside and outside dining and bar areas
- Culinary school trained chefs
- Sun deck with loungers, hammocks, Jacuzzi and hot tub
- Fitness centre
- Concierge services
- Computer station
Billed as both the most luxurious and the most environmentally efficient yachts in the Galapagos, the MV Origin and the MV Theory are two of Ecoventura’s newest ships. They feature panoramic windows, a hot tub and while on board you’ll enjoy locally sourced gourmet meals. The Origin and Theory are identical boats. With ten deluxe double staterooms, each with large panoramic windows, private bathrooms, seating areas, local art work and satellite TVs, the yachts are able to accommodate up to 20 passengers in the utmost levels of comfort. The guide to passenger ration is one of the best in the Galapagos ensuring you enjoy first-class service. The spacious interior features a dining and bar area, lounge, fitness centre, library, boutique and a computer station. Outside, the large sun deck features outside dining space, loungers, hammocks, Jacuzzi, hot tub and BBQ. To ensure you make the most of your visit to the Galapagos Islands, daily excursions are led by two highly trained naturalist guides in small groups of no more than ten. You’ll enjoy nature walks with plenty of time for photographs and questions.
- 8 spacious cabins with their own private balconies
- Dining room
- Several outdoor decks from which to dine and observe the sights
The only mega, luxury catamaran sailing the Galapagos, Ocean Spray is a well-equipped and very reasonably priced vessel. With a capacity for only sixteen guests with eight very spacious cabins (the top four are 32m² in size) all with their own private balconies, this is a cruiser that prizes an intimate and comfortable Galapagos experience for its guests. Enjoy al fresco dining on the deck to soaking in the Jacuzzi after your day’s excursions.
- Nine en-suite cabins
- Dining room
- Two bars
- Sundeck with Jacuzzi
The Alya is one of the newest vessels in the Galapagos Islands and ensures a relaxing, informative and fun journey through this wonderful part of the world. The 105-foot catamaran accommodates up to 16 guests in nine comfortable en-suite cabins, eight of which feature private balconies. Rooms are bright and fresh with large windows that allow plenty of natural light to flood in. Itineraries combine hiking, snorkelling, swimming and kayaking with expert guided tours led by naturalist guides who will take you to the best spots on each island and help you get up close to the incredible wildlife of the Galapagos. Back on board, there is a dining room, a library where you can unwind and watch a DVD, two bars and a sundeck with Jacuzzi – perfect for sinking into at the end of a day exploring, drink in hand.
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 Galapagos to Guayaquil
Get in Touch
Total Ecuador and Galapagos 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.