For nature lovers, Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands are a must-visit destination. But there’s plenty to love about this South American gem of a country beyond the boobie birds and iguanas. This fun-filled adventure combines the wildlife of the world’s most fascinating archipelago with historic and gastronomic experiences in Ecuador’s colonial urban centers.
It starts in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s biggest and busiest city. Often overlooked as little more than a gateway to the Galápagos Islands, the city’s treasures delight those who pause long enough to appreciate them. You’ll do just that on a privately guided tour on which you’ll discover must-see sights like Parque Seminario, Palacio de Cristal, and the Malecón 2000 riverfront boardwalk.
From Guayaquil, the trip moves some 700 miles (approximately 1,200 kilometers) to the west into the Pacific Ocean to the Galápagos archipelago. Made famous by naturalist Charles Darwin in 1835, this string of volcanic islands is home to some of the world’s most unusual plants and animals, not to mention some incredible experiences. On Isla Santa Cruz, you’ll get to go kayaking, snorkeling, or stand-up paddleboarding in search of boobies, sea lions, and white-tipped reef sharks; go hiking around Cerro Mesa, and take a private tour of the rock formations of Las Grietas and explore secluded Tortuga Bay. Later, take to the surf itself on a four-night cruise that visits must-see spots like Puerto Egas, Isla Rábida (a sea lion haven), Tagus Cove, and the Santa Cruz highlands before heading back to the mainland. ... Show More »
Wrap things up back on dry land in Quito, Ecuador’s political and cultural capital. First, experience the fascinating intersection of cultures that define Quito on a private tour that introduces you to its UNESCO-protected colonial architecture, followed by a tasting of the world’s finest cocoa before sitting down to cocktails and a delicious 12-course tasting menu at URKO Cocina Local. Finally, you’ll head deep into the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve on a privately guided birding expedition for the chance to spot hummingbirds, tanagers, plate-billed mountain-toucans, and dozens of other birds.
This tour is offered by Kensington Tours