Classic Ecuador Highlights


Classic Ecuador Highlights


10 Days / 9 Nights

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Activity Level

Activity Level


Wildlife expectation

Physical Difficulty

Wildlife expectation

Cultural rating

Wildlife expectation

Wildlife expectation


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Discover the highlights of Ecuador including the magnificent Galapagos Islands through this island-hopping tour! The Galapagos is unique in the world due to its phenomenal biodiversity and abundant wildlife in a setting unlike any other in the world. Due to its isolation, the islands are a natural sanctuary that have preserved animal species, for thousands of years, allowing them to specially adapt to their surroundings.  Take a spectacular drive through the Andes visiting Cuicocha crater-lake and the famous indigenous market of Otavalo and share a unique experience with local people in the heart of the Andes. Relax and acclimatize at a luxury hot springs resort to feel the energy of the mother nature and the surrounding mountains. All this and more is included in this amazing with this classic 10 day itinerary!

Special features of our 10 day Classic Ecuadorian Highlights Tour: 

Type of Tourism:  Nature, Biodiversity, Classic, Adventure

Places to Visit:  Galapagos, Quito, Otavalo

Duration:  10 Days and 9 Nights. 

Type of Service: group tours. 

Accommodation:  4 star hotels at every destination that you will visit. These hotels had been carefully chosen and we can guarantee that you will feel comfortable and your every need catered for! 


Today is arrival day to Quito, the capital of Ecuador. This well preserved colonial city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is located on the equator in a valley at the foothills of the Pichincha volcano. We will take you to the famous indigenous market town of Otavalo, where we will spend the evening in a historic hacienda.

    Otavalo, where you will have plenty of time to wander through the narrow cobblestone streets, filled with the Indigenous people wearing the traditional blue ponchos, white trousers and long braided hair. Learn all about their way of life and their native language. We will visit the famous handicraft market, with its wonderful textiles, alpaca throws and rugs, knitted clothing, paintings, ceramics, jewellery, tapestries. In the afternoon. We will then head to Cotachi to see the town's impressive leather goods and enjoy the picturesque...

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      After breakfast, we will head to the Cotacachi Cayapas ecological reserve to see the breathtaking scenery around this active volcano. We will hike along the Cuicocha Crater Lake's shores, taking a boat ride to the middle of the crater to observe the activity of this volcano, watching bubbles rising up from the centre. We will then head to Peguche, a small village located in the heart of the Andes, where we can experience an unforgettable cultural adventure. We will help the local people prepare a delicious lunch using the fresh produ...

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        Today, we will wake early to head back to Quito for a morning flight to the town of Puerto Ayora, the largest town in the Galapagos. We will take a trip to the largest island in the archipelago with the most volcanic activity in the Galapagos. The Isabela island was formed by six volcanos, Alcedo, Cerra Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf; five of these are still active, making the island one of the most volcanically active places on the planet. On the journey to the islands, keep your eyes open for dolphins and whales!

          Today we will explore the amazing lava formations along the shore, left by the last volcanic eruptions on the island. National Geographic and the BBC have filmed a number of documentaries on this impressive island. This labyrinth of lava arches and crystal clear water is replete with sea turtles, eagle rays, sea lions, sharks and other sea creatures. The turtles navigate their way from the mangroves to the open sea through "Los Tuneles". This is where we will have the best snorkelling on the island with an array of spectacular sea cr...

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            After breakfast, we will head out on a hike to the Sierra Negra. From the trailhead, we will hike through a young forest ecosystem to the Sierra Negra Crater rim, an active volcano which last erupted in June 2018. From the crater, we can appreciate spectacular views and explore the massive, 10 km wide, lava-filled crater. We will continue our hike to the Volcan Chico, a secondary crater that has a wild landscape of smoky fumaroles and colourful lava formations. In the afternoon, we will visit Tintoreras Islet near Puerto Villamil and...

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              In the morning, we will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. We can learn all about the endemic species found on the islands, as well as the ongoing conservation work on the Galapagos Islands. In the afternoon, you will travel by speedboat to The San Cristobal Island. In the afternoon, we will head to the 'El Chato' reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz, home to the famous Galapagos tortoises. Hiking through El Chato's picturesque landscape with these giant creatures is an unforgettable experience! We will also see other highl...

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                Today we will leave these amazing Islands to head back to the capital. There will be a final opportunity to take some photos of the sea lions before we fly back to the mainland. We will  arrive at the hotel to  settle in for the evening after our incredible Galapagos adventure

                  Today we will explore the heart of Quito city and learn more about its history by walking around its narrow streets and visiting its most iconic architectural buildings. We will see the Golden Church, San Francisco Square, the Main Square and even visit Luis´ at his workshop “Cruz Verde”. Luis is a well-known artisan whose family has prepared the local candy “Colaciones” for the last 100 years. We will enjoy a lunch For lunch with the local people and enjoy a unique meal, freshly prepared using local pro...

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                    After breakfast, we will pick you up at the hotel and take you to the airport for your flight back home, or on to your next exciting destination!

                      WHAT'S INCLUDED

                      • Transportation: Comfortable land and sea transportation.
                      • Accommodation based on double occupancy: 5* hotel in Quito, 3+* star hotels in Galapagos, 3+* hacienda in Otavalo, 4+* mountain lodge in Papallacta.
                      • Meals: 9 breakfasts, 4 lunch.
                      • Gear:  Snorkelling mask and fins, life vest
                      • Trip Leader: Certified expert English-speaking adventure leader and local guides.

                      WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

                      • International flights.
                      • Airfare Guayaquil - Galapagos - Quito round trip USD 495 per person
                      • Single Supplement
                      • Airport transfer (international flights).
                      • Travel insurance (mandatory).
                      • Meals not described in the itinerary
                      • INGALA transit card: USD 20 per person
                      • Galapagos National Park fee: USD 100 per person
                      • Pier-use fee at Puerto Villamil: USD 10 per person
                      • Tips for guides and drivers

                      Trip Preparation & FAQS

                      You can check our safety protocols in the following link:

                      We do not include travel or health insurance and we strongly recommend a comprehensive travel insurance for any unexpected circumstances. This is not obligatory, however. An full travel insurance policy that covers cancellations and delays as well as medical insurance.

                      We suggest that you speak with your doctor to ensure that you are up-to-date with the recommended vaccinations when traveling to the destination. In any case, a negative Coronavirus Molecular Test (PCR) is needed to enter the country.

                      We suggest that you speak with your doctor to ensure what medications you will need to bring to the destination. Pharmacies and drugstores are common in all cities, however, it is not certain that you will be able to find a specific drug that you can find in your country of origin.

                      As in any city in the world, there can be pickpockets in crowded places. We suggest being vigilant at all times, but if you are in a group you will always be safer.

                      We do not include the cost of any domestic or international flight in any of our programs. These services must be booked independently by each guest.

                      Yes, hotels will charge the cost of a double room as standard, so a single supplement will be charged if you are traveling alone.

                      VA Expeditions is supported by Valencia Travel, a company with more than 12 years of foundation with a solid financial position. We have insurance from the insurance company La Positiva, that supports us and protects our guests from any eventuality at the destination, covering our guests for more than 5 million US dollars.

                      Each trip is customizable, but there may be additional restrictions and expenses in each case. We suggest contacting your sales representative for more information.

                      Yes, in addition to multi-day programs, we offer half-day experiences and excursions without overnight, which you can purchase as additional services. In case you wish to purchase one of these services, you can ask your guide, the transfer representative or your sales representative to provide you with the support you need.

                      Yes, you can add additional or optional services to your regular tour. We appreciate contacting your sales representative for any changes you wish to make.

                      Yes, you can travel with children and we have many activities to do as a family, however, depending on your itinerary, some experiences can be a bit demanding for young children. As a recommendation, we suggest that you ask your sales consultant if the tour you wish to book is suitable for children.

                      We work with a maximum group size of 12 passengers for sustainability reasons and a more personaized experience.

                      We suggest making your reservations at least one month before your trip in order to reserve the best hotels, transportation and services for your travel dates, however, in last minute cases, we can reserve up to 15 days in advance.

                      We suggest consulting with your embassy to review any documents, tests or special visa you need for your trip.

                      The official currency in Ecuador is the United States dollar (USD). In large cities there is a good chance that you will find ATMs or ATMs, however, we suggest that you do not rely entirely on this solution, as it may not be enabled to work with your bank.

                      Yes, we cater for all special dietary requirements. Please let us know at the time of booking if you have any allergies or special dietary needs.

                      As a sustainable travel company, we are in constant search of how we can improve the sustainability of our operations, that is why we carry out the following activities to generate a fair and sustainable development in our areas of operation: "Women & Weaving - Sacha Warmi" project to support women from an indigenous community in the Ecuadorian Andes and Pan Animalia

                      a project to improve the quality of life of stray dogs in Galapagos Islands.

                      Tips are not included in the cost of the tour. You should plan to tip 10% in restaurants and for your guided services, however, tipping is never required.

                      Cultural norms vary within each Latin American country, even within each city within the country, however, we recommend the following measures to have a pleasant visit in each destination: Latin American culture in general tends to be closer and more informal than in others cultures, so there is usually always a friendly approach in all conversations, and going directly to the point could be considered offensive to some people. Personal space can be much shorter as well, but without being interpreted as sexual in nature. 

                      The schedules are also usually more relaxed and informal, however, this is not the case of VA EXPEDITIONS, since we will always respect the hours indicated in your itinerary. This may be different for other appointments that you can book on your own at other locations.

                      This depends on each itinerary, and will be indicated in the detail of the day. However, our itineraries always usually include free times to offer more flexibility to our guests. 

                      For any emergency, we appreciate contacting the following number: +593 2 255 8805

                      At VA Expeditions we believe that every action we take should generate a positive impact on the communities and the environment of our entire production chain, which is why we carry out various activities focused on this objective. For an example of our sustainable projects, visit:

                      All our guests have 24/7 support for any type of emergency or eventuality. For emergencies you can contact the following number: +593 2 255 8805. For general inquiries, you can write to us at the following email: 

                      This depends on each itinerary, but generally is a ratio of one guide for every nine guests.

                      This depends on the type of the type of Travel insurance that the passenger has. We recommend that you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy for better care and hospital facilities.

                      The tours are carried out by an expert team that has determined the optimal times of visits to make the most of our guests' time, without rushing. All our programs are customizable, so if at any time at the destination you want to adjust the pace of the trip, you can ask your guide to reach a consensus with the whole group in case you need to make adjustments to the pace of the trip.

                      Each trip is customizable, but there may be additional restrictions and expenses in each case. We suggest contacting your sales representative for more information.

                      Yes, you can safely store any luggage at your  hotel.

                      For city tours, there are public bathrooms available, in remote destinations bathroom facilities are more sparse.

                      In the mountains and remote places there is no Internet connection. Hotels and public places usually have WIFI available.

                      In cities and tourist centers you will have good telephone reception. In remote areas, there may be no cell phone reception.

                      It depends on each itinerary. We suggest contacting your account representative to give you specific information regarding your  program.

                      The tap water in Ecuador is not always friendly on the stomach for those who haven't been in Latin America for a while. There is purified water in each of the accommodations which you can use to fill up each morning, so be sure to pack a reusable water bottle or two. There will also be water in the transportation.

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