Your honeymoon in Ecuador will be a fantastic adventure. Romantic haciendas, colorful markets, amazing wildlife, and authentic cultural encounters are the perfect combination for your unforgettable vacation.
Number of days: 15 or more
Regions: Amazon, Andes, Galapagos
Interests: Birdwatching, Cities, Hiking & Trekking, Nature & Wildlife
Category: First Class
Total CO2 emission, in lb (per day for cruises): 603
Day 1 – Arrival in Quito
Upon your arrival in Quito, your English-speaking guide will meet you at the airport. They will take you to your hotel in Quito’s beautiful historic center, in one of the city’s most beautiful streets.
Day 2 – Quito City Tour and Middle of the World
In the morning your guide will pick you up from the hotel. You start the day’s activities with a visit to Quito’s colonial city center. It is Latin America’s biggest and best conserved historic center and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978. The guide will tell you about the Inca Empire, the Spanish invasion, the independence phase, and finally all about Ecuador’s and Quito’s history in Colonial times. On a walk around the old town, you’ll pass some of the most famous squares, churches and colonial buildings. “La Plaza de la Independencia” with the Presidential Palace, Archbishop Palace, Municipal building, the Independence Monument and the Cathedral. After that your guide takes you up the “Panecillo”, a hill south of Quito’s center which has a statue of the Virgin of Quito and offers an amazing view of the city.
In the afternoon you visit the “Middle of the World”, close to Quito (approx. 45 minutes) which is one of Quito’s most famous attractions. It is at the place where in the 18th century a group of French scientists determined the Equator to cross – they missed the actual GPS-determined Equator by only about 200 yards. In the site’s small village there’s the Equator monument as well as different exhibitions and documentation centers. The open-air museum Inti Ñan – at the site of the actual Equator – offers fun interactive experiments which demonstrate the Equator’s effects. For the night you return to your hotel in Quito.
Day 3 – Otavalo Market
Visit Otavalo, famous for its enormous indigenous market. It is held every day on the Poncho Square, on Saturdays it extends and covers nearly a third of the whole town. You can find many different handicrafts produced in the surrounding villages: fine woven goods like blankets, hammocks, and tablecloths, jewelry made of silver or the tagua nut (also called vegetable ivory), musical instruments, leather goods, and many other things.
Spend the night in a historic hacienda in a very romantic setting.
Day 4 – Cuicocha Crater Lake
Explore the Cotacachi Cayapas Nature Reserve. Visit the Cuicocha Lagoon, which is inside the crater of the Cotacachi volcano, at an altitude of 10,040 feet. It is called “Lagoon of the Gods” by the local indigenous people. On a walk along the lake you can enjoy the region’s biodiversity, the view of the lake with its two small islands, and the landscape with the volcanos Cotacachi, Imbabura, and Cayambe.
Day 5 – Otavalo – Mindo
In the morning you leave for Mindo in the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest (about 1.5 hours). Cloud forest is a special form of the rainforest at an altitude between 2,950 and 8,200 feet with a huge diversity of wildlife. On hikes in the area you can discover the great variety of fauna and flora. See the many different plants, birds and other things of interest in the forest, visit waterfalls, and be amazed by the variety of hummingbirds. At night a romantic boat dinner is included.
Day 6 – Mindo – Cotopaxi
In the morning you leave for the Cotopaxi National Park where you stay again in a romantic hacienda close to the park entrance. The Cotopaxi volcano (19,347 feet, travel time approx. 5 hours) is the world’s highest active volcano. Limpiopungo Lake within the park offers a beautiful view of the Cotopaxi, Sincholagua, and Rumiñahui volcanos on clear days.
Day 7 – Cotopaxi
Enjoy the different activities offered at your Hacienda, which has a beautiful view on the Cotopaxi’s summit. Today you enter the Cotopaxi National Park and enjoy a horse ride in the beautiful landscape of the Andean paramo.
Day 8 – Cotopaxi – Baños
Today you will travel to Baños, a small town which is known for its thermal springs – whose water allegedly has magical powers (the town’s full name: Baños de Agua Santa – Baths of Holy Water). It sits at the foot of yet another volcano, the Tungurahua, whose eruption you can sometimes admire on a clear day – a unique natural spectacle, of course observed from a safe distance. You will stay in a luxury SPA & Resort hotel.
Day 9 – Baños
Today you can enjoy your 2 night’s package at the Samari Spa hotel, which includes:
- 2 nights of accommodation in a luxury matrimonial suite full equipped
- 2 breakfast buffets with a wide range of organic, local and typical ecuadorian gourmet salty and sweet food
- 2 dinners for 2 persons menu a la carte of your choice in our gourmet restaurant “La Casa de Piedra” (“The Stone House”)
- Free access to our Spa area with our indoor and heated pool, sauna, Turkish baths, jacuzzi, hydromassages
- 1 relaxing and full body massage “Her & Him” in double cabin
- Soft drinks during the meals
- Table of snacks for 2 persons of the moment of your choice, along with 2 glasses of our best wine.
Day 10 – Baños – Quito
In Baños there are many fun and relaxing things to do: walking or horse riding in the surrounding hills, biking along the waterfall route, rafting or “puenting” (bungee jumping from a bridge).
In the evening you go back to Quito to get your flight tomorrow.
EXTENSION OPTION 1: GALAPAGOS CRUISE
Day 11 – Santa Cruz
Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, travelers pass through an airport inspection point to insure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, as well as to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid). A guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor.
PM: Dragon hill, Santa Cruz Island
The visitor site at Dragon Hill has been open for visits on 1993. This site is located in northwestern Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that lead to a hyper-saline lagoon behind the beach, frequented by flamingos, pintail ducks and other species of birds. This site has been re populated with land iguanas from Seymour, Isabela and Santa Cruz islands. There is a short walk to the Hill, which offers a beautiful view of the bay.
Day 12 – Rabida, chinese hat
Rábida Island is unique because the red color of the rocks and sand. The volcanic material in this island is very porous and external factors as rain, salt water and sea breeze have acted as an oxidizing agent. A short walk along a trail lead us to a coastal lagoon behind the beach permits the observation of land birds as finches, doves, yellow warblers and mocking birds. At the lagoon there is a colony of flamingos.
PM: Chinese hat
This is a small islet (1 sq km) located just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island. It is a recent volcanic cone, shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from north side. On the west lava formations can be seen, formed under the sea and raised upward, this is why coral heads are found on the lava. This is an excellent visit for interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. The landscape is covered by sea lion colonies, marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins.
Day 13 – Genovesa
AM: Darwin Bay, Genovesa Island
This bay has origin when the crater of this island collapsed below sea level. The wet landing is on a beautiful white coral sandy beach. This is a favorite island for birdwatchers: red footed-booby, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels Yellow-crowned, black-crowned and lava herons, and yellow warblers can be seen in the area.
Continuing on the trail, visitors climb gradually to the edge of the cliff seeing Red-Foots nesting in the Mangrove trees below. Bird watching includes sightings of Sharp-Beaked Finches, Large Cactus and Ground Finches, Galapagos Doves and Swallow-Tailed Gulls. Reaching the end the trail at the cliff’s edge offers an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there.
PM: El Barranco, Genovesa Island
El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay and it is also known as Prince Philip’s Steps, passengers will climb to a plateau that is part of the stretch of land that surrounds Darwin Bay on its eastern side. There is a big population of Masked boobies and Red-Footed boobies in the tree; Storm petrels and Short-eared Owls have found in Genovesa lava flows the ideal place for nesting.
Day 14 – Bartolome, Santiago
AM: Bartolome Island
Bartolome Island is situated across Sullivan Bay. It has an altitude of 114 meters, from where we can observe one of the most beautiful sceneries of the Galapagos Islands such as: Volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle eroded by the sea. There is very little vegetation on this island.
It has two breathtaking beaches where marine turtles exist and at the base of the pinnacle, as well as a very small colony of Galapagos penguins.
PM: The Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island
Santiago, also called James, or San Salvador Island, is located in the west central part of the Galapagos archipelago. It is the fourth largest island in the archipelago (following Isabela, Fernandina and Santa Cruz). Along with some of the large western volcanoes of Isabela and Fernandina, Santiago is also volcanically active, with many young flows and cones to be seen, particularly along the south, west, and east coasts. These may even be seen from the summit of Darwin Volcano and from space.
A number of historic eruptions have been reported over the last 2 centuries. Santiago actually consists of two coalesced volcanoes: a typical shield volcano on the northwest end and a low, linear fissure volcano on the southeast end.
Day 15 – Santa Cruz
AM: Highlands, Santa Cruz Island
The trail to the highlands leaves from Bellavista and passes through the agricultural zone, near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone, and then goes to the Fern and Sedge zone. With clear weather (unpredictable) this area affords beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round.
Then transfer back to Baltra for embarkation on flight back home.
EXTENSION OPTION 2: AMAZON
Day 11 – Quito – Napo Wildlife Center
Departing from Quito, 30 minute flight to Coca over the eastern Andes mountain range. After landing, about mid-morning, and airport procedures a 5 min transfer in local chiva (hired bus) or local taxi from airport to Port Francisco de Orellana will drive us to embark onto a comfortable covered motor boat. Here we start a canoe ride along the Napo River for about 2 hours approx, lunch box in route. Along the way birds like herons, kingfishers and others can be spotted. After arriving at NWC’s entry dock we disembark for restroom then take a majestic and peaceful 1 to 2 hours dugout canoe ride surrounded by trees overhead, paddling along a narrow creek that connects to the lake where the lodge is located. Good possibilities of monkey sights of various species as well as large birds like toucans, parrots or even macaws. Late afternoon arrival to the NWC lodge by the overwhelming view of the Añangu Lake, welcome drink and facilities.
Day 12 – Napo Wildlife Center
Early wake up to reach the best and easy access parrot clay licks in Ecuador, about 1 hour away from the lodge, guests reach there just before parrot activity kicks off at the clay lick between 7:30 to 8:30. A total of 11 species of parrots, parakeets and macaws can be seen. A visit that depends on weather conditions, but usually successful. Later, hike along forest trail to visit to the Kichwa community of Añangu and sharing time with a family on their activities. Return to the creek and hike through a Terra Firme Forest for about 30 minutes until we arrive to the second parrot clay lick where if the weather conditions help will be able to find different species of parrots, parakeets and even macaws. Lunch box served at the parrot clay lick observatory. Late afternoon arrival to the lodge.
Day 13 – Napo Wildlife Center
After early breakfast, depart from the lodge to the finest experience at a canopy tower on the Napo. A 36m high canopy tower opened to guests in November 2004, a great way to experience the life above the forest floor. This is the second tower at the Napo Wildlife Center (the first is attached to the dining hall and allows great views of the lake). The tower is located about 30 minutes from the lodge deep within the terra firme forest. As you ascend the 12-floor tower, you pass through different levels of the forest and emerge on top of a huge Ceiba tree. Here you cross onto a wooden platform that is actually built into the tree and experience the view formerly reserved only for the birds. The metal tower itself was constructed to the highest standards, galvanized, and carefully inspected by engineers. Safety is the priority. The platform at the top of the tree was constructed by tree platform specialists as well. From top to bottom, there is no finer canopy experience in Eastern Ecuador. Flocks of colorful tanagers pass right through the canopy of the tree, Blue-and yellow Macaws fly past, in nearby trees Spider Monkeys search for fruit,
Two species of large toucans call in the early mornings and afternoons, and the life of the forest canopy opens before you. Birds that are virtually impossible to see from the forest floor far below are suddenly right beside you, oblivious to your presence. The canopy tower opens a whole new world to guests of the Napo Wildlife Center!! Lunch served at the lodge. Afternoon visit to a terra firme trail, hike along primary forest to discover the forest interior, possibilities of finding lizards, colorful manakins or the unique and endemic Golden mantle tamarin monkeys. After the hike, explore the lake and creeks by dugout canoe with great possibilities of running into a Giant otter family on the way…
Day 14 – Napo Wildlife Center
Early departure and last excursion canoeing back to the Napo river, the creek may reveal new sights of Giant otters, Monk Saki monkeys or many other rare birds. Entry docking area, use of restrooms and embarking on motorized canoe in order to return back to Coca, arrival approximately after 2 hours boat ride up river, in order to check for Coca – Quito flight, schedule to be announced according to departure details and arrangements.
Price per person: US$ 2,125.00
(based on 2 people traveling)
- 9 nights in superior or first class hotels, with breakfast
- professional English-speaking guide
- private transportation
optional Amazon Extension:
- flight Quito – Coca – Quito
- bilingual naturalist guide
- full board
optional Galapagos Extension:
- flight Quito – Galapagos – Quito (or Guayaquil)
- bilingual naturalist guide
- full board
- Extensions (Galapagos: starting at $ 2,970 per person, Amazon $ 1,370 per person)
- international flight
- meals not specified
- personal expenses
- entrance fees for churches, museums etc.
- optional excursions and activities
- personal travel insurance
- entrance fee Galapagos ($ 100 p.p.)
- Migration Control Card Galapagos ($ 20 p.p.)
- water taxis (each ca. $ 1 p.p.)
Click on the icons to see details about each visited place.
Day 1 – Quito – Casona de la Ronda
Day 2 – Quito – Casona de la Ronda
Day 3 – Otavalo – Pinsaqui
Day 4 – Otavalo – Pinsaqui
Day 5 – Mindo – Casa Divina
Day 6 -Cotopaxi – El Porvenir
Day 7 – Cotopaxi – El Porvenir
Day 8 – Baños – Samari Spa
Day 9 – Baños – Samari Spa
Day 10 – Quito – Casona de la Ronda
EXTENSION OPTION 1 – GALAPAGOS CRUISE
Day 11 – Santa Cruz – Odyssey
Day 12 – Rabida – Chinese Hat – Odyssey
Day 13 – Genovesa – Odyssey
Day 14 – Bartolome – Santiago – Odyssey
Day 15 – Santa Cruz – Odyssey
EXTENSION OPTION 2 – AMAZON
Day 11 – Napo Wildlife Center
Day 12 – Napo Wildlife Center
Day 13 – Napo Wildlife Center
Day 14 – Napo Wildlife Center
Day 15 – Napo Wildlife Center
For more information check out our latest blog post about the honeymoon experience in Ecuador.
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