We’ve got a cool new trip, the Galapagos and Cotopaxi Multisport, from one of our great Ecuador providers Tropic, Journeys in Nature. This new trip combines a Galapagos Multisport Adventure with a great exploration of Quito and mainland Ecuador in a very active multisport trip that includes hiking, biking, horseback riding, zip-lining, kayaking, snorkeling, and wildlife viewing!
There are 4 departures planned for this first year of the trip: March 27 – April 7; August 7 – 18; September 25 – October 6; December 11 – 22, 2013. The trip will operate with 4 passengers, and pricing depends on the total group size:
4 – 7 Travelers: $3,640.00 per person
8 – 9 Travelers: $3,450.00 per person
10 – 15 Travelers: $3,165.00 per person
Here is an abbreviated version of the itinerary:
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN QUITO
Upon arrival from your international flight, you’ll be met by your guide in the airport and will have a transfer to your hotel.
DAY 2: EXPLORE QUITO
Colonial Quito, a city of narrow cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed walls and steeples and cupolas of the city´s many spectacularly decorated historic churches. The city has one of the best preserved colonial centers in the world, and we start with a half-day tour of this fascinating city followed by time to explore on your own.
DAY 3: TRAVEL TO COTOPAXI HACIENDA AND RIDE HORSES
Leave Quito by train towards Machachi and Cotopaxi National Park. We will have lunch on a traditional hacienda with an option to explore its trails its optional horse ride at the foothills of the craggy Rumiñahui volcano, named after a famous Inca general who lead the first uprising against the Spanish conquistadors. During the ride our local guide will share with us his knowledge of the ancient lore and myths of the region.
DAY 4: VOLCAN COTOPAXI HIKING & INCA RUINS
Today we head to Cotopaxi National Park, one of the most beautiful protected areas of Ecuador near the volcano Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world. We can bike or horse ride to the park at an extra cost. This is a full day of exploring Cotopaxi National Park on foot and by bike (at extra cost).
DAY 5: PASOCHOA ZIPLINES & HIKING
Today we will head to the Santa Rita private ecological reserve on the outskirts of Pasochoa where we will explore the forest canopy by zipline. This system was originally used by scientists who were doing research in the forest canopy and includes five cables between 100 and 480 meters long. Next we hike on the slopes of Mt. Pasochoa where we will have panoramic views of the Ecuadorian andes; mountains like Antisana, Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Sincholagua will be our guardians all the way while we ascend the extinguished Pasochoa Volcano for a picnic.
DAY 6: GALAPAGOS MULTISPORT BEGINS
Early in the morning, we will fly from Quito to San Cristobal in the Galapagos. After lunch on a beach we will hike Frigate Hill, which gets its name from the large number of Frigate Birds (Tijeretas) that live and nest there. Our hike continues towards beautiful Carola Beach where you can snorkel to explore the marine life: sea turtles, sea lions, and marine iguanas. Top it off with some kayaking along the shore for a perfect active and welcome day in the enchanted islands.
DAY 7: KICKER ROCK & LOS LOBOS SNORKELING
We travel by speedboat to Kicker Rock, stopping at Isla Lobos to snorkel with sea lions, as well as to see marine iguanas swimming through the clear water; sharks, rays, and turtles are always possible. Leon Dormido, or sleeping lion (also known as Kicker Rock), is considered one of the top snorkel and dive sites in the Galapagos. Stingrays, white-tipped reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, turtles, tropical fish and eagle rays all live in the waters around it. If you are lucky you may even get to spot dolphins and whales! Then we are off in our sea kayaks (at additional cost), paddling along the shore on our way back towards town. Finally we will grab our bikes (or walk) towards Loberia, where we will witness stunning sunsets while snorkeling a bit more or just sitting and watching these playful colony of sea lions.
DAY 8: GALAPAGOS IN MINIATURE & GIANT TORTOISES
After traveling to Isabela Island, our day’s adventure begins with a tour of Tintoreras, a group of small islands near Puerto Villamil that are like a mini-Galapagos — meaning you can see almost all of the archipelago’s iconic wildlife right here. Here, we observe white-tipped reef sharks at rest, plus sea lions, turtles, rays, penguins, and of course pelicans and blue footed boobies. You will have a chance to snorkel in the bay –don’t be surprised if some of the penguins or sea lions jump in to play with you in the water. In the afternoon we walk from our hotel to the local giant tortoise-breeding center. While crossing the boardwalk over a mangrove swamp, if we are lucky, we may see pink flamingos feeding in a lake.
DAY 9: VOLCANO HIKING
Hiking day! We have the whole day to explore the highlands of Isabela by hiking to the caldera of Volcan Sierra Negra (the second largest caldera in the world), and then to the rim of Volcan Chico. As we head towards Volcan Chico, you get the feeling you’re walking on Mars.
DAY 10: WILDLIFE VIEWING BY BIKE & KAYAK
Sea kayak from the white sandy beach in front of our hotel looking for turtles, rays, penguins, and blue-footed boobies — sea lions will probably paddle along with us as well. Later, bike to the Wetlands Trail through numerous mangroves (all four types can be seen here) to see marine iguana colonies while enjoying the network of trails, beaches and historic sitesOn this network of trails, we have the chance to see birds and, with luck, some wild giant tortoises, plants, and lovely vistas of the village below.
DAY 11: GIANT TORTOISES & BEACHES OF SANTA CRUZ
Visit the highlands of Santa Cruz to walk amongst giant tortoises, then mountain bike downhill on paved roads to a secluded beach where you can sea kayak the turquoise waters looking for you last glimpses of sharks, rays, turtles, and sea birds. Finally, you can walk the 3 km boardwalk to Tortuga Bay on your own and check one of the largest and most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos.
DAY 12: FLY BACK TO MAINLAND ECUADOR
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station before flying back to mainland Ecuador with enough time for short time to explore this colorful city.