Mashpi Lodge and Galapagos Islands

Combine the luxury Mashpi Lodge with a cruise around the Galapagos Islands

This holiday combines the highlands of Quito and nearby cloud-forest with the wonders of the Galapagos Islands. Start in Quito where you spend a couple of nights including a walking tour of the historic centre of the city with a expert local guide. After Quito head to the luxury Mashpi lodge located around 3 hours from Quito in the cloud forest. During your stay here all excursions and meals are included allowing you to experience the unique wildlife. After the Mashpi lodge, enjoy five days sailing the Galapagos Islands on-board the Isabela II discovering the endemic flora and fauna. 

Tour highlights

    • Walking tour of the historic centre of Quito with a local guide. 
    • 3 day package to the excellent Mashpi Lodge with all meals and excursions included during your stay. 
    • 4 nights on-board the Isabella II with the Galapagos national park fee of $110pp included.
    • Explore a variety of the Galapagos islands with a mix of hiking, panga rides and snorkelling trips included for you.
    • Flights from London Heathrow to Quito via Madrid (regional departures are also available)
    • Itinerary can be tailor-made to your requirements. 

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival into Quito

Arrival into Quito where you will be met and taken by private transfer to your hotel. 

Overnight at Casona de la Ronda. Standard room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 2

Quito walking tour

We head out for a walking tour of the Old Town, intent on understanding more about the people who live in the largest and best-restored historical centre in the Americas. The guide takes us through the nearby streets, stopping to meet artisans, shopkeepers, hat makers and sweet confectioners. Up the hill on Calle Rocafuerte, we explore the San Francisco Market, one of the oldest in the capital. Here, we learn all about the fruit and vegetables produced in Ecuador and some culinary traditions. From the market, we walk downhill to the emblematic street of La Ronda, considered one of the flagship regeneration projects in the city. It’s a quiet, cobbled street with typical balconies overflowing with geraniums. From La Ronda, we walk northwards through the handsome streets of the Old Town to the Plaza Grande, the political heart of the city. In the afternoon, we cross the street to the excellent Casa del Alabado Archaeological Museum.This tour also includes a visit to a panoramic viewpoint to appreciate Quito in all its Andean splendour.

Overnight at Casona de la Ronda. Standard room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3

Quito - Mashpi Lodge

Mashpi lodge is located three hours away, 70 miles from Quito in the western slope of the occidental flank of the Andes. The rapid change in altitude (from 2800 to 1000) allows you to discover the wanders of the Andean landscape. The road crosses the valley of Pomasqui dominated by Andean dry forest, and then to the western flank of the Andes through the Cloud Forest and the road ends in Mashpi at the beginning of the tropical rain forest. At 15:30 we will gather together at the lobby in order to head to the Napa Trail. This trail starts at the side of the road, across areas where the forest is regenerating and large patches of pristine forest. For this reason this trail is ideal to explain the ecological succession processes and the importance of forest conservation for the Chocó region. This is also a very good trail for bird watching. It is a moderate difficulty trail and the excursion takes 2 hours.

Overnight at Mashpi Lodge. Standard room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Mashpi Lodge

We will depart at 08:30 to the Sky Bike and Observation tower. The Sky Bike makes for an original and exciting way to explore the forest canopy up close. Designed for two people to use at once, one person pedals the bike along a cable stretched between two points in the forest, around 200 m (655 feet) apart, crossing a gorge above a river flowing between rocks and trees below. In the afternoon walk the howler monkey trail. which goes across one the original forest were many of the centenarian trees survive login, being the “copal” tree the most emblematic. Along this trail our local guide will listen to any sound in the forest, so he can show you maybe a colourful bird or the very elusive howler monkeys, while our naturalist guide will take any opportunity to talk about the ecology and conservation of the forest. In the evening the forest is transformed completely during the night, the sounds and smells are intensified and other senses are awakened. On this “night safari”, unlike others, our guests find the beauty in the small details, the croaking of frogs or the hum of insects. 

Overnight at Mashpi Lodge. Standard room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Mashpi Lodge - Quito

This activity starts at 6:30 in the hotel lobby and take advantage of the fact that many species of birds comes near the hotel to feed on the moths that were attracted to the light last night. Then for the next part of the excursion and after a cup of coffee, you walk down the road looking for the fascinating mixed-species feeding flocks, this mixed hunting party, is a flock of usually insectivorous birds of different species, that join each other and move together while foraging. In a single flock you may see over 20 different species of birds, making this encounters the jackpot to the bird watchers. This activity take 1 hour an you be back for breakfast. At 08:30 we will leave the hotel heading to the Copal waterfall. This hike takes 2 hours and the land-scape is beautiful, moss-cover trees, bromelias and orchids everywhere. This trail ends in a spectacular waterfall over 50mt high. You will be back to the hotel by noon, you can refresh yourself and check out. We will be waiting for you at our restaurant where you can enjoy your last meal at Mashpi, after lunch you will head back to Quito at 13:30.

Overnight at Casona de la Ronda. Standard room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 6

Quito - Galapagos Islands

Baltra Island Airport & Santa Cruz Island  - We arrive at Baltra airport and then we take you to the Itabaca Channel to take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. A 30-minute bus ride takes us to a restaurant in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island to enjoy lunch, and then continue to Puerto Ayora. Depending on local weather conditions up in the highlands, we may include a short hike which will be a great introduction to some Galapagos wildlife.

Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station  - After driving down from the highlands, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. Late afternoon we stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before embarking on Yacht Isabela II.

Overnight on-board the Isabella II. Classic cabin. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Galapagos excursions

Santa Fe Island - A stunning anchorage provides our jumping-off point for our visit to this sandy white beach with many sea lion harems. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the walk. Snorkelling from our skiffs, kayaking or a ride in our glass-bottom boat rounds off the rewarding experience. 

South Plaza - The turquoise waters here contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. Keep an eye open for the remarkable beaks of cactus finches. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while sea birds play with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but amazing island.

Overnight on-board the Isabella II. Classic cabin. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Galapagos excursions

North Seymour Island - The morning starts with an enjoyable walk along the coast and the interior of this island, a favourite of many visitors, observing numerous bird colonies as well as sea lions and marine iguanas. There are opportunities for snorkelling and coastal exploration with chances of spotting fur seals along the rocky coastline. 

Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island) - After WWII, US military barges were beached and abandoned here. Locals referred to the beach as the “barges” beach, a name that morphed to “bachas”. Today it is an important nesting area for the east Pacific green sea turtle. Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, it is a glorious white beach, with several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. We can swim and/or snorkel from the beach. 

Overnight on-board the Isabella II. Classic cabin. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9

Galapagos excursions

Bartolome Island - This morning, a Galapagos icon awaits for us: Bartolome Island. A great way to start the day, with a steep climb up a wooden staircase: the view from the top is worth the effort! Following the walk, we take the dinghies for a ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock, followed by time to enjoy the beach and do some snorkelling. Explore the shores and look for Galapagos penguins too. 

Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island) After lunch, we get on board the pangas to land at Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago, a white coral sand beach great for swimming with a trail over a lava field that flowed here a little over 120 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of Galapagos while observing its wildlife. 

Overnight on-board the Isabella II. Classic cabin. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10

Galapagos Islands - Guayaquil

After breakfast, we leave for the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. On arrival into Guayaquil you are met and taken by private transfer to your hotel. 

Overnight at Oro Verde. Standard room.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 11

Departure for the UK

Private transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK. 

If you wanted to extend your time in South America, then why not consider adding on a few days in Peru to visit Machu Picchu. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Hotels

Pricing

1st February 2017 - 30th November 2017

Let us plan your perfect Tour, call 0203 131 5538 to speak to one of our experts

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