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Ecuador in April 2023

March 29 - May 4
Galapagos, Quito, Amazon, Mindo, Cuenca

Hello team, 

This is the updated plan/Itinerary as it stands, and recommendations I am starting to collect for the days before or after the Galapagos cruise.


As we continue to define things, I will continue to add details.

Please take a look and let me know if you have any questions.\



Janie and Larry' Specific Itinerary 

Jill and Jay's Specific Itinerary


    • April 2, Sunday

      • Arrivals

        • 04:15 PM - Jill and Jay arrive from Madrid.

          • Airport Transfer. Driver will be waiting with sign outside airport.​

        • 01:00 PM - Janie and Larry depart from Mindo. Arriving at 3:00 PM.

          • Transfer from Mindo. Driver will be waiting for you at the hotel.

      • 03:00 PM - Airbnb Check in. 

        • See Airbnb Information here​

        • Check-in is at 3PM.  Janie/Larry if you would like to arrive ealier, let me know to change transfer time.  You could not check in earlly, but you could leave bags with doorman.

    • April 3, Monday

      • Free Day

    • April 4, Tuesday

      • 10:30am to 3PM - Walking History tour of Old Town Quito.

        • You will visit Basilica of the National Vote, the society of Jesus Church, Plaza Grande, San Francisco Church, La Ronda, a 150 years old ice cream shop and a traditional chocolate shop, and lunch stop (Cost not included). Bring about $15 USD for additional costs like entry fees to some of these landmarks.

        • Meeting Point:​ Entrance of Basilica of the National Vote Towers, next to the ticket shop (here)

        • To Note: Please bring masks (for indoor places) and your vaccination certificate. 

    • April 5, Wednesday

      • Free Day

      • Trip to Otavalo Market on your own

        • Bus (from Quito Terminal Terrestre Carcelen) - 2hrs ($4). Leave every 20 minutes

    • April 6, Thursday

      • 07:15 AM - Tour to Cotopaxi

        • This tour will pick you up and take you to Machachi Town,  Cotopaxi National Park, Limpiopungo Lake, including a 1 hour hike at the skirts of the volcano (light to medium activity) 

        • Meeting Point: Adamas Hostel (here). 3 minute walk from accommodation.  They can pick you up between 7-7:30am

        • To Note:  They recommend you bring: Sunglasses, hat, gloves, thermal coat or sweater, hiking shoes, camera, passport if you want to get official stamp from the national park. 

    • April 7, Friday

      • Free Day

    • April 8, Saturday 

      • Travel Day Quito - Galapagos. 

        • Avianca · AV1632

        • Booking no. 5HKDA9

      • To Note: You need to pick up your Galapagos Transit Card at the airport. INGALA/CGREG counter.  Cost $20.

      • To Note: You need to pay entry fee to Galapagos at the Galapagos airport. Cost $100.  ​

      • 05:30 AM - Airport Transfer

        • Journey provider: Quito Adventure Travel

        • Phone number: +593 99 572 1679

      • 08:04 AM - Flight to Galapagos

        • To Note: This flight includes a stop in Guayaquil for 52min.  Same Flight number. ​


    • April 8, Saturday

      • 10:50 AM - Arrival in Galapagos.

        • Transfer to hotel. Driver will be waiting outside airport. 

          • For any questions, please contact the hotel in Galapagos directly at +​593 5 2526 133 or via WhatsApp at +593 99 972 9265 

        • You are staying at the Ikala Galapagos Hotel. See hotel information (here)​

        • Free Day/Evening

    • April 9, Sunday 

      • 08:15 AM - Transfer back to airport.  Driver will be waiting at the hotel. Transfer coordinated with the hotel. 

      • 09:30 AM - Cruise welcome crew will meet you at the airport, at the arrival hall with a sign that will have the name of the ship on it  (Monserrat). 

        • You can access your voucher (here). You won't need to print it, just have it available on your phone. ​

    • April 9 Sunday -17 Monday 

      • See Cruise itinerary (Here)

    • April 17, Monday

      • End of Cruise.  Cruise crew will provide transfer to airport in San Cristobal.

      • 1:48 PM - Flight to Quito.

        • LATAM - LA1418

        • Order Nº : LA0455902MSCD

        • Booking Reference:  IEHYET


    • April 17, Monday

      • 6:14 PM - Arrival in Quito.  Transfer to hotel. Driver will be waiting for you outside with a sign.

      • You are staying at Casa Anabela Hotel Boutique.  See hotel information here​

      • Stay one night in Quito

    • April 18, Tuesday

      • 6:30 AM - Transfer to the airport. Driver will be waiting at the hotel. 

      • 9:18 AM - Flight to Coca.

        • LATAM - LA1397

        • Booking reference: DEJBLK

        • To Note: You will nee to pay for your bags for this flight when you check in at the airport.


    • April 18, Tuesday

      • 9:56 AM - Arrival. Pick up by tour operator. They will have a sign with your names on it. 

      • The will take you to a boat to start your journey.  Approximately 2.5 hours motor ride to Ecolodge. 

    • April 18, Tuesday - 22, Saturday 

      • See 4 Night Tour itinerary document with additional information (Here)

    • April 22, Saturday 

      • At the end of the tour, provider will take you to hotel where you will spend the night.

      • You are staying at Hostal R. Williams.  See hotel information (here)

    • April 23, Sunday 

      • 09:00 AM - Recommended departure time from hotel to airport. 

        • To Note: No transfer is scheduled.  Hotel staff will help you catch a taxi for this transfer to Coca's Airport (5 min drive). 

      • 11:03 AM - Flight to Cuenca, via Quito.

        • LATAM - LA1396

        • Booking reference: JMAURB

      • 11:37 AM - Arrival. Layover for 3hr41min 

      • 03:19 PM - Flight To Cuenca

        • LATAM - LA1403

        • Booking reference: JMAURB

      • To Note: You will nee to pay for your bags for this flight when you check in at the airport.


    • April 23, Sunday 

      • 04:13 PM - Arrival. Transfer to Guest House. Driver will be waiting outside with a sign. 
      • You will be staying at Suite Le Fabrique. See hotel information (here) 
    • April 23, Sunday - 25, Tuesday

      • Free Days​

    • April 25, Tuesday

      • Drive to Saraguro From Cuenca. Drive takes about 2.5 Hrs. Directions (here)

      • Car rental. 

        • Avis - Cuenca Airport:  10-87, Avenida España. 

        • April 25th, 09:00 AM - April 27th, 04:00 PM.

        • Reservation un Jill's name.  Jill will need to present a credit card with her name for deposit and additional charges. 

        • Chevrolet Aveo, or similar. Cost $135.

        • Additional charges might apply at pick up. 

        • Additional drivers can be added at the counter. $3 a day per driver.

        • You will need insurance/theft protection information, or purchase it during pick up. 

        • GPS and other additions are available during pick up. 

    • April 25, Tuesday - 27, Thursday

      • Two nights in Saraguro. Free Days ​

    • April 27, Thursday

      • Drive back to Cuenca. Return rental car. 

      • Jill and Jay check back into Guest House.

      • Janie and Larry flight to Quito to catch international flight back home.

        • Transfer will pick you up from Hotel or you can drop off rental at airport. When decision is reached, this section will be updated accordingly. 

  • Jill and Jay's Specific Itinerary - CUENCA

    • ​​​​April 27, Thursday - 30, Tuesday

      • 3 nights in Cuenca. Free Time​

    • April 30, Sunday 

      • 05:00 PM - Transfer to airport.  Driver will come to pick you up at hotel. 

      • 07:39 PM - Flight to Mindo, via Quito.

        • LATAM - LA1408

        • Nº de Orden: LA4697252FDMD

  • Jill and Jay's Specific Itinerary, MINDO

    • ​​April 30, Sunday
      • 08:27 PM - Arrival in Quito. Transfer to Hotel in Mindo. Driver will be waiting outside.
      • In Mindo you are staying at Hotel Coffee Lodge. See hotel information (Here)
    • April 30, Sunday - May 4, Thursday

      • 4 nights in Mindo. Free Time. 

    • May 3/4, Wednesday/Thursday

      • 07:30 PM (May 3rd) - Shuttle to airport 

      • 12:40 AM (May 4th) - Travel back to the US.

        • United - UA 2083 - Flight to Houston ​

  • Janie and Larry's Specific Itinerary - QUITO

    • ​​​​March 29, Wednesday

      • 08:05 PM - Arrival in Quito.

      • Transfer to Hotel. Driver will be waiting outside. 

        • For any questions, please contact the hotel in Quito via WhatsApp at +593 982692849​

      • You will be staying at the Hotel Vieja Cuba. See Hotel information (Here)

    • March 29, Wednesday - 31, Friday

      • 2 nights in Quito.  Free time.

    • March 31, Friday

      • Travel to Mindo by car.  2 nights in Mindo.

      • 12:00 PM - Transfer to hotel in Mindo.  Driver will come to pick you up at hotel.  

        • For any questions, please contact the hotel in Mindo via WhatsApp at +593 939565819​​​

  • Janie and Larry's Specific Itinerary -MINDO

    • March 31, Friday
      • ​​02:00 PM - Arrival in Mindo.  You are staying at Las Terrazas de Dana Hotel. See hotel information (here)
    • April 1, Saturday

      • 06:00 AM - Half Day Birding Experience. Details to be provided by hotel soon.

    • April 2, Sunday

      • Travel to Quito.  Check out is at noon. 

      • 01:00 PM - Trans​fer is scheduled for this time to give you time to have lunch in Mindo.  


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Itinerary Summaries
Itinerary Janie

Galapagos (April 8 - 9)


AccommodationIkala Galapagos Hotel

  • Location: Tomas de Berlanga y Moises Brito 200350, Puerto Ayora (Here)

  • Phone Number: +593 5 252 6133

  • Reservation under Jill Hurst


Cruise (April 9 - 17)

April 9 - Boarding day

  • Transfer from airport to ship.  ​

  • Arrival at ship by lunch time. 

  • Ship: Monserrat

    • Modern mid range motor yacht;

    • Large social spaces;

    • Only 10 guests per guide;

    • Wide choice of short & long itineraries.

April 9 - 17 - 9 day/8 Night Cruise

  • A copy of the itinerary with all details can be seen here

    • Islands to be visited are:

      • Santa Cruz

      • Isabela

      • Fernandina

      • Santiago

      • North Seymour

      • Rábida

      • Bartholomew 

      • South Plaza

      • Santa Fe

      • San Cristobal

April 17 -  End of Cruise/Travel Day

  • Transfer to San Cristobal Airport (Puerto Baquerizo Moreno)

  • Flight to Quito


Quito - Ecuador. 

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Entire Group =  April 2 - 8,  7 days/6 nights

Accommodation: (Airbnb) 

  • Airbnb Location: Olmedo oe5-56 between Garcia Moreno and Benalcázar streets (Here)

  • Point of Contact and Phone Number: Julian and Thomas (+33767960820)

  • Check-in: 03:00 PM - There is a doorman who will help you check in. 

You are staying in Old Town, Quito.  Area full of history, beautiful colonial architecture, museums, plazas, restaurants, and more.  From here it is easy to explore other areas of the city as desired.  I have reserved this new airbnb for the 4 of you.  Great location, and lower price than the last I had shown.  This one is similar than the previous one, and it looks like it is in the same building. It has three bedrooms, and based on the stellar reviews, it is good for couples.  Two bath. 


Entire Group = April 17-18, 1 Night

Accommodation: After arriving from Galapagos, the group will stay at a hotel in Down town:


Janie/Larry = March 29 - 31, 2 Nights.

Accommodation: Small hotel in Down town:

  • Hotel: Hotel Vieja Cuba

  • Location: La Niña N26-202 y Diego de Almagro 170150 (Here)

  • Phone Number: +593 2 290 6729

  • Reservation under Janie Ginsburg

Yasuni National Park

Yasuni National Park

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5 Day/4 night Tour - April l8 - 22(23)
Travel: Flight from Quito to Coca and 2.5 hr motor boat ride to Ecolodge. 


  • Yasuni Park (April 18-22):  Ecolodges run by local people/natives. 

  • Coca (April 22 - 23) : Small hotel for one night after tour. 

    • Hotel: Hostal R. Williams

    • Location: Amazonas 33-40 y Garcia Moreno Frente al Parque Central del Coca (Here)

    • Phone Number:  +593 6 288 1201

    • Reservation under Jill Hurst​​


  1. Day One:  Pick up at the airport by tour operator at Coca, followed by 2.5 hr motor boat ride to Ecolodge. Check in at Lodge.  Jungle walk in search of birds, monkeys, amphibians, insects, medicinal plants, etc.  Lunch in Jungle.  Watch Sunset while navigating the river.  opportunity to observe nocturnal animals on the way back to hotel. Dinner at hotel. 

  2. Day Two: 6 AM Start.  Walk in search of birds and monkeys, tapirs, wild pigs, snakes, and other animals active early ini the morning.  Back to the hotel for breakfast.  After, Mandy Forest trail, navigating tea-colored waters (paddle boarding, piranha fishing, caiman observation.).  Lunch in jungle. Nocturnal walk and dinner at hotel. 

  3. Day Three: Early breakfast. Visit the Añangu community, and the Canopy tower (40 m viewing point. Can see the amazons and the Andes from here.). Parrot, macaws, and parakeet observation.  Lunch in jungle. Afternoon walk along the park in search of large animals.  Dinner at hotel. 

  4. Day Four:  Breakfast.  Visit Pilche community center for cultural demonstrations, and shopping local handcrafts. (To be updated)

  5. Day Five:  Breakfast.  Visit Pilche community center for cultural demonstrations, and shopping local handcrafts. Lunch in jungle before heading to Coca, arriving around 4/5pm. 

    1. Flights to Quito only available in the morning, so one night is required at Coca.



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Jill / Jay =  April 23 - 25 and April 27 - 30, 6 days/5 nights
Janie/Larry = April 2
3 - 25, 3 days/2 nights
Travel: Cuenca is just a Short flight from Quito. 

Accommodations:  Small bed & breakfast in El Centro of Cuenca. Close to historical sites, museums, shop, markets, plazas, and more.  

  • Hotel: Hostal Suite Le Fabrique

  • Location: 13-34 Calle Gran Colombia (Here)

  • Phone Number: +593 99 982 6709

  • Reservations under Jill Hurst and Janie Ginsburg

Activities and things to do: Explore the old town (plazas, cathedral, government buildings, etc. Flower market,  walk/bike along the riverfront, learn/shop Panama hats (this is where they are from originally), checkout the city view points/parks,  museums, Inca ruins, wildlife rescue center, Volcanic Mineral Water spas, local breweries, and some Day Trips (Incan ruins, Cajas National Park, artisan towns)

Trip to Saraguro 
April 25 - 27 (2 nights) 

Transportation:  There are at least three ways to get to Saraguro. Travel time is between 2.5 and 3 hours.


  • Rental Car =. About $60 total for 2 days.  Details to be included soon.

Accommodation: Small Hotel in town = Community projects 

  • Achik Wasi Hotel​

  • Location: Achik Wasi, Saraguro 111150, Ecuador  (Here)

  • Phone Number: +593 993498518

  • Reservations under Jill Hurst and Janie Ginsburg

Things to do: Activities around the town can include:

  • Participate in traditional cultural events in Community centers/hotel 

  • Explore local cuisine, and their famous cheese

  • Nature trails, hikes, waterfalls

  • Some ruins

  • People watching, main plaza.

  • Visit near town Laja.