Ecuador in April 2023

Galapagos (April 9 to April 17)
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.

Galapagos Cruise

April 8/9 - 17

April 8 - Travel day

  • 12:04 PM - Flight from Quito to Baltra Island

    • 10:00 AM - Airport Transfer​

  • 01:15 PM - Arrival 

  • Checking into Hotel in Puerto Ayora.  

    • Hotel located in town.  Walking distance to everything (Pictures below)

    • Great reviews and nice accommodations 

April 9 - Boarding day

  • Morning (TBD) - Transfer from hotel 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
Jill / Jay =  April 2
 - 8,  7 days/6 nights
Janie/Larry = April 4 - 8, 4 days/4 nights


Travel: Round trip flights Quito-Galapagos seem to start around $500 p/p

Accommodation: (Airbnb) 
I am recommending to stay 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.  Another option for area to stay is La Floresta (Newer, Trendy) 

I have found 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. 

Quito Activities  (2 included for now for Quito)

  • Walking tours of the old town (Plazas, Churches, 

  • Art / Street Art Tours

  • Cooking classes / Food Tasting Experiences

  • Museums 

  • Mercado tour

  • Chocolate tours (tasting, making, process)

  • Visit the center of the globe (Equator Line)

  • And more. 

  • Day trip to Cotopaxi National Park (2hrs away)

    • Day tour to Cotopaxi. Private or not (Includes visit to Laguna de Limpiopungo).

    • Other options are rent a car or catch bus.

    • Once there, pay for park access and guide. 

  • Day trip to Otavalo,  Cayambe, Indigenous Market (50 min away)

    • Day tour to Otavalo. Includes visit to Cuicocha Lagoon, half of the world landmark, and others.

    • Other options are rent a car or catch bus.  

    • Best days to visit market are Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Yasuni National Park
4 Day/3 night Tour - April (17)l8 - 22(23)

 
Travel: Flight from Quito to Coca.  Pick up by tour operator at Coca, followed by 2.5 hr motor boat ride to Ecolodge. 

Accommodations:

 

  • Yasuni Park:  Ecolodges run by local people/natives. 

  • *Quito:  3 Star Hotel.  One night in Quito between Galapagos and Yasuni.  

  • *Coca: Small hotel for one night after tour. 


Activities: 
 

  1. Day One:  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.  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.

Mindo 
Jill / Jay =  April 30 - May 4,  5 days/4 nights
Janie/Larry = April 1 - 4,  4 days/3 nights
 
Travel: 2 hour drive from Quito. 

  • Jill/Jay - Flight from Cuenca back to Quito.

 
AccommodationsSmall hotels in the town. There seems to be a good amount of lodges with mountain views, restaurant, good services, and good reviews.   Below, I am showing photos of one of the best I found.  Price around $100 per night, all taxes and fees included. 

Activities: Hiking/ Waterfall - Bird Watching - Zip Line/Canopy Tours - Chocolate Experiences - Butterfly Garden - Rivers
 
 
 

Cuenca 
5 days/4 nights - April 26 - 31

Jill / Jay =  April 23 - 30,  8 days/7 nights
Janie/Larry = April 23 - 27, 5 days/4 nights
 
Travel: Cuenca is just a Short flight from Quito. (around $150-200 Round trip)
 
AccommodationsSmall bed & breakfast in El Centro of Cuenca. Close to historical sites, museums, shop, markets, plazas, and more.  Below, I am showing photos of place I am recommending.  Price around $85 per night, all taxes, fees, refundable, and breakfast included. 

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)
 
 

Possible Itinerary​

Jill / Jay

  • April 2, 3, 4 Tuesday - Quito

    • Arrival. Hotel Check-in

  • April 5, Wednesday - Quito

    • Activity, explore City

  • April 6, Thursday - Quito/Cotopaxi

    • Day trip to Cotopaxi

  • April 7, Friday - Quito

    • Activity, explore City

  • April 8, Saturday - Quito/Galapagos

  • Flight to Galapagos (12pm)

  • April 9, SundayGalapagos

    • Boarding Cruise

  • April 9 Sunday -17 Monday - Galapagos

    • Cruise itinerary

  • April 17, Monday Galapagos/Quito

    • Flight to Quito. Stay one night in Quito

  • April 18, Tuesday - Quito/Coca

    • Flight to Coca. Begin 4 Day tour

  • April 18, Tuesday - 22, Saturday - Yasuni

    • 4 Day Tour itinerary

  • April 22, Saturday - Coca

    • One night after tour

  • April 23, Sunday - Coca/Quito/Cuenca

    • Flight to Cuenca.

  • April 23, Sunday - 30, Sunday - Cuenca

    • Explore town, one or two day trips, etc

  • April 30, Sunday - Cuenca/Quito/Mindo 

    • Flight to Quito,  Transfer to Mindo

  • April 30, Sunday - May 4, Thursday - Mindo

    • Local tours, explore cloud forest

  • May 4, Thursday - Mindo/Quito/US

    • Transfer. Travel Day

 

As an estimate, the above itinerary with everything I am including (See list below) is at around $7,200 for 2 people.  Not including Cost of Galapagos Tour.

If agree so far, please pay invoice sent for 50% of the total.  As we continue to define details, remaining balance will be updated as needed.  

 

Included:

  1. Private airport transfers for 4

    1. Quito Airport - Airbnb 

    2. Quito Airbnb - Airport 

    3. Quito airport - Hotel

    4. Quito Hotel - Airport

    5. Cuenca Airport -  Hotel

    6. Cuenca Hotel - Airport

    7. Quito Airport - Mindo Hotel

    8. Mindo Hotel - Airport

  2. Hotel/Accommodations for 2

    1. 7 nights in Quito (Airbnb, Hotel)

    2. 3 nights in Yasuni (Ecolodge)

    3. 1 night in Coca (Hotel)

    4. 4 nights in Mindo (Hotel)

    5. 7 nights in Cuenca (B&B)​​

  3. Activities for 2​

    1. 2 experiences in Quito

    2. 4 Day tour in Yasuni​

  4. Flights for 2​

    1. Quito to Galapagos

    2. Galapagos to Quito

    3. Quito to Coca

    4. Coca to Cuenca

    5. Cuenca to Quito

  5. Concierge Services before the trip.

  6. Detailed Information Page for the trip



 

Possible Itinerary​

Janie/Larry

  • April 1 to April 4,  Mindo 

    • Transfers, and hotel

  • April 4, Tuesday, Quito

    • Transfer to Quito​

  • April 5, Wednesday - Quito

    • Activity, explore City

  • April 6, Thursday - Quito/Cotopaxi

    • Day trip to Cotopaxi

  • April 7, Friday - Quito

    • Activity, explore City

  • April 8, Saturday - Quito/Galapagos

    • Flight to Galapagos (12pm)

  • April 9, Sunday - Quito/Galapagos

    • Boarding Cruise

  • April 9 Sunday -17 Monday - Galapagos

    • Cruise itinerary

  • April 17, Monday Galapagos/Quito

    • Flight to Quito. Stay one night in Quito

  • April 18, Tuesday - Quito/Coca

    • Flight to Coca. Begin 4 Day tour

  • April 18, Tuesday - 22, Saturday - Yasuni

    • 4 Day Tour itinerary

  • April 22, Saturday - Coca

    • One night after tour

  • April 23, Sunday - Coca/Quito/Cuenca

    • Flight to Cuenca.

  • April 23, Sunday - 27, Thursday - Cuenca

    • Explore town, one or two day trips, etc

  • April 27, Thursday - Cuenca/Quito/US

    • Transfer. Travel Day

As an estimate, the above itinerary with everything I am including (See list below) is at around $6,750 for 2 people.  Not including Cost of Galapagos Tour.

 

If agree so far, please pay invoice sent for 50% of the total.  As we continue to define details, remaining balance will be updated as needed.  

Included:

  1. Private airport transfers for 4

    1. Quito Airport - Mindo Hotel 

    2. Mindo Hotel - Quito airbnb

    3. Quito Airbnb - Airport 

    4. Quito airport - Hotel

    5. Quito Hotel - Airport

    6. Cuenca Airport -  Hotel

    7. Cuenca Hotel - Airport

  2. Hotel/Accommodations for 2

    1. 5 nights in Quito (Airbnb, Hotel)

    2. 3 nights in Yasuni (Ecolodge)

    3. 1 night in Coca (Hotel)

    4. 3 nights in Mindo (Hotel)

    5. 4 nights in Cuenca (B&B)​​

  3. Activities for 2​

    1. 2 experiences in Quito

    2. 4 Day tour in Yasuni​

  4. Flights for 2

    1. Quito to Galapagos

    2. Galapagos to Quito

    3. Quito to Coca

    4. Coca to Cuenca

  5. Concierge Services before the trip.

  6. Detailed Information Page for the trip

​​

Next Steps
 

  • Pay invoice sent for half of current totals (nov 6), or contact me to review/edit itinerary.

  • Continue to define itinerary, flights, etc. 

  • Pay remaining balance for Galapagos tour

    • Pay by January 15th, 2023

    • $8,110 per couple 

Thank you