Ecuador & Galápagos: From the Andes to the Amazon
Days
13
Next group trip
25 Oct
Deposit
£200
Prices between
£3999 - £3999
  • Prices between £3999 - £3999
  • 13 days
Feefo
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Trip highlights

Wildlife encounters in Galapagos 

Explore a volcanic archipelago celebrated for its lush biodiversity

Mountain wonders

Hike through the Avenue of the Volcanoes with its thundering waterfalls

Adventures in the Amazon Basin 

Raft and hike your way through the rainforest

Flavours of Ecuador 

Share regional specialities with your group of travellers 

What's included?

  • 11 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 9 dinners

  • 12 nights’ accommodation

  • All activities, from white water rafting to hiking

  • Max. 14 Flashpackers

  • Group transfer upon arrival and departure, all internal flights included

About this trip

This 13-day adventure will take you from the volcanic plains of Ecuador to the virgin islands of Galapagos. 

Experience the natural diversity of the Ecuadorian landscape, where Andean mountains give rise to thundering waterfalls and mighty rivers. Hike the Avenue of the Volcanoes, with its snow-capped peaks and shimmering lagoons. And raft through the Amazon basin, as the landscape changes before your eyes. 

Of course, no trip to Ecuador would be complete without visiting the Galapagos archipelago. Encounter the lush biodiversity that the islands are famed for, exploring a landscape shaped by intense volcanic activity. 

From the Amazon basin to the Andes, this is South America in a nutshell.

Our favourite hotels

Chilcabamba Lodge, Cotopaxi 

Rustic hacienda in Cotopaxi National Park 

Experience a taste of historical Ecuador in this rural hacienda, with spectacular views of the snow-capped volcanoes rising around you. 

Why we stay here

With spacious rooms, a restaurant, bar and garden, you’ll feel right at home amid the splendour of the national park.

Magic Galapagos, Santa Cruz 

Highland campsite with doorstep access to incredible wildlife 

Located high in the wilderness, sink into the natural surroundings of the island secluded from the town. 

Why we stay here

Bed down beneath the stars in beautiful safari tents, with giant tortoises roaming around you. This campsite will allow you to experience a unique wildlife phenomenon in the heart of the Galapagos.

The Flash Pack Promise

Here at Flash Pack, we’re committed to unique adventures that deliver great value for money. We pack our trips with epic experiences (unlike other companies, all activities are included), hand-pick stylish hotels and match you with like-minded people.

Itinerary

Day 1

Hola, Quito 

Welcome to Quito, Ecuador’s highland capital. After arriving smoothly at your hotel, head out with your fellow travellers for a welcome feast at a traditional restaurant in the Old Town. With a menu boasting Ecuadorian staples, familiarise yourself with the local cuisine as you settle into the first night of adventure with your fellow travellers.

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Quito, Ecuador

Day 2

Foodie delights & city wanders

This morning, you’ll have the unique opportunity to visit the Mitad del Mundo – a monument marking the equator line that gives Ecuador its name. Soak up the warm rays at the middle of the world, following an ancient tradition since pre-Inca times (sun worship never gets old). Then, in the afternoon, head out with your group to explore Quito’s Old Town by foot, uncovering its colonial cathedrals and monasteries. Later, you’ll learn about local chocolate-making traditions, with a guided tour and an exclusive tasting at the Republica del Cacao. After a light appetiser of artisanal chocolate, enjoy an indulgent five-course meal in one of Quito’s finest restaurants.

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Day 3

Volcanic hiking & horseback riding 

Today’s adventure will take you up into the volcanic highlands of Cotopaxi National Park, which is where you’ll bed down this evening. Upon arrival, begin the day with some beautiful hiking routes through the mountains – replete with shimmering lakes and snow-capped volcanoes. Take a gentle hike through the foothills of the world’s second highest active volcano, savouring the serenity of the mountains. After a picnic lunch, it’s time to channel your inner cowboy: you’ll meet a local chagra – an Andean cattle-farmer – who will guide you through the mountains by horseback. Spend the evening unwinding in a historic hacienda, beneath the thousands of mountain stars.

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Cotopaxi, Ecuador

Day 4

Waterfall sights & epic swinging 

You’ll spend this morning exploring the lush landscape around the Pita River, following pathways formed by petrified lava. Make your way to the river’s main waterfall, where you’ll love cooling off the sweat beneath the refreshing mists. En route to Baños later in the morning, you’ll have the opportunity to practice your haggling skills and chat to locals as we pass through an indigenous market. After lunch in town, head up to one of the iconic highlights of Baños: the Casa del arbol. This famous treehouse is home to a unique swing, suspended off the edge of the canyon. Relish the thrill of gliding through the air, with the highlands unfolding around you (just don’t fall off). We’ve left the afternoon free for you to relax.

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Baños, Ecuador

Day 5

Between volcanoes and rainforest 

Pailon del Diablo – that’s ‘devil’s cauldron’ in Spanish – is a mighty waterfall on the road down to the Amazon. You’ll arrive there by mountain bike, absorbing the lush scenery where the mountains meet the rainforest. Admire the spectacular view of the waters crashing over the rocks, bubbling in the canyon below, just like the infernal cauldron it’s named for. Energised from your bike ride, it’s time to make your way to Tena: our gateway to the Amazon. Settle into your new rainforest surroundings, with a replenishing lunch served at the lodge. Later on, we recommend hiking the jungle under nightfall, equipped with a flashlight and camera. Listen carefully to the sounds of fishing bats, owls and toads, soaking up the radiant starlight through the trees. 

 

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Amazon basin, Ecuador

Day 6

Trekking in the Amazon Basin 

Wake up early this morning, taking a canoe upstream to uncover a parrot clay lick in the Amazon. This natural geological formation is the place where hundreds of parrots flock in the early morning, to gather key minerals that are essential to their diet (just mind the bird poop). Back at the lodge, fuel up on breakfast, before you venture back into the rainforest under the guidance of an expert naturalist. Learn all about the local flora and fauna along the trail, with a rich abundance of wildlife to keep you company. In the afternoon, you’ll meet one of the local Quechua communities, who will show you their way of life and their relationship with the rainforest. After a day of jungle exploration, return to the lodge just in time for dinner.

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Amazon Basin, Ecuador

Day 7

River rafting thrills 

Fuel up on a big breakfast today, as you’ll be rafting down the rapids of Rio Jatunyacu. This is one of the main tributaries of the region, flowing into the almighty Amazon Basin. This is a full-day activity, and it’s more intense than it sounds (a morning coffee is essential). Cut through the rainforest as the currents carry you downstream, with the rainforest birds fluttering overhead. Back at the lodge, you’ve earned your right to feast to your heart’s content. Relax your action-pumped muscles after a day on the river, with a refreshing drink in hand.

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Rafting, Ecuador

Day 8

Back into the Andean highlands 

From the Amazon back up to the Andean plateau, today’s adventure will be spent in the highlands. Ease into the day with a gentle hike through Cayambe – Coca National Park. This beautiful region is characterised by pristine lakes, snow-capped mountains and vast grasslands – a quietly breathtaking hiking experience. After exploring the national park by foot, make your way to the Papallacta Spa in the highlands, where you’ll spend the rest of the afternoon unwinding in these atmospheric hot springs. With mountains and rainforest expanding around you, what a perfect way to recuperate after yesterday’s activities.

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Ecuador highlands

Day 9

Hello, Galapagos 

Today, we’re off to the Galapagos Islands. With unique wildlife roaming its shores, from giant tortoises to inquisitive sea lions, this is an area steeped in biodiversity and natural splendour. Upon arrival in Santa Cruz, we’ll head straight to the Itabaca Canal to explore the coast by kayak. Paddle through red mangrove forests and along cliff banks formed through ancient lava flows, keeping an eye out for sea lions and reef sharks as we go. Later in the afternoon, we’ll head up into the highlands to a giant tortoise reserve, conveniently located beside our glamping site. Bordering the National Park, this vast habitat is home to the island’s iconic creatures, where they roam freely without any threat of predators. Then it’s time to settle into our camp for the evening, with dinner and drinks overlooking the hills – with perhaps a wandering giant tortoise for company.

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Galapagos, Ecuador

Day 10

Adventures on the archipelago 

This morning, we’ll explore the remote islands of the archipelago by boat, uncovering distant shores under the guidance of a naturalist. We’ll disembark to explore one of the islands of the national park, with time to appreciate the spectacular wildlife and pristine natural surroundings. Lunch will be served aboard the boat, with the refreshing sea breeze keeping us cool. Back on Santa Cruz, we’ll head out for a unique dinner in a lava tunnel that has been adapted into a cosy restaurant. Bon appetit.

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Galapagos, Ecuador

Day 11

Spectacular wildlife sights 

After a very early breakfast, we’ll make our way to Isabela, the largest of the Galapagos islands but also one of the least inhabited. After checking into our hotel, we’ll bike to the island’s breeding centre, where the local giant tortoise population is slowly recuperating. Here, we’ll learn about the process of breeding, as the guide talks us through the challenges facing conservation and reintroducing these creatures to the wild. We’ll continue our biking journey, exploring a network of paths winding through the island. Our adventures will show us the island in its full biodiverse beauty, weaving through different varieties of mangrove trees amid colonies of marine iguanas and flamingos en route. We’ll stop for lunch at a local restaurant in town, before heading out to explore the Tintoreras islets. Spend the afternoon snorkelling alongside playful sea lions, who are inquisitive and friendly by nature. After our biking activities, this is the perfect way to unwind, surrounded by beautiful wildlife and sea views.

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Galapagos, Ecuador

Day 12

Hike to the caldera of Sierra Negra

We’re off to an early start this morning, as we hike up to the caldera of Sierra Negra. Isabela is one of the youngest and most volcanic islands of Galapagos – and the mighty Sierra Negra is a testament to the island’s intense volcanic nature. At the peak, you’ll encounter the world’s second largest caldera – a colossal crater impossible to capture in an image. Absorb spectacular views over the archipelago, before we return to town just in time for lunch. In the afternoon, we’ll hit the beach for a few hours of relaxation. You’ll also have the option to kayak around the bay – a great spot for seeking out penguins and sea lions. In the evening, we’ll head out for our last dinner on Isabela. 

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Sierra Negra, Galapagos

Day 13

Adiós Ecuador! 

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll make our way to Guayaquil on mainland Ecuador, where our journey comes to its end. It’s now over to you to make your way to your next destination. From Quito to the Galapagos Islands, we’ve explored some of Ecuador’s most spectacular sights. Not quite done with South America? Why not extend your escape with our bestselling Peru adventure?

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Guayaquil, Ecuador

On the map

Important notes

  • Fly into Quito Airport (UIO) and depart from Guayaquil Airport (GYE). 
  • Please arrive in time for our first activity at 6pm on day 1, although we will arrange an airport transfer for you at whichever time you arrive. We suggest departing after 10am on the final day.
  • Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control. From time to time we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh. 
  • We take safety very seriously on Flash Pack adventures, click here to learn more.
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Trip dates

12 Nights
Deposit
£200
Total £4899
£3999