Dramatic, volcano-dotted islands, inspiring history and truly extraordinary wildlife: nowhere defines unique like the Galápagos. Seeing it all up close is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most, and this epic itinerary will see you take it all in in true luxury. From a stylish yacht, all plush cabins with floor-to-ceiling windows, you'll head – alongside expert naturalist guides – on the likes of kayaking excursions, wildlife walks and glass-bottomed boat trips, returning each day to Jacuzzi soaks, sundowners and gourmet dining. What's more, it's all preluded with a luxury lodge stay in Ecuador's Choco cloud forest. Renowned for its biodiversity, you'll enjoy everything from zip-lining above the forest canopy to nighttime wildlife walks and forest spas. It's all bookended by nights in Quito's UNESCO-listed delights and the tumbling rainbow-hued houses of Guayaquil, knitted together by private transfers throughout.
After a chauffeured drive to the airport, enjoy VIP airport lounge access before boarding your overnight flight to Quito, arriving on day two.
On arrival in Quito, take your private transfer to the Casa Gangotena hotel, where you’ll stay for the next two nights. This Relais & Châteaux-owned gem sits right in the city centre in boutique surroundings, alongside lush gardens, an indoor patio and a panoramic rooftop terrace that all makes for a wonderful city oasis. You’ve got a full day to discover Quito with an included city tour, from its Neo-Gothic churches to its UNESCO-listed colonial quarter – the most well-preserved in South America. Return to the hotel's member's club-style bar, all dark wood and signature cocktails, before perhaps heading to the the rooftop dining terrace for ceviche and prime ribs alongside fine South American wines.
After breakfast today, you’ll head to Mashpi Lodge, a wood-clad wilderness retreat tucked away in Ecuador's Choco rainforest. Renowned as one of the world’s greatest areas of biodiversity, you'll explore the cloud forest's hundreds of bird and butterfly species, waterfalls and green mountains with the likes of guided nature walks and visits to indigenous communities. It's all fuelled by fine dining among the spectacular high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass windows of the onsite restaurant – think sea bass ceviche and fine Chilean wines – alongside soaks in the forest spa and yoga on the outdoor terrace.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included
This morning you’ll return to Quito by shared transfer and check in once more to Casa Gangotena. Take the chance to explore again, perhaps hopping on the TeleferiQo cable car that soars high above the city or exploring the cafes and galleries that line the old quarter. There’s even the chance to enjoy a local chocolate workshop at the hotel before relaxing for the evening ready for your Galápagos adventure on day seven.
Enjoy a private transfer to the airport before boarding your flight to the Galápagos Islands, one of the most ecologically important places on Earth. Their iconic landscapes famed since Darwin’s discoveries in the nineteenth century, these dramatic volcanic islands are filled with truly extraordinary wildlife, which you'll witness over the next six days on an expedition-style cruise on board the luxury La Pinta Yacht. Embark and settle in to your luxurious cabin, enjoying daily excursions led by expert naturalist guides, from kayaking and wildlife walks to snorkelling and diving from glass-bottomed boats as you spot the likes of marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, sea lions and giant tortoises. Then, return from your adventures to expertly-mixed cocktails on the sunset deck, al fresco fine dining and soaks in the onboard hot tub.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included
Disembark your luxury yacht today, taking your private transfer to the airport and boarding your flight to colourful Guayaquil. Check in to the luxury Hilton Colon before a stroll along the vibrant Malecón waterfront and historic barrios on an included half-day city tour. Then, return to the Hilton's outdoor pool and spa's massage rooms, whirlpool, sauna and steam bath, the perfect place to relax before your flight home tomorrow.
After breakfast it’s time to transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK, arriving on day 15. You’ll finish your journey with a private chauffeured drive, who’ll be ready and waiting to whisk you home.
"This spectacular adventure takes in two of my favourite places – Ecuador's culture-rich capital, high up in the Andes, and the spellbinding wildlife of the Galápagos Islands, flung far out in the Pacific Ocean. Pair that with a stay at a rainforest retreat and for me it's the perfect encapsulation of the Ecuadorian travel experience."
Low Season from: £8,310 pp
High Season from: £8,510 pp