South Expeditions

Cover Itinerary - South Expeditions Ecuador Paddle Exploration

Galapagos - Ecuador

Kayak & SUP in Andean crater lakes, meandering Amazon rivers and lagoons, and Galapagos’ crystal clear waters.

14 DAYS/13 NIGHTS

Ecuador Paddle Exploration

Ecuador is a country full of picturesque sceneries, friendly locals, and rich culture. We will visit indigenous arts & crafts markets, attend cooking demonstrations spending time with Galapagos’ unique wildlife, and immerse in the Amazon’s rainforest unique ecosystem. All this in addition to the opportunity of exploring from a whole new perspective, from a board or kayak, which will get us closer to the unique flora and fauna of one of the most diverse countries.

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TRIP HIGHLIGHT

Rating:

*****

Activities:

Culture - Walking - Kayaking - Rafting - MultiSport - SpecialInterest - Wildlife - WaterActivities

PRICE PER PERSON

14 DAYS/13 NIGHTS

  • Paddle in Ecuador's best places to Kayak and SUP.
  • Discover Ecuador's Amazon, its culture and remarkable biodiversity from a canoe/kayak perspective.
  • Snorkel in the Galapago's most iconic spots.
  • Visit picturesque handicraft towns and markets.
  • Engage in cooking and crafts-making demonstration with locals.

Day by Day

DAY

1

Transfer-In Quito

Upon arrival, a representative will meet us at the airport, assist us with our luggage, and transfer to the hotel.

DAY

2

Kayak/SUP Lago San Pablo - Artisans

Today, we will kayak/SUP in San Pablo Lake, one of Ecuador’s biggest lakes. Then, we will visit Huarmi Maqui (Hands of Women), a project that promotes traditional customs and skills within local women artisans. We will have a cooking and weaving demonstration. Later, we will visit the weaving village of Peguche, the main producers of Ecuadorian woven cloth and fabrics. We will meet and interact with local weavers and craft makers, and learn about local traditions, legends, and history.

DAY

3

Kayak/SUP Cuicocha Crater Lake - Otavalo

Laguna de Cuicocha is a deep-blue crater lake where we will SUP/kayak, cradled by the volcano walls while taking in beautiful Andean views and engaging in some bird watching. Next, we will visit Cotacachi’s renowned, high-quality, handcrafted leather goods market. And then, one of the most famous and largest handicraft fair in South America: the Otavalo market. We will learn about the Otavaleno culture, their costumes, language and cuisine.

DAY

4

Giant Tortoise Farm & Lava Tunnels

In the morning, we will catch our flight to the Galapagos Archipelago. Upon arrival in Santa Cruz Island, we will head to the highlands in order to get up close and personal with the giant Galapagos Tortoises. We will continue to explore the volcanic origins of the island by journeying through an intriguing Lava Tunnels.

DAY

5

Snorkel Bahia Ballena

We will take a short boat ride to the sandy beaches of Bahia Ballena — an ocean inlet where Galapagos sea lions and marine iguanas bask on carpetweed and lava rocks. Here, we will appreciate Darwin’s finches and snorkel through an underwater world of lava rocks and small reefs swarming with tropical marine life. Reaching depths of up to thirty feet, the sandy ocean floor is home to pacific green sea turtles and long tailed stingrays of different shapes and sizes.

DAY

6

San Cristobal - Hike Tijeretas

In the morning, we will take a boat ride to San Cristobal and stop at Cerro Tijeretas Environmental Center. Here, we will learn how exactly is it that volcanic activity has led to the formation of the spectacular rocks all around the Galapagos Islands. On top of Cerro de las Tijeretas (Frigatebird Hill), we will enjoy breathtaking coastal views characterized by frigate birds—“the pirates of the seas”— that often steal food from unassuming boobies. As we come down, we will have enough time for a short snorkel session at Darwin’s Bay to swim with sea turtles and sea lions. Our day’s excursion will culminate at Carola Beach where we will arrive in time for sunset.

DAY

7

Snorkel Kicker Rock - Kayak Manglecito

On this day, we will sail for thirty minutes to the spectacular Kicker Rock, also known as the Leon Dormido (Sleeping Lion). The history behind this formation is intriguing: the remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea to form two vertical rocks rising a staggering 500 feet from the ocean. That, plus the huge variety of vibrant-colored fish, makes this the best spot for snorkeling. Afterwards, we will paddle from Manglecito to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of Galapagos (where our hotel is located). As we cover 4 nautical miles for about 3 hours, we can get close-up photographs of blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, marine iguanas, sea turtles, and Galapagos’ lush flora and fauna.

DAY

8

Flight to Quito

In the morning, we will catch a flight to Quito and proceed to check in at our hotel, which is located only few minutes from the airport. The rest of the day will be for us to relax and get ready for the upcoming adventures.

DAY

9

Flight to Coca - Navigate Napo River

Once we arrive in the city of Coca, we will navigate on the Napo River to the Pañacocha Protected Forest and the Amazon Dolphin Lodge. During our trip, we will have lunch and visit an archeological museum where we will learn about the culture and history of the Amazon. We will arrive at lodge in time for dinner. Afterwards, we will head out for our first exploration, a night walk along a short trail to observe insects, nocturnal rodents, and reptiles, among other animals that come together to immerse us in the classical sounds of the jungle.

DAY

10

Kayak Panayacu River - Piranha Fishing

After breakfast, we will navigate along the Panayacu River before getting on our kayaks for a deeper exploration of the Amazon’s wonders. (Throughout our exploration, we will have plenty of opportunities to look for the Pink Amazon River Dolphin). In the evening, we will engage in a piranha fishing activity.

DAY

11

Medicinal Plant Trail - Kayak Panacocha

Today, we will set out on a 3-hour hike. We will observe a huge variety of wild plants that are currently used by the local indigenous communities for medicinal purposes. For lunch, we will head back to the lodge before going on a kayak excursion across Panacocha Lake. We will also have the opportunity to learn about local weapons as our native guides share their knowledge and insight. After dinner, we will board rowing canoes (piraguas) for a nocturnal exploration along the Panayacu River and Pañacocha Lagoon. (We will have plenty of opportunities to look for the Pink Amazon River Dolphin)

DAY

12

Kayak & Navigate to Yarina Ecolodge

We will kayak along the Panayacu River and then navigate on the Napo River towards Yarina Ecological Reserve, which has the highest diversity of microhabitats in the Napo area. Once we arrive, we will have time to relax and have dinner before going on a night canoe exploration across Sapococha Lagoon.

DAY

13

Navigate to Coca - Flight to Quito

After breakfast, we will return to the city of Coca in order to catch our flight back to Quito.

DAY

14

Transfer-Out

Today, one of our representatives will meet you, assist us with our luggage, and take us to the airport in time to catch our flight.

Hotels

Amazon Dolphin Lodge

It is located in the Pañacocha Protected Forest Reserve and it serves as a biological corridor linking Yasuni National Park and the Cuyabeno Wildlife Refuge. Thanks to their central location in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon, professional local guides, multilingual staff, and personalized service, they offer a hands-on experience of the jungle.

http://www.amazondolphinlodge.com/

Hotel Mainao

The hotel was originally a residence but was turned into a small friendly hotel for international travelers. It offers a comfortable stay with peaceful gardens and patios, in a privileged location.

http://www.hotelmainao.com/

Garden Hotel San Jose

The hotel is a restored colonial building, Hacienda San Jose, which dates back to the XVIII century. It offers both, national and international cuisine.

http://en.gardenhotelsanjose.com/

Hacienda Cusin

Hacienda Cusin, a restored XVII century estate, is surrounded by 7 acres of beautiful gardens and fountain courtyards. This hacienda lies in a lush green valley under Cotacachi and Imbabura volcanoes' shade.

http://www.haciendacusin.com/

Blue Marlin Galapagos Hotel

The hotel was meant to provide an "at home" feeling through its interior design elements. The Blue Marlin Hotel features an outdoor pool and great service.

http://www.bluemarlingalapagos.ec/

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