It doesn't take a PhD to know that whatever comes to the Galápagos is forever changed. But the Andean highland arts and culture, mountainous landscapes and pre-Inca history have a similar effect. And as you rub shoulders with indigenous Otavaleños, commune with condors, hike along the rim of a volcanic crater, snorkel the famous waters, encounter blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises, and watch the sun drop into the Pacific from your beachside lodge, you'll realize that Ecuador and its islands have done it again. You're forever changed.
Days 1-2 Hike in the Andes with spectacular views of snowcapped mountains Spend time exploring Poncho Square, the heart of Otavalo's world-famous artisan's market, and visit the studio of master weaver Miguel Andrango Fernando Polanco, grandson of an Ecuadorian president, welcomes us at Hacienda Zuleta, a 4,000-acre working farm set amid volcano vistas and pre-Inca ruins.
Day 3 Condor Huasi, a center reintroducing endangered condors into the wild Fuel up with a breakfast of organic tropical fruits, fresh dairy products and mouthwatering pastries—virtually everything on the table is homemade and grown on-site at our hotel Hike to archaelogical sites and along winding roads through the lush pastureland of the Zuleta Valley for new perspectives and breathtaking views Take a stroll to the embroidery workshops—Zuleteña women are renowned for fine needlework.
Days 4-8 Incredible up-close wildlife viewing in the Galápagos Islands, an isolated sanctuary with a stunning array of unique plants and animals With an expert local guide at your side, marvel at blue-footed boobies, Darwin's finches, magnificent frigate birds, and lava lizards Boat and fly from island to island, stopping to kayak, hike, bike and swim Snorkel through a living aquarium teeming with fluorescent fish and swim alongside sea lions, sea turtles, and even white-tipped reef sharks Hike through lush Scalesia forest and witness giant tortoises wallowing in mud puddles Late afternoon, kick back at our lodges or stroll in laid-back port towns.
- Hike in the Andes with spectacular views of snowcapped mountains
- Bike through small highland villages, where Otavaleño Indians continue centuries-old traditions
- Condor Huasi, a center that reintroduces Andean condors into the wild
- Incredible up-close wildlife viewing in the Galápagos with an expert local guide
- Snorkel and kayak with tropical fish, sea lions and white-tipped reef sharks
Hacienda Cusín (1 night): Located in the Ecuadorian sierra, this restored Andean estate traces its history to 1602, when the land was purchased from the King of Spain.
Hacienda Zuleta (2 nights): Luxuriate at this 4,000-acre working farm and living museum open only to select groups of travelers. Our host is Fernando Polanco, the great-grandson and grandson of former Ecuadorian presidents.
Finch Bay Eco Hotel (2 nights): A beautiful waterfront lodge near the heart of Puerto Ayora.
Iguana Crossing (2 nights): Set on a pristine beach near a habitat for flamingos and marine iguanas. (pool)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Other||Otavalo Market Visit and Weaver`s Studio Visit|
|4||Other||Puerto Ayora Bay Tour (3 Hours)|
|Kayaking||Isabela Island (2 Hours)|
|Other||Las Tintoreras Boating, Snorkeling and Wildlife Viewing (3 Hours)|
|8||Other||Conclusion of the Trip|
On this trip, we'll be using titanium mountain bikes that are just right for the non-technical dirt road riding as well as the paved riding. (approximately 25% dirt and 75% paved).
* Includes a shuttle
2015 Dates & Pricing*
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. Call us for date availability.
If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|8 - 9 guests from $6,098 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $5,298 pp dbl. occ.|
|10 - 11 guests from $5,598 pp dbl. occ.|
All Private Singles-Solos trips require a minimum of 16 guests.
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
Guest Trip Reviews
What could be better than biking, hiking, snorkeling and kayaking your way through two of the most spectacular regions of South America: the Andes Mountains and Galápagos Islands of Ecuador? And you'll be sharing the experience with other fun-loving, like-minded travelers. Talk about instant camaraderie! We've hand-picked this trip - one of Backroads most popular adventures - for its appeal to adventurous families with older kids.- Regional Manager, Latin America