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Galapagos, Andes & Amazon Family Breakaway River Cruise Walking Tour

Extraordinary Wildlife & Ancient Culture

  • Three amazing trips in one—an extraordinary journey of unequaled biodiversity, history and culture in the Galápagos, Amazon and Andes
  • Join an expert local guide for jaw-dropping up-close wildlife viewing in the Galápagos
  • Swim and snorkel in turquoise waters with sea lions, sea turtles and even reef sharks
  • Experience the Andes with your family as you hike with breathtaking views of snowcapped volcanoes
  • Cruise in luxury through the Amazon and encounter some of the most unique creatures on the planet by foot and kayak  

It's scientifically proven that there's no place on Earth like the Galápagos. The Amazon. The lava flow of Tortuga Bay. Sea turtles. Pelicans and marine iguanas. Each unique, and each has a story and a history to share with you and your family. Learn how sugar is extracted, how coffee is roasted and how to get your kids not to giggle when someone says “blue-footed boobie.” It's scientifically proven to make them do that.

Galapagos, Andes and Amazon River Cruise map

Itinerary

Days 1-2 Board a yacht and whisk away  With an expert local naturalist at your side, stroll this island teeming with blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, pelicans, marine iguanas and impressive frigate birds with six-foot wingspans  Grab your camera for a walk through Santa Cruz Island's lush highlands, home to docile giant tortoises cooling off in mud baths  Visit a coffee and sugarcane farm to witness how sugar is extracted from the plants and how coffee beans are roasted  Walk inside a lava tube.

Days 3-4 Land at the white-sand beach of Santa Fe Island for a visit to a picturesque turquoise lagoon and its resident sea lions  Dive in with your snorkel for an up-close view of Santa Fe's diverse marine creatures  Head inland for a glimpse of Galápagos hawks and the native land iguana, with dragon-like spines that give them a prehistoric flair  Kayak and snorkel at Divine Bay—keep an eye out for sea turtles, reef sharks, colorful fish and countless species of birds  Make your way through an ancient lava flow to Tortuga Bay  Rub shoulders with locals in the bustling port town of Puerto Ayora.

Days 5-6 Deep in the Andean highlands you're welcomed to the spectacular Hacienda Zuleta, a 4,000-acre working farm set amid volcano vistas and pre-Inca ruins  Feast on fresh artisanal cheeses made at the hacienda and garden-fresh meals prepared from traditional family recipes  Hike on trails with incredible vistas of the Zuleta Valley, tropical forest and ridge‐top paramo (tropical montane tundra)  Visit a project managed by Hacienda Zuleta that reintroduces captive Andean condors into the wild  Wander through the embroidery workshops in Zuleta Village—local women are renowned for their fine needlework.

Days 7-8 Journey to the Amazon and board your luxurious ship, the Anakonda  Voyage deep into the rain forest on the Napo River before heading onshore for an evening walk among the nocturnal life stirring in the jungle  Explore the unique ecosystem on the Pañayacu River Delta in motorized canoes, which allow us a closer look at the hidden corners of this amazing reserve  Explore the Pañacocha Lake (Piranha Lake, in Quechua) with its most notorious resident, the piranha, as well as the arowana or water monkey fish, who leaps out of the water to catch its prey  Walk on remote jungle trails watching for squirrel monkeys, sloths, toucans and macaws as you learn about the medicinal plants found in this ecosystem. 

Days 9-10 Visit one of the most remarkable wildlife spectacles in all of western Amazonia —a mineral and salt lick that attracts flocks of parrots and parakeets  Engage with a group of indigenous Kichwa women who share their customs, cuisine and stories of everyday life  Hike into Yasuni National Park and climb a canopy tower high above the treetops.

Please note: Due to the multiple stateroom options available on this trip, reservations can only be made by contacting one of our Trip Consultants at 800-462-2848 or via email.

In contrast to our usual land-only based trips, which have similar room categories, the Anakonda Amazon Ship offers two different suite stateroom categories; Deluxe and Standard. The 4 top-tier Deluxe Suites often fill fast so book as early as possible if this is important to you.

This trip is like three vacations in one—it truly has it all! You'll be amazed as you hike, kayak, snorkel and swim through the unparalleled biodiversity in the Galápagos. Get to know locals in the Andean highlands and enjoy delicious meals grown right at your hacienda. And to top it all off, for the final leg of your journey, we whisk you away on a luxurious Amazon riverboat cruise. You'll trek through remote lush jungle trails and canoe and kayak along rivers offering a rare opportunity to witness some of the Earth's most unique creatures.
Michelle Muench- Regional Manager - Latin America

We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception. Read the Straight Talk

Straight Talk
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.

Travel, Activity Time & Comfort

In order to fully experience the best of three incredibly diverse regions of Ecuador, this trip involves an ample amount of travel to and from the Ecuadorian mainland, the Galápagos Islands and the Amazon (including two round-trip flights, one of which requires us to get going as early as 5 a.m.). The wildlife in the Galápagos and Amazon is at its liveliest early morning, late afternoon and evening, so our activities line up accordingly, allowing optimal animal encounters in the cooler hours while giving you plenty of time to relax midday. The main form of travel for activities in the Galápagos and Amazon is by boat. Our Amazon ship cruises on calm river waters while our Galápagos boats sail through open ocean, with the potential for occasional wet and windy conditions, so bring medication if you're prone to motion sickness.

Itinerary Changes

The Galápagos Islands are a welcoming and fascinating place, yet complex and at times logistically challenging due to national park regulations. Mid-trip itinerary changes are quite common. Rest assured, if we encounter changes to our planned activities, your Trip Leaders will find alternate activities that you're sure to enjoy.

Service Standards

Although Galápagos is part of Ecuador, the islands can feel worlds away from the mainland, including slow or no internet connectivity and ATMs possibly running out of cash. Service at inns and restaurants can lack a sense of urgency when compared with other regions. Your best bet is to sit back, relax and soak in the island way of life.

Terrain & Trail Support

Some hikes on this trip are remote and do not intersect with roads. Vehicles or boats will get us to and from the trailheads, but the nature of these trails is such that we won't see our vehicles along the route. Ample trail support in the form of water, snacks and encouragement is provided by your Backroads leaders and local guides.

Hiking on Your Own

We provide plenty of hiking options and ample trail support so that you can hike at your chosen pace throughout the trip. However, in the Galápagos and Amazon, in accordance with the national parks' environmental protection regulations, hikers need to be accompanied by our local naturalist and hike in designated areas.

Accommodations, Group Size & Meals

The Anakonda ship is your floating luxury hotel, letting you visit many locations along the Amazon's Napo River without having to pack up your bags! We've limited our Backroads group size to 20, but just like any hotel, we'll be sharing the ship with other guests. This 40-passenger ship is custom-designed with multiple inviting common spaces so you'll have room for both relaxing and socializing with other guests.

Itinerary Flexibility: Going with the Flow

In the Amazon, our daily itinerary is based on scheduled sailing and port arrival times and as a result some days have more opportunities for exploring on land while other days have a little more sailing time. The Napo River has its own unique temperament and for centuries water levels have shifted due to rain, temperature and the currents. Low water levels result in slower sailing and lead to extra cruising time or possible shifts in activity timing. Should any unforeseen change happen during your river cruise, we will work closely with the Anakonda's captain and staff, who are very experienced in going with the flow, in which case your leaders will adjust the activities as necessary.
$7,498 - $8,398
pp dbl. occ.
(+$3,000 to $3,200 for sgl. occ.)
Internal air:
$795 to $820


Reviews

10 days, 9 nights
Route Rating

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Open 7 Days a Week
6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Start / End
Quito Airport, Ecuador

Meals
All breakfasts, 10 lunches, 9 dinners included


B Family Breakaway Dates

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Premiere Inns & Ship*

Accommodations may vary based on departure date. Any difference from what is listed below can be found by clicking on your desired date on the Dates & Prices tab.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Finch Bay Eco hotel

Finch Bay Eco Hotel

* Premiere Inn
Santa Cruz Island (4 nights)

A beautiful waterfront lodge near the heart of Puerto Ayora. (pool)

Hacienda Zuleta

Hacienda Zuleta

* Premiere Inn
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.

Anakinda Amazon River Cruises

Anakonda Amazon Ship

Napo River (3 nights)

A luxurious custom-designed ship with an expansive observation deck, large panoramic windows, spacious staterooms and an outdoor whirlpool.

View the deck plans. See Dates & Prices for stateroom category availability and embarkation/disembarkation details.

Guest Reviews

There's no better way to find out about Backroads than by hearing it from the people who have traveled with us. For more about the Backroads Experience, read our Guest Testimonials.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

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Galapagos, Andes & Amazon Family Breakaway River Cruise Walking Tour
 
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5.0

Witness some of the Earth's most unique creatures.

By 

from Latin America

Staff Reviewer

Comments about Galapagos, Andes & Amazon Family Breakaway River Cruise Walking Tour:

This trip is like three vacations in one—it truly has it all! You'll be amazed as you hike, kayak, snorkel and swim through the unparalleled biodiversity in the Galápagos. Get to know locals in the Andean highlands and enjoy delicious meals grown right at your hacienda. And to top it all off, for the final leg of your journey, we whisk you away on a luxurious Amazon riverboat cruise. You'll trek through remote lush jungle trails and canoe and kayak along rivers offering a rare opportunity to witness some of the Earth's most unique creatures.

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Dates & Prices

The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind—you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due.

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

AVAILABLE TO BOOKi LIMITED AVAILABILITYi PRIVATE TRIP - RESERVEDi WAITLIST ONLYi

Interested in a Private Trip? Check out the Make It Private tab for private dates available, or call us at 800-462-2848.

This Trip Is Rated Levels 1-2

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.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Daily Route Options
Day EASYGOING ACTIVE AVID
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
1 Scenic Cruise to North Seymour Island (4 Hours)
North Seymour Activities (2 Hours)
2 Giant Tortoise Walk (2 Hours)
Sugarcane & Coffee Farm Tour (45 Minutes)
3 Santa Fe Island & Snorkeling Excursion (Full Day)
4 2* 100
4 200
Divine Bay Kayaking & Snorkeling Excursion (3 Hours)
Tortuga Bay Walk (2 Hours)
5 Hacienda Zuleta Exploration
6 4* 800
6 800
7 Río Napo Motorized Canoe Journey (2 Hours)
Evening Jungle Walk (1 Hour)
8 Pañayacu River Delta Motorized Canoe Excursion (3 Hours)
Primary Forest Walk (2.5 Hours)
Kayaking Excursion (2 Hours)
9 Optional Early Morning Parrot Clay Lick Excursion (1 Hour)
Yasuni National Park Hiking Route (2 Hours)
Sani Warmi Kichwa Cultural Exchange (1 Hour)
Calluachocha Black Water Lagoon Paddle Canoe and Canopy Tower Excursion (4 hours)
10 Motorized Canoe Journey to Coca (1 Hour)
 

Note: The terrain on this trip includes cobblestone paths, dirt roads, unpaved trails, grassy paths, beach walks and lush jungle trails that could be muddy. Please note we provide rubber boots in the Amazon.

* Includes shuttle.

Learn more about how we determine our route ratings and fully support a range of abilities and interests.

Please note that our distance and elevation figures come from Ride with GPS. Other sources (such as Map My Ride and Garmin devices) may give differing elevation figures due to different GPS and mapping technologies. Readings from a Garmin or a smart phone are influenced by other factors such as air pressure.

Why Travel with Backroads in Galápagos, Amazon and the Andes

If It's Good Enough for El Presidente...

Thanks to our 17-year relationship with Hacienda Zuleta, the renowned retreat that was once home to two of Ecuador's presidents, you're welcomed as family and invited to explore all of the spectacular property. Hike panoramic trails (created just for our guests) and savor a chef-made lunch served amid 11th-century ruins. And visit a learning center devoted to protecting the Andean condor, built by the Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation in partnership with Backroads.

The Right Local Pairings

Our Trip Leaders combine deep local expertise with a firm grasp of North American expectations around quality of service. By the same token, we pair experienced Backroads leaders with local guides who know how to cater to your needs while cracking open the culture or natural history in ways that are meaningful, memorable and often magical.

Experts with Secrets to Share

In choosing the ideal experts to enrich your travel experience, we look for people with a wealth of local knowledge, but also the ability to convey their insights in English. Too often travelers find themselves smiling politely, not quite understanding what they're being told. Our experts share intriguing facts, anecdotes and inside stories that stay with you forever.

Everyone at Their Own Pace

We design and support our Galápagos, Amazon and the Andes trips to suit mixed abilities and varied interests—so you can set your own pace, then change things up as the day unfolds. And all guests are free to do the same, traveling together or apart, with no one cramping anyone else's style. Which sounds easy in theory, but it's hard to pull off. Here's more on how we do it.

Kids Who Aren't Kids Anymore

Only Backroads offers active trips in Galápagos, Amazon and the Andes designed for families with older teens and 20-somethings. Our Family Breakaway trips are aimed at you and the amazingly grownup members of your clan—whether they're almost high school grads, already in college or further along. Find out more in this blog post.

We Speak the Language

If we told you many companies' leaders can't actually speak the language where they lead trips, you'd say incroyable... ridicolo... không the tha thú. At Backroads, fluency in the local language is a given. Find out more on the best leader recruitment, training and development in the business. (And by the way, that was "unforgivable" in Vietnamese.)

The Best Leaders in Galápagos, Amazon and the Andes

Backroads has the best-qualified people to lead your trip in Galápagos, Amazon and the Andes, and our guests back that up, rating our Trip Leaders an average of 9.75 out of 10 for all-around quality of performance. Get the facts (and no fluff) on how we recruit and develop the very best people for your trip.

Quality You Can Measure

Since 1979, Backroads Founder and President Tom Hale has shown that staying #1 means constantly evaluating our performance using the best possible source of information: our guests. As we systematically analyze your feedback on our trip consultants, leaders, hotels, meals and on-trip activities, we never stop working to make a great company even better.

We Know Where We're Going

Tom Hale has been keeping Backroads on track, with one eye on the horizon, since 1979. His passion for active travel, and for ensuring the highest-quality travel experience, is evident in every detail we add to make a guest's trip unforgettable—and the fact he's right there in the office, making it happen. To hear Tom describe his vision, watch our video.  

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

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 30 or more. Call us for date availability and pricing. If your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Pricing for Private Trips

2017

  • 10 or more guests: from $7,998 pp dbl occ
  • 8 - 9 guests: from $8,598 pp dbl occ

Click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

8 AVAILABLE TO BOOK FOR 8 OR MORE GUESTS 16 AVAILABLE TO BOOK FOR 16 OR MORE GUESTS RESERVED

Don't see your ideal travel date? Make a Date! i

Other Trips in the Galapagos, Andes and Amazon River

Easy to Book Private Trips

Invite your family and friends on an adventure that's entirely your own - for your group of 8 or more. Find out more