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Galápagos, Andes & Amazon River Cruise Family Walking & Hiking Tour – Older Teens & 20s

Ecuador's Extraordinary Wildlife & Ancient Culture

From $7,898 - $8,998 pp dbl. occ. | Trip length varies per departure date. Please see the Dates & Prices tab for complete details.

(+$3,000 to $3,200 for sgl. occ.)

Internal air: $820


Traverse the Amazon on a river cruise, each bend uncovering exotic sights and species. Witness snow-covered volcanoes on walks in the towering Andes. Discover the Galápagos Islands by kayak and on foot, revealing a white-sand wonderland teeming with life. One family trip. So many ways to explore.

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Ecuador

Start/End Quito Airport

Galapagos, Andes and Amazon River Cruise map

Highlights

  • Experience three amazing trips in one—an extraordinary journey of Ecuador's unequaled biodiversity, history and culture
  • Cruise in luxury through the Amazon and encounter some of the most unique creatures on the planet by foot and kayak
  • Swim, snorkel and kayak in turquoise waters alongside extraordinary wildlife, like sea lions, sea turtles and even reef sharks
  • Hike in the Andes for breathtaking views of snowcapped volcanoes and remnants of ancient civilizations
Ecuador

Start/End Quito Airport

Galapagos, Andes and Amazon River Cruise map

Itinerary

Days 1-3 Journey to the Amazon and board the luxurious Anakonda ship | Voyage into the rain forest before an evening walk among the nocturnal jungle life | Explore Pañayacu River Delta's unique ecosystem in motorized canoes and kayak a canopied river | Walk remote jungle trails watching for squirrel monkeys, toucans and macaws | Visit one of the most remarkable wildlife spectacles in all of Amazonia—a salt lick that attracts flocks of parrots and parakeets | Engage with a group of indigenous Kichwa women who share their customs, cuisine and stories | Hike into Yasuni National Park and climb a canopy tower high above the treetops.

Days 4-6 Deep in the Andean highlands, you're welcomed at spectacular Hacienda Zuleta by Fernando Polanco, grandson of an Ecuadorian president | Experience history and warm hospitality at this exclusive 4,000-acre working farm | Hike through the Zuleta Valley's lush pastureland amid volcano vistas and pre-Inca ruins to a project that reintroduces captive Andean condors into the wild | Visit Zuleta's embroidery shop—local women are renowned for their fine needlework. 

Days 7-11 Travel from the Ecuadorian mainland to the Enchanted Islands, as the Galápagos are known | Walk through Santa Cruz Island's lush highlands, home to docile giant tortoises | With an expert local naturalist at your side, explore islands brimming with blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and frigate birds | Explore a lava tunnel, one of the unique geologic features on the island | Kayak and snorkel while keeping an eye out for sea turtles, reef sharks and colorful fish.

Please note: 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.

Also note that beginning November 1, 2018, the Galápagos Special Administrative Region Council requires all visitors to provide proof of health insurance that covers the duration of their stay in the Galápagos Islands. To meet this requirement we recommend you have either proof of travel insurance including medical or proof of your personal health insurance that has international coverage throughout your time in Ecuador. Please contact your Trip Consultant with any questions.
 

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. View cancellation policy.

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

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F Family Dates - Older Teens & 20s

2018 December (10 days/9 nights)
2019 June (11 days/10 nights)
2019 July (11 days/10 nights)
2019 December (11 days/10 nights)

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.

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

View Scheduled Dates

The sky’s the limit! Tell us what your dream trip would be and we'll make it happen! Whether you're looking for a honeymoon trip for 2, a 30-person family reunion or a 100-person corporate trip, we can do it all. A dedicated Custom Trip Consultant will work closely with you to bring your dreams to reality. Call us at 800-462-2848 to speak with your Custom Trip Consultant or click on the button below.

REQUEST YOUR CUSTOM TRIP NOW

Dates

F Family Tours - Older Teens & 20s

Prices

From $7,898 - $8,998 pp dbl. occ.
Trip length varies per departure date. Please see the Dates & Prices tab for complete details.

(+$3,000 to $3,200 for sgl. occ.)

Internal air: $820


Traveling with Kids

Premiere Hotels & Ship

Anakinda Amazon River Cruises
Anakonda Amazon Ship

Napo River (3 nights)

Hacienda Zuleta
Hacienda Zuleta

Zuleta (3 nights)

* Premiere Hotel
Finch Bay Eco hotel
Finch Bay Eco Hotel

Santa Cruz Island (4 nights)

* Premiere Hotel

Activity Level

This trip is rated Levels 1-2

What's Included

Services and equipment are included.

Why Backroads

Why Travel with Backroads in Galápagos, Amazon and the Andes

Reviews by Power Reviews ®

Load Less

Premiere Hotels & 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 View Scheduled Dates or Private Dates tabs.

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.

Hacienda Zuleta

Hacienda Zuleta

Zuleta (3 nights)
* Premiere Hotel

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

Finch Bay Eco Hotel

Santa Cruz Island (4 nights)
* Premiere Hotel

A beautiful waterfront lodge near the heart of Puerto Ayora and recipient of green awards for their conservation efforts. (pool)

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.

Daily Route Options (drag to see full )

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 Río Napo Motorized Canoe Journey (2 Hours)
Evening Jungle Walk (1 Hour)
2 Pañayacu River Delta Motorized Canoe Excursion (3 Hours)
Primary Forest Walk (2.5 Hours)
Kayaking Excursion (2 Hours)
3 2* 100
4 200
Early Morning Parrot Clay Lick Excursion (1 Hour)
Mandi Cocha Walk & Paddle Canoe Excursion (2 Hours)
Kichwa Cultural Visit (1 Hour)
Canopy Tower Excursion (2 Hours)
4 Motorized Canoe Journey to Coca (2 Hours)
Quitsato Equator Line Visit (45 Minutes)
Hacienda Zuleta Walk (1 Hour)
5 4* 800 6 800
Zuleta Vegetable Garden & Cheese Factory Visit (1 Hour)
6 3* 400 6 500
Local Historical Museum Visit (1 Hour)
7 Giant Tortoise Walk (2 Hours)
Lava Tunnel Walk (30 Minutes)
Sugarcane & Coffee Farm Tour (45 Minutes)
8 Scenic Cruise to North Seymour Island (4 Hours Round Trip)
North Seymour Island Activities (2 Hours)
9 2 100
Divine Bay Kayaking & Snorkeling Excursion (3 Hours)
Scenic Boat Ride to Tortuga Bay (1 Hour)
Kayaking Tortuga Bay (1 Hour)
10 South Plazas Island & Snorkeling Excursion (Full Day)
11 Shuttle & Ferry to Baltra Island Airport (1.5 Hours)
Flight from Baltra to Quito (with layover in Guayaquil) (3.5 Hours)
 

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

* Includes shuttle.

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

Please note that our distance and elevation figures come from Ride with GPS. Other sources may give differing elevation figures due to different GPS and mapping technologies and other external factors.

Meals

All breakfasts, 11 lunches, 9 dinners

Also Included

  • Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
  • Snacks and beverages between meals
  • Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
  • Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
  • Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
  • On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
  • Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
  • Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
  • Park and other entry fees
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
  • Select coach transfers
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Get the Straight Talk about This Trip

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 Time & Internal Flights

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 Amazon and the Galápagos Islands (including two round-trip flights, one of which requires us to get going as early as 5 a.m.). We take commercial flights on one or more of the following planes, depending on your departure date: twin-jet planes operated by LATAM Ecuador or Avianca, and twin-jet or turboprop planes operated by Tame Airlines or Avianca.

Activity Time & Boat Travel

The wildlife in the Amazon and Galápagos 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 Amazon and Galápagos 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 Amazon and Galápagos Islands are welcoming and fascinating places, 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 hotels 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 Amazon and Galápagos, in accordance with the national parks' environmental protection regulations, hikers must stay in designated areas and be accompanied by our local naturalist.

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.

Why Travel with Backroads in Galápagos, Amazon and the Andes

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 20s. These 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.  

Backroads Photo Gallery

Cruise ship - Galapagos, Andes and Amazon River Cruise Family Walking Tour
Family hiking - Galapagos, Andes and Amazon River Cruise Family Walking Tour
Fruit - Galapagos, Andes and Amazon River Cruise Family Walking Tour
Fish - Galapagos, Andes and Amazon River Cruise Family Walking Tour
Galapagos, Andes and Amazon River Cruise Family Walking Tour
Hiking - Galapagos, Andes and Amazon River Cruise Family Walking Tour
Sunset - Galapagos, Andes and Amazon River Cruise Family Walking Tour
Pool - Galapagos, Andes and Amazon River Cruise Family Walking Tour
Parrots - Galapagos, Andes and Amazon River Cruise Family Walking Tour
Rain forest - Galapagos, Andes and Amazon River Cruise Family Walking Tour
Tortoise - Galapagos, Andes and Amazon River Cruise Family Walking Tour

Guest Photo Gallery

Videos

Featured Blog Story

Ecuador Travel Guide

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 Time & Internal Flights

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 Amazon and the Galápagos Islands (including two round-trip flights, one of which requires us to get going as early as 5 a.m.). We take commercial flights on one or more of the following planes, depending on your departure date: twin-jet planes operated by LATAM Ecuador or Avianca, and twin-jet or turboprop planes operated by Tame Airlines or Avianca.

Activity Time & Boat Travel

The wildlife in the Amazon and Galápagos 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 Amazon and Galápagos 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 Amazon and Galápagos Islands are welcoming and fascinating places, 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 hotels 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 Amazon and Galápagos, in accordance with the national parks' environmental protection regulations, hikers must stay in designated areas and be accompanied by our local naturalist.

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.
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