Ecuador Discovery with Ecuador's Amazon & Galápagos Cruise on the Santa Cruz II (ISEH)

18 Day Package from Quito to Guayaquil

Monograms has created all-in-one packages a cut above going on your own, while leaving the group behind. Each package comes with hand-selected hotels, plus "they really do that?" service of a Monograms Local Host®-a local expert available throughout your stay. We've arranged sightseeing, exclusive to Monograms guests, complete with VIP access into some of the most incredible attractions (that means you skip the lines). We've arranged transportation and we offer a selection of special excursions. With Monograms, you travel in style independently without going it alone.


Always Included:

Your Choice of Hotels

We've carefully screened and selected the right hotels in the heart of the destination and you can choose your accommodations to match your style and budget.

Local Host

In Quito, Baños, Riobamba, Cuenca & Guayaquil; Naturalist in the Amazon & Galápagos

Meals Included

Buffet breakfast daily; 11 lunches; 10 three-course dinners

Sightseeing & Activities

Sightseeing with a Local Guide, inside visits, and special features are shown in UPPERCASE

Baggage Handling

Monograms has taken care of porterage at your hotel, so feel free to let the bellman help get your luggage to your room with no tipping required.

Day-By-Day 2018 / 2019

DAY
1
ARRIVE IN QUITO, ECUADOR

Arrive in Quito, where you will be met by your Local Host.

DAY
2
QUITO

Your included PRIVATE CITY TOUR showcases the Old Town, where colonial history still permeates the air, surrounded by beautiful architecture, and religious and cultural sites. One of the highlights is a visit to San Francisco Square, where you will see the La Compañía church, which has the most ornate and richly sculptured façade and interior. Afterward, visit the Old Town’s famous hill, Panecillo or “Little Bread,” where you will see the Virgen de Quito angel statue. Finish off your tour at a bustling Ecuadorian market.

Breakfast Breakfast

DAY
3
QUITO–COCA–AMAZON LODGE

Fly to Coca and travel by motorized CANOE to your selected Amazon lodge, your home base for the next three nights.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

DAYS
4-5
AMAZON LODGE

At the Sacha Lodge: During your stay, enjoy EXCURSIONS with a Naturalist who introduces you to the Amazon. On the suspended rainforest canopy walk your Naturalist points out many different species of vibrantly colored birds. Jungle walks show off the immense biodiversity and medicinal plants that have been used by the native cultures for hundreds of years. Visit the lodge’s butterfly house, one of Ecuador’s largest, and take a night walk or canoe ride with a Local Guide to discover creatures that can rarely be seen during the day! You will also cruise through the flooded forest in search of troops of squirrels, capuchin, and howler monkeys—and maybe even the incredibly well camouflaged 3-toed sloth. After fishing for piranhas, arrive at the Kapok Tree tower, perched 135-feet high. Get close-up views of birds as the sun sets on volcanic Mount Sumaco and the Andes.

At the La Selva Lodge: During your stay, enjoy EXCURSIONS with a Naturalist who introduces you to the Amazon. Breakfast is served early because there is so much to see and do! There are a number of activities, including a visit to the parrot clay lick, a trip to a local community, or an excursion to the observation tower to see birds and monkeys. The activity included will depend on many factors, including the weather and what you prefer to do. After lunch, try your hand at piranha fishing, take a nap, or read a book during the hottest hours of the day. In the afternoon, included activities consist of a canoe ride around the lagoon, a short trail walk to hopefully see pygmy marmosets, or visit the nearby butterfly farm. Included evening excursions will be available after dinner, if you so choose. Alternatively, many guests prefer to relax in the lounge with a cold drink or have a soothing massage in the spa!

BreakfastBreakfast
1 LunchLunch
1 DinnerDinner daily

DAY
6
COCA–QUITO

Depart your Amazon lodge and fly from Coca to Quito today. The remainder of your afternoon is at leisure.

Breakfast Breakfast

DAY
7
QUITO. EXCURSION TO OTAVALO

Today, experience the traditional ways of the Otavalo people. With your Local Host visit Otavalo’s famous INDIAN MARKET, full of textiles, clothes, vegetables, and much more. Enjoy the drive here, as it passes the often snow-capped Cayambe Volcano. The Ecuadorian Line goes directly through the glacier of the immense volcano, which is the highest worldwide point on the Ecuadorian line. Next, visit a local SCHOOL in Peguche to visit with Ecuadorian children. Enjoy lunch at a local hacienda before returning to Quito.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch

DAY
8
QUITO–COTAPAXI–BAÑOS

Journey south with your Local Host, passing the Avenue of the Volcanoes to visit COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK, a highland zone protected since 1975. On a walk near Lake Limpiopungo, you will have the chance to learn about the typical vegetation and fauna found in the area. Enjoy breathtaking views of Cotapaxi Volcano, rising more than 19,000 feet. Next, visit a ROSE PLANTATION, where you can observe the cultivation and harvest of this important export and witness the exceptional beauty of the Ecuadorian rose. Continue to Baños, known for its famous hot springs that give the area its name. Relax in the mild mountain climate at one of the HOT SPRINGS at your hotel.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

DAY
9
BAÑOS–RIOBAMBA

You’ll have time this morning to view some of Baños’ impressive waterfalls before heading to Riobamba in the shadow of Ecuador’s highest volcano, Chimborazo, rising over 20,000 feet in altitude.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

DAY
10
RIOBAMBA–CUENCA

An unforgettable TRAIN TRIP takes you over the almost-vertical wall of rock called the Devil’s Nose. This engineering marvel allows the train to transit a zigzag path cut into the mountainside that ascends and descends more than 3,000 feet. Continue to Cuenca with your Local Host, stopping at the INGAPIRCA RUINS, Ecuador’s most important monument of pre-Spanish culture. The ruins are located on a grass-covered hill once used as a sun-worshiping temple. Even before the construction of the Sun Temple (1450-1480), this place held important spiritual significance for the Incas. On a walk through the ruins, learn about Inca beliefs, rituals, and how they built the puma-shaped temple.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

DAY
11
CUENCA

Enjoy a private guided TOUR of Cuenca, the third-largest city in Ecuador and considered one of the most beautiful. See the historical buildings along the Tomebamba River, the Todos los Santos ruins, the flower market, and the main square with the old and new cathedral. Afterward, visit a PANAMA HAT FACTORY and a POTTERY STUDIO, where you can learn more about the work of the local people.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch

DAY
12
CUENCA–GUAYAQUIL

Transfer with your Local Host to the coastal town of Guayaquil, stopping along the way to visit a CACAO PLANTATION. Learn about the cultivation of the cacao fruit, harvesting, and the processing of this important industry for Ecuador. On to Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest and most industrial city and the key to Ecuador’s trade center. The rest of your day is at leisure to explore the city.

Breakfast Breakfast

DAY
13
GUAYAQUIL–BALTRA (EMBARKATION)–GALÁPAGOS CRUISING: SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Fly to the Galápagos Islands and board the Santa Cruz II. Visit Las Bachas on SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, an important nesting area for the East Pacific green sea turtle. See brackish lagoons just steps away from the sea, a feeding ground for various wading birds—from stilts to flamingos.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

DAY
14
CRUISING: SANTIAGO ISLAND

Arrive at Buccaneer Cove on SANTIAGO ISLAND to explore the dramatic coastline inhabited by a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. You will also have the opportunity to snorkel and take a ride on the panga or the glass-bottom boat. Later, at Puerto Egas, known for its black-sand beach, tuff-stone layers and lava flows, see land and marine birds, as well as a colony of fur sea lions, marine iguanas, and marine turtles.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

DAY
15
CRUISING: RÁBIDA & BARTOLOMÉ ISLANDS

On RÁBIDA ISLAND with its red-colored beach, caused by the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material, your Naturalist points out large colonies of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers, and several species of Darwin’s finches. Very close to the beach, a salt pond occasionally hosts American flamingos. Snorkel from the beach to see the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. At BARTOLOMÉ ISLAND, hike to the summit for a stunning view of Pinnacle Rock. Take a snorkel or a ride on the glass-bottom boat and possibly see Galápagos penguins in tropical waters!

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

DAY
16
CRUISING: GENOVESA ISLAND

On GENOVESA ISLAND, take a walk up Prince Phillip’s Steps as your Naturalist reveals large colonies of masked boobies, blue and red-footed boobies, frigatebirds, storm petrels, and short-eared owls. In the afternoon, disembark on a beautiful beach at Darwin Bay to observe frigatebirds, red-footed and masked boobies, herons, finches, and mockingbirds. Return to the beach for snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

DAY
17
CRUISING: SANTA CRUZ (DISEMBARKATION)–BALTRA–GUAYAQUIL

Disembark at the north shore of SANTA CRUZ ISLAND for a visit to a TORTOISE RESERVE in the highlands. Here, you will see and learn about the Giant Galápagos Tortoises living in the wild and what is being done to help preserve these ancient creatures. Later, fly to Guayaquil.

Breakfast Breakfast

DAY
18
GUAYAQUIL

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Breakfast Breakfast

Transportation

As outlined in the day-by-day itinerary and private airport transfers to/from intra-vacation flights; intra-vacation flights not included

Included Hotels

Other Hotel

Monograms offers an impressive choice of hotels pre-selected for their location, amenities and service. When booking your package check to see what other hotels are available for your dates. Some hotels may not be available for this package.

Cuenca
Guayaquil
Galapagos Islands
Quito
Coca
Banos
Riobamba

Mansion Alcazar

Bolívar 12-55 y Tarqui
Cuenca, Ecuador

Check-in - 14:00
Check-out - 11:30

A turn of the century Mansion, completely restored is transformed in a luxury boutique hotel, in order to satisfy the most discriminating traveler. Mansión Alcázar is set within the historical downtown of Cuenca on Bolivar Street. Personalized service is given not only upon arrival, but also in the intimate Le Bar and Casa Alonso Restaurant, where you can enjoy a drink and the best gourmet cuisine in town.

Location & Highlights

Mansion Alcazar is located in the heart of the city of Cuenca, Ecuador, which was selected as one of the few World Cultural Heritage Cities by UNESCO in 1999 as a result of community efforts to restore the splendid beauty of years long passed by.

Room Amenities

  • Non-smoking Rooms
  • Alarm Clock
  • Internet Access
  • Phone
  • Hair Dryer
  • Cable/Satellite
  • Television

Hotel Amenities

  • Parking/Valet
  • Restaurant On-Site
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Free WiFi
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Business Center
  • Concierge desk
  • Spa Services
  • Currency Exchange
Room decor evokes the style of the old century, with careful selection of antique, fine furniture and artwork. Each room features antique wood furnishings, private bathroom, air-conditioning, cable TV, and free Wi-Fi.

Hotel Carvallo

Gran Colombia 9-52 y Benigno Malo
Cuenca, Ecuador

Check-in - 14:00
Check-out - 12:00

Colonial design and embellishments surround you at every turn at the Hotel Carvallo, making you feel like part of its history. A fantastic city location paired with great service and modern, spacious accommodations make this hotel as memorable and enjoyable as the city itself.

Location & Highlights

Colonial elegance and a distinct European flare set the Hotel Carvallo apart from others in the city. Situated close to Cuenca's attractions, guests can enjoy the history of the area and be reminded of it every time they step into the hotel.

Room Amenities

  • Internet Access
  • Non-smoking Rooms
  • Phone
  • Mini-bar
  • Climate Control
  • Alarm Clock
  • Television
  • Cable/Satellite

Hotel Amenities

  • Restaurant On-Site
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Free WiFi
  • Business Center
  • Currency Exchange
  • Concierge desk
Rooms at Carvallo are styled with elegant furniture and a jewel toned palette of lush fabrics. Ceilings feature elaborate decorations, and each room features superior bedding, private bath, minibar, and cable TV.

Activities & Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)

Quito
Guayaquil

Quito

Panoramic Quito by Night with Dinner

Drive into the old Colonial city during the evening for views of the romantic plazas and the impressive public and religious buildings followed by dinner.

Price Range: $$$

Teleferico

Take a ride in the highest cable way in South America and get to know this amazing city, Quito, in a totally different way.

Price Range: $$

Middle of the World

Travel to the Equatorial Monument which marks the exact Middle of the World, latitude 0, where you can stand with a foot on each hemisphere.

Price Range: $$

Guayaquil

Guayaquil City Tour

On this Guayaquil city tour, get to know the most interesting parts of this tropical and busy metropolis.

Price Range: $$

Guayaquil City Tour & Municipal Museum

On this Guayaquil city tour, get to know the most interesting parts of this tropical and busy metropolis. Following the city tour, you will visit the municipal museum which displays the rich history of Guayaquil.

Price Range: $$

City Tour of Guayaquil and Historical Park

On this city tour, get to know the most interesting parts of this tropical and busy metropolis including the Historical Park which showcases a wildlife exhibit and re-creations of urban and rural areas of Guayaquil dating back to the 1800's.

Price Range: $$

Insider

Cuenca
Guayaquil
Quito

Cuenca

Meet Ana Cecilia Cárdenas, one of your Local Hosts in Quito, EcuadorMonograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Cuenca. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Cuenca and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Cuenca insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.

Meet a Local Host®

I always liked to travel and that is why after finishing high school, I decided to study tourism administration. While I was studying at the University, I started to work as a tour guide and found it very interesting. Being a tour guide allows me to meet people from many different places and it took me to incredible places. For a period of time I moved to Argentina where I taught Spanish and English but I missed my family and country, so I decided to come back to Ecuador. When I came back to Quito, I worked as a Key Account Executive for a tour operator, which was a great experience for my career, but after a time, I decided to be a tour guide again. I realized I enjoy being with people outside in the nature more than working in an office, and I am able to have more time for other activities I like, such as painting and working with the children of my church.

Rio Tomebamba

This city river separates the colonial section of Cuenca from the more modern homes. It’s great for a stroll in the day or evening. You can grab a little picnic and sit on the banks, while you enjoy the sounds of locals, music playing, and the rushing water. There are even a few spots where you can grab a beer and take it all in.

Plaza Abdon Calderon

Be sure to visit this main square as it is the center of action in Cuenca. Brilliant for people watching, relaxing with a book, strolling around the gardens, or grabbing a bite to eat. At the cathedral on the square, you can pay a nominal fee to climb to the top for impressive views of the city. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon or evening.

Iglesia el Sagrario

If you have time and you appreciate religious architecture, be sure to make a stop in this cathedral. The lighting, the ceiling frescos, sculptures and the old pipe organ will have you marveling. It’s dripping with history while well-kept at the same time.

El Museo de Las Conceptas

People rave about the unique art experience here. As part of an old nunnery, this little gem houses some of the best religious art in Cuenca. Even for the non-religious, it’s a wonderful glimpse into the life of the early Cuenca nuns and the culture surrounding the city. It’s complete with gardens too!

Guayaquil

Meet one of your Local Hosts in Guayaquil, EcuadorMonograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Guayaquil. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Guayaquil and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Guayaquil insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.

Meet Lorena, a Local Host® in Guayaquil, Ecuador

I was born, raised and educated in Guayaquil, Ecuador. I finished my education as an English teacher in Guayaquil, but I kept on studying as Tour Guide, graduated at the U.N.I.D.E.C. University from Riobamba and obtained my Tour Guide License. I worked with children as an English teacher in an elementary school from 1986 to 2012. Nineteen years ago I had the opportunity to work as a tour guide for the shore excursions provided to Norwegian Cruise Vista Fjord, and since then I discovered a wonderful job where I learned to know my country. Due to my high skills and responsibility I began to work as a tour guide. I love the Ecuadorian flora and fauna and I would like to be a specialized guide in bird watching in the near future. My great satisfaction as a tour guide has been incredible because I had the chance to meet people from other cultures and latitudes from around the world.

Cerro Santa Ana

The ascension to the top is a good little work out, although there are plenty of places to stop and rest along the way. Getting to the top, however, is well worth it. There’s a beautiful park at the top and views unlike anywhere in the city. Like the ugly duckling turned to swan tale, this once poor area was transformed into a prime tourist attraction – a 465-foot stairway flanked by colorful houses, eateries, gift shops and galleries. Bring water for the trip!

Parque Historico Guayaquil

This unique spot combines architecture, history, and wildlife. You can stroll around and view all the plaques that explain the buildings of this large museum, and then spend the afternoon with the animals in this well-kept facility with highly knowledgeable and friendly guides. Make sure to get there early enough to see it all!

Malecon 2000

If you only have time to take in just a little bit of Guayaquil, this little stretch is the perfect place to do it. It spans about a mile and a half along the coast and offers little drink spots, occasionally has entertainment, and you can see the variety of Guayaquil’s architecture along the way. With offshoots into various neighborhoods that you can scope out at your leisure, it’s a great starting point for exploring the city.

Parque de las Iguanas

For a strange and fun experience, head to the city square that hosts hundreds of Iguanas, smack dab in the middle of the city. With the hustle and bustle and a cathedral as your back drop, you can stroll around for an hour or two and watch these funny and fascinating creatures along with other wildlife in the square. Something you will remember always!

Churute Mangroves Ecological Reserve

About a half hour outside of Guayaquil, Churute is simply amazing and a great way to spend half a day. You’ll have the chance to glimpse some species of monkeys, sloths, horned screamers, parrots, roseate spoonbills, rails, herons and so much more! The locals harvest seasonal mangrove crabs, and occasionally they’ll prepare crab meat empanadas right on site! Make sure to bring your insect repellant or mosquitoes may spoil your visit.

Quito

Meet Ana Cecilia Cárdenas, one of your Local Hosts in Quito, EcuadorMonograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Quito. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Quito and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Quito insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.

Meet a Local Host®

I was born in Quito and lived here most of my life. I always liked to travel and that is why after finishing high school, I decided to study tourism administration. While I was studying at the University, I started to work as a tour guide and found it very interesting. Being a tour guide allows me to meet people from many different places and it took me to incredible places. For a period of time I moved to Argentina where I taught Spanish and English but I missed my family and country, so I decided to come back to Ecuador. When I came back to Quito, I worked as a Key Account Executive for a tour operator, which was a great experience for my career, but after a time, I decided to be a tour guide again. I realized I enjoy being with people outside in the nature more than working in an office, and I am able to have more time for other activities I like, such as painting and working with the children of my church.

Ortega P. & Hijos

Owning a “toquilla hat” means owning a piece of myth and legend. Visit this local outlet for renowned Cuenca hat manufacturer, Ortega and Sons, for the best hats hand-woven in Ecuador since 1899.

Parque El Ejido Arts & Crafts Market

Held every weekend, this market sells everything from handmade jewelry to carved wood. But it’s famous for its paintings depicting Quito’s city scenes. If you want a piece of art to remember your visit to Quito, this is the place to go.

Mercado de Santa Clara

For a true taste of Quito, visit the vegetable, herb, and flower stands of this colorful farmer’s market. You can even purchase a locally woven basket to carry home your loot.

La Querencia

Whether you sit inside by the fireplace or outside by the garden, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of Quito while savoring traditional Ecuadorian dishes like lamb stew and fried bananas.

La Ronda

This quiet street in one of Quito’s best-preserved sections winds around 18th-century stucco houses with brightly colored balconies. It offers the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.

Plaza Santo Domingo

Locals venture to this charming square on the weekends to listen to storytellers and delight in jugglers and mimes.

Museo Fundación Guayasamin

Tucked in a residential area of Quito, this museum features the works of Oswaldo Guayasamin, one of Ecuador’s most famous and prolific modern artists.

La Reina Victoria

A British pub, La Reina Victoria, is practically the only place in Quito where you can get a draft beer. Enjoy a pint and a game of darts.

Café Libro

If you’d like to take home some Ecuadorian literature or photo books, this bookstore carries an extensive collection of books in both Spanish and English.

Plaza Fosch and Plaza El Quinde

Located in Av Fosch between Amazonas and Reina Victoria, you’ll discover lots of good restaurants and cocktail bars here. Sometimes concerts are held in the square.

Dates & Prices do not include air travel.
Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Monograms, not included in pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway and intra-vacation air segments; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only, starting at $798. Required intra-vacation air segments: Quito/Coca; Coca/Quito; Guayaquil/Galápagos; Galápagos/Guayaquil. Air prices were effective on July 12, 2017 and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your vacation, air prices may be higher.

Cruise pricing is based on a Horizon Deck Explorer cabin on the Santa Cruz II. Cabin upgrades are available, please call for pricing.

Galápagos package includes Galápagos National Park entrance fee and transit card ($120 value).

2019 departures are subject to itinerary and price modifications. Details will be available in July 2018.

* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. Pricing may vary on this date due to hotel availability. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some packages require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Monograms).