Andes, Amazon & Galapagos MultiSport

The great thing about multisport trips is that the activities are selected to make the most fabulous experience out of each destination. During this Ecuador adventure travel, you'll visit three national parks, observe diverse wildlife at close range, take in breathtaking vistas from extraordinary viewpoints and learn about indigenous life from villagers themselves. From the Andes to the Ecuador Amazon to the Galápagos, in just ten days, you'll pack more into one adventure vacation than ... READ MORE >>
Day 12: QUITO - HOME
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Upon arrival into Quito, a Southern Explorations representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. If you arrive early, optional tours to museums or other Quito attractions can be arranged.

In the morning, we depart from Quito by car, heading south through the famed Avenue of the Volcanoes. If the skies are clear, we can see the peaks of several volcanoes from the road. Upon arrival, we warm up with a short hike around the Limpiopungo Glacier Lake at the base of Volcan Ruminahi, which is home to a wealth of highland water fowl, local gulls, ducks and falcons. This area offers a great opportunity to learn about the park’s highland paramo ecosystem. After our hike, we begin our amazing mountain bike ride through the park from this same glacier lake. We travel across the high plains and around the south side of Cotopaxi. The ride is mostly downhill  with some flat stretches and a few short, easy climbs. As we ride across the paramo, we will keep an eye out for native wildlife and take in amazing views of Cotopaxi’s massive, glaciated cone looming above us.  We end the ride at the Pucara Inca ruins near the park’s south entrance. Here we learn more about the western hemisphere’s most powerful ancient civilization and their history in Ecuador. We sit down to a delicious picnic lunch next to the volcano before continuing to the hacienda where we spend the night.  (B,L, D)

After breakfast, we drive to the ancient farmlands of Hacienda Tilipulo, located in an inter-Andean valley surrounded by native vegetation and astounding views of the nearby volcanoes.  The horseback riding adventure begins with a departure towards the western cordillera bound to the highlands of Atapulo where we will be able to observe small farmlands called chacras, adobe houses, llamas, sheep and other livestock. The indigenous way of life, the occasional view of volcanoes Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Illiniza, Chimborazo and Altar will accompany you throughout this journey along spectacular trails and country roads.  After the horseback ride, drive through the Avenue of the Volcanoes to the Leito Valley with beautiful views of the Tungurahua Volcano. In the afternoon, we hop on bikes for a scenic ride through the beautiful landscapes and charming small towns of the Patate River Gorge. In the afternoon we reach a cozy Andean Hacienda and if time allows we will hike to a beautiful waterfall. Return to the hacienda to relax and dine. (B, L, D)

This morning's drive takes you to the edge of Llanganates National Park, an area that extends from the high Andes down into the Amazon Basin. Gaining altitude, you come upon one of the best views of the often fuming Tungurahua Volcano for the start of today's scenic mountain bike descent. Beginning as highland paramo, the picturesque route of wild orchids, waterfalls, high rock walls and deep canyons transitions into mountain cloud forest before becoming lowland rainforest. Ride through a dry basalt gorge, a hot spot for wild orchids, and the canyon widens and deepens as you reach the Pastaza River Gorge which forms spectacular waterfalls. Stop to visit two of these waterfalls, Pailón del Diablo (Devil’s Cauldron) and Manto de la Novia (Bride’s Veil). Then continue the drive down into the Amazon Basin to reach Puyo, an Amazon frontier town where we learn about balsa, bamboo and ceramic products. Continue through the Amazon highway until you reach your Amazon Lodge. If time allows, we will visit a Kichwa indigenous community to learn about their way of life, culture, traditions, and customs of the Amazon. Enjoy dinner at your jungle lodge and a peaceful evening surrounded by rainforest sounds. (B,L,D)

After breakfast at the lodge, you'll drive into a part of Llanganates National Park that has been declared a Biosphere Zone by UNESCO. The water that collects here forms the Jatunyacu River, considered the best one-day Ecuador whitewater rafting run. Before today's adventure begins, you'll walk in the rainforest to some naturally-formed swimming pools and have a safety briefing. Your rafting route of breathtaking landscapes, abundant birdlife and crystal clear water passes riverbank indigenous communities with small bamboo houses. The Jatunyacu is famed for its Class III and III+ rapids, its big waves, fun holes and high volume of water. In the afternoon, you'll drive back into the Andes, climbing from 1,500 to 10,000 feet to reach the Papallacta Hotsprings Resort and Spa, nestled in a cloud forest. First, you will stop to meet the Waira Churis. Also known as the “Wind Dancers”, this friendly group will share and teach you about their way of life, culture, and traditions. Many of these values will come to life through traditional dances. You will continue your journey through the Andes and through other national parks with great jungle scenery. In the evening, you'll relax in the therapeutic alkaline-rich natural thermal waters of Papallacta followed by a restful night in your lodgings at Papallacta Hot Springs Resort. (B,L,D)

This morning we drive to the Quisato equatorial monument shaped like star of eight points, representing pre-colonial and Incan indigenous beliefs that 0º latitude was the center of time and measurement. Learn about Ecuador’s geographic position and how its location on the equator influences its many cultures, climates, and biological diversity. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the towns of Otavalo and Peguche, where Ecuador’s indigenous culture and heritage is visible in their famous markets full of colorful textiles, traditional handicrafts, and more. We spend time one-on-one with local weavers who share the secrets of their craft that have been passed down for generations, and visit the Andean Music Museum to hear the traditional instrumental and vocal sounds of the Andes. Return to Quito in the late afternoon. (B, L)
In the morning, an SE representative picks you up at your hotel and transfers you to the airport for your flight to San Cristobal Island. After arrival and orientation, you'll enjoy lunch in town.  In the afternoon, visit the Interpretation Center and learn about the unique natural and human history of the Galapagos. Hike to Frigate Hill along natural trails formed of lava rocks. The path is surrounded by native plants like Galapagos cotton, Palo Santo, acacia, and cacti, and we will spot blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, pelicans, herons, gulls, warblers, mockingbirds, and finches in the vegetation and sea cliffs. Our guides interpret this amazing flora and fauna in the context of the natural history we just learned. We also enjoy scenic views of the rugged coastline and the tranquil town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. End this day at the Bay where Darwin disembarked for the first time in the Galápagos and enjoy your second snorkeling activity with playful sea lions and colorful fish.  Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight. (B,L,D)
Transfer to the coastline where your kayaks are waiting for you. Paddle along the coastal bays and coves of San Cristobal’s north coast, full of blue footed boobies, frigate birds, sea lions, and sea turtles. Keep your eyes out for rays swimming below and marine iguanas perching on lava rocks along the coast. In the afternoon, leave your kayaks and continue exploring by boat. The visiting site will depend on the day of the week, according to Galapagos National Park regulations. You will swim with sea lions and snorkeling all while on the lookout for spotted eagle rays, golden rays, Galapagos sharks, starfish, clams, and fish of every shape, size, and color. With luck, you might even see some menacing but harmless hammerhead sharks! (B, L)
After breakfast, you'll take a small plane to Isabela Island, the largest and most volcanically active island in the Galapagos. After arrival, you pick up mountain bikes in Puerto Villamil and begin biking through the town’s sandy streets toward the Wall of Tears. Leaving town and following a sandy coastal path, you enjoy gorgeous views of white sand beaches and the sparkling ocean beyond. A stop at a brackish lagoon provides the opportunity to spot flamingos before turning inland toward a great lookout tower offering expansive views of the town, beaches and the Pacific Ocean. Continue further until you reach the Wall of Tears (Muro de las Lagrimas), a lava rock wall built by prisoners between 1946 and 1959 when Isabela was used as a penal colony. On the way back to town, pass through a manzanillo forest surrounded by wetlands, home to the famous giant pink flamingos a delightful and unexpected sight for Galapagos! The path leads you to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, where you’ll have the opportunity to see hatchlings and adolescent tortoises up close.We will also see sharks, marine turtles, sea lions and much more wildlife as we explore its many small coves and beaches. Return to your hotel and enjoy a free evening of beach strolling at sunset and dinner at a seaside restaurant. (B,L)
Get ready for an exhilarating day - you’re heading up a volcano! Sierra Negra Volcano is one of the island’s most active volcanoes and last erupted in October 2005. As you hike to the perimeter of the caldera, be on the lookout for bird species found only in the highlands, such as the bright red vermillion flycatcher and the elusive short-eared owl. Once you reach the rim, you’ll be met with a panoramic view that stretches across one the largest calderas in the world. Continue on to traverse the vast lava fields of Volcan Chico en route for a lookout that boasts breathtaking views reaching north of Isabela. On the way back to town, we’ll make a stop at a hacienda local coffee and seasonal fruits. Once you’re back in town, the rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy the gorgeous white sand beach of Isabela followed by a beautiful sunset. (B,L)

In the early morning, you will be transferred from Isabela to Baltra Island to board your flight back to mainland Quito, Ecuador. Arrival and transfer to your hotel for the evening. (B)

Day 12: QUITO - HOME

Transfer to the airport for the international departure home, the end of Southern Explorations services. If you are interested in more Galapagos tours, trip extensions to other regions or extra days in Quito, we would be happy to arrange them. (B)


When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Due to fairly stable seasonal weather conditions in Ecuador, travelers can enjoy year-round travel to the country. Some areas have better weather at certain times of the year, but it is always a good time to travel to Ecuador. Ecuador has a surprising variety of climates. The weather can be very localized and tends to change quickly because of the country’s unique geography. Located on the Equator, Ecuador is divided into four main regions: the Andes, the Amazon, the Coast, and the Galapagos Islands. Within these four regions of this small country, roughly the size of Colorado, elements of all four seasons can occur in a single day.

The Andes (Highlands)
Visitors can experience the Andean Highlands year-round, though June to September and late November to mid-January tend to be the drier months. February to May and October to mid-November are considered the rainier season. During the rainier months, one will find warm sunny weather in the morning followed by almost daily showers in the afternoon. Temperatures show little variance throughout the year with averages in the 60s during the day and 50s at night, though sunny days may get into the 70s and cooler nights may drop into the 40s. Despite these averages, it is common to have rainy streaks in the dry season and nice sunny weather in the wet season. It is best to come prepared for both rain and sun, as visitors will likely run into both during any month of the year. Warm days and cool nights are normal so packing layers is essential.

The Amazon
The Amazon basin is what you would expect of a tropical rainforest: wet, hot and humid. January marks the beginning of the less rainy period, which extends through March. Calling this the dry season would be a misnomer as it still rains quite frequently. March through July tends to be rainier than the first two months of the year, with July tending to be the rainiest. August through December is known as the fluctuation season. During this time, it is nearly impossible to predict weather patterns. One minute could be hot and sunny with clear blue skies and then the next minute a heavy downpour could begin. Temperatures year-round range in the 80s (27-33°C) and rain, sometimes even cool rainstorms, can be expected most days in the afternoon, as the Amazon basin is truly a rainforest. Any time of year is great to visit the Ecuadorian Amazon despite the level of rain. Contrary to what one may think, the months with higher averages of rainfall are great times to visit. Higher levels of rain increase fruit production, which results in more activity from monkeys and other fruit eating species. The Amazon is an unpredictable environment from both a weather and wildlife standpoint. The best approach for visitors to have an excellent Amazonian experience is to come prepared for the unexpected and to have an open mind!

The Coast
On coast, the dry season runs from about June to December with a temperature drop to the high 70s. The garua, a damp mist, has a tendency to cast itself over the coastline and the sun. The sun can disappear for three months at a time. Then in January to June, temperatures go up and despite the occasional heavy rain, the days will be bright and sunny.

The Galapagos
The great weather of the Galapagos Islands makes them a fantastic destination for travel year-round. Every month of the year is a good time to enjoy a tour of the region. The Galapagos Islands have a subtropical climate that is almost completely determined by sea currents. Although most believe the Galapagos to be a very hot destination, the cool water currents in the area keep the climate fairly temperate year-round. The mild variations in weather from month to month result in an overall climate of warm days, cool nights and low humidity. Anytime is a great time to travel to the Galapagos; while visiting one can expect to see plenty of sunshine, blue skies and a possible chance of light rain.


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall


*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall


*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Andes, Amazon & Galapagos MultiSportTour

4 or more
3 Travelers
2 Travelers

Domestic Airfare: (in addition to package rate) Galapagos: $560

Entrance to Galapagos to National Park ($100 Adult / $50 Child)
Galapagos Transit Control Card ($20)
Holiday Week Surcharge ($290)

Single Supplement: $835
Single Supplement is the additional cost of a single traveler not sharing a room in double occupancy.

Included in tour cost
  • All land and sea transportation during the itinerary
  • Mountain biking gear
  • Rafting equipment
  • Paddling gear
  • Snorkeling gear
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Domestic airfare to and from Galapagos Islands
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee ($100 Adult/$50 Child)
  • Galapagos Transit Control Card ($20)
  • Wetsuit rental, recommended May - November
  • Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear

Andes, Amazon & Galapagos MultiSportTour

Trip Dates
This trip is available year round. Southern Explorations can arrange a group or private departure on any date that works with your schedule. Custom tours are also available. Contact us for details
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Isabela Island
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
San Cristobal Island
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Santa Cruz Island - Puerto Ayora
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.

One Day


Southern Explorations was outstanding from start to finish. Every facet of their service was friendly, polished and organized. I couldn't help but feel in the months leading up to the trip that it would be very well organized because of the impressive correspondence with Southern Explorations. The operations staff was informative and very helpful. Any questions that I emailed them were answered by the next day. Galapagos is in itself a magical destination, but one of the many things I'm telling everyone back home is how perfectly everything seemed to unfold with our guided tour. Moment by moment our activities, experiences, sights and travel arrangements just seemed to mesh seamlessly.I'm well-travelled, but this is my first time writing a travel review. I understand the benefit of constructive criticism, but I honestly can't think of one thing to complain about. Southern Explorations all the way! - Liam Pigott, Canada (Galapagos Island Land)

We had a wonderful trip. Fabricio really made sure that everything was carried out without a hitch. We greatly appreciate all that he did and shared with us. We have some wonderful memories. Thank you Southern Explorations for making our trip possible. - Cunningham Family, Washington (Galapagos Island Land)


Our family had the most wonderful adventure in the Galapagos! The travel reps at Southern Explorations and especially our guide - Felipe - worked hard to make sure that all our needs were met. we were able to sit back and enjoy a most wonderful ride. - Grace Ott (Galapagos Island Land)

We were impressed with the initial specific and prompt information given us. Our whole trip reflected this professional, attentive response. I think we saw the best that the Galapagos has to offer whether it be the geography, the land wildlife or the sea life. Our guide, Alfredo, showed deep knowledge of all these things and helped us appreciate these varied, often strange and mostly beautiful islands. - Carol Saunders, Colorado (Galapagos Island Land)


We learned a ton, we had a blast at each stop, we had excellent guides throughout, and every thing felt necessary to us. Felipe kept us going in a fun and interesting way, was always helpful in answering our questions and enthusiastically leading us through our experience - offering tons of information and able assistance throughout. Your staff in Seattle was tremendous, patiently answering all of our questions in a timely and complete fashion. - Jeff Schneider (Galapagos Island Land)

The best guided tour I've ever taken. Our guide was well-educated and delightful. The restaurants served local dishes with fresh ingredients that North Americans could appreciate. We had a great time. - Kris Stred, Washington (Galapagos Island Land)

The guide was great. He was knowledgeable about the natural history and the Darwiniana. (That's what I came for.) He was a great snorkeling guide (that's for and what my wife enjoyed most). He chose restaurants and seafood (our favorite) well. And then set up a basketball game with local friends for our son on the last day. We've done a lot of international travel with my own professional activities.   -Bill Hyde, Colorado (Galapagos Island Land)

I just want to emphasize the fact that Southern Explorations was so organized, so accommodating, that I could not ask for a better experience! We are already thinking about joining SE for Peru, Machu Picchu, and the Amazon.   - Phil Merta (Galapagos Island Land)

The trip to the Galapagos was amazing! It almost seemed like we were getting a private tour of the islands, since we barely ran into any other tour groups. I also liked the fact that we did some activities that not all tourists seem to do, so that we have some very unique experiences. I am also extremely glad that I did some of the trip extensions (Quito city tour and Middle of the World, Cotopaxi, and the Bellavista Cloud Forest) before I went to the Galapagos. It really made me appreciate Ecuador and helped make my trip all the more unforgettable, especially climbing Cotopaxi. Everything ran smoothly and efficiently, and the guides were fonts of knowledge, attentive, and extremely personable. I could not have dreamed of a better vacation! - Marie Gardner, Virginia (Galapagos Island Land & Ecuador)

One of the best, if not the very best, holidays I have ever had. I will definitely choose Southern Explorations for my future trips to South America.   - Yelena Belozyorova, England (Galapagos Island Land)

“I can’t say enough great things about my trip. I have certainly praised Southern Explorations to my friends, family and co-workers. What a wonderful experience. It was fun, exciting, relaxing, and informative and I can’t say that I had any bad experiences. I am ready to go on another trip. If anything it wasn’t long enough. I could stay their forever!!! Marisa was wonderful and did such a great job on the planning and making sure everything was great for our trip before, during and after. - Teresa Leamy, Vermont (Galapagos Island Land)

The Galapagos trip has truly been one of my most favorite trips ever. I absolutely loved the amazing wildlife. Snorkeling with the sea lions and the gigantic sea turtles were the top highlights. The people were so unbelievably kind and friendly to us. I'm a born and raised city girl so I still can't believe I sat on a beach in Isabela and watched the sunset with a beer in my hand while sea lions come and go next to me. I honestly believe that I will go back to the Galapagos in a few years again. This time I'll bring my nephew and I will definitely use Southern Explorations again. Thanks so much for everything. - Leslie Ung, California (Galapagos Island Land)

Thanks for your help in planning and arranging our wonderful experience in The Galapagos Islands. Our family had a great time on the Multi-Sport Adventure and will always treasure our memories of the island experience and our fabulous guide, Andreas. - Ron, Terry, Evan, Jessy and Roxane Dorn (Galapagos Island Land)

I can't imagine trying to arrange all of the transfers and transportation. It's definitely worth going on a pre-arranged trip. I'd have no idea where to begin arranging all of the details. The whole trip flowed quite well.   - Julie Johnson, Florida (Galapagos Island Land)

Ecuador - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: We offer both active and cultural tours that visit different regions including the Andes, Amazon and the Ecuadorian coast. These tours vary in length and level of accommodation. Our Adventure Travel Coordinators would be happy to chat with you to help you find the itinerary that best meets your needs and interests.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! We are happy to put together a custom Ecuador itinerary for you if our existing itineraries are not exactly what you are looking for. You can also check out our extensions in mainland Ecuador to make additions to our existing trips. Contact a trip specialist for recommendations.
Q: When is the best time to go to Ecuador?
A: Peak tourism season in Ecuador corresponds with North American and European vacation periods over the summer and the winter holidays, rather than the weather, which is fairly consistent with warm and sunny days throughout the year. All of our trips run year-round, but a few trekking or wildlife-specific itineraries are better during some months than others. Please check with your Adventure Travel Coordinator for more details.
Q: What is the weather like?
A: The weather in Ecuador is pleasant year-round. There is a wet season and a dry season, but this varies depending on which region of the country you are in. Even in the wet season, you will experience plenty of clear, sunny days. The Andean Highlands are a great place to visit year-round with temperatures in the 60s during the day. Occasional light showers can happen anytime, but heavy afternoon rains are common here from January to May. You have the best odds for clear views of Ecuador’s many volcanoes in the months of June, July, August and September, but you will often have views in the morning throughout the year. The Amazon region is hot, humid and wet throughout the year, with the wettest months being from April to June. Please consult the weather tab on your trip itinerary for more details.
Q: What is a typical day like on an Ecuador trip? 
A: A typical day in Ecuador will vary from tour to tour, but generally, you can expect to start your excursions right after breakfast with a full day of scheduled activities or sightseeing. A lunch break is included and you’ll retire to your hotel in the late afternoon with evenings free.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip to Ecuador? 
A: Our Ecuador trips vary in level of activity, so the requirements differ based on itinerary. Please check our physical ratings for each itinerary to see what may be required of you when assessing your ability to enjoy a trip. If you have any specific questions, please contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator. We have personal experience with these activities and can help you decide whether a trip is right for you.
Q: How much time do I need to visit Ecuador?
A: Most of our mainland Ecuador itineraries are at least nine days in length, but we do offer some lodge-based trips and cruises that can be done in a week or less.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: For the best guide availability and selection in hotels, we recommend booking three to six months in advance. Spring and summer holidays book up more quickly, so more advance planning is ideal. For the holiday season, we recommend booking a year in advance.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: Our guides have been carefully selected for their knowledge, professionalism, experience and ability to effectively manage groups with finesse. We only hire guides who are native to the destination and are licensed or certified in accordance with the government regulations of their country. All are fluent in Spanish and English. Most have advanced degrees in tourism, biology, native culture or other related field. All guides are experienced in the outdoors and trained in basic first aid.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: In major cities we offer a variety of hotels including several boutique, Ecuadorian-style properties. Throughout the rest of mainland Ecuador we work with a combination of historic haciendas, small Ecuadorian-style hotels and remote lodges. The majority of the properties are family-run or locally owned. All of our accommodations are clean and comfortable, with private bathrooms and hot water. We offer basic or luxury options in many locations, depending on taste and budget.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: Travelers are responsible for their own international airfare. Internal flights are quoted separately from our base trip costs. We will include any necessary internal flight pricing in your quote.
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: Most of our Ecuador tours are private, with a guide and vehicle just for your family or group. Visits to haciendas or lodges may include tours with small groups, but do not exceed eight people.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary.  This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.