Galapagos & Amazon

Many people dream of traveling down the Amazon and cruising through the wildlife mecca of the Galapagos Islands. There are Galapagos tours, and there are Amazon tours. Here is an opportunity to experience both exotic destinations in one all-inclusive Ecuador vacation package. The adventure begins with two days in the splendor of the Amazon, staying at the comfortable Sacha Lodge, eco-accommodations in the heart of the rainforest surrounded by lush vegetation and abundant tropical wildlife. ... READ MORE >>
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Arrival and transfer to your Quito hotel. If you arrive early for your Ecuador adventure travel tour, we can arrange optional tours to explore the city, its museums and other sites of interest.


In the morning you'll be transferred to the Quito airport for a breathtaking flight high over the Andes to the frontier town of Coca. From Coca, a motorized canoe will deliver you to the Sacha Lodge along the Napo, one of the main tributaries of the Amazon. To help you get your bearings on arrival, you'll receive a welcome orientation with refreshments. Spend the rest of the day getting acquainted with all the lodge has to offer on a guided walk through the Amazon jungle and visiting an amazing butterfly farm. (B,L,D)


Amazon tours are known for their lush, exciting ecology, and this one is no exception. Your two days in the rainforest are filled with fascinating activities, including jungle walks, dugout canoe rides, birdwatching and visits to the clay lick favored by parrots where you'll witness some of the jungle's most colorful displays. On this Amazon adventure, you'll also explore the rainforest from the treetops on the lodge's observation tower and canopy walkway. (B,L,D)


In the early morning, you'll depart the Amazon for the airport to take the return flight to the capital. You'll be transferred to your Quito hotel and have the rest of the day and evening to yourself on the eve of your Galapagos tours. (B)


Another early morning transfer will take you to the airport for the 600-mile flight to the Galapagos. Galapagos island tours are a varied mix of some of the world’s most fascinating flora and fauna. Upon arriving in the Islands, you'll be transferred to your vessel to begin your Galapagos wildlife adventure. Depending on the Galapagos cruise you've selected, you'll be spending five to eight glorious days in this magical archipelago. (B,L,D)


According to your chosen itinerary, you will visit between four and ten different islands. Each of the Galapagos Islands has its own particular topography, ecology and wildlife. Dinghies provide daily transport to shore for walking tours, enabling you to get closer wildlife views. All tours allow ample time for the activities included in the itinerary, whether snorkeling, scuba diving or swimming. If you prefer pure relaxation, you'll find it on the boat as well as under the equatorial sun on the beach. For more details, please refer to the individual vessel itineraries. (B,L,D)


Alas, Galapagos tours don't last forever. Your final morning will include one last island visit before being transferred from the vessel to the airport for your return flight to Quito. Arrive in the late afternoon and transfer to your comfortable Quito hotel. (B)


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


Galapagos & Amazon Tour 10+ Days

Starting at
Cruise Class4D/3N Cruise5D/4N Cruise8D/7N Cruise
Tourist Superior$4300$5100$6700
First Class$4500$5100$6800
Cruise Ship$4355$4955$6355
Luxury Cruise$5545$6145$9345

This tour combines any Galapagos cruise of your choice with the Amazon.  Your trip costs depend on which vessel and cruise duration you select, as well as which Amazon option you choose.  Prices listed here are per person starting at rates.

Domestic Airfare:
Galapagos: $560

Entrance to Galapagos to National Park: $100 Adult / $50 Child
Galapagos Transit Control Card: $20

A single supplement applies to single travelers in a private cabin. Single travelers willing to share a cabin with another passenger of the same gender can avoid the single supplement on certain vessels.


Included in tour cost
  • Galapagos cruise
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee ($100 Adult/$50 Child)
  • Galapagos Transit Control Card ($20)
  • Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear

Galapagos & Amazon Tour 10+ Days

Trip Dates
Departure dates depend on the duration of your Galapagos cruise and the boat of your choice. Please contact us for more details.
Wednesday, January 1, 2020 to Thursday, December 31, 2020
Contact Us
Sacha Lodge
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
  • 4 Star
     Included Hotel (subject to availability) 
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.

One Day


galapagos tourOur group planned this trip 18 months in advance. We are a disparate set of personalities, many of us are well-traveled and research our planned activities. Speaking for our group, and I feel comfortable doing so because everyone has written me stating that our Galapagos Trip was the best of their lives. We cannot say enough about the Grace. Every aspect of the trip was well planned and executed. The food and services were excellent. Our rooms were very well maintained at least twice a day. The facilities served our group of 18 perfectly. We especially liked the daily briefings so that we were aware of what was coming, but the map on the wall in the lounge that was updated twice a day made our experience extremely pleasant. The chef and Michelle could not have been nicer. Both in food and drink served, personality and service. The Captain and crew, especially the Panga crew, were so kind and made our trips easy. And they watched out for us when we were in the water. But best of all were our Naturalists. They made the daily experience a real treat. Both Raffa and Sam were also fun to be with. And to top it off, Raffa gave us a copy of all 500 photos he had taken on his own camera so that his photo dates and the daily drawings on the map made it easy for us to reconstruct the trip. Please express our gratitude to the entire staff of the Grace. - Team Binder (Galapagos onboard the Grace)

machu picchu travelWe just returned from our Galapagos/Machu Picchu trip and I wanted to send you a note to thank you for planning such a phenomenal trip for us! Juan, our guide, and Boris, our driver, were FANTASTIC! The bus we traveled on was much larger than we anticipated and a great way to travel around!  We cannot say enough nice things about Juan and Boris! They were flexible with our schedule, providing extra time to us when we wanted it at the market in Pisac, able to provide other options for us when a planned activity had to be cancelled due to a mudslide, and even stopped on the side of the road for us to grab some cuy (guinea pig being roasted on a stick in this tiny town we were passing through). There is so much more I could say. Trip of a lifetime! I will definitely recommend you to everyone! - Debbie Cohen (Ocean Spray & Machu Picchu)

galapagos islandsWe had a great trip - very impressed with Southern Explorations. Jorge, your representative in Quito was super. He was always on time, friendly and informative as well as a great ambassador for his country. All the connections were on time and well planned- would consider another trip with Southern Explorations. - Roger & Pricilla Beaver, Indiana (Galapagos Island Cruise & Amazon Lodge)

galapagos islandsI researched both local and website travel agents and Southern Explorations was the only one I found that was both knowledgeable and easy to use. Their rates were also at or below the other websites for quotes on the very same vessels. The ability to use the website and also call to speak to actual people who had been on this trip gave us so much more confidence. We would use Southern Explorations again! Galapagos Islands is the trip of a lifetime! - Susan Mehall, Virginia (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos islands culture

Best trip so far and I have been around the world...I cried when I got off the boat. Jorge was a great guid in Ecuador and one that was perfect for us, not pushy, did anything we wanted. We felt like all were our friends after the trip and really would love to continue to be in touch with them all, as they were super people.  -Kathy Harvey, Massachusetts (Galapagos Island Cruise)

The overall holiday was excellent. The Southern Explorations element was fantastic and the Eclipse could not be faulted, except I ate far too much!  - Natasha Rowlands, UK (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos sea lionA phenomenal experience that exceeded our expectations. Superb customer service from start to finish. The itinerary allowed us to experience a variety of islands, species and geography. The guides were engaging and informative, we learned a tremendous amount without feeling 'taught'. The ship's crew were friendly and fun while insuring top-notch cleanliness and delicious meals and snacks. It is great to come home and think ‘I wouldn't change a thing- it was perfect'.  - Carol Majewski, New Hampshire (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos islandsIt’s been about two weeks now since we returned from our wonderful Galapagos adventure. Now that we’ve had time to really reflect upon that wonderful experience we are beginning to realize how truly spectacular and inspirational it was and how much it has enriched our lives and our appreciation thereof. Thus, I am compelled to tell you how much we appreciate your efforts and those of the other fine folks at Southern Explorations including, but not limited to Eric, Justin and Jorge (Quito Rep.). You and your colleagues at Southern Explorations demonstrated your commitment to insuring your customer’s having a well-organized, informative and most enjoyable adventure. I especially appreciate your and your colleagues’ rapid response to our group’s questions and requests during the planning stages of our trip. During that time we made several inquiries about the itinerary, craft, clothing, and onshore accommodations. Without exception, you folks responded, in detail, within 24 hours of each inquiry.I know that you receive evaluations from all your clients and cannot imagine that the vast majority of them are of a most positive nature. Likewise, we returned our original evaluation which reflected our enjoyment of the Galapagos adventure and the excellent service you and Southern Explorations provided to make it happen. However, now that we had more time to truly reflect upon our experience and compare notes with many of our friends about similar experiences, we just want to extend our special thanks to you for an outstanding experience that will make each sunrise a little brighter and each sunset something more to contemplate. Gracias!  - Charlie and Joyce Ault, New Mexico (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos islands travelOur experience with Southern Explorations has been nothing short of fantastic. My husband and I believe this to be the BEST vacation we have ever taken. The crew of the Athalla II was phenomenal. We were not sure what to expect since this was our first small boat cruise. We are thrilled with all that we saw and accomplished. Our vacation was amazing thanks to you, our Quito guide, the Athala II, her wonderful crew and our Galapagos guide/naturalist.  - Cindy Miller, Maryland (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos islands travelOur trip to Quito and the Galapagos Islands was the trip of a lifetime and it did not disappoint. Booking through Southern Explorations made it very easy and worry free. It was nice to have someone to pick us up at the airport and drive us to our hotel (I fear we never would have found it!) and to be there for all of our transfers to and from tours and flights. The Galapagos Islands adventure is worth every penny that you have to save to make it happen and if you are a nature lover, you simply must go. - Darcy and Daniel Keep, USA (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos sea lionI don't believe I've ever felt so taken care of...every step of the way. It was an incredible experience. I highly recommend Southern Explorations and plan to use them for my next excursion...wherever that may be!  -Jan McArdle, California (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos islands travelMy husband and I would like to say how much we enjoyed our family holiday to the Galapagos , and thank you for making all the arrangements for 18 of us. We had an unforgettable experience thanks to Southern Explorations!  - Mary and Tim Stoneman (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos tortoisesOur trip to the Galapagos was more amazing than I could have imagined. The boat, Nemo II, was the perfect size for our family -- and much better than one of the larger ships. My daughter (age 10) loved being on a catamaran - and the crew was very friendly and welcoming to her. The rooms were comfortable and clean with nice bathrooms. We went walking and snorkeling every day - usually two hikes and one snorkel. Our guide was excellent - very knowledgeable and well-spoken. She showed a great deal of pride in the islands and in conservation efforts. My daughter learned more in 1-day than she would have from all 6 days of school that she missed. It was a great trip!  - Molly Stevens and Family (Galapagos Island Cruise)


galapagos tortoiseThank-you for the trip of a life time and I have already recommended you to everyone who asks!  - Wendy Williams, Alberta, Canada (Galapagos Island Cruise & Machu Picchu)

galapagos islands travelSouthern Explorations was great to work with. Customer service and follow up were outstanding.  - Amy Fisher & Deborah Boardman, Virginia (Galapagos Island Cruise)

galapagos islands tourIt's one thing to have a great experience planning and booking the trip - Carrie Beck answered every question gently, helpfully and thoroughly, even providing website links and additional helpful advice beyond my original question. It's another to receive such warm and inspiring follow up - we received a welcome packet with 2 Southern Exploration caps, advice on packing and restaurants in the areas we would visit, as well as websites for the sites during our trip. We were totally prepared for each aspect of the trip. Each person we encountered on the trip surpassed our expectations of service, knowledge, friendliness, and flexibility. Not a single person said "That's not my job." - every single person from the driver who picked us up at the airport to the captain of the Anahi boat pitched in where needed. Each hotel experience was a higher level than we had expected, every restaurant referral was fabulous, even the weather during our stay was wonderful!!! Now THAT'S a great travel company!!!  - Pamela Chaves, New Mexico (Galapagos Island Cruise)

What an incredible experience! From Quito, Ecuador to the cloud forest of Bellavista and on to the Galapagos Islands: Southern Explorations pulled together an amazing package that included a top-notch boat, excellent guides, and delicious food! And of course, we'll never forget the fantastic wildlife.  All in all, it was the best - the trip of a lifetime! For our next trip to Central or South America, we would definitely work with Southern Explorations again! - Aimee and Michael Cossen (Galapagos Eclipse and Bellavista Cloud Forest)

I was very impressed with the organization of our trip.  Everything Southern Explorations was responsible for went smoothly and everything was on schedule.  The Manatee on the Amazon had some initial trouble but it could not have been known or anticipated by SE.  Once again I would like to compliment Jorge on his work.  He made our comings and goings to and from Quito very easy.  If I go to South America again my first call will be to Southern Explorations. Thank you. - Peter Tuck, CA (Corals & Manatee)

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.