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Galapagos + The Rainforest

8 days

A uniquely flexible private luxury journey.

Our Distinctive A+R Style

  • Our luxury rainforest lodge was specifically designed and engineered for a uniquely immersive and interactive experience in the private, 2,500-acre Mashpi Biodiversity Reserve.
  • Your choice of included, guided expeditions at Mashpi reveal the mysteries and marvels of the forest including 400 bird species, rare frogs, and endemic species found nowhere else on Earth.
  • Spend three nights at our inviting Galapagos resort, and see Giant Tortoises in the native habitat deep in the verdant Santa Cruz Highlands.
  • Tailor your exploration of the Galapagos with the included, naturalist-guided excursion of your choice—traveling by chartered yacht to explore the geology, flora and fauna of another island in the archipelago.
  • With 7 nights in our luxury forest lodge and deluxe Galapagos resort hotel; 18 meals with wine at dinner; your choice of naturalist-guided expeditions in the Mashpi Reserve and Galapagos Islands; all transfers, all park entry fees; both internal flights; all luggage handling, taxes and fees; and all gratuities except for your guides.
Visit 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites c

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Day
1

On arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and chauffeured to Casa Gangotena, our luxury boutique hotel in the historic heart of the World Heritage capital

Day
2

Transfer to Mashpi Lodge

Mashpi Lodge - Quito, Ecuador

After breakfast, you’ll embark on a scenic overland journey that takes you north of the capital and across the Equator into the heart of Ecuador’s picturesque mountain landscapes. By midday, you’ll be well within the Mashpi Reserve, 2,500 private acres of pristine wilderness uniquely situated between lower montane rainforest and the cool cloud forest. Enjoy lunch with a welcome glass of wine and then settle in to your spacious, stylishly appointed guestroom here at Mashpi Lodge.
 
During your stay at Mashpi, you’ll enjoy a full program of included excursions. Led by our expert naturalist guide, you’ll join other lodge guests this afternoon for your first activity – an introduction to the Reserve’s remarkable flora and fauna. Later tonight, you might embark on a guided 45-minute walk along the Luminous Trail: Learn about the nocturnal denizens of the cloud forest as you walk with flashlights and listen to the calls, croaks and hums of the night birds, frogs and insects. Turning off your flashlight, you might observe the glowing eyes of forest insects and the soft glow of the bio-luminescent fox fire fungus.  Meals B+L+D

Day
3

Choose Your Adventure

Mashpi Lodge - Quito, Ecuador

Wake up to captivating views through the floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows of your spacious guestroom—designed to immerse you in the verdant beauty of the surrounding rainforest. Then join our naturalists for some coffee, tea or hot chocolate on the lodge’s viewing platform. Binoculars are provided and this early hour is a great time to observe the many colorful birds that inhabit the dense forests.
 
After breakfast, you can tailor your exploration of Mashpi’s wilderness with the included expeditions of your choice; each activity is comprised of a small number of other lodge guests and an experienced naturalist guide. With an extensive network of trails, there are a variety of walks and treks for guests of varying physical fitness. A few of the more challenging hikes lead to spectacular waterfalls where you can go for a dip or refresh beneath the cascading waters. In addition to the hiking trails, an 85-foot tall observation tower and an open-air gondola offer an exciting way to explore the forest canopy. In between your included activities, you might visit the Wellness Center with its open-air hot tub, spa and outdoor yoga deck. Please note that the excursions offered during your stay at Mashpi will depend upon weather and trail conditions
 
Here are some of the included nature activities that are offered to enrich your rainforest discoveries:
 
Dragonfly Adventure: Exclusive to Mashpi, this open-air cable car experience takes you above and through the forest canopy for a unique perspective of the jungle. Covering a total of nearly 2.5 miles, your guide can even pause your gondola for an extended look at any flora or fauna that catches your eye!

Strangler Fig Trail: This guided 90-minute hike will introduce you to some of the remarkable plant species that thrive on our Reserve, including the towering iron palm and the curious strangler fig that lowers its roots from canopy and into the ground around its host tree.
 
The Observation Tower: One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Mashpi and its various eco-systems is from atop the 85-foot Observation Tower. Toucans, woodpeckers, barbets, tanagers and parrots are often spotted from the Tower.
 
Sky Bike Adventure: Designed for two guests, our unique Sky Bikes allow you to ride across a sturdy steel cable that has been suspended between two towering trees across a deep river gorge. It’s a fun and exciting way to experience the silent beauty of the forest.
 
Hummingbird Garden: An invigorating 3-mile walk brings you to a remote section of the Mashpi Reserve where you can observe up to 19 species of hummingbirds. Sheltered seating is provided at the site.
 
Magnolia Waterfall: Starting close to the Lodge, this sharply descending trail brings you down to the Laguna River where you’ll find a beautiful waterfall and a pool that’s ideal for a refreshing dip. The waterfall and trail are named for a new species of Magnolia that grows abundantly in the area and was just recently discovered.
 
Meals B+L+D

After breakfast, you’ll have time this morning to join one of Mashpi’s shorter excursions. Lasting about 3 hours, the hike and visit to the Life Centre is a good choice. Learn about Mashpi’s ongoing research and conservation work, and visit the nearby Butterfly Farm to see some of the 300 butterfly species that have been discovered in these forests. There are also comfortable chaise lounges where you can simply relax and take in the beauty of the forest,  maybe spotting birds and listening for the call of the mantled howler monkey.
 
A group transfer, with a stop for lunch, brings you back to the capital. Depending upon traffic and road conditions, you should be back in Quito between 4:00 and 4:30 PM.  Meals B+L

After breakfast, you’ll be chauffeured to the airport for your included flight to the Galapagos, where you’ll be met and transferred to the Royal Palm Hotel, our secluded lodge resort in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. After a welcome drink, check-in and lunch, you’ll join other hotel guests for an excursion deeper into the interior highlands to observe the giant Galapagos Tortoise in its native habitat. The tortoises wander freely between the National Park and surrounding agricultural areas, and your expert naturalist will take you through the forest and fields to get your first glimpse of these amazing creatures. This afternoon’s tour also takes you inside the nearby lava tunnels, remarkable geological formations created millennia ago by rivers of fast flowing liquid lava.  Meals B+L+D

Tailor your exploration today with the included yacht expedition of your choice. In the engaging company of an expert naturalist, you’ll join a small group of other hotel guests to experience the landscapes, flora and fauna of one of these nearby islands:

North Seymour Island + Bachas Beach: Departing at 8:00 am, this excursion lasts about 8 hours and takes you to the picturesque, mostly flat island of North Seymour. Amidst bushy vegetation interspersed with giant Candelabra Cactus Trees, you’ll find a variety of marine birds along with land iguanas and lava lizards. Blue-Footed Boobies, Frigate Birds, and a colony of sea lions are among the animals to be seen. An afternoon stop on Bachas Beach offers a chance to swim or snorkel. A walk along this lovely beach might reveal Sea Turtle nests and the chance to observe diving Boobies, Flamingos and other tropical species.

South Plaza Island + Punta Carrion: This 7.5 to 8-hour excursion departs from the hotel at 8:00 am. Stepping ashore on this picturesque island with an expert naturalist, you’ll set out in search of land iguanas and a variety of indigenous birds including Swallow-tailed Gulls and Frigate Birds. At the end of the trail, you’ll discover a raucous bachelor colony of male Sea Lions. Enjoy lunch while anchored close to the rocky shore and look for frolicking Sea Lions and Marine Iguanas diving into the ocean to feed on seaweed. In the afternoon, a short boat ride brings you to Punta Carrion, a protected cove that’s ideal for snorkeling and swimming.

Santa Fe Island: Located just south of Santa Cruz, Santa Fe Island offers a short circular trail that takes you along a cliff with captivating views. With insight from your sharp-eyed naturalist, this guided hike offers a chance to spot the Santa Fe Land Iguana, Lava Lizards, Blue-Footed Boobies and birds of prey like the Storm Petrel and Galapagos Hawk. After lunch onboard, you’ll have time to swim and snorkel in Barrington Bay where you might spot Sea Lions, Sea Turtles and Rays. This excursion departs at 8:00 am and lasts about 9.5 hours.

Bartolome Island: This day-long yacht expedition to Bartolomé Island offers spectacular volcanic landscapes and great snorkeling. The journey takes almost two hours, during which time you will have a chance to spot dolphins and even whales. The launch will stop at Daphne Island, a volcanic tuff cone formation, to view the sea lions and various seabirds that inhabit it. Upon arriving on Bartolome Island itself, you’ll see other-worldly volcanic formations as we hike to the island’s summit for striking views of the surrounding islands, Sullivan Bay and the towering Pinnacle Rock. These waters boast some of the finest snorkeling in the islands, with a good chance to spot sea turtles and harmless Whitetip reef sharks.

All four of these excursions return to the Royal Palm Hotel in time for you to refresh and relax a bit before dining at the hotel.  Meals B+L+D

After breakfast, you’ll join other hotel guests for a naturalist-guided tour designed to show you the unique features of Santa Cruz Island – starting with Cerro Mesa. Set at an elevation of more than 1,600 feet above sea level, this viewpoint offers fine clear-day views of several islands in the Galapagos archipelago. It’s also a great place to see several species of Darwin’s finches and the beautiful but elusive vermilion flycatcher.

Then continue to El Trapiche, a local coffee and sugar plantation to experience a slice of rural life. Watch the operation of a rustic, mule-driven sugar cane press and hear how the sugar cane juice is distilled into liquor. You’ll also learn about the plantation’s coffee and chocolate production. Your morning ends at Garrapatero Beach where you can swim, snorkel and watch for a variety of birds, including Flamingos, Herons, and Pintail Ducks.

After lunch, visit the esteemed Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora. This is a working research facility best known for its efforts to protect the wildlife and fragile eco-systems of the Galapagos. Along with the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, this afternoon promises an enlightening experience and a rare chance to see baby tortoises as you learn about their incubation, hatching and growth.  Meals B+L+D

Day
8

Back to the Mainland

After breakfast, we’ll take you to the airport for your included flight back to Quito or Guayaquil where you can connect to your homeward flight.  Meals B

Ask Us About Extending Your Stay! Spend more time in Quito at our luxury boutique hotel and delight in our signature privately guided sightseeing, including the historic Church of San Francisco and other Colonial landmarks in this World Heritage city. You can also add extra nights at the luxury Mashpi Lodge and at our idyllic Galapagos hotel: With more days, you can participate in additional naturalist guided explorations by land and sea.
 

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03 January 2024 - 19 December 2024$6,999
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21 December 2025 - 22 December 2025$7,399
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23 December 2025 - 31 December 2025$7,599
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