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Ecuador & Galapagos Islands

December 8-21, 2021

with Certified Sign Language Interpreter Service

Quito, capital city of Ecuador

Quito, capital city of Ecuador

Flight arrival in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. Get on the transfer shuttle to the hotel. The city has one of South America's best preserved historic centers. There are more than 30 monasteries in the city, many of them built in the baroque style. UNESCO declared the historic city center, where you can still find much of the colonial architecture, a world heritage site. The surrounding Andean mountain range is a beautiful backdrop for the city. Take a short walk on your own exploring the bustling city. Or rest and get adjusted to the high altitude of the city. Quito's elevation is 9,350 feet. Meet with your travel companions for dinner. We will have a briefing after dinner. (D)
After breakfast we drive south along the Andes, crossing through the Cotopaxi National Park. We will visit a rose farm plantation located at the base of a volcano. After learning the process of growing roses, you can have lunch on your own. We will then continue our drive in the Andes until we reach the quaint town of Banos de Agua Santa. Once in Banos we will check into the hotel and have free time to discover the town. (B,D)

Ecuador has a remarkable diversity of birds

Packaged roses ready to be shipped

Ecuador is home to a great diversity of birds including beautiful hummingbirds. Join a walk to observe some of the birds, admire their colors and shapes. A beautiful waterfall can be seen during the walk as well. In the afternoon, we drive to the Amazon where we will stay for two nights. (B,D)
Join a boat trip on the Napo River which is a main tributary of the Amazon River. As we travel further into the Amazon, we will have some stops including one at an animal rescue center. A short walk takes us to a Ceibo tree. In the past, the indigenous people made canoes from the trunks of this tree. Or you might want to go river tubing (approx. 20 min). In the afternoon you have the option to join a walk through the secondary rain forest admiring and trying natural medicine plants of the Amazon. Or stay at the hotel and relax. (B,L,D)

River Tubing

Termas De Papallacta

We leave the Amazon behind and drive back into the Andes. On the way, we will cross seven climate floors and admire stunning landscape. We will arrive at our hotel which is located in the top of the Andes. In the afternoon we will have the opportunity for a short walk on the moorlands of the Andes admiring the "paramo ecosystem". Later, we will have time to use the hot springs located in front of our cabins. Be mindful that the nights can be cold. But if we are lucky, we will see a sky full of stars. Simply enjoy the evening with your travel companions in our very cozy hotel lodge. Note: The elevation of the lodge is approx. 10,800 feet. Be mindful. (B,D)
Dec 13 ANDES
After breakfast, we continue to drive further north in the Andes until we reach San Pablo Lake. We check in at the stunning Hacienda Cusin, a restored 17th-century estate which has beautiful gardens that invite you to relax. Most guest rooms are furnished with antiques and select Andean craft, most with log-burning fireplaces and open-beamed ceilings. In the afternoon, we will visit Otavalo with its famous handicraft market. Ecuador's indigenous peoples are well known for their skills weaving textiles into clothes, blankets and traditional outfits for the local residents. And the market has a lot to offer: hats in all styles and colors, musical instruments, leather goods, purses, spices, vegetable, meat, fresh food, flowers, and much more. The market is a festival of colors and interesting fragrances. It’s a great place to do all the holiday shopping. (B,D)

We stay at the stunning Hacienda Cusin

Market in Otavalo - a festival of colors

Indigenous people of Otavalo still wear their traditional clothes.

Many goods are still handmade by indigenous people.

After breakfast, we will drive towards Ibarra city to catch the Andes train. This is a great experience to discover the landscape of the Northern Andes in comfort. At the end of the two hour ride, we will reach the village of Salinas. There, we have the opportunity to discover the history of the Afro-American people that settled in this area a long time ago. Later in the afternoon return by coach to the hacienda and enjoy dinner at the hacienda. (B,D)
Today we will drive back to Quito. On the way, we will stop at Cayambe where we will visit the Equator line, called Quitsato. This is a living museum. Here you can hop from the Northern to the Southern hemisphere. We continue to Quito. After checking in at the hotel, we invite you to join our guided city tour of colonial Quito. The city is located only 16 miles south of the Equator and enjoys a year around spring-like climate. People have inhabited the area for more than 8,000 years. But the big change came with the arrival of the Europeans who declared Quito a city in 1541. Today, the city has more than 2 million residents. In 2002 the city started to renew its historical center that is now frequented by visitors from all over the world. (B,D)

Wildlife at the Galapagos Islands

Wildlife at the Galapagos Islands

Early transfer to the airport on December 16th. We fly to Galapagos and arrive at Baltra Island. Board the ship for a 4-night Western Islands cruise. The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill). The first part of the walk here passes by a brackish-water lagoon that’s frequented by shorebirds, ducks and American flamingos. Further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as a chance to check out some land iguanas. (B,L,D)
Isabella Island is a nesting place for flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, fur seals, and boobies. Weather permitting, guests will get the chance to snorkel alongside the cliffs of this area that are rich in marine life, often times visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sun fish. Fernandina Island is the youngest island in the archipelago. The complete absence of introduced animals is one its biggest features, as Fernandina boasts a very unique environment with a very high density of marine iguanas. Other creatures found here include sea lions, Sally lightfoot crabs, hawks, penguins and flightless cormorants. (B,L,D)

Wildlife at the Galapagos Islands

Wildlife at the Galapagos Islands

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. The Station consists of a giant tortoise Breeding Center and an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest that is home to many land birds. Following this visit, guests will board a private transport to head up and enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, which is an entirely different ecosystem. In the afternoon, guests will have several options to choose from which can be discussed in advance with the Expedition Leader. (B,L,D)
Experience Baroness Cove with its breathtaking views. Later, land at Post Office Bay. Snorkeling activities are offered right off the beach. Afterwards, guests will head back aboard for lunch. Afterwards, hop on a glass-bottom boat to explore the underwater wonders around Champion Islet. Continue to Cormorant Point. Join a leisurely walk that includes a brackish-water lagoon where bird species such as American flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and other birds tend to gather. After this, guests will continue their walk over to a white-sand beach, where sea turtles emerge from the sea at night to nest (B,L,D).
We return to Quito. The hotel is located near the airport. We get together for our farewell dinner. (B,D)
Dec 21 QUITO
Guests get ready for their homebound flights. Transfer from the hotel to the airport. (B)
(B – breakfast, L – lunch, D – dinner)
The price includes:
  • accommodation
  • meals as listed above
  • train ride
  • all airport transfers
  • round trip flight to Galapagos Islands (1 checked bag max. 50 lb and 1 carry on max. 17 lb)
  • luggage transportation 1 bag per person in and out at hotels
  • sightseeing as listed above
  • transportation as listed above
  • tax to enter Galapagos National Park (US$ 120 per person)
Package Price: $8,740.00 per person (estimate)

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Price is per person, double occupancy. Payments will be made via payment plan. The itinerary, price, and information are current at the time of publication and subject to change at any time without notice. Certain restrictions may apply. Price doesn’t include travel insurance, tips, R/T air from the U.S., drinks, etc. A deposit of $750.00 per person dbl. occ. is due to make a firm reservation. The purchase of travel insurance is mandatory. Flight arrangements can be booked through Kerstin's Deaf Travel. A passport, valid for 6 months beyond the completion date of your travel is required.

Contact Kerstin's Deaf Travel to book your amazing Ecuador & Galapagos Islands tour by sending an e-mail to kerstin@kerstinstravel.com

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