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Ecuador's colors and contrasts are featured on this incredible exploration from Otavalo's outdoor market, Cotopaxi National Park, Devil's Nose Train and to UNESCO World Heritage sites like Quito and Cuenca.
You'll enjoy Insider moments like… taking in the dramatic architecture of Ecuador, from its churches to its cobblestone streets. It's where you'll learn all about the art of decadent chocolate-making and the ancient weaving culture used to create Panama hats.
8 nights' accommodations, 8 full breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||AvailabilityPrice|
|12 Mar 17||20 Mar 17||$2,295$2,123pp|
|17 Sep 17||25 Sep 17||$2,295$2,123pp||
$2,295 $2,123 pp
|12 Nov 17||20 Nov 17||$2,295$2,123pp||
$2,295 $2,123 pp
|3 Dec 17||11 Dec 17||$2,295$2,123pp||
$2,295 $2,123 pp
Crossovers: These departures will operate as per the 2016 itinerary; hotels and inclusions may vary.
Festival Departure: Christmas celebration is arranged for this departure.
Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
Single Room Supplement: from $1,975.
Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $91 per person.
Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.
Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.
Ecuador uses the US Dollar. t’s generally a good idea to carry some cash on you while you travel; however, you will be able to pay with your debit or credit card in many places. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.
Ecuadorean cuisine makes use of the country’s bountiful seafood and its many mountain crops. Potatoes are indigenous to the Andes, which produce over 2000 varieties of tubers. Most meals include rice and potatoes as the primary starches, however plantains and yucca are also frequently eaten. Many meals include a soup course; locro de papa is a delicious creamy soup made of sweet potatoes, avocados, and cheese. Another regional favorite is encebollado, a tomato-based fish soup filled with yucca and marinated vegetables. Maize dumplings, humitas, are slightly sweet and served in corn husks, and commonly sold at markets or by street vendors. Pork is a popular meat, often served roasted on a spit or fried. If you find yourself getting chilly in the highlands, stop for a steaming mug of canelazo, hot water with rum, cinnamon, sugar and lemon.
We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Sturdy walking shoes are important, and you will likely want a light jacket for evenings at high altitude. Insect repellent and sunscreen may come in handy, as well as a light jacket and reusable water bottle. A more formal outfit will serve you if you plan on dining out in nicer restaurants. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.
When dining out at restaurants it is appropriate to leave up to 10 percent gratuity.
At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director. Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit. A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.
Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.
You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions. All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers. In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.
If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.
We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.
Extend your vacation with a post-itinerary 5 day Galapagos Islands Cruise package.
Prices for the extension start at $4,187* per person twin share (single supplement from $3425).
Prices include internal flights, Galapagos National Park fees, Galapagos Transit Control Card, and all taxes and gratuities on board the cruise. Please note that guaranteed room share is not available on this extension.
DAY 1 - 8 Operate per Secrets of Ecuador Itinerary
DAY 9 QUITO - GALAPAGOS CRUISE - SANTA CRUZ ISLAND (4 NIGHTS)
Fly to Baltra Island and transfer by ferry to Santa Cruz Island. Visit Las Bachas and its salt water lagoons. These lagoons are the feeding grounds for many different types of wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. Board your ship and enjoy a Welcome Drink before dinner.
DAY 10 SANTIAGO ISLAND
Explore the coastline along the imposing cliffs of Buccaneer Cove. Enjoy the fantastic natural formations such as the Elephant Rock, The Bishop, and an impressive natural cave. Depart for Santiago Island and Puerto Egas where you might catch a glimpse of some marine birds amidst the lava flows and tuff-stone layers.
DAY 11 RABIDA ISLAND - BARTOLOME ISLAND
Land near a red colored beach on Rabida Island, where sea lions and marine iguanas laze on the rocks. With your choice of sightseeing, either get up close and personal with vibrant undersea colonies on a snorkel excursion, or view them from a glass bottom or panga boat. Visit Bartolome Island with its stunning landscapes. Hike to the island summit for impressive views. The island is also home to the Galapagos Penguin, the only penguin species to live near the Equator.
DAY 12 GENOVESA
The morning begins with a climb to a flat, rocky plateau. Along the way, you might have the chance to observe large colonies of Nazca, red-footed boobies, and great frigate birds. Or perhaps enjoy a panga boat ride along the cliffs (weather permitting). In the afternoon, land at Darwin Bay to enjoy some swimming and snorkeling. Later enjoy a leisurely stroll to observe more of the native wildlife.
DAY 13 SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND - GUAYAQUIL
Transfer to Guayaquil Airport for your flight home. Airport arrival will be at 4.30pm - please be aware when booking your flights to the USA (not included in the extension price). Should you choose to extend your stay, you will be transferred to the Guayaquil hotel.
*Prices are accurate as of 17 October 2016.
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