Travelers: up to 16
18 days
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Arrival Point
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Trip Length
18 days
Group Size
up to 16

Meetup Tour

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Ecuador & Galapagos

You won’t be the same after experiencing this off-the-beaten-path tour of Ecuador. From the heights of the Avenue of Volcanoes to floating down the Amazon basin, and then island hoping in Galapagos, this is truly a trip of a lifetime.

Start in the vibrant city of Quito and pose with the wild horses of Cotopaxi. Be welcomed in the home of a local family and learn ancient culinary traditions before soaking in hot springs and exploring the magic of the Amazon.  Blue footed boobies, sea lions, turtles, and white sand beaches await you in the islands where you will snorkel, hike, and learn about the biodiversity from a naturalist guide.

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Highlights

Snorkel with sea lions, turtles, loads of tropical fish, and more.

women from the village Ecuador Tour

Spend 4 days in the amazon with the women of the Añangu indigenous community.

Spot giant tortoises in their natural habitat.

hot springs

Soak in volcano heated hot springs right outside your hotel room.

blue footed boobie

Watch blue footed boobies and frigatebirds perform their mating dance.

"PACHAMANKA" ANCESTRAL CULINARY EXPERIENCE

Join in a pachamanka ancestral culinary experience.

Itinerary

church towers in Quito, Ecuador

Day 1
AIRPORT PICKUP IN QUITO

Welcome to Ecuador! We will pick you up from the airport after 8am according to your arrival time. Our first hotel is in the center of the beautiful city of Quito and designed to be the perfect blend between old world architecture and modern style. This evening is yours to relax as we wait for everyone to arrive.
colorful buildings in Quito, Ecuador

Day 2
QUITO COLONIAL TOWN

Our walking tour of Quito will lead us through a whirlwind of geography and astronomy, preserved ancient architecture, indigenous art, and neo-gothic cathedrals. We will visit the old town, Middle of the World Monument, La Compañia Church, and Intiñan Museum. We will stand at exactly 0° 0’ 0” on the line of the equator! The later afternoon is yours to wander the city center with your new travel mates before we meet back up for a proper welcome dinner at one of Quito's delicious local restaurants. Meals: breakfast, dinner
horses in Cotopaxi National Park

Day 3
COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK

Start the day at Avenue of the Volcanoes! Hike through Cotopaxi National Park admiring the stunning “paramo”, or grassland landscape, with hummingbirds, wild horses, and loads of other wildlife while the Cotopaxi Volcano always lingers in the background. This afternoon, you’ve got options! Choose from one of three local activities (whatever you choose is included in the tour)…


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Horseback Riding

We’ll saddle up for a horse riding! We’ll learn the typical dress of the “chagras” (Ecuadorian cowboys) and even play a little dress up. Then we will ride out across the paramo to the slopes of the extinct volcano, Rumiñahui. A legendary chagra from the area will come with you and share his knowledge of the countryside and the life lived in these areas. Meals: breakfast, lunch

Cooking Class

The fun and all-inclusive cooking class is given by native women who will inspire and teach you their culinary secrets and techniques that have been passed down, generation to generation.  Travel through history while learning about the most representative crops in South America and how to use ancient cooking tools. Examples of some dishes you might make are “Empanadas de Viento” with “aji”, a hot chili sauce made all over Ecuador with many varieties depending on the area and culture. Enjoy the dishes with some traditional “canelazo” after learning how to make this old as time hot tea, made especially to warm up your soul in the coldest areas of the Sierra.

Ropes Course

The adventure is made possible with ladders, nets, swings, ropes, wobbly bridges, swinging logs, and other fun surprises. The course is about 20 meters above ground.  The entire course is located near the Cotopaxi Volcano standing out in the background at a hacienda near their gardens.

Meals: breakfast, lunch

CUICOCHA LAGOON

Day 4
INDIGENOUS VILLAGES & CUICOCHA LAGOON

Today, we'll visit several indigenous villages in the Northern area of the highlands and take a walk around the spectacular Cuicocha Lagoon within the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve and see first hand all of its bio-diversity. After this is one of the highlights of your Ecuador experience: a panchamanka ancestral culinary experience! Read more for all the details...


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Pachamanka ancestral culinary experience

“Pachamanka” is a word derived from Incan times. In the indigenous Quichua language it means “Pacha” for Earth and “Manka” for pot. The Pachamanka is a ceremony performed during special occasions such as the summer and winter solstices and equinox of the agricultural calendar.

The pot used during the ceremony is heated by volcanic stones and filled with food like potatoes, sweet potatoes, mellocos (similar to potato), beans, carrots, beets, plantains, and meat wrapped in achira leaves. The pot is then covered with a cloth and buried in the ground to cook. The mound where the pot is buried is adorned with flowers from the region, transforming into a beautiful Andean altar where everyone can give their thanks and appreciation.

You will be able to participate in the ceremony just like the ancient Incans once did. The foods are cooked perfectly in the pot due to the intense heat produced by the stones below ground. All the nutrients are preserved in this manner of cooking, and it is especially healthy as no condiments or additional fats are used.

This delicious dish is accompanied by chicha, a non-alcoholic version of corn beer made from different types of maize.  Overall, it is an amazing celebration and who cooks better than Mother Earth with friends gathered around?

OTAVALO MARKET

Day 5
OTAVALO MARKET & PAPALLACTA HOT SPRINGS

The Otavalo market is an ancient tradition and still is an important social and cultural event. Find music, handmade textiles, clothing, artisanal crafts, and other arts. Take some solo time to explore and shop knowing you're supporting the locals. Later we will soak in springs naturally heated by the nearby volcano with a view that where you could spot hummingbirds, wild horses, or even a bear! Meals: breakfast
kayak on playas trail in Ecuador

Day 6
COCA TO THE AÑANGU COMMUNITY

This morning we'll hop on a quick flight to Coca to begin an incredible 4 day immersive cultural visit with the Kichwa Añangu community! Once we arrive, we will be welcomed with a glass of wayusa and shown to our rooms all with views of the Amazon Rainforest. This afternoon we will hike the Playas Trail to experience amazon wildlife by the river, one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. For a little extra, you can choose to kayak watching a colorful sunset from the water. Meals: breakfast, boxed lunch, dinner
parrot clay lick in Ecuador

Day 7
AÑANGU COMMUNITY

This morning, we jump on a motor boat to Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, the parrot clay lick. Birds of all colors flock here to feed on the mineral rich clay. We'll see 11 species of parrots and parakeets, including blue-headed, yellow-crowned parrots and even dusky-headed parakeets. The afternoon and evening are with the women of the community, who will teach us the Kichwa culture, crafts, and customs. We'll hike to see monkeys, squirrel monkeys, toucans, parrots and sloths and end the day with dinner on a catamaran prepared right there with the women of Kuri Muyu. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
wayusada women

Day 8
AÑANGU COMMUNITY

Enjoy the sunrise at breakfast and then visit the sustainable community projects to talk about the Kichwa worldview. After, we will walk into the Mama Kuna trail to see ceiba trees, strangler, and bamboo cane endemic from Yasuní. After a local lunch, paddle around “Añangu” creek, a black water ecosystem where you can spot monkeys jumping from tree to tree and sometimes even giant river otters. Dinner is a local experience: maito, grilled fish wrapped in a bijao leaf, and if you want, try the grilled worms. (Vegos, you won't be left out!) After dinner, we'll walk at night around the lodge to see different kind of insects, reptiles and even nocturnal mammals like the night monkeys.
kichwa women

Day 9
AÑANGU COMMUNITY TO COCA TO QUITO

We'll join a kichwa family to share together the sacred wayusa (a traditional herbal tea) in a ceremony. This rite has been a way to pass their ancient knowledge to the new generations. There are traditional chants and the option to have dreams read with the wise old mamakuna of the community. After a boat ride for a last glimpse at the Amazon and a quick flight, we will be back in Quito for a farewell dinner and free time. Meals: breakfast, dinner
Angel Statue in Quito

Day 10
Solo Time in Quito

Today is your day to sleep in, get a little lost in the old city of Quito, maybe visit a museum and enjoy a cocktail with a view of the city. Relax before our incredible adventure continues in Galapagos. Meals: breakfast
Santa Cruz Highlands

Day 11
FLIGHT TO BALTRA, SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS

This morning we will jump on a 3 hour flight to Galapagos! We will land in Baltra and start with a tour of the highlands. We will meet the giant tortoises on a local property where these animals live in their natural habitat. This afternoon we’ll learn how sugar cane juice and aguardiente is produced and give it a try. Next up is an organic coffee demo from bean to mug. Enjoy lunch in the highlands before we check into our hotel. After you settle in, your guide will show you around the port. Meals: breakfast, lunch
iguanas in Galapagos

Day 12
BARTOLOME OR SEYMOUR

Today we will visit our third and maybe fourth Galapagos Island on an all day boat tour. The Galapagos Islands are carefully monitored to protect the incredible bio-diversity, so we will be visiting one of four islands, depending on the national park’s schedule. Read more for all the details. Meals: breakfast, lunch


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Bartolome Island:
Bartolome is the most recognizable and photographed island in the archipelago thanks to its distinctive pinnacle rock. You’ll walk along a wood trail to the top of this once-active volcano, seeing the different lava rock formations that were created during the formation of island on the way. At the top you’ll have a fantastic panoramic across to Santiago Island’s Sullivan Bay – look out for the surrounding plants like lava cactus, as well as Darwin`s finches. After the walk, take a zodiac ride along the island to meet the cheeky Galapagos penguins, and then disembark on the beach for snorkeling. This is a great place to see white tip reef sharks, sea turtles, many fish, and maybe swim alongside sea lions. 

Seymour Island:
The small island of North Seymour is home to many different species of animals, and is the best place to see the frigate birds with their bulbous red throats, watch the iconic blue footed boobies dance, spot land and marine iguanas, and search for Galapagos sea lions and fur seals. On a two-hour walk around this magical island you’ll also spy other sea birds like swallow-tailed gulls and shearwater, as well as many tropical birds. After the walk you’ll return to the boat for lunch, then sail to Bachas beach on Santa Cruz Island. This is a nesting area for sea turtles and there’s a small lagoon where flamingoes can occasionally be seen. You’ll also strap on your mask again for some snorkeling through the beautiful waters. 

Santa Fe Island:
Taking an 80-minute boat ride from Puerto Ayora, cruise to one of the most beautiful bays in the Archipelago. The pristine color of the water allows you to see the bottom, and you might swim alongside eagle rays, sting rays, sea turtles and lots of fish. Santa Fe is known for its large colony of sea lions that lounge around on the two beaches. On the shore there are two trails – both give you the opportunity to see the Santa Fe land iguana, which is found only on this island. One of the trails is into the opuntia forest, home to the archipelago’s largest trees, and you can hike along the cliffs. The vegetation of Santa Fe is notable for the very large Prickly Pear Cacti. After the walk, return to the boat, where it’s time for some snorkeling in the clear, blue waters – sea lion pups will be eager to swim along too. 

Plaza Islands:
South Plazas was formed from uplifted marine lava and is one of the smallest islands on the archipelago. It’s one of the most concentrated wildlife sites around through. Disembark at a small dock frequently occupied by sea lions, then walk through a small forest of prickly pear cacti, decorated with their yellow flowers, and look out for land iguanas waiting for the fruits and flowers to fall to the ground. Make your way up to the top of a cliff, where you can often see a shoal of the native yellow-tailed mullet in the waters below. Look up for views of swallow- tailed gulls, tropical bird, frigate birds, and pelicans. At the eastern end of the island bull sea lions congregate to rest and recover their energy after losing their territory; and plot to once again become the beach master. After this enjoyable walk, return to the boat for lunch, and then sail to Punta Carrion for some more snorkeling. This is a great chance for underwater photos of sea turtles, white tip reef sharks, sea lions and many fish.

Galapagos Island and boat

Day 13
SANTA FE OR PLAZA

Today we will visit another Galapagos Island on an all day boat tour. The Galapagos Islands are carefully monitored to protect the incredible bio-diversity, so we will be visiting one of four islands, depending on the national park’s schedule. Read more for all the details. Meals: breakfast, lunch


Read more

Bartolome Island:
Bartolome is the most recognizable and photographed island in the archipelago thanks to its distinctive pinnacle rock. You’ll walk along a wood trail to the top of this once-active volcano, seeing the different lava rock formations that were created during the formation of island on the way. At the top you’ll have a fantastic panoramic across to Santiago Island’s Sullivan Bay – look out for the surrounding plants like lava cactus, as well as Darwin`s finches. After the walk, take a zodiac ride along the island to meet the cheeky Galapagos penguins, and then disembark on the beach for snorkeling. This is a great place to see white tip reef sharks, sea turtles, many fish, and maybe swim alongside sea lions. 

Seymour Island:
The small island of North Seymour is home to many different species of animals, and is the best place to see the frigate birds with their bulbous red throats, watch the iconic blue footed boobies dance, spot land and marine iguanas, and search for Galapagos sea lions and fur seals. On a two-hour walk around this magical island you’ll also spy other sea birds like swallow-tailed gulls and shearwater, as well as many tropical birds. After the walk you’ll return to the boat for lunch, then sail to Bachas beach on Santa Cruz Island. This is a nesting area for sea turtles and there’s a small lagoon where flamingoes can occasionally be seen. You’ll also strap on your mask again for some snorkeling through the beautiful waters. 

Santa Fe Island:
Taking an 80-minute boat ride from Puerto Ayora, cruise to one of the most beautiful bays in the Archipelago. The pristine color of the water allows you to see the bottom, and you might swim alongside eagle rays, sting rays, sea turtles and lots of fish. Santa Fe is known for its large colony of sea lions that lounge around on the two beaches. On the shore there are two trails – both give you the opportunity to see the Santa Fe land iguana, which is found only on this island. One of the trails is into the opuntia forest, home to the archipelago’s largest trees, and you can hike along the cliffs. The vegetation of Santa Fe is notable for the very large Prickly Pear Cacti. After the walk, return to the boat, where it’s time for some snorkeling in the clear, blue waters – sea lion pups will be eager to swim along too. 

Plaza Islands: 
South Plazas was formed from uplifted marine lava and is one of the smallest islands on the archipelago. It’s one of the most concentrated wildlife sites around through. Disembark at a small dock frequently occupied by sea lions, then walk through a small forest of prickly pear cacti, decorated with their yellow flowers, and look out for land iguanas waiting for the fruits and flowers to fall to the ground. Make your way up to the top of a cliff, where you can often see a shoal of the native yellow-tailed mullet in the waters below. Look up for views of swallow- tailed gulls, tropical bird, frigate birds, and pelicans. At the eastern end of the island bull sea lions congregate to rest and recover their energy after losing their territory; and plot to once again become the beach master. After this enjoyable walk, return to the boat for lunch, and then sail to Punta Carrion for some more snorkeling. This is a great chance for underwater photos of sea turtles, white tip reef sharks, sea lions and many fish.

Tortuga Bay kayaking

Day 14
Santa Cruz

This morning we’ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, whose mission is to preserve the rare species that the Galapagos is known for. During your visit you’ll learn about the conservation efforts happening for the giant tortoises and some surprising things about the man this place is named after. In the afternoon, we’ll enjoy a 45 minute walk to stunning Tortuga Bay, a white sandy beach with turquoise water. There is also a bay you can rent kayaks to look for baby sharks and turtles hiding in the mangroves. Meals: breakfast
on the beach with sea lions

Day 15
SAN CRISTOBAL

Today we say goodbye to Santa Cruz and jump on a 2.5 boat ride to another beautiful island, San Cristobal. After we check into our hotel, we’ll stroll along the promenade of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos Islands. Enjoy the sound (and smell) of hundreds of sea lions during your walk and find a good spot for lunch. We’ll then go to the Loberia, a white sandy beach, to find great quantities of sea lions bathing in the sun or cooling off in the sea. Snorkeling is a highlight here with chances to spot sea turtles. Meals: breakfast

Day 16
KICKER ROCK OR LOBOS ISLAND

Today is all about the incredible sea life the Galapagos is known for. We’ll jump on a short boat ride to snorkel either at Kicker Rock or Lobos Island, whichever has clearer water that day! You might see the graceful and harmless hammerhead shark, turtles, loads of colorful fish, and maybe even play with sea lions in the water. Meals: breakfast, lunch
cloudy sunset at San Cristobal

Day 17
TIJERETAS HILL AND SOLO TIME

Today is a low key day to grab some more photos of the sea lions and walk up to Tijeretas Hill, also knowns as Frigatebird Hill, where you enjoy an amazing view of Kicker Rock and Shipwreck Bay. This evening we will meet for a farewell dinner and talk about an amazing week. Meals: breakfast, dinner
Penguin on Galapagos

Day 18
GOODBYE FOR NOW

After breakfast, we will get on a flight back to Quito and say goodbye at the airport. Meals: breakfast

Accommodation

Our accommodation is hand-picked to give you the best combination of comfort, location, and style. These are photos from our collection of favorite hotels and resorts to give you a sense of the accommodation you can expect with us. 

Ikala Hotel, Santa Cruz

We love this hotel for its central location, the spacious rooms, and it’s poolside bar. Plus, it’s just gorgeous. 

Ikala Hotel, Galapagos
Napo Cultural Center

Located among and run by the Anagu Kichwa community, this eco lodge is located in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon. There is a bar, restaurant, excellent food, and a jacuzzi. This place is some how both spiritual and luxurious all while supporting locals and being gentle on the environment.

napa cultural center
Hotel Termas de Papallacta

Think volcano views and lush jungle surroundings. Soak in the hot springs right outside your door and stay warm and relaxed as the fog rolls in. 

hotel with hot springs ecuador
  • The flight from Quito to Galapagos
  • Accommodation in twin rooms
  • Expert guide
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • 4 Lunches
  • 4 Dinners
  • Local transportation, including domestic flights
  • Airport pickup on day one
  • All entrance fees and activities in the itinerary unless specified as optional

Activities and experiences:
Quito walking tour
Middle of the world monument
La Compañia Church
Intiñan Museum
Avenue of the Volcanoes
Cotopaxi National Park
Cotopaxi Volcano
Horeback riding/Cooking class/Ropes course
Cuicocha Lagoon
Cayapas ecological reserve
Panchamanka ancestral culinary experience
Otavalo market
Natural Hot Springs
Kichwa Añangu community
Playas trail
Añangu creek
Yasuni biosphere reserve
Mama kuna trail
Four days with a naturalist on the Amazon
Bartolome Island
Seymore Island
Sante Fe Island
Plaza Island
San Cristobal Island
Lobos Island
Tortoise sanctuary
Sugarcane and coffee making/tasing
Charles Darwin Research Station
Tortuga Bay visit
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
Loberia beach
Kicker rock snorkel tour
Tijeretas hill snorkel and hike
Shipwreck Bay

We will pick you up from the airport any time on day one after 8am. If fellow travelers arrive around the same time, we’ll bring you to our first hotel together. More details to follow once your spot is booked. On the last day, the tour ends in Quito Airport. Be sure not to book your flight before 4pm.

  • A deposit of $500 is required to hold your spot.
  • Final payment is due 60 days before departure.
  • Pay as much as often as you like until the due date.
  • If you cancel your spot earlier than 60 days before departure, you can apply your payment to any trip within the next year.
  • No refunds on deposits.
  • International airfares
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Airport drop off
  • Covid PCR test (currently mandatory to enter Ecuador as well as Galapagos)
  • $100 park fee for Galapagos, payable at the airport
  • $20 tourist card
  • The itinerary is subject to change due for any reason – weather, unexpected cancellations, impromptu local opportunities, or surprise additions.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory or you may be refused to join the tour. See our guide for help choosing a plan.
  • All bookings are subject to our terms and conditions.

Most countries are able to visit Ecuador with a visa upon arrival. Please check the requirements for your country.

What our travelers say

Best chance to get to know people in the network!

“I joined the SoFe Network on Facebook 3 years ago but joined the membership because I wanted to interact with people without the weirdness of Facebook social boundaries. It absolutely worked, and I’ve made so many friends and been on quite a few zoom events. The events are amazing, the people are amazing, best chance to get to know people in the network!” Kirsten | Membership

One of the best trips I’ve ever been on.

“I had always wanted to go to Morocco but I was hesitant to go alone which normally I have no problem doing. I saw this trip advertised on the Solo Female Traveler Network Facebook page and the more I looked into it the more I wanted to go. So I did..and let me tell you that it was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on…seriously.” Jennifer H. | Morocco

So much more than a tour.

“I have been on three tours with these ladies, and I can not even explain how amazing my experiences have been. It’s so much more than just a tour. I have made life-long friends who understand my wanderlust, met local people who taught me the warmth and kindness of the places we’ve visited, and I have left feeling empowered to travel more.” Megan S. | Bali