Spirit of Ecuador & the Galápagos Islands

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Get a taste of Ecuador’s vibrant culture and explore all the Galápagos has to offer on our guided ten-day tour. Begin this trip with two nights in Quito, the colonial capital of Ecuador. Here, our group will tour the city, which includes a stop at the Church of San Francisco, a chance to learn how cocoa is grown with a chocolate tasting at a cocoa museum, and a visit to the Equator. Following this, we’ll start our Galápagos adventure at the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about the islands’ conservation. Over the next few days, take excursions in and around Santa Cruz to venture out to two of several islands, including Seymour North, South Plazas, Bartholomew, or Santa Fe, and see the famous Twin Craters. Enjoy a scenic ride to Otavalo with great views of the Lago San Pablo and even the chance to see the Cayambe Volcano and Imbabura Volcano. We’ll visit the Plaza de los Ponchos in Otavalo and explore the unique variety of textiles and artisan goods created by its residents. On our last day, we’ll immerse ourselves in the city’s culture: learning about talented weavers’ techniques, hearing traditional Andean music, and tasting local dishes created by local residents. You’ll surely be amazed by the region’s renowned biodiversity and rich culture!

Learn more about the Galápagos Islands!

Itinerary at a Glance

2024 Tour Itinerary:

  • 2 nights in Quito
  • 4 nights in Santa Cruz (the Galápagos)
  • 2 nights in Otavalo
  • 1 night in Quito

Tour Highlights

  • Equatorial Monument, called “Middle of the World”
  • Cocoa Museum & tasting
  • Charles Darwin Research Station
  • 2 full-day cruise excursions in the Galápagos
  • Opportunity to see unique wildlife
  • Twin Craters of Santa Cruz Island
  • El Trapiche Community
  • Otavalo Market
  • Visit with local weavers
  • Traditional Andean music experience
  • Family visit and cooking lesson

Your Tour Includes

  • Optional round-trip airfare from Miami (MIA) including taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • All intra-tour flights and transfers
  • Ground transportation in an air-conditioned motorcoach
  • Accommodations at first class hotels
  • National Park entrance and transit fee for the Galápagos
  • 20 meals: 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 5 dinners
  • Comprehensive sightseeing tours, shore excursions, and entry fees as per itinerary
  • Experienced, English-speaking Tour Director & local, naturalist guide

Is this tour right for you? Find out What to Expect

2024 Tour Itinerary


Passengers who purchase flights will depart the same day as the tour starts and return on the same day as the tour ends.

Note: Flights are not available on departures.

You must book your own flights to the tour destination and you are responsible for making your own way to the tour starting point, where you will meet your Tour Director. This is normally the first hotel in your itinerary.

You can find more details on the Before You Depart page.

Day 1: Arrive in Quito

Today, we’ll arrive in Quito, the colonial capital of Ecuador, located just 15 miles from the equator and surrounded by ice-capped volcanoes. Quito is known as the "Convent of America" thanks to its beautiful churches and monasteries. Travelers who purchased our air-inclusive program will be met and transferred to our centrally located hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure to rest and rest and relax.

Accommodations: Hotel Hilton Colon or similar

Day 2: Quito

Day 3: Quito – the Galápagos Islands

Day 4: The Galápagos Islands

Day 5: The Galápagos Islands

Day 6: The Galápagos Islands

Day 7: The Galápagos Islands – Quito – Otavalo

Day 8: Otavalo

Day 9: Otavalo – Quito

Day 10: Depart Quito

Guided Tour Pricing

Plan ahead to maximize your savings!

Prices listed as “with flights” below include round-trip airfare from one or more airports in the USA. Travelers may choose to purchase the tour only, and arrange their own arrival in destination. Please note this may change your tour start date.

2024 Tours Tour Only  
Aug 26–Sep 4
$5,299 $4,799
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Oct 14–23
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Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
Single supplement applies when not sharing a room. Select a date above to see the rates for that specific departure.

For more information on this tour, please contact us here or call us during business hours (Monday-Friday from 9:00 am - 5:30 pm Eastern) at 1.800.337.7773.

Reservations and Payments
Reservations can be made online or by phone (1.800.337.7773) and will be confirmed upon receipt of your non-refundable, non-transferable deposit, which must be received at the time of reservation. Deposits are $300 per person. Full payment is due 120 days prior to departure. Space and prices subject to availability. Please see the smarTours Terms and Conditions for complete booking information.

Pre- & Post- Night Stays

Slow the pace of your tour with a pre- and/or post-night stay so you can arrive refreshed, acclimate to the time zone if needed, and depart leisurely, ensuring a seamless transition into and out of your journey.

Pre-Night in Quito

Post-Night in Quito

What to Expect

Max Group Size: 16 travelers

Activity Level: Level 3

Expect most included touring to require walking and standing periods of up to 4 hours at a time (up to 2 times per day). Included touring may feature hikes, stairs, and/or climbs which may be on hilly and/or uneven terrain at potentially high altitudes. Learn More

Pacing Level: Moderate

Expect full-day tours most days with some limited free time at specific sites, for meals, and/or in the evenings. You can expect several early mornings and/or long travel days by bus (don’t worry—there are always comfort stops!), and you may expect to stay in most accommodations for 2+ nights (with limited 1-night stays). Learn More

No Additional Entry Requirements for U.S. Passport Holders

A valid passport is required for international tours. Currently, there are no additional entry requirements for U.S. passport holders, but this can change at any time. Before travel, both U.S. and non-U.S. passport holders should visit our Passports & Visas page to reconfirm entry requirements.

For more detailed information about this tour and destination, visit our Before You Depart section.


Heidi F

1 year ago
The trip was amazing and the guides were superb! We loved it! I would shorten the time spent in Quito on the front end.