Explore the world on two feet - or two wheels! Our active trips range from classic treks & trips where walking forms an integral part of the itinerary to cycling tours offering a totally new perspective on a destination. All our active trips are fully supported.
At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Ecuador.
Our adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2pm on Day 1.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Sitting at an altitude of 2,850 m under the gaze of Volcan Pichincha, Quito is one of the most attractive cities in South America. Long and incredibly thin, the city stretches along a central valley formed by the east and west ranges of the Andes. Although compact, Quito's Old Town is full of historic buildings - there are more than 30 churches to explore, not to mention the fascinating museums.
Join your tour leader us on a walking tour of the historic centre of Quito. We catch a local bus to Parque de la Alamada and (amongst others) visit sites such as La Compania de Jesus, considered by many the most beautiful in the Americas. It's claimed that seven tonnes of gold leaf cover the interior whilst the exterior is decorated with statues, busts, sculpted heads and a jungle of carved leaves. During this tour we also visit the famous Calle La Ronda, Quito's oldest street. La Ronda is a peek into the colonial past of the city. This quaint street offers the city's best in one place.
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!
Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.
During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:
DIVING IN THE GALAPAGOS
Due to Intrepid's internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.
Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)
Transfer to the airport for our flight to San Cristobal Island, Galapagos (approx 3.5 hrs). Departure time will be between 8.20am and 10.30am depending on flight schedule time.
The Galapagos National Institute has introduced a Transit Control Card. This card has a cost of US$10 and it must be purchased by every person travelling to the Galapagos Islands. You will need to purchase this card upon arrival to the domestic airport on day 2, prior to checking in to your Galapagos flight.
Our flight will stop once in Guayaquil to pick up more passengers (approx 3.5 hours total). Upon arrival we will need to go through immigration and pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee of US$100 in cash (small bills please).
We land at about midday, then meet your Naturalist guide and transfer to your hotel.
In the afternoon we make our way to the top of San Cristobal Island from where we jump on our mountain bikes for a scenic ride through El Progresso to a beach known as La Loberia - here we are able to watch sea lions sunbathe and play. You also have the opportunity to go for a swim yourself!. We continue on our bikes back to town for a 'welcome to Galapagos' dinner, which will includes some of the island's fresh fish and produces.
Our second day in Isla San Cristobal begins with a short boat ride to Leon Dormido (approx 45 mins) or Isla Lobos, observing along the way the abundant marine life that Galapagos is renowned for.
On the way we might be able to spot nesting frigates and blue-footed boobies and/or might swim/snorkel with playful young sea lions.
Here we can snorkel keeping an eye out below for sea turtles, manta rays and maybe the odd harmless Galapagos shark, to name a few.
In the afternoon, we pay a visit to the Interpretation Centre and learn the mysterious history of Galapagos, The Enchanted Islands. Later we head to Mann Beach for a swim where we can observe playful sea lions, and frigates gliding on the thermals.
Accommodation: Hotel (2 nts)
Early in the morning we take off to Floreana Island by boat (approx 2.5 hrs), We have a pre-lunch snorkel before going ashore to a black sand beach at the home of the Witmer’s, one of the islands first settlers. With a population of less than 150 people, Puerto Velasco Ibarra is a sleepy little town but not without its secrecies. You can read up on how life came to be on Floreana and how some lives mysteriously ended. We wave goodbye to Floreana as we continue on to Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago.
Upon arrival to Isabela Island you are required to pay the Isabela Island port fee of USD5.
The second day at Isla Isabela we start with a leisurely walk through a coastal lagoon where we might see Flamingos. This mangrove-lined path leads us to Isabela’s Giant Tortoise Breeding Center where we’ll see giant tortoises in all stages of development. The center has almost a thousand giant tortoises training for life on their own! After an informative visit, we’ll board small pangas for Tintoreras or Shark Alley. We’ll hop off for a short walk on this isolated islet and popular iguana nesting site that’s home to hundreds of marine iguanas. Next we’ll test the waters for a snorkel in a calm inlet that’s home to a variety of colorful fish and winding underground lava tubes. This area is often frequented by green sea turtles that like to rest on the calm, sandy bottom. We’ll return to town late afternoon in search of our own sandy resting spot to toast in our first Isabela sunset, arguably the most beautiful of all the islands.
The last day in Isla Isabela we head up for a hike to the Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos and the second largest crater in the world. Here you can experience a birds eye view of this magical landscape. We make our way back to town late afternoon for some free time to curl up with a book or venture down to the water for a relaxing swim before dinner.
Unfortunately, recycling isn't available on Isabela so please take your plastic rubbish with you.
Accommodation: Hotel (3 nts)
Start the day with a kayak excursion in a protected bay in search of the Galapagos penguin – the only penguin found close the equator. Along the way, keep an eye out for Eagle Rays, Sea Turtles and Blue Footed Boobies.
After lunch we are on the move again. This time to Santa Cruz Island, the tourist capital of Galapagos.
After arrival to our hotel we have a short walking tour of Puerto Ayora to pay a visit to the local fishermen market.
On our second day in Santa Cruz we are heading to the higher part of the islands to observe giant tortoises roaming in its natural habitat. In the afternoon we take a walk to Tortuga Bay, a gorgeous beach accessible only by foot and laden with choices: swimming, enjoying the sun, bodysurfing or all of them! Finally make our way back to town for our farewell dinner to the Enchanted Islands.
Our last day in Isla Santa Cruz we visit the Charles Darwin Research Foundation. We learn about the foundations successes in repopulating the islands with the once endangered land iguana and several species of giant tortoise before taking our flight back to Quito.
Accommodation: Hotel (2 nts)
Bid farewell to the Enchanted Islands. A morning flight takes us back to Quito (approx 3.5 hrs). An Intrepid representative will take you from the airport to your hotel, a quick change and it's out to enjoy the nightlife of Quito.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)
International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
For those of you who dream of experiencing a location in depth and comfort but are mindful of budget. Ideal for those that enjoy the quirkier side of a destination without roughing it. Join inquisitive travellers of all ages for an fun, informative experience.
Explore the world on two feet - or two wheels! Our active trips range from classic treks & trips where walking forms an integral part of the itinerary to cycling tours offering a totally new perspective on a destination.
Some of our active adventure tours include the classic treks such as the Inca Trail, Kilimanjaro or Everest Base Camp as well as shorter one day or overnight hikes. Our cycling tours allow you to access hidden corners of a destination, discover remote villages and meet the locals – either en route or even by cycling alongside them. All our active trips are fully supported – with either porters and mules or by a support vehicle.
This tour is operated by our partners Intrepid.
A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.
The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.
Please click here for more information.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
You will need to take cash to cover all additional expenses not included in your tour cost. These include food, drinks, optional sightseeing, tips, laundry, souvenirs and possible delays. If in doubt, bring more than you think you will need. It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the time; providing your claim falls within the scope of your policy, your insurance company will make reimbursement later.
Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.
As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.
For further information about responsible travel please click here.
The Galapagos park fee (USD$100) is payable upon arrival to the islands.
The Galapagos National Institute has introduced a Transit Control Card. This card has a cost of USD$10 and it must be purchased by every person travelling to the Galapagos Islands. You will need to purchase this card upon arrival to the domestic airport on day 2, prior to checking in to your Galapagos flight.
When booking, please ensure that your details are correct, and double check them on your documents prior to departure. If your passport does not match your booking details, you may be refused entrance to Galapagos National Park. Please make sure that your name is spelt correctly, and that you book using the name in your passport (particularly if you are recently married). If you are issued a new passport with a different number between the time that you book and the time you travel, please take both the old and new passports with you.
Our tailor made adventure holidays will truly inspire and delight the senses and will live in your memory for ever.
Join us on one of our worldwide adventures coming up over the next few months – all guaranteed to depart, all at up to 20% off.