The Tour Price displayed here is for the tour only and does not include international flights. Our flight prices are very competitive, please ask for a quote when making your booking
This trip is an overland trip run in an overland truck. In addition to paying for your trip, you're require to make a separate payment to your tour leader at the start of the trip, usually in USD. Kitties are flexible and change as prices are updated. Therefore you should check the latest kitty amount on this website before you depart.
A kitty is a group fund which covers all accommodation, meals while camping (not in hotels) and activities listed as included. It's a system unique to overlanding to provide the maximum flexibility and best value on the road (you get everything at cost price!). The kitty is your money, not ours, so any amount left over is divided among the group as a refund.Close
|Trip Code||Start Date||End Date||Currency||Kitty|
|ggtf||Saturday 08 Jun 2013||Monday 17 Jun 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 15 Jun 2013||Monday 24 Jun 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 22 Jun 2013||Monday 01 Jul 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 06 Jul 2013||Monday 15 Jul 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 13 Jul 2013||Monday 22 Jul 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 27 Jul 2013||Monday 05 Aug 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 03 Aug 2013||Monday 12 Aug 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 17 Aug 2013||Monday 26 Aug 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 31 Aug 2013||Monday 09 Sep 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 14 Sep 2013||Monday 23 Sep 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 28 Sep 2013||Monday 07 Oct 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 12 Oct 2013||Monday 21 Oct 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 26 Oct 2013||Monday 04 Nov 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 09 Nov 2013||Monday 18 Nov 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 23 Nov 2013||Monday 02 Dec 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 30 Nov 2013||Monday 09 Dec 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 07 Dec 2013||Monday 16 Dec 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 14 Dec 2013||Monday 23 Dec 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 21 Dec 2013||Monday 30 Dec 2013|
|ggtf||Saturday 28 Dec 2013||Monday 06 Jan 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 04 Jan 2014||Monday 13 Jan 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 11 Jan 2014||Monday 20 Jan 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 18 Jan 2014||Monday 27 Jan 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 01 Feb 2014||Monday 10 Feb 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 15 Feb 2014||Monday 24 Feb 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 01 Mar 2014||Monday 10 Mar 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 15 Mar 2014||Monday 24 Mar 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 22 Mar 2014||Monday 31 Mar 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 29 Mar 2014||Monday 07 Apr 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 05 Apr 2014||Monday 14 Apr 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 19 Apr 2014||Monday 28 Apr 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 03 May 2014||Monday 12 May 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 17 May 2014||Monday 26 May 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 31 May 2014||Monday 09 Jun 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 07 Jun 2014||Monday 16 Jun 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 14 Jun 2014||Monday 23 Jun 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 21 Jun 2014||Monday 30 Jun 2014|
|ggtf||Saturday 28 Jun 2014||Monday 07 Jul 2014|
Ecuador is a small country with a diverse landscape including highlands, volcanoes, numerous national parks, stunning Pacific beaches, and the enthralling Galapagos Islands.
The Amazon rainforest has the greatest bio diversity on the planet. And it's possible to take trips deep into the rainforest to see jaguars, monkeys, iguanas and uncountable numbers of insects. Off the coast is the Galapagos Islands, arguably one of the world's most prestigious wildlife destinations.
If heart racing activities is more your thing then Ecuador has plenty to offer. Surf the waves, trek through the foothills or step out of the ordinary and try some mountaineering.
Aside from the outdoors and wildlife there are lots of great coloninal towns or cities. And Quito has a more relaxed atmosphere than most Latin American capitals. Lying in a hollow at the base of Volcano Pichincha, the old city is a maze of steep cobbled streets with finely carved overhanging balconies. Its mixture of colonial and new architecture together with its European and Indian cultures make this a fascinating city.
As you explore, the discovery of food will be found and the choice of a traditional meal is hard to turn down. Ecuadorian cuisine is again diverse, and different regions boast different meals. Meat, potatoes and rice are popular in the mountain regions, where as the coastal areas boast fantastic meals containing marinades of fish onions and delectable seasonings.
There are many types of music in Ecuador and the most popular is the rhythm filled, dancing type which can get you up on your feet and joining in with the sounds of panpipes, bamboo flutes, drums and charangos.
With so much to offer and explore - Ecuador is the place to be if you want to try something new every day.
Quito is a cultured city with a wonderous Old Town, a dynamic nightlife and atmospheric streets showcasing Ecuadorian life in all its splendour.
Our adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2pm on Day 1.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please 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.
On Day 3 of this itinerary there's an opportunity to go diving. The Imaginative Traveller representative will ask during the welcome meeting if anyone is considering diving along the trip, in order to assist make the necessary arrangements. If you intend to dive, you will need to bring your PADI/NAUI card.
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.
The tour leader takes 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 acclimatizing 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.
Antisana Trek - USD70.00
City Tour, Quito - USD30.00
Compania de Jesus, Quito - USD3.00
Cotopaxi National Park - hiking, Quito - USD70.00
Equator Monument, Quito - USD80.00
La Ronda, Quito - Free
Otavalo - market visit - USD60.00
Quito By Night - USD30.00
The Equator Line Tour - USD52.00
Hotel (1 nt)
The eastern-most island in the Galapagos, a variety of seabirds nest on Isla San Cristobal, including blue-footed boobies, red-footed boobies and frigates.
The flight to San Cristobal Island, Galapagos takes 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 tour leader 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), observing along the way the abundant marine life that Galapagos is renowned for. On the way we stop off at Isla de Lobos and Cerro Brujo beach to observe nesting frigates and blue-footed boobies and swim/snorkel with playful young sea lions. Here we can dive (optional) and 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.
Isla San Cristobal - bike riding
Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center
Isla San Cristobal - Leon Dormido visit
Boogie Board Hire (Half Day), Galapagos Islands - USD8.00
Isla San Cristobal - scuba diving, Isla San Cristobal - USD150.00
Surf Board Hire (Half Day), Galapagos Islands - USD10.00
Wetsuit Hire, Galapagos Islands - USD20.00
Hotel (2 nts)
A highlight of any Galapagos cruise, Isla Floreana is rich in natural wonders and wildlife, including seabirds such as boobies, pelicans and frigates. The largest island in the archipelago, Isla Isabela was formed by five giant volcanic craters, all of which are still considered active.
Our journey to Floreana Island takes approx. 2.5hrs by boat. 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. This afternoon we'll bus up to the highlands of Floreana to visit the Pirate and Whaler Caves. We return to town and wave goodbye to Floreana as we continue on to Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago.
The second day at Isla Isabel we start with a leisurely walk through a coastal lagoon. 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 Isabella we head up 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.
Isla Isabela - flamingo lagoon visit
Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre
Isla Isabela - Sierra Negra Volcano
Boogie Board Hire (Half Day), Galapagos Islands - USD8.00
Surf Board Hire (Half Day), Galapagos Islands - USD10.00
Wetsuit Hire, Galapagos Islands - USD20.00
Hotel (3 nts)
Isla Santa Cruz is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station which offers visitors their best chance for close-up encounters with giant tortoises.
Start the day with a kayak 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.
Enjoy a couple of hours at the beach before lunch. Afterwards, we are on the move again. This time to Santa Cruz Island, the tourist capital of Galapagos.
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.
In the afternoon we take a short walk to Tortuga Bay, a gorgeous beach accessible only by foot and laden with choices: swimming, sunbathing, bodysurfing or all of them! Finally make our way back to town for our farewell dinner to the Enchanted Islands.
Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre
Isla Santa Cruz - Tortuga Bay visit
Boogie Board Hire (Half Day), Galapagos Islands - USD8.00
Isla San Cristobal - kayak rental, Isla Santa Cruz - Free
Surf Board Hire (Half Day), Galapagos Islands - USD10.00
Wetsuit Hire, Galapagos Islands - USD20.00
Hotel (2 nts)
Stretched out along a central Andean valley under the gaze of Volcan Pichincha, Quito is one of the most attractive cities in South America.
A midday flight takes us back to Quito (approx 3.5 hrs). An Imaginative Traveller representative will take you from the airport to your hotel, a quick change and it's out to enjoy the night-life of Quito.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart our accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
Hotel (1 nt)
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. Our brochure is usually released in November each year. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated trip notes please visit our website: www.imaginative-traveller.com
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the weeks before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trip to its fullest.
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Imaginative Traveller nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Imaginative Traveller. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
The official currency of Ecuador is the US dollar (USD).
Please note that in Ecuador automatic money machines often limit the amount you can withdraw. This can be $100 or $200 per day depending on your card.
With ATMs being widely available in major towns and cities, credit and debit cards are the best way to access money in Latin America (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Please check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions.
Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to US$100 per day.
It's also advisable to carry some cash in small denominations bills, for those times when ATMs may not be available. US$ dollars is the most readily changeable currency.
US$100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other US$ bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.
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.
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Imaginative Traveller destinations. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.
Restaurants: Tipping is not expected in local markets and basic restaurants. However if you wish to tip, round your bill up to the nearest 5%. In more up-market restaurants we suggest up to 10%-12% of your bill. Some restaurants already include tipping on the final amount, which should be shown on the bill as: propina, servicio or cubiertos.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$2 per person per day for local guides.
Porters (if applicable): While on the Inca Trail, we suggest PEN80-120 for all porters, assistants and cook.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however a base of US$1-2 per day is generally appropriate.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$1-3 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Galapagos - Land based itineraries
Though part of Ecuador, the economy in the Galapagos Islands is different to that of the mainland, which is generally reflected in higher costs of living. As such, a tipping guideline in the Galapagos Islands is of USD 1-3 per person per day for the crew and USD 4-6 per person per day for your Galapagos leader.
Please allow US$44.30 for international airport departure tax in Quito.
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.
Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
Hotel (10 nts)
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Imaginative Traveller trips than your own.
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 4 Dinners
DIETARY REQUIREMENTS: Should you have a special diet requirement (for example vegetarian, celiac, vegan, severe food allergies) it's essential that you inform Imaginative Traveller of the specific details at least 10 days prior to departure, in order to make sure the chef on board the boat or on the island can request the necessary food supplies.
Boat, Bicycle, Plane
All Imaginative Traveller group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Imaginative Traveller endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Imaginative Traveller we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
On this trip you'll be met by a local representative in Quito on Days 1 and 9, and be accompanied by a group leader on the Galapagos Islands.
Hotel Sierra Madre
Veintimilla No 464 y Luis Tamayo
Quito's airport is 10km north of the city. The quickest and most reliable way from the airport to the hotel is by taxi. As you exit the airport terminal there is a pick up area directly in front of you, but dont worry the drivers will have found you as soon as you open the terminal door. Unless the taxi has a meter, and is willing to use it, you will need to bargain - you will likely pay US$10.
Most drivers will speak a little English and your hotel is well known but in case of difficulty the following in Spanish will help you reach your destination:
Por favor me puede llevar al Sierra Madre, que se encuentra localizado en calle Veintimilla 446 y Jose Tamayo.
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Hotel Sierra Madre
Veintimilla No 464 y Luis Tamayo
If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.
If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Imaginative Traveller's Ecuador Operations Office can be reached on:
Outside Ecuador: +593 9 4014877
From within Ecuador: 09 4014877
We also have a dedicated 24 hour telephone number which should only be used once you have left the UK and in the event of a real emergency. Should you need to call the number, we will do what we can to help but please bear in mind that real progress or action may not be possible until normal office hours.
If your flight is delayed or cancelled, please let us know and then make your way to the joining hotel as instructed in these trip notes. If you cannot get through leave a message and a contact number as these will be regularly checked. Emergency Number: +44 (0) 7985106564
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
ECUADOR TOURIST VISA
Australia: Not required
Belgium: Not required
Canada: Not required
Germany: Not required
Ireland: Not required
Netherlands: Not required
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Not required
Switzerland: Not required
United Kingdom: Not required
United States: Not required
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
In order to make luggage handling easier when embarking and disembarking speed boats on this trip, on day 1 of your trip you will be offered a duffle bag for you to consider using instead of your main luggage. The rest of your gear can be stored at your starting point hotel.
The duffle bags have a capacity of 50 litres (measure 73x30.26 cm) and can carry between 12 and 15 kilos.
Please note domestic airlines allow a maximum of 20kg check in luggage and 5kg hand luggage. Any excess luggage expense will be your own responsibility.
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation.
When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day
All Imaginative Traveller travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Imaginative Traveller reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.
It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.
The World Health Organisation has countries in Latin America registered as zones affected by hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, rabies and malaria.
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!
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 acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.
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.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Imaginative Traveller itinerary, and Imaginative Traveller makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.
Please note that helmets are not always provided for sightseeing on bicycles.
If you're taking a taxi from the airport by yourself, agree on the price before you get in and insist that the driver bring you directly to your hotel because you already have a reservation. The tourist information booths at the airport, as well as independent taxi drivers, receive commissions to persuade you to go elsewhere by using any type of argument.
There have been some cases of theft to taxis coming from the airport. The thieves' usual trick is to watch at the airport parking lot for passengers who keep their bags with them inside the taxi, and then they follow that car. When it stops at a red light, they break the window and snatch the passenger's bag from their lap. The best way to avoid this is to put ALL your valuables inside the trunk at the airport.
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
In order to avoid fraud, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
We highly recommend the Imaginative Traveller travel insurance which is tailored specifically for adventure travel and covers ALL activities featured in any of our tours. For more details please go to http://www.imaginative-traveller.com/travel-insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.
Responsible Travel is twofold. It's about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but 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.
• Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.
Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.
Before you depart try to spend some time familiarising yourself with the destination you will be travelling to – their culture and customs. The country dossiers on our website offer detailed information about all the regions we visit. They also include some useful phrases in the local language for you to use on your trip! A few words of the local language can open up many more opportunities for you to interact with the people you will meet.
Although it is tempting to give out pens, sweets and money to people begging, and particularly tempting to give to children, we feel that this encourages a begging mentality and has a long-term negative impact on communities. If someone begging earns more than someone in the same community who works this can discourage local employment. If children regularly bring home money it may discourage their parents from sending them to school.
Always ask permission to photograph local people and respect their decision if they would prefer not to have their picture taken.
Respect local dress codes, especially at religious sites. Our tour leaders are always on hand to give you advice about this.
In many of the countries we visit you might see examples of animal cruelty (for example dancing bears, performing monkeys and snake charmers). Please do not take photographs of this or offer money as it encourages the activity.
Respect the environment you are in. It sounds obvious but do not throw litter, take it with you or use rubbish bins! You may see locals throwing rubbish on the street but do not follow their example!
When shopping in countries where haggling is the norm – enjoy it and only pay what you feel is a fair price for the goods you are purchasing. However, remember that the shopkeeper does have to make a living so do stop once you have reached a price you are happy with. Bargaining should be fun but always remember that a small amount can mean much more to the vendor than to you.
Endeavour to take home souvenirs made locally; the money you spend can be very important to the local communities. However, do use your common sense and don't buy anything that you think might be made out of endangered animals or plants.
To help keep as much money as possible in the host country - try to eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands.
In hotels do be conscious of how much water you are using. Many of the areas we visit regularly have shortages; try not to have hour long showers! Don't leave lights, air conditioners or fans on when you leave the room – you wouldn't at home!
Respect the environment you are in, especially when in national parks or reserves. Pay attention to rules about keeping on paths, keeping a distance from animals and not removing any of the natural habitat.
Relax and immerse yourself in the differences of the culture you are in – you'll be back home in the familiar soon enough (and wishing you were still on holiday!). These cultural differences are part of what makes your experience special.
If you would like to offset the carbon dioxide that will be produced on your flights you can do this on our website (on our Responsible travel page). We work with climatecare, who will reduce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in another part of the World through their emission reduction projects. These projects are low carbon efficient technologies in developing countries and not only serve to reduce emissions but also help to spread the adoption of low carbon technologies and improve the quality of life for local communities. Details of climatecare's projects can be found on their website.
Please do let us know if you have any comments about responsible travel at email@example.com
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Imaginative Traveller travellers. Imaginative Traveller's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Carbon Offset C02-e 815.00 kgs per pax.
Our tailor made adventure holidays will truly inspire and delight the senses and will live in your memory for ever.more info
Join us on one of our worldwide adventures coming up over the next few months - all guaranteed to depart, all at 20% off.more info