Other Info: Not included: two local round trip flights (Quito to/from the Amazon and Quito to/from the Galápagos) which are estimated to total $700 - $800, and Galápagos entry fee of $100.
This trip has a maximum of 15.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”  – Albert Einstein

SORRY – this trip has no availability.  Please contact us if you are interested in a future trip. 

Ecuador is an amazing country with an array of sights but two regions stand out as worldwide wonders: the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands. We’ll visit both regions on this tour of Ecuador, exploring the natural environment via foot, kayak, and snorkel gear, with a couple of nights near Ecuador’s capital city of Quito (pronounced KEE-toh).
We begin our tour in the Amazon rainforest, the largest rainforest on earth and home to 427 mammals (including monkeys, sloths, and river dolphins), 1,300 birds (parrots, toucans, and harpy eagles), 378 reptiles (caimans and lizards), and a host of flora.  Surprisingly, you’ll notice very few mosquitos! You’ll have a chance to explore the lush and bewildering rainforest from the inside (via daytime and nighttime hikes), from the outside (via canoe) and from above the canopy (via a 120-foot platform in the trees).  We’ll be miles and miles from civilization, but you won’t realize it when you are in such luxurious accommodations.
On the second half of our tour, we’ll visit the Galapagos Islands, a volcanic archipelago consisting of over 90 islands in the Pacific Ocean, and located approximately 1,000 kilometers off Ecuador’s west coast. They are considered one of the premier wildlife-viewing destinations in the world and were among the first group of sites added to the World Heritage List in 1978. Follow in the footsteps of a young Charles Darwin, who visited the islands in 1835. His observations of the different species living in the Galapagos, particularly the finches, later inspired his theory of evolution. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

Create amazing memories as we explore the islands’ isolated terrain which shelters an enormous number of diverse plant and animal species, many of which are not found anywhere else in the world!

About this Private Adventure

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This is an exclusive, intimate adventure brought to you by the UW-Stout Alumni Association, the UW-La Crosse Alumni Association, and the UW-La Crosse Continuing Education and Extension.  This adventure allows alumni, friends and family of UW-Stout and UW-La Crosse to remain connected in a unique way!

Daily Itinerary

DAY 1: Welcome to Ecuador, the most diverse country on the planet, offering more unique wildlife viewing experiences than almost any other place on earth!  You can arrive any time today and we will meet you at the airport and transfer you to our accommodations for the night, a 15-minute drive from the Quito airport. Tonight, we will enjoy our first taste of traditional and delicious Ecuadorian cuisine as we meet each other and preview our trip.

DAY 2: This morning we’ll head straight back to the airport for a short flight to Coca, the gateway to the Amazon. We will continue our journey via motorized canoe…SEE FULL ITINERARY

Real People, Real Experiences – What To Expect On This Trip

As on all of our adventures, we want to ensure you have the best experience possible – which is why we like to set expectations appropriately for every trip. Check out What To Expect On This Trip.

Special Notes

  • Your final payment for the trip and internal airfare is due 90 days from the start of the trip, and at this point becomes non-refundable or transferable to another trip. Please strongly consider travel insurance!

For More Information

  • See Frequently Asked Questions for this specific trip.
  • See our General FAQs page for general tour questions.
  • INTERESTED IN JOINING US? Call us at 888.758.8687 or email us to check availability, or to ask any questions you may have regarding this trip or any other travel ideas you may be considering.
  • TO BOOK YOUR ADVENTURE: You can book online or by calling us at 888.758.8687. Zephyr Adventures requires a 500 deposit (payable by check or credit card) at the time of booking. The remaining balance is payable by check or credit card no later than 60 days prior to the start of the trip.

  • WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? We will send you a confirmation email after we receive your booking, as well as a link to detailed printer-friendly pre-departure documents: arrival and departure information, suggestions for making travel arrangements, a packing list, an invoice, information about your trip location and guides. It will also include a link to an information form and liability waiver. We will also provide you with a link to information about travel insurance. We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance because it protects you if you have an unexpected change in travel plans. Please do not purchase airfare until you have received your pre-departure documents.

“The Galapagos Islands tour was magical for me. It was the perfect combination of exploration, beauty, and wonder. We spent our days sidled up next to sea lions, chasing after the spectacular marine iguana and quietly watching the mating dance of the blue-footed booby. All of those things I’d seen on documentaries, they were right there in front of me. I’ve been fortunate to have traveled the world, but when people ask me where I’d go back to, the Galapagos is always at the top of my list. There was just so much to see and experience! – Ron W.


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Trip Highlights

>> Venture by canoe in the Amazon rainforest, looking for and learning about the many species of the ecosystem.
>> Experience the rainforest on foot, chalking up amazing experiences such as spotting different types of monkeys and insects, tasting native plants, and learning about dozens of species.
>> Climb your way up to the rainforest canopy, with breathtaking views of untamed wilderness, rare birds and howling monkeys.
>> Snorkel and kayak through emerald waters, coming face to face with sea turtles, blue-footed boobies, Galapagos penguins and more.
>> Hike up an active volcano and across the second largest caldera in the world.
>> Experience the unique flora and fauna of two distinct islands while learning first hand from our expert local guides.

Trip Accommodations

Nights 1 & 5 >> Garden Hotel / San Jose

A 10-minute ride from the Quito airport, this spacious hotel offers a great spa and beautiful gardens to soothe your travel weary muscles. We'll meet you here for an introductory dinner and orientation.

Nights 2 - 4 >> La Selva Ecolodge & Spa / Garzacoha

This 5-star accommodation is set within the Amazon rainforest and boasts spacious rooms, luxurious beds, peaceful hammocks, and gourmet meals. Some bedrooms sleep up to three people, rather than the normal double occupancy. The scenery and having the privilege of being in the center of an astoundingly beautiful spot is well worth a potential additional roommate for our stay here.

Night 6 >> Hotel Silberstein / Santa Cruz Island

Our hotel for tonight is set in a place of peace and tranquility. Hotel Silberstein has beautiful rooms, a beautiful gardens, refreshing pool.

Nights 7 - 9 >> Casa de Marita / Isabela Island

Nestled on the beach, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, our final hotel offers a great location, colorful and comfortable rooms, and a variety of local, contemporary art.

Travel Details

We will meet you at the Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) airport on the first day of our tour and transport you to our hotel for the evening, the Garden Hotel of San Jose, 15 minutes from the airport. Since many flights from North America arrive late in the evening, we have no activities scheduled and our dinner tonight is optional. You can also choose to arrive a day early. The next morning, we will head back to the airport for our 30-minute flight to Coca, the gateway to the untamed Amazon jungle.

On the last afternoon of the tour, we will be flying from the island of Baltra back to the Quito airport. You may book flights back home this evening (many flights back to North America depart late at night) or extend your stay in the area. We will provide further travel details upon booking.

What's Included

>> A Zephyr trip leader will accompany this trip along with local experts and naturalists.
>> Double occupancy lodging is included. If you are traveling solo, we will match you with another traveler of the same gender. However, you may pay a single supplement to have your own room.
>> All meals are included (only dinner on the first day and breakfast on the last day), as well as gratuity for these meals.
>> All of your ground and sea transportation is included once you meet your guides on the first day.
>> All group activities are included as well as snorkel gear and kayak rentals.

NOT INCLUDED: Travel to and from the destination, Galapagos entrance fee ($100 that needs to be paid in cash), two internal round-trip flights (one to Coca and one to the Galápagos) that we will purchase for you and include on your invoice, personal expenses, beverages, and gratuities to your guides.