Itinerary

Expedition Itinerary

100% yes, it was a wonderful experience of a lifetime. Beautiful mountains, impeccably planned itinerary allowing for optimal acclimatisation, superb organisation and logistics and top notch guiding! -2019 Climber

Day 1

Arrival in the capital city of Quito. Quito lies on a long and narrow Andean valley surrounded by high volcanoes at an elevation of 2,850 m/9,350 ft. Our guide will be waiting for you at the airport and will take you to the hotel.

  • Altitudes of Quito: 2,850 m/9,350 ft.
  • Vertical gain during the day: depends on altitude of home town
  • Vertical gain of sleeping elevation: depends on altitude of home town
  • Travel times: airport – hotel: 45 min.
  • Accommodations: hotel
  • Internet Access: Wi-Fi with PIN. There are also some computers that you can use at the business center
  • Cell phone signal: yes

Day 2

City Tour of Quito.
We will spend the day sightseeing in Quito. The northern capital for the Incas, Quito is considered to be one of the most beautiful of all South American capital cities with its well preserved colonial architecture and mild climate. We will visit the old town of Quito, which has been declared a World Heritage by the UNESCO. Here we can acclimatize to the local altitude while taking an easy walk through narrow streets and historical squares, admiring the old colonial churches, houses, and other buildings. Before returning to our hotel, we can enjoy a great view of Quito from the top of the El Panecillo hill. This day constitutes an important foundation for our acclimatization. We also have a thorough equipment check and orientation, including discussion of Leave No Trace practices. A welcome dinner follows in the evening. Overnight stay in Quito.

  • Altitudes of Quito: 2,850 m/9,350 ft.
  • Vertical gain during the day: 0 m/0 ft.
  • Vertical gain of sleeping elevation: 0 m/0 ft.
  • Travel times: hotel – Old Town: 30 min.; Old Town – hotel: 30 min.
  • Accomodations: hotel
  • Internet access: Wi-Fi with PIN. There are also some computers which you can use at the business center
  • Cell phone signal: Yes

Day 3

Rucu Pichincha Climb – Papallacta.
Easy access from Quito using the cable car makes Ruco Pichincha (4,698 m/15,413 ft.) a great acclimatization hike. The gondola will take us up to an altitude of 3,966 m/13,012 ft. where we will see three of the highest snow-capped Ecuadorian mountains. Cotopaxi, Antizana, and Cayambe. From there we will start our three-hour hike to the top of this ancient volcano. Two hours later we will return to Quito and drive to the most beautiful hot springs spa in Ecuador, Termas Papallacta (11,800 ft.). Papallacta has private hot pools in front of every room that are filled daily with perfectly clear hot water from their natural hot springs. The spa is also available for massages at very reasonable prices. We spend the rest of the evening enjoying a great dinner and relaxing in the pools. Overnight at Papallacta.

  • Altitudes:
    Quito: 2,850 m/9,350 ft.
    Gondola upper station: 3,966 m/13,012 ft.
    Summit Ruco Pichincha: 4,698 m/15,413 ft.
    Termas Papallacta: 3,300 m/10,827 ft.
  • Vertical gain during the day: 1,848 m/6,063 ft.
  • Vertical gain climbing: 732 m/2,401 ft.
  • Vertical gain of sleeping altitude: 450 m/1,477 ft.
  • Travel times: hotel – Gondola (lower terminus): 20 min.
    Gondola (lower terminus) – Papallacta: 2 hours
    Hiking/Climbing times: Gondola (upper station) – Summit Rucu Pichincha: 3–4 hours
  • Summit Rucu Pichincha – Gondola (upper station): 2 hours
  • Accomodation: resort
  • Internet Access: Wi-Fi with PIN. There are also two computers at the business center that guests can use for free.
  • Cell phone signal: yes

Day 4

Acclimatization Hike, Parcacocha Lake. Papallacta.
Today we take an acclimatization hike through a beautiful group of mountain lakes up onto the high ridges surrounding Papallacta. We have excellent views of Lake Parcacocha (4,069 m/13,350 ft.), the surrounding valleys, and our second climb, Antisana (5,758 m/18,891 ft.). After our hike, we head back to Termas Papallacta for a fine dinner and another evening in the spa.

  • Altitudes: Termas Papallacta: 3,300 m/10,827 ft.
  • Trailhead: 3,733 m/12,247 ft.
  • Parcacocha Lake: 4,069 m/13,350 ft.
  • Vertical gain during the day: 769 m/2,523 ft.
  • Vertical gain climbing: 336 m/1,103 ft.
  • Vertical gain of sleeping elevation: 0 m/0 ft.
  • Travel times: Termas Papallacta – trailhead: 20 min.
    Trailhead – Termas Papallacta: 20 min.
  • Hiking/Climbing time trailhead – Parcacocha Lake: 3–4 hours
  • Accommodations: resort
  • Internet Access: Wi-Fi with PIN. There are also two computers at the business center that you can use for free.
  • Cell phone signal: yes

Day 5

Termas de Papallacta – Cayambe. Hike to Antennas Peak. Overnight at Yanacocha Lodge.

This morning we do a short acclimatization hike from the Papallacta High Pass to the top of the Antennas Peak (4,391 m/14,406 ft.) with great views of Antisana, Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. Then we travel to the foot of Cayambe and check-in at the Yanacocha Lodge (3,652 m/11,982 ft.). This recently inaugurated lodge is located in the Andean grasslands with a fantastic view of Cayambe.

  • Altitudes: Termas Papallacta: 3,300 m/10,827 ft.
    Papallacta High Pass: 4,065 m/ 13,336 ft.
    Antennas Peak: 4,391 m/14,406 ft.
    Yanacocha Lodge: 3,652 m/11,982 ft.
  • Vertical gain during the day: 1,091 m/3,579 ft.|
  • Vertical gain climbing: 326 m/1,070 ft.
  • Vertical gain of sleeping elevation: 352 m/1,155 ft.
  • Travel times: Termas Papallacta – Yanacocha Lodge: 3 hours
  • Hiking/Climbing times: Papallacta High Pass – Antennas Peak: 2 hours
  • Accommodation: Yanacocha Lodge
  • Internet access: yes
  • Cell phone signal: yes

Day 6

Glacier training. Overnight at Yanacocha Lodge.

After breakfast we travel by four-wheel drive up to the Cayambe Hut. From here we hike for an hour up to the glacier for a climbing skills review and to acclimatize. That evening we return to the Yanacocha Lodge for dinner.

  • Altitudes: Yanacocha Lodge: 3,652 m/11,982 ft.
    Cayambe Hut: 4,658 m/15,282 ft.
    Cayambe Glacier: 4,898 m/16,070 ft.
  • Vertical gain during the day: 1,246 m/4,088 ft.
  • Vertical gain climbing: 240 m/788 ft.
  • Vertical gain of sleeping elevation: 0 m/0 ft.
  • Travel times: Yanacocha Lodge – Cayambe Hut: 40 min.
  • Hiking/Climbing times: Cayambe Hut – Glacier: 1 hour
  • Glacier – Cayambe Hut: 40 min.
  • Accommodation: Yanacocha Lodge
  • Internet access: yes
  • Cell phone signal: yes

Day 7

Move up to the Cayambe Hut. Preparation for the climb to Cayambe Hut.

Today we will move up to the Cayambe Hut, which is situated on the southern slopes of Cayambe and has fantastic views of “Glaciar Hermoso.” Once at the hut, we spend the day planning the climb and preparing our gear. We will head to bed early so that we are well-rested for an early departure on the summit climb.

  • Altitudes: Yanacocha Lodge: 3,652 m/11,982 ft.
    Cayambe Hut: 4,658 m/15,282 ft.
    Vertical gain during the day: 1,006/3,300 ft.
  • Vertical gain climbing: 0 m/0 ft.
  • Vertical gain of sleeping elevation: 1,006/3,300 ft.
  • Travel times: Yanacocha Lodge – Cayambe Hut: 40 min.
  • Hiking/Climbing times: 0 min.
  • Accommodation: Cayambe Hut
  • Internet access: no
  • Cell phone signal: weak. The hut has a landline that you can use to make calls at an additional cost.

Day 8

Summit Cayambe – Yanacocha Lodge. Overnight at Yanacocha Lodge.

Cayambe, the third highest mountain in Ecuador, has the special distinction of being the highest and coldest point on the equator. This volcano is the only place on Earth where the latitude and temperature are both 0 degrees. We begin the climb at about midnight. This early start allows us to take advantage of better snow conditions and so we can travel more quickly and safely. The normal route is technically not challenging, but it is physically demanding. From the hut we will have to ascent to the top of a rocky ridge, then make a short descent before heading up to join the glacier. Once on the glacier, we will rope up and head toward a rocky outcrop located in the middle of the glacier. From there, we turn right toward the summit to work our way through crevasses until reaching the huge summit dome (5,789 m/18,993 ft.) with magnificent views of the Amazon Rain Forest, the surrounding highlands, and mountains such as Antisana and Cotopaxi. After the summit climb, we descend Cayambe and head back down to the Yanacocha Lodge for rest and recovery.

  • Altitudes: Cayambe Hut: 4,658 m/15,282 ft.
    Summit Cayambe: 5,789 m/18,993 ft.
    Yanacocha Lodge: 3,652 m/11,982 ft.
  • Vertical gain during the day: 1,131 m/3,711 ft.
  • Vertical gain climbing: 1,131 m/3,711 ft.
  • Vertical gain of sleeping elevation: -1,006 m/-3,300 ft.
  • Travel times: Cayambe Hut – Yanacocha Lodge: 40 min.
  • Hiking/Climbing times: Cayambe Hut – Summit Cayambe: 8 hours
  • Summit Cayambe – Cayambe Hut: 3 hours
  • Accommodation: Yanacocha Lodge
  • Internet access: yes
  • Cell phone signal: yes

Day 9

Rest Day. Otavalo Indian Market – Hacienda La Cienega.

Today we have a rest day. We will visit the famous and colorful Otavalo Market, which dates back to pre-Inca days. Then we travel south to the beautiful colonial hacienda La Cienega which is located closer to the world-famous volcano Cotopaxi.

  • Altitudes: Yanacocha Lodge: 3,652 m/11,982 ft.
    Hacienda La Cienega: 3,000 m/9,842 ft.
  • Vertical gain during the day: -652 m/2,139 ft.
  • Vertical gain climbing: 0 m/0 ft.
  • Vertical gain of sleeping elevation: -652 m/2,139 ft.
  • Travel times: Yanacocha Lodge – Otavalo: 1.5 hours
  • Otavalo – Hacienda La Cienega: 3 hours
  • Hiking/Climbing times: 0 min.
  • Accommodation: Hacienda La Cienega
  • Internet access: yes
  • Cell phone signal: yes

Day 10

Hacienda La Cienega – Tambopaxi Lodge.

After breakfast we travel by private bus to Cotopaxi National Park, the showpiece National Park in all of mainland Ecuador. On our drive, we pass through several vegetative zones and anticipate encountering llamas, herds of wild horses, foxes, Cara-Cara falcons, eagles, Andean gulls, Lapwings, hummingbirds, etc and interesting paramo vegetation. The region around Cotopaxi has the highest number of clear days per year in the Ecuadorian Andes. We stay at Tambopaxi (3,766m / 12,356ft), a rustic but elegant lodge which offers great views of the north face of Cotopaxi. The rest of the day is dedicated to rest and preparation for the upcoming climb.

  • Altitudes: Hacienda La Cienega: 3,000 m/9,842 ft.
    Tambopaxi: 3,766m/12,356ft
  • Vertical gain during the day: 766 m/2,513 ft
  • Vertical gain climbing: 0m/0ft
  • Vertical gain of sleeping elevation: 1,166 m/3,826 ft
  • Travel times: Hacienda La Cienega – Tambopaxi: 1 hour
  • Hiking/Climbing times: 0
  • Accommodation: Tambopaxi Lodge
  • Internet Access: Wifi
  • Cell Phone signal: No. For emergencies and to cybercast, we have a satellite phone with us.

Day 11

Summit Cotopaxi – Tambopaxi (Quito for 12-day program). Tambopaxi Lodge.

After having a light breakfast at the lodge, we will drive up to the parking land on Cotopaxi, from where we will start the climb of the second highest mountain in Ecuador. Alexander von Humboldt said: “Cotopaxi’s shape is the most beautiful and regular of all the colossal peaks in the high Andes. It is a perfect cone covered by a thick blanket of snow…” We begin the climb at about one in the morning. An early start allows us to take advantage of the better snow conditions and thus travel more quickly and safely. The normal route is technically not challenging but physically demanding. It involves climbing on moderate glaciated slopes (generally 30° – 45°). After approximately eight hours of climbing we reach the top where we can enjoy magnificent views of the gigantic crater and of mountains such as Antisana, Cayambe and Chimborazo. After the summit climb, we descend Cotopaxi and head back to Tambopaxi lodge for rest and recovery.

  • Altitudes: Park land Cotopaxi: 4,643m/15,233ft
    Summit Cotopaxi: 5,897 m/ 19,347ft
    Tambopaxi: 3,766m/12,356ft
  • Vertical gain during the day: 2,131 m/6,991ft
  • Vertical gain climbing: 1,254 m/4,114 ft
  • Vertical gain of sleeping elevation: 0 m/ 0 ft
  • Travel times: Tambopaxi – Park land Cotopaxi: 40 minutes
    Park land Cotopaxi – Tambopaxi: 40 minutes
  • Hiking/Climbing times: Park land Cotopaxi – Summit Cotopaxi: 8 hours
    Summit Cotopaxi – Park land Cotopaxi: 3 hours
  • Accommodation: Tambopaxi Lodge
  • Internet Access: Wifi
  • Cell Phone signal: No. For emergencies and to cybercast, we have a satellite phone with us.

Those in the 12 day program will return to Quito for their flights out the next day.

Day 12

Tambopaxi Lodge – Riobamba. Abraspungo Hostelry.

After breakfast, we travel by bus to the Abraspungo Hostelry (2,750 m/9,022 ft.) located close to the city of Riobamba and Chimborazo. We will drive south along what Alexander von Humboldt called, “The Avenue of the Volcanoes,” which are the high valleys separating the two Ecuadorian mountain chains. There will be great opportunities to admire the “Big Ten Ecuadorian Volcanoes,” including the beautiful and active Cotopaxi. In the afternoon, we will reach Abraspungo. This cozy accommodation in a spectacular setting gives us another opportunity to rest and prepare before our most demanding climb.

  • Altitudes: Tambopaxi Lodge: 3,766 m/12,356 ft.
    Abraspungo Hostelry: 2,750 m/9,022 ft.
  • Vertical gain during the day: – 1,016 m/ – 3,334 ft.
  • Vertical gain of sleeping elevation: – 1,016 m/ – 3,334 ft
  • Travel times: Tambopaxi Lodge – Abraspungo Hostelry: 3 hours
  • Accommodation: Abraspungo Hostelry
  • Internet access: Wi-Fi with PIN
  • Cell phone signal: yes

Day 13

Abraspungo Hostelry – Stübel Camp on Chimborazo

Chimborazo (6,310 m/20,702 ft.), our next objective, is the highest mountain in Ecuador. This old volcano is considered extinct although some recent studies show that it might still be active. Its main summit has the distinction of being the farthest point from the center of the Earth, making Chimborazo, in its own way, the tallest mountain in the world. It does not matter from which side you look at Chimborazo, it will impress you by its size and beauty. Today we travel by bus to Plaza Roja (4,852 m/15,918 ft.) located close to the Carrel Hut (4,862 m/15,951 ft). From there, we will walk about two hours to the Stübel Camp (5,050 m/16,567 ft.), where we spend the afternoon preparing for the climb the next day. Porters will help us carry group gear from Plaza Roja up to the Stübel Camp.

  • Altitudes: Abraspungo Hostelry: 2,750 m/9,022 ft.
    Plaza Roja: 4,852 m/15,918 ft.
    Stübel Camp: 5,050 m/16,567 ft.
  • Vertical gain during the day: 2,300 m/7,545 ft.
  • Vertical gain climbing: 198 m/649 ft.
  • Vertical gain of sleeping elevation: 2,300 m/7,545 ft.
  • Travel times: Abraspungo Hostelry – Plaza Roja: 1 hour
  • Hiking/Climbing times: Plaza Roja – Stübel Camp: 2 hours
  • Accommodation: Stübel Camp
  • Internet access: no
  • Cell phone signal: yes

Day 14

Summit Chimborazo – Riobamba. Abraspungo Hostelry.

We start the climb at about midnight following the Stübel glacier until it joins the Castle Saddle (5,500 m/18,044 ft.). This new variant to the normal Castle Ridge route is free from the danger of rock fall, making it a much safer line. From the Stübel Camp, it normally takes eight hours to get to the Whymper summit from where you will enjoy one of the best views in Ecuador. To the east and southeast are El Altar, the most difficult mountain to climb in Ecuador, and the active volcanoes Tungurahua and Sangay. To the north and northeast are mountains such as the Ilinizas, Antisana, and the famous Cotopaxi. The descent to the Stübel Camp takes three hours. After returning to camp, we will pack and descend to Plaza Roja, then travel to Riobamba town. The Abraspungo Hostelry gives us beautiful Andean scenery at the end of our climb.

  • Altitudes: Stübel Camp: 5,050 m/16,567 ft.
    Summit Chimborazo: 6,310 m/20,702 ft.
    Plaza Roja: 4,852 m/15,918 ft.
    Abraspungo Hostelry: 2,750 m/9,022 ft.
  • Vertical gain during the day: 1,260 m/4,135 ft.
  • Vertical gain climbing: 1,260 m/4,135 ft.
  • Vertical gain of sleeping elevation: -2,300 m/-7,545 ft.
  • Travel times: Plaza Roja – Abraspungo Hostelry: 1 hour
  • Hiking/Climbing times: Stübel Camp – Summit Chimborazo: 8 hours
    Summit Chimborazo – Stübel Camp: 3 hours
    Stübel Camp – Plaza Roja: 1.5 hours
  • Accommodation: Abraspungo Hostelry
  • Internet access: Wi-Fi with PIN
  • Cell phone signal: yes

Day 15

Riobamba – Quito. Hotel Quito.
After breakfast we will drive along the Avenue of the Volcanoes back to Quito. Farewell dinner in the evening.

  • Altitudes: Abraspungo Hostelry: 2,750 m/9,022 ft.
    Quito: 2,850 m/9,350 ft.
  • Vertical gain during the day: 100 m/328 ft.
  • Vertical gain of sleeping elevation: 100 m/328 ft.
  • Travel times: Riobamba – Quito: 4–5 hours
  • Accommodation: hotel
  • Internet Access: Wi-Fi with PIN There are also some computers that guests can use at the business center
  • Cell phone signal: yes

Day 16

Travel times: Airport – Hotel Quito: 45 min.

Galapagos Island Itinerary

Day 1

AM – San Cristobal airport
Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to San Cristobal (2.5-hour flight). Naturalist guides will pick up passengers at the airport and take them on a ten-minute bus ride to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.

PM – Interpretation Center & Tijeretas Hill (San Cristóbal)
Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, capital of the Galapagos Islands. Passengers visit the Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about natural history in the Galapagos. The Museum of Natural History displays information on the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, and the arrival of the different species and their colonization, among other points of interest. The museum also showcases human history, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and colonization of the islands. Tijeretas Hill involves a high-intensity walk amidst beautiful landscapes and a magnificent view at the foot of a frigate bird nesting colony.

Day 2

AM – Gardner Bay, Gardner & Osborn islets (Española)
Wet landing on a beautiful white coral sand beach guarded by a colony of sea lions. There are no trails, so we stay along the shore where we can spot Galapagos hawks, American oystercatchers, Galapagos ground doves, hood mockingbirds, yellow warblers, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin’s finches: a subspecies (Geospiza fuliginosa) of the large cactus finch, which is similar to the large ground finch, the small ground finch (Geospiza fuliginosa), and the warbler finch (Certhidea Olivacea), which is another endemic subspecies. Swimming and snorkeling offer an opportunity to see a great variety of Galapagos marine wildlife: king angelfish, Creole fish, damsel fish, parrotfish, manta rays, and white-tipped reef sharks.

PM – Suarez Point (Española)
Dry landing. An island of geological interest, we explore volcanic formations and a riveting wildlife: large sea lion colonies and seabirds including Española mockingbird, Nazca boobies, and the spectacular red-billed tropicbird. You will also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and the colorful Sally Lightfoot crabs.
A somewhat lengthy hike will bring you among Nazca and blue-footed boobies, right up to nesting grounds that sometimes overlap the trail. Other birding favorites include Galapagos dove, Galapagos hawk, swallow-tailed gulls, and the world’s largest colony of waved albatross that is an unequivocal highlight during mating season (May-December).
We will also be able to admire the island’s dramatic backdrop, featuring the famous Soplador, a seaward blowhole that shoots water some 23 m (75 ft.) in the air.

Day 3

AM – Post Office (Floreana)
Wet landing. Located on the north side of Floreana, the bay is so-named because in 1793, Captain James Colnett installed a wooden barrel that served as an informal post office for sailors passing through. Today, visitors continue the tradition by placing unstamped postcards inside the barrel that should reach their destinations for free. It can take weeks, months, even years, not arrive at all, or even arrive before you!
On this island we may encounter Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, and lava lizards. The island is best known for its endemic vegetation: Scalesia villosa, Lecocarpus pinnatifidus, and Galapagos milkwort. There are great snorkeling opportunities with Pacific green sea turtles as well. Snorkelers can practice on the main beach among playful sea lions.
PM – Cormorant Point / Devil’s Crown / Champion (Floreana)
Wet landing on an olivine green sand beach. We hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as Scalesia villosa, white and black mangrove, and holy stick. The trail continues to a beautiful white-sand beach, one of the most important nesting sites of Pacific green sea turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to sting rays that may be hiding in the sand that can be dangerous if accidentally stepped on. From the beach, one can spot sea turtles, blue-footed boobies plunging into the water, and small reef sharks floating along the shoreline in search of food. This coral-sand beach marks the end of our trail, and we head back to the olivine beach we landed on to swim or snorkel amongst sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions and, on a good day, white-tipped reef sharks. A small colony of penguins resides on Floreana, which we can sometimes observe.

Day 4

AM – Highlands (Santa Cruz)
Dry landing. A 45-minute bus ride will take us to the Santa Cruz highlands, located to the northwest of Puerto Ayora, where we will find a natural reserve with giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles are responsible for the island’s name, and approaching them in their humid and forested abode is always an inspiring adventure. They can weigh between 250 and 300 kg and can live up to 150-200 years. Additionally, travelers can walk inside surprising lava tubes.
PM – Fausto Llerena Breeding Center – Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz)
Dry landing. We visit the station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place as part of our efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment and where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen of his specie) lived for decades. Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and a variety of Darwin’s finches and other land birds. The Darwin Station also works to provide environmental education to communities and schools within the islands and to tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands. You will also have some free time to visit the town and shop for souvenirs.

Day 5

AM – Daphne
We circumnavigate the islet of Daphne, an eroded tuff cone formation that was created by successive volcanic activity, for an opportunity to see Darwin’s finches, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, swallow-tailed gulls, and brown noddies. Afterward, you will go straight to the airport for return flight to Guayaquil or Quito.

Napo Wildlife Center Itinerary

DAY 1

A rewarding 30-minute flight to Coca over the eastern Andes mountain range is the beginning of this amazing experience.
After landing, a short five-minute drive to the port in the Napo River will take us to a comfortable, covered motor boat. Here we start a boat ride along the Napo for approximately two hours where we will be able to spot some aquatic birds. After arriving at Napo Wildlife Center’s welcoming area, we take a magical and peaceful one-hour, dugout-canoe ride along a narrow creek that connects to the lake where the lodge is located. This canoe ride provides a great opportunity to spot wildlife, various species of monkeys, as well as large birds like toucans, parrots, or even macaws. Late afternoon arrival at the lodge. After dinner, a short introductory walk and Cayman observation in a paddle canoe are the last activities before a well-deserved rest.

DAY 2

After a buffet breakfast, we will experience life above the forest floor visiting the 36-meter canopy tower. This tower is located about 20 minutes from the lodge, deep within the forest. We will be able to get a very good sample of the 567 species recorded so far, with a close look at colorful tanagers, macaws, toucans, flycatchers, and even spider or howler monkeys feeding themselves on the nearby trees. The canopy tower opens a whole new world to the guests of the Napo Wildlife Center. Return to the lodge for a typical Ecuadorian lunch. After lunch, there are many options to choose from before you start the afternoon activity. You may swim in the lake with guides, climb the dining room tree tower for more bird watching, or relax in your hammock. In the afternoon, we will hike through a marvelous terra firme forest to discover the ecology and role of plants in the complex world of the tropical rain forest. Vines, ancient trees, bromeliads, and orchids stand out in this impressive natural garden. After the hike we can explore the surrounding creeks, with a possibility of running into a giant otter family. Dinner at 7:30 p.m.

DAY 3

This morning we visit the best parrot clay licks in Ecuador. We will have an early start and paddle downstream on the Añangu creek as far as the welcome area. From there, we will take a motor boat for a wonderful 10-minute ride to view of thousands of parrots such as mealy Amazon and blue-headed boobies, among others, while they land on the earth to eat the clay. Later we will return to the welcome area and a have a short hike to the parakeets’ clay lick, where hundreds of cobalt-winged parakeets on top of the trees eat the salts, chemicals, and minerals contained in the organic matter. Lunch in the welcome area. In the afternoon, visit the interpretation area to see the traditions of the ancestral Kichwa community of Añangu and share a traditional ceremony with the shaman. Late in the afternoon we will go back to the lodge where we will be welcomed back with a refreshing fresh juice. Dinner at 7:30 p.m.

DAY 4

This morning we hike along the Tiputini trail and its terra firma and swamp forests, searching for more wildlife, such as golden-mantled tamarins, white-faced capuchin monkey, two- and three-toed sloths, pigmy squirrels, carnivores, and their tracks on the forest floor. We will return to the lodge for lunch and a well-deserved rest. In the afternoon, we will take paddle canoes to explore deeper areas in the surrounding creeks for more possibilities of seeing unique wildlife. After dinner, a video about the community and Napo Wildlife Center will be shared with you.

DAY 5

After an early breakfast, we will have a last excursion canoeing back to the Napo river, where the creek may reveal new sights of giant otters, monk saki monkeys, hoatzins, black-capped donacobius, or other birds. The motorized canoe will return visitors to Coca for the flight back to Quito.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a sample itinerary subject to change due to weather conditions, safety, and particular interests of guests and groups. Changes and additions are made in order to maximize wildlife viewing and wilderness enjoyment, cultural interaction with local people, and all possible time at the richest rain forest in Ecuador: the Yasuni National Park.

Amazing. Truly luxury climbing. The lodges and haciendas were beautiful with great rooms and food. This made it a lot easier to recuperate after each big climb.

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    The Notebook: When Should I Climb Rainier?

    Alpine Ascents climbs Mount Rainier from May through September. We are often asked which dates to choose, so here we break down the merits of each month. Mount Rainier’s Climbing Season(s) Mount Rainier can be climbed year-round. For climbers willing to adventure, even the more challenging shoulder seasons can provide interesting climbing or skiing. A […]

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