A 9-Day Thomson Adventures tour starting from $5,690
This teen trip is ideal for the family who wants to do it all. You can hop on a mountain bike and go for a ride through the stunning Andean Highlands, learn how to use a handheld GPS and read topographical maps for a treasure hunt, and of course snorkel, swim and hike among the planet’s most fascinating ecosystem – the Galapagos Islands. Each day we disembark on a different island to explore, swim and view the almost tame wildlife. Ecuador is one place where “been there, done that” just does not apply, so get your teens ready for a vacation where each day is filled with discovery and adventure.
If you have a few more vacation days to take advantage of while you’re in South America, go on our Peru extension. A family adventure that includes the Galapagos Islands AND Machu Picchu can’t be beat.
Days 2 to 4 – Andean Highlands
Leaving behind coastal Guayaquil, we’ll venture up into the Andean Highlands. Rolling hillsides nestle ruins of lost civilizations such as the Cañari, a sophisticated society of astronomers who ruled this area for a thousand years before being conquered by the Incas. The Incas controlled the Andean Highlands for less than a century; the Spanish arrived in the 1530s, and by 1557 the rubble of Incan buildings was being used to create the colonial city of Cuenca.
Hike the Highlands
Enjoy a short hike along the trails of the Andean Highlands and be amazed by the views of the valley and local fields. Along the way you'll learn about the indigenous tribes that once ruled the area.
Rock climbing at Cojitambo Mountain
Our expert mountaineers will teach you the ins and outs of rock climbing at Cojitambo, a mountain sacred to the native Cañari Indians.
Explore the Cojitambo ruins
Investigate the pre-Incan ruins at Cojitambo and take in the breathtaking 360-degree views of the Andes.
Bargain at Mercado 10 de Agosto in Cuenca
Get a feel for the local way of life by going bargain shopping at Mercado 10 de Agosto, one of Cuenca’s largest markets.
Find a treasure using GPS
Discover a treasure hidden amongst the Inca ruins at Pumapungo using a GPS device.
Days 5 to 7 – Galapagos Islands Cruise
Let’s go island hopping! Board the Galapagos Explorer II for four days of incredible land and sea explorations. The ship’s naturalists will be your guides in the Galapagos and will lead two shore expeditions per day to seek out wildlife and learn about the natural history of these fascinating volcanic islands. When not snorkeling or discovering the islands on foot, you can enjoy all the amenities this first class ship has to offer – a Jacuzzi, solarium, reading room, internet access and your comfortable air-conditioned cabins.
Welcome to Darwin’s Enchanted Islands…
San Cristobal Island
Some say these islands are like zoos without the bars, and San Cristobal is a great place to get started. Look for land iguanas at Dragon Hill and marine life as you snorkel along the coastline, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see the rare Chatham mockingbird.
Its remote location helps make it the jewel of all wildlife viewing. On your walking adventures look for sea lions, iguanas, masked and blue-footed boobies, sea turtles and views of lava cliffs where sea water jets high in the air.
Santa Cruz & Rabida Islands
See enormous tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Station on the larger Santa Cruz Island, and look for pelicans, pink flamingos and pintail ducks in the shallow salt water lagoons on the red sand beaches of tiny Rabida Island. This is an ideal spot to swim with the sea lions, so don’t forget your underwater cameras!
Day 8 – Galapagos Islands /Guayaquil
After one more activity in the Galapagos, we say goodbye to these enchanted isles and hello to mainland Ecuador once again!
Say good-bye to your guide and fellow travelers while sharing your favorite moments from your adventure.
Day 9 – Depart Guayaquil / Arrive U.S.
Land + Air
(Land + Air)
Please call a tour specialist at 1-800-942-3301 for personalized assistance.
|Note: Departures appearing above in green are guaranteed to operate by the tour operator.|
RECOMMENDED FOR AGES 12+
All tour prices are per person, in US dollars, based on double occupancy.
Your family will experience the rich culture of the Andes and the amazing n.. (click for more)
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All prices are per person, double occupancy, subject to availability. These pages are not endorsed or supported by the tour operator in any way. All information presented is based on promotional material provided by the tour operator. All prices, itineraries, accommodations and dates are subject to change without notice and at any time by the tour operators. Availability is limited and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. The prices on this website are not guaranteed. We are not responsible for errors, omissions, or changes in pricing. Please call us toll free at 1-800-942-3301 to confirm availability and pricing.