Ecuador's charms softly cascade from Andean peaks to surreal islands, as this handcrafted Ecuador and Galapagos tour for senior travelers takes you on a journey of natural wonder and cultural intrigue. Enjoy six days of elegance on the mainland: haciendas, cloud forests, bird watching, colonial cities, colorful markets, and cute villages. Then, a 7-day luxury cruise unveils the intimate mystique of the Galapagos Islands, providing easy excursions to some of nature's most resplendent wildlife sites.
Quito – Andean Welcomes to Ecuador
Andean peaks rise across Western Ecuador, glistening from the plane window as you touch down in Quito. This spine of mountains hides a chest of cultural and natural treasures, providing a tranquil six days that blends the country's heritage. You're picked up at the airport and transferred privately to Mindo, a journey that takes you down the slopes to a lush and mystical cloud forest. Dozens of hummingbird species fly around the garden while endemic parrots sporadically squawk from the trees. Your room overlooks the thick green landscape, and rare hummingbirds continually visit your balcony. Enjoy a traditional Ecuadorian dinner with your guide, and rest at the lodge, hearing nature's harmony echo from the trees.
Mindo – Birdwatching in the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest
Quito – Indulging in Old-World Opulence
Quito – Relaxed Day in the Ancient City
Otavalo – A Colorful Day in Latin America's Oldest Market
Otavalo – Shopping in the Heritage Villages of the Highlands
Galapagos Cruise – A First Day of Exploring the Galapagos by Luxury Yacht
Galapagos Cruise – Incredible Birdwatching on San Cristobal Island
Galapagos Cruise – Sea Lions, Hawks, and Endemic Waved Albatross
Galapagos Cruise – Evocative History and Glass-Bottomed Rides Through the Marine World
Galapagos Cruise – The Giant Tortoises of the Santa Cruz Highlands
Galapagos Cruise – Diving Penguins and Walking on the Moon at Bartolome Island
Galapagos Cruise – Endemic Birds and Iguanas on North Seymour and South Plaza
Quito – Departure from Galapagos
- Explore the Galapagos with a 7-day luxury cruise through accessible wildlife sites on the southern and central islands
- Land on white sand beaches filled with sea lions, take short walks alongside stunning seabird nesting grounds and admire the elegance of giant tortoises
- Discover the iconic natural wonders of the Galapagos, and immerse yourself in a world of penguins, dolphins, seabirds, iguanas, and much more
- Start the vacation in the mystical cloud forests of Mindo, where dozens of hummingbirds and endemic tropical birds welcome you to Ecuador
- Indulge in the ancient opulence of Quito, the first ever World Heritage Site and a treasure chest of art, culture, and tradition
- Marvel at the colors of Latin America's oldest continuous market, Otavalo, then explore a sequence of traditional villages
- Sleep in some of Ecuador's most famous haciendas, traditional boutique accommodations in heritage buildings, with views of the Andes
Ecuador's charms are surreal to the eye and linger in the soul. The flamboyant mating displays of waved albatrosses, 17th-century markets of cobblestone and intriguing haciendas engulfed by fluttering hummingbirds... it's a country seemingly tailored for seniors' travel, with diverse enchantment packed into a small accessible corner of South America. In just an hour, you can drive from a historic capital to a mystical cloud forest. With a luxury cruise, you can tranquilly connect dramatic displays of natural history. Ecuador is serene and quick to pull you into its easygoing rhythm. Nothing is rushed. The important things are savored, like coffee on a terrace, or dinner that lingers through the evening. On the first six days of this Ecuador and Galapagos tour for senior travelers, you explore three destinations in the Western Andes: Quito, Mindo, and Otavalo. Then a 7-day luxury Galapagos cruise completes this handcrafted itinerary. Consider reading some of our travelers’ Galapagos cruise reviews, and see for yourself why it is the perfect way to explore the Galapagos.
Hummingbirds welcome you to Mindo, a quaint town nestled amongst the cloud forest. Dozens of them flutter across the hacienda's garden, as you settle in the country. Discover the area's mystique as you encounter thousands of butterflies and a parade of rare tropical birds. Quito then provides a cultural paradigm, as you spend two days immersed in the first ever World Heritage site. Art galleries, historic squares, golden churches... it's a city that imbues the finest of the continent's colonial history. Next up is Otavalo, where South America's oldest continuous market brings dashes of eclectic color to the itinerary. Soak up the old-world atmosphere, visit a myriad of traditional villages nearby, and lounge in another of Ecuador's fabulous haciendas. These boutique hacienda accommodations are destinations in themselves, exemplars of history that reflect the opulence of a distant era.
Serene and sublime, the luxury small-boat cruise allows you to discover the dazzling natural wonder of the Galapagos. Lounge on the sundeck as you sail through the Pacific and wallow in the tranquility of evenings spent docked beside uninhabited islands. Twice-daily excursions reveal the archipelago's famous wildlife, with each day taking you to a new island. The southern and central islands offer the most accessible sites for senior travelers, as the walks are mostly flat and short, plus there's less focus on snorkeling compared to the western islands. Discover stunning bird nesting sites like Punta Pitt and North Seymour, marvel at endemic species like the waved albatross and marine iguana, bask on beaches beside sea lions, and have lunch in the highlands surrounded by giant tortoises. Again, there's nothing to rush. Experiencing this remarkable realm means going slowly, taking in the 360-degree panorama, and admiring the intricate detail.
$13,645 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
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- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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