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|Dates||Adult Price||Child Price||Internal Air|
|03/13 - 03/22||$6,390||$6,190||$1,000|
|06/19 - 06/28||$6,390||$6,190||$1,000|
|07/31 - 08/09||$6,390||$6,190||$1,000|
|12/26 - 01/04||$6,790||$6,590||$1,000|
Single supplement: $2,000
Triple discount (child under 12 sharing with two adults): $100
Internal Air Discount for Children under 12: $150 in December, 2014 and $100 for all 2015 trips
Welcome to Ecuador! Our Smithsonian Family Adventure through this treasured country is full of great opportunities to experience the rich culture of the Andean Highlands and the famous biological diversity of the Galapagos Islands.
On the way from the coastal city of Guayaquil to the Andean Highlands, drive past rice paddies, banana plantations, and cacao trees, stopping off at the Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve for a boat tour through a tropical mangrove ecosystem brimming with bird life. Continue up into the rolling terrain of the Highlands, home to the ruins of lost civilizations, including the Cañari, a sophisticated society of astronomers who ruled the area for a thousand years before being conquered by the Incas. The Incas controlled the Andean Highlands for less than a century before the Spanish arrived in the 1530s.
- Boat journey through a tropical mangrove ecosystem
- Meet your kids’ Ecuadorian pen pals at a rural school
- Rock climb at Cojitambo Mountain
- Inspect the Cañari ruins at Cojitambo
- Learn traditional Andean hat weaving in Biblián (alternate activity to rock climbing)
- Pick out fresh produce at a local market by using the Spanish words for your groceries
- Learn horseback riding technique and ride through scenic hills
- Prepare an authentic dish with a local family (alternate activity to horseback riding)
- Wander the cobblestone streets of Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Fly to Guayaquil and then to the famed Galapagos Islands, connecting in Baltra and ultimately landing on Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos—it’s bigger than all of the rest combined!
- Visit the Galápagos National Park Tortoise Breeding Center
- Walk through wetlands past mangroves, sea shore birds, and reptiles
- Boat through lava tunnels and volcanic caves at Los Tuneles
- Observe Galápagos penguins, sea birds, eagle rays, and sharks
- Snorkel in crystal-clear water brimming with marine life
- Hike at Tintoreras, where you may spot white-tipped reef sharks
- Swim at Loberia Chica and encounter playful sea lions
- Stargaze on the beach
We’ll fly from Isabela to Baltra and connect to the island of Santa Cruz, the second largest in the Galapagos and home to the bustling port city of Puerto Ayora.
- Learn about finch research in the famous Daphne Islands
- Walk the Enchanted Beach and snorkel, looking for marine turtles
- Visit private farms set aside for giant tortoise conservation
- Explore an immense 1,300-foot lava tunnel
- Navigate by boat using just a sextant and the sun’s position as early explorers did
- See marine iguanas and sea lions on a sandy beach
- Snorkel around wildlife-rich mangroves
- Go fishing in search of dinner
Today we say goodbye to these enchanted isles and hello to mainland Ecuador once again!
- Farewell dinner
Mansión Alcázar, situated in the center of the quaint, old-fashioned city of Cuenca, oozes all the classical charm and grandeur one would expect from a renovated 1870s mansion. The hotel is beautifully decorated in an elegant colonial style, from the wrought iron balcony to the antique furniture, the crystal chandelier to the fountain and grand piano. Even the enchantingly colonial guest rooms have long drapes and chandeliers. Mansión Alcázar also has a bar called Le Bar and a restaurant called Casa Alonso, with an accomplished local chef cooking gourmet cuisine from Ecuador and elsewhere.
Iguana Crossing is located on the southern part of the island, with only National Park beyond it. The hotel is the only one on Isabela with an oceanfront swimming pool, and each of its rooms features great views of either the beachfront or Sierra Negra Volcano. Iguana Crossing also has central air conditioning, wireless internet, laundry facilities, rooftop Jacuzzi, and a restaurant and bar. Rooms here feature a flat screen TV, alarm clock with an iPod dock, hair dryer, safety deposit box, and tasteful, rustic design.
The Angermeyer Waterfront Inn offers top-notch comfort and all the necessary amenities amid constant reminders that you’re still in the Galapagos Islands, one of the most unique places in the world. The inn was built using lava rocks and drift wood for that authentic Galapagos feel, and each spacious room is equipped with cable television, air conditioning, and a private bathroom. Located just a 2-minute water taxi ride from the bustling Puerto Ayora, the property has its own dock and a waterfront restaurant prime for observing sea lions, sea turtles, and marine iguanas.
Hotel Silberstein is located in the center of Puerto Ayora, the most heavily populated city in the Galapagos Islands. The hotel offers 24 comfortable rooms, quality service, and a lovely atmosphere, with lush gardens and a pristine swimming pool. Amenities include a tourist information center, a dive center, internet and hair dryers.
Why Ecuador and the Galapagos with Thomson and Smithsonian?