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What to expect

Exotic Wildlife

Encounter beautiful wildlife on the Galapagos Islands

Unique Experiences

Explore the hidden gem that is Mindo Cloud Forest

Charming Cities

Discover the equator and the centre of the world in Quito

About the trip

Ecuador is the place for lovers of natural beauty, architecture, culture and history. On this tour, we explore the charming capital city of Ecuador – Quito, with its cobbled streets, historic churches and picturesque plazas. Whilst on the mainland, we visit the magical Mindo Cloud Forest, mix with the locals at the bustling and colourful Otavalo Market and witness one of the highest active volcanos within the Cotopaxi National Park.

And no trip to Ecuador would be complete without heading to the Galapagos Islands, with sights of natural beauty, well-preserved terrain and exotic wildlife, this one’s for the bucket list. We spend a number of days here island hopping, giving you the best chance to explore this extraordinary place.

Activity Level:

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What's included?

  • Return flights & transfers
  • Airport taxes & charges
  • All rooms for sole occupancy
  • Welcome drink
  • Daily breakfast, four lunches and two dinners
  • Walking tour of Quito, visiting Quito's Madonna statue and the equator at Ciudad Mitad del Mundo
  • Discover Mindo Cloud Forest
  • Visit to Otavalo's famous market
  • Trips out to Cotopaxi and Quilotoa Crater Lake
  • Flights to and from the Galapagos where we spend a number of days exploring
  • Accompanying Solos Tour Leader
  • Fully Financially Protected


  • Arrival into Ecuador
  • Quito City tour and visit to middle of the world
  • Mindo Cloud Forest
  • Otavalo
  • Cotopaxi National Park
  • Quilotoa Crater Lake and Tigua Native Paintings Gallery
  • Flight to the Galapagos and San Cristóbal
  • Full Day exploring Española
  • Kicker Rock
  • Santa Cruz
  • Explore a remote island in the Galapagos
  • Flight back to Guayaquil
  • Walking tour of Guayaquil and then in the evening transfer to the airport
  • Arrive home


  • Insurance click here
  • Transit Control Card – $20.00

What you’ll be doing


Arrival Day

Welcome to Ecuador! After arriving at the airport, we’ll be transferred to our hotel in the famous old town district of Quito, the highest official capital in the world.

  • Overnight in Quito – Patio Andaluz Hotel

Quito City Tour and visit to the middle of the world

Today, we explore the old centre of Quito on a tour and explore the beautiful city monuments, before making our way over to Quito’s Madonna statue on top of Panecillo Hill. After this, we will visit the monument at Ciudad Mitad del Mundo and its Museum where we can stand with one foot in each hemisphere either side of the equator. Then we head to Mindo, where we can relax in the middle of the Cloud Forest (transfer approximately two hours).

  • Breakfast & Dinner Included
  • Overnight in Mindo – Bella Vista Hotel

Discover the magic of the Mindo Cloud Forest

Wake up with the songs of the Cloud Forest from birds all around the lodge. Through the Canopy experience, we can admire our stunning surroundings. During a walk around, we have the chance to spot beautiful landscapes and local fauna. After lunch, enjoy the warm weather around the pool. We will then transfer to Otavalo for a night’s stay in a Hacienda, ready for the following day in the countryside (transfer approximately three hours).

  • Breakfast included
  • Overnight in Otavalo – Hacienda Cusín

Otavalo Markets, Peguche Waterfalls and the Cuicocha crater lake

Today we visit the famous Handicraft Market in the Plaza de los Ponchos in Otavalo. Later, in the Community of Peguche, we attend a demonstration of different traditional weaving-techniques. After visiting the market, we journey to the sacred waterfall of Peguche, a spot for shamanistic ceremonies at special dates. Finally, we will visit the spectacular 3,000 years old Cuicocha crater lake.

Then it’s off to a hotel near Quito to head on to Cotopaxi the following day (transfer approximately 2.5 hours).

  • Breakfast Included
  • Overnight near Quito – San José de Puembo Hotel

Cotopaxi National Park & Cotopaxi Volcano

After breakfast, we transfer to Cotopaxi National Park (transfer approximately two hours). Cotopaxi is one of the most important National Parks of Ecuador, where we witness one of the world’s highest active volcanos. We head to one of the local Haciendas to meet our guide to receive instructions on riding horseback around the beautiful and unique landscapes of Cotopaxi Volcano. We will enjoy lunch in a restaurant boasting incredible views of Limpiopungo Lagoon that sits at the bottom of the Cotopaxi. At the end of the day, we head to a Hacienda to enjoy local culture of the Andes.

  • Breakfast & Lunch Included
  • Overnight in Cotopaxi National Park – Hacienda La Ciénega

Quilotoa Crater Lake and Tigua Native Paintings Gallery

Once we’ve had breakfast, we head to Quilotoa Crater Lake (transfer approximately two hours). Many volcanoes overlook the Ecuadorian Andes, but Quilotoa’s crown jewel is the vibrant coloured lake sitting in the crater. From several viewpoints, we will gaze into the depth and be left in awe.

In one of the communities that belonged to the Hacienda of Tigua, there is an indigenous art gallery. Bright oils depict indigenous life on the campsite; working on the fields, masquerade festivals, local legends, and their interesting cosmovision, in which waterfalls, rocks, volcanoes, and condors appear as living spirits. The unique paintings of the Toaquiza family (and others) have been exhibited in Quito, Paris, and New York. After your visit, you will notice the difference between the original and their imitators which are sold on many souvenir markets.

Following today’s exploring, we head back to Quito Airport (transfer approximately three hours) and stay overnight in the hotel ready for our flight to the Galapagos Islands the next morning.

  • Breakfast Included
  • Overnight near Quito – San José de Puembo Hotel

Flight to Galapagos and San Cristóbal

After breakfast, we make the short transfer to the airport to fly to the Galapagos.

Upon landing, we head to the Interpretation Center of San Cristobal – a fascinating place to start learning about the archipelago. Next, we ascend Frigate Hill and gaze at the marvellous panoramic view of the rugged coastline. Finally, we descend to the secluded Carola Beach for a refreshing swim amidst Galapagos sea lions.

  • Breakfast Included
  • Overnight on San Cristobel island– Miconia Hotel

Diving into Kicker Rock

Kicker Rock is a magnificent landmark just off the northwest coast of San Cristobal. It holds some of the most popular sites for scuba diving and deep-water snorkelling in the entire Galapagos Marine Reserve & Shark Sanctuary, without being overcrowded.

  • Breakfast & Lunch Included
  • Overnight on San Cristobel island– Miconia Hotel

Wildlife Spotting on our Española Island Hiking Trail

Today we will take a hiking trail of 1.6 km in Española island, the oldest of the Archipelago, where we can see endemic species, such as the Española mockingbird, the Galapagos hawk, the green-reddish marine iguanas and Galápagos sea lions. This island is one of the greatest in the world for birdwatchers, different kinds of finches, frigates, blue-footed boobies and Nazca boobies can be found.

After lunch, we navigate to ‘Bajo Gardner’ for snorkelling. This is a shallow area where eagle rays, golden rays, barracudas, batfish, turtles, sea lions, and white-tipped sharks might be spotted.

  • Breakfast & Lunch Included
  • Overnight on San Cristobel island– Miconia Hotel
DAY 10

Unique Experiences in Santa Cruz

We start the day early today where we catch our speedboat to visit the Sanat Cruz Island and enjoy two of Puerto Ayora’s most popular excursions. Firstly, the Charles Darwin Research Station, with its Galapagos giant tortoise corrals, is a must-do for every Galapagos visitor. Beach lovers should also not miss Turtle Bay; it is only accessible on foot along a long but interesting nature trail (approximately 2.5km). Beyond the wild natural beach, fringed by exotic red mangroves, lies the island’s most popular recreational beach.

  • Breakfast Included
  • Overnight on Santa Cruz island – Lobo de Mar Hotel
DAY 11

Remote Island Tour

Today, depending on local conditions, we get to explore a remote island. Options include Bartolomé, Seymour Santa Fé or South Plaza. Included today is lunch, snorkel equipment and a guide to help us understand and find the best spot for snorkelling.

This evening, we enjoy dinner at El Muelle de Darwin Restaurant to bid farewell to the Galapagos Islands. 

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included
  • Overnight on Santa Cruz island – Lobo de Mar Hotel
DAY 12

Flight from Galapagos to Guayaquil

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport to take our flight back to the mainland and to Guayaquil. After transferring to our hotel and checking in, we have free time to relax at the hotel or explore Guayaquil at our own pace.

  • Breakfast Included
  • Overnight in Guayaquil – Unipark Hotel
DAY 13

Walking tour of Guayaquil & Evening Transfer

We spend our final morning together with a tour of Guayaquil. We head to the Waterfront Esplanade, called Malecón Simón Bolívar, which stretches along the Guayas River. After walking a couple of blocks, we will find the picturesque and colourful neighbourhood of Las Peñas, built on the Santa Ana Hill. Some of its colourful wooden houses are more than a century old and have been saved from fires that burned large areas of Guayaquil. Later today, we will transfer to the airport to take our connecting, overnight, flight back home. 

  • Breakfast Included
DAY 14

Arrival back into the UK

Today we land back in the UK after our connecting, overnight flight back home.


We stay in comfortable hotels throughout as detailed below (or similar):

  • Quito – Patio Andaluz Hotel
  • Mindo – Bella Vista Hotel
  • Otavalo – Hacienda Cusín
  • Quito – San José de Puembo Hotel
  • Cotopaxi National Park – Hacienda La Ciénega
  • San Cristobel, Galapagos – Miconia Hotel
  • Santa Cruz, Galapagos – Lobo de Mar Hotel
  • Guayaquil – Unipark Hotel

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Reviews

“I’m sure you will enjoy it, I have been on three solos holidays to date and the people I’ve met have been great.”

“I’ve been travelling with Solos for nearly 20 years, on and off. The reason is for exactly what you want – you meet like minded people… and have loads of fun!”

“I’ve been on loads of trips with Solos over the years and can honestly say you will not regret booking your 1st one!”

“The feeling you have once you go away on your own is worth all the nerves before! I was so very anxious the first time but now having done it 4 times, I love it!”


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