Multi-Day Tour | Independent, Locally Hosted

Ecuador Explorer (10 days)

Ladatco Tours

Miami, FL, United States To Quito, Ecuador

Valid for Departures Now Through: 31 Aug 2019


Day 1
Miami, FL United States
Quito, Ecuador
Hotel Colon Hilton None

Afternoon flight south to Quito. Upon arrival, meeting and transfer to Hotel Colon Hilton in the heart of the city for two night stay.

Day 2
Quito, Ecuador
Hotel Colon Hilton Breakfast, Lunch

Spend the day today exploring the main points of interest in Quito including the Plaza de Independencia, La Compania and San Francisco churches among other places of interest. Continue to the Equatorial Monument - the spot where the 18th century scientific expedition determined the exact position of the equator. This is your chance to stand in two hemispheres at once or stand on the line and be no where! Plenty of time to visit the excellent ethnographic museum and other places of interest in the complex before returning back to Quito. Lunch is included en route today.

Day 3
Quito, Ecuador
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
M/V Santa Cruz II Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Morning flight 600 miles due west along the Equator into the Pacific Ocean to Baltra Island in the Galapagos Islands. Transfer to the M/V Santa Cruz. Lunch and initial briefing before your 1st excursion ashore on the north shore of Santa Cruz hosts Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill). A dinghy ride among mangrove-lined islets where various types of birds can be seen, such as boobies, frigates, pelicans, along with a chance to see marine turtles, rays and sharks. Dry landing and a walk that includes a brackish water lagoon frequented by greater flamingos and a variety of shore / lagoon birds. Dragon Hill is a natural nesting site of a fairly large number of land iguanas.

ABOUT THE M/V SANTA CRUZ: The Santa Cruz carries only 90 passengers. Cabins are on 3 decks: Main, Upper and Boat Decks. All cabins are carpeted & air conditioned, private bath with plenty of hot & cold water, under the bed storage & between bed desk. The primary difference between cabins is the location, not size or amenities. There is only one cabin with a double bed; twin cabins have 2 lower berths; triples & quads have upper-lower berths; singles are inside cabins. There is a cocktail lounge & bar, dining room, boutique & plenty of deck space. With Ecuadorian registry, the M/V Santa Cruz meets all international safety requirements for her A-1-A rating from the American Bureau of Shipping and SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea). Operations. Services are maintained by a 48-person crew.

ABOUT GOING ASHORE: Excursions ashore take places each morning & afternoon, with staggered debarking in groups of 20 based on language. Landings are "wet" (step out of the boat & walk ashore in the surf) or "dry" (using natural promontories as make-shift piers). Walks are generally not difficult though some sites can be challenging but not impossible for the average person. Essential gear for shore visits include hat with brim or bill, sun protection, insect repellent, good walking shoes (but not overkill mountain trekkers!) and your camera.

SPECIAL NOTE: If you don't like animals & you don't like being an active ingredient in the wildlife experience, don't visit the Galapagos. The sole reason to go to the islands is the flora and fauna, & you have to go ashore & exert energy to experience it. The guides teach you a motto the first day you arrive: "Take nothing from the islands but memories and leave nothing behind but footprints."

Day 4
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
M/V Santa Cruz II Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Morning at Bartolomé Island (dry landing) for a hike to the summit via a wooden staircase; the view from the top is worth the effort. Panga ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock, time to enjoy the beach (wet landing) and snorkeling. Chance to snorkel near Galápagos penguins. There is also the possibility to ride on the glass bottom boat for great views of the underwater world. Lunch on board. In the afternoon go ashore at Puerto Egas (wet landing), a great location to see mostly shore birds, while land birds can be observed a little more inland. The trail brings us to a colony of the endemic Galápagos fur sea lions. At low tide marine iguanas graze upon emerald green algae beds. Outstanding snorkeling and swimming from the beach before the walk.

Day 5
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
M/V Santa Cruz II Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Morning ashore at Darwin Bay, Tower Island. Wet landing at a small white coralline beach for an easy stroll observing hundreds of birds, mainly Great Frigate birds, red footed and Nazca (masked) boobies, lava gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. Later the trail leads to an area of sharp lava and uneven terrain, but you may return to the beach or continue observing wildlife within the sandy portions of the walk. Those more adventurous can snorkel along the cliffs while looking for colorful tropical fish and hopefully some Hammerhead Sharks. In the afternoon shore visit at Prince Philip Steps or navigate towards North Seymour Island, totally depending on local conditions. North Seymour is one of the few uplifted islands in Galápagos. There are colonies of blue footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds, and swallowtail gulls. The sandy shore teems with Galápagos sea lions and marine iguanas. Prince Philip Steps (Genovesa (Tower) Island) with red-billed tropic birds nests, large colonies of Nazca (masked) boobies, frigate birds, storm petrels and the well camouflaged short-eared owl.

Day 6
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
M/V Santa Cruz II Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early morning visit to Santa Fé (Barrington) Island, one of the most picturesque harbors within the archipelago. A large sea lion colony inhabits most of the surrounding landing site. Follow the trail among a very tall forest of opuntia cacti, where large and somewhat pale land iguanas, that are island endemics, can be seen. A variety of finches and the Galápagos mockingbird abound. Back to the ship for breakfast as we sail to Santa Cruz Island. Mid-morning disembarkation (dry landing) to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island at Puerto Ayora, to view and learn about the giant tortoises. Then a bus ride into the highlands of Santa Cruz Island for lunch at Narwhall Ranch with a visit to the area, including the Scalesia (an endemic giant daisy tree) forest and the twin pit craters Los Gemelos. The trip to the highlands includes the islands’ most famous reptile: the giant tortoises in their wild habitat.

Day 7
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Quito, Ecuador
Otavalo, Ecuador
Hosteria La Mirage Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal Island, visit the San Cristóbal Interpretation Center, located in a natural setting, where it allows visitors to obtain information that will help them understand more the natural history of the Galápagos, with a great emphasis on human history and conservation. Afterwards you can stroll through Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, where souvenir shops and internet cafés welcome world travelers who are willing to catch up with the world and share the many wonders witnessed, before heading back to the mainland. Transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the continent. Meeting upon arrival in Quito and immediate departure for scenic two hour drive north to Cotacachi, near Otavalo, and the lovely Hosteria La Mirage for two nights with dinner and breakfast included daily.

Day 8
Otavalo, Ecuador
Hosteria La Mirage Breakfast, Dinner

Morning visit to the famed Otavalo Indian market. The Otavalo Indians are the most ambitious and prosperous craftsmen/merchants of Ecuador. Here you will have plenty of time to explore the market and bargain for textiles, weavings, handicrafts and the Panama hat, actually made in Ecuador. This is considered South America's best shopping market. In the afternoon you will explore Cotacachi, known for its leather, San Antonio de Ibarra, a woodworking center, Peguche, a weaving center, and other places of interest.

Day 9
Otavalo, Ecuador
Quito, Ecuador
Hacienda Rumiloma Breakfast

Morning at leisure to enjoy the facilities of La Mirage. In the afternoon make the return drive back to Quito for overnight at the eclectic and lovely Hacienda Rumiloma.

Day 10
Quito, Ecuador
Miami, FL United States
None None

Transfer to airport for return flight. Upon arrival at your USA gateway, clear immigration, customs and make connections to your home city.

Tour Features


Experiences have not been selected at this time



  • Quito

  • Galapagos

  • Otavalo

About Us

LADATCO Custom Designs South & Central America, the Falkland Islands & Antarctica. Here are 5 reasons to travel with LADATCO:

1) 50+ years of Destination Knowledge & Experience

2) Been There/Done That-We are destination specialists & proud to be on the cutting edge of destination knowledge

3) Custom Designed/Tailored to Fit-Custom Designed is LADATCO's only travel style

4) Before You Go-Customized Pre-Departure Information

5) On the Road-Our partners in Latin America share our commitment for hands-on care & individual attention

At LADATCO, we elevate the Experience of travel...beyond the the level of Pampered Adventure

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Deposit $750 per person in order to confirm space.

Second deposit to complete a total deposit of 30% of total cost due upon confirmation of all space.

Full payment due 65 days prior.

Cancellation policy - to be verified for each booking but in general:



Up to 90 days prior departure $ 750

89 to 61 days prior departure 30% of tour costs

60 to 31 days prior departure 50% of tour costs

30 to 00 days prior departure 100% of tour costs

NOTE: No Refunds are made for changes made en route at the discretion of the traveler.

Because everything is Custom Designed, deposit-payment-cancellation policy will be confirmed for each booking and the above is for general guidelines only.

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Ladatco Tours


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Reviewed on: 23 Jan 2014

Our vacation to Costa Rica was wonderful. All guides and drivers were top notch and we never had to wait for anything. I would book again using Ladatco Tours.

By: travel bug

Reviewed on: 20 Apr 2014

We have traveled to South America on several occasions and have used Ladatco (Michelle) to set up our tours/itineraries.  We have always felt like we saw the MOST interesting things that were especially geared for the interests of our group members.  We also think our schedules have made the most use of our time, money and logistics.  I highly recommend Ladatco to plan a South American vacation. 
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Bush

great guides

By: andi 007

Reviewed on: 08 Jan 2015

they were friendly/ very knowledgeable and flexible
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Bush


By: Lisa

Reviewed on: 21 May 2015

Argentina/ Chile
Travel Advisor:  Linda Fezekas

No direct contact therefore hard to rate

By: the other guy

Reviewed on: 21 Jul 2015

A middle man and therefore hard to rate.

excellent job

By: t and d

Reviewed on: 20 Dec 2015

Hotels and airline arrangements worked well. Two flight delays. Guide on Easter Island was excellent and we received an extra tour the day we arrived that was not on the plan but was very welcome.
Travel Advisor:  Jamo Ladd

Chilean and Argentinian arrangements

By: Ed

Reviewed on: 21 Feb 2017

Sports Tours of Santiago provided a great guide, Alvaro Gonzalez, and the hotels and resorts were wonderful. I appreciated them negotiating reasonable single supplements for the accommodations.
Travel Advisor:  Linda Van Buren

Ladatco midde person

By: Charlie

Reviewed on: 11 Feb 2017

We had no contact with a Ladatco rep. They provided services to our travel agent and we were happy with the result.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Bush


By: anonymous

Reviewed on: 27 Mar 2017

They planned a terrific itinerary, the guide was fabulous, helpful and full of knowledge about the area and the people.
Travel Advisor:  Kip Abbott



Reviewed on: 10 Jun 2017

Travel Advisor:  Vivian Paesano

Galapagos and Ecuador Trip - 2017

By: Jan

Reviewed on: 29 Jul 2017

Very good trip and service. Was where they needed to be at all times. Provided very good drivers and guides, spoke English well, wee flexible with our desires, and gave us consistent guides that got to know our family. Coordinated well with our overall trip planner. Trip was great and the guide provided a lot of local color with our trip -- as sometimes we like to go off the beaten track and experience more local places. Perfect fit for our family.
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Macleod

Macchu Picchu and Galapagos

By: The Johnson's

Reviewed on: 30 Oct 2017

Ladatco did a great job putting together our trip. Our local guides were really great. The Gourmet Food tour in Lima was a wonderful way to start our trip! One of the owners, Samantha, was our guide and gave us a culinary experience to remember. Our guide, Ramiro, with Metropolitan Tours, was so knowledgeable and so passionate about Peruvian history and the time of the Incas! we really enjoyed our time with him and learned so much from him. The visit to the Quillot village was an experience we will never forget. And, of course, Macchu Picchu and the other Incan ruins were awe-inspiring. The second Ramiro, in Quito, was another wonderful guide. We loved our hotels and wished we had more time to enjoy the amenities of Hotel B in Lima, the Sol y Luna in the Sacred Valley and Casa Gangotena in Quito. The Petrel is a beautiful small ship with an excellent crew. Our naturalist, Nico Andrade, was just great. He was knowledgeable, funny and kept us busy! The food was just OK.
Travel Advisor:  Linda Van Buren

Local travel

By: Susu

Reviewed on: 06 Jan 2018

Wonderful guides. Thorough. We were well taken care of.
Travel Advisor:  Rochelle Lieberman

Peru December 2017

By: Roger

Reviewed on: 12 Jan 2018

Very well put together
Travel Advisor:  Joanne Meyer


By: Doug

Reviewed on: 28 Apr 2018

Our guides were incredibly knowledgeable and very helpful for us not only enjoying our time in Peru, but understanding this beautiful country full of so much mysterious history.
Travel Advisor:  Molly Reidel

jf review

By: jim

Reviewed on: 19 Jun 2018

Excellent company to work with Very helpful - great contcts
Travel Advisor:  Joanne Meyer