Travel through Ecuador in "Jack Hanna´s Into the Wild" Style
Our Galápagos Amazon Tour is perfect for the kayaking and wildlife viewing enthusiast! A tour Jack Hanna would be proud of and call "Into the Wild Style," no doubt.
You paddle your own kayak to explore the Galápagos Islands and then travel to the Amazon Rainforest to kayak on lakes and rivers, and see an entirely different ecosystem replete with wildlife such as monkeys, parrots, toucans and much more. There are no other tours with Galápagos kayaking and Amazon kayaking in one itinerary, and there is no better way to travel quietly and in harmony with nature. Both along the coast of the Galápagos Islands as well as the shores of Amazon waterways, your view of wildlife is up close and personal.
On the Galápagos portion of this tour, you have just as much kayaking as our classic Galapagos Unbound program, but spends four days in the Galápagos compared to eight. In the Amazon, you kayak three days out of four. Our base in the Amazon jungle is the highly-regarded Sacha Lodge, a 5000-acre private reserve with an astounding canopy walk, high observation tower, butterfly garden and lovely accommodations perched on the edge of a lake.
Images & Videos
Arrival to Guayaquil
Upon arrival in the coastal city of Guayaquil, you are met by a Galápagos Unbound representative of who assists you with your luggage and transfer you to the hotel for your overnight stay.
Arrive San Cristobal, Kayak Punta Basoa
In the morning, fly from Guayaquil to San Cristóbal Island, the easternmost island in the archipelago. The island is one of the oldest in the chain. Its volcanic peaks are greatly eroded and vegetation is more abundant here than on many other islands of the archipelago. We will kayak in Punta Basoa to practice wet exit and self rescue. Here we will spend our first night camping under the Galápagos Islands’ stars.
Kayak Punta Basoa to Punta Finger, Snorkel Kicker Rock
Today we start the day with a kayak adventure from Punta Basoa to Punta Finger, then we will continue by motor boat to Kicker Rock one of the best places for snorkeling and finally we will go to Isla Lobos, to swim with sea lions and see the blue-footed boobies that nest here. In the afternoon we will head back to Manglecito for another evening of conversation and camaraderie under the Galápagos stars on our last night on the camp.
Explore Santa Cruz Highlands and Kayak
After breakfast we will take our motor boat to Santa Cruz Island, also called the ‘Indefatigable Island’. It's located in the centre of the archipelago. The National Park Headquarters, the Charles Darwin Research Station, and Puerto Ayora's largest settlement are all located on Santa Cruz Island's Academy Bay.
Santa Cruz is the only island to have a road that crosses its interior, providing tourists with a rare opportunity to see the interior and higher elevations of a Galápagos island. We drive to the Santa Cruz highlands where we will see wild Galápagos giant tortoises. These huge creatures weigh from 200 to 500 pounds and are scattered all over the island. Up next, you visit the lava underground tunnels, dug by hot lava twists and turns. This is an exciting opportunity to view the immense effect volcanic activity has on the islands.
In the afternoon, we take to the water and enjoy a 2-hour kayak.
Explore Bahía Ballena
This morning we explore Bahía Ballena. Land at a sandy white beach and discover Galápagos sea lions and unique marine iguanas basking in the sun, sometimes resting on the succulent Sesubium plant, which is commonly known as carpet weed. The endemic Darwin’s Finches and the Yellow Warbler subspecies fly among Candelabra and Prickly Pear Opuntia cacti to search for food and nesting sites. Frigate Birds perch on mangrove trees and circle the sky to try to steal fish from the Blue-footed Boobies. Here, different species of mangroves such as red, black, and white mangrove grow among the lava fields providing nutrients into the water which attract colorful tropical fish that can be observed as you snorkel.
As you look out from the inlet, you can see a series of channels where clusters of lava rocks form small reefs. Between the rocks Galápagos fish such as the multicolored King Angel Fish, Barberfish, schools of Striped Salemafish, Damselfish with a unique mixture of yellow lips and blue eyes, Surgeonfish, and gnarled Sea Cucumbers. The depth of the ocean at La Fe is approximately 30 feet and in many places there is a sandy bottom, where you will often see Long Tailed Stingrays of different sizes and Pacific Green Sea Turtles resting or gracefully swimming to find their food. Occasionally, you might see Leatherback Sea Turtles during their migratory stage.
Flight from Baltra to Quito - Visit Otavalo
Today we will take our flight to Quito. Depending on what the group would like. We can check into our hotel first, freshen up and then off to Otavalo or we transport directly from the airport to visit this world-famous market!
Fly from Quito to the Amazon Basin's Coca
After breakfast we transfer to the airport to fly to the small frontier town of Coca in the Amazon Basin. After landing, we drive a few minutes to the Napo River, one of the largest rivers in Ecuador and a tributary of the Amazon. We have lunch, then take a speed motor boat (known as a slider) to Sacha Lodge.
On arrival settle into your private room. Then we head out for a 30-minute hike through the rainforest to Lake Pilchicocha where we start our first jungle Amazon kayaking! Our kayaks are quality Canadian-made Featherlites. We paddle quietly along Orchids Creek for an hour or so, enjoying the afternoon light. Back at the lodge there’s time to head to an observation tower for bird watching, visit the butterfly house or sit on the decks and watch the sun go down.
After dinner, you have the option to accompany your naturalist guide on a night walk through the rainforest to view the hundreds of different species of animals that can only be found at night. Or take a canoe ride on the lake to view the spectacled and black caimans with their glowing orange eyes as you silently paddle across the lake to get a closer view.
Explore Amazon Jungle and Kayak
Today we start off in a canoe to travel about one and a half hours to the starting point of a hike. We then hike through the rainforest about three miles, surrounded by the jungle sounds to arrive at the banks of a remote and serene river where we find our kayaks waiting.
We begin our Amazon kayaking through this forest on a pristine igapo-blackwater lagoon and river system located in the narrow gap between Ecuador's two largest protected areas in the Amazon: the 982,000-hectare Yasuni National Park and the 600,000-hectare Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. The wildlife viewing here is second to none in all the Amazon Basin. Birds are bountiful and we may also see charapas turtles, Amazon river otter, and if we are lucky, kayak with freshwater pink dolphins in one of the lagoons. We paddle quietly through the forest around five hours, taking breaks along the way. At the end of our paddle we return to the lodge by motor canoe.
Kayaking Amazon and Canopy Trail
Early on morning nine of the Amazon kayaking portion of this tour we will take our kayaks and paddle about one and a half hours following the course of one of the creeks. Our hope is to see squirrel monkeys, white bellied spider monkeys, and of course, various species of birds. After paddling we arrive at the “canopy trail,” for spectacular views of the rainforest and many different species of vibrantly colored birds. The canopy walkway is at 100 ft high and 900 feet long, giving guests a “birds-eye view” of all the wonders and beauty that this tropical rainforest has to offer.
We paddle back to the lodge for lunch and in the afternoon you have some free time. Relax on the deck, or learn how to catch & release the razor-toothed piranha.
Late afternoon we walk to Sacha´s 135-foot wooden tower built around an ancient kapok tree, and climb to get incredible views of the forest. With any luck we will see monkeys and some new species of birds. We return to the lodge for dinner.
Return to Quito – Farewell dinner
After a final breakfast at Sacha Lodge, we depart at 7:30am for an easy walk on the boardwalk to watch monkeys one last time before getting in the motor boat to return up river to Coca where flights depart for Quito.
Arrive in Quito in the early afternoon. Some may choose to fly back home or extent their adventure on this day. Others will stay the night for their flight home in the morning.
Dates & Rates
We can run this trip for charter/private groups of 6 or more guests at any time during the year.
- 6 - 9 Guests $5100 per person
- 10 - 12 Guests $4750 per person
If you are looking for a similar trip with guaranteed departures on set dates, go here: Galapagos & Mainland Multisport
Tiered Pricing Explained
Our trips are budgeted for full or near full sign-ups which enables us to offer trips at the lowest possible price. Because of numerous fixed costs, it is more expensive to operate a trip for a small group. Therefore, on some of our trips, in order to avoid having to cancel a trip, we have a “tier-pricing” system to avoid canceling a trip with a low number of sign ups. We have found that most people also prefer this alternative to having a trip cancelled. Thus, you will note on our trip prices there may be different price for 6-8 people versus 9-10, versus 11-12, etc...
We may initially invoice you at the higher tier price, and refund the difference depending on the final group size. Trip costs quoted are based on foreign exchange rates current at the time of this printing. We reserve the right to raise the trip fee if there are exceptional cost increases beyond our control.
- Tour leader and local naturalist guides
- Double accommodation in Hotels, and
- Sacha Lodge
- Meals detailed in the itinerary above
- Motor boat transportation
- Fluvial transportation
- Kayak equipment
- Airport transfers
- Bottled water
- Tips for carriers and porters
- Transportation San Cristobal - Santa Cruz
What’s Not Included
- International flight to/from Quito or Guayaquil
- Tips for guides and staff (Galapagos or Sacha)
- International Airport Tax (will be included in your international ticket)
- Beverages. (One non alcoholic drink is included per meal, but extra beverages are not included)
- Insurance of any type.
- Personal expenses.
- Cost of hospitalization and evacuation if necessary
- Flight Guayaquil - Galapagos – Quito ($550)
- Galapagos entrance fees ($100 per person)
- Flight Quito – Coca – Quito ($190)
- Yasuni National Park entrance fee $20 per person)
FAQ & More
Tour leader and local naturalist guidesGalapagos kayaking & camping guide in San Cristobal Double accommodation in Hotels, tents and Sacha Lodge (1 night Hotel in Guayaquil, 2 nights Quito, 2 nights camp, 2 nights Angermeyer, 3 nights Sacha Lodge) Meals detailed in the itinerary Motor boat transportation Fluvial transportation Kayak equipment Airport transfers Bottled water Tips for carriers and porters.
Not Included: flights, tips for guides and staff, International Airport Tax, beverages, insurance of any type, personal expenses, cost of hospitalization and evacuation if necessary, Galapagos entrance fees $120 (subject to change), and Yasuni entrance fee $20.
If you are a US citizen, you will not be required to have a visa to travel to Ecuador. However, you will need a passport which is valid for half a year beginning from the day you depart.
Yes. However, you should have credit cards for large expenditure and smaller dollar bills for travelling costs.
Same as the US. The voltage is 120v as well.
Ecuador is located directly on the equator, which allows 12 hours of sunlight every day. Along the coastal regions and the islands, you'll experience a warmer, tropical climate. In Quito and moving out to the highlands, the climate cools a bit, and temperatures can range from 50-75 degrees Fahrenheit in one day. In the Amazon, it is typically warm and humid, with frequent showers.
Passengers flying to the Galapagos islands are allowed 35 lbs per person plus a carry-on - hand luggage with reading material, camera, binoculars and personal documents. Additional or excess baggage is charged directly by the airline by pound.
Passengers in flights Quito – Coca are allowed to check in a maximum of 44 lbs per person plus a carry on.
We do not arrange international air travel but we do have a great air travel specialist we refer you to if you’d like.
If you’ve never been snorkeling we highly recommend you practice before the trip, but no specific level of experience is required.
A wetsuit is not necessary, but most people appreciate the extra warmth.
Yes it is, however, if you have a favorite mask or fins, you might enjoy bringing your own. We have a wide range of sizing for pre-teens up to adults, so you may want to pack gear if you have smaller children.
There are a lot of arrangements to be made for an active adventure like this one. It’s very helpful with our planning if you book four to 12 months in advance. However, if you can’t plan that far ahead, then it’s usually not a problem to book up to about two months in advance. If you find yourself looking for last-minute space, just call us and check!