Ecuador and Galapagos. Galapagos Family Research Adventure

Extend Your Stay

Contact our Galapagos Program Director to extend your trip to the Andean highlands, the Ecuadorian Amazon, mystical cloud forests or Machu Picchu, Peru.

Amazon Extension to the Napo Wildlife Center

Years of close cooperation with the Añangu community has produced Napo Wildlife Center, an innovative project that is as valuable for its comforts as for its conservation and social value. The protected area is home to such species as Jaguar, Giant Otter, Tapir, eleven species of monkeys (including acrobatic Spider and Wooly monkeys, Monk Saki and Golden-mantled Tamarin), and many brilliant bird species. Here the local Añangu community has teamed with international conservationists to create a private reserve of well over 50,000 acres within the Yasuni National Park.

2018 Pricing: $1,470 per adult and $1,030 for children aged 5-11 depending on length of stay (3 or 4 nights) and room category. Airfare from Quito to Coca included. Children under 12: $1,010 to $1,365

Note:  This trip can depart from/return to Quito any day EXCEPT Sunday. 

Day 1: Napo Wildlife Center

Transfer to the Quito airport for your brief flight to Coca, an outpost on Ecuador’s Rio Napo in the Oriente, Ecuador’s Amazon basin. A 2 hour motorized canoe ride takes you to Napo Wildlife Center’s private dock where you’ll continue by canoe (1.5 hrs) through a meandering tributary of the Napo to the lodge's private lake deep within the Yasuni National Park. Arriving at the lodge, have a welcome beverage and receive an orientation about the activities to come. Overnight Napo Wildlife Center.  [LD]

Days 2 - 3: Napo Wildlife Center

Your naturalist guide accompanies you on a variety of adventures in this remote reserve, exploring the rivers, lagoons and forests surrounding the lodge. Napo Wildlife Center occupies an 82 square mile portion of Yasuni National Park. With 2 nearby parrot licks and a canopy tower, you have myriad opportunities to view some of the 550 species of birds, 11 primate species, and the stars of the reserve, giant river otters. Overnight Napo Wildlife Center. [BLD]

Day 4: Quito

Early rising today to paddle or hike back to the Rio Napo and return to Coca for your flight to Quito. 

Note: Due to international air schedules, we have not included the cost of transfers and Quito hotel day 5. If you wish to overnight, please inquire for private airport-hotel transfers and accommodation. Prices are based on set days of transfer to / from the Coca airport.

Napo Wildlife Center

The Napo Wildlife Center [NWC] is a renowned, award-winning Amazon rainforest lodge in Ecuador. It is located adjacent to 82 sq miles of Yasunì National Park and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the largest tract of protected tropical rain forest in Ecuador. Read more about the Napo Wildlife Center.

See all of our Ecuadorian Amazon Accommodations

Teleferico Cable Car Day Trip to the Pinchincha Volcano

Quito is nestled in a valley between Andean peaks and volcanoes, one of which, Volcan Pichincha, serves as the base for a thrilling cable car ride high over the city and breathtaking surroundings. Departing from your hotel, drive to the foothills of Pichincha, where you board the roomy glass gondola to begin a smooth and slow ascent up the volcano. Quito lies spread beneath you, and all around rise the lofty volcanic peaks of the Andes…Cayambe (18,996’), Antisana (18,714’), Cotopaxi (19,347’), the twin peaks of Ilinizas (16,818’ and 17,218’) and possibly – on very clear days – Chimborazo (20,564’) and Altar (17,451’). The entire ride takes approximately 10 minutes, delivering you from the starting point at 9680’ to a plateau at 13,290’ elevation. From here, there are trails leading to the summit of Pichincha, an additional 700’.

For the youngsters in your party, a small arcade park at the base of the cable car provides additional entertainment in the form of rides and games.

2018 pricing: $145/person, based on two participants. 

Bellavista Cloud Forest

Explore the lush surroundings of Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge, a haven for exotic birds and verdant forests, located within a lovely 2 hour drive from Quito. Whether you prefer to bushwhack through the Valley of the Mist, hike upstream to the Hidden Falls, or simply relax with a cup of coffee on the deck admiring the view from the top of the Tandayapa Valley, Bellavista will take your breath away with its stunning beauty. Known throughout the world for its vast range of avian life, this region boasts 400+ species, including toucans, colorful cock-of-the-rock, giant antipitta and more. Bellavista itself has recorded over 20 species of hummingbirds alone! For botanical enthusiasts, hundreds of orchid and bromeliad specimens will keep you occupied. Spend a full day or extend your time with an overnight in the comfortable lodge. Your gracious local guides will insure hours of discovery and delight in the emerald forest.

For current costs and details, please contact our Galapagos program director Sherry Howland at

Day 1: Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

Rise early this morning for the next great adventure! Just a few hours distance on the northwestern slopes of the Pichincha Volcano, the cloud forests of Mindo are one of the most diverse and accessible endemic bird areas in the world. Traveling from the high sierra towards the coast you pass through a range of landscapes enroute to your destination, the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve. This area boasts over 400 recorded species of birds, and the list continues to grow! The Plate-Billed Toucan, Tanager-finch, Giant Antpitta, and White-faced Nunbird are all found here, and many other species found no where else on earth. Enjoy guided bird outings and general nature walks through the verdant forest along sparkling streams and waterfalls. Bellavista’s 55 hectare reserve holds a profusion of bromeliads and orchids, and since Bellavista is located on the equator flowers are in bloom year round. Resident mammals include the endangered Spectacled Bear and the puma (rarely seen but protected by the reserve), Andean coati and tayra, to name but a few. Overnight Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge. [BLD]

Note: The one day adventure includes transportation to and from Quito (departing at 6:30 am and returning at 6:00pm), guided hike, lunch, and time to explore the trails on your own.

Day 2: Bellavista - Quito

Rise early for the best birding opportunities! Join your guide for a walk to discover hidden waterfalls and stunning wild orchids. There are over 10km of trails in networks ranging from easy stroll to true bushwhacking adventure! Keep your eyes peeled for exotic birds in the canopy overhead. Or simply relax on the Bellavista deck with a cup of coffee, watching the hundreds of brilliant “feathered jewels” hummingbirds which visit the feeders. Bellavista has recorded over 20 species at their feeders, but the valley contains more than 40 species – a world record. Following lunch at the lodge, return to Quito. [BL] 

Note: Additional nights available at Bellavista.  Please inquire.
Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge
A bird lovers dream, less than 1 hour 45 minutes from the heart of Quito city, Bellavista is a private reserve of 700 hectares, at the top of the famed Tandayapa Valley, near Mindo, in an area that has won the highest 24 hour bird count in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count for the Americas.

Amazon Extension to La Selva Lodge

La Selva represents a new level in comfort and elegance in the Ecuadorian rain forest. Eighteen beautiful suites await you, featuring private balconies, rain forest showers, panoramic views. There are even family suites with private porches and a Jacuzzi. Constructed with bamboo from sustainable plantations, the open design of each suite invites a genuine jungle experience coupled with maximum comfort. Set out each day on adventures through the rain forest, on canoe rides (day and night), visit parrot clay licks, or climb the 115’ observation tower for close-up views of the dense canopy and its inhabitants. Return to the lodge for relaxing cocktails on the lakefront patio followed by a delicious dinner of all local ingredients.

Pricing: For current costs and details, please contact our Galapagos program director Sherry Howland at

Day 1: Arrive in the Rain Forest

Transfer (included) to the airport for your morning flight to the Oriente, Ecuador’s Amazon rain forest. Arrive to the jungle town of Coca and meet your naturalist guide from La Selva Jungle Lodge. Board a motorized canoe which will transport you down the broad Rio Napo to La Selva’s private dock. Porters handle all your luggage, you are responsible for personal items and please take note of camera gear that may be splashed with water! Arrive to La Selva and begin your jungle adventure with an introductory talk by the naturalists and the first activity of your stay that late afternoon/evening. Overnight La Selva Jungle Lodge [BLD]

Days 2-3: Amazon Rainforest

Activities at the Lodge follow a broad range, mainly depending on weather and logistics. You can generally count on hikes – both day and nocturnal –through the forest, canoe rides, a climb to the canopy tower to observe myriad species of birds and animals – some of whom never touch the ground below. The parrot clay lick is one of the highlights to any visit to the rainforest, a gathering of brilliant parrots (and possibly macaws) on the banks of the Rio Napo, eating the mineral-rich clay which helps them digest fruits and seeds which are part of their normal diet. You can also kayak onto the lake for a paddle or enjoy solitude on one of the lodge’s self-guided trails. Soothe any tired muscles or worn out feet with a massage in the La Selva spa (not included). Overnight La Selva Jungle Lodge [BLD]

Day 4: Quito

Early rising today to return to the Rio Napo and Coca for your flight to Quito. [B]

Please Note: Most Coca-Quito flights will arrive to Quito by 12N (Saturday arrival 2:20P). You may elect to transfer to your Quito hotel for overnight, continue on with other activities, or remain at the airport for international departures

Combining elegant all-suite accommodations with environmental awareness and exemplary service, La Selva Lodge is a welcoming home in the Ecuadorian rainforest.

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