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Ecuador: Quito + Amazon + Galapagos (wheelchair)


1PW12Q
12 NIGHTS
FROM £3,495
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
This Wheelchair Accessible Galapagos Islands holiday will introduce you to the amazing wildlife of these unique islands, as well as visiting the old Inca capital of Quito & the Amazon. You need upper body strength for this holiday, as you need to transfer into a specially adapted off-road wheelchair (with helper provided) when covering rough terrain. English speaking guide, all marine park fees & sightseeing included.
Wheelchair Accessible Galapagos
• 
Quito
• 
Centre of World Monument
• 
City Tour
• 
Amazon
• 
River Rafting
• 
Rainforests
• 
Wheelchair Accessible Galapagos
• 
San Cristobal Island
• 
Giiant Tortoises
• 
Kicker Rock Snorkelling
• 
Quito
• 
Centre of World Monument
• 
City Tour
• 
Amazon
• 
River Rafting
• 
Rainforests
• 
Wheelchair Accessible Galapagos
• 
San Cristobal Island
• 
Giiant Tortoises
• 
Kicker Rock Snorkelling
Day 1
You will be met at Quito Airport and transferred to your hotel in this historic Spanish colonial city that straddles the equator and is today a World Heritage Site.
 
Check in and relax in this capital city in the Andean Highlands, with its many museums, monasteries and churches with golden altars. The prosperous centre of the Kingdom of Quitus during the 13th century, and later the northern capital of the Inca Empire, it has a setting that few cities in the world can match.
Day 2
This morning enjoy a city tour starting in the Colonial Quarter, the largest and best preserved in South America. Take in its magnificent colonial architecture - including the Cathedral, President's Palace, Archbishop's Palace and the Municipal Building flanking Independence Plaza.
 
You will see many mansions, monasteries and churches, as well as the Church & Convent of Santo Domingo. The city also has many cosmopolitan galleries and boutiques filled with contemporary paintings, sculptures and exquisite traditional crafts.
 
Afterwards we leave Quito and drive 4-hours into the Amazon Basin, the world's largest body of fresh water. Along the way we stop at Hummingbird Station to watch these beautiful vibrant birds in their natural habitat, before checking in to our jungle lodge. Before dinner you will have the opportunity to visit a 'guayusa' (caffeinated holly tree) tea factory located at your lodge.
 
Please note: Quito is at an altitude of 2,850 m. Not all sites are accessible, but your guide will do his best to give you good views of the highlights. As you will be visiting churches (except on Sundays, when this is not permitted), do not wear shorts or mini skirts as these are not allowed.
 
Visits to the Amazon are only possible if you have upper body strength & use a manual wheelchair, as you will need to transfer into a boat seat on the river and into a specially adapted off-road wheelchair when covering rough terrain. The chair has long handles at the front (similar to a rickshaw) as well as regular handles at the back. You will be assigned an assistant to pull your chair from the front, while your travelling companion pushed from the back.
Day 3
This morning is devoted to exploring the Amazon Rainforest with an indigenous guide, who will explain more about the rich flora of this region and its many medicinal plants.
 
The path into the rainforest is approximately 1/4 mile (0.4 km) and takes about 30-minutes, including stops along the way.
 
After returning to our lodge for lunch, we visit an Indigenous Kitchwa Community and have the opportunity to learn about their customs and traditions.
 
Note: You will transfer into the specially adapted off-road wheelchair today, with handles for helpers at both front and back.
Day 4
An exciting day is in store today, as we transfer 1.5 hours to the Anzu River.
 
Here we will raft down this calm river, giving you the opportunity to admire the surrounding flora and fauna - truly one of the best ways to experience the magnificence of the Amazon. During the trip we will stop at several points of interest to take pictures and relax on the river. You may spot monkeys, caiman (a small alligator) as well as many birds including herons and kingfishers. You may also see large birds such as toucans, parrots and macaws.
 
We will finish our journey around 15.00 and return to our lodge, where there is the opportunity to make your own chocolate, tasted with fruits, before dinner.
 
Note: Even though the river is very calm, you will raft with a security kayaker and wear a safety jacket and helmet. You will transfer in and out of the boat using a sliding board or you can be lifted into the boat.
Day 5
Today we visit Kallari, a local cooperative association that produces, processes and sells fine aromatic cocoa-chocolate bars.
 
We visit the Kallari offices, then head out to visit a couple of cacao plantations to appreciate first-hand how these plants are grown and harvested and the social, financial and cultural role of cacao production. Finally we visit the collection centre where the beans are received, fermented and dried - before they are eventually transformed into one of the finest tastes on the planet - chocolate!
Day 6
Today we leave the Amazon Basin and drive 4-hours back to Quito.
 
Along the way we stop at Papallacta Thermal Baths, where you can enjoy half a day of bathing in these warm waters, that offer one of the best thermal baths and spas in the whole of Ecuador. Here you can enjoy an optional chocolate bath or deep massage, as well as mineral healing volcanic pools.
 
Afterwards we continue to Quito and check into your hotel.
Day 7
This morning we visit the equatorial monument that marks the Centre of the World at latitude 0º - about 16 miles (25 km) north of Quito.
 
Here you can get a photo straddling the line that separates the northern and southern hemispheres. There is also a colonial-style tourist village complete with main square, church, post office, bull ring and gift shops. Afterwards we return to Quito, with afternoon at leisure.
Day 8
Transfer to Quito Airport for your onward flight.

Arrive at San Cristobal Airport in the Galapagos Islands, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel in this spectacular archipelago, situated on the equator in the Pacific Ocean.
 
These volcanic islands, located 560 miles (900 km) west of the Ecuador mainland, are famous for their vast number of endemic species studied by Charles Darwin during his historic voyage on the Beagle, which contributed to his Theory of Evolution by natural selection.
 
San Christobal is the easternmost island in the archipelago and is named after Saint Christopher, the patron saint of seafarers. Consisting of four extinct volcanoes fused together, it has a small lake called El Junco that is the only fresh water source in the islands. The main town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galapagos.
 
Check into your hotel in this astonishing marine reserve, where the wildlife does not seem perturbed by human visitors - allowing for extremely close-up encounters. In the afternoon we visit Loberia Beach, which is home to a sea lion colony. Around the shore you may see brown pelicans, sea iguana and a myriad of sea birds. You may also see sea turtles while snorkelling from the beach.
 
Note: Visits to the Galapagos Islands are only possible if you have upper body strength & use a manual wheelchair. As there is no lifting equipment at the airport, you will be carried on and off the aircraft using an aisle chair. You will transfer into a specially adapted off-road wheelchair when covering rough terrain.
Day 9
This morning we visit the highlands of Cerro Colorado on the island’s southern shore. Here we visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (Galapaguera) that is working to introduce more of these endangered creatures into the wild. Situated in a deciduous forest, this sanctuary is also home to dozens of bird species such as the San Cristóbal mockingbird, and the San Cristóbal lava lizard - both of which are island endemics. In the highlands you will also see frigatebirds and enjoy beautiful views.
 
Our afternooon is spent exploring the waters around San Cristobal Island - either by kayak (with a local helper steering from the back seat) or by small boat, with safety vests provided. This provides a great opportunity to get close to playful sea lions, blue-footed boobies and other Galapagos marine life.
 
Note: You will transfer into a specially adapted off-road wheelchair when covering rough terrain.
Day 10
This morning we spend time on Loberia Beach, observing the sea lion colony and many sea birds. We also spend time snorkelling in these clear waters, searching for sea turtles and other marine life.
 
In the afternoon we visit the Interpretation Centre and Tijeretas Hill (also known as Frigatebird Hill), which offers lovely views towards Kicker Rock and Shipwreck Bay. This hill serves as a nesting place for two species of frigatebirds and at the base of the hill there is a small cove, where sea lions are usually seen.
Day 11
Today is free to relax and enjoy the island on your own, or return to one of the lovely beaches of San Cristobal Island.
 
Your guide will be available to help you with any specific request, including assisting with the off-road wheelchair in need.
Day 12
Transfer to San Cristobal Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Quito Airport and transferred to your hotel in this historic colonial city.
Day 13
Transfer to Quito Airport for your flight home.

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