While most travelers head straight for the Galapagos, spending a few days or more on Ecuador’s mainland can be a rewarding experience. Consider the rain forest of Mindo or the Amazon Basin.
This 11 day trip in December of 2011 was done as three mini jaunts out of Quito; the first, 5 days at Sani Lodge on the Napo River in the Amazon Basin, the second an overnight stay in the rain forest at the El Monte Eco-lodge outside of Mindo, and last but not least a 4 day/3 night cruise through the Galapagos with Klein Tours.
Sani Lodge – Amazon Basin
Arriving at Sani Lodge – Logistics on getting to Sani Lodge.
Day 2 – Description of the canopy viewing platform, canoe trip up a tributary and a jungle walk.
Day 3 – Piranha Fishing – Jungle walk in the morning followed by an afternoon of piranha fishing on the tributary.
Day 4 – Clay Lick – The most spectacular day of the four, first visiting the clay lick where parrots and other birds swarm a small patch of earth. Followed by a
Traditional Lunch at the Sani Community Center – where we actually eat grubs!
Slow Boat to Coca – Plagued by mechanical difficulties our boat barely makes it back to Coca in time for us to catch our flight back to Quito.
El Monte Eco-lodge, Mindo
A visit to the Rain Forest – Our arrival and description of the eco-lodge followed by a guided walk around the property.
Rain Forest – Day 2 – An early morning walk to see the toucans followed by a visit to the butterfly house.
Day 1 – Logistics on getting to the islands and a visit to Darwin Station.
Espanola Island – The Best of the Galapagos – The day with the most wildlife encounters including – sea lions, blue-footed boobies, albatross, marine iguanas, etc.
Floreana Island – Including a panga ride around Champion Island and a visit to the “post office”.
North Seymore Island – Home to the impressive red-chested frigatebirds.