Looking for more – Combine the Galapagos with Relais & Chateaux lodges in Ecuador, Peru or Costa Rica

AUTHOR The Ecoventura Team

What could be better than a week (or two) sailing the Galapagos on one of our luxury small-ship cruises? How about one or two weeks sailing the Galapagos on one of our luxury small-ship cruises, and then visiting mainland Ecuador, Peru or Costa Rica as part of the same, once in a lifetime trip?!

With increasing numbers of our guests discovering the definitive South American adventure, comprising a thrilling voyage around the Galapagos Islands supplemented with an inspiring land-based tour to some of the Latin America’s most fascinating countries, this really isn’t one to miss.

And the good news? Ecoventura has all bases covered.

We offer a series of pre-prepared packages that combine the very best of these outstanding destinations, with stays at stunning, Relais & Châteaux locations and a host of things to see and do along the way.

Experience Ecuador

Visitors to the Galapagos Islands have the choice of flying into Guayaquil or Quito in order to reach the Galapagos Archipelago. Our Ecuador add-on itineraries allow you to spend two nights in either Guayaquil or Quito, soaking up the sights and enjoying the incredible Ecuadorian cuisine scene, before setting sail on your week-long trip around the archipelago.


Ecuador’s bustling commercial center, the lively city of Guayaquil is often regarded as the gateway to Galapagos. Home to an iconic town square and two-mile waterfront promenade known as the Malecon 2000, Guayaquil has a vibrant arts scene, various universities, stunningly restored colonial architecture and has undergone much in the way of an urban renewal in recent years.

Accommodation is in the beautifully appointed Hotel del Parque, a luxurious five star boutique hotel in the upmarket area of Samborondon on the edge of the verdant Parque Historico. Your stay includes a trip to Hacienda La Danesa, a family owned farm and dairy which produces its own tree-to-bar handmade chocolate, dulce de leche, honey, cheese and other farm-fresh products. It is also a luxury boutique hotel, hosts a restaurant serving delicious, locally sourced or home-grown produce, and is a great place to experience a host of interesting activities including riding, chocolate-making workshops, tours of the farm or spa visits.


Quito occupies a dramatic position high in the Andes, nestling at the foot of the 15,696-foot Pichincha Volcano. Built on the ruins of an Incan city, it was the first city to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historical center of Quito – with its impressive architecture and variety of colonial monuments – is one of the best preserved in Latin America. Nicknamed ‘Florence of the Americas’, the old quarter of Quito is home to narrow cobbled streets, ornate churches and artistic gems. Known for its year-round spring-like climate, Quito has a relaxed vibe and a distinct culinary and nightlife scene; the perfect stopover before your Galapagos flight.

Accommodation is in the only Relais & Chateaux hotel in Quito, Casa Gangotena, which offers stunning gardens and a view of Panecillo Hill, the landmark hill rising at the southern edge of the historic center. Your stay includes a private guided walking tour of the historical center of the city, exceptional cuisine at some of the city’s best restaurants and the opportunity to choose between delving into the city’s art history and geography or taking a gondola ride up in to the surrounding hills.

Visit Lima, Peru, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco

For those with a little more time to spare, Ecoventura is delighted to offer guests the Essence of Peru, an additional six night extension to Peru following a week-long cruise around the Galapagos. Each of our two Peruvian itineraries includes accommodation in a range of handpicked 4 or 5-star boutique hotels and provides guests with a host of fascinating private tours around some of Peru’s most iconic sites. Indulge yourself by picturing a stay at the sensational Sol y Luna Lodge and Spa or trendy, boutique art hotel that is Hotel B.

You will journey to the intriguing Awanakancha – ‘the living museum of the Andes’, where you will learn about the native alpacas behind this Andean weaving project and discover the wools and ancient weaving techniques used. Visit Pisac, a beautiful traditional village in the heart of the Sacred Valley with its Incan ruins and local handicrafts. Explore the charming, last living Incan town of Ollantaytambo with its fortress, ruins and narrow cobbled streets, or take a trip to the fascinating Incan terraces at Moray and the salt mines in nearby Maras .

No trip to Peru would be complete without exploring the extraordinary Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. What’s more, your journey to Machu Picchu comprises a stunning, next level train ride through the spectacular Urubamba Valley.

You will be whisked away on a private tour of Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu and the Andean high plateau; the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city, Incan capital, and all round archaeological city extraordinaire. Elaborate cathedrals sit alongside Inca temples and the streets are home to everything from chic high-end boutiques to frenzied market stalls to indigenous markets.

Sprawling yet sophisticated, Lima boasts a history as rich as any – it was from here that Francisco Pizarro launched the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire in the 1520s. Awash with a host of colonial sites, an eclectic range of museums and galleries, bars, nightclubs and an impressive culinary scene, this is a metropolis not to be missed. Your trip will include a visit to the private Larco Museum with its unique gold and silver collection, pottery and ceramics dating back to pre-Inca times.

Costa Rica

Direct flights from Quito to the Costa Rican capital of San Jose operate three times a week. This makes extending your Galapagos cruise with a trip to Costa Rica eminently possible – the perfect stopover for some more eco-based luxury. Nature lovers are guaranteed to be blown away by the awe-inspiring scenery and biodiversity of Costa Rica, resplendent as it is with rich, lush jungle and an extraordinary biodiversity that even comes close to matching that of the Galapagos themselves.

If a trip to Costa Rica following your cruise appeals, Ecoventura suggests our Relais & Chateaux partners Nayara Springs, a collection of private villas dotted throughout the rainforest, or luxury eco-lodge El Silencio.

Whichever you choose, you will certainly not be disappointed. At Nayara Springs, each villa boasts its own plunge pool fed by mineral-rich thermal waters flowing down from the volcano itself, whilst the lodge also boasts a spa and yoga deck, two restaurants, and offers a host of activities riding, abseiling, zip lining or white-water rafting; enough to keep all the family entertained!

El Silencio, high in the central region’s cloud forests, offers stunning views across the rivers and mountains beyond. A wholesome, calming and uniquely soothing spot, this lodge is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a busy week exploring the Galapagos.

Note that unlike the Ecuador mainland and Peru trips above, we do not book the Costa Rica tours, but are delighted to make some suggestions!

If you are interested in extending your Galapagos trip to include mainland Ecuador, or Peru why not contact our friendly team to discuss? We would love to help and look forward to hearing from you.