Avid travelers with many worlds to see probably visit a far-flung region only once in a lifetime.
A case in point is The Galapagos. After a cruise around this mecca of wild creatures, people may dream of returning to explore more of Ecuador. Most won’t.
“We encourage clients to add a few days before or after their Galapagos cruise to experience the tropical cloud forests of the Andes, the wildlife of the Amazon Basin and even Machu Picchu in nearby Peru. These are all in striking distance of The Galapagos Islands,” said Todd Smith, founder of AdventureSmith Explorations, specializing in small ship cruises in this region since 2003.
The following Galapagos cruises paired with Ecuadorian options by land and sea come with offers that can save up to $1,000 per person on a new reservation for 2018 trip.
These AdventureSmith-curated combinations are within a short flight or several hours’ drive from Quito, Ecuador’s capital, and are aboard small ships (from 16 to 90 guests) with land-based explorations from wilderness eco-lodges.
Galapagos Sea + Andean Cloud Forest Land: People who book a trip by Sept. 15, 2018, for travel by Dec. 31, 2018, can save 15 percent (up to $1,000 per person) on a Santa Cruz II Eastern Galapagos Islands Cruise combined with a Mashpi Rainforest Tour.
A former Galapagos National Park guide designed this Galapagos itinerary to maximize wildlife sightings. The cruise is paired with an award-laden eco-lodge (one of National Geographic’s “Unique Lodges of the World”) in a cloud forest that guests can float over in an open-air gondola and skybike.
Galapagos Sea + Ecuadorian Amazon Land: Select sailings with a choice of sustainable cruise vessels (Ocean Spray Galapagos Cruises, Petrel Galapagos Cruises or Camila Galapagos Cruises) come with $500 to $1,000 per person savings plus one complimentary overnight at the Red Mangrove Lodge in Puerto Ayora, Galapagos, when paired with the eco-friendly La Selva Amazon Lodge.
This pre/post-cruise active jungle experience in the Ecuadorian rainforest posits guests in thatched suites overlooking a lagoon in the heart of the Amazon Basin, accessed by the Napo River. This package must be booked by Sept. 15, 2018, for travel by Dec. 31, 2018.
Galapagos Sea + Ecuadorian Amazon Land: Seaman Journey Galapagos Cruises and Sea Star Journey Galapagos Cruises offer up to $1,000 savings per person and free roundtrip flights from Quito or Guayaquil on select sailings in July, August and September 2018, when combined with the 4- or 5-day Ecuador Amazon Adventure at Napo Wildlife Center.
This offer is valid for new bookings made by Sept. 15, 2018, for travel by Sept. 30, 2018. While the Ecuador Amazon Adventure is offered at a selection of eco-lodges in the region, AdventureSmith Explorations’ pairing for these boutique 16-guest luxury yachts is the 16-cabana Napo Wildlife Center, part of an ecotourism project that includes the conservation of over 82 square miles of the most pristine Amazon rainforest within Yasunì National Park.
Guests enjoy visits with the Kichwa community of Añangu. A 118-foot canopy tower on the Napo River reveals flocks of colorful tanagers passing right through the trees and spider monkeys searching for nearby fruit. Programs include accommodations, flights to Coca (to access the Napo River into the Basin), water transportation and such guided activities as hiking on a 5,000-acre private ecological reserve and canoeing down the Napo River to Lake Pilchcocha.
Galapagos Land + Ecuadorian Amazon Cruise: This combo positions guests at Galapagos Safari Camp (a tented camp with the main lodge on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Archipelago) from which daily guided tours (including some boating and snorkeling) are conducted.
Before or after the camp experience, guests join Manatee Amazon Explorer Cruise, which introduces secrets of life on the Ecuadorian Amazon River. If this combo is booked by Sept. 15, 2018, for travel by Dec. 31, 2018, guests receive complimentary airfare (for the Amazon portion) from Quito to Coca plus complimentary Galapagos National Park Entry Fee and Tourist Transit Control Card.
The Amazon Basin is known for its high biodiversity (species being highly varied within a geographic area). Activities in jungle locations vary but may include night walks to understand the nocturnal nature of the rainforest, fishing for piranha, visiting a parrot clay lick to see hundreds of birds gathering for their daily dose of minerals, climbing the observational tower for an overhead view of the jungle, or kayaking up Napo River’s tributaries to silently view wildlife.
For details on all of AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises worldwide, day-to-day itineraries, availability, and reservat