World Orchid Conference Ecuador and Galapagos tour 2017-WOC17
Our tour combines the conference with a tour into the Amazonian jungle to see orchids in their natural habitat. You will be amazed by the variety of plant life, not just orchids. The conference is over four days and is held in coastal Guayaquil - Ecuador’s most populated city and is also known as “La Perla del Pacífico” (Pearl of the Pacific). As well as our botanical journey of discovery north from the capital Quito we visit the world famous traditional native craft markets at Otavalo and you get a chance to straddle the equator. After the end of your conference and touring in mainland Ecuador, there is an option to visit the Galapagos Islands. Encounter the islands that have enchanted explorers since Darwin first visited in 1835. Our Galapagos cruise is for 6 days with guide exploring the incredible wildlife of the Galapagos archipelago.
Commences Quito Thursday 26 October 2017
DAY 1: QUITO
Arrive at Quito airport and transfer to the hotel. Dinner available until 9pm.
DAY 2: QUITO to BAEZA
Breakfast. City Tour of the beautiful Heritage Site, Quito. We will visit the Middle of the World. Lunch. We will leave the Andes to go to the Amazon side. The highest point we will past through will be 4000m above sea level. On the way we will find plants of Oncidium (Odontoglossum type), Cyrtochilum, Pleurothallis, Epidendrum, Chondrorhyncha, Cochlioda and more. Dinner. We spend the night in Baeza.
DAY 3: BAEZA to ARCHIDONA
Breakfast. We will start descending to the amazon base and we will pass by Sumaco Napo Galeras National Park. Here there are 21 orchid species and 8 types of bromeliaes. On the way, we will find Oncidium, Stanhopea, Maxillaria, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Myoxanthus, and Sobralia. Lunch. We will walk until a waterfall to see more orchids and some wonderful landscapes. Dinner. We will spend the night in Archidona.
DAY 4: ARCHIDONA to PUYO
Breakfast. We will visit Misaualli port to see some monkeys on their natural habitat, after we will take a boat for 20 minutes to visit a Shuar community and learn about their traditions and ancestral medicine. We will continue our way to Puyo and see orchids that grow around this area in the cloud forest like Maxillaria, Pleurothallis, Oncidium, Prosthechea, Stelis, Rodriguezia, Phragmipedium and more. Lunch. Dinner. We will spend the night in Puyo.
DAY 5: PUYO to SUCUA
Breakfast. We will visit CERFA reserve. On our way, we will see some traditional houses from Shuar culture. Also in Macas there is a viewer where we can see beautiful landscapes and Upano river. Some of the orchids that we will see are: Epidendrum, Oncidium, Psygmorchis, Warrea, Maxillaria, Dryadella, Vanilla, Myoxanthus, Trisetella and some other nice species. Lunch. Dinner. We will spend the night in Sucua.
DAY 6: SUCUA to GUALACEO
Breakfast. On the way there are located three main hydroelectric that provide energy to the country. We will see different species of Phragmipedium like pearcei and reticulatum, also some Sobralia, Lycaste, Elleanthus, Pleurothallis, and more. Lunch. There are some waterfalls that we will see on the way. Dinner. We will spend the night in Gualaceo.
DAY 7: GUALACEO
Breakfast. We will visit the Ecuagenera Nursery situated at over 2200m to learn about the conservation program they are carrying out. Lunch. We will visit the greenhouses to see intermediate-cold orchids, after that we are going to Chordeleg; the town of jewellers to learn more about filigrana technique. Dinner. We will spend the night in Gualaceo.
DAY 8: GUALACEO to EL PANGUI
Breakfast. We will go to the southeast Amazon side to see Phragmipedium besseae. Box Lunch. This area is very rich in orchids like Telipogon, Epidendrum, Sobralia, Oncidium, Prostechea, Maxillaria, Stelis, etc. Wonderful landscapes and great weather. Dinner. We will spend the night in El Pangui.
DAY 9: EL PANGUI
Breakfast. We will visit the Ecuagenera Nursery situated at 900m above sea level to see warm-intermediate orchids. Lunch. We will see some orchids growing around this area, in the Condor Binacional Reserve located between Ecuador and Peru, with an extension of 2440 has. This is the habitat of endemic species like Scuticaria Salesiana. Dinner. We will return to El Pangui.
DAY 10: EL PANGUI to LOJA
Breakfast. Visit to Podocarpus National park, Zamora Chinchipe side; with more than 560 birds species identified and 63 orchids species, also there is a big waterfall. On the way, we expect to see Rodriguezia, Epidendrum, Masdevallia and other interesting species. Lunch. On the way back to the Andes Mountain Range, we will find types of orchids like Masdevallia, Sobralia, Eriopsis, Epidendrum, Maxillaria, Prostechea, etc. Dinner. We will spend the night in Loja.
DAY 11: LOJA to GUALACEO
Breakfast. City tour in Loja city known as “The musical and cultural capital of Ecuador” Their gastronomy is recognized in the country for the variety and delicious traditional candies. We will take the road to see Fernandezia, Telipogon, Cyrtochillum, Oncidium, etc. Lunch. We will observe some orchids like Maxillaria, Sudamerlycaste (Ida), Myoxanthus, Epidendrum, Trichoceros and learn about the people of the Saraguros ethnic group. Dinner. We will spend the night in Gualaceo.
DAY 12: GUALACEO to GUAYAQUIL
Breakfast. We will visit Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a City Tour. We will visit the factory of the famous Panama Hats and some other nice craft markets. Lunch. On the way to Guayaquil, we will pass through the Cajas National Park, important for Cuenca city because it is the town´s largest source of water. The highest point there will be at 4000m. We will be looking for Epidendrum, Odontoglossum and Masdevallia. Transfer to the airport/hotel. During the first 12 days of this tour you will have the chance to taste the typical seasonal fruits that grow in the areas we visit. Also, you will appreciate the way of living of the ethnic groups that inhabit in the region and their cuisine. We invite you to try our local gastronomy in different types of restaurants on our way. In remote areas we usually have a box lunch suited to you and the weather conditions. Depending on the number of people in the group, transportation could be by van or bus.
DAY 13: GUAYAQUIL
Our city tour includes the main streets and avenues of the city, visiting the Simon Bolívar Park, El Malecón 2000, piers and La Rotonda (with Bolívar and San Martin statues); the colonial district of Las Peñas, where you can admire the wooden architecture and where many of its houses are art galleries. From the Santa Ana fort, there is a panoramic view of Guayaquil and the Guayas River.The Guayaquil Botanical Gardens tour features the over 700 species of plants in the garden and the cultivation of orchids and a varied avifauna. We have a half day tour accompanied by our English speaking guide.There is also an optional city and historic park tour… Journey through the main streets and avenues of the city, and then visit the famous “Parque Histórico” (Historical Park), a themed attraction that recreates and revives the old Guayaquil, with its characters, traditions and architecture. Overnight Guayaquil.
DAYS 14 to 18: WORLD ORCHID CONFERENCE
Hotel accommodation and local tours included. Conference registration and fees additional.
DAY 19: DEPART GUAYAQUIL
Optional Galapagos tour / additional accommodation Guayaquil or other arrangements in South America.
-GALAPAGOS CRUISE OPTION-
THE ISLANDS VISITED, VESSEL, EXPERIENCES AND ITINERARY ARE SUBJECT TO VARIATION DUE TO AVAILABILITY AT TIME OF BOOKING, LOCAL CONDITIONS AND MATTERS OUTSIDE OF OUR DIRECT CONTROL.
Day 1 AM: Arrival Galapagos
Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, travelers pass through an airport inspection point to insure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, as well as to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (which we have prepaid for you). Our representative will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you to our launch in Puerto Ayora.
PM: Charles Darwin Station, Santa Cruz Island
Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors come here to observe and appreciate natural wonders, it is also interesting to learn how the protection and conservation of the islands are carried out. The main attractions are the National Park information center, the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises and adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity.
Day 2 AM: White Tipped Reef Shark Canal, Isabela Island
"Tintoreras” are small islands on the Puerto Villamil coast named after White-tipped reef sharks common in the archipelago. and found resting in the shallow waters. Watch out for Galapagos Penguin and sea lion by the shore.
PM: Sierra Negra Volcano, Isabela Island
Isabela Island is the largest and one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos archipelago. We land in Puerto Villamil and head up to the highlands to the volcano rim. Sierra Negra is the second widest crater in the world. From this viewpoint, you have fantastic sights to the 6 x 5 -mile-wide crater, the rest of the volcanoes, and Perry Isthmus, a 12 Km wide lava field.
Day 3 AM: Punta Moreno, Isabela Island
Punta Moreno is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcano Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcano. The trail runs along a lava flow Pahohoe (solidified lava in the form of corrugated or an accordion) into a complex of coastal lagoons, its main attraction are several species of birds which can be found around this lakes and mangroves.
PM: Elizabeth Bay, Isabela Island
This is a marine visitor site. The excursion continues into a cove surrounded by red mangroves. It is here that you are able to observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions. Frequently visitors have been able to see Galapagos Hawks soaring overhead whilst schools of Pompano and Dorado fish swim below
DAY 4 AM: Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island
Fernandina is the third largest island in the archipelago and has a single visitor site: Punta Espinoza located at the northeastern tip of the island. Just across Tagus Cove, is a visitor site where some of the unique species of the Galapagos can be seen. Marine iguanas large groups, bask on the rocks and sand and swimming near the shore. Among the unique species found here, is the Flightless Cormorant. A bird that due to the lack of predators had to adjust their way of survival and improve their skills of finding food in the ocean. To see these birds, is to witness evolution happening right in front of you
PM: Tagus Cove, Isabela Island
Tagus Cove, a tour along the cliffs gives the visitors a good chance to see the Galapagos penguin, the flightless cormorant and other sea birds. From the landing dock it is about a 30 minute walk along the trail up to where you can view Darwin Lake - saltier than the sea. You can also see several volcanoes from this location. Look carefully at the graffiti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove, it has been written by pirates, whalers and buccaneers of past centuries.
DAY 5 AM: Espumilla Beach, Santiago Island
Espumilla beach is located in northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. The main attractions are the Palo Santo forest and the marvelous landscape. The beach is an important site for nesting marine turtles.
PM: Puerto Egas, Santiago Island
Its black beach is located at the west side of the island and is the main attraction of the island. Their volcanic tuff deposits have favored the formation of this special black sand beach.
This site is called Puerto Egas, because there was an attempt of company of Hector Egas, to start the exploitation of salt, which failed because the price of salt in the continent was very cheap, and did not justify its exploitation in Galapagos. The project was abandoned and they left their infrastructure.
DAY 6 AM: Isla Lobos, San Cristobal
This little island is reach at approx 1 hour by panga from Port Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Island. The trail will lead across a dry vegetation zone, volcanic landscapes and sandy areas. There is a small population of blue-footed boobies and frigate birds, which nest in this site. At the beach you will see a large colony of sea lions. It is common to see shorebirds.
After your visit to Isla Lobos, transfer to the airport in San Cristobal and Flight back to Quito or Guayaquil.
Meals include as per final itinerary: B = Continental breakfast, D= Dinner
We reserve the right to make changes to this itinerary without notice subject to availability at time of booking or should events make this necessary.
FloraTours NZ office number: +64 9 524 2728
Here’s what's included in the Galapagos option: 6 day cruise, arrival transfer, all meals aboard the ship, certified Galápagos National Park Service guide, all landing transfers, excursions and transportation, plus a visit to a wildlife interpretation centre.
Your cruise/tour price includes all surface transportation, cruise with an outside cabin and 3 - 4 star share twin accommodation, meals on board your cruise vessel, entrances and sightseeing as shown on the tour itinerary plus the services of a local guide.
- $4,695 pp/ st. Commencing 26 October 17