8 Day Ecuador with 4 Day Northern Galapagos Cruise
Air & Land
Hotels/Plans Available for Departure Dates
Click a Date to Book Online
Click a Date to Book Online
|2023 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $5100|
|Hotel||Dates||Embark||Tour Starts||Ship||Land Only||Air & Land|
|2023 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $6400|
|Hotel||Dates||Embark||Tour Starts||Ship||Land Only||Air & Land|
Optional tours and gratuities.
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include flights from Quito-Baltra & Baltra-Guayaquil.
Some flights depart shortly after midnight in the very early morning of Day 8 and will require a transfer on Day 7. Transfers depart the hotel approximately 4 hours prior to flight time.
Passport numbers for all passengers must be submitted before documents can be issued.
The route and program may vary according to weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety issues and wildlife migration patterns. Wildlife and visits listed in the itinerary are based upon optimal conditions and therefore subject to change.
Dry landing: Passengers step from the dinghy onto rocks or a dock.
Wet landing: As the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, passengers step into knee-deep water and wade ashore.
Sturdy shoes are recommended for this program.
Triple rooms cannot be accommodated on this program.
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.
Is This Trip Right for You?
Part-Escorted Package Includes
- Flights Miami-Quito, Guayaquil-Miami
Some departure dates may be offered from an alternate nearby airport. Check flight itinerary options when booking.
Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
- Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
- All intra-flights: Quito-Baltra & Baltra-Guayaquil
- 7 nights accommodations
- 2 nights Quito
- 4 nights M/V Santa Cruz II
- 1 night Guayaquil
- Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
- Hotel & cruise porterage
- All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
- 15 meals: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
- Services of English-speaking local guides
- Services of English-speaking naturalist guides in the Galapagos
- Galapagos National Park fee of $100
- Galapagos Transit Control Card fee of $20
- Discover Quito's colonial quarter, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Stand at the Middle of the World monument, situated at latitude 0º
- Embark on a journey to the beginning of time in the Galapagos Archipelago of volcanic islands
- Visit Buccaneer Cove, once an important site for 17th and 18th-century sailors
- Snorkel on magnificent beaches with friendly marine turtles and plentiful marine life
- Travel along the jagged shores to Rábida Island on a panga while naturalist-guides explain the area's dramatic geology
- The unique environment encourages sea lions, marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, penguins and flightless cormorants
- Observe areas with Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, and sea lions
- Explore Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador and the nation's largest port
- Visit Parque Historico and learn about the history & culture of the region
- Beer and wine included with all meals
- All Non alcoholic drinks included
- Gratuities included
- Panorama lounge & bar
- Fitness center
- Sky deck
- Non-smoking ship interior
†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates
Is This Trip Right for You?
This very active trip covers a lot of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day. The pace is active and you will encounter some uneven surfaces such as sandy and rocky beaches, stairs, steps and significant slopes. In the Galapagos, it takes approximately two hours, on foot, to get to and from the areas populated with wildlife. You will experience wet landings in water, on sand or rocks and dry landings on wooden docks. The weather in Galapagos is hot particularly December through June. In the Galapagos, it takes approximately two hours, on foot, to get to and from the areas populated with wildlife. You will experience wet landings in water, on sand or rocks and dry landings on wooden docks. This tour visits areas of high elevations in Quito (9,300 feet) and in Papallacta (10,600 feet) and may be a consideration for those who have heart conditions or are otherwise affected by height. If you have any concerns about traveling to higher than your accustomed elevation, please consult your healthcare provider. Early wake-ups are necessary on some mornings to cover the territory. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking. This is an Independent program. For more information, click here.
Your Galapagos itinerary may vary according to weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety issues and wildlife migration patterns.
▲ Due to the high elevation, travel in the Ecuadorian Andes may cause some passengers to experience the temporary effects of altitude sickness. If you have any concerns about traveling to higher than your accustomed elevation, please consult your healthcare provider.
Gate 1 Travel itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
4 Day Santa Cruz II - Cat. Horizon Deck ExplorerShip Profile
4 Day Santa Cruz II - Cat. Expedition Deck ExplorerShip Profile
- Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
- Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
- Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
- Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
- Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
- The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
|Know Before You Go|
|Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.|
|Getting Ready to Go|
|Passports and Visas|
|It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.
|Ecuador - Passport information must be submitted to Gate 1 Travel at least 60 days prior to departure. This information is necessary to issue the Galapagos Tourist Card.
|Traveling with Friends or Family?|
|If you are traveling with friends or family who are booked on another reservation, please make sure that we are aware. On occasion, we may operate more than one vehicle on your tour departure in which case we will ensure that guests will be assigned together. This is achieved by connecting your reservations before your departure. Once you arrive in your destination, it may not be possible to make assignment changes. To check that your reservations are linked, log into https://www.gate1travel.com/res with your email and password, select your reservation number, and check to see that your reservations are indicated as "Traveling With" at the top right side of the display. |
|A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks. |
|Hurtigruten Cruises Terms & Conditions: Hurtigruten Cruises Terms & Conditions governing the cruise component of a Tour & Cruise package apply to all customers sailing with Hurtigruten Cruises. Carriage by Sea is subject to the Carriers Conditions of Carriage which are expressly incorporated into the following document: Hurtigruten Passage Contract |
|Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html. |
|Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/. |
Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.
This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.
|Mobile networks differ from country to country. We recommend you check with your provider to see if your wireless plan will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. To avoid possible roaming charges, you may want to consider purchasing an international plan. With most major phone companies, for a modest fee, you will be able to use your domestic plan's talk, text, and data allowances just like you do at home. If you can access the internet while you travel, you can also take advantage of services such as WhatsApp or Skype. |
|Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another|
|When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally). |
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555
|WiFi is available in most airports, hotels, and cruise lines, as well as on some flights, trains, and buses. There may be a fee for access and service quality and speed may vary greatly especially while on moving vehicles. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable, and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries. |
|Staying Healthy While Traveling|
|All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations. |
There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.
|Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at:
|Ecuador and Galapagos - You may encounter mosquitoes in both urban and rural areas, especially during wet seasons. Travelers are encouraged to bring a good supply of insect repellent and consider wearing clothing that adequately covers arms and legs. |
The minimum physical demands of your trip are not highly rigorous for a person in good physical fitness but if you choose all the optional walks and excursions available, you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet. You’ll get the most enjoyment out of your trip if you are comfortable walking unassisted for two or three hours each day. Walks may include fairly rough, uneven trails and steep stone steps for which comfortable walking or hiking shoes are recommended.
Quito is situated at an altitude of 9,400 feet above sea level. Therefore, you should allow a few hours to adjust to the high altitude by resting and eating lightly. Other areas of Ecuador are also situated at high altitudes including Otavalo (8,400 feet), Papallacta (10,800 feet), and Patate (8,400 feet).
|About the Zika Virus - The Zika Virus is a mosquito-borne virus mostly found in areas of Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. According to the CDC, most cases of Zika are mild. However, there is a potential link between this virus and a brain defect called microcephaly which affects unborn babies and may pose a potential risk to pregnant women. If you are pregnant or believe you could be at the time of travel, the CDC cautions against traveling to these destinations. For information, please visit www.cdc.gov/zika/. |
|Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)|
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways: |
|Climate & Clothing|
|Ecuador and Galapagos - The climate varies widely according to geographical area. The highlands are cold and dry. Along the coast it is warm and sunny year round. Bring comfortable walking shoes, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. At times, the temperature drops and a warm jacket is necessary. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops). |
Please note that plastic bags and plastic bottles are banned in the Galapagos Islands in an effort to preserve the local flora and fauna.
The Amazon rain forest is tropical and humid. For walks in the forest bring; light weight, loose fitting, long sleeved shirts & pants, a brimmed hat, and walking or hiking shoes. T-shirts, shorts and sandals are recommended for use around the lodge. Come prepared with an appropriate rain jacket or poncho, rain can be heavy at times. Rubber boots for hiking will be provided by your hotel (up to US Men's Size 12) but it is recommended to bring plastic bags to protect valuables, a flash light, water bottle, sunglasses, binoculars, energy snacks, and plenty of insect repellent.
Ecuador Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/americas/default.aspx#ecuador-weather
|Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones. |
|Preparing for Your Trip|
| As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. |
|Luggage & Packing|
|Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost. |
|Ecuador & Galapagos - Intra-Ecuador flights to the Galapagos have a weight restriction for luggage of 50 lbs. per piece of luggage with a limit of one piece of checked luggage per person. An additional carry-on item is permitted but should not exceed a weight of 17 lbs. This may differ from international flight luggage limits and should be taken into account when preparing for your trip. |
Galapagos - Fresh fruit, seeds and vegetables are prohibited from being brought into the Galapagos Islands.
|Day of Departure|
|Ecuador and Galapagos Flights|
|A mandatory process known as disinsection is used to prevent invasive species from accidentally being transported to the Galapagos ecosystem. After the plane's doors have been shut, d-phenothrin (2% dissolved in a 98% neutral propellant) will be sprayed throughout the plane. |
This chemical has the approval of the World Health Organization. The sprayed component has no negative effect on humans, does not trigger allergic reactions, and does not stain clothing.
This procedure reduces the risk of introducing diseases and invasive invertebrate species to the islands and is an important part of ensuring the area's ecological balance.
Please note that for any intra-Ecuador flight, your tickets will be issued locally.
|What to do if You Need Assistance|
Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.
|Arrival & Departure|
|Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. Be wary of airport scammers who offer unwanted assistance. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative. |
|What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed|
|Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services. |
|If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally. |
|Departure Flights - Some flights depart shortly after midnight in the very early morning on the day of departure. Transfers depart the hotel approximately 4 hours prior to flight time and therefore the final package overnight may be missed in the event an early morning flight is purchased. No refunds are issued due to unused services. |
|Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date. |
The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.
|About Your Accommodations|
|Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center. |
|Hotel Check-in/ Check-out|
|Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later. |
|At Your Destination|
|Eco & Sustainable Tourism|
|We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs. |
|Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience. |
|Suggested Tipping: Ecuador & Galapagos|
Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $7 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage) : US $3 per person per day, US $2 per half day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $3 per person per day of sightseeing, US $2 per half day
Galapagos Cruise: Crew: US $15 per person per day
Galapagos Naturalist Guide: US $10 per person per day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included
|Ecuador and Galapagos - Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists. |
|About Your Sightseeing|
|To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. On river cruises, color-coded group splits may be used for shoreside included and Optional tours. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list. |
|Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)|
|Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents. |
|Purchasing Tours Locally|
| On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional |
|Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses |
|Ecuador and Galapagos - The US Dollar is the currency of Ecuador and Galapagos. When traveling to smaller towns in Ecuador it can be difficult to break even US $20 and US $10 bills; therefore it is recommended to carry plenty of US $1 bills to make tipping and local purchases easier. |
|Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities. |
We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.
While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!
About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.
U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.
|Ecuador and Galapagos - Duty-free shops and artisan's shops offer visitors the opportunity to buy Ecuadorian handcrafts such as ponchos, tapestries, ceramics, jewelry. |
|Your Safety is Very Important|
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit. |
It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:
If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.
|Tourist Street Scams|
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed: |
|Ecuador - Please be aware that as a part of local law enforcement policies, the motor coach may be stopped by Ecuadorian police at any time for a routine vehicle search. Police dogs may be used to search the vehicle and you may be asked to exit the motor coach for an individual search. If this occurs, please follow instructions from the police and your tour manager. |
|Local Emergency Phone Numbers|
|Ecuador and Galapagos
|Ecuador and Galapagos - Spanish is the local language. Quechua is spoken in some areas as well. English is generally spoken in tourist areas. |
|Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances. |
|Ecuador and Galapagos - The voltage used is 110 volts. |
|Code of Conduct|
|Ecuador and Galapagos - Shaking hands is the standard greeting. Modest casual dress is appropriate. Request permission before photographing people. Common courtesies should be observed. |
In the Galapagos: Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the Galapagos Islands. Please respect efforts to keep the islands in their pristine condition. There is little to no cell phone reception in most areas of the Galapagos Islands.
|Meals & Dietary Requests|
|Included meals are based on the restaurant's buffet or set menu. Beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although special diets like Vegetarian and Vegan are relatively commonplace in the USA, much of the world's menu options are more provincial. Please do not expect to find the variety of food selection outside of the local norm. Every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests selected no later than 5 days prior to departure in the passenger details section of your reservation. In addition, we recommend that you make preferences known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant. Special requests are subject to local conditions and availability and cannot be guaranteed. |
|On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants. |
|Holidays - Ecuador and Galapagos|
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 2: New Year's Day observed
Feb 20-21: Carnival
Apr 6: Maundy Thursday
Apr 7: Good Friday
Apr 8: Holy Saturday
Apr 9: Easter
May 1: Labor Day / May Day
May 24: Battle of Pichincha
Jul 24: Birthday of Simon Bolivar
Aug 10: Independence Day
Oct 9: Independence of Guayaquil
Nov 2: All Souls' Day
Nov 3: Independence of Cuenca
Dec 6: Foundation of Quito
Dec 25: Christmas
Dec 31: New Year's Eve
Jan 1: New Year's Day
12-13 Feb: Carnival
Mar 29: Good Friday
Mar 30: Holy Saturday
Mar 31: Easter Sunday
May 1: Labor Day / May Day
May 24: Battle of Pichincha
Jul 24: Birthday of Simon Bolivar
Aug 10: Independence Day
Oct 11: Independence of Guayaquil Day off
Nov 2: All Souls' Day
Nov 3: Independence of Cuenca
Nov 4: Day off for Independence of Cuenca
Dec 6: Foundation of Quito (Holiday in Quito)
Dec 25: Christmas
Dec 31: New Year's Eve
Amazing! It was a very informative trip. Food, hotels, driver, Jose and Octavio were helpful, very personable, and great communicators.Janet L.
My first Gate 1 Travel tour! I am 75 and traveled somewhere almost every year. I read all the reviews for and was amazed by so many good reviews. During our introduction everybody said they were on their 9 or 12th trip and even 17th tour with Gate 1. Many said they had already booked future trips. Now I understand why. I am so impressed by Gate 1. This was my first trip traveling to Ecuador and fell in love! I fell in love with Antonio our guide and Hermes, our driver. They were a wonderful team. Antonio is a so charming. He handled us adult 'kids' with real humor and PATIENCE! Hermes gave us the 'Champagne' ride over the Andes Mtns. and down to the Amazon Basin. He always sprayed sanitizer on our hands as we came in the bus. Antonio is so knowledgeable and answered all our questions; even stopping along the road to give us a taste of their local markets of fruits and their delicious rotisserie Pork (Ginny pig and grub worms if you dare). If I had done this trip by the 'seat of my pants' I would have loss so much knowledge that Antonio taught us with enthusiasm about Ecuador. We stopped at so many places I would have passed up on my own. The special dinners all included were wonderful! One night we had Ecuadorian musicians play their beautiful flutes and stringed instruments after a gourmet dinner in the most beautiful setting. For having a bus load, it was all so smoothly orchestrated. I never felt like I was 'herded' or rushed from place to place. I made many friends in our diverse group. The Amazon Basin was a highlight for me. We had the best day hiking in the Rainforest and then cooling off after on a lazy raft trip down the river. I jumped off the raft and swam for a while. It was so fun. The lodge on the river was organic in the sense that most everything was tastefully carved and polished from the beautiful natural woods in the area. We had the Amazon experience but in real comfort and style and with beautiful gardens. (No A/C, no TV, etc.) We had screen walls protecting us from the insects. As the air cooled into the night, I slept solid! I loved listening to the open air of the birds and the sound of the river. Gate 1, I am looking forward to another tour somewhere in this great beyond. I am so glad you came into my life.Kathy G.
Our tour manager, Wilson T, was incredible. He was a wealth of knowledge and very passionate about his country. Because of Wilson, boarding passes were always secured, getting through airports was a breeze, busses were always waiting for us, hotel room keys were distributed immediately upon entering each hotel, and bags were promptly delivered. Wilson made sure every part of the trip was perfect. Whatever was needed, Wilson came through! He truly deserves credit for helping make our trip a true "trip of a lifetime." GATE 1 should recognize and identify him as an A+ tour manager. He was the best!Janet S.
In addition to our survey, we would like to add a note about our tour guide, Daniel. As we learned over the course of our Ecuador travels, Daniel is the ultimate tour guide. Not only did he work tirelessly 24/7 to care for all of our needs, but he worked miracles when our trip was interrupted due to unforeseen circumstances. Daniel is also a veritable walking encyclopedia of Ecuadorian knowledge, ranging from history, geography, geology, wildlife, politics, socio-economic issues, people of the region, and cultural highlights. He also demonstrated an unusual eagerness to share this knowledge with us, which certainly added to our appreciation of all that is Ecuador. It is too bad that your survey ranking tops out at "Excellent", because Daniel is one of those people who should be rated much, much higher. Thank you very much, Daniel, for a wonderful adventure, and thanks in advance for all the people who will be treated to the same exciting adventures during future tours.Frederick P.
FABULOUS! Thank you for all your help with my reservation. The guide, Paul, was absolutely the quintessential guide. He was always professional, organized, efficient, helpful, knowledgeable. In addition, he was passionate about his country and its people and compassionate with all in the tour group for whatever issues arose. He personalized the tour with anecdotes and visits to places where we could talk to individual locals and chat with them. Wicked good. His knowledge about the prehistory, history, geography, literature, music, crafts, climate, culture, dialects, religion, architecture, and social mores was nonpareil. Alexis, our driver was the consummate professional in navigating the roads and highways in Ecuador. He was a gentleman with helping people on and off the bus, providing plentiful water, and chatting with us during the rest stops. Great driver. Overall, a tremendous tour. Thanks again for your help with adjustments to my tour.Leo J.
We highly recommended this tour. We had a great tour manager, the hotels and lodges were beautiful and the excursions were very interesting.Carlos R.
What a wonderful experience! My 8th adventure with Gate1 travel! The organization was impeccable. That I arrived so late at night in Quito was of course, hard but: that Giovanna Hermosa greeted us at the Hilton at 2 am was just above her duties. And above her duties also was that she accompanied us to the departure area March 2/3 - so late and again for others in the middle of the night!!! This amazing tour manager is a trough of knowledge that she gently shared with our group. She knows so many things, at so many occasions she explained things, gave us details of her knowledge that I have encountered only once before: India trip with Aparna, our guide. I felt with Giovanna that we could ask anything and she had readily an answer. It showed me her genuine love for her country and her interest to know everything about her country be it politics, plants, the layouts of the land etc. and sharing it with us gave me a deeper feeling for her country. Little details: She bought bananas for us to eat along the long bus rides. Sweets which seem to be a delicious staple of Ecuador, cookies to break up the long rides, and at the end a souvenir for everyone - the Tagua Ivory which won't let us forget neither this amazing person but the wonderful Ecuador trip. Roque, the driver , was great. He was helpful with us oldies, friendly and very concerned about our security and safety. I called him the alcohol man as he did not forget anyone entering the bus with his bottle to disinfect our hands. Last, but not least: The Ecuadorian Gate 1 organizer did a fabulous job in selecting the accommodations which were definitely unique, interesting and amazing.Eleonore H.
As a first time costumer of Gate1, I want to start off by saying thank you and express the enjoyment experienced on my last adventure. All travel and transfers went smoothly. All stops and sights that we visited were amazing. All staff was cordial and gracious. I would very much like to express my experience with our tour guide Wilson and also our driver Hermes. They are the best! From the moment we touched down at the airport they were there, ready and willing. Every second from there after we felt safe and secure. I know I can speak for others on the trip when I say they both are a joy and great human beings. I can truly say this experience, especially because of both of these men, will remain with us the rest of our lives. Thank you for your time and we look forward to many adventures together.Kristen F.
I just want to add that although your highest rating is "excellent", there are two aspects of the tour that I would rate as exceptional. First, our tour manager, Paul Aguilar was more than excellent and more than exceptional. I cannot describe how he made this trip one of the epic adventures of my lifetime. Waking me up at 4:30 for an Amazon activity was so easy for me to accept because of how he handled the early rising and how he facilitated the experience. That's just one of the examples of how Paul made the trip an exceptional one. Second, the staff at Sacha Lodge, especially Lili, our naturalist, Wilson, the local naturalist, and management, Pablo and Anna, were wonderful. I cannot praise the staff enough. Finally, our tent city on Isabell Island was perfect for the location. I'm sorry that I cannot remember the manager's name (isn't that terrible), but he was exceptional at making our stay a great one. Kudos to Gate 1 for finding these two great accommodations. this was my 7th Gate 1 adventure and it rivaled my experience in Peru. Well done!James A.
My trip to Ecuador with Gate 1 was wonderful! Our tour director, Daniel, was fabulous. He took care of us as he called us "Family." He was also very informed about the areas and native groups living there. I traveled with my college aged granddaughter and we were so pleased that 3 other college girls were also on the trip. It was a great bonding experience for us and good for all of our ages on the trip. Thanks for the tremendous Gate 1 organization!Ethel P.
I recently took a Gate 1 trip to Ecuador (8 days) from Oct 24th to Oct 31st. It was an outstanding tour and a week I will never forget! I can't believe how much we did in such a short amount of time and the variety of natural beauty was off the charts. Giovanna, our tour guide was fantastic. I felt she treated us like family, was incredibly knowledgeable, and navigated our tour smoothly. She established a wonderful balance between experience and human warmth. The guides and staff from the lodges and restaurants were also very cordial and hospitable, in particular Ambrosio and Andres at Casa del Suizo in the Amazon. I cannot say enough about how wonderful this trip was and I have been recommending it to all my friends, family, and co-workers. I fell in love with Ecuador's nature and Gate 1 opened the doors to this beautiful country.Florencia G.
I would like to extend my gratitude to Antonio, our Ecuador Tour guide manager. He was absolutely fantastic and made everyone in the group feel valued, safe and inclusive within the group activities. Antonio went above and beyond his duties to engage us in the history, culture and knowledge of his beloved country. His enthusiasm to share his passions and culinary delights with us all were simply memorable. You can see and feel from just spending nine days with him that he has a love for people and his job. A true asset to the image and respectability of Gate 1 travel. Overall it will go down as one of the most memorable vacations me and the wife ( who can't stop telling everyone, by the way), have ever had and we have the Gate 1 Travel 'bug' as we have just booked two more trips with Gate 1 Travel for next year already..! (Portugal and Morocco in March and April). And the catalyst to these bookings was the excellent standards set by both Antonio and our beloved driver Javiaire who's steely nerve and knowledge of the roads made us feel really safe. Thanks to you both for all you did for ALL the group...Jason P.
This was my first passport-required international trip (and first with Gate 1) and it by far exceeded my expectations!! Wow!! I went with a group of 8 other ladies, fellow members of "Sisters on the Fly", and there were 3 other couples in our tour group for a total of 15. That small number was incredible to travel with. Just perfect! While the cities of Guayaquil and Quito were impressive and interesting (and the Equator was very cool of course), the shining diamond in this trip are the Galápagos Islands themselves! I can't say enough good things about this tour. Our naturalist and guide, Enrique, couldn't have been any better. His warmth, friendliness, and willingness to help was evident after the first couple of minutes. His knowledge about the land, animals, plants, and history of the islands was unending. We never had any worries about anything at all. He's a perfect guide for this tour and we were all so happy to have him during our time on the Galapagos! In addition, our driver "Mr. G" was great and super friendly, even smiling for a "selfie" with us! And the crew aboard the catamaran "Adriana" were outstanding! Tata, Virgil, and Lucas went above and beyond in making sure we were all comfortable, happy, well fed, and safe during our two days cruising the waters between islands. I absolutely LOVED this entire trip and I'm not sure how I feel about the bar being set SO HIGH after only my first Gate 1 Travel experience. haha!! I can't wait to tour with your company again very soon. Thank you SO much!!Allison C.
I don't have a bucket list-I don't believe in them. If I did, I do not know if Ecuador would even have been on it. When a friend send me info on Gate 1 trip to Ecuador I was enthralled. My visit at the airport started with meeting Antonio the tour guide who greeted me and my companion traveler with a big smile and a warm welcome. I found Antonio to be a man who is passionate about his work, life, family, friends, his country, Ecuadorian cuisine and so much more ( in no particular order). He gives 100% daily and this was so apparent our entire trip. "My friends I am here for you. If you need anything let me know." He is obviously a man of incredible patience. No matter how many times the tour participants (29) asked him questions ( even the same one over and over!) he would gladly answer. During the course of the trip he pointed out many sites (big and small) along our path. He pointed out even the smallest critters- even an ant who had a citrus flavor. He mentioned he has an fantastic office which he really loved. I was in awe! Antonio provided us with special snacks along the way with an accompanying delightful story. I really enjoyed both equally. His kindheartedness was apparent especially to me when I had a stomach issue. "My friend for you I recommend the chicken soup (pointing to the menu) tonight." He treated us as family and his warmth was palpable. I really enjoyed this adventure and I know it was Antonio who played an integral part in this. My heartfelt thanks to him. Gate 1 has such a gem. So while Antonio is no longer my tour guide- he is my friend. What a good deal! By the way I made a list- Places I Love : Ecuador.Mary A.
The 8 Day Classic Ecuador & Amazon Adventure trip was marvelous and I have many fond memories. Every hotel was outstanding and a unique experience. The food was delicious. Our driver, Hermes, is quite the expert. Some of the spaces he had to get us through were tight, tight, but he did it smoothly and safely. High fives to Hermes. Our tour manager, Wilson is an awesome person and tour manager. He was definitely the highlight of the trip. He tackled every detail with enthusiasm and kept us well informed and happy. He loves his country and now I love his country too. I will forever remember Wilson and Ecuador. One of my most memorable trips. Loved the various levels of adventure--something for everyone. Looking forward to traveling with Gate1 in the future.Patricia S.
My husband and I travelled internationally to many destinations by ourselves or with a private tour. This is our (husband & I) first trip with Gate 1. We could not ask for more. We had the best tour guide, Wilson who made everything absolutely enjoyable. His knowledge about culture, history, flora, fauna, shopping, location, etc were excellent. His sense of humor, courtesy, and responsibility were second to none. Wilson created the warm environment. He helped make us into a family. He is a great asset to Gate 1. Accommodations and food were above and beyond what I expected. My good experience from this trip will be memorable. Many thanks to Gate 1 to make the travel products the world class. I will keep my eyes on our next destination with Gate 1.Piyaporn M.
I appreciate the opportunity to provide you with feedback regarding our trip with Gate 1. Previously my award/tourism trips were coordinated thru event managers and tourism companies contracted through the various companies with which I was employed. We were referred to your company by a family friend who has frequently traveled with Gate 1. Our recently completed Small Group Discovery Tour with Gate 1 was our first tour with your company. We WERE NOT disappointed, and the Small Group Discovery Tour format perfectly matched our desires and expectations. We were very impressed upon our arrival in Ecuador to be greeted by our smiling and waiting Tour Manager Antonio. I truly hope that you appreciate how instrumental Antonio was in making this such a memorable, remarkable and positive experience for both my wife and I regarding: Ecuador, The Galapagos, The Amazon, The Andes and Gate 1. Antonio's passion for his country and his company (Gate 1) were self evident and Antonio exhibited a rare ability to easily relate and interface with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures leading to the "cohesion" of our small group team members. The Hotel, culinary, activity and lodging choices selected were exquisite. Antonio took away the trepidation of traveling in an unfamiliar country by providing great counsel and a can do attitude regarding the few meals we were responsible for and the shopping and cultural experiences we were exposed to. Upon departing, I told Antonio that we left a small piece of our hearts in Ecuador!Erin T.
I am going out of my way to write you because I had perhaps the most extraordinary experience of my life being led through the Andes and the Amazon by the exuberant, brilliant Wilson, driven through all kinds of weather and topography by the reliable and serene Walter. I've been on two independent Gate1 vacations before, and one guided tour (of India's Golden Triangle, back in 2019), and as wonderful as those trips were, nothing has led me to immediate bookmark not one but THREE Gate1 tours to take asap as much as Wilson and Walter's dream team Ecuadorian experience. Wilson was easy to get to know and even easier to like -- he began our tour by telling us a bit about himself, vulnerabilities and all, and invited the group to go around and do the same. From the very first hour, he turned us from a group of tentative strangers into a vibrant and compassionate family. His knowledge of the region seemed inexhaustible and his love for the people and landscape (and the inextricable ways they are intertwined, as he showed us, changing us all forever) profoundly affected me. He is also very, very funny. I know I will be back on another Gate1 tour soon -- just not soon enough, considering the extraordinary, amazing time I just had. Thank you for Wilson, for Walter, and for everyone on my tour.Caitlin O.
The trip was amazing! Our Galapagos guide, Camilo, went above and beyond and Daniel in Quito was very good as well. Loved the small group size of 15...and it was a good group. Great weather, food and sights. Would definitely recommend this Gate 1 trip to friends.Barbara N.
The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador trip was awesome! Our travel guides Aldo, Camillo, Antonio and Pablo were outstanding as well as our drivers. The guides made our trip smooth and interesting. I highly recommend this trip and Gate 1 to everyone!Crystal S.
My partner and I recently returned from our 11-day Ecuador, the Amazon and Peru adventure with Gate1. The entire trip was fabulous from start to finish. We were not only blessed with excellent guides, but we had a a wonderful group to boot! (This was our fourth group tour and that doesn't always happen!) We continue to be impressed with the logistics involved and have noticed an upgrade in most of the accommodations provided. Tour guide Marco was excellent in Ecuador and the Amazon. We found him knowledgeable, professional and a whole lot of fun. Tour guide Abel was equally excellent. We have found that it can be a challenge for the second guide to win everyone over as many people get used to a style and can struggle with change. We were so impressed how Abel took great care to win everyone over with his caring nature and winning sense of humor. Personally, I got sick in the town of Machu Picchu the day after visiting the sacred valley. Abel took immediate action and got me some meds that worked like a miracle. He is a gem and Gate1 is lucky to have him. Again, we are Gate1 fans and we look forward to our next adventure. We have watched Gate1 go from good to great...not easy!Gary T.
My trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos was the best trip of my life!! Our guides Carmillo and Daniel were amazing. So intelligent and passionate about their country and the work they do. They were very friendly, kind and helpful. They provided excellent recommendations for dinner and additional places to visit! Incredible people!Carrie B.
I went on the 7 Day Galapagos Express trip 5/21-5/27 with 3 other traveling companions in my party. Our naturalist guide in the Galapagos, Venus was outstanding! She was very organized, extremely knowledgeable about the area, and super fun. She is definitely an asset to your company. The catamaran crew that took us to the various islands was also outstanding. I was amazed at the delicious meals they created onboard the ship. Everyone did their best to make sure we had a fun and relaxing vacation. This was my first trip with Gate 1 so I was not sure what to expect. I have to say that Venus went above and beyond my expectations. Aldo in Guayaquil was also very organized and very helpful in getting us from the airport to our hotel and from the hotel to the airport for the Galapagos. He handled every tiny detail. Antonio in Quito was very friendly and also very knowledgeable about his city. My traveling party and I had a very fun and relaxing vacation thanks to the wonderful guides who took such good care of us. Thank you!Lynanne P.
This was our second tour with Gate 1 and our very first Discover tour. What an experience! We loved having Wilson as our guide because of how passionate he spoke about his country, his commitment in giving us the experience of a lifetime, and his attention to detail and safety. The specialists in the Galapagos and Amazon were so very knowledgeable and explained so much about the preservation of the native wildlife and ecosystem. They made learning about sustainability interesting. Additionally, we felt completely safe with all trip excursions, hotel arrangements, and drivers that chauffeured us throughout our visit. It was truly a nice surprise to have a nice glass of wine at the end of our rigorous day. Special thank you for including drinks with our dinner. This 13 day trip to Ecuador, Andes, Galapagos, and Amazon was truly an experience of our lifetime; thus far. There are more places to explore and I am confident that Gate 1 will be the number one agency for those experiences.Cassandra J.
Our trip to Ecuador was absolutely fantastic. Eduardo could not have done anything better in my opinion. And Ivan, our bus driver, was incredible. The two of them are a dynamic duo! This is my first trip with Gate 1 and I couldn't be happier. I would (and have) recommended Gate 1 to many people.Julie M.
Prior to the pandemic, we had traveled several trips with Gate 1. This was our first trip post pandemic with Gate 1 and it was one of the best trips we have ever taken with Gate 1. Both of our tour managers, Jose and Gary were the very best we ever had! It was like having your own tour guide for each segment of the trip. They truely cared about the traveler and wanted to share everything about their country with you: the food, the culture, the environment, their lives, it was like having a family member with you. It really appeared to us that during the time that the pandemic shut down travel, Gate 1 used this time to better understand it clients and improve their services so that when travel resumed, our experience would be better than prior to the pandemic. And it was. To say that Gate 1 upped their game would be an understatement. We have another trip booked with you this September and we can't wait, Gate 1, you have won us over for all of our future trips. Your tour managers, your support, your selected hotels and agendas are top notch and I would recommend you to anyone that is planning to travel the world. Thanks Gate 1 for being a much better travel service than prior to the pandemic!Ted S.
We just traveled last week, Ecuador and Peru. It was a very nice travel. Gate1 did a fantastic job, from the airport to the hotels, to the tour. Everything was very smooth and relaxing. Thank you Gate1. I will travel with Gate 1 again on our next vacation.Carlos I.
I was met at the Quito airport by our tour leader and driver. Javier went above and beyond of every tour leader I have met. Knowledgeable, personable, charming, hardworking are just a few of the adjectives to describe Javier. The tour groups happiness was always his greatest concern. I cannot fully describe how much more enjoyable Javier made our experience in Ecuador. Our driver, Daniel, made certain our transportation was always clean, very polite, excellent driver and such a pleasant representative of Gate 1.David D.
This was my first Gate 1 tour and it won't be my last! My family and I did the 8 day classic Ecuador & Amazon Adventure and boy what an adventure indeed! Everything was stress free and went smoothly. Our guide Antonio went above and beyond with every little detail to make our trip special and memorable. He was very knowledgeable, helpful and fun and really made the whole experience! Ecuador is such a beautiful country filled with beautiful people. I would love to go back and spend more time in the Amazon with Gate 1.Marquette A.
We both completed the survey Gate 1 sent but wanted to add some additional comments. Our tour manager, Antonio, and driver, Ivan, were awesome. They were organized and safely got us to all the sites and more. Antonio was funny, patient and informative. Ivan was a great driver and always there to spray our hands with sanitizer when we got back on the bus! A special shout out to our Amazon guides, Andres, Henry and Guami. They were fantastic and took such good care of our group while there. They were amazing with the knowledge they shared of living within the rain forest. We were fortunate to have such a great team leading our group.Sue S.
Giovanna is a rock star! She made each of us feel like we were the only ones on the trip! Professional, personal, and a walking encyclopedia about all things Ecuadorian, from nature to social issues to political system to history! You are very fortunate to have her on your team! Kudos to the entire Gate 1 team, including Walter, our driver, and all the guides and staff!Judith F.
This Ecuador tour was amazing from our tour guide to our driver and the whole group atmosphere. When we arrived at the airport, it was midnight but our tour manager, Jose, greeted us at the airport, which never happened before in any of the other gate1 tours I had. He even went with us to the airport on our departure day. Our driver Roque, was very helpful, friendly, courteous and fun. Together, Jose and Roque did everything, from touring, to transporting, to bringing us food at the restaurant, anytime and anywhere we needed help, they were there. We loved all the hotels, they were unique, beautiful and clean, not cookie cutter hotels. We had best group. Everyone got along really well and it was so much fun. We danced together at one of the dinner and it was very memorable. I don't think any tour company is comparable. I'm looking forward to more trips with Gate1. We're a young couple and we hope to travel everywhere with Gate1 for the next 30 or 40 years. Happy 40th birthday to an amazing tour company, Happy birthday Gate1!Vidien N.
We got back from our Ecuador trip 1 month ago. I can't let another day go by without letting you know just how fabulous it was! Our tour guide, Marco, couldn't have been better. He was a wealth of information about every area we visited. He was funny, organized, intelligent, and made every moment of our trip fun. The other local tour guides were also extremely helpful. Their vast knowledge about the areas and history was always interesting and informative. The trip itself was beyond what I expected. Every day was an adventure that I had only hoped to experience one day. To have day after day roll out to be action packed and fun-filled made it a trip of a lifetime. Being able to explore Guayaquil, the Galapagos, Quito, Papallacta and the Amazon would have been impossible to organize by myself. Gate 1 made this dream trip come true. Thank you!Laurie T.
I feel its really important to give additional feedback regarding my tour guide Daniel in Ecuador. This was my 6th Gate 1 trip and I have always had very good guides. But, Daniel was Excellent. I was traveling myself and came in a day early before the tour started. Daniel called me at 9 am to introduce himself and let me know he would be at the hotel around noon for me to meet him. He gave me recommendations on what to do for the day and truly showed that he wanted to make sure I had no concerns. He texted me his number in case I needed anything. Besides that... the consensus from our group was his knowledge of his country is beyond what any other guide I have had. It truly was amazing. He is fun, informative, kept us moving so we could do more than was expected. Even when we had leisure time... he gave up his free time and did extra hikes if we wanted to join him. Daniel truly worked 24/7 our entire trip. He is truly an Asset to Gate 1 and I know for a fact, anyone who has had him. feels the same way!! I feel so lucky that Daniel was my guide. And I can assure you, I will be going back and have already recommended this trip to many others..Debra L.
We just returned from the Galapagos, Ecuador, Andes, and Amazon trip. It was perfectly planned by Discovery/Gate1. What a fabulous itinerary! What a range of experiences it offered! The included locations for the trip were spectacular! Just the right amount of time at each location. I could only think "WOW!!" as we flew home. I fell in love with Ecuador and its incredible diversity! The whole trip was wonderfully guided by Javier, our main guide, and the different local guides involved. Javier was just GREAT! So friendly, kind, and well-informed on all topics ranging from the natural world to explaining daily life in Ecuador. He was always ready and able to answer questions and help each traveler maximize their experience at each location. The resort lodges used for this trip were PHENOMENAL!!! in particular, Scalesia Lodge in the Galapagos was incredibly beautiful and wonderfully managed with great food. Equally so was the Sacha Lodge on the Napo River in the Amazon rain forest. The local guides in the Galapagos and Amazon were just great! So helpful and caring with great senses of humor! They were really super! And finally, I commend Discovery for using such great drivers and transport services to carry us to all of the far-flung destinations on this trip. Coordination and quality of the transportation was simply amazing! Thank you Javier and Kelvin (our main bus driver) for helping to make this such a great trip. My advice: Go to Ecuador and experience many unique, natural wonders and beautiful places! (PS: We always felt safe there and had no concerns about being at risk in any way.)John H.
Just a note of gratitude for our guide who was not only knowledgeable but concerned for our safety and comfort. He made sure that we were expending the energy we had and not overdoing it. He made a special effort to help us celebrate our 56th wedding anniversary by being sung to and receiving a cake to commemorate the occasion. He took good care of us with small mishaps and made sure that we were ok. I particularly enjoyed the historical and cultural information that he gave us. It was evident that he loved his country and desired to share the best of it with us. We would enjoy traveling with him again sometime in the future.Osvaldo R.
This was my 94th country to visit. Daniel was THEE best tour director EVER. He did so so many extra things to make our trip exceptional. Taking meals orders in advance, is something every tour director should do, it saves a lot of time. This tour has a lot of logistics and Daniel was on top of all of them. It's a lot for a tour manager to do....no one could have exceeded his superb service. The trip itself was an exceptional value due to all it included. The meals on Isabella Island, were beyond five star. Everything about the lodge was over the top. I have already highly highly recommended this trip. Please allow me to serve as a reference to anyone considering this trip. BUT as a company you may not realize just how truly great Daniel is for his customers. Please know that all 13 of us, loved loved loved, all he did for us.Marilyn M.
The trip to Ecuador is definitely one of the best trips I have ever done. My husband and I made unforgettable memories. I would like to highlight the work done by our guide Jose. He was very friendly and knowledgeable. You could feel the love for his country and his work. Jose was very patient and treated everyone with kindness.Nataly M.
I just returned from the 13 Day Galapagos, Ecuador, Andes & Amazon tour with the Discovery tours. This one was my 8th tour with the Gate 1 and based on the itinerary, accommodation, food, activities and the Tour Director, it was one of the BEST. I want to say a special thank you to our tour director Giovanna. She made this amazing trip so much special. She is so knowledgeable in history, traditions, culture, & customs as well as biology, plants, birds and animals. It was quite challenging traveling during COVID but she went over and above to ensure our wellbeing and safety. On the last day, the lab was late with my COVID test results, so Giovanna been with them on the phone and texting during our Farewell Dinner to ensure that I would have the results before leaving for the airport. Trip was very active with number of flights, boat and canoe rides, and hikes and Giovanna was always there helping and assisting and always with the smile on her face. She was so thoughtful and helpful. Always ready to help, to give the advise, to assist. Her passion about her country made me fell in love with the Ecuador. Thank you so very much Giovanna. I would highly recommend this trip.Svetlana D.
The Tour Manager, Daniel, is the biggest asset GATE1 has. 1. He always goes out of his way for the passengers. 2. He is the most thoughtful person for the safety and good health of the passengers. There was a sick person after the Amazon River (Nopo River) raft riding. He spent the time to take care of this person in an extraordinary way. 3. The knowledge and all the historical information he presented were the unbelievable. 4. I was 2-day early arrival at Quito before the group came in. Daniel contacted me as soon as I arrived at Hilton Colon Quito and he gave me the pointers and what to see and to do before the Tour officially started. No wonder Gate 1 has more passengers coming back without any hesitation.Michio T.
I just wanted to let you know how awesome our tour guide, Luis, was throughout the trip. His knowledge, professionalism and friendly nature added immeasurable value to the trip. There were some unforeseen glitches in travel arrangements during the trip and I was impressed at how quickly he worked to find solutions that minimized any disruption in the itinerary. As a first time traveler with Gate 1 I couldn't have asked for a better tour guide, he made a great first impression for your company.Cynthia A.
I can 't think of a better travel company to choose Gate1 than others. I have worked as a travel agent for more than 20 years. My company has sent many customers to join Gate1 trips- everyone is satisfied with no complaints. So, I wanted to step on Gate1's tour myself to get firsthand experience, especially at the pandemic period, as choosing a good quality company is very important. At the first day of group briefing meeting, it is not to my surprise that there is a couple who has been a 14th time Gate1 customer. At the end of the day of the tour, a couple ordered a bottle of wine for the tour guide Mr. Javier, and said he is the best tour guide they had met in Gate 1 (except the one in their China trip). Yes, I agree. Javier deserved the love and praise of our group. He is knowledgeable for the history, government policy ,economics , biology , plants of the country. He is so patient to everyone, he takes the responsibility of what is on the itinerary and beyond. He organized a fruit party- each person chose one of their best loved fruits from the fruit market; he explains the fruit name, history ,taste and how to cut and eat it. This made a very unforgettable fruit memory of Ecuador! The group driver, Mr. Kevin, made our whole trip safe and comfortable; he is so humorous that his brain is the GPS! If someone wants to stop somewhere to see or to buy something on the way back, he sends most people to the hotel and goes back to pick them up again. In short, this is an unforgettable trip, I believe everyone will continue to participate in Gate1's tours.Peizhu L.
We just returned from a trip to Ecuador (Galápagos and Amazon) with Gate1 Discovery tours. What a wonderful trip it was! Our tour director Wilson helped us to make it memorable, informative and comfortable. His passion for Ecuador, knowledge of local customs, and humorous stories he was telling us on our trip made it unforgettable. Thanks to Wilson's great organizational and management skills all activities went smoothly and were enjoyable. Highly recommend this trip!Victoria G.
Our Tour Manager Javier, of Discovery Tours to Ecuador was so PERFECT I cannot begin to tell you! I have traveled the world with Gate1, and by myself. This was the BEST trip I have ever been on. He goes above and beyond. We all felt, and discussed it, that we had a family member taking care of us. His knowledge of everywhere we traveled enhanced this wonderful trip. His organizational skills are superb. I will recommend Gate 1 to all my family and friends. Thank you Gate 1, and Javier, for the best time of my life!Sharon W.
I went on the 13 day Ecuador/Galapagos trip from 11/16/21-11/28/21. Our tour guide, Daniel was fabulous! He was so knowledgeable about the culture, history and customs of every place we visited. He was enthusiastic, had a great sense of humor and really went over and above anything I expected. The trip itself was great, and Daniel made it so enjoyable. The local guides, Pedro in Galapagos and Joel in Coca, were also excellent. I would definitely recommend this trip to others. Thank you for giving me such a memorable vacation!Elizabeth S.
The trip my family took to Ecuador was the most amazing, educational trip we have ever take. This was mainly due to the knowledge, love, and respect that our guide Jose had for his country. He spoke English and Spanish extremely well and had a enormous amount of knowledge about all of the plants , animals, insects, and people that lives there. We hope to have another trip with Jose as our guide. I also want to add that our stay at Itmandi Eco Lodge was beyond words. The beauty of the resort, the 4 star food, and amazing service, had us all impressed. Octavio, also a guide and Byron, the manager of the bar and servers provided us with the greatest experience we could've had.William J.
I filled out the survey sent to us from Gate 1, but I wanted to provide additional feedback in regards to the recent vacation package that we took with Gate 1. I want to first start by stating that Gate 1 blew us away. We have booked with other travel agencies in the past and Gate 1 was superior in comparison in every way possible. Marco, our tour manager/guide was outstanding. Not only was he extremely knowledgeable and welcomed questions, but he was friendly and did an awesome job of always staying on time. The local guides were also all incredible and all of the drivers did an excellent job. The accommodations were amazing, I could not believe the hotels/lodges that we stayed at. In addition, the food was stellar everywhere, we did not have one meal that was bad. I could go on and on about how awesome our trip was, so please keep up the good work! We will definitely be booking with Gate 1 again! Thank you so much for the amazing Ecuadorian experience!Nicole S.
Our Equador tour guide was Giovanna. We enjoyed her so much! She is a fun young lady and so knowledgeable. She shared a wealth of knowledge with us concerning Ecuador. She was very organized and we had a couple who were rather difficult in our group, but Giovanna handled them very well. She is a definite asset to Gate 1. Hermes was our bus driver. That young man can drive a bus anywhere! We admired his skills in all the tight places we traveled to. He was very kind and sweet. Also there was an elderly lady in our group and Giovanna, Hermes and any of the other people helping with the tour were so very good to assist her always. We have another trip planned in February for Egypt with family members and we can't wait to experience the country with your well equipped guides. Thanks for the trip of a lifetime!Diana S.
We took the Gate 1 Ecuador Amazon and Andes trip during covid. We were actually the first tour they had since covid first started. Gate One followed all safety precautions for covid and their covid guidelines are actually more strict than the US. As far as Covid, we felt safer in Ecuador than the US. Ecuador exceeded my expectations. The places we went to were stunning. I like that we were able to experience Ecuador's big cities which is Guayaquil and Quito and at the same time saw their amazing rainforest and jungle. Our tour guide Antonio was very knowledgeable, patient, funny and approachable. I admire his deep passion for what he does and his love for Ecuador. He also spoke highly of Gate 1 which is a plus coz I like supporting companies that treat their employees well. He is good at conveying his personal experiences to us so that we can get a good perspective on how it is to live in Ecuador. He really went out of his way to make sure everyone was safe and had a wonderful time. As in most tours, there is always one or two passengers who are difficult and challenging. Antonio dealt with these situations professionally. During our jungle tour, he was supportive and took very gentle care of a gentleman who was having a difficult time with the hike. There was also a difficult lady in our tour and Antonio was very calm and did everything to accommodate her demands. We were also very lucky to have Kelvin who is an impressive driver. I felt safe having him drive us specially in those winding narrow roads. Overall I can say Gate 1 did an exceptional job in making sure that we have a safe and enjoyable trip. We are looking forward to our next Gate 1 tour.Christina O.
Our trip was amazing! Our guide, Soham was brilliant! He was certainly a master of the Galapagos. The hotels were unique and we loved staying in downtown Santa Cruz, so we could walk everywhere. It was amazing how close we could get to the animals. Our photos are great because of that... and the tour kept us walking, which I need! Thanks for a great tour.Mary V. Fishkill, NY