Ecuador is a compact country with enormous cultural and natural diversity. Its bio-diversity includes the extraordinary Galápagos Islands and its cultural legacy encompasses the descendants of Spanish conquistadores and many distinct indigenous communities, markedly different in dress and lifestyle. The beauty of this tour is that it encapsulates this great variety without the need to cover long distances, including four nights on a private charter yacht, Tip Top II, in the Galápagos, all at an ideal time of year. There is an optional excursion into the Amazon after the tour.
Travel from stunning colonial Quito, the second highest capital city in altitude in the world after La Paz in Bolivia, into the enchanting cloud forests of Mindo with its jewelled hummingbirds and unique eco system for two nights. Continue into the Andean highlands to the thermal hot springs of Papallacta and see condors soaring over magnificent snowcapped mountain scenery. Visit a traditional Andean market and continue to the jewel in Ecuador's bio-crown - the Galápagos Islands.
Sail on an exclusive private charter yacht for four nights, visiting a wide range of islands, each offering a unique experience. The remote island group is a land of cool lava landscapes, cactus forests, lush green highlands, turquoise coves and perfect white sand beaches, and is the only place in the world where it is possible to swim with penguins and tropical parrot fish at the same time.
Fly back to Quito after the cruise, where there is the option to take an extension into the unspoiled Amazon forest to stay at a luxury eco lodge.
Professor of paediatrics and child health at the University of Queensland since 1986, Professor John Pearn truly a renaissance man, renowned for his many hats, diverse interests and unquenchable energy. He has been an academic and clinical teacher for 50 years in Medicine and Health Sciences. He is the author of some thirty books and more than 200 published papers on the history of medicine and health. As Major General John Pearn, he served in the Defence Reserves for 35 years, ultimately in the appointment of Surgeon General of the Australian Defence Force. He commanded the 2 Field Hospital, formerly No. 1 Casualty Clearing Station which was the pivot medical unit on the beach at Gallipoli, 25 April 1915.
Professor John Pearn was a founder, later President and then Honorary Life Member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine. He is an historian of the Order of St John. He has been a Member of the Council for the International Society of the History of Medicine for many years; and its Vice President for the last four years.
John Pearn is equally well known for his broad range of amateur interests, as an enthusiastic scholar of medical history and botany, as a collector of fossils, stamps and coins, and as a prolific writer and orator on all of these subjects, includings botany, orchids, plants and healing. He is also an experienced tour leader with great natural charm and attentiveness to each member of the group.
Your next stop is Ecuador’s ecological wonderland – the Galápagos Islands. Fly to San Cristobal Island and board the Tip Top II private yacht for four nights cruising around Floreana, Espanola, Gardener Bay and Santa Cruz Islands. Visit the highlands which may include nesting Waved Albatross. Cruise to Kicker Rock, a nesting site for many sea birds. Optional snorkelling. Cruise onto Cero Brujo to walk on a white sand beach, and observe sea lions, brown pelicans marine iguanas and blue footed boobies. Options for swimming, snorkelling or kayaking.
Extension into the Amazon
Tour cost $8,091 per person (excluding international flights and transfers)