Whale | Manta | Ecuador

The Spondylus Expedition - Ecuador Tour

Set off on an unforgettable coastal adventure along the breathtaking shores of Ecuador. From the bustling port city of Manta to the serene Ayangue, the voyage aboard the M/Y Kontiki Wayra provides an ideal mix of excitement and tranquility. Delve into pristine marine habitats, immerse yourself in local cultures, savor mouthwatering cuisine, and unwind with sunset gatherings and spa indulgences. With each day offering fresh experiences, the coastal journey ensures memories that will endure a lifetime.

5 Day Ecuador Itinerary

Day 1: Manta - Ayangue

The exploration journey along the coast of Ecuador commences in Manta, a pivotal port in the nation and a prime spot for tourism in Manabí. This coastal town holds global renown for its thriving fishing industry, particularly for its prized export, tuna.

Upon arrival, transportation will be provided to Manta's port authority (TPM), where we'll embark on M/Y Kontiki Wayra for check-in and a refreshing welcome drink. The concierge will acquaint you with the crew, tour the yacht facilities, and allocate the staterooms that will serve as our accommodation for the next 8 days.

In the evening, we'll relish a welcome dinner hosted by the ship's executive chef.

We'll then set sail overnight to Ayangue.

Day 2: Ayangue - Machalilla National Park

On day 2, our journey begins at Ayangue, a quaint coastal town often referred to as the Pool of the Pacific due to its tranquil waters. Following breakfast aboard the yacht, we'll venture out in one of our tenders to the nearby islet El Pelado for an exciting snorkeling excursion. This presents a rare chance to swim alongside the local sea lion community and delve into the underwater wonders of the region.

Between June and October, Ayangue also offers an exceptional opportunity for close encounters with humpback whales.

By midday, we'll return to the yacht for marine activities at the ocean club and a delicious onboard lunch.

After lunch, we'll disembark at Ayangue's beach and embark on a brief stroll to a charming destination where we'll immerse ourselves in the culture of the Valdivia people. This ancient culture, dating back to 4500 B.C., maintains its rich pottery tradition inherited from the pre-Inca Valdivia civilization. Here, we'll gain insights into the techniques and materials used in crafting ancestral pieces as we engage in a hands-on clay crafting experience.

We'll reconvene on the yacht for dinner before setting sail for Machalilla National Park.

Day 3: Machalilla National Park - Isla de la Plata

Following a satisfying breakfast, we'll disembark at Machalilla National Park and transfer by land to Agua Blanca. This quaint community holds archaeological treasures from one of South America's oldest civilizations, the Manteño Culture, dating back to 1500 A.C. Temples, rustic homes, traditional squares, and other archaeological remnants await exploration in Agua Blanca.

A brief forest stroll will reveal indigenous flora and fauna, including butterflies, hummingbirds, and local trees such as algarrobos. During our visit, we'll partake in an ancient ritual of purification and gratitude, fostering a deeper connection with nature and ourselves under the guidance of the community's shamans.

We'll return to the yacht for a delectable lunch.

In the afternoon, we'll indulge in a private beach experience on the islets of Machalilla National Park, engaging in various marine activities like snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, or simply swimming in our beach club, equipped with an oceanic pool, water slide, SeaBobs, and more.

As the day winds down, we'll head back to the yacht to relish a picturesque sunset and dinner on the main deck.

Next, we'll set sail for Isla de la Plata.

Day 4: Isla de la Plata - Pacoche / San Lorenzo

Following breakfast, our day kicks off with a wet landing on Isla de la Plata, an enchanting part of Machalilla National Park. Exploring its trails will lead us to nesting grounds of Blue Footed Boobies, Masked Boobies, and Frigatebirds, offering captivating encounters with these magnificent avian species.

Upon concluding our island exploration, we'll return to the yacht for a delightful lunch.

In the afternoon, a guided snorkeling expedition awaits, providing insight into the island's marine ecosystem. Expect to encounter a diverse array of marine life, from giant stingrays and whale sharks to turtles. During the mating season from June to October, we may even catch a glimpse of humpback whales in the distance, as they migrate to warmer waters for mating and birthing. Scuba diving arrangements can be made upon prior request during the booking process.

Later in the day, we'll relish a sunset party featuring the freshest seafood from the region alongside our signature cocktails.

As evening approaches, we'll set sail for Pacoche/San Lorenzo.

Day 5: Pacoche / San Lorenzo - Manta

Following breakfast onboard, we'll disembark at Manta harbor, where a ground transfer will escort us to the Refuge of Coastal Marine Wildlife Pacoche. Our initial stop will be the tropical humid forest, where we'll hike along one of its trails to observe a community of howler monkeys amidst the lush vegetation.

Next, we'll head to San Lorenzo, renowned as one of Ecuador's primary nesting sites for marine turtles. If luck is on our side, we may witness baby turtles making their journey to the ocean during hatching season. 

Our adventure continues with a unique culinary experience in San Lorenzo, featuring the traditional Manabita ancestral oven. Following lunch, we'll delve into the tradition of the Toquilla straw hat with a local family of weavers from Pile. Pile is celebrated for its artisan community, responsible for crafting the world's finest and most prized Toquilla straw hats. Guests will have the opportunity to witness firsthand the hat-making process. Despite the common misconception of calling them Panama Hats, the Toquilla Straw Hat was officially recognized as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of the World in 2012.

Upon conclusion of our activities, guests will check out and be transferred to either Manta's airport or their preferred hotel.

This marks the end of our services.

5 Day Ecuador Itinerary Includes

  • Accommodation in the luxury stateroom of your choice with 2 twin beds or 1 king bed dressed with sustainably sourced cotton.
  • All meals and snacks prepared fresh daily by our onboard chefs with local organic produce using a balanced mix of traditional and modern techniques. Menu variations are available upon request.
  • All in land gastronomic experiences beautifully set up by our crew in unique natural locations, following the traditional cuisine of the destination.
  • All soft beverages, an assortment of wine, beer and other spirits, classic and signature cocktails, freshly ground local coffee and organic teas.
  • Unlimited WiFi onboard, air conditioning, a/v entertainment and automated lighting, shades and audio systems in each stateroom.
  • All land and sea expeditions led by our two expert naturalist guides, daily briefings about the excursions, tips and other valuable information.
  • Transfers and access to all natural reserves, beaches and protected areas.
  • All gear for water activities: wetsuits, kayaks, SUPs, snorkeling equipment.
  • All facilities on board: Jacuzzi, fitness center, sunbeds, and beach towels.
  • Kontiki shuttle from hotel to port of Manta for check in and boarding.

5 Day Ecuador Itinerary Does not Include

  • International airfare to Quito (UIO) or Guayaquil (GYE).
  • Internal transfer from Quito or Guayaquil to the port of Manta.
  • Hotel accommodation the night before the expedition in Manta, Quito or Guayaquil. However, we can assist with information, selection and reservation of 5 star properties.
  • Fine wine and spirits, available on demand at a cost.
  • Pre and Post experiences/stays are not included, but we can gladly assist with information, selection and reservation at partner properties in Ecuador, including Galapagos and neighboring countries.
  • Gratuities to crew and guides.

5 Day Ecuador Itinerary Highlights

  • Snorkel with playful sea lions.
  • Savor delightful gastronomic experiences.
  • Engage in hands-on pottery workshops.
  • Spot majestic humpback whales (seasonal).
  • Witness nesting marine turtles.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast Served Daily
  • 4 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
Whale | Manta | Ecuador
Islas de Plata | Ecuador
Parque Nacional Machalilla
The Spondylus Expedition
5 Days

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Book your 5-day Ecuador tour now and create memories to last a lifetime!