Currently set to Index
Currently set to Follow

The Spondylus Expedition

The Spondylus Expedition

8 days – 7 nights

An adventure sea expedition that sails along the coast of Ecuador. Each stop in the map will have us floating, even when we are on land.

Click here to contact us
Salinas | Ecuador Coast

GUAYAQUIL
La Perla del Pacifico (Pacific’s Pearl) is the unofficial name for Guayaquil. This is the largest city in Ecuador, home to beautiful historic locations that have been preserved despite the vibrant life and growth of the city. Las Peñas has become the historic bohemian neighborhood of the city, bursting with life in the form of small traditional cafes, bars and restaurants, art galleries and handicraft shops. At the top of the 444 steps that take you uphill, a lighthouse and a small church crown the neighborhood while offering amazing views of the city. Next to this colonial neighborhood is Puerto Santa Ana, a modern development where cultural and leisure activities take place.
Activities: Walking, Sightseeing, Culture

PUYANGO PETRIFIED FOREST
El Oro

Once covered by the ocean, Puyango Petrified Forest originated as a result of cataclysms and geological events from thousands of years ago which brought an incredible collection of marine fossils and petrified wood to the surface forming an invaluable sample of the remote past of our planet. A walk through the forest is a travel in time. It takes your breath away to see the gathering of petrified Araucarios, which are more than 100 million years old and are believed to be the largest collection of petrified wood in the world. By contrast, petrified fossils co-exist beautifully with live vegetation and animals in a tropical forest where you can see more than130 species of birds and animals such as deer, small leopards, squirrels, foxes, armadillos, amphibians and reptiles.
Activities: Trekking, Natural Reserve, Sightseeing, Bird Watching

Puerto Bolívar
In the southern region of the coast expands the Buenaventura reserve with more than 1500 hectares of cloud forest and four different microclimates. The reserve is managed by a private foundation in charge of protecting the habitat for more than 320 species of birds including 36 species of hummingbirds and 30 local species; 255 species of butterflies; and a diversity of marsupials, reptiles and amphibians. An easy guided walk along one of the five 5 trails available will immerse us in a sub-tropical forest naturally adorned with exotic orchids. A true natural paradise that will attest to Ecuador’s being the most biodiverse country in the world.
Activities: Trekking, Bird Watching, Natural Reserve

MARINE RESERVE ISLA SANTA CLARA
Puerto Bolivar
A magical collection of islands and islets guarded by the ocean at the southern coast of Ecuador, Santa Clara is a natural refuge for more than 23,000 birds and a large colony of sea lions. A trail walk around the island will bring us up close and personal with nesting blue-footed boobies, frigates and pelicans. On the shore, a large colony of sea lions go in and out of the water in their daily feeding chores without paying much attention to our curious eyes. The rich underwater ecosystem in Santa Clara not only attracts marine birds and sea lions, but also invites dolphins and whales who grace us with their lively gymnastics from the months of June through October.
Activities: Bird Watching, Trekking, Water Activities, Natural Reserve

Salinas
Salinas is the largest coastal resort and is located in the westernmost point of Ecuador. From December to April, Salinas’ relaxed beach lifestyle is replaced by a vibrant touristic center with a seasonal offering of restaurants, clubs and events. La Chocolatera is a natural breakwater where the ocean displays its strength while mercilessly hitting its rocks. It is a beautiful location that amazes as well as inspires awe from its visitors. Five minutes away from Salinas is La Lobería, a natural reserve where turquoise water and white sand house a small community of sea lions. You can discover this reserve with a hike along its trails, snorkeling, or kayaking above sea level. This is also a hot spot for surfing along the sea lions. Salinas del Siglo XXI is an interesting museum with archeological pieces, small replicas of antique rafts used by the Manteño – Huancavilca culture, and important pieces made out of spondylus, which was the currency, used in the past for commerce and the precious shell that our expedition takes its name after.
Activities: Trekking, Sightseeing, Water Activities, Archeological Site, Beach

PARQUE NACIONAL MACHALILLA
Los Frailes is one of the most beautiful beaches in the coast of Ecuador. With a crescent shape, it is guarded by cliffs that protect it from the wind. White sand lapped by warm and shallow waters invite visitors to bathe and relax for hours. Snorkeling close to the rocks at the base of the cliffs reveals schools of colorful fish that live in the area. A pleasant hiking trail will take us to several lookout spots at the top of one of the cliffs where you can see neighboring pristine beaches and astounding ocean views.
Activities: Beach, Trekking, Water Activities

ISLA DE LA PLATA
Also known as “Small Galapagos,” Isla de la Plata is a hidden treasure 17 miles off the coast of Ecuador. With almost seven square kilometers, this uninhabited island harbors blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, Galapagos’ frigates, sea tortoises and other singular species. There are several trails across the island to explore its amazing ecosystem above sea level as well as below surface. Snorkelling will let you discover a submarine world where you can spot giant rays and other aquatic species. From June through October we will watch how large groups of humpback whales from the Antarctic Ocean, arrive to our coast to mate and reproduce in warmer waters. An extraordinary display of playful acrobatics above water will captivate us while we traverse the sea to our next destination.
Activities: Trekking, Sightseeing, Bird Watching, Water Activities, Diving, Whale Watching

BAHÍA DE CARAQUEZ
Venture into the Cacao Route and be part of a select group of people privileged to see the oldest cocoa trees in the world, the Heritage trees. More than 200 years old, they yield the rarest cocoa beans that are harvested, processed, aged (like wine) and turned into unique chocolate creations following artisanal techniques. Meet the community of producers responsible for keeping the tradition alive and indulge in a gastronomic experience that includes a Cacao Tasting Lunch menu and a “Tree to Bar” chocolate tasting with local expert chocolatiers. An unforgettable event that will connect your senses with the surrounding nature, culture, tradition and gastronomy
Activities: Gastronomy, Communities, Trekking

BAHÍA DE CARAQUEZ
Venture into the Cacao Route and be part of a select group of people privileged to see the oldest cocoa trees in the world, the Heritage trees. More than 200 years old, they yield the rarest cocoa beans that are harvested, processed, aged (like wine) and turned into unique chocolate creations following artisanal techniques. Meet the community of producers responsible for keeping the tradition alive and indulge in a gastronomic experience that includes a Cacao Tasting Lunch menu and a “Tree to Bar” chocolate tasting with local expert chocolatiers. An unforgettable event that will connect your senses with the surrounding nature, culture, tradition and gastronomy
Activities: Gastronomy, Communities, Trekking

MANTA
Fifty kilometers of pristine beaches are part of the refuge; some of them are special nesting locations of marine turtles and we will see tiny tortoises leaving the beach on their way to the ocean at specific times of the year. Pacoche extends for over 5,000 hectares of humid tropical forest and it is the stage for exuberant vegetation and singular animal species. Howler monkeys are the most distinctive of the 41 species of mammals inhabiting the wildlife refuge of Pacoche. Rock formations, caves and cliffs are part of the local landscape and at the very top of the hills we will find the refuge lighthouse. From there we will enjoy breathtaking views of the coast and nearby beaches.
Activities: Bird Watching, Natural Reserve, Trekking, Sightseeing

The Spondylys Expedition Map

Highlights

  •  Cultural immersions
  •  Exotic birds and flowers
  •  Gastrocultural experiences rich in authentic flavors, textures and aromas
  •  Unforgettable experience snorkelling, kayaking and paddle boarding
  •  Ancestral purification ritual to connect our souls with nature
Frailes Beach

Included

  • 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 Wi-Fi 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 or Guayaquil for check in and boarding.

Not Included

  •  International airfare to Quito (UIO) or Guayaquil (GYE).
  •  Internal transfer from Quito to the port of Manta or Guayaquil.
  •  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.
2021-08-03T21:03:29+00:00