Best of Galapagos & Quito

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2163
Availability : Fridays, All Year

Best of Galapagos & Quito

Highlights Include:

  • Exploring the urban culture of Quito with a local guide
  • Visiting the Equator
  • Quito & Galapagos, both UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Small ship cruising
  • Stunning landscapes and wildlife of the Galapagos Islands
Tour Details

From: $6,760 per person | Single supplement on request

8 days

Departures: Fridays, All Year

Explore Ecuador’s capital city, Quito, with its stunning architecture and fascinating history. From there, continue to the mysterious Galapagos Islands with an equally fascinating history, crystal clear waters, and a variety of interesting wildlife found only there. You’ll cruise aboard a small ship, landing twice daily for guided shore excursions. Be on the lookout for the the blue footed booby and other endemic birds, many types of iguanas, and of course, the famous Galapagos tortoise. Snorkeling gear is provided and the food is exceptional. You are sure to enjoy this intimate expedition experience!

Itinerary
This is an escorted tour. Our Destination Specialists can also offer this tour as a private itinerary, customized to your travel preferences.

Day 1 Arrive Quito, Ecuador

You will be met upon arrival in Quito, and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Quito

Day 2Quito City Tour & Middle of the World Tour | Meals: B L

Explore the bustling streets and squares of Quito and its surroundings with your local guide. Visit its most important churches, such as the impressive Cathedral of Quito, majestic Compañía de Jesus, and iconic San Francisco Church. See the Congress building, visit the Old Town, and the “Panecillo” hillside, with its breathtaking views of the old and modern city surrounded by the rolling Andes Mountains. This afternoon travel to “La Mitad del Mundo”, where the monument is located at latitude 0º 0´0″. This provides for once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to straddle both hemispheres, or hop between the two in the blink of an eye. Lunch will be served in a local restaurant. Overnight in Quito

Day 3San Cristobal - Embark Ship | Meals: B L D

Transfer to the airport for your flight to San Cristobal Island, Galapagos. Upon arrival, meet your guide. Your first stop in the afternoon will be the San Cristobal Interpretation Center. This is an interpretation center with exuberant gardens and stunning ocean views. Visitors at the interpretation center will can learn a lot from the geological and human history of the islands, conservation facts and natural history. This is the oldest museum of Natural History in the Galapagos Islands which attempts to preserve the archipelago. Overnight on board

Day 4San Cristobal Island | Meals: B L D

This morning, a short visit will take place at the Galapaguera, a good place to observe Galapagos tortoises in its natural habitat. Then, the vast beach works as a nesting zone for marine tortoises. Between January and May, it is common to find the footprints of the female tortoises who have climbed to the sand dunes to deposit their eggs! This afternoon, you will visit Cerro Brujo, a beautiful white coral beach where you can swim and watch birds and sea lions, plus you can snorkel. This is the first coast where Charles Darwin walked on, in 1835. The protected bay is well known for its young tortoises which like to swim around. Among the fauna you can observe the Chatham Mockingbird and the San Cristobal Lava Lizards, both species are endemic to the island and unique to the area. You will see the Galapagos turtles and with luck, the little bird known as the Pájaro Brujo in Spanish, an endemic species in San Cristobal Island. The vegetation covers all the route, where you can find species like the candelabrum cactus and carob trees. Located on the north coast of Isla San Cristobal it is a peaceful place with white sand and crystal water, a perfect combination for an incredible stay. Overnight on board

Day 5Espanola Island |Meals: B L D

This moring you will visit the north-eastern coast of Hood, Gardner Bay which offers an excellent beach to relax, swim and even kayak, plus the opportunity to observe sea lions, here we can also observe sharks in the crystal clear ocean waters. At this place you can see three species of Darwin finches:a subspecies of the large-billed cactus finch, which is similar to the large-billed terrestrial finch; the small-beaked ground finch; the singing finch which is another endemic subspecies. Both resident and migratory birds are observed. This afternoon you will travel to Suarez Point. This area is great for spotting blue-footed boobies,
albatrosses and Nazca boobies. A beautiful site on the oceanfront, the large waved albatrosses use the cliff as a launching pad. The famous attraction is the magnificent blowhole, spurting water high into the air at least from 50 to 75 meters high. This site presents wonderful photograph opportunities. Overnight on board

Day 6Floreana Island| Meals: B L D

Floreana was the first island to be colonized by Ecuadorians in 1832. This site offers probably the best flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos. It is also one of the largest in the islands. It’s situated between two tuff lava cones that give the area a special atmosphere. There are various species of shorebirds to observe besides flamingos; the most frequent are common stilts, white-checked pintail ducks, and other migratory birds. It is very interesting to see the two distinct beaches: “The Green Beach” (due to its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour Sand Beach” which is made up of coral. You then head to Champion Islet, a great place to enjoy snorkeling and underwater wildlife. Animals that can be seen are sea turtles, sea lions, and multiple fish thanks to the nearby coral reef. The afternoon will take you to Post Office Bay. Historically, this site is the location of a wooden barrel that was placed in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. It has been used since this time by marines and tourists as a post office. This site was the landing area for some of the first colonists. This day’s afternoon is thought to be a relaxing time for visitors to enjoy the beach and the beauty of Galapagos. Overnight on board

Day 7Santa Cruz Island - Quito - Depart for US | Meals: B

This morning you will cruise to Santa Cruz Island and visit the turtle trails! Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors come here to observe and appreciate natural wonders, it is also interesting to learn how the protection and conservation of the islands are carried out. This path offers the possibility to learn aspects and feel synchronized with nature. After the morning excursion you will say goodbye to Galapagos as you are taken to the airport for your flight to Quito for your connection back to the USA. or extend your stay in South America!

Included
  • Round trip flights Quito–Galapagos, including government taxes and surcharges
  • Two nights’ accommodation in Quito
  • Four nights’ accommodation on board ship
  • Transfers as indicated
  • Meals as indicated (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
  • Sightseeing in and around Quito with English-speaking guide
  • Guided shore excursions as indicated
  • Snacks, water, coffee, tea on board ship
  • Ingala Card
  • Snorkeling equipment
Not Included
  • Round trip flights US-Equador, including government taxes and surcharges
  • Travel Insurance (emergency medical & evacuation coverage is required) 
  • National Park Entrance Fee – $100
  • Galapagos Government, a fee – $20
  • Transfers, sightseeing, activities, meals, and beverages not specified
  • Wet suit rental
  • Luggage handling at airports and hotels
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, spa services, internet, phone, etc.
Notes
  • The Quito portion of your trip can either be done pre- or post- cruise; your choice! The cruising portion of the trip disembarks every Sunday.
  • Itineraries and activities are subject to change without prior notice depending on weather conditions, water currents, and sea conditions.
  • The wildlife described above is not guaranteed to be seen during your visit. Please remember to respect your distance between any and all wildlife.
  • Please stay on marked trails and heed the directions of your Naturalist Guide.
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Resources
Map
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