Best of Galapagos & Quito

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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!

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 3Fly to Santa Cruz Island - Embark Ship | Meals: B L D

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. Upon arrival, meet your guide for a short transfer to the ship. Your first stop on the ship is a visit to Dragon Hill in the northwestern portion of Santa Cruz Island. There you can take a trail that leads to a hyper-saline lagoon behind the beach, frequented by flamingos, pintail ducks, and other species of birds. This site has been re populated with land iguanas from Seymour, Isabela, and Santa Cruz islands. There is also a beautiful view of the bay from the top of the hill. Overnight on board

Day 4Santa Cruz & Chinese Hat | Meals: B L D

This morning, visit Black Turtle Cove, a very calm red mangrove lagoon and an ideal place as nursery for many sharks and rays. Its crystal waters allows observation of large groups of white-tip reef, black-tipped reef, and hammer heads sharks, schools of golden rays, and spotted eagle rays. There are no landing sites so the visit is done by panga or kayak. Sea turtles, pelicans, and herons are frequently in this area. A visit to Chinese Hat will be made this afternoon. This is a small islet (1 sq km) located just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island. A recent volcanic cone, it is shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from north side. Its west side features lava formations that were formed under the sea and raised upward, which is why the lava has coral heads in it. This is an excellent visit for examining geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. Sea lions, marine iguanas, and Galapagos penguins are found here. Overnight on board

Day 5Genovesa Island |Meals: B L D

This morning you will visit Darwin Bay, formed when the crater of the island collapsed below sea level. This is a favorite island for birdwatchers and sightings may include Red-footed Boobies, Masked Boobies, Wandering Tattlers, Lava Gulls, Whimbrels, Yellow-crowned, Black-crowned, and Lava Herons, and Yellow Warblers. Some additional bird sightings may include Sharp-Beaked Finches, Large Cactus and Ground Finches, Galapagos Doves, and Swallow-Tailed Gulls. Reaching the end the trail at the cliff’s edge offers an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there. El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay, where Prince Philip’s Steps are located. Ashore, you’ll climb to a plateau that is part of the stretch of land that surrounds Darwin Bay on its eastern side. There is a big population of Masked Boobies and Red-Footed Boobies in the trees, and Storm Petrels and Short-eared Owls have found the Genovesa lava flows the ideal place for nesting. Overnight on board

Day 6Bartolomé and Santiago Islands | Meals: B L D

Bartolomé Island requires a walk up a sturdy, wooden staircase to a height of 114 meters. From here, you’ll see one of the most beautiful views of the Galapagos Islands including volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle eroded by the sea. It has two breathtaking beaches, home to marine turtles and a very small colony of Galapagos penguins. Overnight on board

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

Santa Cruz Island has several vegetation zones, from the coast to the highlands. The road to the highlands leaves from Bellavista and passes through the agricultural zone, near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone, and then goes to the Fern and Sedge zone. With clear weather (unpredictable) this area affords beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round. From there you will say goodbye to Galapagos and transfer to Baltra airport for your flight to Quito. Fly home – or extend your stay in South America!

  • Round trip flights Quito–Galapagos, including government taxes and surcharges
  • Two nights’ accommodation 
  • Four nights’ accommodation in Suite 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
  • Galapagos National Park fee
  • Ingala Card
  • Snorkeling equipment
Not Included
  • Round trip flights US-Equador, including government taxes and surcharges
  • Travel Insurance (emergency medical & evacuation coverage is required) 
  • 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.
  • 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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