8 Days : $4,949 per person inclusive of superior rooms in superior hotels, superior outside cabin in Galapagos, airfare to and from Galapagos and Galapagos park fees, all meals, small group naturalist tours in Galapagos, private guides and car and driver on land. International airfare is additional and we can assist. Business Class airfare at special rates is available and highly recommended.
Day 1 Depart USA
Today you depart for Quito the Capital of Ecuador one of Latin America’s undiscovered gems. Although it absorbs less than 2% of the earth’s surface it is home to 17% of its variety of birdlife. Upon arrival in Quito late in the evening you will be met by tour car and driver and escorted to your deluxe hotel.
Day 2 Otavalo Indian Market
After Breakfast we head to Otavalo Indian market. There are amazing sights in this colorful town filled with locals selling and buying. An excellent opportunity to acquire hand made handicrafts perhaps even a panama hat which, despite its name, is made in Ecuador. After lunch you explore the Ecuadorian countryside before returning to the city. Dinner is at your hotel this evening.
Day 3 Exploring Quito and the " middle of the world"
After breakfast you will have a personally escorted tour of this sublime city, arguably the most beautiful in South America with a refreshing spring-like climate dominated by the snow-capped mountain volcanoes. Destroyed by the Inca’s themselves to stop the city falling into the hands of Pizarro and his followers, the city was rebuilt as a Spanish colonial masterpiece. The old town is a UNESCO world heritage site which you will explore at our leisure. You will also have the opportunity to stand on the Equatorial line dividing the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. As its name suggests, Ecuador stands astride the equator. This evening your driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to one of Quito's finer restaurants where you will have dinner. After dinner you will have a chance to see the illuminations of the city before returning to the hotel.
Day 4 Quito/Galapagos
Today you will be taken to the airport where you take a ninety minute flight west into the Pacific to a group of Islands spread over 19,000 square miles. The Galapagos. Here, the birds and mammals that evolved in isolation never developed a fear of man and provided the natural laboratory for Charles Darwin and his seminal studies on evolution. Upon arrival you will be transferred to Galapagos Explorer II, one of the finest vessels to cruise these waters. You have the chance to relax in your Balcony Suite before joining the other passengers for dinner.
Day 5 Punta Suarez/Charles Darwin station
This morning you step ashore at Punta Suarez which is on Hood (Espanola) Island. As you step ashore from the Zodiac you may need to watch your step as the sea lions continue their slumber totally undisturbed by your presence. You may, however see one eye open out of curiosity. Marine Iguanas take a break from sunning themselves to take a dive into the water. The only place where Iguanas swim! After lunch on board you reach your second island of the day, Santa Cruz. You go ashore at Academy Bay to visit the captive breeding center for giant tortoises and iguanas at the Charles Darwin Research station.
Day 6 Genovesa Island
This morning you head north; cross the Equator and approach Genovesa Island (also called Tower Island). The first impression is that the island in totally uninhabitable, nothing more than a volcanic wasteland but with nature appearances can be deceiving. As you approach your landing site at Darwin Bay a different picture emerges. You enter a bay which is the remnant of a volcanic crater and are engulfed in a world of birds with names such as red-billed tropicbirds, red-footed boobies, brown noddies and Audubon’s shearwaters. You spend the day on the island visiting various sites along its coast before returning to the comfort of the ship.
Day 7 San Cristobal Island/Guayaquil
After breakfast you arrive in Wreck Bay on San Cristobal Island, the administrative capital of the Galapagos. You depart the ship and head to the airport for the flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city and a major port not only for Ecuador but for South America. You are met at the airport and taken on a tour of the city including the new Malecon which has transforned the waterfront into restaurants, bars and areas to walk by the ocean. You are delivered to your hotel where you have a chance to relax before enjoying dinner.
Day 8 Return to USA
After breakfast your driver will be waiting to take you to the airport for your return trip home.
Available Year Round
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Quito, Galapagos Islands, Guayaquil
• Transfers and sightseeing by private helicopter or aircraft as indicated on the itinerary
• Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
• Private Transfers to and from the airport at destination
• All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
•Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
• Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
• Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
• All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
• International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
• Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
• Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
• Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
• Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
• Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest information regarding passports and visa requirements)