10 Days : $6,607 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. This program provides the opportunity for a full week of exploration of the Galapagos Islands. Because of the number of islands visited you get the chance to see all the diverse wildlife and the significant geological differences from island to island.
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 your driver and escorted to your deluxe hotel.
Day 2 Exploring Quito
After breakfast your guide will be ready to take you on 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 masterpieces. This evening you have a private tour of the illuminated city that takes on a new dimension after dark. After the tour you will enjoy dinner at a popular Quito restaurant.
Day 3 Quito, Baltra and Isla North Seymour
This morning your car and driver will ready to take you to the airport for 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 in Baltra you will be transferred to Celebrity Xpedition a 296 megayacht and one of the finest vessels to cruise these waters. The premium staterooms reserved for you ensure a comfortable exploration of this fascinating area.
After settling in and relaxing you join your felllow guests for lunch. After lunch you will arrive at Isla North Seymour, home to a thriving colony of frigate birds, the largest in the Galapagos. Keep an eye on the males' red gular sac, which he may inflate like a baloon in anticipation of a female seeing them. You may also encounter breeding pairs of Blue-footed boobies displaying their slow mirror dance. Your afternoon excursion options include a dry landing with guided hike, a Zodiac coastline cruise with dry landing and a short hike to view geological formations. Later onboard, your captain welcomes you with a toast and a naturalist briefs you on the next day's activities.
Day 4 Islas San Cristobal and Espanola
Located on one of the four islands that Charles Darwin visited aboard the HMS Beagle, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the administrative capital of the Galapagos and features cobblestone streets and a pleasant waterfront park. In the early morning we will circumnavigate Kicker Rock, the Galapagos' version of Gibraltar. After breakfast, your morning excursion options include a dry landing to visit the town for shopping or a visit to the interpretation center. After lunch on board you arrive at Puenta Suarez located on the oldest of the islands and with a large concentration of wildlife. expect to observe sea lions, Galapagos hawks, blue-footed and masked boobies and red marine iguanas, strange creatures found only on this island. Later you may join one of the first lecture series on board to learn more about the islands' geology.
Day 5 Isla Floreana
Isla Floreana was once a penal colony for Ecuador, the first capital of the Galapagos and the place where Charles Darwin met the Galapagos viceroy. This morning you have the option of tryng some snorkeling around Champion Island or a visit to Cormorant Point. In the afternoon you vist Baroness Outlook named for a self-proclaimed baroness who used to keep watch for incoming ships before disappearing with her lover in the 1930's. This evening, dinner under the stars back on board.
Day 6 Las Bachas and Pinnacle Rock
Today you will visit Santa Cruz and Bartolome Islands demonstrating the wide contrast on these islands even those in proximity to each other. You will land at las bachas which is one of the largest nesting areas of the Pacific green turtles and a couple of beach lagoons occassionally host flamingoes feeding in the shallows. You have the chance to explore the beach or just take a relaxing swim and enjoy some beach time. You return to the ship for lunch as it makes its way to Isla Bartolome, a recently active volcanic island which created a moon-like landscape. There are many excrusions for you to choose from but if you are reasonably fit, the climb up Pinnacle Rock is highly recommended since from the top you have the chance of seeing up to 26 islands. If you like to stay at sea level, spend time with the Galapagos penguins some of the smallest penquins in the world.
Day 7 Elizabeth Bay and Punta Espinoza
Isla Isabela, the largest island in the Galapgos Archipelago, is composed of five volcanoes. The cold, nutrient-rich waters of Elizabeth Bay and the small Mariela islands provide the perfect home for the Galapagos penguin. This morning you have the chance to explore their habitat from one of the ship's Zodiacs before returning to the ship for a cruise among Isabela and Fernandina Islands searching for whales and dolphins. In the afternoon you have the opportunity to hike along Punta Espinoza, located on Isla Fernandina, and view several sea lion colonies, the largest colony of marine iguanas and a nesting area for the flightless cormorants.
Day 8 Puerto Egas and Dragon Hill
This morning you will go ashore at Puerto Egas which is on San Salvador Island. The island offers the most popular walk along James Bay on a black sand beach. On the trail, look for oystercatchers, marine iguanas, sandpipers, Galapagos hawks, sally lightfoot crabs and Galapagos and fur sea lions. After the walk you have a chance to relax on the beach. In the afternoon we anchor at Dragon Hill, located on Santa Cruz Island, and named for its population of land iguanas. The site offers a beautiful view of the landscape and a walk along the trail provides the opportunity to cross a beautiful " white forest" of incense trees and Galapagos cotton plants. The rest of the afternoon is devoted to swimming and snorkeling
Day 9 Puerto Ayora and Isla Santa Cruz
Puerto Ayora is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the National Park Service. At the Darwin Station you will learn more about tortoise preservation and try for a lucky peek at Lonseome George, the last member of the Pinta Island species. Morning and afternoon excursions include a Tortuga Bay hike and lagoon swim or a bus ride to the highlands to observe giant tortoises in the wild all followed by free time to shop before returning to the ship. Onboard, enjoy a farewell cocktail party and folkloric show with the capatain and a barbecue dinner under the stars.
Day 10 Baltra to Guayaquil
In the morning you have breakfast docked in Baltra. You depart the ship and head to the airport for the flight to Guayaquil, the country's largest city and port. Upon arrival you are met by your guide who will take you on a tour of the city before delivering you to your deluxe hotel After a chance to relax you enjoy dinner at the hotel.
Day 11 Return to USA
In the morning your driver will be waiting to take you to the airport for the return flight 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, Guayaguil
• 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)