Overview

Take a journey alongside the jaw-dropping Andes Mountains before heading over and into the mind-opening world of the Galapagos Islands. With this once-in-a-lifetime package (that includes the best of both worlds!), you can rest assured you’ll get to compliment unique culture with fantastic creatures, mesmerizing locales with otherworldly terrain, all of it with superb service and accommodations lining each and every moment of your trip.

What you get

  • airport transfersAirport transfers in Quito
  • casa gangotena quito2 nights at Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel in Quito
  • scenic tour quitoScenic Tour of Quito (3 hours, private)
  • spirit of andes4-day Spirit of the Andes Tour (w/ 3 nights of accommodation)
  • days galapagos5-day/4-night Northern Galapagos itinerary aboard Yacht La Pinta
  • night hotel guayaquil1 night at the Wyndham Hotel in Guayaquil

A Sneak Peek

 

Scenic Tour of Quito - Basilica Church
Northern Galapagos Islands - Bartolome Island
Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel in Quito - Luxury King Room
Spirit of the Andes Tour - Cuenca
Wyndham Hotel Guayaquil - Deluxe 1 King Bed
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Highlights

A professionally guided tour of:

Quito & the Andes Mountains:

  • Scenic tour of Quito
  • A four-day immersion in the Andean World, from Quito, along the Avenue of the Volcanoes to Cuenca, through the spectacular scenery of the Andes, with visits and stays at centenary Haciendas, fertile fields of vegetables and roses, in close contact with the local culture.

Northern Galapagos Islands:

  • Baltra
  • Santa Cruz
  • Chinese Hat Islet
  • Bartolome
  • Genovesa & Santiago

Andes & Northern Galapagos Islands Map

Day by Day

Day 1: Arrive to Quito/ Transfer to Hotel

Visit Quito: Casa Gangotena Hotel Boutique

Welcome to Quito, Ecuador! You will be greeted at the airport by a member of our team who will help you with your luggage. You’ll take a transfer to your hotel in Quito–Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel. During the ride, you will receive a brief introduction to Quito and Ecuador along with valuable information regarding your stay in the country.

Day 2: Scenic Tour of Quito

Andes and Galapagos tour: Quito Old Town

Quito’s Historic Center–the largest and most well preserved Colonial Quarter in South America–is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On this day, we stroll through Independence Plaza where we’ll see the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop’s Palace. After that, we visit La Compañia de Jesus and San Francisco Church and Convent with their impressive, gilded and baroque interiors, respectively. The tour ends at a lookout point with a great view of Quito.

Days 3 to 6: Spirit of the Andes Tour

Main Plaza in Cuenca, Ecuador

Spirit of the Andes 4-day/3-night Program

Next is a four-day journey, by private van, venturing down from Quito along the Avenue of the Volcanoes towards Cuenca. Along the way, you’ll see spectacular landscapes and stop off at century-old haciendas. Accommodations are as follows:

  • Night 1: Hotel Hacienda Leito
  • Night 2: Hotel Hacienda Abraspungo
  • Night 3: Hotel Santa Lucia

You’ll experience the culture of this spectacular slice of the Andes through its people, flavors, customs, and lore.

On the last day, it’s a short drive from Cuenca to Guayaquil where you’ll be checked-in at the Wyndham Hotel in time to rest up for what awaits the next day.

Day 7: Arrive to Galapagos/ Transfer to Boat/ Santa Cruz Highlands

La Pinta sailing in Galapagos

On this morning, you’ll take a transfer to Guayaquil’s airport and fly to the Galapagos to begin your 5-day Northern Galapagos Islands itinerary:

Baltra Island Airport

From Baltra Airport, you’ll take a short ferry across the Itabaca Channel to the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. A private bus takes you and other guests across the highlands as you learn about the unique ecosystems and biodiversity of Santa Cruz.

Highlands (Santa Cruz Island)

After lunch at a local restaurant, the private bus takes you over to a reserve to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat and explore several lava tunnels. After this, there is a short ride down to Puerto Ayora, where you’ll board Yacht La Pinta.

Day 8: Eden Islet/ Sombrero Chino Islet

Sombrero Chino Islet in Galapagos Islands

Eden Islet (Santa Cruz Island)

Following breakfast, a panga ride takes you to Eden Islet, off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, where you can observe blue-footed boobies, reef sharks, and frigates. You’ll be able to snorkel or ride aboard La Pinta’s glass-bottom boat, weather permitting. This setting features volcanic debris, including: cinder cones, tuff cones, and semi-eroded lava flows.

Sombrero Chino Islet

The tiny island of Sombrero Chino gets its name from its appearance, reminiscent of a Chinese Hat. This recently-formed islet boasts a 400-meter long trail with a crescent, white sand beach, offering excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities in the company of whitetip reef sharks and Galapagos penguins.

Day 9: Bartolome Island/ Santiago Island

Galapagos Islands tours: Bartolome island

Bartolome Island

On this morning, we travel by dingy to Bartolome Island. There, we disembark and climb up a steep wooden staircase with a view that is well worth the effort! Afterward, it’s on to Pinnacle Rock. Guests will have time to enjoy the beach and do some snorkeling. The glass-bottom boat offers an alternative way to view the underwater world.

Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)

After lunch, we travel by dinghy to Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago Island. This visitor site features a white coral-sand beach. The trail takes you over a lava field that once flowed here less than 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to experience the volcanic origin of Galapagos while observing its wildlife.

Day 10: Genovesa Island

Galapagos tours: Darwin bay

Darwin Bay

In the morning, we begin our exploration of this island with a casual stroll to observe wildlife. An optional walk over sharp lava and uneven terrain rewards with dramatic views. Back on the beach, enjoy swimming in this beautiful, natural harbor. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can opt to snorkel along the cliffs or paddle in sea kayaks.

Prince Philip’s Steps

The afternoon starts with a dinghy ride along the cliffs before disembarking at Prince Philip’s Steps. There, a steep and short climb up a wooden staircase takes you to some fairly flat terrain for a mesmerizing, mile-long walk to the other side of this small island. Along the way, we view large colonies of Nazca boobies, frigatebirds, and storm petrels, as well as the elusive short-eared owl.

Day 11: Transfer to Airport/ Farewell!

Airport in Galapagos

Baltra Island Airport

The journey ends at Baltra Island, where you will take your transfer to the airport to hop on your flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland and catch your international connection. This is where we’ll bid you farewell.

Conditions

  • Subject to availability
  • Package is valid for new bookings for departures in 2019 (except Peak Season: Dec. 23, 2019 – Jan. 6, 2020)
  • Price per person is based on twin/double standard occupancy.
  • Hotels are subject to availability (or similar standard).
  • Galapagos itineraries are subject to change due to weather conditions, logistical reasons, guests’ safety and/or Galapagos National Park Regulations.
  • You can combine this program with any of our Galapagos cruise itineraries. Our Destination Experts will customize your request and provide you with a quote based on your needs and interests.

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Domestic flight to/from Galapagos (approx. $500
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee ($100 USD per person- subject to change without prior notice)
  • INGALA Migration control card ($20 USD per person – subject to change without prior notice)
  • Alcoholic beverages, corkage fee ($27 + taxes, if you bring your own spirits aboard), gratuities, gifts, laundry or valet services and additional items.
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses (Late check-out, laundry, gifts, etc)
  • Meals not described in the program
  • Departure transfer (international)

Testimonial

the boat was fantastic and very comfortable

Wonderful experience on La Pinta!

We had a great time on La Pinta. We did back to back cruises to the Western Islands and the Eastern Islands; both trips were fabulous although we probably preferred the first expedition. Initially, we were a bit concerned as it was our first time cruising but we really loved the experience. Of course the primary reason to travel to the Galapagos is to see the unique wildlife and nature, not to mention the amazing geology, but the boat was fantastic and very comfortable. We were so fortunate that even though the boat holds 48 passengers there were only 14 on ours. Everything was very well organized, and the guides and staff were knowledgeable, passionate and helpful. Each day’s excursions were different and exciting and each island had something unique to offer. It really was the ‘trip of a lifetime’ for us.

JanetB866 – Sydney, Australia