Allow yourself to be enchanted by two of the most beautiful destinations in the world: Quito and the Galapagos Islands. The fascinating architecture and history that surrounds one of the best-preserved Historic Quarters in all of South America await!
In the Galapagos Islands, you’ll have an incredible opportunity to observe all the fearless and fascinating creatures that inhabit the landscapes (and are found nowhere else in the world!), up-close, and just mere steps away!
A professionally guided tour of:
*Please note that this is a sample vessel and itinerary.
Ask your Destination Expert about our fleet and our 5-day itineraries!
Welcome to Quito, Ecuador! At the airport, you will be greeted by a member of our team who will assist you with your luggage and transfer to your hotel. During the ride, you will receive a brief introduction of Quito and Ecuador along with valuable information regarding your stay in the country.
For colonial-era grandeur, we suggest you upgrade to Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel, South America’s Best City Hotel.
Quito’s Historic Center – the largest and best-preserved Colonial Quarter in South America – is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On this day, we will take a stroll through the Independence Plaza, which itself is flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop’s Palace.
After that, we will visit the La Compañia de Jesús Church and admire its gilded interior before continuing onwards to the San Francisco Church and Convent – one of the largest architectural structures within a historic center in the Americas. Its impressive façade and atrium lead into its equally impressive Baroque interior.
Afterward, you’ll head to the Middle of the World and get to place both feet on each side of our planet’s equator!
At the end of the tour, you’ll be taken back to your hotel. Overnight in Quito.
On this morning, you’ll be transferred to Quito’s airport to board your flight to the Galapagos Islands!
Please note that the following Northern Galapagos Islands Itinerary aboard Yacht Isabela II is one of the many options you can choose for your Galapagos adventure. Ask our Destination Experts about our fleet and available itineraries.
We land at Baltra Airport and then make our way to the Itabaca Channel. There, we take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. A 30-minute bus ride leads to the fascinating, more humid Highlands of the island where we’ll learn about its unique ecosystems and biodiversity. Lunch to be enjoyed at a local restaurant.
Note: Please make sure to bring comfortable shoes and clothes, a small backpack or satchel and any medication you might need. Sunblock, insect repellent, and sunglasses are also recommended. You’ll board our stunning Yacht Isabela II at the end of the excursion.
Santa Cruz Island’s Highlands and Puerto Ayora
After lunch, we drive to a nearby reserve that is one of the best places in the archipelago to enjoy the imposing site of giant tortoises. The tortoises enjoy lumbering around, munching on grass and leaves, and wallowing in small pools and will happily stay still for all your photos! A short bus ride takes us back to board the Isabela II.
Puerto Egas (Santiago Island)
Puerto Egas offers us the opportunity to walk down a black sand beach and the enjoyment of land and marine birds amid a landscape of stunning rock formations and lava flows. At low tide, you can delight with the site of the unique marine iguanas grazing. A nearby colony of fur seals can be spotted down the path.
Chinese Hat Islet
This islet, formed only relatively recently, makes a wonderful afternoon visit as we explore the wildlife along its trail, which begins at a crescent-shaped, white sandy beach. The cove offers excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities amid and the darling site of Galapagos penguins swimming and frolicking near the rocks.
Prince Philip’s Steps (Genovesa Island)
We start off with a scenic ride along the cliffs of “Bird Island” as Genovesa is known, followed by a walk up a stone staircase that takes us into the island proper. From here, the trail winds its way through large colonies of Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, great frigatebirds, and storm petrels. This is a bird watcher’s paradise! Those who do not wish to disembark and walk within the island can enjoy a longer panga ride along the cliffs, or enjoy some snorkeling and kayaking.
Darwin Bay (Genovesa Island)
We land after lunch at the white beach of stately Darwin Bay. We can enjoy a leisurely walk through the winding path and gaze at the resident birds, which include frigatebirds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, as well as gulls, herons, finches, and mockingbirds.
Santa Fe Island
We take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. The stately Galapagos hawks are rather intrepid and may swoop by you from on high or remain perched in a nearby cactus. The Santa Fe land iguana is also a common site as it scampers after fruit or mates. Evening time is a great opportunity for snorkeling and swimming along a natural wave barrier rock formation where Sea Lions can be seen swimming splendidly.
South Plaza Island
In the afternoon, we make our way around to the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island to the eastern mouth of the Itabaca Channel. Boarding the pangas, we navigate alongside this rocky coastline, enjoying the stunning plant life, and rock formations. Then it’s back to the water for some more snorkeling or a ride around in the glass-bottom boat. This is one of the best snorkeling sites in the whole archipelago and we may enjoy a startling array of surgeonfish, angelfish, groupers, hogfish, hawkfish, parrotfish, blenny, and the occasional reef shark or ray.
Our journey ends at Baltra Island where the airport awaits and we take our flight back to the mainland.
*ETICA Empresa Turistica Internacional C.A. reserves the right to charge a fuel supplement without prior notice should the closing price of West Texas Intermediate Fuel increase above $70 per barrel on the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange Index). In the event a fuel supplement is charged, ETICA Empresa Turistica Internacional C.A. will have sole discretion to apply the supplementary charge to both existing and new bookings, regardless of whether such bookings have been paid in full. Such supplementary charges are not included in the cruise fare. The fuel supplement charge will not exceed $25.00 per passenger per day.
The Galapagos Islands on Yacht Isabela II
This was a whirlwind 5-day tour of the southern islands with plenty of activities, ranging from naturalist walks with abundant wildlife at close proximity, snorkeling, kayaking, etc. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and were part of the highlight of this trip. The ship is very well appointed and well thought out to accommodate @40 guests… we were part of a tour group of 34. This is a very professional operation from top to bottom!
Davidtaft – Sayulita, Mexico
Have questions? We have answers. Reach out to any of our experts to help you plan your next adventure.
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