Discover the hidden universe of the Galapagos Islands with this special offer! Hop aboard the Expedition Vessel of your choice, and embark on a voyage of exploration through some of the most iconic islands in the archipelago! Unique species, otherworldly landscapes, and extraordinary adventure await!
Additionally, you’ll get a generous array of free perks to make this experience truly unforgettable, with free domestic airfare and free stays in the heart of Quito’s mesmerizing Historic Center at an extraordinary Boutique Hotel – complete with magnificent views of one of the first cities in the world to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Prepare to live one of the most marvelous experiences of the year, all of it for a truly unbeatable price!
Important Note: This package can easily be customized with a different Expedition Vessel of your choice upon contacting our Destination Experts. Package price will vary upon selecting a different Expedition Vessel.
A professionally guided tour of:
*Please note that this is a sample itinerary.
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.
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.
You will take a transfer to Quito’s airport in time to catch your flight to the Galapagos Islands!
This adventure begins with your flight to Baltra Island followed by an immediate transfer to the nearby dock to board Yacht La Pinta. Following an onboard introductory briefing, you’ll partake in an emergency boat drill. Afterward, you’ll receive your cabin assignment and enjoy lunch.
South Plaza Island
Here, the turquoise waters of the channel contrast brilliantly with the white sand beach and volcanic rocks that make up the shoreline. Along the coastline, you’ll spot sea lion colonies and seabirds frolicking along the cliffs of this small but spectacular island.
Santa Fe Island
We take a dinghy from Yacht La Pinta over to this idyllic white-sand beach that’s populated with colonies of sea lions. The brilliantly yellow Santa Fe land iguana, which, in the entire world, is exclusive to just this island, might also be spotted during the walk. Later, you’ll have your choice of swimming or snorkeling along a natural wave barrier.
Cerro Colorado & Tortoise Breeding Center (San Cristobal Island)
After lunch, we disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Once we arrive at Cerro Colorado, we will visit the breeding center for the highly-endangered giant tortoises that amble around a fantastic deciduous forest.
In the morning, the group heads over to the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island. The trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline, allowing guests to observe frigatebirds and a colony of bachelor sea lions. After the walk, weather permitting, you will have the chance to swim along the beach and snorkel.
After lunch, we’ll visit Cerro Brujo. This is a great site for walking, with rewarding opportunities to observe seabirds and shorebirds. Galapagos sea lions will also be present!
The morning outing at Punta Suarez gifts us a spirited trek across lava terrain to visit the unique seabird colonies that populate this area. Waved albatrosses (visible from April until January), and the famous “blowhole” geological formation await! Afterward, we return to the yacht for lunch.
In the afternoon, we disembark at this beautiful, white coral beach for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds and finches. Guests can choose to simply enjoy the beach or explore the astonishing sites via snorkeling.
Charles Darwin Research Station
In the morning, we disembark in Puerto Ayora and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to check out the breeding program for giant tortoises. Afterward, a bus takes the group up and over Santa Cruz Island to the opposite coast.
Once on the other side of Santa Cruz Island, a short ferry ride will takes us across the channel to Baltra Island and then the airport. Your adventure in the Galapagos Islands ends at Baltra Island as you board your flight back to Quito.
I imagine there are many ways to see the Galapagos Islands as there are hotels on several islands and ships of various sizes and styles that offer “cruises” of the islands. Our experience was limited to the Santa Cruz II, which is owned and operated by Metropolitan Touring out of Quito, so I cannot compare it to other operators in the Galapagos. What I can tell you is that compared to the nearly dozen other cruises I’ve taken, primarily in the Caribbean on large ships, this was far and away the best in every respect. Make no mistake, this is not a traditional cruise but rather an adventure. The focus is NOT activities on the ship, but it is the islands, oceans, and wildlife. It is both fun and educational.
BruceDenise – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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