Ecuador

Best of Ecuador, Galapagos Tour

8 days | 7 nights
Shared tour
From 1670USD per person
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Destinations

Galapagos

Trip at a glance

Visits

QUITO: Independence Square, Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito, the Archbishop's Palace, the City Hall. Convent and Church of San Francisco, Panecillo Hill

GUAYAQUIL: Malecon 2000, Seminario Park, the Cathedral, City Hall, La Rotunda Monument, Las Peñas District

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS: Santa Cruz Island, Bartolome Island or Santa Fe Island or North Seymour Island or South Plaza Island

Trip details

Itinerary

Day 1 ARRIVAL IN QUITO

Arrival at Mariscal Sucre, Quito international airport. 

Meet and greet with your English-speaking private guide. 

Transfer to the city centre and check in at your hotel (50 min). 

Day 2 HALF-DAY CITY TOUR OF QUITO, MIDDLE OF THE WORLD

Morning

Discover with your guide the least-altered and best-preserved Latin American capital. 

Take a walk to visit the colonial churches and monasteries of this urban jewel, the first city in history to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Starting at Independence Square, flanked by the Presidential Palace your visit will include the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito, the Archbishop's Palace and the City Hall. 

Ramble through the city's old streets on your way to El Sagrario church and its exquisitely carved stone façade and step inside the awe-inspiring church of the Society of Jesus. 

Walk on to the Convent and Church of San Francisco, one of the greatest religious buildings on the South American continent. 

Drive up to the top of the Panecillo hill for breathtaking panoramic views of Quito. 

Afternoon

In the afternoon, drive out of the city to the Equatorial Valley (50 min), north of the capital, where you will visit the 'Middle of the World' monument. 

A monument and a museum exhibiting an ethnographic collection indicate the Equator line. 

Drive back to Quito. 

Evening

Free evening and overnight in Quito.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 3 FLIGHT TO BALTRA, BALTRA ISLAND & SANTA CRUZ ISLAND: HIGHLANDS

Morning

At the indicated time, private transfer to Quito Airport, for your flight to the Galapagos Islands (3 hours 40min).

Arrive at Seymour Airport on Baltra Island this morning and meet and greet your Certified National Park guide and fellow passengers at the arrivals hall. Then, on a shared bus, reach Itabaca Channel where you will take a five-minute ferry ride to the northern shores of Santa Cruz Island. Visit the Highlands where you'll trek with your guide to see the Twin Craters, crossing laval tunnels and visiting a private ranch to observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat.

Afternoon

Transfer to your hotel.

Free afternoon.

Evening

Overnight at the hotel in Santa Cruz Island.

MEALS
  • Lunch included

Day 4 BARTOLOME ISLAND, NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND, SOUTH PLAZAS ISLAND OR SANTA FE ISLAND

Depending on navigation and availability conditions, you will spend the day on one of the four islands below:

Bartolome Island
Depart from your hotel early this morning, and by bus, reach the Itabaca Channel where you will board the yacht and begin your 20-minute journey to the Daphnes, a pair of twin volcanic islands. Bird lovers will swoon at the sight of masked boobies, tropical birds and frigates, before continuing on the yacht for 90 minutes to the tiny 1.2 sq. km island of Bartolome. After a dry landing, climb to the top of a small cone with your guide, gaining 114 meters in altitude, and observe a dramatic landscape of lava fields, volcanic cones, and lunar-like craters. Following your visit, sail to Sullivan Bay, a favorite destination on this island hopping tour because of its unique geological characteristics. Situated on the southeastern end of Santiago Island, you will land on a sparkling white sand beach by wet landing, where you will spend some leisurely time swimming and snorkeling among the tropical fish, sea turtles and rays. Witness Sullivan Bay's contrasting geological features on an easy walk across its wild terrain, and contemplate the relatively young landscape of black lava flow, collapsed craters and volcanic hornitos, feeling the ropy lava beneath your feet as you explore. Return to the Itabaca Channel and transfer to your hotel by bus for your 5 PM arrival.

North Seymour Island
Depart from your hotel early this morning, and by bus, reach the Itabaca Channel where you will board the yacht. A 45-minute journey will transport you to North Seymour, a small and flat 1.9 sq. km island formed by the uplifting of underwater volcanic lava. Following a dry landing on the island's rocky coast, learn about the 72 land iguanas that were introduced to North Seymour in 1932 to colonize the island on a two-hour tour with your guide. Captain Alan Hancock and his crew transported these undernourished iguanas from Baltra Island in the hopes that they will thrive in better conditions on North Seymour. And in 1934 just two years later, the species was identified to have adapted without issues. Walk the arid boulder-strewn landscape, and follow along an easy circular path that takes you past the most extensive colonies of blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds in the archipelago. If conditions are optimal, spend some time discovering the area's marine wildlife as you snorkel. Depending on availability, head to Mosquera Islet to observe its large colonies of sea lion sunbathe or splash in the water, or head to the white coral sands of Bachas Beach on the northern shores of Santa Cruz, a beach that earned its name after World War II when the American army abandoned their barges on the beach. If conditions permit, swim or snorkel among the marine wildlife here before reaching your hotel at 4:00 pm.

South Plazas Island
By bus this morning, depart from your hotel to the Itabaca Channel to board your boat and sail 20 minutes to Punta Carrión where you will have to opportunity to witness birds and sea turtles, and snorkel in a small cove. Then, sail for approximately 90 minutes towards South Plaza Island off the eastern shores of Santa Cruz. Despite its small size, South Plaza is recognized for its outstanding collection of wildlife species, and after a dry landing, you'll have the opportunity to embark on a 90-minute walk to witness one of the largest sea lion colonies in the Galapagos, land iguanas and masked boobies, as well as discover the island's rugged landscape. Return to the boat for lunch and reach Puerto Ayora for a 4 PM arrival at your hotel.

Santa Fe Island
From the dock of Puerto Ayora, the yacht will sail 90 minutes to Santa Fe Island - one of the oldest in the Galapagos archipelago at an estimated four million years. With a wet landing on the beach, embark on a 90-minute walking tour with your guide to explore the island's 24 sq. km, keeping your eyes peeled for sightings of Galápagos hawks, fork-tailed gulls and migratory birds. Situated between Santa Cruz and San Cristobal, Santa Fe also boasts a diversity of endemic species, like the Santa Fe land iguana, Galapagos Mockingbird, and rice rat. Its landscape is unique for its population of the large prickly pear cactus, Opuntia Echos, which feeds Santa Fe's land iguanas. If conditions permit, enjoy a relaxing swim or snorkel in the shimmering waters of Barrington Bay as hawks fly overhead, keeping your eyes peeled for rays, tropical fish and marine tortoises. Sail back to Santa Cruz for the evening and return to your hotel at 4 pm.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch included

Day 5 BARTOLOME ISLAND, NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND, SOUTH PLAZAS ISLAND OR SANTA FE ISLAND

Depending on navigation and availability conditions, you will spend the day on one of the four islands below:

Bartolome Island
Depart from your hotel early this morning, and by bus, reach the Itabaca Channel where you will board the yacht and begin your 20-minute journey to the Daphnes, a pair of twin volcanic islands. Bird lovers will swoon at the sight of masked boobies, tropical birds and frigates, before continuing on the yacht for 90 minutes to the tiny 1.2 sq. km island of Bartolome. After a dry landing, climb to the top of a small cone with your guide, gaining 114 meters in altitude, and observe a dramatic landscape of lava fields, volcanic cones, and lunar-like craters. Following your visit, sail to Sullivan Bay, a favorite destination on this island hopping tour because of its unique geological characteristics. Situated on the southeastern end of Santiago Island, you will land on a sparkling white sand beach by wet landing, where you will spend some leisurely time swimming and snorkeling among the tropical fish, sea turtles and rays. Witness Sullivan Bay's contrasting geological features on an easy walk across its wild terrain, and contemplate the relatively young landscape of black lava flow, collapsed craters and volcanic hornitos, feeling the ropy lava beneath your feet as you explore. Return to the Itabaca Channel and transfer to your hotel by bus for your 5 PM arrival.

North Seymour Island
Depart from your hotel early this morning, and by bus, reach the Itabaca Channel where you will board the yacht. A 45-minute journey will transport you to North Seymour, a small and flat 1.9 sq. km island formed by the uplifting of underwater volcanic lava. Following a dry landing on the island's rocky coast, learn about the 72 land iguanas that were introduced to North Seymour in 1932 to colonize the island on a two-hour tour with your guide. Captain Alan Hancock and his crew transported these undernourished iguanas from Baltra Island in the hopes that they will thrive in better conditions on North Seymour. And in 1934 just two years later, the species was identified to have adapted without issues. Walk the arid boulder-strewn landscape, and follow along an easy circular path that takes you past the most extensive colonies of blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds in the archipelago. If conditions are optimal, spend some time discovering the area's marine wildlife as you snorkel. Depending on availability, head to Mosquera Islet to observe its large colonies of sea lion sunbathe or splash in the water, or head to the white coral sands of Bachas Beach on the northern shores of Santa Cruz, a beach that earned its name after World War II when the American army abandoned their barges on the beach. If conditions permit, swim or snorkel among the marine wildlife here before reaching your hotel at 4:00 pm.

South Plazas Island
By bus this morning, depart from your hotel to the Itabaca Channel to board your boat and sail 20 minutes to Punta Carrión where you will have to opportunity to witness birds and sea turtles, and snorkel in a small cove. Then, sail for approximately 90 minutes towards South Plaza Island off the eastern shores of Santa Cruz. Despite its small size, South Plaza is recognized for its outstanding collection of wildlife species, and after a dry landing, you'll have the opportunity to embark on a 90-minute walk to witness one of the largest sea lion colonies in the Galapagos, land iguanas and masked boobies, as well as discover the island's rugged landscape. Return to the boat for lunch and reach Puerto Ayora for a 4 PM arrival at your hotel.

Santa Fe Island
From the dock of Puerto Ayora, the yacht will sail 90 minutes to Santa Fe Island - one of the oldest in the Galapagos archipelago at an estimated four million years. With a wet landing on the beach, embark on a 90-minute walking tour with your guide to explore the island's 24 sq. km, keeping your eyes peeled for sightings of Galápagos hawks, fork-tailed gulls and migratory birds. Situated between Santa Cruz and San Cristobal, Santa Fe also boasts a diversity of endemic species, like the Santa Fe land iguana, Galapagos Mockingbird, and rice rat. Its landscape is unique for its population of the large prickly pear cactus, Opuntia Echos, which feeds Santa Fe's land iguanas. If conditions permit, enjoy a relaxing swim or snorkel in the shimmering waters of Barrington Bay as hawks fly overhead, keeping your eyes peeled for rays, tropical fish and marine tortoises. Sail back to Santa Cruz for the evening and return to your hotel at 4 pm.

Evening

5

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch included

Day 6 CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION, FLIGHT TO GUAYAQUIL

Morning

This morning, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island. As the main breeding site of the Galapagos Islands, this facility is dedicated to marine life conservation and maintaining biodiversity in the region. Learn the story of Lonesome George, the fabled final survivor of the giant tortoise species who lived at the Charles Darwin Research Station for four decades. Tour the information center, the Van Staelens Exhibition Hall, and the Breeding and Rearing Center to witness tortoises live in captivity and learn the formation of the islands and evolution of its species.

Transfer to Seymour Airport on Baltra Island for your onward journey to Guayaquil. 

Afternoon

Direct flight to Guayaquil (1 hour 50 min).

Rest of the day free for you to rest. 

Evening

Free evening and overnight in Guayaquil. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard

Day 7 GUAYAQUIL CITY TOUR, FREE AFTERNOON

Morning

In the morning, enjoy a private city tour. 

Stroll along the Malecon 2000 (the city's strand) and the Seminario Park with its numerous resident iguanas. 

Discover Guayaquil's Cathedral, the City Hall, and La Rotonda monument. 

Walk up the tiny streets of Las Peñas, a colorful and traditional neighborhood. 

Afternoon

Afternoon at leisure. 

Evening

Free evening and overnight in Guayaquil. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 8 DEPARTURE

At the indicated time, transfer to Guayaquil Airport (15 min). 

Check-in and assistance. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Services

What's included

Accommodation

Nights
7 hotel nights in 3* Premium Hotels

Meals

Bed & Breakfast plan
7 breakfasts + 3 lunches

Transportation

Boat
Shared boat excursions
Bus
Shared transfers from/to hotel/boat in the Galapagos, Private transfers in Quito and Guayaquil

Orientation

Guide
Shared English-speaking naturalist guide in the Galapagos, Private English-speaking guide in Quito and Guayaquil

Entrance Fees

All entrance fees to mentioned sites in Quito and Guayaquil

What's not included

  • Entrance Fee to Galapagos National Park (100 USD/Person)
  • TCT Ingala Migration Card (20 USD/Person)
  • Domestic Flights
  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Wetsuit Rental
  • Extra Meals
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Dates and Prices

Arrival date

Important notes

Each guest must strictly follow the Galapagos National Park Rules: 

  • Remain on marked trails at visitor sites and respect signs at all times for the protection of wildlife
  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet (two meters) from wildlife to avoid disturbing them, even if they approach you
  • Never feed wildlife, as this can cause health problems
  • Flash photography is not permitted when taking photos of wildlife
  • Professional photography and videos recorded for commercial purposes must be authorized by the Galapagos National Park Department
  • It is your responsibility not to introduce food, animals, or plants into the Archipelago. Cooperate fully with all environmental inspection and quarantine officials during your visit.
  • Do not take or buy any products or souvenirs made from banned substances, including black coral, shells, lava rock, animal parts, or any native wood or vegetation prior to leaving Galapagos. This is illegal and must be reported
  • Practice “leave-no-trace” principles in order to maintain the beauty of the environment
  • Pack out all trash and dispose of or recycle it in the populated areas or on your tour boat
  • Smoking and/or campfires are strictly prohibited within the Galapagos National Park
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