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Enchanting Ecuador


  • The Galapagos are a group of 19 islands of volcanic origin

Discover the highlights of Ecuador on this 8 day classic, group tour. Take in the sites and sounds of colonial Quito before embarking on a cruise of the remarkable Galapagos Islands, home of some of the most unique wildlife on the planet. 

Upon arrival in Quito, your group will be transferred to your hotel where you spend 2 nights. After a relaxing evening at leisure, you start your first full day with a visit to the ‘Mitad del Mundo,' or middle of the world. This monument marks the equator between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Your afternoon will be all about exploring the city and a delicious experience at a local chocolate maker. 

The following day your group will depart Quito for a 4 night cruise of the Galapagos Islands. These far-flung islands off Ecuador's coast were made famous by naturalist Charles Darwin who used the unique bird and marine life to explain evolution. You will enjoy informative lectures onboard your ship as your group sails among the islands observing tortoises, marine iguanas, finches and more as well as the unique geological features of these strange volcanic islands. 

At the end of your cruise your group will be returned to Quito for a final evening before returning to the airport the following day for your onward travels. 


 

 

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PRICING: 

Tour

 Price per person in
US $

Price per person in
CA $

Enchanting Ecuador* $5,099 $6,679

*Travel Dates: January - December 2022
*Please contact us for additional travel dates, pricing, single supplements, full itinerary details & terms and conditions

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 3 Nights in Enchanting Quito
  • 4 Nights aboard the M/V Galapagos Legend
  • Full Day City Tour Quito
  • Daily touring during cruise (as per itinerary)
  • Full Breakfasts daily
  • Five lunches and four dinners
Day 1

Arrive Quito

Upon arrival to Quito International Airport and after the clearance of the immigration, you are kindly requested to proceed to collect your luggage; you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

La Casona de la Ronda

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Location View map
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    La Casona de la Ronda



    Set in a colonial style house built in 1738, La Casona de la Ronda Hotel Boutique offers comfortable accommodation in the historic city centre. Decorated with stylish wooden furnishing and parquet floors, rooms at La Casona de la Ronda are very bright. Drinks from the …

    Set in a colonial style house built in 1738, La Casona de la Ronda Hotel Boutique offers comfortable accommodation in the historic city centre. Decorated with stylish wooden furnishing and parquet floors, rooms at La Casona de la Ronda are very bright. Drinks from the bar and hot beverages from the coffee shop can be enjoyed in the garden and on the terrace.

    Facilities

    • Fireplace
    • Lounge(s)
    • Restaurant

    More Details

Day 2

Quito

Ecuador is history, fascinating indigenous cultures, slow winding rivers and lush tropical forests, spectacular snowcapped volcanoes and some of the most exciting wildlife on earth.

In the morning we will make the 45 minute journey northwest to the equatorial line, where we will walk the rim of the extinct Pululahua volcanic crater. Later we will visit the “Ciudad Mitad del Mundo” a group of buildings designed to explain the significance of the site, as well as the Ethnographic or Initñam Museum, located right on the Equator. Here you will have the chance to plant your feet in two hemispheres at the same time!

Back in Quito, after lunch we will visit the city’s impressive colonial centre, the reason Quito was the first city to be named a world heritage site. First on the agenda is a walk through the main plaza, the ‘Plaza de la Independencia’, where you will see the Government Palace, the Cathedral, and some of the most important churches built around the XVI and XVII centuries, including the San Francisco Monastery, a building begun only 5 days after the founding of the city.

Now for our chocolate experience! Ecuador’s unique equatorial climate provides the perfect environment for growing the world’s finest cocoa - Cacao Arriba. Cocoa has been revered in Latin America for over 5,000 years. Spanish explorers loved it so much they called it the ‘Food of the Gods’.

The Republica del Cacao’s founders began their voyage over ten years ago when they set themselves an ambitious mission: to produce the most authentic and delicious chocolate, while protecting and developing sustainable fine cocoa production.

Our chocolate experience starts with a guided explaining the history of cocoa in Ecuador, followed by a chocolate tasting.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Quito to Galapagos

After breakfast, check out of the hotel. Transfer with English speaking assistance for your Local flight to Galapagos

Departure from Quito to Baltra Island (2 1/2 hours flight). Arriving in Galapagos, passengers are picked up at the airport by our natural guides and taken (ten-minute bus drive) to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.

PM – Mosquera Islet

Wet Landing, Mosquera Islet is located between North Seymour and Baltra Island. This flat, sandy island has a large colony of sea lions. It is also an excellent site to observe shorebirds such as herons and lava gulls. There is no trail on the islet, the visitor can enjoy the open area. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock. Very little sesuvium portulacastrum plants grow on the sand. Difficulty level: easy. Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk & snorkeling

Galapagos Cruise on board M/V Galapagos Legend.

Galapagos Legend offers all the amenities of a larger cruise liner yet still has the intimate feel of family-style cruising. This 300-foot Galapagos cruise ship provides all the facilities and services to make your cruise around the islands enjoyable and comfortable.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration4 Nights
Accommodation

M/V Legend

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    M/V Legend



    This legendary, 100-passenger, first-class vessel offers all the amenities of a large cruise liner without sacrificing the intimacy you'd expect on a small sailing craft, and consequently allows you to have it all.

    This legendary, 100-passenger, first-class vessel offers all the amenities of a large cruise liner without sacrificing the intimacy you'd expect on a small sailing craft, and consequently allows you to have it all.

    Facilities

    • Auditorium
    • Boutique(s)
    • Embarkation Area
    • Fitness Centre
    • Jacuzzi
    • Medical Facilities
    • Panoramic Views
    • Pool
    • Restaurant

    More Details

Day 4

Cruising the Galapagos

AM – Egas Port (Santiago Island)

Wet landing. Egas Port is a black volcanic sand beach, visited by Darwin in 1835. The first section of the trail is formed of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half is an uneven terrain of volcanic basaltic rock. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago shore is home to a variety of animals including the bizarre yellow-crowned night heron and marine wildlife including lobster, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally light-foot crabs. It is easy to see colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water volcanic rock pools.
Difficulty level: intermediate. Type of terrain: flat & semi-rocky
Duration: 1 1/2-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

PM – Rabida Island

Wet landing. Dark-red sand covers the unique beaches of this island, home of sea lions colonies; Rabida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting brown pelicans are found from July through September plus nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches. Here a dinghy ride along marine cliffs is done, to observe nesting seabirds. Snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active.
Difficulty level: easy. Type of terrain: sandy

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Cruising the Galapagos

AM – Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)

Wet landing (might be difficult due to the tide). Volcanic black beach, depending on the season, it is possible to find giant tortoises, land iguanas, and the unusual flightless cormorant.

After a short walk inland it´s snorkeling time, a chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions, and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plants with the different range of colors in flowers, attracting different insects, birds, and reptiles. One of the highlights of the island is the uplifted coral reef that resulted from the 1954 seismic activity; here the views of Alcedo Volcano are remarkable. When navigating from Urbina to Tagus Cove whale watching is usual in May – December.
Difficulty level: intermediate. Type of terrain: flat & rocky
Duration: 1 ½-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

PM – Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)

Dry landing on Galapagos’ largest island where we will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that form it. The trail leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater lake and excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations.We will return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where we will admire a variety of seabirds, such as Blue-footed Booby, Brown Noddy, terns, Flightless Cormorant and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins which are only 35 cm tall; the only penguin species in the world to live in the tropics.

The population of penguins on the islands is about 2,000 individuals, most of which live on this western portion of Isabela; others are scattered further south. We will have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water. Graffiti believed to have been left by 19th-century pirates is a curious reminder of an intriguing past.
Difficulty level: intermediate/difficult. Type of terrain: steep/steep
Duration: 2-hour walk / 40-minutes dinghy ride / 1-hour deep water snorkelling

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Cruising the Galapagos

AM – Espinosa Point (Fernandina Island)

Dry landing. From Espinosa Point, is possible to admire a wide view of Isabela Island across the Bolivar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. Here the largest, most primitive-looking marine iguanas are found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Fernandina displays a wonderful opportunity to encounter flightless cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos penguins and the “King” of predators on the islands, the Galapagos hawk. Pa-hoe-hoe and AA lava formations cover the majority of Fernandina terrain. Vegetation is scarce inland, with few brachycereus cacti. In the shore mangrove can be found.
Difficulty level: intermediate. Type of terrain: flat/semi rocky
Duration: 1 1/2-hour walk / 1-hour snorkelling

PM – Vicente Roca Point (Isabela Island)

Great deep-water snorkelling at one of the richest marine havens on Earth, the Bolivar Channel. Accessible by water, we take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds; Nazca and blue-footed boobies, noddies, brown pelicans, penguins, flightless cormorants. The upwelling of cold water currents in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life, a perfect place for deep snorkelling.

Difficulty Level: moderate / high. Type of terrain: water
Duration: 1-hour snorkelling / 1-hour dinghy ride

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Galapagos to Quito

AM – Highlands Tortoise Reserve (Santa Cruz Island)

Dry landing. In the mountains of Galapagos is possible to admire different kind of birds, such as: tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers, and cattle egrets (usually standing on the tortoises’ shell). The journey to the reserve offers great opportunities to see the contrasts that the island offers in reference to the variety of ecosystems. The road goes from the coast through the agricultural zone and straight up to the dense humid forests. Often, Galapagos Giant Tortoises are also seen on the way, wandering through pastures in the paddocks. This spot is a birdwatchers’ haven, since almost every land bird present on the island lives or migrates here.
Difficulty level: easy. Type of terrain: flat & muddy (depending on season)
Duration: 45-minutes drive / 1 ½-hour walk

After the visit, passengers will be transferred to Baltra Island Airport for their return flight to Quito.

Upon arrival in Quito you will be transferred with an English speaking assistant to your hotel for the night.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

La Casona de la Ronda

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    La Casona de la Ronda



    Set in a colonial style house built in 1738, La Casona de la Ronda Hotel Boutique offers comfortable accommodation in the historic city centre. Decorated with stylish wooden furnishing and parquet floors, rooms at La Casona de la Ronda are very bright. Drinks from the …

    Set in a colonial style house built in 1738, La Casona de la Ronda Hotel Boutique offers comfortable accommodation in the historic city centre. Decorated with stylish wooden furnishing and parquet floors, rooms at La Casona de la Ronda are very bright. Drinks from the bar and hot beverages from the coffee shop can be enjoyed in the garden and on the terrace.

    Facilities

    • Fireplace
    • Lounge(s)
    • Restaurant

    More Details

Day 8

Depart Quito

After breakfast, check out of the hotel. You will be transferred to the airport for you onward flight home.

Meal Plan Breakfast

DEPARTURES: 

Saturday

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Private airport Transfers
  • 3 Nights Moderate class accommodation in Quito
  • 4 Nights aboard the M/V Galapagos Legend
  • Domestic Flights Quito – Baltra Island - Quito
  • 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches & 4 dinners
  • Private guided touring as per itinerary in Quito

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • All International & domestic airfares, except where noted above
  • Personal Items
  • Meals unless listed in the itinerary
  • Tips & Gratuities
  • Early check-in and late check-out of rooms
  • Travel insurance

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Minimum of 10 paying passengers must travel together for duration of tour. All prices are “from” per person costs and subject to change depending on dates and availability. Cruise deposits may apply. Blackout periods are in effect.


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