Quito & The Galapagos Sea Star
- 7 Days
- 7 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 6,307
FIRST-CLASS | TAILOR-MADE: The incredible landscapes of the Galapagos Islands are yours to discover aboard the wonderfully appointed Galapagos Sea Star Yacht. Ahead of your adventure on the Enchanted Isles, discover Quito, UNESCO's first World Cultural Heritage site.
Please refer to itinerary for detailed description.
- 7 Days
- 7 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 6,307
Itinerary View Trip Map View Trip Special
Arrive to Quito
Begin the day with an arrival to Quito, being met at the airport for a private transfer to your hotel for the next two nights. Upon reaching the hotel, enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure!
Full Day Quito City Tour and Equator Line Tour
Ecuador is history, fascinating indigenous cultures, slow winding rivers and lush tropical forests, spectacular snow capped volcanoes and some of the most exciting wildlife on earth.
The place to start is the "Mitad del Mundo"; a site located just 30 minutes north of Quito, where a monument marks the equator at its closest point to the city. Archaeological evidence shows that both pre-Inca and Inca civilizations recognized and celebrated the equinox, the day the sun is directly over the equator.
In the morning we will make a 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 Intiñan 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 center, the reason Quito was the first city to be named a world heritage site by the United Nations. 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.
We will have the chance to enjoy a chocolate experience, which starts with a guided tour explaining the history of cocoa in Ecuador, followed by a chocolate tasting.
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.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Lunch|
Flight to the Galapagos
This morning, you will fly from mainland Ecuador to Baltra Airport in the Galapagos Islands (flight duration is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, and is included). Upon arrival to Baltra Airport, personnel from the Galapagos National Park will check your luggage to avoid the introduction of foreign plants or animals to the Islands, and soon after, you will be picked by a naturalist guide and taken on a five-minute bus drive to the pier to board the Galapagos Sea Star Yacht. After boarding the vessel, you will be greeted and shown to your cabin. Later in the afternoon, soon after orientation, you'll arrive to Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz Island. Following a dry landing, you'll begin down a trail that leads across a brackish lagoon to see flamingos and shore birds and a typical dry zone vegetation (cacti, incense trees, Galapagos cotton, sesuvium) going up until you reach Dragon Hill, which is an important nesting area for land iguanas, and also a place to catch lovely views of the anchored boats and neighboring islands. The incense tree forest is home of many birds such as mockingbirds, Darwin finches, Galapagos flycatchers and yellow warblers.
Black Turtle Cove and Sombrero Chino
In the morning you will visit Black Turtle Cove, a unique and revered place in the Galapagos. A cove surrounded by a mangrove forest, it is home to green sea turtles and a baby white-tip reef sharks' nursery. With luck, you can spot schools of golden rays, spotted eagle rays, marine turtles and, pelicans, herons, and frigates on top of the mangrove trees. You will also see very colorful Sally light footed crabs and Blue footed boobies on the rocky area, appreciated from your vantage aboard a zodiac watercraft. In the afternoon it will be time to visit Sombrero Chino, or "Chinese hat", so named due to its shape like an old-fashioned hat from the Far East, it is one of the smallest Galapagos Islands having a terrific visitor site that offers an unforgettable view. Like other islands in the Galapagos, Sombrero Chino is of volcanic origin, known as a "spatter cone", and is located in the southeast of Santiago Island. The visitor path begins on a gorgeous beach where you can observe red sally light foot crabs, marine iguanas, Galapagos sea lions resting on the beach, Oystercatchers, Wandering tattlers, herons and lava lizards. Here you can also participate in an optional snorkeling activity off the zodiac to look for sea lions, white-tip reef sharks, colorful fish and occasionally Galapagos penguins.
El Barranco and Darwin Bay
Following breakfast under the rising sun, a boat ride activity to look for Nazca boobies, Swallow-Tailed Gulls, the smallest sub species of marine iguanas, red billed tropic birds, Galapagos fur seals and Galapagos sea lions is on the agenda, followed by a dry landing to climb up natural stairway to get to the top of Genovesa Island. This path passes through colonies of Nazca and red-footed boobies, some frigates birds, the famous Darwin finches and Galapagos mockingbirds. At the end of the trail, Wedge-rumped storm petrels' nest on the lava field where we look for short-eared owls. You'll then be invited to participate in an optional kayak activity inside the tranquil bay. In the afternoon, make a wet landing on a coral sandy beach which is much younger than the ones on the other islands. Here, swallow-tailed gulls often around found here, as well as Galapagos sea lions. The trail is flat and short going by the mangrove forest and saltbush. It is one of the best sites to look for red footed-booby nesting. During the low tie, you may have the possibility to observe the rarest gull in the world, the lava gull (there are approximately nine hundred individuals in all of Galapagos Islands). Genovesa is a special place for birdwatchers to see Darwin finches, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds, Nazca boobies and migratory birds. Once back to the beach there will be another chance for snorkeling from the beach.
Bartolome Island and Sullivan Bay
From the summit of Bartolome, take in the most famous view of the Galapagos, overlooking the pinnacle rock and Santiago Island beyond. This volcanic scenery has often been linked to a lunar landscape. The altitude of the island is just 114 meters (375 feet). From the trail to the top of the island you will observe spatter cones, lava tubes and very few plants. This island has a small colony of Galapagos penguins which is the only species of its family to live in the tropics and has only one population in the northern hemisphere. With luck, they will be observed during a boat ride activity. Later in the morning, enjoy some snorkeling time with the possibility to see Galapagos penguins, white-tipped reef sharks and playful sea lions. In the afternoon, you'll reach Sullivan Bay, located at the southeastern part of Santiago Island. Extensive lava flows have made their mark here: "pa-hoe-hoe", which is a smooth ropy formation and "aa" which is explosive are both found here, and were formed about 120 years ago. In the middle of the lava flow, older reddish-yellow colored tuff cones appear. There are few plants well adapted to the dry conditions such as Mollugo grow out of the fissures, lava cactus and chamaesyce. Tree molds are holes in the surface of hardened lava where a tree once stood, indicating that in that position large size plants grew in small crevices, until the lava flow of past eruptions burned down the flora of the island.
Highland Tortoise Reserve and Departure
After a bus ride of 40 minutes from Puerto Ayora, you will reach the highlands. Here you will set out on a walk where it is possible to admire different kinds of birds, such as tree and ground finches, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers and cattle egrets (often standing on the tortoises' shell and cows). This expedition offers great opportunities to see the contrasting ecosystems that the Galapagos has on each island. Galapagos giant tortoises are present on the trail, wandering through pastures in the paddocks. A light rain jacket is suggested to visit this point because it is often misty or rainy. After this excursion you will be transferred Baltra airport for your return flight to the mainland (Guayaquil or Quito).
2023 - 4 Night Cruise: September 1, 15, 29; October 13, 27; November 10, 24; December 8
2023 - 5 Night Cruise*: September 5, 19; October 3, 17, 31; November 14, 28; December 12
2024 - 4 Night Cruise: January 5, 19; February 2, 16; March 1, 15, 29; April 12, 26; May 10, May 24; June 7, 21; July 5, 19; August 2, 16, 29; September 13, 27; October 11, 25; November 8, 22; December 6, 20
2024 - 5 Night Cruise*: January 9, 23, 28; February 6, 11, 20, 25; March 5, 10, 19, 24; April 2, 7, 16, 21, 30; May 5, 14, 19, 28; June 2, 11, 16, 25, 30; July 9, 14, 23, 28; August 6, 11, 20, 25; September 3, 8, 17, 22; October 1, 6, 15, 20, 29; November 3, 12, 17, 26; December 1, 10, 15, 24
- Private arrival airport transfer in Quito
- 2 nights in first-class accommodations in Quito
- Private-guided city tour of Quito with trip to the equator
- Private departure airport transfer in Quito
- Cruise accommodation in the cabin-type selected
- Shared transfers in the Galapagos
- All excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
- Snorkeling equipment (masks, flippers and snorkel)
- Kayak equipment
- Galapagos Domestic Airfare
- Galapagos National Park entrance fee
- Transit Control Card
- Water, coffee and tea
- Breakfast (excluding Day 1), lunch and dinner daily while aboard the cruise
- International airfare & taxes
- Items of a personal nature
- Optional excursions
- Visa fees if applicable
- Pre and/or post-accommodation in Quito or Guayaquil
- Transfers in mainland Ecuador
- Vaccination Costs
- Meals where not listed
- Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
- Travel and health insurance
* Advertised pricing and itinerary includes a 4-night cruise, however, if you prefer a 5-night cruise, a customized program with a 5-night cruise, as noted above, can be prepared
NOTE: The domestic flights Quito - Galapagos - Quito (approx. $550 USD), Galapagos Park entrance fee of $100 USD and visitors ticket of $20 USD are included in the trip price. (Subject to change).
Itineraries: Due to government regulations designed to control and protect the impact of tourism, each vessel, based on length of cruise has its own distinct itinerary. The itineraries are designed to allow visitors to visit all regions of the islands and we suggest you request the advice of Goway's Latin specialists as to which itinerary would suit you best.
TERMS & CONDITIONS:
Prices are “from” per person and based on twin share based on current exchange rates and subject to change. Single rates available on request. Subject to availability, limited seats available, seasonal surcharges may apply.
10 May 2024