- Discover the flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands
- Cross the Equator line
- Hike through the Andean countryside and visit the condor restoration project
- Visit Otavalo, an indigenous market and UNESCO world heritage site
- Experience the world as Darwin did and learn about the Giant Tortoise conservation program.
- Watch local weavers as they demonstrate artistic weaving techniques used for centuries
- Enjoy deluxe historic accommodations and traditional local food.
Booking now until December 2020
All trips customized*
|Trip Length||8 days/7 nights|
|Start/Finish||Quito or Guayaquil|
|Walk Rating||Moderate to rugged|
|Included||All breakfasts, six lunches, five dinners, full time guide, land transfers, van support during hikes, Galapagos cruise, hotels, trip insurance. **|
|Single Supplement||(upon request)|
DAY 1 QUITO
Fly from your home city to Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuador. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by our guides for a private transfer to your hotel. the evening is on your own to relax and catch your breath after your long journey. The driver from Quito’s new airport to the city is about 1.5 hours.
Suggested Accommodations Quito: Luxury | Hotel Casa Gargotena, Deluxe | Hilton Colon Quito or Swissotel. (Other properties available).
DAY 2 QUITO AND THE EQUATORIAL MONUMENT
The day begins with a city tour, visiting the Itchimbia neighborhood. From here you will have a spectacular view of both the old and new city. Continue to the old colonial Quito starting in Santo Domingo Plaza, walking through one of the oldest streets in the town “La Ronda Street” where you will see how the colonial houses were built and how the Quiteños lived in the sixteen hundred. Yes, locals are still living in these homes! The walking tour continues through the city museum to San Francisco Plaza, making a quick stop to try the typical sweets of Quito. San Francisco is the oldest church in Quito and it is full of history and legends. Take in the architecture of the Government’s Palace and the Archbishop’s palace and continue into the Compañia Church with its adornments and gold altars. Visit the Equatorial monument.
Suggested Accommodations Quito: Luxury | Hotel Casa Gargotena, Deluxe | Hilton Colon Quito or Swissotel. (Other properties available). (B, L)
DAY 3 QUITO/OTAVALO/HACIENDA COMPAÑIA
We have an early morning departure from Quito through the Panamerican Road to the Northern Andes. Pass through beautiful valleys and fields and next to Cayambe volcano (5,790 m / 18,997 ft). Stop at hacienda La Compañía, one of the oldest haciendas in the area and still a private property. Visit the hacienda house, the chapel and the roses’ show room, where you will be able to see some of the most magnificent Ecuadorian roses. Then continue North up to the ancient market of Otavalo; hundreds of years old and famous throughout the Andes for its handcrafts, textiles and tapestries. Visit the food, fruits and craft markets. Lunch will be served at a local hacienda. Return to Quito in the afternoon. Evening on your own to relax, Our guides and drivers are available to assist with restaurants and transfers.
For our more active hikers, it is possible to explore the craer of Cuichocha and to the CUICOCHA LOOP HIKE. This hike can take from 4 to 6 hours according to your experience and fitness level. Here, you will discover the local topography, amazing fields, flora and fauna.
Return to Quito.
Suggested Accommodations Quito: Luxury | Hotel Casa Gargotena, Luxury | Hilton Colon Quito or Swissotel Deluxe, Casa Andina, Boutique (Other properties available). (B, L)
DAY 4 GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
(Always starts on Tuesday for the 5 night program)
Today there is an early morning transfer to the Quito airport in time for the 8:30 a.m. Aerogal Airlines flight #32 to the Galapagos with a stop in Guayaquil. The flight will take about 5 hours. Arrive on Baltra Island in the Galapagos. There are many catamarans and yachts to choose from (based on budget and availability). One of the latest options is the newly launched M/C Elite. All meals, lectures, and shore excursions are include. Excursions and cultural programs are led by category “3” naturalist guides.
Accommodations: 16 Passenger boat with four cabins on the main deck and four cabins in the upper deck, all of them with private balcony and private facilities.
DAY 5, 6, 7, 8 GALAPAGOS ADVENTURE CRUISING
Visit the Galapagos Islands, including the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island. This is also the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center is to raise Galapagos tortoise hatchlings in a protected environment. When the tortoises are large enough to fend for themselves, they are released into the wild.
The itinerary continues to include Gen
ovesa Island, famous for bird life. Genovesa is the remnant of a once-mighty volcanic crater, and the island still has a distinctive crescent shape. The body of water formed by the crescent is called Darwin Bay where you will have an opportunity to do some awesome snorkeling. Included in this itinerary is Buccaneer Cove, a beach stop, the famous Cristobal Island.
DAY 9 GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
In the morning we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station before transferring to the airport for Aerogal Airlines flight #33 to Quito or a flight to Guayaquil. For those continuing back to Quito we recommend extending your trip with a stay in the Andes Mountains at the Hacienda Zuleta or at Mashpi, an exceptional Eco resort to the south of Quito. (B)
INCLUDED: All hotel accommodations, full time guide/driver in Quito and the surrounding areas, 5 nights aboard a Galapagos Island boat, full time guide/naturalists while in the Galapagos Islands, all breakfasts, all meals while on board your boat, consumer protection (OPC).
CAN BE INCLUDED: While the following is not included in the itinerary our dedicated team is happy to arrange any and all of the following: Air transportation, internal flights to the Galapagos Islands, travel insurance.
NOT INCLUDED: Guide gratuities, airport taxes and entrance fees to Ecuadorian National Parks. The fee for entrance to the Galapagos Islands is $120.00 U.S. verified June 2019 and is subject to change by the Ecuadorian government. It must be paid locally in cash by each visitor/passenger.
B= breakfast included, L=lunch included, PicL=picnic lunch included, D=Dinner included
All bookings through Voyages GAMSPS Travel, Quebec Licensee.
* Personalized Departure Dates: We can customize any of our trips to begin on a date that is convenient to you. Supplemental charges may apply.