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Signature Galapagos

11 Days FROM USD 7,213

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Overview

This 11-day in-depth Quito and Galapagos Island adventure will see you exploring the western archipelago of the Galapagos Islands and experiencing the highlights of Quito and surrounds in style, with first-class accommodation. This package has been handcrafted by locals to present the best that Ecuador has to offer international visitors.  

Your base in Quito will be the Illa Experience Hotel, a boutique 5-star hotel located in the city's old town and is the perfect base to explore the best sights and attractions the city has to offer. Each day there are organised day tours to take you outside of the Captial to visit the centre of the world - the Equator line and one of South America's largest and most famous indigenous markets, Otavalo. This market is a favourite for travellers visiting Ecuador and is not to be missed. Mix with the locals and gain an insight into the captivating and local indigenous culture, while picking up souvenirs, gifts and a Panama hat to help protect you in the sun in your next destination - The Galapagos Islands. 

Your home in the Galapagos will be onboard the Seaman Journey, a first-class catamaran with a maximum occupancy of 16 passengers. This small and luxurious catamaran will give you access to remote and hard to access areas where lizards swim, birds walk, and humans don't take centre stage. Snorkel at Mangle Point and enjoy a zodiac ride through the grove of mangrove trees. Discover sea lions, rays, large marine iguanas and unique species like the flightless cormorant and Galapagos penguin at Espinoza Point – this is one of the most impressive areas of the Galapagos, with its high cliffs, ash and lava formations. At Tagus Cove, a favourite for pirates and whalers, you will find inscriptions of boat names dating to the 1800s. The final day will involve a visit to Bachas Beach, a favourite nesting site for sea turtles, where you can also spot abandoned barges from the Second World War.

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Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ECSJGALC

Travel Style: Personalised Itinerary & Small Ship Cruise

Location: Quito, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands

Ship: Galapagos Seaman Journey

CRUISE ITINERARY

On arrival, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. This service includes a driver and local English speaking guide, who will provide you with any useful information needed for your stay. He/she will be holding a sign with your name on it.

Should you not be able to locate them, please refer to the front of your itinerary for emergency contact details of our representative office.

Arrival transfer in Quito

Sitting at 2,850 metres above sea level high in the Andean foothills lies Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The city, a short distance from the Equator and with an amazing backdrop of snow-capped mountains, is known for its stunning colonial architecture and art-work. Founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city, Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centres in the Americas. It was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1978.

Quito

This morning you will be collected from your hotel to commence a colonial city tour of Quito exploring the bustling streets and squares of the largest historical old town in the Americas. Visit some of its most important churches such as the majestic La Compañía and iconic San Francisco which have stunning multi-ethnic designs and cultural heritage. We then travel by road to the Equatorial Monument, 25km (16 miles) north of Quito, which marks the exact middle of the World, Latitude 0º, where you can stand with a foot on each hemisphere. A certificate for having crossed the Equator is issued to each guest. The surrounding, volcanic scenery is stunning and you can choose to either visit the Ethnographic Museum or the Inti Ñan Museum, both located near the site of the monument. On completion of the tour, you will be returned to your hotel. Please note this is a private tour that includes a local English speaking guide.

Quito - City Tour and the Equator

Departsouth from Quito to visit Cotopaxi National Park. Cotopaxi (5,943 m)is the highest active volcano in the world. Despite the altitude, the Park is home to numerous birds and varied plant life. Northeast lies Rumiñahui(4,557 m) and between the two mountains the plain and lagoon of Limpiopungo (3800m approx.). If weather permits, from the north face we may have spectacular views of the mountain. The surrounding scenery also includes volcanoes like Pasochoa, Ruminahui and Sincholagua, Lunch is included at a restaurant at the base of the mountain. The tour also includes a visit to an indigenous market nearby.
You will be returned to your hotel in Quito at the end of the tour.

Full Day Cotapaxi National Park Excursion with Lun

AM: Flight to Galapagos / Ranch Mazanillo
Take a morning flight to the Galapagos from Quito Airport. The flight from Quito to the Galapagos is 4 hours, stopping at Guayaquil on route. On arrival at Baltra Airport you will be met by your naturalist guides who will collect your luggage and transport you to Ranch Mazanillo. Here you will be able to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat.

NOTE: Travellers pass through an airport inspection point to ensure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands and to pay the Galapagos Islands National Park Entrance Fee. This is currently US$100 per person but subject to change. The visit to Ranch Mazanillo includes a picnic lunch and a short walk before you board the Seaman Journey, where you will be welcomed by our crew.

PM: Santa Cruz Highlands
Journeying across Santa Cruz into the highlands, you will be delighted by the island's variety of life and geology. Beginning at the coast and travelling across Santa Cruz the road departs from Puerto Ayora climbing through the agricultural lands and into the mist covered forests. Santa Cruz possesses all the various life zones present in the archipelago. As you travel through these zones’ bird-watching enthusiast will be enchanted. Whether it's the bright red feathers of a vermillion flycatcher or one of Darwin's finches, almost every bird present in the Galapagos can be found here.

Santa Cruz also offers excellent opportunities for viewing and tracking wild Galapagos tortoises. There are also plenty of lava tubes, sinkholes and craters to explore. Theses eerie formations offer a fascinating insight into the volcanic make-up of the island.

Fly to the Galapagos - Santa Cruz Highlands

AM: Mangle Point, Fernandina Island
Mangle Point lies off the eastern coast of Fernandina and is a superior snorkelling site and a beautiful location for riding in a panga or Zodiac through a forest of mangrove trees. You are likely to see penguins, sea lions, pelicans, rays, marine iguanas and numerous birds.

PM: Punta Moreno
Punta Moreno is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between Sierra Negra Volcano and Cerro Azul Volcano. A trail runs along a pahoehoe lava flow (solidified lava with a smooth, shiny or swirled surface), into a complex of coastal lagoons. The main attractions are several species of birds that can be found around the lakes and mangroves. Three species of cactus are also found here.

Fernandina Island

AM: Urbina Bay, Isabela Island
Urbina Bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast of Isabela Island, between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. The most unique feature at Urbina Bay resulted from a major uplift of the island in 1954, when a 6km stretch of coral reef rose up 5 metres, leaving marine life stranded on the new shore and coral exposed on the land. Urbina Bay has a path that starts at the beach where a wet landing is made, and takes you through the sand, pumice, lava, coral and vegetation. Flightless cormorants, pelicans, Darwin’s finches, giant tortoises and land and marine iguanas can be seen on land, whilst rays and turtles can be seen in the bay. It is an ideal place to see red and blue lobsters and a great place for snorkelling. There is also a large amount of interesting vegetation including chamomile and rosewood, as well as the beautiful flowers of the Galapagos or Darwin’s cotton, endemic to the Galapagos Islands.

PM: Tagus Cove
Tagus Cove is located west of Darwin Volcano on Isabela Island. Its name originated from a British warship that went through the islands in 1814 looking for the Galapagos tortoise for food. This was a favourite spot for pirates and whalers who etched their names into the cliffs and inside caves. Due to explosive eruptions that have occurred at the site, the substrate has a large amount of volcanic rocks of different sizes. Among the most common are small spherically shaped balls known as the "lapilli" or petrified rain.

A short, steep hike brings you past Darwin Lake, a deep saltwater lake and a great spot for viewing land birds such as ground and tree finches, hawks, large-billed flycatchers, yellow warblers and sometimes the woodpecker finch.

Isabela Island

AM: Espinoza Point, Fernandina Island
Espinoza Point is famous for its large colonies of marine iguanas and as the habitat of species such as the flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguin, Galapagos hawk and Galapagos snake. Other attractions include sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Espinoza Point is one of the best places to see the lava cactus. La Cumbre volcano dominates the landscape.

PM: Punta Vicente Roca
This is one of the most impressive and spectacular places in the enchanting Galapagos Islands, with high cliffs, tuff stone, ash and lava formations giving the area a majestic touch. Located on the north-western coast of the island, this large bay has a spectacular marine life with seahorses, sea turtles and the strange yet fascinating mola-mola or sunfish. It is a great place for snorkelling. It is common to see ‘’feeding frenzies” with groups of whales, dolphins, sea lions, tuna, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, pelicans and other marine birds all feeding simultaneously.

Fernandina Island

AM: Playa Espumilla, Santiago Island
Espumilla Beach is located on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. The beach is an important site for nesting marine turtles. A walk through the mangrove forest leads to a lagoon usually inhabited by a group of flamingos as well as pintail ducks and common stilts.

PM: Puerto Egas, Santiago Island
It's black beach is located on the west side of the island
and is the main attraction of the island. Their volcanic tuff deposits have favoured the formation of this special black sand beach. This site is called Puerto Egas, because there was an attempt to start the exploitation of salt, which failed because the price of salt in the continent was very cheap, and did not justify its exploitation in Galapagos. The project was abandoned and the infrastructure was left abandoned.

Santiago Island

AM: Rabida Island
Rabida Island is unique because of the red colour of the rocks and sand. The volcanic material in this island is extremely porous and external factors such as rain, salt water and sea breeze have acted as an oxidizing agents.

A short walk along a trail leads you to a coastal lagoon behind the beach where you can observe land birds such as finches, doves, yellow warblers and mockingbirds. At the lagoon there is a colony of flamingos.

PM: Chinese Hat
Sombrero Chino is a small islet (1 sq km) located just off the south eastern tip of Santiago Island and composed of delicate lava and spatter cones. It is a recent volcanic cone, shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from the north side. It is an excellent site for interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. The landscape is covered by sea lion colonies, marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins.

Rabida / Chinese Hat

AM: Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island
Santiago, also called James, or San Salvador Island, is located in the western central part of the Galapagos archipelago. It is the fourth largest island in the archipelago (following Isabela, Fernandina and Santa Cruz). Along with some of the large western volcanoes of Isabela and Fernandina, Santiago is also volcanically active, with many young flows and cones to be seen, particularly along the south, west and east coasts. A number of historic eruptions have been reported over the last 2 centuries. Lava is the main focus of the visit here with reddish-yellow tuff cones standing out in the middle of the lava flow and tiny Mollugo plants growing out of the fissures.

PM: Bartolome Island
Bartolome Island is situated across from Sullivan Bay. It has an altitude of 114 metres and is famous for its distinctive Pinnacle Rock. From the island’s summit there are spectacular views of Pinnacle Rock, the vast black lava flows at Sullivan Bay and the rest of Santiago Island. There are volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields and lava flows. There is very little vegetation on this island but the tequila plant grows here as does the lava cactus. Marine turtles are found here as well as a very small colony of Galapagos penguins.

Santiago Island / Bartolome Island

AM: Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island
Bachas Beach is found to the west of Turtle Cove. The sandy white-coral beach is a major nesting site for sea turtles. There is a small lagoon behind the beach where it is possible to observe flamingos and other birds such as black-necked stilts, white-cheeked pintail ducks and whimbrels. There are the remains of a floating dock and old abandoned barges used by the Americans during WWII to be found here.

After the morning excursion you will be taken to Baltra Airport for your flight back to the mainland.

Santa Cruz Island - Departure back to Mainland
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Round off your Ecuador adventure with our 4 day / 3 night Amazon Lodge Ecuador extension package and experience two of the world's best natural experinces. The Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and covers 40% of South America and can easily be accessed from Quito. After visiting the arid environment of the Galapagos, experience a complete contrast by discovering the incredible biodiversity of the world's largest rainforests. 

Pricing per person & date

Signature Galapagos from USD 6,491
Departing Ending Duration
07 Jun 2022 17 Jun 2022 11
21 Jun 2022 01 Jul 2022 11
05 Jul 2022 15 Jul 2022 11
19 Jul 2022 29 Jul 2022 11
02 Aug 2022 12 Aug 2022 11
16 Aug 2022 26 Aug 2022 11
30 Aug 2022 09 Sep 2022 11
13 Sep 2022 23 Sep 2022 11
27 Sep 2022 07 Oct 2022 11
11 Oct 2022 21 Oct 2022 11
25 Oct 2022 04 Nov 2022 11
08 Nov 2022 18 Nov 2022 11
22 Nov 2022 02 Dec 2022 11
06 Dec 2022 16 Dec 2022 11
20 Dec 2022 30 Dec 2022 11

Important Information

  • INCLUSIONS

    1 free night in Quito / Illa Experience hotel Luxury room
    $100 USD on board credit
    Discounted Round trip flight to/from Galapagos (USD 495pp)
    Airport assistance (Quito or Guayaquil, if flights are booked through LT)
    Galapagos National Park Entrance fee USD 100, oo p/p
    Galápagos Ingala card USD 20,00 p/p
    Transfers in Galapagos
    Accommodation on board in double cabin
    All meals during the cruise
    Naturalist Bilingual Guide level III
    All visits and excursions according to the itinerary
    Snorkel Gear (mask, tube and fins)
    Kayaks
    Unlimited purified water, coffee and tea

    Mainland services
    English speaking guide + private transportation
    Tours and airport transfers as listed on the program
    Hotel accommodations as listed on the program subject to availability
    Meals as listed B: breakfast. L: lunch and D: dinner.

    EXCLUSIONS

    Negative PCR test for Covid-19 (taken 96 hours before the departure)
    Local Taxes
    Travel Insurance
    Personal expenses and tips
    Alcoholic drinks
    Items not specified
    Additional visits
    Additional meals

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available on request. Contact us for more details.

  • Season and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will piece together one of our Signature packages and customise your travel plans by adding extension packages.

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.

4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.

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