This tour combines colonial Quito with a four day Galapagos Islands cruise on the Galapagos Legend, a 100 passenger deluxe expedition ship that offers the comforts and amenities of a larger cruise liner. It is air conditioned throughout, and features 57 cabins with lower beds, private bathroom, LCD TV, and safe. The ship’s spacious social areas include a pool, Jacuzzi, Fisherman’s Bar, observation decks, al fresco dining areas, a spacious passenger lounge, dining room, boutique, library, and conference room. Wet suits ($25) can be rented on board.
Activities: Cultural/historical sightseeing, wildlife viewing, hiking, snorkeling, and kayaking.
Note: The route and program may vary according to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety reasons and wildlife encounters.
Dry Landing: Guests step from the dinghy directly onto rocks or a dock.
Wet Landing: As the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into knee-deep water and wade ashore.
Day 1: Quito
Depart to Quito. After passing through immigration and customs, proceed to the reception area, where our representative will be holding a sign with your name on it. You will be greeted and then transferred to your hotel.
Day 2: City Tour of Quito/Middle of the World
In the morning, you will have a city tour of Quito. You will explore the bustling streets and squares of the largest historical centre in the Americas, and visit some of its most important churches such as the majestic La Compania and iconic San Francisco, guardians of a stunning multi-ethnic artistic and cultural heritage. You will drive through the traditional neighborhood of San Juan and finish the morning at the Panecillo hillside, with its breathtaking views of the old and modern parts of the city.
Following the city tour, you will be driven to the Middle of the World City complex, which is located 11 miles north of Quito. Here, you will see the monument of the equatorial line, a 98 foot high stone trapezoidal monument with a brass globe on top. The monument forms the focal point of a park and leisure area with gift shops and restaurants. Overnight in Quito.
Day 3: Quito/Baltra Airport/Mosquera Islet
Morning transfer to the airport in Quito for the flight to Galapagos. Passengers are picked up at the airport by our guides and taken on a ten minute bus ride to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.
Mosquera Islet (wet landing) is located between North Seymour and Baltra Islands. It is a flat, sandy island that has a large colony of sea lions and is an excellent site for observing shorebirds such as herons and Lava Gulls. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock. Overnight aboard the ship.
Day 4: South Plaza (Plaza)/Santa Fe
South Plaza. Dry landing on the northern part of the Islet. The walk starts with an impressive cactus forest surrounded by land and marine iguanas. Reaching the highest spot, it’s possible to see tropic birds and a bachelor sea lions colony. There is a large colony of land iguanas, with a population of approximately 300 individuals. They feed on all kinds of vegetation, but during the dry season survive on the fruits and flowers of Opuntia cacti. Due to their proximity with marine iguanas, this is the only place on Earth where you can find the Galapagos hybrid iguana.
Santa Fe. Wet landing on a white sand beach surrounded by a sea lion colony. You will continue walking through an endemic cactus forest in order to find the endemic Santa Fe land iguana, which are the largest in the islands, and a paler color. This island is home to a number of endemic species like the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Snake, rice rats, a variety of finches, and one of the four species of Galapagos mockingbirds. Option for deep water snorkeling. Overnight aboard the Galapagos Legend.
Day 5: Pitt Point/Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal)
Pitt Point. Wet landing followed by a high intensity hike on rocky terrain. The trail includes an olivine beach of 90 meters long and a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff, through several magnificent viewpoints. This is probably the only site where the three booby species of the Galapagos can be seen together. Nazca, Blue-footed, and Red-footed; as well as two species of frigatebirds and a sea lion colony. It is also excellent for dinghy rides and for snorkeling, where a good range of sea birds can be observed.
Cerro Brujo (wet landing) is an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of AA lava formations, and a beautiful white sand beach, great for snorkeling and sunbathing. You also visit a lagoon where migratory bird species can be scene: Black-necked Stilts, Ruddy Turnstones, Whimbrels, other sandpiper species, and White-cheeked Pintail. This spot offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal, and the adjacent coast. Overnight aboard the Galapagos Legend.
Day 6: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno/Cerro Colorado (San Cristobal)/San Cristobal Airport/Quito
Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno which is the capital of the Galapagos Islands. Passengers will visit the Cerro Colorado Giant Tortoise Breeding Center to learn about the National Park’s conservation programs. Passengers will also have the opportunity to visit the port village, have a drink, or shop for arts and crafts and other souvenirs.
After the visit you will go straight to the airport for your return flight to Quito. You will be greeted and then transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Quito.
Day 7: Quito
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to your final destination.