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Galapagos and Ecuador
In Ecuador you can find an active volcano, lush Amazon rain forest or traditional Indian culture, but it is also well known for the islands of Galapagos, which are considered as one of the best wildlife safaris on the planet. Unique fauna and flora and absolutely fearless animals allow you to experience local wildlife from few centimetres! You can choose a 4, 5 or 8 day cruise around Galapagos and a boat which matches your standards. With personal experience and a wide offer of tours we are ready to meet any of your expectations.
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Luxury Galapagos Package, 11 days


Cost: from $ 5.490 AUD
Flights: local flights INCLUDED
Duration: 11 days
Departure: all year long (Sundays and Wednesdays)
Location: Galapagos Islands, Quito (Ecuador)

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Tour Description

A unique experience! Short stay in Quito and 8-day-long cruise on a boat which provides the highest standards of luxury and comfort. All cabins feature private facilities, locker and closet, air conditioned. It also carries snorkelling equipment, wetsuits, sea kayaks, etc. As declared by the famous marine explorer Jacques Cousteau, "Galapagos is the last wildlife sanctuary". It is a place where animals do not fear humans, making it a natural paradise and haven for naturalists wishing to escape a busy and noisy outside world. Come to see for yourself iguanas, giant tortoises, turtles or flightless cormorants. A superb experience is waiting for you when you choose this package!

Itinerary

Day 1 - Quito – arrival
After arriving to Ecuador we will take you to a hotel to relax. The rest of the day is at leisure. Night in the hotel.

Day 2 – Quito City Tour (B)
We will take you after breakfast to this magnificent city for an excursion. The tour starts on the city's central square (Plaza de La Independencia) and a show-around in the Cathedral. Then we continue to the Presidential Palace, Archbishop Cathedral and an old town hall. A bit further well-known La Compaňía de Jesus with its beautifully decorated interior will enchant you. Church and Convent of St. Francis is our next stop. Here you can admire unique frescoes, the atrium and baroque interior. This old "downtown" is the historical centre where there are beautiful works of architecture. Our last visit is to Panecillo, a hill that is a natural lookout having an impressive panoramic view of Quito and the surrounding valleys. Return to the hotel.

Day 3 – Quito – Galapagos - Plazas Island (B, L, D)
Flight to Galapagos to Baltra Island where you will start your cruise aboard the yacht after a short drive to the harbour. Welcome to the Galapagos Islands of volcanic origin! You set out first of all to two small islets that were formed a short distance from the East Coast of Santa Cruz, Plaza Island. Despite its small size, some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the archipelago occur here. The principal attractions of Plazas are the land iguanas, sea lions and swallow–tailed gulls. It is possible to observe land iguanas relaxing in the shade of cactus plants and swallow-tailed gulls nesting on the rugged southern cliffs. And that’s not all as the protected rocky seashore is a prime habitat for a large colony of noisy sea lions. Also we will be able to see yellow – tailed mullets, Audubon’s shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds, and brown pelicans gliding past the cliffs.

Day 4 – San Cristobal Island, Lobos Island (B, L, D)
Today you make a stop at San Cristobal Island. The interpretation centre gives a very good introduction to the Galapagos Islands; its marine and land life fauna and flora. The second highlight of the day, a trip to Tijeretas Hill takes approximately 20-40 minutes. Once there, visitors are treated to a spectacular view of the white beaches on one side and the roofs of Puerto Baquerizo on the other. The hill is named after the Frigate birds who frequent the area. Here you will be able to see both the Magnificent Frigate birds and Great Frigate birds in the same colony so this is the perfect place to compare and learn to distinguish them. The afternoon programme is at Lobos Island. This small islet, located only an hour by boat from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, is separated from the main island by a narrow stretch of calm water. Upon its rocky shores blue-footed boobies nest and sea lions rest. The atmosphere is one of tranquillity and primitive beauty and reveals a very typical Galapagos environment.

Day 5 – Española Island (B, L, D)
This day is devoted to Española Island. Gardner Bay is an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming and observing sea lions. Here we will also have the opportunity to observe sharks in the crystal-clear ocean waters. Rocky land-point Punta Suarez sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galápagos. Along its southern shore, high cliffs rise up from the sea allowing the visitor spectacular views of soaring birds and of the blow hole, a lava tube where water can spout up to 75 feet into the air depending on the intensity of the surf.

Day 6– Floreana Island (B, L, D)
Cormorant Point offers one of the largest and best flamingo lagoons in the Galapagos. It is situated between two tuff cones, giving the area its special atmosphere. This is a unique zone due to the huge amount of endemic plant life. It is also very interesting to observe the two distinct beaches: the “green sand beach (due to high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour sand beach” made up of coral. At the Post Office Bay you may drop a letter or postcard in a wooden barrel, historically placed there in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. Ever since this time the barrel has been used by mariners and tourists as a sort of postal service. Whalers and Galapagos residents used to leave their mail inside it, waiting for the captain of any boat headed to where the mail was addressed to deliver it… Why not try it out to see if it still works? You can often snorkel with turtles here or visit the lava tube inland.

Day 7 – Santa Cruz Island (B, L, D)
The highlands of Santa Cruz have incredible zones of vegetations. You will visit The Charles Darwin Research Station which is formed from an information centre, a museum, a library and a tortoise breeding station. In the tortoise breeding station you can encounter tortoises of different subspecies, which are being prepared for reintroduction to their natural habitats. The most popular inhabitant of this Station is probably the Lonesome George turtle. In the afternoon you set out further inland to see giant turtles in wild.

Day 8 – Santiago Island (B, L, D)
You will admire unbelievable beauty of the Santiago Island. Chinese Hat (Sombrero Chino) - is a tiny island just off the south-eastern tip of Santiago Island and is less than a quarter of 1 sq km in size. It is a recently-formed volcanic cone and its descriptive name accounts for the fact that it appears to take the shape of a downward-facing Chinese hat. Opposite Sombrero Chino, on the rocky shoreline, Galapagos penguins and eagle rays are often seen. The island is home to a large sea lion colony and plenty of marine iguanas who cover the volcanic landscape. There are some excellent snorkelling opportunities in the cove. Afterwards, the excursion to Puerto Egas with its black sand beaches leads to one of the most rewarding visits of the Galapagos. The island was the site of a small salt mining industry, one of several unsuccessful attempts to commercialize the Galapagos. A hike inland to the salt crater is an excellent opportunity to see land birds such as finches, doves, and hawks. A walk along the rugged shoreline, especially at low tide, will allow us to observe many marine species as iguanas bask on the rocks and sea lions laze in the tide pools. At the end of the trail there is a series of grottoes or sea caves where fur seals and night herons are regularly found resting on the shady ledges. For many, this is the only opportunity to see the Galapagos fur seal, once thought to be on the verge of extinction.

Day 9 – Santiago Island, Bartolome Island (B, L, D)
In the morning after breakfast a panga ride in Sullivan Bay is waiting for you. You will have plenty of time for observing birds and local lava creations. Afterwards, you continue today to the Bartolome Island. It offers the possibility to climb to the summit, from where visitors can observe a variety of volcanic formations including lava bombs, spatter and cinder cones, lava flows and lava tubes. The moon like landscape provides one of the most scenic panoramas in the archipelago. And you also have the chance to relax on a beautiful beach, which offers great snorkelling opportunities. Multi –coloured fish and occasionally penguins and sea turtles have been here.

Day 10 – Santa Cruz (B, L)
The deserted, picturesque beach Las Bachas at the northern shore of Santa Cruz invites you for a swim in the crystal-clear water or to relax in the sun. Afterwards you will be visiting the bay Caleta Tortuga Negra which is close by. This bay is surrounded by mangroves where you can spot pelicans and herons. While snorkeling you can have a swim with turtles, white-tip sharks and rays. In the afternoon you will say goodbye to these magnificent islands where it seems the time has stopped and you will be taken to the Baltra airport for your return flight to Quito. Here you will be transferred to the hotel for your last night.

Day 11 - Quito – flight out (B)
Transfer to the airport after breakfast, for your flight home. End of our services.

Package Inclusions

Return flight ticket Quito – Galapagos;

7 Nights accommodation on a boat (in twin cabins); 8 Day long Galapagos cruise; Full board on the boat (alcoholic drinks excluded); All services, transfers and excursions detailed on the programme; Professional Local English speaking guide; Snorkelling; Taxes. 3 Nights accommodation in a 4-star hotel in Quito with breakfast; City Tour in Quito with a guide; Domestic flight tickets.

(B – breakfast, L – lunch, D – dinner)

Price per person (2 people in double/twin room)

Package Exclusions

Tips; Insurance; Personal expenses; Galapagos National Park Entrance fee 100 USD; Optional Excursions.

Supplements

Single supplement – contact us for details

Upgrade to Deluxe Suite - $ 610 AUD

Extend your stay in Quito with optional day tours - please ask for more details

Note

This package is also available also in 8 day version (5 day cruise at Galapagos)

The price is subject to availability and actual airfare cost.


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