GT-113 – QUITO & THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS ON THE M/V SANTA CRUZ

NINE DAYS / EIGHT NIGHTS
Includes 6 day Galapagos Islands cruise – Western Islands – (Wednesday – Monday)

2014 Arrival Dates in Quito: September 29, October 13 & December 8, 2014

ITINERARY

DAY 1: Monday – Miami / Quito

Meeting and assistance and private transfer from airport to hotel. Assistance with hotel check in.
Hotel accommodations at the Hilton Colon International

DAY 2: Tuesday – Quito City Tour

Breakfast. Half day city tour of modern and colonial Quito.
Hotel accommodations at the Hilton Colon International(B)

DAY 3: Wednesday – Quito / Galapagos Islands

Breakfast. Escorted transfer to airport for your flight to Galapagos. We arrive by plane at Baltra Island and transfer to the dock to board the M/V Santa Cruz where we receive our welcome introductory briefing and lunch.

North Seymour Island
This is a great introductory site to the islands and their wildlife, full of bird colonies of blue footed boobies, two species of frigate birds, swallow tailed gulls, as well as sea lions and marine
iguanas. (B/L/D)

DAY 4: Thursday – Galapagos Islands

Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island)
After breakfast, we explore the coast by panga, while our naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area, nesting place for a Galápagos highlight: flightless cormorants. Depending on weather conditions, we can snorkel along the cliffs of this area rich in marine life, seasonally-visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sun fish (Mola mola)

Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
The afternoon is dedicated to exploring the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina, which, having no introduced mammals, boasts a very unique environment with a very high density of marine iguanas, who share their space with sea lions, Sally light-foot crabs, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorant. Following our walk, weather permitting, we can go snorkeling. (B/L/D)

DAY 5: Friday – Galapagos Islands

Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
After breakfast, we land at this cove on the northwest of Isabela. It provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. An uphill hike takes guests to the rim of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water and to a dramatic viewpoint. After our walk, we take a panga ride to spot local wildlife, with the possibility of swimming or snorkelling.

Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)
After lunch we disembark at Urbina Bay, the fascinating result of an uplifting of the ocean in 1954. Here we can admire corals, shells and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. First we enjoy a snorkel from the beach, with the chance of swimming with flightless cormorants and penguins. This are is also home to a large and very colourful Galápagos land iguanas, and occasionally to giant tortoises. We return back on board for our expedition plan for Saturday and dinner. (B/L/D)

DAY 6: Saturday – Galapagos Islands

Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)
In the morning, we disembark (dry landing) for our visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Following our visit, we board our transport to enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem.

Santa Cruz Island
We have several options available for the afternoon, which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader:

  1. Trek along trails amid miconia forest in the highlands, home to many elusive birds including the dark-rumped petrel.
  2. Mountain bike (mostly downhill) to Garrapatero Beach.
  3. Sea kayak and relax on a beautiful, sandy beach.
  4. Experience sustainable agriculture in an organic coffee plantation.

At the end of the afternoon’s activities, we return to Puerto Ayora and embark on the M/V Santa Cruz. (B/L/D)

DAY 7: Sunday – Galapagos Islands

Post Office Bay and Baroness Cove (Floreana Island)
A short walk leads us to the historic barrel where postcards are traditionally left for guests from other vessels to hand-deliver to their destinations. Near Post Office Bay, we explore the north shore of Floreana along narrow channels teeming with life. After a wet landing and a short walk, we reach Baroness Cove where all will be revealed about the fascinating “murder mystery” on Floreana. We then head back on board for lunch.

Champion Islet and Cormorant Point (Floreana Island)
Following lunch and a siesta, we take to the pangas and glass-bottom boat to explore the underwater wonders around volcanic Champion Islet, regarded as one of the best snorkelling spots in the archipelago. From there, it´s on to Cormorant Point, beginning with a wet landing on the olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk that includes a brackish water lagoon where bird species such as greater flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and others gather. We continue our walk over to a white-sand beach, where sea turtles emerge from the sea at night to nest (from December to May). (B/L/D)

DAY 8: Monday Depart Galapagos Islands

We disembark at Baltra Island in order to transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. Transfer to the airport to take the flight back to Quito. Assistance and escorted transfer to hotel for overnight (B)
Hotel accommodations at the Hilton Colon International

DAY 9: Tuesday – Depart Quito

Breakfast. Escorted transfer to airport for your return flight to Miami or your next destination. (B)

  • Dry landing: guests step from the dinghy onto rocks or a dock.
  • Wet landing: as the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into knee-deep water and wade ashore

IMPORTANT NOTE:

The itineraries and program are subject to change without prior notice, due mainly to adjustments in the policies and regulations of the Galápagos National Park, weather conditions, seasonal changes and safety reasons.

RATE PER PERSON BASED ON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY: $3,190.00

RATE INCLUDES:

Round trip air Quito/Galapagos/Quito (Including the new fuel surcharges)
Six day cruise aboard the M/V Santa Cruz based on Main Deck double occupancy. Daily fully escorted tour to islands as per itinerary by English speaking naturalist guides. All meals during the cruise. Three nights at the Hilton Colon International Hotel based on double occupancy. Daily breakfast and hotel taxes. Quito city tour. All transfers in Quito on private basis. Transfers in Galapagos between airport and cruise.

NOT INCLUDED:

International air from USA quoted separately on request.Please check with us on our special roundtrip air fares from Miami or from over 50 cities in the USA. Galapagos National Park entrance fees $110 per person. Land services, tours not indicated in itinerary. Meals not indicated in itinerary. Gratuities and tips to guides. Expenses of personal nature.

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G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843

Send us a Message

ENQUIRE NOW

We will be happy to answer your questions or comments.

G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843

Send us a Message

ENQUIRE NOW

We will be happy to answer your questions or comments.

G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843