GT – 131 QUITO & GALAPAGOS

gt131

ABOARD THE LUXURY MOTOR CATAMARAN CORMORANT

Eight days / Seven Nights – Includes four day Galapagos cruise
Minimum two persons

Arrival dates in Quito: December 7, 2014, January 18 & February 1, 2015

M/C CORMORANT

The Cormorant Power Motor Catamaran began cruising in the Galapagos Islands on July 31, 2011, featuring an elegant design, spacious air conditioned cabins, each with a private balcony, al fresco dining area for barbeques, and a huge sundeck with a Jacuzzi. This luxury 16 passenger yacht made to navigate the Galapagos Islands is a Smart Voyager Certified. The Cormorant has 10 trained and friendly staff members, plus top bilingual naturalist guide.

DETAILED ITINERARY

DAY 1: Arrival in Quito

Upon arrival meeting, assistance and private transfer from airport to hotel for overnight.
Overnight accommodations Hotel Hilton Colon International

DAY 2: Quito (B)

Colonial City Tour of Quito & Middle of the World Monument
Quito is Latin America’s best preserved colonial district and because of its beauty and history the city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In this tour we will discover its beautiful plazas and through its ancient legends and history we can discover the unique essence of this city. We will visit the Church of La Compañia, the most exquisite example of baroque art and architecture. Then we will continue to the San Francisco Square were the church and monastery of San Francisco witnessed the flowering of this site almost since its foundation. Afterwards, we will then head to Panecillo Hill, where a panoramic view of this charming city awaits you.
After our visit to the colonial district of Quito we will drive to the “Middle of the World”, where the geodesic mission determined in the XVIII Century that the equatorial line divided the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Here you will find the monument marking the latitude 0º 00’ 00” and have the chance to take a photo walking in both hemispheres at the same time. On this tour we will also visit the Intiñan museum where the effects of gravity are altered due to the presence of the equatorial line and you can conduct various experiments to see for yourself.
Overnight accommodations Hotel Hilton Colon International

DAY 3: Otavalo (B/L)

Otavalo Indigenous Handicraft Market + Lunch
We will drive to the north of Ecuador to the city of Otavalo; on the way we will make a short stop to gaze upon the amazing sight of the Cayambe snowed covered peak and the reflection of the Imbabura Mountain in the San Pablo Lake. At Otavalo we will visit the Plaza de los Ponchos, probably the largest indigenous market in South America. Here you can practice your bartering skills to buy beautiful handcrafted souvenirs like tapestries, native paintings, jewelry, hats and the famous alpaca sweaters and much more.
We will stop for lunch at a traditional Andes hacienda and enjoy the beautiful landscape of this province and afterwards we will visit the town of Cotacachi famous for its leather products and handicrafts.
Overnight accommodations Hotel Hilton Colon International

DAY 4: Quito / Galapagos Islands (B/L/D)

Breakfast at hotel. Private transfer hotel to airport for flight to Galapagos. You will arrive at San Cristobal Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim you will be met by Cormorant staff and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.

In the afternoon you’ll be able to enjoy a dinghy ride and snorkeling around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), also known as the Sleeping Lion because of its resemblance. This site is located off the coast of San Cristobal. There are remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea and two vertical rocks rising 500 feet above the ocean which forms a small channel that is navigable by small boats. This Galapagos Island’s natural monument has become a favorite sight for cruises due to the many tropic birds, frigate birds and boobies that fill the surrounding area. Beneath the sea the crystal waters offer a brilliant sight of colorful tropical fish and invertebrates.

KICKER ROCK

Possible Activities: Snorkeling & Dinghy Ride
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: No Landing (Kicker Rock/Leon Dormido)
Highlights: Deep water snorkeling, sharks, tropical fish, turtles, manta rays (occ.), hammerhead shark, spectacular rock formations, sea birds such as Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies & frigatebirds; second best place to snorkel in Galapagos.

DAY 5: Galapagos Islands (B/L/D)

Espanola Island:
Suarez Point & Gardner Bay / Osborn Islet
Española Island is the southernmost island of the Galapagos and is the breeding site of nearly all of the Waved Albatrosses in the entire world. Española is densely populated with mockingbirds, Blue-Footed and Nazca Boobies, Darwin finches, Galapagos doves, hawks, red and green Marine iguanas and colonies of sea lions.

In the morning, we will begin the day at Suarez Point on a trail where you will have the chance to see Blue-footed Boobies, albatrosses and Nazca Boobies. We will also visit a beautiful site on the ocean front where there is a cliff that large albatrosses use as a launching pad! You’ll also have the chance to see the famous blowhole that spurts water into the air. The landscape is great for photography.

SUAREZ POINT
Possible Activities: Hike (1.9 mi / 3 km)
Difficulty: Difficult
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Hood Mockingbird, Nazca Boobies, Waved Albatross, Red-billed tropicbirds, lava lizards, Galapagos Hawk, Blue-footed Boobies, blow hole, amazing landscape.

In the afternoon, we will visit the spectacular Gardner Bay & Osborn Islet. After landing, you can walk across a lovely white sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim with sea lion pups. It is also the breeding site of nearly all of the world’s 12,000 pairs of Waved Albatrosses.

GARDNER BAY & OSBORN ISLET
Possible Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride, kayaking, short hike of (0.6 mi / 1km)
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights & Animals: White sandy beach, sea lions, mockingbirds. Snorkeling: colorful fish and sea lion nursery.

DAY 6: Galapagos Islands (B/L/D)

Floreana Island:
Cormorant Point / Champion Islet & Post Office Bay/ Baroness View Point
We will visit two sites on Floreana Island. Floreana is known for its fabulous snorkeling sites, its vibrantly pink flamingos and its black sand beaches.

We will head to Cormorant Point in the northern part of Floreana. Here, land on a green colored beach from the olivine crystals it is composed of. Enjoy a hike to a salt-water lagoon which is home to flamingos an other sea birds. The trail continues to another beach known as Flour Beach because of the very fine white-sand particles it is made of, it is also really important to turtles that nest there. You will also get to swim in Champion, one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos Islands.

CORMORANT POINT/CHAMPION ISLET
Possible Activities: Hike, Dinghy Ride & Snorkeling (1.2 mi / 2km)
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Sea lions, flamingos, rays, olive crystals, rock formations.

In the afternoon, we will visit the famous Post Office Bay and Baroness View Point. You will land on a beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers once placed a wooden barrel for use as an unofficial mail box. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So, don’t forget your postcards, and don’t be surprised if the post card arrives to its destination before you even get home! Baroness View Point offers spectacular views of the coastline and is a great place to learn more about the endemic Mangroves.

POST OFFICE BAY/BARONESS VIEW POINT
Possible Activities: Short hike (less than 0.6 mi / 1km) & snorkeling, historical views
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Barrel Post Office, nice sandy beach, Mangrove forest, great views of coastline.

DAY 7: Galapagos Islands / Quito (B)

Charles Darwin Station, Santa Cruz Island & Departure
In the morning we start at the Charles Darwin Station- Breeding Center “Fausto Llerena” home to turtles ranging from 4-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Here you will observe the various sub-species of turtles interacting with each other, and possibly with you. Many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans, and will stretch out their heads for a pet. The babies are only kept until they are about four years old, or large enough to survive in the wild. These conservation efforts continue to be extremely successful.

CHARLES DARWIN STATION
Possible Activities: Walking, rocky beach to observe iguanas and crabs, interaction with tortoises
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights & Animals: Giant Tortoises, land and Marine iguanas, variety of birds

After this final visit, you will be transferred to Baltra’s airport in time to catch your flight back to the mainland. Please keep in mind that on departure days, your morning visit will be early and short since we need to be prepared before heading back toward the airport for your returning flight to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito assistance and transfer to hotel for overnight.
Overnight accommodations Hotel Hilton Colon International

DAY 8: Depart Quito (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. Private transfer to airport on time for your flight departure to your next destination.
Galapagos itineraries and activities subject to change without prior notice. Depending on weather conditions and water currents, some wildlife described above may not be visible.

RATE PER PERSON BASED ON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY: $4,150.00

INCLUDES:

Round trip air Miami/Quito/Galapagos/Quito/Miami via LAN Ecuador.
Four day / three night cruise aboard the luxury Motor Catamaran Cormorant based on double occupancy. Fully escorted daily tours to islands by naturalist guides as per itinerary. All meals during the cruise. Briefings. Round trip transfers between airport in Galapagos and cruise.
Four night hotel accommodations at the deluxe Hilton Colon International Hotel. Daily breakfast. Private transfers between airport in Quito and hotel.
Private fully escorted tours with English speaking guides in Quito: Colonial city tour and Middle of the World. Full day Otavalo Indigenous Handicraft Market + Lunch.

NOT INCLUDED:

Galapagos National Park entrance fees – $110.00 per person. International air fuel surcharges approximately $120.00 per person and subject to change. Land services, tours and meals not indicated in itinerary. Tips and gratuities to drivers, guides and cruise crew. Expenses of personal nature.

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

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