Ecuador: Experience Quito and Galapagos
Our Itineraries are provided as a preview of what to expect on our tours. Please, note, that itineraries are subject to change.
Upon arrival in Quito, you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your hotel.
Today, you are going to visit the capital’s colonial downtown. Declared by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site, Quito invites you to visit its historic and modern treasures. Walk around the Independence Plaza, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Municipality, and the Carondelet Government Palace. Due to its various temples and cloisters, Quito is known as “America’s Cloisters.” You will visit La Compañía Church and the San Francisco Convent. Later on, you will be taken to El Panecillo, a small hill in the middle of the city with a fabulous view of the 45 kilometers long and 4 kilometers wide city and the snow-capped volcanoes. In the afternoon, you will visit the world’s famous Equator, “Mitad del Mundo” is located only 30 minutes from Quito. From here, you can jump from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere. In the 18th century, the French Geodesic Expedition arrived here to perform important researches and investigate the Earth’s actual form. You will also visit the interesting Intiñan Museum where you learn about all the different cultures of Ecuador. The teleferico is an installation of transport that works according to the principle of the sway; it was constructed in the skirts of the Ruccu Pichincha. It is located in the city of Quito to be able to enjoy the beauty of the city, the valleys, the snow-capped mountains, and its entirely natural and ecological environment. Here you will find zones of scattering and amusement, as a park of mechanical attractions, commercial area, small restaurants, amusement, and in general, a site of familiar integration, a place that will be of great attractiveness for both the national visitors and for foreigners.
Early in the morning, after breakfast, you will have the transfer to Quito airport to take Galapagos flight (not included to be booked by agent). Your tour guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Lunch will be served at noon. You will participate in dry landing, hiking, and an educational visit to the Charles Darwin Station. Ecuadorian and foreign scientists work constantly on research and projects for conservation of the Galápagos terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
The visit to South Plaza begins with a dry landing. The rocky trail circumnavigates the island displaying the combination of dry and coastal vegetation zone. The island is home to enormous prickly pear cactus and the endemic succulent Sesuvian. These succulents with almond-shaped leaves are green during the rainy season December-May and become red during the dry season giving the island an unusual appearance. South Plaza has one of the largest populations of land iguanas in the Galapagos. The iguanas seem to be everywhere once you land. These larger than average yellow-brown land iguanas feed on the fruit and pads of the prickly pear cactus. In the afternoon, you have the opportunity to snorkel and swim at Punta Carrion.
After breakfast, you will take a speedboat to Floreana Island. It is one of the oldest islands which allows it to illustrate the aging process of a volcanic island. Unlike the younger western islands, Floreana's volcano extinct for a long time and is in the advanced stages of erosion. The erosion process gave the island the nutrients and soils need to sustain plant life. The combination of this rich soil and a good water supply have given the highlands of Floreana a diversified landscaping of native and introduced flora. Floreana is best known for its history of buccaneers, whalers, convicts, and colonists. In 1793, British whalers established the Post Office Barrel to send letters to and from England. The tradition has continued over the years, and even today visitors may drop off and pick up letters, without stamps, to be carried to far destinations. In the 1930s, Floreana was the setting for intrigue and mystery. A German dentist and his mistress, a young family (the Wittmer family who still live on the island), and a self-styled baroness with three men came to settle on the island. Shortly after the Baroness and her lovers arrived, chaos began. The Baroness and her entourage terrorized the other inhabitants while planning to build a luxury hotel. Eventually, the Baroness, two of her lovers, and the dentist all went missing or dead. There has been much investigation searching for what really happened on Floreana, but there have never been any hard answers. You will return to Santa Cruz Island for overnight
After breakfast, you will embark to North Seymour Island. The island was lifted from the ocean floor by a seismic event and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. Cliffs only a few meters high form the shoreline, where swallow-tailed gulls sit perched on ledges. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stands just above the landing at North Seymour Island, usually without leaves, waiting for the rain to bring them into bloom. Prickly pear cacti are also very common on the edges of cliffs and shores. Lunch will be served at noon. Following lunch, you will go to Mosquera for wet-landing. The islet is located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour. The islet has one of the largest populations of sea lions. There have been occasional reports at this site of orcas. Dinner will be served in the evening.
After breakfast, you will discover the Twin Craters on a short stop before heading to Baltra’s airport for your flight to Quito (not included, to be booked by agent). Upon arrival in Quito, you will be transferred to your hotel for overnight.
Have breakfast before being transferred at the appropriate time to the international airport for your departure.
• Arrival and departure transfers
• 3 nights in Quito at Grand Alameda Mercure Hotel or similar
• 4 nights in Galapagos at Fiesta Hotel or similar
• 15 meals: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners
• Entrance fees: Panecillo Hill, Compania Church, Equator Line Monument, Ethnographic Museum, and cable car
• Visit Galapagos National Park with English speaking guide
• Quito City Tour
• Visit the famous Equator and The Middle of The World
• Go up on the Cable Car “Teleferico”
• Educational visit to Charles Darwin Stable
• Snorkeling and swimming at Punta Carrion
• Full day tour of Floreana Island
• Twin Craters in Santa Cruz
• Private services including local English speaking guide
• Galapagos National Park Tax: $100.00 (USD) to be paid only in cash in Galapagos.
• Domestic flights: Quito - Galapagos - Quito
• Soft Drinks and Alcoholic Beverages
• Snorkeling Equipment
Useful info about our trips