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Quito and Galapagos

10 days from £2595pp plus international flights.

If it's your dream to see the stunning and unique Galapagos Islands, but you don't really have time to see much of mainland Ecuador, this is the right trip for you. 

We've priced this on one of our superior tourist class yachts, the Cachalote, but it's no problem to do this same itinerary with any other yacht. Perhaps you've seen a different yacht which has caught your eye!

It's nice to see a bit of Quito since you've come all this way, so the first couple of days are spent discovering this capital. Then you fly off to the Galapagos Islands which you reach within about 4 hours. 

Joining your yacht, you set off to explore the unique and captivating wildlife of this incredible archipelago.  Meeting blue-footed boobies, marvelling at the displays of magnificent frigatebirds, swimming with sealions, being roundly ignored by marine iguanas, passing the time of day with an ancient giant tortoise ... the Galapagos Islands really are like nowhere else on earth.


Itinerary
Quito

DAY 1: QUITO

Arrive in Quito airport, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free, for you to relax after your flight or explore, as you wish. 
Quito

DAY 2: QUITO

This morning you have a guided city tour. Quito is a city of two halves - old and new - with each having its attractions. Quito is also a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, and so modern building is now strictly controlled. 
The afternoon is at leisure. It's a great place to go shopping, either in the markets or perhaps some of the shops selling Ecuadorian crafts and art in the new town too. Breakfast.   
Cachalote yacht, Galapagos

DAY 3: QUITO TO THE GALAPAGOS

How exciting! It's the day you head for the Galapagos! 
We will take you to the airport for the roughly 4 hour flight to Baltra. On arrival you will be taken to your home for the next 8 days, Cachalote. Up to 16 guests can stay on the Cachalote which is a comfortable superior tourist class yacht.
This afternoon we visit the highlands or Charles Darwin Centre on Santa Cruz. You will be able to make the acquaintance of the giant Galapagos tortoise today. We may as well start the trip with a highlight! 
Breakfast, dinner.
Sombrero Chino, Galapagos

DAY 4: SOMBRERO CHINO & RABIDA

Today you visit the island of Sombrero Chino (meaning Chinese hat). Bright Sally lightfoot crabs shine out against the black rock and this is also a great spot for snorkelling with seals. With a bit of luck you might even see penguins here.  
Later we head for Rabida with its red sandy beach often full of sealions. 
Full board.
Flamingoes on Isabela, Galapagos

DAY 5: ISABELA - SIERRA NEGRA

Isabela is the largest of the islands and has various interesting landing sites. Today we will visit the small port town of Puerto Vilamil, and nearby Tintoretas where we hope to see white-tipped sharks, penguins, marine turtles and iguanas. 
Sierra Negra is the world's second largest volcanic caldera. We set off from Vilamil to see some of this volcano.
Full board.
Giant tortoise, Galapagos

DAY 6: ISABELA - PUNTA MORENO & ELIZABETH BAY

Still on Isabela, we head for Punta Moreno and Elizabeth Bay. The beautifully-sculpted rocky shores around here are home to a big colony of Galapagos penguins, so cross fingers we see them today! Inland at Punta Moreno, the pools and lagoons attract flamingoes, herons, ducks. 
Brown pelicans just love the mangroves here, and keep your eyes out for golden rays, flightless cormorants and sea turtles. 
Full board.
Marine Iguana, Galapagos

DAY 7: ISABELA - URBINA BAY & TAGUS COVE

Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove are our Isabela destinations today. Urbina Bay is geologically fascinating, showing as it does an 'uplifted' area of land. It is also home to tortoises, penguins, flightless cormorants and brown pelicans. 
We get to Tagus Cove through a cold channel where dolphins and whales are often seen, and once at the cove the wildlife is hugely varied. 
Full board.

Flightless cormorants, Galapagos

DAY 8: FERNANDINA & ISABELA

Today you arrive at Fernandina Island, west of Isabela, and visit the only visitor site on the island, Punta Espinosa. This, the youngest island, has fascinating lava fields, and amongst other wildlife we hope to see penguins, flightless cormorants and a huge colony of marine iguanas.
In the afternoon we visit the marine-site of Punta Vicente Roca at Isabela.  The deep waters here are teeming with life. Divers love it here!
Full board.
Bartolome, Galapagos

DAY 9: SANTIAGO & BARTOLOME

You will call in to the island of Santiago to see the superb tidal pools at Puerto Egas.  
Bartolome gives us a wonderful overview of the archipelago when we walk up an extinct lava cone. Passing volcanic ash fields and splatter cones interspersed with cactus, the view from the top is dramatic and very worthwhile. 
Full board.
Magnificent frigatebird, Galapagos

DAY 10: GALAPAGOS TO GUAYAQUIL

On the morning of your final day we visit North Seymour island. This has one of the largest colonies of magnificent frigatebirds, plus blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. What an end to the wildlife cruise!
Returning to Baltra airport, you fly to Guayaquil on the Ecuadorian mainland where your holiday ends. It is easy to get flights from Guayaquil back to Europe. 
Breakfast.
Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £2595 (ex. international flights)

Includes: ​Transfers, ground transport, guides on the cruise and for the Quito city tour, Quito-Galapagos-Guayaquil flights, meals as specified.

Excludes: ​International flights, departure taxes, visas, travel insurance, Galapagos National Park tax currently US$100 but liable to change and to be paid locally in US$, meals not specified, drinks, tips, items of a personal nature.

Getting there: ​This holiday starts in Quito and ends in Guayaquil. Flights from the UK start from about £675.

Departure dates: This is a private tailor made trip, but of course part of the time you will be on a yacht as part of a group.  Given that the yachts depart on a certain day, this specific itinerary exactly as it stands, using the Cachalote, must be started on a Monday.  If you use a different yacht, the trip could be started on different days.

places you will see

places you will see

Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands
If you are a wildlife lover there is no doubt that the Galapagos Islands are a very special place to visit. With such a list of rare and unique species, and the lack of fear shown by the wildlife, it is truly an incredible experience. But don't just take our word for it!
Quito & the Equator
Quito & the Equator
Quito is at an altitude of 2800m, and since it is only 25km south of the Equator, mostly has very pleasant days and cool nights. The city took its name from the Quitus tribe who lived here in the pre-Colombian era. The equator, which divides the Earth into the northern and southern hemispheres and after which Ecuador is named. lies slightly to the north of Quito and is marked by a monument and a museum.

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WHEN TO VISIT

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facts and information

Time: GMT - 6 hours

Flight time: Flights to the Galapagos Islands leave from Quito and touch down in Guayaquil en route, taking about 3 hours from Quito or 2 hours from Guayaquil. The flights land either at Baltra or San Cristobal.

Language: Spanish is the official language in the Galapagos Islands.

Visas: Not required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations.

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