You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Relax after your flight. The old part of the city is still very much as it was at the end of the colonial period, but entering the new city you find a very modern place with few relics from the past. Perhaps do a bit of gentle shopping in the gorgeous arts and crafts shops in the new town?
This morning you have a guided city tour. Quito is a city of two halves - old and new - with each having its attractions. It is home to one and a half million people. It became a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1978, and so modern building is now strictly controlled. Your tour should include some of the old and the new city. The afternoon is free for you to spend as you wish.
Quito to Napo Wildlife Centre
Transfer from the hotel to the airport for your flight to Coca. You will be met on arrival and transferred to Napo Wildlife Centre for the start of your four day stay. The lodge's buildings keep the traditional native architecture with cool shaded terraces and inviting hammocks. There is a separate dining room and bar, and an observation tower. Meals include traditional Ecuadorian dishes.
Napo Wildlife Centre
A full day of activities at Napo. Visitors are divided into small groups, each led by a native Aangu guide with great deal of knowledge in tropical forest biology. Exploring the lake and creeks by dug out canoe up to 11 species of monkeys can be seen. Giant otters are regularly observed, and all four species of caiman can be found. The surrounding forest is host to a stunning diversity of wildlife.
Napo Wildlife Centre
Another full day of activities at Napo. The birdwatching around the lodge is excellent, with a bird list of 562 species. From the centre's 38m canopy tower over 80 species of birds have been seen in one morning! There are two parrot and parakeet clay licks inside the reserve where hundreds of birds congregate daily (weather permitting) to eat the nutrient-rich clay from the river banks.
Napo Wildlife Centre to Quito
Today you return to Coca for the flight back to Quito and the transfer back to your city hotel to prepare for the next part of your holiday.
Quito to Galapagos
You’ll be transferred to the airport for the 4-hour flight to Baltra in the Galapagos, where a crew member will transfer to your waiting yacht, The Seaman Journey. After lunch you’ll set off for North Seymour. There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds. Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges.
Genovesa is one of the best bird watching sites in the Galapagos. El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay from Genovesa Island. The cliffs have become the ideal place for nesting Storm Petrels. You can see two species of petrels that nest in cavities and holes in the lava. There are also masked boobies and during the “panga rides” along the cliffs, fur sea lions and several species of seabirds can be seen. At Darwin Bay in the afternoon you should see swallow-tailed gulls and lava gulls by the shore, while amongst the mangroves you may catch sight of frigatebirds.
Plazas and Santa Fe
Plazas is located at the east of Santa Cruz Island, and forms part of two islands known as Islas Plazas. Some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the Galapagos are found here. The Plazas land iguanas are smaller than its relatives found at other islands. There are several hybrid iguanas, a result of crossing a male marine iguana and a female land iguana. Swallow tailed gulls nesting in the rugged cliffs are seen along with other seabirds as: Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds, and brown pelicans.
In the afternoon you head for Santa Fe in the southeastern part of the Galapagos. Home of a number of endemic species like the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats, and one of the two species of land Iguanas of the islands. In these clear waters you will see one of the many sea lion colonies. Along the trail many salt bushes can be seen as well giant Prickly pear cactus. There are great possibilities of snorkeling with playful sea lions and tropical fish.
This morning you are in San Cristobal and pay a visit to the giant tortoise breeding centre. In 2008 an assisted reproduction program started on the island due to the birth of a little turtle in captivity. All of this will be learnt at the Jacinto Breeding Center. You can not only learn about breeding processes but as well get engaged and experience why this breeding centre does what it does.
In the afternoon you will be at the interpretation center with exuberant gardens and stunning ocean views. Visitors at the interpretation center can learn a lot from the geological and human history of the islands, conservation facts and natural history. This is the oldest museum of Natural History in the Galapagos Islands which attempts to preserve the archipelago. It is indeed inspiring and motivating to watch and learn all of their research and attempts.
San Cristobal and Cerro Brujo
On San Cristobal a short visit will take place at the Galapaguera, a good place to observe Galapagos tortoises in its natural habitat. San Cristobal island has endemic species such as: the Mockingbird, lava lizard, Chatham Leaf-toed Gecko and the tortoises. All of these species can be seen here, the beach is really big and it works as a nesting zone for marine turtles. Between January and May, it is common to find the footprints of the female turtles who have climbed to the sand dunes to deposit their eggs.
In the afternoon you head for Cerro Brujo which is a beautiful white coral beach where you can swim and watch birds and sea lions, plus you can snorkel. The protected bay is well known for its young tortoises which like to swim around. Among the fauna you can observe the Chatham Mockingbird and the San Cristobal Lava Lizards, both species are endemic to the island and unique to the area. Vegetation covers the visitors walking route, and you'll can find species like the candelabrum cactus and carob trees.
You are at Espanola Island, also known as Hood. Located on the north-eastern coast of Hood, Gardner Bay offers an excellent beach to relax, swim and even kayak, plus the opportunity to observe sea lions. You can see three species of Darwin finches as well as other resident and migratory birds.
In the afternoon, Suarez Point is great for spotting blue-footed boobies, albatrosses (between April and December), and Nazca boobies. A beautiful site on the oceanfront, the large waved albatrosses use the cliff as a launching pad. The famous attraction is the magnificent blowhole, spurting water high into the air at least from 50 to 75 meters high. This site presents wonderful photograph opportunities.
At Floreana, Cormorant point has probably the best flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos; it is also one of the largest in the islands. There are various species of shorebirds to observe besides flamingos; the most frequent are common stilts, white-checked pintail ducks, and other migratory birds. It is very interesting to see the two distinct beaches: “The Green Beach” (due to its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour Sand Beach” which is made up of coral. After the interesting walk, you'll be taken to Champion Islet, a great place to enjoy snorkeling and underwater wildlife. Some of the animals that can be seen are sea turtles, sea lions, and multiple fish thanks to the nearby coral reef.
Later you visit the famous Post Office Bay. Historically, this site is the location of a wooden barrel that was placed in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. It has been used since this time by marines and tourists as a post office. The idea is to carry letters or postcards to their destination by hand. Besides, this site was the landing area for some of the first colonists.
Baltra to Quito
This morning, you have an excursion on the turtle trail. Having said your goodbyes to the crew you’ll be transferred back to Baltra to the airport for the flight back to Quito on the mainland. Once here, you'll be dropped at your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure.
You will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight home.
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