Anxiousness?not an emotion you want to feel unless you're like Charles Darwin in 1835. In a letter to his sister, he stated, 'I am very anxious for the Galapagos Islands. I think both the geology and the zoology cannot fail to be very interesting.' Ah yes, he was right except we don't want you to feel anxious about organizing your vacation, which is why we've taken care of all the details for you. On this 8-day vacation, we've arranged your hotel and cruise accommodations, sightseeing, and most meals. Plus, you'll have access to a Local Host in Quito, someone who will help you personalize your trip, answer questions, and generally be there for you. Your vacation starts the moment you arrive in Quito. We can pick you up at the airport and seamlessly take you to your selected hotel, where your Local Host will give you a warm welcome and materials to prepare you for your trip. The next day, after an included breakfast, we'll pick you up at your hotel for a private tour of the city with a local expert. Hear the fascinating stories and little-known facts as you visit must-see sights like Independence Square, San Francisco Plaza Church, and the Basilica. You'll also have free time to explore. Perhaps ask your Local Host to arrange an excursion to the Middle of the World (latitude 0), where you can have a foot in each hemisphere, or take a ride on the highest cableway in South America and see amazing views of the city. Then you're off to the Galapagos Islands, where your cruise ship is waiting.On your 5-day cruise aboard the Santa Cruz II, all your meals are included. You'll visit Santa Cruz Island, with a white-sand beach and brackish lagoons that serve as feeding grounds for various wading birds; Santiago Island, home to marine iguanas, Galapagos finches, flamingos, sea lions, and a common nesting area for sea turtles; Puerto Egas, known for its black-sand beach, land and marine birds, marine iguanas, and a colony of fur seals; Rabida Island, with its red-colored beach and large colonies of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers, and Darwin's finches; Bartolome Island, where you'll hike to the summit for a spectacular view of two beautiful bays and fascinating formations of lava flows; Genovesa Island, where you'll take a panga ride along the cliffs to see the shore and seabirds nesting on the cliffs' ledges, and where you'll climb up Prince Phillip's Steps to see masked boobies, blue and red-footed boobies, frigatebirds, and more; and finally on Santa Cruz Island, visit a Tortoise Reserve to see the Giant Galapagos Tortoises living in the wild. Throughout the cruise, you'll have the opportunity to swim and snorkel. Sometimes you may even be escorted by marine turtles! Throughout your cruise, you'll be with an expert Naturalist who will bring this destination to life and be able to answer any question you may have. Our goal is to help make this magical experience a reality! That's why we've put together this vacation for you that includes sightseeing, hotels, cruise, transportation, most meals, and guides and Naturalists. That doesn't even include the cost of your time or your sanity planning it all on your own! Let us handle the details while you grab your camera and swimsuit?the Galapagos Islands are waiting!
- Tour Operator
- Offer valid through 12/31/2017
- 8 Days
- Escorted - No
|Day 1||Quito||Arrive in Quito, where you will be met by your Local Host.|
|Day 2||Quito||Your included PRIVATE CITY TOUR showcases the rich legacy left by the Incas and, later, the Spaniards. See Independence Square, dominated by its formidable Cathedral, San Francisco Plaza Church, and the Basilica with its marvelous stained-glass windows. (B)|
|Day 3||Galapagos Cruising: Santa Cruz Island||Fly to the Galapagos Islands and board the Santa Cruz II. Visit Las Bachas on SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, an important nesting area for the East Pacific green sea turtle. See brackish lagoons just steps away from the sea, a feeding ground for various wading birds-from stilts to flamingos. (B,L,D)|
|Day 4||Cruising: Santiago Island||Arrive at Buccaneer Cove on SANTIAGO ISLAND to explore the dramatic coastline inhabited by a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. You will also have the opportunity to snorkel and take a ride on the panga or the glass-bottom boat. Later, at Puerto Egas, known for its black-sand beach, tuff-stone layers and lava flows, see land and marine birds, as well as a colony of fur sea lions, marine iguanas, and marine turtles. (B,L,D)|
|Day 5||Cruising: Rabida & Bartolome Islands||On RABIDA ISLAND with its red-colored beach, caused by the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material, your Naturalist points out large colonies of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers, and several species of Darwin's finches. Very close to the beach, a salt pond occasionally hosts American flamingos. Snorkel from the beach to see the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. At BARTOLOME ISLAND, hike to the summit for a stunning view of Pinnacle Rock. Take a snorkel or a ride on the glass-bottom boat and possibly see Galapagos penguins in tropical waters! (B,L,D)|
|Day 6||Cruising: Genovesa Island||On GENOVESA ISLAND, take a walk up Prince Phillip's Steps as your Naturalist reveals large colonies of masked boobies, blue and red-footed boobies, frigatebirds, storm petrels, and short-eared owls. In the afternoon, disembark on a beautiful beach at Darwin Bay to observe frigatebirds, red-footed and masked boobies, herons, finches, and mockingbirds. Return to the beach for snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming. (B,L,D)|
|Day 7||Guayaquil||Disembark at the north shore of SANTA CRUZ ISLAND for a visit to a TORTOISE RESERVE in the highlands. Here, you will see and learn about the Giant Galapagos Tortoises living in the wild and what is being done to help preserve these ancient creatures. Later, fly to Guayaquil. (B)|
|Day 8||Guayaquil||Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)|
- US$ Price Details
Dates & Prices do not include air travel.Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Monograms, not included in pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway and intra-vacation air segments; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only, starting at $563. Required intra-vacation air segments: Quito/Galapagos; Galapagos/Guayaquil. Air prices were effective on July 12, 2017 and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your vacation, air prices may be higher.Cruise pricing is based on a Horizon Deck Explorer cabin on the Santa Cruz II. Cabin upgrades are available.Galapagos package includes Galapagos National Park entrance fee and transit card ($120 value).2019 departures are subject to itinerary and price modifications. Details will be available in July 2018.