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Galapagos Thanksgiving Tour 2016

Quito - Galapagos - Santa Cruz - Puerto Villamil - Sierra Negra

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INTINERARY November 25: Quito

Arrival to Quito, reception and transfer to your hotel.

November 26: Quito - Galapagos B, L

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Baltra, Galapagos. Reception and transfer to the 3* Fernandina Hotel in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Take in the views, ambience and environment of the Galapagos with the sun, the sea, and salty-fresh island breeze. Visit the Charles Darwin station for an overview and history of the islands. Free day to explore the small town and enjoy the weather. Fernandina hotel

November 27: Santa Cruz - tour of the Islands B,L,D

After breakfast, enjoy a full day tour out to Bartolome, North Seymour and Las Bachas, or South Plazas and Punta Carrion. In the late afternoon, return to the Sol y Mar Hotel for an open evening. Bartolome Island: Arriving we will ascend a lookout point from where you can admire the spectacular panorama of the Sullivan Bay and the famous needle shaped rock, the so-called Pinnacle Rock. The Island has some fine and a museum of vulcanology. North Seymour and Las Bachas: North Seymour was lifted from the ocean floor by a seismic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. The island houses the largest nesting site in the Galápagos of the "magnificent frigate bird". Las Bachas, a sandy white-coral beach, invites you for a swim in the crystal-clear water or to relax in the sun. Afterwards you will be visiting the bay Caleta Tortuga Negra which is close by. While snorkeling you can have a swim with the turtles, white-tip sharks and rays. A newer visitor's site, Dragon Hill (Cerro Dragon) is a brackish water lagoon that attracts flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks and other species of birds.

Tour November 27: Santa Cruz - tour of the Islands B,L,D Tour November 27: Santa Cruz - tour of the Islands B,L,D
November 28: Santa Cruz - Tour of the Islands B,L

Enjoy a day touring to an island not yet seen. Return to the 3* Fernandina Hotel for accommodation.

November 29: Santa Cruz - Puerto Villamil - Isla Isabela B, L

After breakfast, transfer to the port for the motor boat trip to the island of Isabela, two hours west of Santa Cruz. (The flight may be taken if preferred and is subject to availability). Isabela is one of the youngest islands of the entire Galapagos archipelago and offers a fascinating insight into the volcanic origins of the islands. Once you arrive to Pueto Villamil, the capital of Isabela Island, reception and transfer to the 3* Casa Marita Hotel, a delightful lodge located on the beach. We shall take a boat ride out to Las Tintoreras, where we shall see fascinating lava formations and enjoy a visit to the colony of marine iguanas and sea lions. There will also be an opportunity for snorkeling with sea turtles and the "Tintoreras" (white tipped shark). We shall return to the main island, observing colonies of Humboldt penguins, blue footed boobies, pelicans and frigates along the way. Return to your hotel .

November 30: Puerto Villamil - Sierra Negra - Small Volcano B, L

After breakfast, we will leave the town by pickup truck and head towards the highlands. Horseback riding tour to Sierra Negra and to the Chico Volcano, both of which still active. During the trip to the volcanoes, the different vegetation of the island will be observed, and once at the Chico Volcano you will be able to see the various types of lava according its age, in addition to "fumaroles" and boiler eyes; and from the northern part of the boiler, we will enjoy excellent views of the Perry's Isthmus, Elizabeth Bay and the Alcedo Volcano. Picnic lunch and return to Puerto Villamil. Upon arriving to Puerto Villamil, we shall visit the famous Tortoise Raising Center, and walk along the footpaths to the beautiful brackish lakes that are a refuge to flamingos and other birds. We shall finally arrive to the famous "Muro de las Lagrimas" (Wall of the Tears) constructed of lava rocks and which was once used as a punishment for the penal colony that inhabited this area in 1959. Return to your hotel for accommodation .

Tour November 30: Puerto Villamil - Sierra Negra - Small Volcano B, L Tour November 30: Puerto Villamil - Sierra Negra - Small Volcano B, L
December 1: Puerto Villamil - Santa Cruz - Quito B, L

After an early breakfast, transfer to the port for the boat trip back to Santa Cruz and transfer to the airport for your return flight to Quito.

December 2: Quito B, L

After breakfast, full day's guided visit of colonial Quito, declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1978. The visit includes Plaza de la Independencia, Parque Alameda (the oldest astronomical observatory in South America) and Plaza de San Francisco. You shall also visit La Compañía, the finest of all Jesuit churches. If time allows, we will visit some of the markets, including the Indian market and the Ipiales market (best visited on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the main market days). Lunch at Cochabamba Restaurant. Continue the tour to the middle of the world monument before returning to your hotel.

Tour December 2: Quito B, L Tour December 2: Quito B, L
December 3: Quito - Otavalo B, L

Today, after breakfast, transfer to Otavalo for a visit to the colourful Indian market of Otavalo, with its many impressive arts and crafts of the local people. The market dates back to pre-inca times when jungle products from the east were traded with highland products. Traditional dress is observed throughout the market. In the afternoon, a visit to Cotacachi, famous for its leatherwork. Return in the evening to Quito.

December 4: Quito - Cotopaxi B, L

After breakfast, we start our journey south through the spectacular avenue of the volcanoes towards Cotopaxi, the most famous of all Ecuatorian volcanoes. We shall pass Pasochoa, Ruminahui and Corazon volcanoes along this spectacular journey. Arrival to the magnificent Hacienda Cienega, one time residence of the German scientist Von Humboldt. After lunch at the hacienda, we shall visit the Hacienda San Agustin de Callo at the very foot of Cotopaxi. The temple was built around 1440 AD by one of the last Inca emperors, Huayna Cápac, and to this day the remaining rooms prevail as a magnificent sample of the unique style of Inca construction. Continue the tour into the Cotopaxi National Park for a closer view of the volcano. Before returning to Quito, time permitting, we shall visit one of the Indian Markets, either Pujilí or Saquisilí. These are amongst the most authentic markets in Ecuador with their colourful displays of spices, fruits and hand woven ponchos. Return to Quito.

Tour December 4: Quito - Cotopaxi B, L Tour December 4: Quito - Cotopaxi B, L
December 5: Quito B

After an early breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Tourmap  Galapagos Thanksgiving Tour 2016
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