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Jewels of Ecuador & the Galapagos

Quito - Galapagos Islands - Vicente Roca Point - Espinosa

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INTINERARY Travel Style:

Family-friendly, Nature & Wildlife, Romantic escape


Cruise the Galapagos Islands; an iconic conservation milestone onboard the First class Coral cruise on the 5 days / 4 nights B West itinerary.
Mainland tour through Ecuador

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1. QUITO

Welcome to Quito. A representative will greet you and transfer you to your hotel. You will have free time to explore the city or relax and settle in. Overnight in Quito at the Boutique Hotel Casona 1914.

Day 2. QUITO (Breakfast)

After breakfast, enjoy a colonial city tour of Quito with a visit to the middle of the world monument. Take a walk through bustling streets and squares of the largest historical old town in the Americas; a multi-ethnic, artistic, and UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. Visit the trio of colonial plazas - Plaza de la Independencia, Plaza San Francisco and Plaza Santa Domingo. Plaza San Francisco is crowned by one of Quito's most impressive churches, Iglesia de San Francisco. Afterwards, our guide will take our guests to visit the Middle of the World Complex situated at 0 latitude to be with one foot in the northern and the other foot in the southern hemisphere. Return to the hotel for an overnight stay at the Boutique Hotel Casona 1914.


After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Baltra Island (2½-hour flight). Arriving in the Galapagos, passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturist guides and taken in a ten-minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/Y Coral I or M/Y Coral II. In the afternoon a visit to the Highlands Tortoise Reserve (Santa Cruz Island) In the central highlands of Santa Cruz Island we have our best opportunity to interact at close quarters with totally wild, Galapagos giant tortoises. A short walk among these huge, 600lb, reptiles will also offer the chance for more highland species, especially several species of the famed finches.

Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: flat & muddy (depending on season)
Duration: 45-minute drive / 1:30-hour walk

Tour Day 3: QUITO - GALAPAGOS ISLANDS (All meals)

Today you will visit a spectacular visitor site, surrounded by immense cliffs of the eroded volcano. Studded with resting sea birds such as brown noddies and Nazca boobies, we will enjoy them in close proximity from our dinghies. Snorkeling here is superb, with certain species of fish only found in the west of the archipelago. We also have a very real chance of swimming with penguins and potentially a plethora of green turtles.
Difficulty level: moderate
Type of terrain: water
Duration: 1-hour snorkeling / 1-hour dinghy ride

In the afternoon, a visit to Espinosa Point (Fernandina Island)
The youngest island of Galapagos and one of the most pristine in the world. Fernandina is simply the ‘marine iguana capital of the world´, this desolate volcanic backdrop is home to a huge concentration of these enigmatic reptiles. Incongruously, sharing the same shoreline, we can find the diminutive Galapagos penguins. Here we also have the exciting opportunity to snorkel with marine iguanas feeding underwater, penguins, turtles and the bizarre, endemic, flightless cormorants.
Difficulty level: moderate
Type of terrain: rocky
Duration: 2-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

Day 5: URBINA BAY - TAGUS COVE (All meals)

A wet landing at a strange phenomenon where large blocks of coral lie completely exposed after a dramatic geological uplift in 1954. Located at the western base of Alcedo Volcano we hope to run into a few very impressive land iguanas as well as some of the volcano´s endemic Galapagos giant tortoises during the wet season.
Difficulty level: moderate
Type of terrain: flat & rocky
Duration: 1:30-hour walk / 1-hour snorkelling

In the afternoon, a visit to Tagus Cove
A well-known hideout and deep-water anchorage in the days of pirates, Tagus Cove was also one of the few sites visited by Charles Darwin and the HMS Beagle in 1835. A beautiful hike leads us past an overview of Darwin Lake and on to a stunning volcanic landscape revealing Isabela island´s dramatic northern volcanoes. Once back at sea level the perfect activity is to snorkel along a submerged wall with turtles, lots of fish, penguins and potentially flightless cormorants. You might even be tempted by a dinghy ride or kayak!
Difficulty level: moderate/difficult
Type of terrain: steep
Duration: 2-hour walk / 40-minutes dinghy ride / 1-hour deep water snorkeling

Tour Day 5: URBINA BAY - TAGUS COVE (All meals)
Day 6: EGAS PORT - SULLIVAN BAY (All meals)

Wet landing to the black volcanic sand sets this landing apart from most. It is best known for the dramatic shoreline where we meet a host of species that chose to live between land and sea. Particular among these are the endemic Galapagos fur seals which maintain a small colony at the end of our walk. Other species of note include American oystercatchers, sea lions, waders, herons, lava lizards and even Galapagos hawks. An optional visit takes us to an abandoned salt mine famous in its day for supplying salt to mainland Ecuador.
Difficulty level: moderate
Type of terrain: flat & semi-rocky
Duration: 1:30-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling

In the afternoon, a visit to Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
Wet landing. Although, when viewed from the sea, the site does not look especially interesting visitors are always totally enthralled by the amazing beds of pahoehoe lava from the recent flow on the island. It is a landscape and macro photographer´s dream. The importance of pioneer plants such as the tiny Mollugo will be discussed as we hike over the lava. After our land visit we can enjoy a refreshing snorkel in the company of sea lions, turtles and rays.
Difficulty level: demanding
Type of terrain: flat volcanic lava
Duration: 1:30-hour walk / 1-hour snorkeling / beach time

Day 7: BACHAS BEACH - QUITO (Breakfast)

Wet landing. Named for some wrecked World War II barges whose ribs are still visible in the sand this visitor site offers great swimming, a lovely walk along the shore and a visit to a lagoon behind the high tide line with wading birds, marine iguanas and sometimes even flamingoes. The two beaches are also favorite nesting sites for green turtles which often leave tractor-like tracks in the sand.
Difficulty level: easy
Type of terrain: sandy
Duration: 1-hour walk / beach time

Transfer to the airport for the return flight to Quito. Transfer to your hotel.

Day 8. QUITO - OTAVALO (Breakfast)

After breakfast, travel 2.5 hours north of Quito to Otavalo, home to a busy indigenous handicrafts market. At Otavalo, browse the stalls and discover everything from finely woven ponchos and shawls made with alpaca wool to tapestries, jewelry and live chickens. Saturday is the busiest market day. If you want to take photographs of stalls or stall holders, it is polite to ask permission. Some people might ask for money for the privilege.
Make a short trip to the nearby village of Peguche to see where many of the tapestries sold in the market are produced, and to walk to the waterfall of Cascada de Peguche. Accommodation at Las Palmeras Inn.

Tour Day 8. QUITO - OTAVALO (Breakfast)
Day 9: OTAVALO - QUILOTOA (Breakfast)

After breakfast, a driver will pick you up at your hotel and transfer you about five hours through the Andes to beautiful Quilotoa. Upon arrival, you will be able to check in at your hotel, Mama Hilda, drop your bags, and have lunch in town. Later in the afternoon, you can take a hike around the rim of the Quilotoa Volcano or descend to the shores of Quilotoa Lagoon and rent a kayak. Return to your accommodation.

Tour Day 9: OTAVALO - QUILOTOA (Breakfast)

After breakfast, start today with a two hour drive to Parque Nacional Cotopaxi. En route, you can visit the market town of Pujili which hosts on Sundays and Wednesdays a fine, authentic market. Among the many things sold here are their clothes, which people travel miles to buy, and has become a very profitable local endeavor. Pujilí is also known for its pottery and ceramics. It does not see as much tourist activity as towns such as Otavalo, so it remains a pure indigenous market. Upon arriving to Cotopaxi, enjoy a hike up to the glacier at 5000m, with great views along the way. The park is crowned by Volcán Cotopaxi at 5900m, this is among the world’s highest active volcanoes and one of the most photogenic. The snow-capped peak contrasts with the glaciers and mountain lakes at the foot of the volcano. Wildlife that can be seen on the slopes includes Andean foxes, the Andean speckled bear and the Andean condor, the world's biggest raptor. Overnight at San Agustin Plaza Hotel.

Day 11: LATACUNGA - QUITO (Breakfast)

After breakfast, return drive to Quito via the Volcano corridor route and overnight accommodation at the Boutique Hotel Casona 1914.

Day 12: QUITO - PAPALLACTA (Breakfast)

After breakfast, we drive east towards the Oriente, viewing the spectacular and breathtaking high plains. Arrive in Papallacta, a small village located in the central highlands (10491ft/3200m) known for its natural hot springs where you'll be able to swim and relax. Enjoy the natural hot spring pools that occur due to Papallacta's location between two volcanoes, Volcano Cayambe and Volcano Antisana. Overnight at Papallacta lodge.

Tour Day 12: QUITO - PAPALLACTA (Breakfast)
Day 13: PAPALLACTA - QUITO (Breakfast)

After breakfast, free morning to enjoy the facilities. Take a short walk around the Papallacta lagoon and observe the flora and fauna or relax in the hot springs. Return to Quito in the afternoon and transfer to your hotel.

Day 14. QUITO (Breakfast)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your international flight home.

End of services Tour price in 4 star Hotel & first class Galapagos cruise: US$6995.00 per person TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:
  • Accommodation in double rooms at selected 4 star hotels, and 4 nights on a first class Galapagos yacht.
  • All meals as indicated on the itinerary
  • Transfers, tours and excursions as per itinerary with English speaking specialist guides
  • All internal flight tickets in South America
  • International flight to/from Ecuador
  • Galapagos National Park Tax ($100), the migratory fee ($20) (These must be paid in person in cash dollars)
  • Meals not indicated
  • Personal expenses such as telephone bills, laundry expenses, beverages, etc
  • Insurance against theft, loss, illness and/or accident etc
  • Gratuities, baggage porterage and other extras not specified
Amazing Destinations Travel Group is accredited by the following associations:
Agency Tucan Agency IATA Agency PATA Agency PATA Sustainable travel international