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Quito and Western Islands Cruise (Santa Cruz Ship) - 9 Days / 8 Nights

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Day 1 - Quito

Quito Transfers in/out - airport/hotel or viceversa
Welcome to Quito and Ecuador!. At the airport you will be greeted by a member of our organization, we will escort you all the way to your hotel, giving you a short briefing about Quito and the country in general with valuable information you need to know. Enjoy scenic colonial and artistic Quito, visit museums, monasteries and the golden altars of its many churches. Stand with a foot on each hemisphere on the Middle of the World memorial. The capital of Ecuador has a setting that few cities in the world can match. During the 13th century it was the prosperous center of the Kingdom of Quitus. It later became the northern capital of the Inca Empire. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Colonial architects built formidable temples, monasteries and mansions, creating an urban jewel designated by UNESCO/UN as a World Cultural Heritage Site. Quitos artistic creativity awaits the visitor in cosmopolitan galleries and boutiques filled with contemporary paintings, sculptures and exquisite traditional crafts.
On Arrival to Ecuador (Mariscal Sucre International Airport), once you have passed through customs and immigrations you will collect your luggage and proceed to the arrival hall. There you will meet our guide and take you to your Hotel. Baggage handling of two pieces of luggage per person at airport and at hotel is included.
Accommodation: Hotel Sheraton Quito

Day 2 - Quito

Quito and the Center of the World monument (shared)
We visit downtown Quito to relish in this urban jewel and its treasures of art and architecture. Quitos colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved of South America, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will stroll at the Independence Plaza, flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop's Palace. We will visit also the temple of *La Compañía de Jesús and its awesome gilded interior. We continue on to the Monastery of San Francisco, one the of great religious buildings of the New World; its impressive façade and atrium that lead to its Baroque interior influenced by Moorish style, with the winged Virgin of Quito at its main altar.

Then we will continue to the Equatorial Monument, 25 Kms. (16 miles) North of Quito, which marks the exact Middle of the World, latitude 0º, where we can stand with a foot on each hemisphere. We will visit the Ethnographic Museum inside the monument, which shows the different Native American groups living in Ecuador. Beside the monument there is a colonial-style town, complete with main square, church, post office, bullring, cafeterias, restaurants and many gift shops with postcards and souvenirs. A certificate for having crossed the Equator will be given at the end of our tour.
Accommodation: Hotel Sheraton Quito
Included Meals: B

Day 3 - Quito

Escorted transfer between hotel and airport. Baggage handling of two pieces of luggage per person at airport and at hotel is included. (Shared)
SANTA CRUZ Western Islands 6Days / 5Nights (Wednesday to Monday)
Wednesday: Baltra Island/North Seymour Island
We arrive by plane at Baltra Island and transfer to the dock to board the M/V Santa Cruz where we receive our welcome introductory briefing, boat drill and lunch.
North Seymour Island
This is a great introductory site to the islands and their wildlife, full of bird colonies of blue footed boobies, two species of frigate birds, swallow tailed gulls, as well as sea lions and marine iguanas.
Accommodation: Santa Cruz
Included Meals: BLD

Day 4 - Isabela / Fernandina

Thursday: Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island)/Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
After breakfast, we explore the coast by panga, while our naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area, nesting place for a Galápagos highlight: flightless cormorants. Depending on weather conditions, we can snorkel along the cliffs of this area rich in marine life, seasonally-visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sun fish (Mola mola).
Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
The afternoon is dedicated to exploring the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina, which, having no introduced mammals, boasts a very unique environment with a very high density of marine iguanas, who share their space with sea lions, Sally light-foot crabs, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorants.
Included Meals: BLD

Day 5 - Isabela

Friday: Tagus Cove/Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)
After breakfast, we land at this cove on the northwest of Isabela. It provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. An uphill hike takes guests to the rim of a crater, Darwin lake, filled with salt water and to a dramatic viewpoint. After our walk, we take a panga ride to spot local wildlife, with the possibility of swimming or snorkelling.
Urbina Bay (Isabela Island)
After lunch we disembark at Urbina Bay, the fascinating result of an uplifting of the ocean floor in 1954. Here we can admire corals, shells and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. First we enjoy a snorkel from the beach, with the chance of swimming with flightless cormorants. This are is also home to a large and very colourful Galápagos land iguanas, and occasionally to giant tortoises. We return back on board for our expedition plan for Saturday and dinner.
Included Meals: BLD

Day 6 - Santa Cruz

Saturday: Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)
In the morning, we disembark (dry landing) for our visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station’s giant tortoise Breeding Centre within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Following our visit, we board our transport to enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem.
Santa Cruz Island
We have several options available (mountain biking, kayaking in Tortuga Bay, hiking) for the afternoon, which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader. At the end of the afternoon’s activities, we return to Puerto Ayora and embark on the Santa Cruz.
Included Meals: BLD

Day 7 - Floreana

Sunday: Post Office Bay / Champion Islet and Cormorant Point (Floreana Island)
A short walk leads us to the historic barrel where postcards are traditionally left for guests from other vessels to hand-deliver to their destinations. Near Post Office Bay, we explore the north shore of Floreana along narrow channels teeming with life. We then head back on board for lunch.
Champion Islet and Cormorant Point (Floreana Island)
Following lunch and a siesta, we take to the pangas and glass-bottom boat to explore the underwater wonders around Champion Islet, an extinct shield volcano, regarded as one of the best snorkelling spots in the archipelago. From there, it’s on to Cormorant Point, beginning with a wet landing on the olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk that includes a brackish water lagoon where bird species such as greater flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and others gather. We continue our walk over to a white-sand beach, where sea turtles emerge from the sea at night to nest (from December to May).
Included Meals: BLD

Day 8 - Baltra

Monday: Baltra Island
We disembark at Baltra Island in order to transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.
Arrival to Guayaquil Airport, meeting with your guide and transfer to the Hotel. Baggage handling of two pieces of luggage per person at airport and at hotel is included. (Shared)
Accommodation: Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil
Included Meals: B

Day 9 - Guayaquil

Transfer Between Hotel & Airport In Guayaquil Includes Porterage At Hotel & Airport
Included Meals: B

Dates & Pricing

Travel Dates Per Person Sharing Twin
Single Room Supplement
Local Fee

Choose Currency:


Hotel Sheraton Quito

Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil

Santa Cruz


- Transportation airport / Hotel / airport
- Nights’ accommodation in a double room/cabin.
- Private services with local English-speaking guides.
- Meals as indicated in itinerary (B/L/D)
- All entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the itinerary
- Permanent assistance by our offices in Quito

Not Included

- International air fares
- Domestic air fares Quito – Galapagos- Guayaquil ($489)
- Galapagos national Park ($100)
- Meals or any other item not described in the itinerary
- Early check-in, late check-out, services and non-mentioned meals in the itinerary
- Personal expenses
- Drinks during meals, hotel extras and personal spending
- Tips for guides and hotel staff

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