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My love for South America started when I was living in Lima, Peru, and family and friends came to visit. That year I went to Machu Picchu 5 times! I do not have one drop of Latin blood in me, which is painfully obvious if you see me dance, and yet without realizing it for the past 15 years South America has been my home
Latin America Specialist
- from $5,742 PP
- 9 Nights
- Year round
- 13 hours from London / 9 hours New York
Your tour starts in Ecuador’s capital, Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage site built in 1543 by the Spanish. One of the best-preserved examples of a historic colonial city in South America, you will spend two nights here and have a guided tour of the sights. You will then fly to the Galapagos Islands where you will board your yacht for seven nights sailing around this unique ecosystem. The cruise focuses on the Central and Western Islands, including visits to Isabela and Fernandina Island, two highlights of the Galapagos Islands. There are expert guides on board to take you to explore the islands, there are opportunities to hike, swim, snorkel and kayak on your voyage.
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Book your trip with us and pay a reduced deposit with the rest 90 days before your departure
If you are not comfortable travelling, you have the right to cancel and get a refund up to 45 days before your departure
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- 2 x Nights Quito including breakfast
- 7 x Nights Beluga Yacht full board and shared activities
- All transfers as listed in the itinerary
- All activities and entrance fees as listed in the itinerary
- English speaking guide
- Personalized itinerary that can be modified to suit your preferences
- 24/7 support from our dedicated staff
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive Quito
Welcome to Ecuador! On arrival into Quito airport you will be met by your guide who will transfer you to your hotel. Your guide will brief you on your trip, Quito and help you with anything you need.
Quito is the capital of Ecuador and one of the highest capital cities in the world at 2850m (9350ft) above sea level. The old town of Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage site as it is one of the best-preserved cities on the continent. The city was founded in the 16th Century on the ruins of the Incan settlement that was the hub of the Northern Inca Empire.
Day 2 City Tour Quito
This morning you will be met by your guide to explore Quito. You will start in the historic center at the main square, Independence Plaza. Historical buildings flanking the square include the main Cathedral, Presidential Palace and Archbishop’s Place. You will visit the La Compañía de Jesús which is one of the most beautiful churches in Quito with its intricate decoration and baroque style. Your guide will take you to El Panecillo Hill for panoramic views over the city.
You will stop at a local restaurant for lunch before you visit the Equator where you can stand with one foot in each hemisphere. There will be time to stop at the Ethnographic Museum to learn about the indigenous people of the area. Your guide will then transfer you back to the hotel. We recommend you head out into Quito’s old town for dinner tonight.
Day 3 The Galapagos Islands – Santa Cruz Island
This morning you will be met by your driver and transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. You will land on Baltra Island where you will be met by your guide. Your guide will take you to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the prickly pear cactus forest. The Station is the hub for conservation on the Galapagos Islands since it was created in 1964. It offers guests the chance to learn about habitats and why the islands are so important. The station has a tortoise breeding centre where you can walk amongst the many different breeds who live there.
You will then board your yacht, the Beluga, where you will have a welcome meeting and will be briefed on the itinerary and safety procedures on board before you are shown to your cabins to settle in.
Day 4 Rabida Island
This morning you will visit Sombrero Chino which is a small volcanic island off the coast of Santiago Island. On the beach lookout for bright red crabs, sea lions and marine Iguanas. You will walk through a lava field where there are often lava lizards relaxing in the sun.
You will then continue to Rabida Island know for its dark red coral sand beach. This is a great spot for some snorkelling and spotting the sea lions, pelicans and flamingos.
Day 5 Isabela Island
Today you will explore Isabela Island, the largest of the Galapagos Islands. The island is made up of five active volcanos, the largest is Wolf Volcano and is the highest point in the archipelago at 1707m.
You can hike up the active Sierra Negra Volcano, it last erupted in 2018 and you will hike up to the second-largest volcanic crater in the world. The trek starts in lush green terrain filled with wildlife, you will trek up to the rim of the caldera which is an impressive 6 miles wide, before continuing to the area where the lava flows and the steam comes out of thermal vents. It is a 16km hike and takes 5-6 hours.
In the afternoon you can take a snorkelling trip to Las Tintoreras which is a group of small lava rock islets off the coast of Isabela Island. These rocks are very popular with the local wildlife and are home to Marine Iguanas, Galapagos penguins, Blue-footed Boobies, Galapagos Sea Lions and marine turtles.
Day 6 Isabela Island
This morning you will board a small dinghy to visit Elizabeth Bay, the small islets in the bay are home to a penguin colony. The bay has three species of mangroves and you can usually spot sea turtles and rays in the waters. You will then continue to Punta Moreno, on the north coast of the island, which is between two volcanoes, Sierra Nera and Cerro Azul. There is a walking trail where you can see the lava flows and impressive views of the volcanoes.
Day 7 Isabela Island
Today you will explore the west coast of the island starting at Urbina Bay. There is a short hike inland to watch giant tortoises in their natural habitat as well as land iguanas. You will continue to Tagus Cove which is a natural harbor where in the past whales and pirates would hideout. There is still graffiti carved into the rocks where they would carve their ship name into the rocks. You will walk up to Darwin’s Crater saltwater lake and en route you will spot a variety of birds including ground and tree finches, hawks or a yellow warbler.
Day 8 Fernandina Island
You will have the opportunity to explore Fernandina Island this morning. The island is one of the youngest in the archipelago and is still pristine with no invasive species. The island has a very high density of marine iguanas as well as sea lions, flightless cormorants and penguins. It is a great spot to snorkel and see the iguanas feeding underwater as well the turtles and rays.
This afternoon you will make a stop at Punta Vicente Roca where you will board a dinghy to explore the cliffs and caves on the island. The area is home to Nasca boobies and the famous blue-footed boobies.
Day 9 Santiago Island & Bartolome Island
Santiago Island is located between Santa Cruz and Isabela Island and has a large number of sea birds and fur seals on the island.
You will start your day on Espumilla Beach with its golden sand and green mangroves. The beach is a great place to swim and snorkel from. The area is home to flamingos, pintail ducks, hawks and sea turtle nests. Then continue to Buccaneers Cove which historically was used by pirates as a place to drop anchor and come ashore. This is a good spor to snorkel to look for fur seals.
You will then sail to the picturesque and uninhabited Bartolome Island. There is a hike to the highest point on the island which offers spectacular views over 10 of the islands in the Galapagos. You will then visit Pinnacle Rock to watch the sea lions and penguins who live there and snorkel with them.
Day 10 Baltra Island
Today you will return to Baltra Island with a stop at North Seymour Island en route. North Seymore has colonies of blue-footed boobies and well as swallow-tailed gulls and frigate birds.
You will then arrive at Baltra Island where you will disembark and be transferred to the airport for your onward flight connection.
What's not Included
- As we have clients from all over the world. Our itineraries do not include flights. If you would like us to include flights in your trip, we are happy to do so. Please speak to your travel specialist at the planning stage to include them.
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise all guests purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
Let’s get started making this itinerary yours.
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