Let’s plan on visiting them all in the next three years!
by Jim Peacock
Join us as we visit the Glapagos Islands (on everyone's bucket list!). As an added bonus we'll explore the magical land of Ecuador.
$5,399 (this is a steal; check around) includes all of the following. To reserve your spot email email@example.com, and pay $1,500 reservation to reserve. Balance is payable at $1,000 per month. Hurry this trip will sell out.
The trip features:
DAY 1, Tuesday - Depart for EcuadorArrive in Guayaquil, Ecuador's sprawling, and vivacious port city; transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city's many museums, botanical gardens or stroll along the lively riverfront promenadeOvernight: Guayaquil
DAY 2, Wednesday - Guayaquil City Tour & Parque HistoricoYour discovery of Guayaquil begins at the main square, with its stirring memorial to the Heroes of the Independence, symbolizing the triumph of the Republic against the Spanish. Continue to Seminario Park (Parque de las Iguanas), a favorite place for bird watchers and home to arboreal Iguanas. Next, experience the many ethnological influences present in Ecuadorian culture by viewing the contrasting architecture of a Neo-Gothic Cathedral, a Moorish clock tower, and La Rotonda Monument. Continue to the lovely riverside Garden of Malecon and Santa Ana Hill where the city was founded in the 16th century. Continue to Parque Historico and learn about the history & culture of the region. Return to your hotel for an evening at leisureOvernight: GuayaquilMeals: Breakfast
DAY 3, Thursday - Galapagos Islands, Embarkation on the M/V Santa Cruz IIEmbark this morning on a journey to the "beginning of time" as you transfer to the airport for the flight to the astonishing Galapagos Archipelago of volcanic islands, five million years in the making. Arrive at Baltra Airport, meet your naturalist guides and transfer to the pier to board the M/V Santa Cruz II. Lunch on board with time to settle in before this afternoon's excursion to Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) in the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. Begin your introduction to the Galapagos with a walk that passes a brackish water lagoon teeming with shorebirds, ducks, and flamingos. Further along, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands, as well as the chance to see marine iguanas. Return to the ship for an evening briefing and dinnerOvernight: Galapagos CruiseMeals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 4, Friday - Isabela Island, Fernandina IslandAn early start this morning as you explore the coastline on a panga, while your naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area, nesting place for the flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, and fur seals. Depending on weather conditions, time to snorkel along the cliffs in this area rich with marine life seasonally visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sunfish (Mola mola). The afternoon is dedicated to exploring Fernandina, the youngest island of the archipelago. The unique environment encourages a high density of marine iguanas, who share their space with sea lions, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorants. In the evening after dinner, a presentation by the naturalist guides on tomorrow's adventureOvernight: Galapagos CruiseMeals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 5, Saturday - Puerto Ayora, Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)An extraordinary visit today to the Charles Darwin Research Station's Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre, situated within an impressive prickly pear cactus forest home. This is the world-renowned headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation, and the National Park administration. Following the visit, travel to the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem. After lunch, there are several options available for the afternoon, such as mountain biking, kayaking in Tortuga Bay, hiking and more. At the end of the day, return to Puerto Ayora to board your ship in time for dinner and an informative lectureOvernight: Galapagos CruiseMeals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 6, Sunday - Baroness Tower, Post Office Bay, Champion Islet, Cormorant Point (Floreana Island)In the morning, enjoy a panga ride along the maze of narrow channels on Floreana's north shore. Continue to Baroness Cove with its astonishing views of Floreana. At Post Office Bay, a short walk leads you to the historic barrel that has served as a post office for over two centuries and where postcards are traditionally left for guests from other vessels to hand-deliver to their destinations. After snorkeling off the beach, head back to the ship. Following lunch and a perhaps a siesta, you take the pangas and glass-bottom boat to explore the underwater wonders around Champion Islet, an extinct shield volcano, regarded as one of the best snorkeling spots in the entire archipelago. From there, it's a wet landing on the olivine-crystal beach at Cormorant Point. An easy walk takes you to a brackish water lagoon where bird species such as greater flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and others gather and to the white-sand beach, where sea turtles seasonally emerge from the sea at night to nest. Bid goodbye to the crew, the naturalist guides and your new-found friends at the Farewell Dinner tonightOvernight: Galapagos CruiseMeals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 7, Monday - Disembarkation, Balta Island, Flight to QuitoDisembarkation at Baltra Island. Then, proceed to the airport for the flight to Quito through Guayaquil. Arrive late afternoon in this historic city in the high Andes at the base of the Pichincha Volcano and transfer to your hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure to discover this charming city independentlyOvernight: QuitoMeals: Breakfast
DAY 8, Tuesday - Quito City Tour & Visit to the Middle of the WorldThe morning's tour begins with a visit to the colonial section of Quito to walk along the narrow cobblestone streets and feel the charm of 16th-century Quito. See the Independence Plaza, the Cathedral, Presidential Palace, and the Archbishop's Palace before visiting La Compañia de Jesus Church, with its beautiful gilded interior or the Church and Monastery of San Francisco, one of the great religious buildings of the New World with its impressive facade and atrium. Afterward, visit the Middle of the World Monument, located at a latitude of 0º, and stand with one foot in the Northern and one in the Southern Hemisphere. Balance of the day is at leisureOvernight: QuitoMeals: Breakfast
DAY 9, Wednesday - Depart EcuadorTransfer to the airport for your departure flightSome flights depart shortly after midnight in the very early morning of Day 9 and will require a transfer on Day 8. Transfers depart the hotel approximately 4 hours prior to flight time Meals: Breakfast