Day 1 Arrive Quito
Transfer in Quito
English speaking assistance
Day 2 Quito Sightseeing
Full Day City tour in Quito & Equatorial Line
Ecuador is history, fascinating indigenous cultures, slow winding rivers and lush tropical forests, spectacular snowcapped volcanoes and some of the most exciting wildlife on earth.
The place to start is the ‘Mitad del Mundo’, a group of buildings designed to explain the significance of the site, as well as the Ethnographic or Initñam Museum, located right on the Equator. Here you will have the chance to plant your feet in two hemispheres at the same time!
Back in Quito, after lunch we will visit the city’s impressive colonial centre, the reason Quito was the first city to be named a world heritage site. First on the agenda is a walk through the main plaza, the ‘Plaza de la Independencia’, where you will see the Government Palace, the Cathedral, and some of the most important churches built around the XVI and XVII centuries, including the San Francisco Monastery, a building begun only 5 days after the founding of the city.
Now for our chocolate experience! Ecuador’s unique equatorial climate provides the perfect environment for growing the world’s finest cocoa – Cacao Arriba. Cocoa has been revered in Latin America for over 5,000 years. Spanish explorers loved it so much they called it the ‘Food of the Gods’.
The Republica del Cacao’s founders began their voyage over ten years ago when they set themselves an ambitious mission: to produce the most authentic and delicious chocolate, while protecting and developing sustainable fine cocoa production.
Our chocolate experience starts with a guided explaining the history of cocoa in Ecuador, followed by a chocolate tasting.
Day 3 fly to Galapagos and join Cruise
Transfer from the hotel to the Airport in order to take our flight to Galapagos.
Day 4 Galapagos
AM: Tintoreras Islet
The Tintoreras Islet, located a short distance from Puerto Villamil, is home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tip reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. One of its beaches surrounded by mangroves is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully.
Sierra Negra Volcano
The Sierra Negra Volcano boasts the largest basaltic caldera in Galapagos at 9 x 10 km. The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to 7 species of finch and a rich display of vegetation. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of its most recent volcanic activity in 2005
PM: The Wetlands
The Wetlands of Isabela Island are located just outside of Puerto Villamil. The Wetlands consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and gallinules. The Wetlands can be visited on foot via a path that winds through the swamps.
Highlights: Giant mangroves, shore birds Possible Activities:Hiking
Type of Landing: Dry landing Difficulty: Easy
Tortoise Breeding Station
This center was created to protect animals in their first years of life from the threats of foreign species such as pigs and donkeys. Giant tortoise eggs are collected and brought to the center where they are hatched and kept for five years before being released to their natural environment.
Highlights: Two of the five subspecies of the giant tortoise Possible Activities: Walking
Day 5 Galapagos
AM: Moreno Point
Moreno Point is located near Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela Island. The plethora of birds seen during a dinghy ride along the striking rocky shores or a hike along path through lava rock leading to tide pools and mangroves create a birdwatcher’s delight. In the tide pools, green sea turtles or white-tip sharks can be spotted.
Highlights: Flamingos, gallinules, pintail ducks, turtles, white-tip reef sharks. Possible Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride & hike (1.2miles/2km)
PM: Elizabeth Bay
Elizabeth Bay is located on the east coast of Isabela Island. The bay contains many islets which can be visited by dinghy. Penguins and blue-footed boobies can be spotted on the rocky islets. With an abundance of marine life and clear water, the area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps even sharks.
Highlights: Mangrove forest (unique in Galapagos), sea turtles, penguins, rays, herons, sea lions.
Day 6 Galapagos
AM: Mangle Point
A visit to Mangle Point allows visitors to witness the amazing views and wildlife on the Coast of Fernandina Island. This is a small inlet on Fernandina’s coast where you can snorkel to your hearts delight and watch playful sea lions, curious penguins, and also catch a glimpse of where flight less cormorants reside.
PM Urbina Bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954 causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is also a great place for snorkeling. Highlights:Land iguanas (the biggest in the Galapagos), hawks, coral reef, giant tortoises; snorkeling: turtles, rays, tropical fish.
Day 7 Galapagos
AM: Espinoza Point
No foreign species have ever invaded Fernandina Island, and therefore it is one of the world’s most pristine island ecosystems. The volcano “La Cumbre” dominates the landspace with lava fields reaching the ocean. The island’s highlight features the flightless cormorant nesting site. This area provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.
Highlights: Flightless cormorant, marine iguanas, ‘a’a lava, sea lions, penguins, active volcano “La Cumbre”
PM: Vicente Roca Point
Located on the northwestern coast of the island and comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola mola (sunfish) may be spotted here. This bay is great for diving and snorkeling.
Highlights: Penguins, blue-footed boobies, terns, Nazca boobies, sea lions; snorkeling: sea turtles, •
rays and puffer fish
Day 8 Galapagos
AM: Egas Port
Also known as James Bay, Egas Port is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to a coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos fur sea lions bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site.
Highlights: Fur sea lions, Galapagos sea lions, tidal pools and “grottos”, Galapagos hawk, oyster catchers, marine iguanas, finches; snorkeling: reef sharks, turtles, rays, nice underwater formations. Possible Activities: Snorkeling, hiking (1.2 miles/2 km)
PM: Espumilla Beach
Espumilla Beach is a popular place for marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs. The crabs attract the hunting herons performing the dance of predator and prey. With an abundance of marine life including octopi, moray eels, and sharks, snorkeling is highly recommended.
Day 9 Galapagos
AM: El Barranco
Also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, El Barranco’s steep, rocky paths leads up to a high cliff-face. A marvelous view can be appreciated from here. This site is also home to palo santo vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.
Highlights: Red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, storm-petrels
PM Darwin Bay
This white sand coral beach heads a half mile trail (0.75km) that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can be spotted here. Further down the path are tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view off a cliff.
Highlights: Nazca boobies, red- footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, mangroves, coral pebbles beach, snorkeling: rays, colorful ref fish and hammerhead sharks
Day 10 Disembark
Fly to Quito for one last night.
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