Essence of Galapagos

Quito - Galapagos (8 days / 7 nts)  From $2179

Bartolome island

This trip includes 4 nights cruising around the Galapagos islands on board the Aida Maria, a 16 passenger tourist class motor. You can of course select any other yacht and even cruise length, and we will send you the revised itinerary and prices by email.

Day 1: Arrival at Quito
Upon arrival in Quito private transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Quito.

Day 2: Quito (city tour)
Today, enjoy a private Quito - View of Centro HistoricoColonial city tour (entrance to La Compañía Church, San Francisco Museum, snack, hat factory): due to the beauty and history of colonial Quito, the main emphasis of this tour is given to the old city. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Quito.

(Included meals: breakfast)

Day 3: Quito - Galapagos (M/Y Aida Maria)
Transfer (private service) to the airport to board the flight to Galapagos. Fly from the Ecuadorian Mainland to the islands on an early morning 90-minute flight. As you prepare to arrive at Baltra, peer out the window. The landscape below will seem otherworldly - and it is for you have come to a place like no other. The Galapagos Islands are unique and you are about to see why. Your bilingual naturalist guide will greet you at the airport and assist you through customs. During lunch he/she will introduce you to the islands and specifically the flora and fauna you will encounter at our first destination: Las Bachas Beach.

On the sAida Maria - View of the yacht | tt2andy white beaches of Las Bachas we will get a close look at a sea turtle nesting area and a lake frequented by leggy pink flamingos and other migratory birds. Afterward, we cool ourselves off with our first dip in the deliciously blue Pacific Ocean. As this is our first evening together, the crew will invite us to a pre-dinner cocktail on the yacht before the welcome dinner. If the night is clear, as it usually is, the stars above will bedazzle; look for the Southern Cross, the Big Dipper (turned up-side down!) and Orion.

(Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 4: Genovesa: Darwin Bay - Prince Philip Steps
We spend the entire day on Tower (Genovesa), considered to be one of the most spectacular Islands in Galapagos for bird species. Genovesa has 2 principal tourist places: Prince Philips Steps and Darwin Bay, this is one of the most famous places to watch animals like: fragate birds, mask boobies, red footed boobies, sea lions and seals. When you practice snorkelling and diving the sea lions and hammerhead sharks will swim beside you. The Prince Philips Steps is an rock with the shape of steps, this place was called of this way because the prince Phillips visited the island genovesa in the 60´s.

(Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 5: Bartolome - Santiago Island
Bartolome offers an explosive volcanic landscape. Get ready to climb above 270 feet to admirGalapagos - Bull sea lion | tt2e the dramatic spatter cones and the view of Pinnacle Rock that everyone wants. Later, take a walk on magical golden beaches where sea turtle nest (December to March). Don’t forget to make time to swim near penguins, sharks and lava tubes

Santiago, on the eastern coast of James Island is Sullivan Bay. There you can admire a large area of fresh pahoehoe (ropey) lava flows dating from an eruption in 1897. A walk over this glazed black rock gives the impression of the still-molten lava, as every ripple, swirl, and bubble in its surface has been preserved. Tiny fragile Mollugi plants can be spotted growing out of fissures as they begin to colonize the arid terrain.

(Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 6: Daphne - Santa Cruz 
Daphne is one of the central islands, north of Santa Cruz. There is a Daphne Major and Minor both are located north of Santa Cruz. Daphne Minor is closed to the public and visits of Daphne Major are limited by the Galapagos National Park Service to less than 12 people per group. You also see masked boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, brown noddies and swallow-tailed gulls

Santa Santa Cruz - Highlands, Turtle | tt2Cruz: A panga ride to Black Turtle Cove and through mangrove inlets, these lagoons provide refuge to rays, sharks, and sea turtles that will be clearly viewable from the boat. At Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) a trail takes you through Palo Santo forests, a brackish salt-water lagoon and Opuntia cacti woodland, where we will be hoping to spot land iguanas and feeding flamingos.

(Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner) 

Day 7: Santa Cruz Island - Baltra - Quito
After breakfast we sail to Santa Cruz Island, where we visit the world-famous Charles Darwin Station, a non-profit institution that dedicates itself to studying and protecting Galapaganean flora and fauna.In the late afternoon we return to town. The visit to Charles Darwin Station will complete your Galapagos adventure. From the station we will take a bus to the airport for departure. Upon arrival in Quito private transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Quito.

(Included meals: breakfast)

Day 8: Fly out from Quito
Transfer (private service) from the hotel to airport for your international flight back home.

(Included meals: breakfast)

Aida Maria
Quality Hotels Double Single Sup
4* Mercure Quito (Quito) $2,179 $441

Valid 1-Jan-14 to 14-Dec-14
Shared service unless indicated otherwise
Prices per person in USD $, subject to change without notice

Price includes:
Transfers in/out airport. Galapagos cruise includes:  Accommodation in double cabins with air conditioning and private bathroom, All meals on board, daily visits to the islands conducted by bilingual naturalist guide, sightseeing, snorkelling opportunities and transfers in the islands. Single or Twin/double room in the hotel although if unavailable specific properties may be replaced by others of same quality. Meals as per itinerary. Hotel taxes.

Price does not include:
International air fares. Domestic air fares to/from Galapagos ($580pp). International and domestic airport departure taxes. Galapagos entrance fee ($100pp), Migration Card/Ingala ($10pp), alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, gratuities to cruise guides and crew, bar, gifts, travel insurance. Meals not mentioned in the itinerary. Personal expenses (laundry, beverages, communications, etc).

- Price per person in USDollars
- This program is quoted with Aida Maria: Itinerary C.
- Single supplement: for solo traveler, hotel room single basis and cruise cabin on shared basis.
- Galapagos Cruise itineraries are subject to change by the authorities of the Galapagos National Park or acts of providence. Recent changes to Galapagos National Park guidelines mean that cruise itineraries now vary greatly from departure to departure. The islands visited on each holiday will be determined by your departure date and the length of the cruise