Ecuador - Quito and Galapagos Islands on Ecoventura Yachts, Eric, Flamingo I or Letty
Wednesday start in Quito

 
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DAY 1 Wednesday

Arrival in Quito. Transfer to Hotel Dann Carlton or similar for two nights including breakfast.. Balance of day at leisure.

DAY 2 Thursday

After breakfast, get to know this Ecuador’s capital on a half day tour of the city. Stroll the downtown and visit the colonial temples and monasteries of this urban jewel, designated by UNESCO a World Heritage Site including Independence Plaza, the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace and the Archbishop's Palace. Visit the Church of San Francisco, one of the great religious buildings of the New World., with the winged Virgin of Quito at its main altar. Then continue to the Equatorial Monument, 25 km (16 miles) North of Quito, which marks the exact Middle of the World, latitude 0º, where one can stand with a foot on each hemisphere. 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. (B)

DAY 3 Friday

After breakfast depart for Calderon and Cotacachi. See the Cotacachi Volcano and visit Calderon, a town famous for its bread dough dolls. A typical Ecuadorian lunch is served at hacienda Cusin. Overnight at Hacienda Cusin, which dates from the year 1602. (B,L,D)

DAY 4 Saturday

Today is market day for the colourfully dressed indigenous people who have gathered here since Inca times. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the market, a great place for souvenirs. In the afternoon return to Quito. (B)

DAY 5 Sunday

After breakfast, checkout and transfer to the airport for the flight to the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal Island, transfer to one of Ecoventura’s Signature Yachts, Eric, Letty or Flamingo I. After the welcome briefing and safety drill set sail for Playa Ochoa for a chance to test our snorkeling equipment and at the same time swim with a small colony of sea lions. Behind the beach, there is a tidal lagoon where birds can be seen including the rare Chatham mockingbird. At sunset, cruise around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), a vertical tuff cone formation that abruptly juts up almost 500 feet out of the ocean. On the cliffs, there are blue-footed boobies, masked boobies and the magnificent frigate birds. (B)

DAY 6 Monday

Spend the entire day on Tower Island (Genovesa), considered to be one of the most spectacular Islands in Galapagos for bird species. This morning, land at Prince Philip’s Steps. Red-footed boobies nest here in Palo Santo trees and Nazca (formerly masked) boobies nest near the trail. In an open lava field, there are storm petrels in large numbers. After lunch, sea kayaks are available to paddle along the shoreline. Look for the beautiful red-billed tropic bird usually seen in a crevice. A snorkeling opportunity is offered along the inner rim of the volcanic crater. Land on Darwin Bay, a coral sand beach where swallow-tailed and lava gulls gather near the tide pools. Enter a forest of Optuntia cactus and mangroves where colonies of great frigate birds nest. The males inflate their red-throated pouches to attract females as they fly overhead. The trail leads through a rich inter tidal zone with a wide diversity of animal life. Swim from the beach with sea lions. (B,L,D)

DAY 7 Tuesday

This morning, visit Las Bachas, which is the Spanish translation for “barges”. There is a long stretch of a soft white-sand beach and interior lagoons where we find the greater flamingo. There is also a wonderful chance to snorkel here from the beach. This afternoon, disembark on North Seymour, a small geological uplift. After a dry landing, follow a trail that leads to swallow-tailed gulls, blue-footed boobies and the endemic land iguanas. Visit the largest colony of frigate birds found in Galapagos. Stroll along the beach, and witness sea lions body surfing the swells. (B,L,D)

DAY 8 Wednesday

This morning, visit Tagus Cove, located on the western Island of Isabela. Six volcanoes flowed together and formed this, the largest Island in Galapagos. Here visit a salt-water lagoon, a scenic overlook with a spectacular view of the ocean, lava fields and volcanic formations. Graffiti dating back to the 1800's is written on the rocky cliffs. Explore the Cove in pangas or sea kayaks to find Galapagos penguins, boobies, pelicans and other seabirds. After lunch, cross the Bolivar Canal. Be on the look out for whales and dolphins riding the bow wave. (continues on next column)

DAY 8 Wednesday(continues)

Disembark at Punta Espinoza, Fernandina, the youngest and most pristine Island found in Galapagos. Hundreds of marine iguanas, the largest colony in Galapagos, bask in the sun along the rugged shoreline. Observe sea lion harems with resident bulls carefully guarding their territory. Flightless Cormorants build their nests on the point and Galapagos Hawks fly overhead. Recent lava flows formed by an active volcano stretch their way around the coast. Snorkel here to see sea turtles. (B,L,D)

DAY 9 Thursday

This morning, stroll along the shore at Puerto Egas, Santiago (James) looking for octopus, starfish and other sea life caught in the tide pools. At low tide, catch a glimpse of marine iguanas as they feed on exposed green algae. Watch for great blue herons, lava herons, American oyster catchers and yellow-crowned night herons. The walk ends at the grottos, deep pools of clear water, where we encounter fur sea lions once on the verge of extinction. Before returning to the yacht, there is a snorkeling opportunity with lots of tropical fish.
On Bartolome Island, it seems like a walk on the moon. This young Island is inhospitable to most plants and animals. After a dry landing, climb 30 minutes up stairs leading to the summit of a once active volcano. Along the way, pause to marvel at lava bombs, spatter cones and cinder cones. From the top of the wooden stairs, gaze out across the island for a panoramic view of the island and "Pinnacle Rock", an eroded tuff cone. Down below, crystal clear water invites one to snorkel with schools of tropical fish and Galapagos Penguins. On the other side of the Island, encounter sea turtles and white-tipped sharks. (B,L,D)

DAY 10 Friday

Today is feeding day at the tortoise corrals at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Visit all three tortoise corrals and the breeding center with new hatchlings and miniature tortoises. Also visit the Van Straelen Hall where there are exhibits and a short video presentation. Visitors can now see the pen of Lonesome George, the last surviving member of the Pinta Island subspecies.After lunch on board the yacht, travel by bus to the highlands of SANTA CRUZ Island and through all seven vegetation zones found in Galapagos. Visit Los Gemelos, Spanish for “The Twins”, a pair of large pit craters where we find the bright red male vermilion flycatcher. Stop at "the tunnels", the largest lava tubes found in Galapagos. Stroll through the town of Puerto Ayora (population: 15,000) the largest town in the Galapagos. (B,L,D)

DAY 11 Saturday

This morning, step onto Gardner Bay, ESPANOLA (HOOD). Walk along seemingly endless stretches of sandy beach where you’ll find large colonies of sea lions. There is no trail to follow so this is a chance to explore. Find a Galapagos Hawk, Darwin’s Finches or Hood Mockingbird. Swim with sea lions from the beach. There’s an excellent snorkeling site off Gardner Islet with a colorful diversity of sea life.
This afternoon, disembark at Punta Suarez, ESPANOLA. Sea lions call noisily. Curious Hood mockingbirds peck at shoelaces. Colonies of blue-footed boobies engage in “sky-pointing” to show off for potential mates. Nazca (formerly masked) boobies busily care for their young. Stunning swallow-tailed gulls are the only nocturnal gulls in the world. Red-billed tropicbirds take shelter under the cliffs. Here also find Darwin’s Finches, Galapagos Doves and Galapagos Hawks. Observe an unique specie of marine iguana identified with traces of red and green colorings. Colorful sally light-foot crabs crawl along the shoreline near to the famous "blow hole". This is the scene most people envision when they decide to visit Galapagos and is a glorious finale to a Galapagos cruise. (B)

DAY 12 Sunday

This morning, drop anchor in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, SAN CRISTOBAL. Visit the Interpretation Center opened in 1999 for a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the Islands. Afterwards, transfer to the airport for the flight back to the Guayaquil on the mainland. Upon arrival in Guayaquil, transfer to the Ramada Inn Guayaquil or similar for one night including breakfast. (B)

DAY 13 Monday

At the appropriate time, transfer to the airport for departure. (B)

INCLUDES: EXTRA:
  • 5 nights accommodation at selected hotels including breakfast
  • Return airport transfers and transportation for included excursions
  • 7 nights accommodation on Galapagos cruise on one of the Ecoventura yachts outsde cabin Iguana Deck
  • Excursions as specified in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
  • Hotel taxes
  • Airfares and applicable taxes
  • Meals and excursions not specified by itinerary
  • Gratuities and items of a personal nature
  • Visas, airport and departure taxes if applicable
  • $100US Galapagos Park Entry Fee
Notes:
  • Call or email us for our rates
  • Accommodation from standard to luxury
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    Some day tours/transfers may be private or pooled with other travelers. If this is not acceptable please advice your booking agent and we will be able to provide private tours.
    Martour International 2011
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