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Galapagos Holiday Adventure

December 23-29, 2017 Days | From $3,190 per person


Highlights

  • Zip-lining in cloud forest canopy
  • Swim with sea lions
  • Visit chocolate plantation
  • 4-Day Galapagos wildlife expedition
Join us on our Galapagos Holiday Adventure and enjoy up-close encounters with intriguing wildlife that’s found nowhere else on earth.
Before the Galapagos, visit the mystical cloud forests of Mindo where you’ll zip-line through lush green forests, sharing the sky with rare tropical birds. Then, fly to the Galapagos where you will spend four days exploring the archipelago with the first-class Galapagos Legend ship as your home base. Snorkel with sea lions, dance with Blue-footed Boobies, and meet the famous 500-pound Galapagos tortoises.  This itinerary has it all- colonial culture, wildlife encounters, island explorations, seamlessly combining both educational and active adventures.
Finish the year with one more unforgettable adventure under your belt!

Pricing

  • TRIP LENGTH7 days
  • STARTING AT$3,190
  • DEPARTURE DATESDecember 23 - 29, 2017
*Trip price based on 4+ travelers

Included
  • Local Andean Discovery guides
  • 3-night / 4-day Galapagos wildlife cruise
  • Accommodations based on double occupancy
  • All activities per itinerary
  • Airport transfers in private vehicle
  • Most meals
  • Andean Discovery U.S. and South American staff assistance from start to finish
Not Included
  • International airfare to and from South America
  • $120 per person Galapagos park fees
  • Gratuities
  • Travel insurance (available upon request)

Itinerary
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Detailed Itinerary >>
Arrive in Quito and transfer to your hotel

Quito, Ecuador, is a spectacular city positioned just a few miles shy of the equator in a narrow valley surrounded by volcanoes. At 9,350 feet above sea level, it is the second highest capital city in Latin America, and maintains a pleasant spring-like climate all year round. Quito is also the cultural epicenter of Ecuador, with a plethora of museums, expansive outdoor parks, and colorful festivals and fairs. Upon evening arrival into Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport, you will be met by Andean Discovery staff and transferred to your hotel to relax after the long flights.

Overnight: Sheraton Quito

Go canopy zip-lining, vist a chocolate plantation, and tour the middle of the world equator line

Meet up with your guide this morning and travel by private vehicle to the famous cloud forests of Mindo. Watch the scenery transform as you descend the high slopes of the Andes into the lush green forests below, keeping an eye out for waterfalls and cascades along the way. Located in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, Mindo is home to over 300 different species of tropical birds–including toucans, quetzals, owls, and hummingbirds–and countless other plant and animal species. Catch a birds-eye-view of it all during a thrilling canopy zip-line tour, a series of 13 platforms and lines spanning over two miles across the upper levels of the forest.

After lunch, enjoy the tastiest of Ecuadorian customs by visiting a chocolate factory and speaking with a cacao producer. We explore every aspect of the supply chain from bean to bar, and sample some of the world’s best chocolate along the way.

This afternoon, travel to zero degrees latitude and visit the Mitad del Mundo equatorial monument. Stand with one foot in each hemisphere and test out the effect of gravity on the equator through a series of interactive experiments. For example, is it possible balance an egg on the equator? Return to your hotel in Quito.

Overnight: Sheraton Quito (B, L)

Begin your cruise aboard the Galapagos Legend

This morning you will be met by Andean Discovery staff and transferred to the airport in time for your morning flight to Baltra Island, Galápagos. Upon arrival, you will be met by your Galapagos naturalist guides. A 45-minute bus ride will take you to the Santa Cruz highlands where we will find a natural reserve with giant Galapagos tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles are responsible for the island’s name and therefore approaching them in their humid and forested abode is always an inspiring adventure. They can weigh between 250 and 300 kg and can live up to 150-200 years. Additionally, travelers can walk inside surprising lava tubes; we also visit Pit Craters created from the collapse of surface materials into chamber fissures underground. It’s a great place to spot Vermilion Flycatcher as we walk inside an endemic Scalesia forest. This afternoon board the Galapagos Legend for a welcome briefing and dinner.

Overnight: Galapagos Legend Cruise (B, L, D)

Enjoy island hikes and snorkeling

Egas Port (Santiago)

Wet landing on a beach of black volcanic sand, visited by Darwin in 1835. The first section of the trail is comprised of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half of partially uneven terrain is comprised of volcanic basaltic rock lounging the shoreline. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago’s shores is home to a variety of resident and migrant birds, including the bizarre Yellow-crowned Night Heron and astounding array of marine wildlife including lobster, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally Light-foot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks are also a highlight.

PM – Bartolomé

This afternoon you will discover a fascinating lunar-like landscape formed by different volcanic parasitic cones as you hike to the summit of Bartolome for impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock. The lack of vegetation is immediately noticeable and you may encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards and blue- footed boobies along the way.

Enjoy some beach time and a great opportunity to snorkel and observe Galapagos Penguins, sea turtles and White-tipped Reef Sharks and a great variety of colorful fish. The water here is generally clear, without too much surf and full of marine life, making it one of the best snorkel sites in the Galapagos.

Overnight: Galapagos Legend Cruise (B, L, D)

Continue touring the Galapagos

AM – Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz)

This morning disembark on the north side of Santa Cruz Island and walk by a brackish lagoon where feeding flamingoes can be occasionally found. The trail leads across typical dry zone vegetation up to Dragon Hill, an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas, offering lovely views of the anchorage and neighboring islands. The forest is home to mockingbirds, Darwin’s finches, Yellow Warblers and Galapagos Doves.

PM – North Seymour

This afternoon disembark on North Seymour Island and enjoy a two-hour walk amidst large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies, great frigatebirds, and swallow-tailed gulls for an in depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles and as well as sea lions. You will also observe sea lions, land iguanas, and on a lucky day, you might even come across a Galapagos Snake.

Overnight: Galapagos Legend Cruise (B, L, D)

Conclude Galapagos cruise and fly back to Quito

Disembark on Bachas Beach on the north side of Santa Cruz. Behind the beach lie two small flamingo ponds with iguanas, coastal birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls, as well as interesting native and endemic vegetation, red and black mangroves, salt bushes, and much more. This beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. At this paradisiacal site we will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago, once property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. That is why the beach is called “Bachas” because the word “barges” in English was hard to pronounce for the local people.

Transfer to the airport in Baltra in time for your morning flight to Quito. A light lunch/snack will be served on the flight. Additional lunch and dinner not include. Upon arrival in Quito, you will be met by Andean Discovery staff and transferred to your hotel.

Overnight: Sheraton Quito (B)

This morning you will be transferred to the airport in time for your international flight.

(B)



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  • Sheraton Hotel Quito

    This modern hotel provides superior comfort and facilities for your stay in Ecuador's capital city.

  • Galapagos Legend

    A 100 passenger first class Galapagos Cruise Ship that provides luxury without formality.



Overview
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Overview
Itinerary
Photos
Accommodations

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