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Quito & Galapagos Islands with Alia Catamaran

11 Days | From $5,390 per person


Highlights

  • Travel aboard a fully carbon-neutral catamaran
  • Explore isolated Punta Suarez
  • Snorkel among sea lions
  • Visit a giant tortoise reserve

The Luxury catamaran Alia provides the generous accommodation and amenities of a large ship with the relaxed exclusivity of a smaller vessel. The Alia’s size and speed allows it to go further and visit more islands than any other vessel in the Galapagos.

Pricing

  • TRIP LENGTH11 days
  • PACKAGE PRICEFrom $5,390 per person
  • INTERNAL AIRFARE$540 per person
  • Boat capacity: 16 passengers
  • Trip start: Thursdays
  • Semi-private tour:
*Prices based on 2+ travelers

Included
  • Private tour with professional Andean Discovery guides
  • Accommodations based on double occupancy
  • All activities, transfers, and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Most meals as per the itinerary
  • Park fees (except for Galapagos National Park)
  • Internal round-trip flights as per itinerary, priced out separately above (round-trip Quito to Galapagos)
Not Included
  • International round-trip airfare to Quito
  • Fees for passport and travel insurance
  • $110 per person Galapagos Park fees (subject to change)
  • Gratuities

Itinerary
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Detailed Itinerary >>
Welcome Briefing

Surrounded by forested mountains and volcanoes at 9,350 feet above sea level, Quito is the second highest capital city in Latin America. Despite the fact that it’s only 15 miles south of the equator, Quito’s elevation gives it a wonderful spring-like climate year-round. Upon evening arrival, you will be met by our staff and transferred to your hotel.

Overnight: Swissotel

City Tour of Quito and Middle of the World

After breakfast, take a guided tour of Colonial Quito’s cobbled streets, whitewashed adobe walls, and ornate balconies. Visit sites such as the Church of San Francisco, which was built by the Spaniards in the 16th century, and Independence Plaza. Enjoy a birds-eye view of the city from El Panecillo. After lunch, transfer to the Middle of the World monument where you can straddle the equator by putting one foot in each hemisphere. Enjoy dinner this evening on your own.

Overnight: Swissotel (B, L)

Fly to the Galapagos and Visit the Breeding Center

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Baltra Island, Galapagos. Upon arrival, board your home for the next eight days, the Alia Catamaran, for lunch and a welcome briefing. In the afternoon, you will visit the Breeding Center Jacinto Gordillo “La Galapaguera”. It is a new visitor site in the south part of San Cristobal Island and can now be reached in roughly one hour by road from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. On the trees and shrubs surrounding the site, you may see land birds like warblers, finches and mockingbirds. Giant tortoises can be observed on the trails. They live there wild but in a protected area to ensure their survival by sealing them off from introduced predators like pigs and goats.

Overnight: Alia Catamaran (B, L, D)

Hike around Lobos Island and Pitt Point

This morning you will be involved in an excursion to Lobos Island which means “Sea Lion Island.” This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, playful, jolly sea lions who will welcome you to their home with open, well, fins. This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies. In the afternoon, you will end up visiting the Pitt Point, situated on the north-eastern tip of the island, hosts frigatebirds, storm petrels, and all three types of booby birds: the Nazca, blue-footed and red-footed boobies. A steep trail goes up a cliff and through a ravine leading visitors to an area with an abundance of birds.

Overnight: Alia Catamaran (B, L, D)

Hike and Observe Wildlife in Suarez Point and Snorkel or Kayak in Gardner Bay

In the morning, you will visit Suarez Point. On the trail you will have the chance to see blue-footed boobies, albatrosses, and Nazca boobies. This island is the breeding site of nearly all of the world’s 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses. You will also visit a beautiful site on the ocean front where there is a cliff that the large albatrosses use as a launching pad! You will have the chance to see the famous blowhole that spurts water into the air. The landscape is great for photography. This afternoon excursion takes you to the spectacular Gardner Bay. After landing, you can walk across a lovely white-sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim with sea lion pups. You may also see curious mockingbirds on the beach.

Overnight: Alia Catamaran (B, L, D)

Snorkel Near Carrion Point and Dinghy Ride to North Seymour to Observe Wildlife

This morning you will head to Carrión Point, located in northeastern Santa Cruz. We will navigate around this point which will provide you opportunities to see various sea birds nesting on the rock cliffs. Carrion Point creates a sheltered lagoon with beautiful, turquoise water. During this visit you can snorkel and see a variety of fish, rays and perhaps the harmless white-tip reef sharks. In North Seymour you will be able to see Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and magnificent frigatebirds which are abundant on this island. North Seymour was formed by a series of submarine lava flows containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.

Overnight: Alia Catamaran (B, L, D)

Explore Darwin Bay and Hike Prince Phillip's Steps

Visit the white-sand coral beach of Darwin Bay in the morning, with 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 we’ll find tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view of a cliff. In the afternoon, you will visit El Barranco which is also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps. It is a steep, rocky path that 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.

Overnight: Alia Catamaran (B, L, D)

Visit Sullivan Bay and Snorkel or Kayak Pinnacle Rock

In the morning, you will visit Sullivan Bay located on the southeast part of Santiago. This place is interesting for its geology because the area is covered by lava flows. This place has elevations in the form of small volcanoes formed by the lava flows. In the afternoon, you will head to Bartholomew Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. We will take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes) where you will enjoy one of the best views of the islands! You will also visit a small, beautiful beach surrounded by the only vegetation found on this barren island. The beach is perfect for snorkeling where you may even see Galapagos penguins.

Overnight: Alia Catamaran (B, L, D)

Dinghy Ride to Dragon Hill and around Black Turtle Cove

In the morning, you will visit Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz. The visitors’ site at Dragon Hill is located on the northwestern part of Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that runs through three different environments although it is only slightly less than a mile long (1,600 meters). The beach is very rocky. At high tide it’s a nice place for snorkeling. At this visiting site you can find vegetation typical of the intertidal and dry zones. In the afternoon you will visit Black Turtle Cove on the northern part of Santa Cruz Island. This inlet is surrounded by mangroves and is only accessible by dinghy. The shallow cove is a haven for young marine life. Black-tip and white-tip reef sharks, sea turtles, and a variety of rays are often spotted here.

Overnight: Alia Catamaran (B, L, D)

Hike the Highlands of Santa Cruz and Return to Quito

Your morning excursion takes you from Puerto Ayora to the green highlands of Santa Cruz for a visit to El Chato reserve. The area is divided in two: Caseta and Chato. The trail begins at Santa Rosa (13.7 miles / 22 km) from Puerto Ayora, with the Caseta route being the most challenging. The reserve allows visitors to observe giant tortoises in the wild during the dry season and is also a good place to spot short-eared owls, Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, Galapagos rails and paint-billed crakes. This afternoon disembark and transfer to the airport on Baltra Island for your morning flight to Quito. Lunch and dinner today are on your own.

Overnight: Wyndham Quito Hotel (B)

Depart

This morning you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight home. (B)



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Overview
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