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Colonial Quito & Galapagos Legend Cruise

8 Days | From $3,690 per person


Highlights

  • Explore Quito's Colonial Quarter
  • Observe marine life from a glass bottom boat
  • Snorkel with sea lions and marine turtles
  • See iconic Blue-footed Boobies and giant tortoises

Maximize your time in Ecuador during a compact itinerary that showcases the incredible diversity of the Galapagos. The 100-passenger Galapagos Legend boasts the largest outside open areas of any yacht in the archipelago. There are also spacious social areas, a lounge with panoramic windows, a substantial dining room, a cocktail bar, a boutique for souvenir shopping, a kids’ corner playground, and a library.

Pricing

  • TRIP LENGTH8 days
  • LAND & CRUISE PRICEFrom $3,690 (4-star hotels)
  • INTERNAL AIRFARE$560
  • Boat Capacity: 100 passengers
*Per person prices based on 4 travelers

Included
  • Accommodations based on double occupancy
  • All activities, transfers, and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Most meals as per the itinerary
Not Included
  • International round-trip airfare to Quito or Guayaquil
  • 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

*Our Superior lodging is noted. Please contact us for information about our Standard lodging options.

City Tour of Colonial Quito and Equator Line

After breakfast, you will be met by your guide and vehicle and proceed on a 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; zero degrees latitude, where you can straddle the equator, putting one foot in each hemisphere. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.

Overnight: Swissotel (B, L)

Fly from Quito to the Galapagos and Board the 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 in Baltra, you will be met by your Galapagos naturalist guide and board the Galapagos Legend for lunch and a safety briefing.

Bachas (Santa Cruz)

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 the 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.

Overnight: Galapagos Legend (B, L, D)

Explore the Coastline and Snorkel at Sullivan Bay and Rabida

Egas Port (Santiago)

Wet landing. Egas Port is a black volcanic sand beach, visited by Darwin in 1835. The first section of the trail is formed of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half is an uneven terrain of volcanic basaltic rock. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago shore is home to a variety of animals including the bizarre yellow-crowned night heron and marine wildlife including lobster, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally light-foot crabs. It is easy to see colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water volcanic rock pools.

Rábida

Wet landing. Dark-red sand covers these unique beaches with incredible landscapes; Rábida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting Brown Pelicans are found from July through September and nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches can be seen. You will also take a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds and snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active.

Overnight: Galapagos Legend (B, L, D)

Observe Wildlife and Snorkeling

Urbina Bay (Isabela)

Wet landing on a volcanic “black” beach. Depending on the season, you may find giant Galapagos tortoises, land iguanas and the unusual Flightless Cormorant. After a short walk inland, snorkeling time is allotted, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plant life that changes depending on the season. We can observe the beautiful colors of plants that attract different insects, birds and reptiles. You will explore the uplifted coral reef that resulted from volcanic activity in 1954, with a spectacular view of Alcedo Volcano. Opportunity for snorkeling.

Tagus Cove (Isabela)

Dry landing on Galapagos’ largest island where we will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that form it. The trail leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater Lake and excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. We will return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where we will admire a variety of seabirds*, such as Blue-footed Booby, Brown Noddy, terns, Flightless Cormorant and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins* which are only 35 cm. tall; the only penguin species in the world to extend its range into the northern hemisphere along the equator. They are monogamous and lay their eggs in small cracks of lava, on the lower parts of the island near the shoreline not reached by the ocean waves. The population of penguins on the islands is about to have been left by19th-century pirates is a curious reminder of an intriguing past. Opportunity for snorkeling.

Overnight: Galapagos Legend (B, L, D)

Hike Espinosa Point and Vicente Roca Point

Espinosa Point (Fernandina)

Dry landing. Espinosa Point is the only spot that you visit on Fernandina, and from it you can see the island of Isabela across the Bolívar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. The largest, most primitive-looking race of marine iguanas are found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. This is also a wonderful opportunity to encounter Flightless Cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos Penguins and the “King” of predators on the Islands, the Galapagos Hawk.  Opportunity for snorkeling.

Vicente Roca Point (Isabela)

Enjoy deep-water snorkeling at one of the richest marine havens on Earth (Bolívar Channel). You will take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds; Nazca and blue-footed boobies, noddies, brown pelicans, penguins, flightless cormorants. The upwelling of cold water currents in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life.

Overnight: Galapagos Legend (B, L, D)

Observe Giant Tortoises and Fly Back to Quito

This morning dry landing to explore the highlands of Santa Cruz. As you ascend, you will travel through several different vegetation zones and witness the landscape become increasingly lush and green by the minute. Here you’ll have the opportunity to view the islands’ most famous reptile: giant Galapagos tortoises in their wild habitat. It’s a real treat to see an endangered species roving in this lush environment! The vegetation of the area includes the Scalesia forest (an endemic giant daisy tree). Birds such as the vermilion flycatcher will delight everyone with its scarlet feathers against an emerald green forest. Later this morning, transfer to the airport in Baltra in time for your morning flight to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito, you will be met by your Andean Discovery guide and transferred to your hotel. A light lunch/snack is served on the plane. Lunch and dinner not included.

Overnight: Wyndham Quito Airport (B)

Depart

Transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)



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Overview
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