Day 1 Quito Located 2850m (9348ft) above sea level, the Ecuadorian capital of Quito enjoys a wonderful spring-like climate, despite the fact that it is only 22km (14 mi) south of the Equator.
On a clear day, several snow-capped volcanoes, including nearby Pichincha, are visible from the centre of this city nestled in a mountain-flanked valley. Add a rich history and a well-preserved colonial district to its beautiful location, and you can begin to understand why Quito appeals to thousands of tourists every year.
Booking pre- or post-trip accommodation is highly recommended to fully experience the city and take advantage of the many optional activities available.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting with G Representative
Day 2 Quito/Santa Cruz Island (1B, 1L) Fly to Santa Cruz. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. Inaugurated in 1964 and based in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, the Charles Darwin Research Station is the one place where visitors can easily see the famous Galapagos tortoises, which can live up to two hundred years. This is a great opportunity to observe many species of tortoises and land iguanas in captivity, brought back from the brink of extinction.
Charles Darwin Research Station Visit
Plane (3.00 hour(s))
Day 3 Santa Cruz Island (1B, 1L) Visit the highlands of Santa Cruz to observe the Galápagos giant tortoise in its natural surroundings. The area is also famous for amazing lava tunnels. From this elevation, the panoramic views of the other islands are stunning.
Santa Cruz Highlands Excursion
Kayaking (Itabaca Canal)
Snorkelling (Itabaca Canal)
Day 4 Santa Cruz Island/Floreana Island (1B, 1D) After a free morning, depart Santa Cruz and head to Floreana Island. Keep an eye out for dolphins and the magnificent albatross along the way. Enjoy an introduction to snorkelling directly off Black Beach on the island. After, head up to the seldom-visited highlands of Floreana. Hear tales about the pirates, whalers, seal hunters and bucaneers who once lived in this isolated and unique landscape.
Please note that travel between islands is done by speedboat. The ride can be quite rough, especially from July to December. Make sure to bring sea sickness medication if you are prone to sea sickness.
Black Beach Snorkelling
Floreana Highlands Excursion
Floreana Community Restaurants
Speedboat (2.00-3.00 hours)
Day 5 Floreana Island (1B, 1L, 1D) Walk along the black sand beach to Loberia to enjoy beach snorkelling or swimming. Please be sure you are a comfortable swimmer. The water here can be rough and the currents are strong.
Loberia Snorkelling Excursion
Floreana Community Restaurants
Day 6 Floreana Island/Isabela Island (1B, 1L) Take a morning speedboat journey to Isabela Island. Visit Tintoreras to kayak and observe the whitetip reef sharks found swimming in the channels between the rocks. Get a close-up view of pelicans, frigatebirds, and diving blue-footed boobies. Watch for manta rays and rare Galápagos penguins, of which only 800 pairs exist.
Las Tintoreras Excursion
Speedboat (2.00 hour(s), 37km)
Day 7 Isabela Island (1B, 1L) Take a full day tour on Isabela Island that includes a trek up the Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Galápagos boasting the second largest crater in the world. Hike to the summit to experience a birds-eye view of the magical landscape.
Stop by the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre on the way back to town. In the evening, opt for a surfing lesson or relax at the bar or on the beach and enjoy a nice cold beer or cocktail.
Please note that space may be limited for optional activities during high season, these activities are operated by third-party operators and will be subject to availability.
Sierra Negra Volcano Excursion
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 55km)
Day 8 Isabela Island/Santa Cruz Island (1B) Enjoy a day free for activities in Isabela Island, where how much activity is involved is up to you. In the afternoon, set sail for Santa Cruz Island and dock at the town of Puerto Ayora. After a late hotel check-in, enjoy free time to explore this bustling little town and sample some of the local restaurants and bars, or maybe do some souvenir shopping in one of the many shops.
Speedboat (2.00 hour(s), 46km)
Day 9 Santa Cruz Island/Quito (1B) After a transfer over the island of Santa Cruz, arrive at Baltra Island for the return flight to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito, transfer to the hotel for one last night on the town. Our representative in Quito will be able to advise on and help with some of the many day tours available in and around Quito.
Take a private van to the ferry terminal on Santa Cruz island, before taking a short ferry to Baltra. Once there, a short ride on a public bus will take you to the airport.
Once arriving back in Quito, a private van will transfer you to the hotel for the evening.
Plane (3.00 hour(s), 970km)
Day 10 Quito (1B) Depart at any time.
To fully experience this charming city, booking pre- or post-accommodation is highly recommended.