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Quito And Galapagos Islands Cruise

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Quito And Galapagos Islands Cruise
11 Days / 10 Nights
Classic Quito and 7 nights aboard the M/V Coral I or II

Day 1 Friday - Quito
Arrival In Quito. Upon arrival at the airport a host will meet and assist you in transferring to the hotel and in registering.
Afternoon complimentary Quito scenic tour - Drive through this overwhelmingly beautiful city down the broad avenues of the northern residential section. See the modern Legislative Palace whose stone murals record the country's history and the impressive San Agustin Monastery and its Sala Capitular. Go downtown to Independence Plaza, the town's oldest colonial center bordered by the Cathedral, Government Palace, and Archbishop's Palace. Visit La Compañía Church, famous for its ornate facade and glittering golden altars. Visit San Francisco Church which is one of the first great religious buildings in the New World and the home of the works of the famous Indian artist, Caspicara.

Day 2 Saturday - Quito
Full Day Tour to Otavalo Indian Market - Early morning departure for a drive along the Pan-American Highway to visit one of South America's most famous Indian fairs, the Otavalo Market. En route to the market, a quick stop at Calderón allows the opportunity to see how the popular marzipan "bread dolls" are made and to make "bargain price" purchases of them. Arriving at Otavalo, take a walk through the bustling produce market where the Indians meet to trade among themselves. Continue to the tourist market, which is piled high with colorful ponchos, tapestries, woolen goods, and Indian jewelry. In the afternoon drive to the woodcarving center of San Antonio de Ibarra and to the village of Cotacachi, famous for its leather handicrafts. Lunch is provided en route.

Day 3 Sunday - Quito / Baltra Island / Santa Cruz Island
Transfer from hotel to the airport for departure.
Flight - Quito/Guayaquil/Baltra - The Galapagos Islands
Ship - M/V Coral I or II: 8 Days/7 Nights (Sunday-Sunday) cruising the islands.
Welcome at Baltra Airport . Briefing on ship´s facilities at lounge given by guides as well as National Park. Safety drill practice with passengers, crew and guides.
In the afternoon visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz . Passengers will observe the twin pit craters, Los Gemelos and later visit Cerro Chato. The chances are good that another sighting of the famous Giant Tortoises that gave the name to these islands will occur. Additionally, travelers can literally get into the Galapagos by walking in the dormant lava tubes.

Day 4 Monday - Española Island
AM: Española Island - Travelers enjoy a dry landing at Suarez Point . Upon landing visitors will learn more about the lava terrain while crossing the inactive lava fields.. Aside from the Sea Lion colonies, this is one of the most important sites for bird watching. As soon as visitors step foot on this island many species can be spotted and observed up close. Among the many species, the Hooded Mocking bird and Red Billed Tropic Bird can be seen. Travelers will also spot a large colony of Marine Iguanas, Lava Lizards, and the colorful Sally Light Foot Crabs. After a short trek visitors encounter colonies of masked and blue-footed boobies. Nesting grounds sometimes overlap the trail. Visitors will also find Galapagos Doves, Hawks and Swallow-Tailed Gulls. After crossing the nesting grounds you will reach the world's largest colony of Waved Albatross (15000 approx.), Their mating rituals are a highlight. Nearing the end of this excursion passengers will visit the famous blowhole, where water shoots into the air at almost 23 mts. (75 ft.).
PM: Gardner Bay wet landing on a white coral beach amidst a large colony of Sea Lions. This site has no trails, therefore no hiking, but is considered an open area where you can spot: Galapagos Hawks, American Oyster Catchers, Galapagos Doves, Hood Mockingbirds, 3 species of Darwin Finches, Yellow Warblers, Lava Lizards and Marine Iguanas and a great place for swimming and snorkeling, the best spot is by the rock outcropping that looks like a turtle. Often snorkelers see many of the Galapagos marine species such as King Angelfish, Creole Fish, Damsel Fish, Parrot Fish, Manta Rays, White Tipped Reef Sharks, and many more.

Day 5 Tuesday - Floreana Island / Plaza Island
AM: Floreana Island Cormorant Point - Wet landing on a greenish colored sand beach. Passengers will hike a well marked trail beginning in the Black Mangrove beds heading toward the back of the lagoon. The large, brackish lagoon holds one of the biggest populations of flamingos in the Galápagos. This island is best known for its endemic plant life, such as the Galápagos millwork, Passion flower, and unique button mangrove. Novice snorkelers can practice back on the main beach where the sea lions are playful, while experienced snorkelers can roam the waters around Devils Crown.
PM: Plaza Island - This is one of the two small islands located from the East coast of Santa Cruz . Passengers will enjoy a view of both North and South islands. Embarking only on the Southern island, Plaza del Sure. Another great wet landing. Passengers will hike the short trail observing endemic species of vegetation. Despite its small size, some of the most interesting species are here, such as Land Iguanas that are often hiding in the shade of cacti, and the nesting areas for the swallow-tailed gulls. The largest colony of Sea Lions in the Galapagos can be found here.

Day 6 Wednesday - North Seymour Island / Baltra Island
AM: North Seymour Island - After a dry landing guests will encounter Swallow Tailed Gulls and Sea Lions. This site is also known for being a major nesting colony for Blue Footed Boobies, and the largest colony of the Magnificent Frigate Bird. (a different species from the Great Frigate Bird). Travelers will also spot both endemic species of iguanas, the Marine Iguanas and Land Iguanas. Passengers will enjoy this relaxed hike around the nesting sites.
PM: Baltra Island - Disembark at the docks, passengers board a bus that drives them to the airport for their flight back to mainland via Guayaquil to Quito .

Day 7 Thursday - Rabida Island / Santiago Island
AM: Rábida Island - Dry landing at the dark red colored beach of volcanic origin, frequented by sea lions. It is often considered the geographic center of Galapagos because it has the most diversified volcanic rocks in all of the Islands . Here a short trail leads to a salt water lagoon, where we find small colonies of Flamingos feeding. The brown pelican nests in the mangroves found at the far side of the lagoon. Also to be found are boobies and 9 species of Darwin 's finches. Dinghie ride by the reefs and an excellent opportunity for snorkeling.
PM: Santiago Island - Visit the dark sand beach at Puerto Egas during a wet landing. Most of the landscape is tuff-stone layers and lava flows, the surrounding area is prime for spotting and observing Hunting Herons, Great Blue Herons, Lava Herons, Oyster Catchers, and the Yellow Crowned Night Heron. Passengers enjoy the sight of Marine Iguanas grazing upon algae beds at low tide sharing space with Red Sally Light-Foot Crabs. There is a colony of Fur-Seal swimming in deep pools of cool water called “grottos”. This is an excellent spot for swimming and snorkeling in search of Octopuses, Sea Horses, Star Fish and other sea life caught in the small tidal pools. From a safe distance travelers can admire Moray Eels, Hammerhead Sharks, White Tip and Galapagos Sharks, Golden and White Spotted Eagle Rays, Jacks, Wahoo, Tuna, Groupers, Red-Tailed and Dog Snappers, Sea Lions, and Sea Turtles. All located in the back drop of cold water and warm water corals, fans, and sponge.

Day 8 Friday - Fernandina Island / Isabela Island
AM: Fernandina Island - After a dry landing at Espinoza Point , passengers will see the largest colony of Marine Iguanas mingling with Sally-light Foot Crabs,. Also enjoyed are the Flightless Cormorants nesting sites, the Galapagos Penguins, Galapagos Hawks, and Sea lions. Among the flora and volcanic formations observers will note Brachycereus Cactus, “pa-hoe-hoe” lava, and other unusual lava formations. Travelers will view recent lava flows from a safe distance. Also numerous mangrove beds extend into the sea, depicting a healthy and thriving eco-system.
PM: Isabela Island - Vicente Roca Point , open for dinghy sightseeing, snorkeling, and scuba. Travelers will enjoy high cliffs with tuff stone, ash, and other lava formations. Caves and plenty of nesting sites for Brown Noddies and Blue Footed Boobies. Up close encounters with the occasional Dolphin, but Sea Lions and Fur Seals are often reported.

Day 9 Saturday - Bartolome Island / Santa Cruz Island
AM: Bartolomé Island - Dry landing, passengers will see volcanic formations including lava bombs, spatter, and cinder cones. After a hike to the summit visitors have an impressive view of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone of Pinnacle Rock. During the ascent travelers will often see a large colony of Marine Iguanas and Lava Lizards. Red Mangroves, Tiquilla, and various cacti all add to the experience. Visitors also enjoy a chance to cool off while snorkeling. Here travelers often see the Galapagos Penguin, Sea Turtles, and White Tipped Sharks from a safe distance.
PM: Santa Cruz Island - Black Turtle Cove located near Las Bachas beach in the north of Santa Cruz Island . This excursion provides passengers with a “panga” ride though the mangrove, during which the outboard motor of the small boat is turned off. This allows for the close observation of Sea Turtles, White Tipped Reef Sharks, Spotted Eagle Rays, and Yellow Rays.

Day 10 Sunday - Santa Cruz Island / Baltra Island / Guayaquil / Quito
AM: Santa Cruz Island Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora, staffed with international scientists conducting biological research and conservation projects. Here you can also admire Giant Tortoises, part of the breeding program. Also travelers can admire the impressive Giant Prickly-Pear Cactus forest and many land birds. The visit to the station takes around 40 minutes. After this visit passengers have some free time to walk around town and shop for souvenirs.
PM: Baltra Island Baltra´s airport in order to take the flight back to Guayaquil and then to Quito. Upon arrival at the airport a host will meet and assist you in transferring to the hotel and in registering.

Day 11 Monday - Quito / USA
Transfer from hotel to the airport for departure.
Flight - Quito / USA

*** End Of Our Services ***

Departures: Every Friday.
Hotels to use: Hotel Alameda Real in Quito.
Prices available upon request.
The roundtrip airfare from Quito to the Galapagos Islands is also included.
Not included: $100 Galapagos Island National Park tax.
All our tour packages include: Please click here