An epic journey through the best of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

Highlights of Ecuador and Galapagos Holiday MapDepartures: Fortnightly on Thursdays (the Galapagos cruise departs every other Friday)

Length: 14 days / 13 nights

Destinations: Quito / Mindo / Quilotoa Lake / Cotopaxi / Galapagos Islands cruise / Guayaquil

San Jose Cruise YachtCruise: 5 days / 4 nights on a fantastic cruise through the Galapagos on board the San Jose Yacht, an excellent Mid-range yacht in the Galapagos. This yacht operates a range of Galapagos cruise itineraries to different islands and of different lenghts, please contact us if you would like an alternative cruise or to discuss options.

Highlights: Spend time in Ecuador's UNESCO World Heritage capital city of Quito before travelling to the natural beauty of Mindo Cloud Forest for birdwatching and wildlife watching, visit the stunning Cotopaxi volcano, then journey to the Galapagos archipelago on a fantastic 5-day cruise.

Price: from £3720 per person

Single Person Supplement: £POA

Price Information: Based on 2 people travelling and sharing a double or twin room in our selected standard-class hotel accommodation and the Galapagos San Jose Yacht. See our Ecuador hotel guide and our Galapagos San Jose Yacht guide for more information on our accommodation. For a quote based on superior or luxury accommodation, or to tailor this holiday itinerary with a range of options including alternative cruise itineraries and cruise vessels, please Contact Us.

Holiday Itinerary

Arrive in Quito at any time to start your holiday and we will meet you and escort you through the city to your hotel, where the remainder of the day will be free time for you to relax following your flight to South America.

Meals: None

Overnight: Central hotel in Quito

Today you will enjoy a city tour through the fabulous UNESCO World Heritage City of Quito. Visit the stunning Compañia de Jesús (Church of the Society of Jesus) with its fantastically ornate gold interior, and explore San Francisco Convent nearby on Plaza de San Francisco to learn about the fascinating religious history of this city. The tour concludes with a visit to the Virgen del Panecillo lookout which is dominated by a giant iconic landmark statue of madonna and which has incredible landscape views over Quito and of the Andes beyond.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: Central hotel in Quito

Quito
Quito
Quito

Today you will enjoy a free day to explore Quito. We include free time here to provide the opportunity for you to explore this fabulous city at your leisure. Quito is steeped in history with endless cobbled streets and colonial architecture all within walking distance of your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: Central hotel in Quito

This morning we will meet you early at your hotel to depart to the beautiful region of Mindo. The journey starts with a descent along a mountain road providing fantastic views of the Andean scenery before you arrive in the cloud forest region of Bellavista and your lodge accommodation where you can enjoy a light meal. You will then embark on a guided trek through the Bellavista landscape learning more about the rich plant life (including orchids and bromeliads), birdlife and animals that live in the cloud forest. In the evening you will have time to relax in the lodge and spot for the noctural wildlide active in this region, including an incredible variety of moths and night birds.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Meal

Overnight: Bellavista Lodge

This morning you may consider enjoying an early-morning pre-dawn walk near the lodge to admire the first rays of sunlight and to spot the birdlife active at this time of day. After enjoying breakfast at the lodge you have the choice of a guided hike through the cloud forest to a nearby waterfall or a self-guided hike following a trail through the cloud forest closer to the lodge to spot wildlife. In the afternoon you can relax in the lodge and enjoy spotting the hummingbirds that fly through the lodge gardens searching for food in the flowers or enjoy more of the activities provided by the lodge.

In the afternoon you will then be escorted back to your hotel in Quito for the evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Meal

Overnight: Bellavista Lodge

This morning choose from a wide variety of cloud forest and wildlife spotting excursions provided by the lodge. At around 3pm you will leave the lodge behind to enjoy the wonderful return journey to Quito complete with spectacular views of the cloud forest and the lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Central hotel in Quito

This morning you will embark on an excursion to visit Quilotoa Lake, one of Ecuador's most beautiful natural monuments. The journey from Quito to Quilotoa travels through a stunning region of Ecuador passing bizarre mountain shapes and tiny Andean villages, before arriving at Quilotoa Lake. The lagoon is huge in size, almost 3 kilometres in diameter, surrounded by the creater walls of the volcano and with waters that appear green or turquoise in colour with the occasional sulphur bubble appearing from within the lake - a stunning sight. If you feel up to it you can descend to the crater or hike along part of the rim. During the return to Quito you will also visit one of the local colourful artesan markets in one of the local villages.

Meals: Breakfast, Evening Meal

Overnight: Princessa Toa, Quilotoa

From your hotel near Quilotoa you will journey by road along the famous Volcanoes Avenue towards Cotopaxi volcano, the highest active volcano in the world at an altitude of 5897 metres. Upon entering the Cotopaxi National Park you will visit the museum to learn more about the park and the volcano, before continuing into the park itself stopping at Limpiopungo Lake at 3800 metres. This lake is set in beautiful natural surroundings and you can enjoy a short walk to appreciate the view and observe the wildlife which can include wild horses, ducks, hummingbirds and gulls. From here if you wish you can continue by road up the volcano to an altitude of 4600 metres to embark on a short hike to the Jose Ribas refuge for spectacular views of the volcano and the surrounding scenery. After the tour you will return by road to Quito.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: Central hotel in Quito

In the morning we will escort you from your hotel to Quito airport from where you will take a flight to the Galapagos Islands to start your cruise. In the Galapagos your Galapagos guide will meet you in the airport and you will immediately embark on your first excursion visiting the Galapagos Interpretation Center which gives a great introduction to the Galapagos islands. Here you will learn more about the history and human inhabitation in the islands, as well as understand more of the geology and wildlife. After the tour you will transfer to your Galapagos cruise yacht to spend your first night on board your Galapagos cruise ship, with the ship cruising to your next island destination overnight.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Meal

Overnight: Galapagos San Jose Yacht

San Cristobal Interpretation Centre
San Jose Yacht Galapagos Islands

Gardner Bay on Española Island is regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, a beautiful white-sand beach with crystal clear blue waters in a tranquil island setting. This morning you will swim and snorkel in the waters around the bay spotting for sharks, sea lions, and other sea creatures in the rich waters of the Galapagos before making a wet-landing on the beach to walk along the white sands and spot for sleeping sea lions and iguanas in their natural habitat. In the afternoon you will visit Suarez Point, one of the many highlights of a visit to the Galapagos, a place which is home to a wide variety of birds including Nazca boobies, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies and albatross, as well as other species including sea lions and iguanas. You will go on a walk along a trail through this natural spot to admire the wildlife and to a rocky outcrop from where you can observe colonies of seabirds that inhabit this area of the Galapagos.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Meal

Overnight: Galapagos San Jose Yacht

Espanola Island Wet Landing
Espanola Sea Lions
Espanola Island Punta Suarez

This morning you will make a wet-landing at Cormorant Point on Floreana Island (with sea lions waiting on the beach to greet your arrival) before following a short trail to a salt lake to spot the colony of flamingos that live here. The trail continues across the island to another powdery soft beach where you can spot vivid Red Rock crabs and marine iguanas. Later you will tour the islets and bays of Champion Islet by boat, a fantastic place to spot for bird life including penguins, blue-footed boobies, frigate birds and herons. In the afternoon you will travel to Post Office Bay, a historic location in the islands lands where 18th-century whaling ships set up a wooden barrel that was (and still is!) used as a post office to send mail home. From the post office you will walk up to Baroness Lookout to admire the stunning landscape views and hear stories about the early people that tried to colonise this barren but beautiful landscape. The day concludes on a beach below Baroness Lookout where you can snorkel in the waters to spot penguins, rays and beautiful ocean fish before watching the sunset.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Meal

Overnight: Galapagos San Jose Yacht

Floreana Island Cormorant Point
Galapagos Dinghy Boat Excursion
Floreana Island Post Office Bay

Today will start with a dry-landing at Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island, one of the volcanically active islands in the archipelago. You will trek across the volcanic landscape across undulating solidified lava admiring the power of nature and the bizarre and interesting volcanic landscape with lava tunnels and weird rock structures. The walk concludes on a beautiful sandy beach, another location to admire the beauty of the Galapagos and spot for birds including pelicans, boobies and penguins, or go snorkelling in the crystal clear waters. In the afternoon you will cruise to Bartolome Island which is famous as one of the most picturesque and stunning landscape locations in the Galapagos Islands and here you will enjoy the beauty of the waters below Pinnacle Rock at Pinnacle Bay, home to Galapagos penguins and marine turtles. If you wish to appreciate the famous postcard view of Bartolome Island and Pinnacle Bay in the afternoon you can climb the path to the viewpoint at the top of the island for fantastic views over the Galapagos Islands.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Meal

Overnight: Galapagos San Jose Yacht

Santiago Island Sullivan Bay
Bartolome Island
Bartolome Island

On the final day of your Galapagos cruise you will travel to the northern side of Santa Cruz island to visit Black Turtle Cove by small zodiac boat, travelling amongst the reefs, mangroves and rocky islets spotting for a variety of sea-life in the blue crystal clear waters of this secluded lagoon including rays, reef and hammerhead sharks and sea turtles. You also have a final opportunity to spot for bird life including blue-footed boobies and herons. After the lagoon tour you will be escorted back to the airport at Baltra to take a flight to the city of Guayaquil on the Ecuador mainland. Here we will meet you and escort you to your hotel for the evening. Guayaquil is a modern coastal city with a fantastic seafront promenade.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: Central hotel in Guayaquil

Galapagos Boat Excursion
Blue Footed Booby
Galapagos Frigate Bird

At the appropriate time we will escort you from your hotel to Guayaquil airport where you will be able to check-in for your international flight and start your return journey home.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: N/A

Guayaquil
Guayaquil

Included

  • Two domestic flights within Ecuador (Quito - Galapagos Islands / Galapagos Islands - Guayaquil)
  • All excursions
  • English-speaking guides for all excursions
  • INGALA Galapagos control card
  • Entry fees to all sites included in the itinerary (with the exception of the Galapagos National Park Entry Fee which needs to be paid on arrival in the Galapagos)
  • Accommodation
  • All meals detailed
  • Private transfers to / from airports or hotels
  • All transport and travel within Ecuador

Not Included

  • International flights to/from South America. We exclude international flights to give the option to compare flight pricing or use air miles, however we can include and provide international flights as part of your holiday and any international flights booked through us would be ATOL-protected as part of your package with us. Depending on time of year, departure airport and airline preference flight prices start from around £550pp for economy-class return flights. If you would like us to include international flights or provide a quote just let us know your preferred departure airport when you enquire.
  • The Galapagos National Park Entry Fee (payable on arrival in the Galapagos).

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ATOL PROTECTION

This is a flight-inclusive package holiday. All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/atolcertificate.

Contact us if you want more information or want to book this holiday. One of our Ecuador and Galapagos cruise holiday specialists will be more than willing to help.