Ecuador & Galapagos Holidays
The enchanting Galapagos Islands, Andean people & culture
9 Night Itinerary from £6,367
Darwin Legends Tour
Explore colonial Quito for 2 nights and discover the Galapagos Islands on a 7-night cruise of a lifetime. Veloso Tours provides expert advice on the best ship and itinerary to perfectly meet your requirements.
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- The easiest way to visit the Galapagos
- Start with a guided tour around Quito's World Heritage centre
- Discover the friendly wildlife of the Galapagos on an expedition cruise
- Enjoy daily excursions to walk through the islands with expert guides
- Snorkel with sea lions and colourful marine life
- Choose from the Cachelote Explorer, the Galapagos Legend or M/V Passion
This itinerary can be tailored to your preferences by our specialist advisors, who can provide a guaranteed price based on your choice of route, duration, flights, hotels, transport and excursions.
Quito - 2 Nights
Day 1 - Fly from the UK to Quito
Day 2 - Guided tour of Quito
- Full Description
Saturday, 09 December 2023
Fly from the UK to Quito
Depart the UK on a daytime flight to Quito, arriving the same evening. You will be met by our representative and taken to your hotel for 2 nights. Our guide will provide you with expert local advice, explain your programme and answer any questions you may have.
Sunday, 10 December 2023
Guided tour of Quito
Enjoy an afternoon guided tour of Quito, including the historic old part of the city with its fabulous colonial architecture, many convents, churches and small streets to explore. We will visit the three main squares including impressive San Francisco square as well as the Presidential Palace and the Gold Museum.
Quito - First Boutique
Almost hidden away in the Old Town of Quito, this restored mansion houses a hotel which is part art gallery, part antiquarian, part restaurant. Its spacious gallery has many pieces by national and international artists. The six rooms are comfortably and stylishly furnished, all with private bathroom. the hotel also commands excellent views of the "Panecillo" one of Quito's great landmarks. The hotel restaurant serves Ecuadorean delights as well as Mediterranean cuisine.
Quito - Tourist Hotel
The Hotel Plaza Sucre is located at the very heart of Ecuador's capital, in the historical downtown named by UNESCO as a Human Heritage site in 1978, because of its architectural beauty and cultural richness. The sober and colonial atmosphere of the hotel makes you feel being transported to the republican era. The hotel offers 25 comfortable guestrooms equipped with private facilities, TV cable, internet, Wifi, and modern facilities. Breakfasts are served in a wonderful rooftop patio with great views of "El Panecillo" statue which towers over the city.
Quito - First Hotel
Located on the main avenue Amazonas, the centre of Quito office and business centre, close close the historic downtown, the Grand Mercure Alameda is a mdern business-style hotel offering a number of quality amenities. Its rooms are tastefully decorated, all with balcony and private bathroom. The hotel restaurants serves buffet breakfast, as well as Ecudorean and International cuisine. This is a good value hotel in the centre of the city.
Galapagos Cruise - 7 Nights
Day 3 - Fly to the Galapagos Islands
Days 4-9 - Galapagos cruise with daily guided excursions
Day 10 - Disembark and return to the UK
Day 11 - Arrive in the UK
- Full Description
Monday, 11 December 2023
Fly to the Galapagos Islands
Fly to the Galapagos Islands and transfer to your chosen ship for a 7-night cruise on a full board basis including all excursions. Once on board, settle into your cabin and enjoy dinner followed by a full briefing and lecture on your exciting week ahead.
Explore the the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin observed the wildlife that would lead him to his theory of evolution. Basking marine iguanas, waved albatrosses, blue and red footed boobies, giant tortoises and friendly sea lions abound. Each morning and afternoon enjoy walking, swimming and snorkelling, accompanied by our expert naturalist guides to observe as much friendly wildlife as possible. Here we feature the Galapagos Legend 7-night North and West Itinerary.
Tuesday, 12 December 2023
Genovesa Island: El Barranco & Darwin Bay
It is amazing to see the diversity of sea life that shelters in the crevices on the lava rock cliffs. A small group of fur seals can be found close to the landing area. Red-billed tropicbirds are seen flying overhead, switching between their nests in the bay and their nests. At the foot of a path that passes through a seabird colony, you will find a steep staircase that runs up to the top of rocks. The trail then continues inland, allowing you to view more nesting colonies of boobies in the Palo Santo forest. Wedge-romped Storm-Petrels are visible flying in all directions from the trail's end, just above a lava plain. You may be able to see a short-eared Owl if you're lucky.
You will find a small coral and sand beach. The trail leads west along the tidal lagoon, then up a steep rocky hill to reach a viewpoint overlooking Darwin Bay and the cliffs. Visitors will find pairs of swallow-tailed and lava gulls along the trail close to the tidal lake. You will continue on the trail through Palo Santo trees and Opuntia cedars, as well as Saltbushes, which are home to red-footed bobies and Great Frigate birds. Visitors can see red-footed bobies in this area. Genovesa's trees and bushes are home to more than 100,000 red-footed bobies.
Wednesday, 13 December 2023
Santa Cruz Island: Dragon Hill & Santa Fe Island
Dry landing. To see Dragon Hill's flamingos, walk by a brackish lake. You will find beautiful views of nearby islands and anchored boats as you walk along the trail. Mockingbirds, Galapagos doves, yellow warblers and Darwin's finches can be found in the forest.
Wet landing. Santa Fe has white sand beaches, surrounded by sea-lion colonies. Through the island path, an endangered cactus forest can be passed, home to the Santa Fe land Iguanas, the largest of the islands. This island is home to a number species including the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos snakes and rice rats, one of the few endemic Galapagos rodents. There are also a variety finches and one mockingbird species.
Thursday, 14 December 2023
Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach & Mosquera Islet
Wet landing. Two small flamingo lakes are located on the north side Santa Cruz. They were used by iguanas to sunbathe. This beach is the primary nesting site for sea turtles in the Galapagos. The average turtle will lay 70 eggs per season, which is three to four times the normal number. This paradisiacal spot will also contain the remains of barges, which were sunk long ago when the United States Navy had a base on Baltra Island during World War II. Locals changed the name barges to "Bachas".
Wet Landing, Mosquera Islet can be found between North Seymour Island and Baltra Island. The island is flat and sandy with a large colony sea lions. This is a great spot to see shorebirds like lava gulls and herons. The islet is undeveloped and visitors can freely enjoy its open space. The majority of the island is covered in sand and barren volcanic rock. The sand is not suitable for growing sesuvium por Tulacastrum plants.
Friday, 15 December 2023
Santiago Island: Egas Port & Rabida Island
Wet landing. Egas Port, a volcanic sand beach of black color, was visited by Darwin in 1835. The trail's first section is made of volcanic ash, which is eroded tuff. The second half is uneven volcanic basaltic rock terrain. Santiago shore's unique and strikingly layered terrain is home to many animals, including the yellow-crowned nightheon. You can easily see colonies of endemic fur sealings in volcanic rock pools.
Rabida Island, wet landing. This island is home to sea lion colonies. Its unique beaches are covered in dark-red sand. Rabida Island is the epicenter for the Galapagos Islands because of its volcanic geology. From July to September, nesting brown pelicans can be found along with nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches. To observe nesting seabirds, a dinghy ride is taken along the cliffs. You can snorkel off the coast where you will find marine life at its best.
Saturday, 16 December 2023
Isabela Island: Urbina Bay & Tagus Cove
Urbina Bay: Wet landing (may be difficult due the tide). To see giant tortoises, land Iguanas and an unusual flightless cormorant, you will need to go to Urbina Bay. A short walk inland will bring you to snorkeling, where you can swim with sea turtles and sea lions. Urbina Bay is home to many different plants, each with a different range of flowers. This attracts different insects, birds and reptiles. The island's highlight is the coral reef, which was created by the 1954 seismic activity. Here you can see Alcedo Volcano. Whale watching is possible from Urbina to Tagus Cove during May-December.
We have a dry landing at Tagus Cove. Now we're on Galapagos largest island, where we'll learn more about the eruption of the five
It is formed by volcanoes. This trail takes you to Darwin's salt water crater lake, with spectacular views of volcanic formations and lava fields. The same route will take us back to Darwin's salt-water crater lake. We will enjoy a dinghy ride along the shoreline, which is home to a wide variety of seabirds including the blue-footed boby, brown noddy and flightless cormorant. Depending on the season, we may also see a lot of Galapagos Penguins (the only penguin species that live in the tropics), as well as a number of other seabirds. There are approximately 2,000 penguins living on the islands. Others live further south. You will be able to snorkel in deep waters. The curious reminder of a fascinating past is Graffiti, which is believed to be left behind by 19th-century pirates.
Sunday, 17 December 2023
Fernandina Island, Espinoza Point & Isabela Island
It is possible to see Isabela Island from Espinosa Point. This area boasts the most diverse endemic marine fauna in the Galapagos. These are the home to some of the most primitive and large marine iguanas.
It was seen mingling among sea lions, and Sally light-foot crabs. Fernandina offers a rare opportunity to see flightless cormorants nesting at Galapagos penguins' nesting sites and the Galapagos Hawk, which is the "King of predators" on the islands. The majority of Fernandina terrain is covered by AA and Pa-hoehoe lava formations. In the inland, vegetation is sparse with very few brachycereus-cacti. Mangroves can be found at the beaches.
Deep-water snorkeling is possible at the Bolivar Channel in Vicente Roca Point, one of the most beautiful marine havens on Earth. We can access the coast by water and take a dinghy along the coast to see a wide variety of coastal birds, including Nazca and blue-footed Bobies, noddies and brown pelicans as well as penguins and flightless cormorants. This area of the Galapagos is a great place to deep-snorkel.
Monday, 18 December 2023
Santa Cruz Island and return to the UK
Dry landing. Galapagos' mountains offer a variety of bird species, including tree and ground finches,...vermillion flycatchers and yellow warblers. Cattle egrets can also be seen (usually standing on the tortoises shell). You can see the diversity of ecosystems on the island from the road to the reserve. It is a great way to experience it all. From the coast, the road winds through the agricultural zone to reach dense and humid forests. You may also see Galapagos Giant Tortoises wandering in the paddocks and often seen along the road. This is an ideal spot for birdwatchers, as almost all land birds on the island live or migrate here.
Transfer to the airport and fly to Guayaquil or Quito for your return overnight flight back to the UK.
Tuesday, 19 December 2023
Arrive in the UK
Arrive back in the UK in the morning.
Galapagos Islands - Tourist Motor Yacht
Enjoy the small ship experience of cruising from island to island, getting close to the shore, feel the breeze and listening to the sea. After the morning and afternoon landings ashore, you can enjoy the spacious sundeck areas, sunbathe and admire the sea lions playing around you.
The Cachalote Explorer accommodates up to 16 passengers in 8 air conditioned double cabins, all with private bathroom facilities. There is a crew of 9 including your Galapagos Naturalist Guide that will take you on daily excursions.
Galapagos Islands - First Cruise Vessel
The Galapagos Legend is a spacious ship that can take up to 100 passengers, and has a large outdoor area with sun deck, bar and swimming pool. 5 expert Naturalist Guides take you ashore on daily excursions, morning and afternoon, in small groups of up to 16 guests. The cabins are comfortable and modern, located on four decks, all with lower berths and private facilities. 3 cabins are interior and the rest have either portholes or panoramic windows - and top suites have balconies.
IDEAL FOR FAMILIES
The Legend is the perfect ship for families, as she has 3/4 bed family suites, kids club, kids menu and activities to keep children entertained.
Galapagos Islands - Luxury Motor Yacht
The M/Y Passion offers 14 guests the opportunity to enjoy a spacious cruise in the largest chartered yacht in the Galapagos. With over 200 square metres of fine teak decking, enjoy the Panoramic sky lounge or sun bathe further back on the secluded sun deck.
The gourmet chef serves food of international standards and weather permitting - unlike other vessels - breakfast, lunch and dinner can be served al fresco in the exterior dinning area.
|Season||Low Season||High Season|
|Travel Dates||Rest of the Year||22 Jun-15 Aug; 14-23 Dec|
|Multiple Travellers - Twin Room||£6,367||£6,717||£7,222||£6,587||£7,030||£8,224|
Prices are a guideline and per person. Please request a quote for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve & Easter.
- 11 Days / 9 Nights
- International flights (1 overnight)
- Internal flights to/from the Galapagos Islands
- Accommodation as stated in the itinerary
- 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners
- Transfers to and from accommodation
- Excursions with English-speaking guides
- Transport and meals as shown
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READY - 4 December 2023
ECUADOR & GALAPAGOS: Friendly Wildlife & Culture
LANDMARK TOURS: Multi-Country & Cross Continent
COSTA RICA TOURS & LODGES: Rainforest Habitats
GUIDES by Veloso Tours, are the best Local Hosts
TRAVEL INSURANCE with extensive COVID-19 cover