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Ecuador & Galapagos Holidays

The Andean Mountains, Cloud Forest, Otavalo Market & Galapagos Cruise

13 Night Itinerary from  £5,745

Zuleta Tour

Enjoy a range of guided explorations from Quito and a 7-night Galapagos Islands cruise aboard the MV Galapagos Legend ship or the Samba

Select your preferred departure date

Download Itinerary Request Quotation

Tour Route

Travel Highlights

  • Explore the Galapagos Islands for 7 nights aboard the MV Galapagos Legend or the Samba
  • Five days based in Quito with daily excursions in the Andes
  • Excursions to explore Andean Mountains to the north, south, east and west
  • Excursion include markets, cloud forest, volcanoes, Andean landscapes
  • Explore Quito including a tour of the old town
  • Visit Otavalo market famous for its colourful textiles and handicrafts
  • Trek in a cloud forest and observe condors at Zuleta
  • Get up close to the friendly wildlife of the Galapagos 
  • Delicious meals in a friendly cruise environment including lunch al fresco
  • Gain unique insights with nightly lectures and talks on the Galapagos
  • Snorkel with sea lions and colourful marine life
  • The spacious ship and itinerary is ideal for families 
  • Choose between the Galapagos Legend and the Samba yacht

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.

Tour Itinerary

top things to do in Ecuador - Otavalo Market.jpg

Quito and around - 6 Nights

Day 1 - Fly from the UK to Quito

Day 2 - Otavalo market and villages

Day 3 - History, culture and condors in the Andes

Day 4 - Full day excursion to cloud forest at Bellavista

Day 5 - Colonial city tour of Quito

Day 6 - Papallacta hot springs

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Sunday, 25 September 2022

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, the first class Dann Carlton for 6 nights on a bed and breakfast basis. Our guide will provide you with expert local advice, explain your programme and answer any questions you may have.


Monday, 26 September 2022

Otavalo market and villages

This morning travel to the north to the province of Imbabura, an area of lakes, snow-covered mountains and terraced farmlands. Here, we visit the colourful local markets of the Andean Valleys are famous for their fine handicrafts. 

Continue to Calderon, a town where the famous bread-dolls are made, and on through Cayambe, famous for the local biscuits’ factories. We then visit Otavalo, known for one of the most known markets in South America. You will find all kinds of handcrafts, including tapestries made in the Spanish weaving loom as well as the indigenous backstrap loom. 

We also visit a colonial hacienda, returning to Quito in the late afternoon. Local costumes


Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Day at Leisure or optional History, culture and condors In the Andes

Day at Leisure. Or optional excursion to experience rural life of the Andes at Hacienda Zuleta. On arrival at the Hacienda, discover four centuries of Ecuadorian history: pre-Colombian, Spanish and Ecuadorian tradition, preserved by the family of Mr. Galo Plaza Lasso, former President of Ecuador. 

Enjoy an included lunch with ingredients sourced mainly from the Hacienda  and Rosario Plaza’s organic gardens. 

In the afternoon, take a hike exploring the well preserved archeological remains of a pre-Inca civilisation, the Karanki, to a native forest valley where we will learn about efforts to conserve the Andean Condor, and see the rescued condors in the aviary. If we are lucky, we might spot wild condors. 

Andean landscapes


Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Excursion to cloud forest at Bellavista

Travel to Bellavista, a very special lodge located in cloud forest. Here, we take a hike in the first and observe  up to ten species of hummingbird.

Your guided hike will also help you understand the unique flora and fauna of the Cloud Forest, its bird life, and the fascinating adaptations to life in this special environment. After your hike, enjoy lunch with breath-taking views. In the afternoon, either relax at the lodge or explore the cloud forest independently in well marked trails.

 


Thursday, 29 September 2022

Colonial city tour of Quito

Today we explore the colonial old centre of Quito and learn about the ancient Inca empire. You will explore the most famous squares, churches and colonial buildings including La Plaza de la Independencia with the Presidential Palace, the Archbishop's Palace, and the Cathedral. 

We continue to San Francisco Square, Church and Convent with the exuberant gold used to decorate the oldest church in Quito and its many representative paintings and sculptures of colonial times. We also visit the art museum and Santo Domingo Square.

San Francisco church


Friday, 30 September 2022

Papallacta hot springs

Today we visit the Andean forests of Papallacta & relax in beautiful thermal baths.

We travel as high as 4,065 metres before descending to the village of Papallacta, where we hike through dense Andean cloud forest. Afterwards, relax in the thermal baths in a beautiful natural location. Lunch is included today.

Dann Carlton Hotel

Quito - First Hotel

The Dann Carlton Hotel is an elegant and cozy first class hotel located in the centre of Quito close to the old town. Enjoy attractive interior spaces, with avant-garde design for a relaxed and pleasant stay.

The hotel has 210 air-conditioned rooms, with queen size beds, TV, FREE Wi-Fi, telephone, desk and chair, two types of pillow, private bathroom with shower, hair dryer and safe.

Public facilities include a swimming pool, gym, restaurant, spa and bar.

The rates are on a room and breakfast basis. 

Dann Carlton Hotel
Parte Alta Santa Cruz (15)

MV Galapagos Legend Cruise - 7 Nights

Day 7 - Fly to Galapagos & embark MV Galapagos Legend

Day 8 - Gardner Bay & Española Island

Day 9 - Floreana Island

Day 10 - Charles Darwin Centre, Santa Cruz Island

Day 11 - Carrion Point, Santa Cruz Island

Day 12 - Prince Philip’s Steps, Genovesa Island

Day 13 - Santa Fe Island 

Day 14 - Bachas Beach and return to the UK

Day 15 - Arrive in the UK

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Saturday, 01 October 2022

Fly to the Galapagos & embark MV Galapagos Legend or Samba

Galapagos LegendFly to San Cristobal in the Galapagos and transfer to the Galapagos Legend. The Legend offers a choice of fabulous 7 night itineraries, enabling journeys to the north, east west and south of the archipelago. We showcase a cruise to the south and north. After settling into your cabin and lunch, we visit excellent Galapagos Islands Interpretation Centre, and learn about islands’ history, it’s volcanic origins, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, the arrival of the different species and their colonisation. Also enjoy a walk at Tijeretas Hill with beautiful landscapes and a magnificent view at the foot of a frigate bird nesting colony.

Samba motor yacht


Sunday, 02 October 2022

Gardner Bay & Osborn islets Española Island

We take a wet landing at Gardner Bay on a beautiful white coral sandy beach guarded by a colony of sea lions. There are no trails, so we stay along the shore where we can spot Galapagos hawks, American Oystercatchers, Galapagos Ground Doves, Hood mockingbirds, Yellow Warblers, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin’s finches. Swim and snorkel with sea lions and observe manta rays and reef sharks.

Continue to Suarez Point, Española Island and explore volcanic formations and a riveting wildlife: the Española mockingbird, Nazca Boobies, and the spectacular Red-billed Tropicbird. You will also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and the colourful Sally Lightfoot Crabs, and the world’s largest colony of Waved Albatross, the highlight during mating season (May-December). 

My highlight: snorkeling with sea lions


Monday, 03 October 2022

Floreana Island

We visit the bay where in 1793 Captain James Colnett installed a wooden barrel which served as an informal post office for sailors passing through, who would take letters with them back to their destinations. Today, visitors continue the tradition by placing unstamped postcards inside the barrel, hoping that some other traveller, going to the letter destination, will take it back for free. 

Apart from great wildlife and snorkelling, the island is best known for its endemic vegetation: Scalesia villosa, Lecocarpus Pinnatifidus, and the Galapagos Milkwort. 

In the afternoon, we land on an olivine green, sanded beach. We hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos and one of the most important nesting sites of Green Pacific Sea Turtles. A small colony of penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well.

Pacific sea turtle under water


Tuesday, 04 October 2022

Charles Darwin Centre, Santa Cruz Island

Arrive at Santa Cruz Island and visit the famous Charles Darwin Research Station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place as part of efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment. The station also works providing environmental education to the communities and schools.

We continue to the Highlands Tortoise Reserve and observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Lava tunnel formations are the result of the many eruptions that have occurred throughout history. In the Scalesia forest, vermilion flycatcher, short-eared owls, and several finch species can be spotted.

Giant Tortoises


Wednesday, 05 October 2022

Carrion Point, Santa Cruz Island

Explore the rocky cliff at Carrion Point. Snorkel among a variety of colourful fish, stingrays, and if lucky, there could be the chance to see the magnificent White tipped shark. 

The afternoon is at leisure and a chance for you to enjoy an afternoon in Puerto Ayora with its cafes, markets and relaxed feel.


Thursday, 06 October 2022

Prince Philip’s Steps, Genovesa Island

Be marvelled at the variety of sea life at Prince Phillip’s Steps. Red-billed Tropicbirds fly overhead, switching between their nests and the bay, and a small colony of fur seals may be found near the landing site. You will be dropped off at a steep stairway that begins on rocks at the foot of a path that leads through a seabird colony full of Nazca and Red-footed Boobies. 

In the afternoon we visit Darwin Bay, with its small sand and coral beach. A short trail heads up a rocky hill to a point overlooking the cliffs and Darwin Bay. Along the trail, you will see pairs of swallow-tailed gulls, lava gulls, yellow-crowned and lava Herons, great frigate birds and red-footed boobies.

Nazca boobies


Friday, 07 October 2022

Santa Fe Island

We start today visiting a lagoon at Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz Island) to see flamingos. The trail leads across typical dry zone vegetation where you can also see an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas, offering lovely views of the anchored boats and neighboring islands. The forest is home to mockingbirds, finches, yellow warblers, and Galapagos doves.

After lunch we explore Santa Fe Island with white sandy beaches surrounded by sea lion colonies. Observe Santa Fe land iguanas (the largest in the islands) as well as the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snakes, rice rats, finches and mockingbirds.

Land iguana


Saturday, 08 October 2022

Bachas Beach and return to the UK

Marine IguanaExplore Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz Island) with two small flamingo ponds were iguanas sunbathe. See coastal birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls, as well as interesting native vegetation like red and black mangrove, salt bushes. This beach is one of the main sea turtles nesting sites in the Galapagos. A turtle can lay eggs 3 or 4 times per season with an average of 70 eggs each time. 

Continue to Baltra Airport for your overnight flight back to the UK via Quito or Guayaquil.


Sunday, 09 October 2022

Arrive in the UK

Arrive in the UK in the morning.

Galapagos Legend

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 Legend sailing in the Galapagos Islands

Price Guidelines

Season Low Season High Season
Travel Dates Low Season - Rest of the year High Season - July/August/December
Room Arrangement Tourist First Tourist First
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room £5,745 £5,745 £6,242 £6,242

Prices are a guideline and per person. Please request a quote for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve & Easter.


What's Included

  • 15 Days / 13 Nights
  • International flights (1 overnight)
  • Internal flights from Quito to the Galapagos Islands and return to Guayaquil
  • 6 nights in Quito at the Dann Carlton Hotel with 6 breakfasts and 2 lunches 
  • 7 night cruise on the Galapagos Legend on a full board basis
  • Unlimited tea, water and coffee during the cruise
  • FREE use of snorkelling equipment including wetsuits 
  • Daily excursions with English-speaking guides
  • All transfers

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