Galapagos Islands Cruise with the Andes & Amazon
October 27 - November 9, 2023 (14 days)
TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:
Roundtrip air transportation from Albuquerque to Ecuador
Roundtrip air transportation Quito to Galapagos Islands
Roundtrip air transportation Quito to “Coca”
Transfers and motorcoach transportation in Ecuador
6 day Galapagos Islands Cruise
5 nights aboard the EcoGalaxy Catamaran
3 nights lodging at excellent hotels
Admissions and excursions as described
26 meals – 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners
All excursions within itinerary
Professional bilingual (English/Spanish speaking) Tour Director
Sun Tours Escort (with 14 passengers)
Accommodations in selected accommodation
Gratuities and taxes for included items
$8,635 Double occupancy, per person
$13,595 Single occupancy
DEPOSIT: 20% of package price
FINAL PAYMENT DUE: June 20, 2023
$750 - Now - June 20, 2023
50% – July 21, 2023 to July 25, 2023
100% – July 25, 2023
TRAVEL PROTECTION INCLUDED
Join us on an exclusive tour to the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador! We have chartered a small yacht, with no more than 16 passengers, to take us through the diverse and spectacular Galapagos Islands. Traveling into mysterious jungles deep in the Amazonian rainforest, exploring the colonial heritage of historic Quito, experiencing indigenous communities in the Andean highlands, and making contact with the exotic evolutionary wonders of the Galapagos Islands, this tour allows you to explore four of the best and most diverse destinations in South America.
Included meals are denoted: Breakfast: B, Lunch: L, Dinner: D
This morning we fly from Albuquerque to Quito, Ecuador. When you arrive in Ecuador’s capital of Quito — which lies at 9,350 feet above sea level at the foot of the Pichincha Volcano — you will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel, where we rest up for a start to our tour tomorrow.
DAY 2 (L,D)
This morning we transfer to the Quito airport, where we then fly to the Galapagos Islands to start our 6-day cruise. We’ll arrive at Baltra Airport, where our National Park naturalist guide will take us to the The Charles Darwin Station, a nonprofit organization which has been working for decades together with the Galapagos National Park to preserve the biodiversity of these unique islands.
Highlights: Galapagos giant tortoise & land iguanas breeding program, Darwin finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, Galapagos flycatchers, yellow warblers.
DAY 3 (B,L,D)
This morning we visit Moreno Point, a magical place with extensive lava fields which look lifeless at first sight. Once inland, scattered brackish lagoons form oasis of life where you can find flamingos, gallinules, ducks and herons.
Snorkel: We will snorkel to see sea turtles, cormorants and many species of fish. Look carefully in the long seaweeds and you might find a sea horse.
Highlights: American flamingos, ducks, gallinules, penguins, cormorants, marine iguanas, sea lions, Galapagos mockingbirds, Darwin finches.
In the afternoon we sail to Elizabeth Bay, a beautiful sheltered bay surrounded by large mangroves and barren lava fields. There is no trail here so you will take a dinghy tour to explore many channels, pools and coves teeming with life.
Highlights: Galapagos hawks, sea turtles, rays, Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, herons.
DAY 4 (B,L,D)
This morning we visit Urbina Bay, known for the dramatic uplifting that happened here during the 1950’s. A large portion of the coast was pushed up, exposing many hectares of previously submerged land.
Snorkel: You can snorkel from the beach to see sea turtles, cormorants and penguins. Fish are also abundant in the area.
Highlights: Galapagos hawks, land iguanas, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos mockingbirds, Darwin finches, flycatchers.
This afternoon we visit Tagus cove, is one of the places Charles Darwin visited during his exploration of the Galapagos islands. You will get great views of Darwin’s lake and the large volcanoes of northern Isabela.
Snorkel: The nutrient-rich waters around Tagus Cove attracts a lot of sea turtles and a great diversity of fish, but also penguins, who feast on large schools of anchovies. It is common to see cormorants underwater as they chase fish through the reef.
Highlights: Galapagos hawks, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, herons, penguins, sea turtles, sea stars.
DAY 5 (B,L,D)
This morning we visit Espinoza Point, located at the base of an imposing volcano (the most active in the Galapagos islands). Tthis site is one of the jewels of the Galapagos National Park.
Snorkel: The nutrient-rich waters around Punta Espinosa attracts great numbers and diversity of fish and sea turtles. Seaweeds are also abundant, making this place the best for seeing marine iguanas feeding underwater.
Highlights: Galapagos hawks, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, penguins, sea turtles, sea lions, herons, oystercatchers.
This afternoon we visit Vicente Roca, surrounded by some of the tallest cliffs in the Galapagos. It is a great location to observe spectacular landscapes and interesting volcanic features. The area is also known to be a good location for whales and dolphins.
Snorkel: Snorkel in the cove to look for sea turtles, penguins, sea lions, cormorants, rays and many different species of fish.
Highlights: Marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, penguins, sea turtles, fur seals, Nazca & blue-footed boobies.
DAY 6 (B,L,D)
Despite its name, there is no “port” at Puerto Egas, but you might see a few remains of the last attempts to colonize the island during the 60’s. The trail goes along the coastline which is rich in wildlife, with marine iguanas basking in the sun everywhere, Galapagos sea lions, herons, oystercatchers and many shorebirds.
Snorkel: You can snorkel from the beach and explore an area of rocky bottoms which is excellent for fish, turtles and reef sharks. Often, sea lions are also present and are happy to interact with divers.
Highlights: Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos fur seals, oystercatchers, marine & land iguanas, Galapagos hawks, herons, shorebirds, Darwin finches, Galapagos doves.
This afternoon we visit Rabida, a small island famous for its reddish lava rocks, which gives it a unique look. There is a small salt water lagoon where we will see ducks and stilts and sometimes flamingos. The trail will take you inland to get beautiful views of the beach and the lagoon.
Snorkel: You can snorkel from the beach and explore a sheltered rocky area, which is excellent for fish, sea lions and reef sharks. Look at the high diversity of small invertebrates attached to the vertical walls.
Highlights: Red-sand beach, Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos hawks, flycatchers, Darwin finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, ducks, flamingos.
DAY 7 (B)
This morning, on our final day of sailing, we visit Black Turtle Cove, which gets its name from the abundance of green see turtles. There is no landing here so you will be doing a boat tour on the dinghies, exploring shallow channels and small coves surrounded by beautiful mangrove forests. Reef sharks, sea turtles and several species rays inhabit this beautiful area which is considered an important mating area for turtles and a nursery for several species of sharks.
Highlights: White-tipped and black-tipped reef sharks, green see turtles, rays, herons, blue-footed boobies, mangroves.
Then, transfer to the airport to take your flight back to continental Ecuador. We’ll then check in to our hotel and we have an independent evening and dinner.
DAY 8 (B,L,D)
This morning Quito airport, where you will embark on a 30-minute flight to the Amazonian town of Puerto Francisco de Orellana, locally known as “Coca.” Arriving at Napo Cultural Center, you have the outstanding chance to step onto the aboriginal territory of the kichwa Añangu community, whose members will welcome you with a traditional and refreshing ice cold “wayusa”, the local hotel manager will give quick instructions and immediately will take you to your comfortable room with views of the rainforest in order to get ready for the first activity in the afternoon.
Hike along “Playas” trail to experience amazon wildlife for the first time in the river islands and shores amidst of one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. Kayaking is also available as an optional activity for around 45 min. to enjoy an overwhelming and colorful sunset in the vastness of Napo River. Then head back to your cabin, rest a little bit and be prepared for a well-deserved dinner. After dinner sleep with the relaxing sounds of the amazon.
DAY 9 (B,L,D)
Early breakfast and then head in the motor boat to one of the highlights of Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, the parrot clay lick in the riverside of River Napo, bring your binoculars and camera lenses to see flocks of blue headed, yellow-crowned parrots and even dusky-headed parakeets, from the boat. Then walk around 30 min, through “pericos” trail to reach the blind in the forest with a direct view to the amazing parakeet clay lick, which brings visitors face to face with up to 11 species of parrots and parakeets (including parrotlets and macaws), sometimes even mammals like howler monkeys, tapir and peccaries come to this place to drink water and get vital minerals for their body.
We end this morning with a visit to the intercultural interpretation center “Kuri Muyu” which means golden seed in native language, handled by the women of the community also knows as “mamakuna” learn about the kichwa culture, crafts, customs and traditional use of natural resources directly from the people of the aboriginal community.
We return to the center of the community to have lunch at the dining hall and take a break in the lodge before hiking one hour in order to climb up the observation tower reaching 35 meters above the surface with high chances to spot a variety of birds, howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, toucans, parrots and sloths. Time for dinner followed by a unique activity at Napo river, onboard the ancestral catamaran to know more about their legends and traditional chants, while women grill some delicious snacks in the fire.
DAY 10 (B,L,D)
Enjoy the sunrise at breakfast, visit the sustainable community projects, talk about the worldview Kichwa Addition to medicinal and walk in the Mama Cuna road, excellent opportunity to see more wildlife, ceiba trees, strangler, bamboo cane, vines and shrubs endemic from Yasuní. In the afternoon, after a delicious local lunch, paddle around “Añangu” stream, a black water ecosystem where you can spot monkeys jumping from tree to tree, caiman and sometimes even giant river otters trying to catch fish.
Upon arriving you will have time to settle back and prepare for a traditional typical dinner to taste local flavors of the amazon, such as “maito” which is grilled fish wrapped in a “bijao” leaf and if you have an adventurous palate try the grilled worms of the “chonta” locally known as “chontakuru”. After dinner, prepare your flashlight for a night walk around the lodge to see different kind of insects, reptiles and even nocturnal mammals like the night monkeys.
DAY 11 (B)
To close with a flourish, take part on the optional “wayusada” ritual, in which at dawn around 4:30 am is the time when the kichwa family share together the sacred “wayusa” and has been a way to past their ancient knowledge to the new generations, here you also share traditional chants and have the chance to “interpret dreams” with the wisest “mamakuna” at the community, a mystique experience indeed.
Then head back for breakfast, before our return to Coca town, onboard our comfortable motor boats for the last chance to appreciate the Ecuadorian rainforest landscape, until you reach “La Mision” river port. After our short flight to Quito, we transfer to our hotel.
Independent evening and dinner in Quito.
DAY 12 (B)
This morning we will explore Quito’s colonial center: the best-preserved historic district in the Americas. Here, you can learn about Quito’s history and artistic legacy while admiring the stunning architecture of its colonial buildings and the uniqueness of its pieces of religious art. We will visit, Basilica Church, La Compañia church, main square Quito, San Francisco and Panecillo Hill. This afternoon, we will continue to the famous “Middle of the World” complex on the equatorial line, where you’ll be able to straddle the planet’s two hemispheres. A great photo op..!!. We will continue to visit Intiñan Museum.
Independent evening and dinner in Quito.
DAY 13 (B)
This morning we depart from the Andes and Quito, flying back home, taking with us only wonderful memories from our South American adventure, and leaving only footprints!
Itinerary is subject to change it. Quito is at 9350 ft in elevation.