The Andes & Galapagos

Duration:
8 days - 7 nights
From:
AUD $ 2,399 AUD $ 2,149
p.p. twin share. Excludes Airfares

Explore Ecuador’s highlights with our super summer special deal – the capital of Quito, the famous indigenous market of Otavalo, the Middle of the World Equatorial Monument, and of course, the Galapagos Islands.

Overview

Overview

Day 1Arrival and y transfer to Quito Hotel
Day 2Quito – City Tour and Middle of the world
Day 3Quito – Otovalo Indigenous Market
Day 4Quito to Santa Cruz Island (Galapagos) – Highlands and Lava Tunnels
Day 5Santa Cruz to Isabella Island – Tortoise Breeding Center + Flamingo Lagoon + Tintoreras
Day 6Isabella Island – Sierra Negra or Beach Time
Day 7Isabella to Santa Cruz Island – Charles Darwin Station – Garrapatero Beach
Day 8Santa Cruz Island (Out) – Twin Craters and transfer to the Airport.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and Transfer to Quito Hotel

Transfer from the airport to the hotel. A bilingual guide will pick you up from the airport and will transfer you to the hotel. He/ She will be able to assist you with anything you may need. Accommodation in Quito.

Day 2: Full Day City Tour and Middle of the world

The tour begins visiting the Quito`s downtown, one of the biggest in South America, our first point is the oldest street of the city, La Ronda, that used to be the home of musicians, poets and politics back in time. Here we will encounter with the traditions of the city first by stopping in the gastronomic capsule, to have an explanation of the different local spices that are used for the typical Ecuadorian gastronomy. Continuing we will visit the house of handicrafts made of metal and wood most of them designed for the traditional churches and made by hand for furniture decoration. After we are done with la Ronda we will visit the Independence Square, surrounded by important historical buildings. Visit the Cathedral (XVI Century), the Presidential Palace, El Sagrario Church (XVII Century), and La Compañia de Jesus (XVII Century), one of the most beautiful baroque churches in South America, Not to be missed are the Church of San Francisco and Monastery, built a few months after the arrival of the Spaniards (XVI Century). Finally, we will drive to the viewpoint at the Panecillo hill, where is located the Virgin of Quito, the unique winged virgin of the world. You will have a wonderful view over the city and the surrounding mountains and volcanos.

We will drive 30 km. north of Quito, towards the Middle of the World where the equatorial line divides the northern and southern hemispheres. We will visit the main monument built in honour of the French scientific expedition that arrived in Ecuador in the XVIII century to determine the correct location of the equator line. Here you will have the opportunity to visit the Inti Ñan Museum, a scientific and cultural museum, located in the exact crossing of the Equator Line. Return to Quito.

Day 3: Full Day Otovalo Indigenous Market

Drive north towards Imbabura, “the lakes” – Province. Enjoy an exciting trip by tasting exotic fruits in the Guayllabamba valley, cross the Equator Line at Cayambe where on a clear day, it is possible to admire its majestic snow-capped mountain (5,790 m.), the world´s highest point where the Equator Line crosses, and try its famous salt biscuits with leaf cheese.

At the foot of Imbabura mountain enjoy the picturesque view of Ecuador’s largest lake-San Pablo. Afterwards, visit the famous Otavalo Indian Market the famous Indian market where vendors proudly offer a stunning variety of weavings – such as the famous ponchos – among other textiles like rugs, mittens and scarves. We compare the market with a rainbow due to the colours of the textiles exhibited. You can also find handicrafts, jewellery and other artisan work.

If the time permits, we will visit Cotacachi Village known for its leather products and the Cuicocha Crater Lake. Return to Quito. Accommodation

Day 4: Quito to Santa Cruz Island (Galapagos) – Highlands and Lava Tunnels (L)

Breakfast and Transfer to the airport to take your Internal flight to Baltra (Galapagos).

Vannesa GalapagosArriving in Baltra we will take a shuttle to Santa Cruz Island, journeying across the island into the highlands, the visitors will be amazed by the island’s variety of wildlife and geology. Beginning at the coast and travelling north along the road to Puerto Ayora, the road climbs through the agricultural zone and into the mist-covered forests of the highlands. Santa Cruz possesses all of the various life zones present on the archipelago, with wonderful birding opportunities, like Darwin’s finches almost every land bird present on the islands can be found here. Continuing we will stop at one of the ranches; lunch will be served at this ranch and the best part is that passenger will be able to explore the grounds in search of tortoises. After we will visit the Tunnels of lava. Descending through the agricultural zone into the Transition Zone where the Tortoise Reserve is located, the introduced vegetation of the farmlands is replaced by native vegetation. After we will continue to Puerto Ayora for the rest of the afternoon for some leisure time. Accommodation in selected hotel.

Day 5: Santa Cruz to Isabella Island – Tortoise Breeding Center + Flamingo Lagoon + Tintoreras (L)

After breakfast, transfer to Isabela. Today you will visit the Flamingo’s Lagoon. This is an approx. 2km trail where we will have an explanation of the vegetation and geology of this young Island, Isabela Island. Arriving at the Flamingo lagoon we might be able to see Flamingos feeding in this lake. This is an artificial lake, due to the excavation for construction the lake was made up by the rain. After this, we will continue to visit the Tortoise breeding centre, in this place you will learn more about the reproduction and breeding of the Tortoises.

Lunch, in the afternoon we will visit Tintoreras Islets, it is located a short distance from Puerto Villamil, is home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. One of its beaches, surrounded by mangroves is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully. Reaching the Isle of Tintoreras, we will get to know a lot of these species. Most of the part of this island is formed by AA lava. Accommodation in selected hotel.

Day 6: Sierra Negra (BL) or Beach Time at leisure

Breakfast. Today you will enjoy a relaxing day on the beach or if you prefer you will visit Negra Volcano. In Sierra Negra, we will have a walk of about 2 hours to reach the crater of the volcano. There we will have a wonderful view of the crater and with a little bit of luck, we will be able to see the sparrow hawk of the Galapagos. We will get to know the geology of the Sierra Negra Volcano. Most of the part of this island was formed by AA lava. We will have a box lunch and visit el Chico Volcano. In the afternoon transfer to Santa Cruz. Accommodation in selected hotel.

Day 7: Isabella to Santa Cruz Island – Charles Darwin Station + Garrapatero Beach  (L)

After breakfast, we will head to the Charles Darwin Station. The centre is a reservoir of information on habitats and local conservation, as well as other fascinating relevant statistics. The most striking attraction of this station is certainly the Tortoise Breeding Center, where it is possible to view tortoises of different shapes and sizes. Travellers here can freely walk and get their pictures taken with the tortoises. Additionally, in order to fully take advantage of your visit to the Galapagos Islands, you will be able to visit the station where legendary “Lonesome George” is exhibited as the last of his species. In 2012, after his death, he was shipped to New York to the American Museum of Natural History in order to start an embalming process for his conservation. Lonesome George was exhibited in the museum for one year. Now Lonesome George is back in the Charles Darwin research station, as a “symbol” of conservation.

Lunch, In the afternoon we will visit Garrapatero that is a long white beach (approximately 1,500 m long) located approximately 19 km to the northeast of Puerto Ayora. It can be reached by boat (20 minutes) or car, through Bellavista and Cascajo (50 minutes). From the parking area, there is a walk of just less than 1 km to the beach. In addition to the beautiful beach, there is a lagoon where flamingos and White-cheeked Pintail Ducks can sometimes be observed. Many birds found in the arid zone, as well as shorebirds, can be seen there. There is also a rental kayak service to go for a ride and enjoy the lovely landscape. Accommodation in selected hotel.

Day 8: Twin Craters and transfer to the Airport

After breakfast, we will visit “Los Gemelos”. These two large pit craters along the road from Puerto Ayora to Baltra were caused by the collapse of empty magma chambers. Visitors can stop along the side of the road and visit both craters. Afterwards, transfer to the airport to take your international flight.

 

Inclusions

 

Inclusions:

  • Private Yacht for the group in Galapagos.
  • All transfers throw the itinerary.
  • all accommodation in 3* Hotels.
  • Other meals as specified in the program.
  • All excursions mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Snorkelling equipment.
  • English speaking naturalist guide on all excursions.

Not included

  • Air ticket to/from Galapagos (subject to change without previous notice)
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance fee USD 100 per person
  • Transit Control Card Ingala USD 20 per person
  • Any item not specified
  • Extra meals or beverages
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses

Airfares

Travel Just 4U has competitive South America Flights to get you to the starting point of your chosen Holiday. Contact one of our Travel Consultants for a full quotation including airfares, stopovers and any additional travel you wish to organize.

Conditions Apply

Conditions Apply

  • Promotion applies from May to August
  • Departures with minimum 2 passengers
  • Price based on tourist class

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