Galapagos, Easter Island, Buenos Aires, and Iguazu Falls

19 Days/18 Nights

From $5,599 pp

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Overview

This dream tour of the Galapagos Islands, Easter Island, Buenos Aires, and Iguazu Falls includes many of the most popular destinations in South America. You start in Quito, and then travel to the Galapagos Islands for a five day cruise aboard the Coral I and II. You continue on to Santiago, Easter Island and its Moai statues, and the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires. Your final stop will be Iguazu Falls, formed by 275 different cascades, on the border between Argentina and Brazil.

Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 18 nights (3 nights in Quito, 4 nights on the Coral I and II, 3 nights in Santiago, 3 nights in Easter Island, 3 nights in Buenos Aires, and 2 nights in Iguazu) and 29 meals (18 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 5 dinners).

Best Time to Go: October-April.

Destinations: South America, Ecuador, Galapagos, Chile, Easter Island, Argentina, & Brazil.

Interests: Adventure, Culture & History, Expedition Cruising, Scuba Diving, Sea Kayaking, Snorkeling, Wildlife Viewing, and Wine Tasting.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Note: The route and program may vary according to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety reasons and wildlife encounters.
Dry Landing: Guests step from the dinghy directly onto rocks or a dock.
Wet Landing: As the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into knee-deep water and wade ashore.

Depart to Quito. After passing through immigration and customs, proceed to the reception area, where our representative will be holding a sign with your name on it. You will be greeted and then transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Quito.

After an early morning breakfast, the tour will depart towards the center of downtown Quito, or Centro Histórico, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. You will start with a panoramic view of Alameda Park and the Basilica, followed by a walk down the street of the Seven Crosses. The trip will continue with a walking tour, starting at Independence Square. From there, you will visit the presidential palace, the main cathedral, the gold-plated La Compañía Church, San Francisco Church and San Francisco Plaza.

Around midday, the tour will head north to the equator for a trip to the monument at the Middle of the World. You may choose to visit either the Ethnographic or the Inti Ñan Museum, both located near the site of the monument. Along the way you will stop for a traditional Ecuadorian lunch (not included. Overnight in Quito. (B)

Morning transfer to the airport in Quito for the flight to Galapagos. Passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/Y Coral I and II.

Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Passengers visit La Galapaguera Cerro Colorado, the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, to learn about the National Park’s conservation programs. Passengers will also have the opportunity to visit the port village, have a drink or shop for arts and crafts and other souvenirs. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)

Cerro Brujo (wet landing). Cerro Brujo is an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of aa lava formations, and a beautiful white sand beach, great for snorkeling and sunbathing. You will visit a lagoon where migratory bird species can be seen: Black-necked Stilts, Ruddy Turnstones, Whimbrels, other sandpiper species, and White-cheeked Pintails. The site also offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal, and the adjacent coast.

Pitt Point and Pitt Islet. Wet landing followed by a high intensity hike on rocky terrain. The trail includes an olivine beach of 90 meters long and a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff, through several magnificent viewpoints. This is probably the only site where the three booby species of the Galapagos can be seen together: Nazca, Blue-footed, and Red-footed; as well as two species of frigate birds and a sea lion colony; it is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling, where a good range of sea birds can be observed. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)

Mosquera Islet (wet landing) is located between North Seymour and Baltra Islands. It is a flat, sandy island that has a large colony of sea lions and is an excellent site for observing shorebirds such as herons and Lava Gulls. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock.

Bartolomé (dry landing). You will discover a fascinating moonscape formed by different volcanic parasitic cones – lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones – as you hike to the summit for impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock. You also encounter marine iguanas and lava lizards. Beach time is a great opportunity to snorkel and see (perhaps swim with) Galapagos Penguin, sea turtles and White-tipped Reef Shark, among a great variety of colorful fish. For many visitors, this may turn out to be the best of snorkeling experiences; the water here is generally clear, without too much surf and full of marine life. Due to its geographical location, the lack of vegetation is immediately noticeable. Pioneer plants are observed, so called because they are the first to establish roots on new ground. They include Tiquilia nesiotica (which is endemic to the island) and Chamaesyce(known as sand mat or spurge in English), lava cactus, and Scalesia bushes. Behind the beach there are dunes covered by mangroves. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)

Rábida. Dark-red sand covers unique beaches with an incredible landscape; Rábida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting Brown Pelicans are found from July through September and nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches can be seen. You will also take a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active.

Puerto Egas (wet landing). In the afternoon, you will land on a beach of black volcanic sand, visited by Darwin in 1835. The first part of the trail is comprised of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half of the trail is partially uneven terrain, comprised of volcanic basaltic rock that lounges the shoreline. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago’s shores is home to a variety of resident and migrant birds, including the bizarre Yellow-crowned Night Heron and astounding array of marine wildlife including lobster, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally Lightfoot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks. Snorkeling here offers rarities such as octopus or squid. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)

El Chato (dry landing). Travel to the Highlands of Santa Cruz to visit a private farm, Primicias (El Chato), where giant tortoises are found in their natural habitat. The road to the reserve is one of the best places to observe land birds. Tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers and Cattle Egrets inhabit the area.

After the visit you will go straight to Baltra Airport for your return flight to Quito. Upon arrival, you will be greeted and then transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Quito. (B)

Morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Santiago, Chile. After passing through immigration and customs, proceed to the reception area, where our inbound services representative will be holding a sign with your name on it. You will be greeted and then transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Santiago. (B)

In the morning, you will have a panoramic city tour of Santiago, which will include Parque O’Higgins, Plaza de Armas (the city’s historic center), Palacio de la Moneda, ex-National Congress, Mapocho Station Cultural Center, Santa Lucia Hill, the place of Santiago’s founding in 1541,and the Bohemian district of Bellavista. In the afternoon, you will visit your choice of one of the following vineyards around Santiago (included in price): Concha y Torro, Cousino Macul, and Undurraga. Overnight in Santiago. (B)

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Easter Island. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Easter Island. (B)

Full day excursion visiting the archaeological site of Akahanga and the quarry at Rano Raraku volcano, where all of the moai on the island were carved. You will see over 300 statues in various stages of completion, and one giant moai, 21 meters (69 ft.) tall. You will also visit Ahu Tongariki, the largest ahu (burial site), whose moai were re-erected after a tsunami flattened the statues, Ahu Te Pito Kura, site of the largest moai moved from the quarry, and the ahu Nau Nau at Anakena Beach. Picnic lunch at Anakena Beach. Overnight in Easter Island. (B,L)

Morning visit to the Rano Kau extinct volcano crater (1.6 km in diameter), the ceremonial village of Orongo, which features the largest concentration of Petroglyphs on the island, with images of post-moai deity’s, such as Tangata Manu (birdman), Make Make (the creator), and Komari, and then to Ahu Vinapu. After lunch (not included), the tour continues on to Ahu Akivi, site of the seven moais overlooking the sea, the Caves of Ana Tepahu, among the largest on the island, and Pun-a-Pau quarry, the sole source of red scoria that was used to carve the pukao (topknots) of some of the moia. Overnight in Easter Island. (B)

Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Santiago. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Santiago. (B)

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires. After passing through immigration and customs, proceed to the reception area, where our inbound services representative will be holding a sign with your name on it. You will be greeted and then transferred to your hotel.

In the afternoon, you will have a panoramic city tour of Buenos Aires. This tour will cover the most important sights in the city. You will visit the impressive National Congress (the Parliament), the Civic Centre, Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada, the headquarters of the executive branch of the government, and the town Hall. You will also see one of the best Opera Houses in the world. The tour will continue with a visit to the neighborhood of San Telmo, and you will learn about its history. On Sundays, you will be able to enjoy a flea market. You will go next to La Boca, known for its colorful architecture and for being the first port in Buenos Aires. This neighborhood was originally settled by Italian immigrants. You will also visit the Palermo and Recoleta areas of the city and modern neighborhoods such as Puerto Madero, with big mansions and great parks. Overnight in Buenos Aires. (B)

Free day at leisure or to enjoy an optional tour (not included). In the evening, you will enjoy a typical Argentine dinner and wine, and a Tango show with a re-creation of the original style and melancholic rhythms of the 1940’s. The impressive lyrics will be interpreted by some of the best singers in the city. You will also hear some folk music from the Altiplano region of the country. Overnight in Buenos Aires. (B,D)

Today you will have an excursion to the Argentine countryside to enjoy a day on a ranch ‘estancia’ and discover its traditional dance and music, and experience a true ‘Festival Gaucho’. Typical ‘empanadas’ (meat pies) and superb Argentinean wine will be offered. Later, you will enjoy a delicious Argentine-style barbecue. This will be followed by a folkloric show with singing and dancing, a demonstration of the gaucho (cowboy) skills of horseback riding and rodeo, a horse exhibition, and ‘the sortija’ (ring race). You may also ride a horse or typical carriage to have a better feel for the gaucho’s way of life. Overnight in Buenos Aires. (B,L)

Early morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Iguazu Falls. Upon arrival, you will have a 1 and ½ hour tour of the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls. Located in Iguazu National Park, these spectacular falls are comprised of 275 individual cascades, and are more than 1.90 miles wide and 260 ft. high. You will walk along the main trail (one mile) on a catwalk above the lower Iguazu River to the series of falls that comprise the Devil’s Throat. Then you will take an elevator to an observation deck for a spectacular panoramic view of the falls. At the end of this tour, you will be transferred to your hotel on the Argentinian side. Overnight in Puerto Iguazu. (B)

Note: U.S. Citizens need a visa to enter Brazil.

In the morning, you will return to Iguazu Falls to view the falls from the Argentinian side and for the Great Adventure Tour. On the Argentinian side of the falls, you will visit the Interpretation Center to learn about the biodiversity of the jungle and the culture and history of the surrounding area. You can also take the Ecological Forest Train to the Garganta del Diable (Devil’s Throat) Station and the Cataratas Station, which will take you to the upper and lower circuits, and other walking trails.

In the afternoon, you will have the Great Adventure Tour. First, you will ride semi-rigid zodiac boats to reach the bottom of San Martin, Bosetty, Tres Mosqueteros and Canon de Garganta del Diablo falls and down the river rapids up to Puerto Macuco (two miles from the falls). Then, you will ride in an open jeep along the rainforest, observing the local flora and fauna with the aid of specialized guides. Overnight in Puerto Iguazu. (B)

Transfer the airport for your return flight to your final destination. (B)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Itinerary Map

Coral I and II - D Itinerary Map

Prices & Dates

Price per Person

Category Single Double Triple
3 Star $9,019 $5,599 $5,479
4 Star $9,739 $6,479 $6,149
5 Star $11,599 $7,399 $6,889
Deluxe $13,849 $8,829 $7,619
** The prices shown above are in U.S. Dollars. See the cost of this tour in your currency here.

Notes:

  1. The above prices are valid until December 10, 2016.
  2. The Single and Double prices are based on a Standard Plus Cabin and the Triple prices are based on a Junior Cabin. There are a limited number of triple cabins.
  3. Room/cabin upgrades and additional nights in each destination are available upon request.
  4. Tapati Rapa Nui, Holy Week, and Christmas Season surcharges may apply.

Departure Dates

Monday departures throughout the year.

What's Included

Price Includes

  • South American Vacations’ expert pre-departure planning services and documentation.
  • Airport/hotel transfers including baggage handling.
  • Hotel accommodations including service fees and taxes.
  • Accommodations on board the M/Y Coral I and II.
  • All meals scheduled on board and others as indicated on the itinerary.
  • Excursions as indicated on the itinerary conducted by English-speaking guides and including all applicable entrance fees.
  • Use of snorkeling equipment.
  • Evening briefings during the cruise.

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare.
  • Domestic airfare.
  • Fuel surcharge for the ship ($90).
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee ($100).
  • Transit control card ($20).
  • Meals not indicated on the itinerary.
  • Gratuities to ship crew, tour guides, drivers, and hotel staff.
  • Gifts and personal items.
  • Travel insurance.

We will be happy to quote the cost of airfare and travel insurance, and to make these arrangements for you.

Accommodations

Quito

Hotel Quito, Quito, Ecuador

3 Star – Hotel Quito

Swissotel Quito, Quito, Ecuador

5 Star – Swissotel Quito

Galapagos

Coral I, Galapagos Cruise Ship

Coral I and II – First Class

Santiago

Easter Island

Buenos Aires

Additional Details

Group Private: All services in Quito and Galapagos are operated on a group basis. In Santiago, all airport transfers are private, and the city tour and vineyard tour are group tours for single passengers and 3 Star accommodations, and private for 4 Star, 5 Star, and Deluxe accommodations. All services in Easter Island are operated on a group basis for single passengers and 3 Star accommodations, and are private for 4 Star, 5 Star, and Deluxe accommodations. In Buenos Aires, the Panoramic City Tour and Tango Dinner Show are group tours for single passengers and 3 Star accommodations, and private for 4 Star, 5 Star, and Deluxe accommodations. In Iguazu Falls, the tours of the Brazilian and Argentinian side are group tours for single passengers and 3 Star accommodations and private for 4 Star, 5 Star, and Deluxe accommodations. The Great Adventure Tour is a group tour.

Elevations: Quito is 9,350 feet above sea level.

IGTOA’s Traveler Funding Program South American Vacations is an active member of IGTOA (International Galapagos Tour Operators Association). In support of IGTOA’s Traveler Funding Program, we contribute $20 for each passenger that we send to the Galapagos Islands. You’ll travel knowing that you support the lasting protection of Galapagos Islands. Sixty percent of the funding of this program goes directly to the Charles Darwin Foundation for science, conservation, and education. Their work, carried out through the Charles Darwin Research Station and Galapagos National Park, is vital to the preservation of the islands. You can visit their web site to learn more www.darwinfoundation.org. The remainder goes toward IGTOA’s mission of creating a model of responsible and sustainable tourism.

Passport/Visa: For Ecuador, U.S., Australian, Canadian, and EU citizens require a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry and return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the Ecuadorian embassy in their country before traveling. For Chile, U.S., Australian, Canadian, and EU citizens (except Greece) require a valid passport (for the duration of your visit) and return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. Greek citizens can stay for up to 60 days. Australian, and Canadian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity fee (considered a multiple entry visa) of $95 and $132 respectively upon arrival (subject to change without notice due to currency fluctuations or other reasons). Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the Chilean embassy in their country before traveling. For Argentina, U.S., Australian, Canadian, and EU citizens require a valid passport (for the duration of your visit) and return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. Australian and Canadian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity fee of $100 and $75 respectively (subject to change without notice due to currency fluctuations or other reasons) online, and must show proof of payment prior to arrival. The reciprocity fee for U.S. citizens has been suspended until further notice. For citizens of Australia, this fee covers unlimited entries to Argentina for 10 years, while citizens of Canada are charged the fee every time they enter the country (or $150 for multiple visits within five years). The fee can be paid online at ProvinciaNet.com.ar. You will need to register in order to make the payment. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the embassy of Argentina in their country before traveling. For Brazil, U.S., Australian, and Canadian citizens require a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry, a stamped visa that is valid 90 days from the date of issue, an onward or return ticket, and sufficient funds to cover their stay. The cost of the visa for U.S. citizens is $180 and processing time can take from 45-90 business days. EU Citizens only require a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry, an onward or return ticket, and sufficient funds to cover their stay. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the Brazilian embassy in their country before traveling.

Travel Insurance: In order to protect your travel investment from unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. We offer Allianz Global Assistance’s Classic Comprehensive and other plans. The Benefits and Coverage Limits are summarized on our Travel Insurance page. Call your travel counselor if you have any questions or to purchase a plan.

To Book This Trip: Call or email us to confirm the availability of the ship for your desired dates of travel. Once we have confirmed availability, you will need to pay a non-refundable deposit of $1,000 per person plus the cost of the airfare (if we arrange it for you). The balance of the trip cost is due 60 days prior to departure.