Quito and 5 Day Coral I & II Cruise – Southern Galapagos Islands
8 Days/7 Nights
From $3,369 per person
(Dbl. Occupancy, Not Incl. Airfare)
Discover the wildlife and landscapes of the Southern Galapagos Islands while traveling aboard the Coral I & II. Beginning in Quito, you will have a city tour and visit the Middle of the World complex. Highlights include a visit to the Interpretation Center and viewing all three species of boobies at Pitt Point on San Cristobal Island, observing marine iguanas, Darwin’s finches, and other endemic species on Españiola Island, spotting flamingos at Cormorant Point on Floreana Island, and giant tortoises at the Highlands of Santa Cruz.
Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 7 nights (3 nights in Quito and 4 nights aboard the Coral I & II) and 15 meals (7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners).
Best Time to Go: Year-Round.
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.
Day 1 (Mon): Quito.
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.
Day 2 (Tue): City Tour of Quito-Middle of the World.
In the morning, you will have a city tour of Quito. You will explore the bustling streets and squares of the largest historical centre in the Americas, and visit some of its most important churches such as the majestic La Compania and iconic San Francisco, guardians of a stunning multi-ethnic artistic and cultural heritage. You will drive through the traditional neighborhood of San Juan and finish the morning at the Panecillo hillside, with its breathtaking views of the old and modern parts of the city.Following the city tour, you will be driven to the “Middle of the World City” complex, which is located 11 miles north of Quito. Here, you will see the monument of the equatorial line, a 98 ft. high stone trapezoidal monument with a brass globe on top. The monument forms the focal point of a park and leisure area with gift shops and restaurants. Overnight in Quito. (B)
Day 3 (Wed): Quito-San Cristobal Airport-Interpretation Center-Tijeretas Hill (San Cristobal).
Departure from Quito to San Cristobal (2.5 hours flight). Arriving in Galapagos, passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken to the pier to board the M/Y Coral I or M/Y Coral II. Interpretation Center & Tijeretas Hill (dry landing). San Cristobal is home of the capital town of the Galapagos Province, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Passengers visit the interpretation center, which is an excellent place to learn about the nature and history of the islands, displaying information of Galapagos volcanic origins, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, arrival of the original species, among other points of interest. The human interaction is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events about the colonization of the islands. Later on, a high-intensity hike can be done to visit Tijeretas Hill, a beautiful landscape ending with a magnificent view of a nearby large frigate bird colony. If there is enough time, a town visit can be planned. (Duration: one hour visit/one hour hike). Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 4 (Thu): Cerro Brujo-Pitt Point & Pitt Islet (San Cristobal).
Cerro Brujo (Wet landing). Cerro Brujo is an eroding tuff cone that is composed of AA lava formations; it is close to a beautiful white sandy beach which is great for snorkeling and sunbathing. Nearby a lagoon ideal for migratory bird species can be seen, including black-necked stilts, ruddy turnstones, whimbrels, sandpiper, and white- cheeked Pintails. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, an islet in the adjacent southern coast of San Cristobal. (Duration: one hour hike/one hour snorkeling).Pitt Point & Pitt Islet. Wet landing followed by a high-intensity hike on rocky terrain. The trail includes a 90 meter long, olivine beach 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, 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. (Duration: 2.5 hour hike/40 minutes snorkeling). Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 5 (Fri): Suarez Point-Gardner Bay-Osborn or Gardner Islets (Española).
Suarez Point (dry landing). An island of geological interest, and one of the oldest in Galapagos, Española has a high percentage of endemism due to its isolation from the rest of the islands. Due to the great variety of wildlife, this is one of the most attractive spots in the Galapagos. Here, it is possible to explore volcanic formations and see large colonies of sea lions and seabirds including the Española mockingbird, Nazca boobies, and the spectacular red-billed tropicbirds. You can also see marine iguanas, with a turquoise color with reddish parts during the breeding season, lava lizards, and colorful Sally light-foot crabs. A somewhat lengthy hike brings visitors to nesting grounds that sometimes overlap the trail. Other birdwatcher favorites include the Galapagos dove, the Galapagos hawk, swallow-tailed gulls and the world’s largest colony of waved albatross, an unequivocal highlight during mating season (April-December). Also admire the island’s dramatic backdrop, featuring the famous “Soplador,” a seaward blowhole that shoots water up to 23 m. (75 ft.) into the air. (Duration: 2.5 hour hike).Gardner Bay, Osborn or Gardner Islets (wet landing). Gardner Bay is a beautiful white coral sandy beach guarded by a colony of sea Lions. Here, there are no trails, so visitors stay along the shore, spotting the Galapagos hawk, the American oystercatcher, the Galapagos dove, hood mockingbirds, yellow warblers, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin finches – cacti finch (Geospizafuliginosa), the small ground finch (Geospizafuliginosa), and the warbler finch (Certhideaolivacea). Swimming and snorkeling offers a great variety of Galapagos marine wildlife including king angelfish, creole fish, damsel fish and parrot fish. (Duration: one hour walk/one hour snorkeling). Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 6 (Sat): Cormorant Point-Devil’s Crown-Champion-Post Office (Floreana).
Cormorant Point, Devil’s Crown, or Champion. Wet landing, on an olivine green, sanded beach. You will hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as Scalesia villosa, white and black mangrove, and holy stick. The trail continues to a beautiful white sandy beach, one of the most important nesting sites of Green Pacific Sea Turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the Sting Rays that may be hiding in the sand, which can be dangerous if accidentally stepped on. From the beach, one can spot sea turtles, blue-footed boobies plunging into the water, and small reef sharks floating along the shoreline in the search for food. This coral-sand beach marks the end of the trail, and you will head back to the olivine beach you landed on, to swim or snorkel amongst sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions and, on a good day, white-tipped reef sharks. A small colony of penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well. (Duration: one hour walk/one hour snorkeling).
Post Office (wet landing). Located on the north side of Floreana, the bay was named because 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 traveler, going to the letter’s destination, will take it back for free. The chances are that the letter posted can take a long time to arrive at its destination. However, there have been cases where it has arrived before the sender.
Here, you may encounter Darwin’s finches, Yellow Warbler and Lava Lizards and have great snorkeling opportunities with Green Pacific Sea Turtles. The island is also best known for its endemic vegetation: Scalesia villosa, Lecocarpus Pinnatifidus, and the Galapagos Milkwort. Snorkelers can practice on the main beach among playful sea lions. (Duration: 30 minute hike/one hour snorkeling). Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 7 (Sun): Highlands Tortoise Reserve (Santa Cruz)-Baltra Airport-Quito.
Highlands Tortoise Reserve (dry landing). In the mountains of Galapagos it is possible to admire different kind of birds, such as: tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers, and cattle egrets (usually standing on the tortoises’ shell). The journey to the reserve offers great opportunities to see the contrasts that the island offers in reference to the variety of ecosystems. The road goes from the coast through the agricultural zone and straight up to the dense humid forests. Often, Galapagos Giant Tortoises are also seen on the way, wandering through pastures in the paddocks. This spot is a birdwatchers’ haven, since almost every land bird present on the island lives or migrates here. (Duration: 45 minute drive/1.5 hour hike).
After the visit, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Quito. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Quito. (B)
Day 8 (Mon): Quito.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to your final destination. (B)
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Prices & Dates
Price per Person
|Standard Plus Cabin||$5,869||$3,369||n/a|
- The above prices are valid until December 10, 2022.
- Single sharing is not available.
- Hotel upgrades are available upon request.
Alternating Monday departures throughout the year.
- 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 & II.
- All meals scheduled on board and others as indicated on the itinerary.
- Excursions to the islands conducted by English-speaking naturalist guides.
- Evening briefings.
- Use of snorkeling equipment.
Price Does Not Include
- International airfare.
- Domestic airfare Quito-Galapagos-Quito ($495).
- Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee ($100).
- Transit control card ($20).
- Fuel surcharge for the ship ($50).
- Meals not indicated on the itinerary.
- Gratuities to ship crew and guide ($20/day for the crew, $10/day for the naturalist guide).
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Gifts and personal items.
- Travel insurance.
We will be happy to quote the cost of international airfare and travel insurance, and to make these arrangements for you.
Group Private: All services included in this tour are operated on a group basis.
Elevations: Quito is 9,350 feet above sea level.
IGTOA’S Galapagos Traveler Conservation Fund: South American Vacations is an active member of IGTOA (International Galapagos Tour Operators Association). In support of IGTOA’s Galapagos Traveler Conservation Fund, 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.
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: We require a non-refundable deposit of $1,000 per person plus the cost of the international airfare (if we make the arrangements for you). The balance of the trip cost is due 60 days prior to departure.
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