Quito and 5 Day Treasure of Galapagos Cruise – Southern Islands
8 Days/7 Nights
From $4,299 per person
(Dbl. Occupancy, Not Incl. Airfare)
Head to the Southern Galapagos Islands on this five-day cruise aboard the 16 passenger Treasure of the Galapagos. You will learn about the breeding of giant tortoises and how they can be preserved for future generations on San Cristobal Island, and view fascinating wildlife, including flamingos and other shore birds, hawks, and sea lions. Highlights include the discovery of the volcanic origins of the archipelago, understanding the history of the visitor sites, and observing wildlife in its natural state.
Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 7 nights (3 nights in Quito and 4 nights aboard the Treasure of Galapagos), and 15 meals (7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners).
Best Time to Go: Year-Round.
Destinations: South America, Ecuador, and Galapagos.
Interests: Adventure, Culture & History, Expedition Cruising, Snorkeling, and Wildlife Viewing.
Places Visited: Quito, the Galapagos Islands, Baltra Island, Española Island, Floreana Island, San Cristóbal Island, Santa Cruz Island, and Santa Fe Island.
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 (Sun): 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. Overnight in Quito.
Day 2 (Mon): 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 foot 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 (Tue): Quito-San Cristobal Airport-Cerro Colorado (San Cristobal).
Upon arrival at San Cristobal Airport, travelers pass through an airport inspection point to insure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, as well as to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid). A guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor.
Cerro Colorado Tortoises Protection and Growing Center, located at 40 minutes approximately by bus to the south east of the island. This center was built to improve the status of the population of the island tortoises. The center includes a large corral, a Visitors center, breeding center and an interpretative trail. Along this trail is possible to see different species of native and endemic plants as well birds as the San Cristobal Mockingbird, Yellow Warblers, and many species of finches and the Galapagos flycatcher. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 4 (Wed): Gardner Bay-Punta Suarez (Espanola).
Located on the north-eastern coast of Hood, Gardner Bay provides an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and the opportunity to observe sea lions. Here we can also observe sharks in the crystal clear ocean waters.
Punta Suarez. This rocky land spot sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galapagos. Along its southern shore, high cliffs rise up from the sea affording the visitor spectacular views of soaring birds and of the blow whole where water spouts up to 50-75 feet into the air according to the intensity of the surf. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 5 (Thu): Post Office Bay-Punta Cormorant (Floreana).
Post Office Bay. Historically, this site is the location of a wooden barrel that was placed in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. It has been used since this time by mariners and tourists as a post office. The idea is to carry letters or postcards to their destination by hand. Apart from being the Post Office Barrel, this site was the landing area for some of the first colonists. We will continue to the north of the island and will ascent to an elevated slope to enjoy a beautiful vista at the Baroness Lookout. It is said that Baroness Eloisa von Wagner loved this place and spent several hours watching the horizon. Within walking distance (30 m) are the ruins of what is known as her House. From this lookout, the landscape covers the coastline from the Enderby islet to Post Office Bay, as well as Cerro Pajas, the pool of flamingos and wide forest of Palo Santo.
Punta Cormorant. This site offers probably the best Flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos; it is also one of the largest in the islands. It’s situated between two tuff lava cones that give the area a special atmosphere. There are various species of shorebirds to observe besides flamingos; the most frequent are common stilts, white-checked pintail ducks and other migratory birds. It is very interesting to see the two distinct beaches: “The Green Beach” (due to its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour Sand Beach” which is made up of coral. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 6 (Fri): Santa Fe-Tortuga Bay (Santa Cruz).
Santa Fe. Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, this island was formed by an uplift instead of a volcano, which is why is mostly flat. There are some theories which assure this could be the oldest island in the Archipelago. Santa Fe is the home of a number of endemic species like the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats and one of the two species of lands Iguanas of the islands. After disembarkation in the beautiful and clear waters you will be in contact with one of the many sea lion colonies. Along the trail many salt bushes can be seen as well giant Prickly pear cactus. Gigantism is a characteristic of oceanic islands. There are great possibilities of snorkeling with playful sea lions and tropical fishes.
Tortuga Bay is a beautiful white sand beach, so named because it is a nesting site for the black turtle, the visibility in the water is excellent for snorkeling, be on the lookout of the Galapagos sea lions, marine iguanas or (seasonally) mating Pacific green turtles in the surf! This is a wonderful site to for swimming and snorkeling. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 7 (Sat): El Chato (Santa Cruz)-Baltra Airport-Quito.
Santa Cruz also offers excellent opportunities for viewing wild tortoises, both roaming through pastures in the agricultural zone and in the Tortoise Reserve, which is accessible from Santa Rosa or Salasaca. Several farms serve food and allow visitors to explore their grounds in search of tortoises. 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. The pond at El Chato is surrounded by forest where short-eared owls, Darwin’s finches, Vermilion Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, Galapagos Rails, and Paint-billed Crakes can be seen. As the visitor walks into the forests overgrown with lichens, ferns, and other epiphytes, it is time to listen carefully for the sound of heavy footsteps and the sound of shrubs being slowly crushed as the tortoises make their way through the brush.
Transfer to Baltra Airport (GPS) for your flight back to Quito. Overnight in Quito. (B)
Day 8 (Sun): 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
- The above prices are valid until December 21, 2022.
- Triple rates are based on one child under 12 sharing a cabin with two adults paying full fare.
- There is a high season (Dec 18, 2022-Jan 7, 2023) surcharge of $600 per Balcony Stateroom and $750 per Master Suite.
Alternating Sunday departures throughout the year.
- South American Vacations’ expert pre-departure planning services and documentation.
- Airport/hotel transfers including baggage handling.
- Three nights accommodations at Hotel Patio Andaluz (or similar).
- Accommodations on board the M/C Treasure of Galapagos.
- All meals scheduled on board and others as indicated on the itinerary.
- Daily excursions to the islands conducted by English-speaking naturalist guides.
- Use of snorkeling equipment.
Price Does Not Include
- International airfare.
- Domestic airfare ($500).
- Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee ($100).
- Transit control card ($20).
- Meals not indicated on the itinerary.
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Gratuities to ship crew and guides.
- Bar, gifts, and personal items.
- Use of wetsuits.
- Travel insurance.
We will be happy to quote the cost of airfare and travel insurance, and to make these arrangements for you.
Quito & Galapagos
Group Private: All services included in this tour are operated on a group basis except for the airport transfers in and out of Quito on the first and last day of the tour.
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: 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: Call or email us to confirm the availability of this 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 in Single Occupancy, $900 per person in double occupancy, and $900 per person in triple occupancy, plus the cost of the international airfare (if we arrange it for you). The balance of the trip cost is due 60 days prior to departure.
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