Quito and 7 Day Santa Cruz II Cruise – Eastern Galapagos Islands
10 Days/9 Nights
From $6,019 per person
(Dbl. Occupancy, Not Incl. Airfare)
Venture to Quito and the eastern Galapagos Islands on this fascinating Ecuador tour. In Quito, you will enjoy a city tour and visit to the Middle of the World complex. Highlights include observing all three species of boobies at Punta Pitt, sea lions on Santa Fe and Espaniola Islands, and giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Center on Santa Cruz Island. You will also view the famous blowhole lava formation on Punta Suarez. Opportunities for snorkeling, sea kayaking, and glass bottom boating are also available.
Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 9 nights (3 nights in Quito and 6 nights aboard the Santa Cruz II), and 21 meals (9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 6 dinners).
Best Time to Go: Year-Round.
Places Visited: Quito, the Galapagos Islands, Baltra Island, Bartolomé Island, Eden Islet, Española Island, Mosquera Islet, North Seymour Island, San Cristóbal Island, Santa Cruz Island, Santa Fe Island, and South Plaza 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 (Wed): Quito.
Day 2 (Thu): City Tour of Quito-Equatorial Monument.
Then continue to the Equatorial Monument, 16 miles north of Quito, which marks the exact Middle of the World, latitude 0º, where you can stand with a foot on each hemisphere. Visit the Ethnographic Museum inside the monument, which shows the different Native American groups living in Ecuador. Beside the monument there is a colonial-style town, complete with main square, church, post office, bullring, cafeterias, restaurants and many gift shops with postcards and souvenirs. You will get a certificate for having crossed the Equator. Overnight in Quito. (B)
Day 3 (Fri): Quito-Baltra Airport-Mosquera.
Mosquera. After lunch and your introductory briefing on board, Santa Cruz II will relocate only four nautical miles from Baltra, next to Mosquera Islet, a small volcanic uplift between Baltra and North Seymour. The island is a long and narrow sand bank surrounded by lava reefs. Our groups will approach the island from its western shore, a long shallow reef, the perfect rookery for young sea lions. After a wet landing, our guides will lead you past the sea lion colonies, where you will learn more about the fragile marine and terrestrial ecosystems of Galapagos. The walk is easy as it is restricted to a few hundred meters of flat sandy dunes. This will also be a great opportunity for an introduction to snorkeling. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 4 (Sat): Puerto Baquerizo Moreno-Cerro Colorado Breeding Center-Punta Pitt (San Cristobal).
Punta Pitt. In the afternoon, you disembark (wet landing) on the eastern tip of the island at Punta Pitt, an eroded tuff cone, whose trail provides spectacular views of the shoreline. This is the only site in the Galapagos where the three species of boobies can be found together. You can walk or enjoy a panga ride along the coast. Opportunity for snorkeling, swimming and kayaking. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 5 (Sun): Santa Fe-South Plaza.
South Plaza Island. Following lunch and a rest, you disembark (dry landing) in this channel, whose turquoise waters contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. Beyond, a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline, one finds sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide, playing with the thermals. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 6 (Mon): Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station-Optional Excursions (Santa Cruz).
Santa Cruz Island. There are several options available for the afternoon, which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader. Options include beach walks, kayaks, walks along the tortoise reserve, etc. At the end of the afternoon’s activities, you return to Puerto Ayora and embark on the Santa Cruz II. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 7 (Tue): Punta Suarez-Gardner Bay-Osborn Islet (Espanola).
Gardner Bay-Osborn Islet (wet landing). In the afternoon, the picture-postcard white coral beach of Gardner Bay and the nearby islet of Osborn provides a beautiful setting for observing sea lions, mockingbirds, and finches as you relax. You can expect great snorkeling in this area. Opportunity for swimming and kayaking as well. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 8 (Wed): Eden Islet (Santa Cruz)-North Seymour.
North Seymour was lifted from the ocean floor by a volcanic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stands just above the landing (dry landing), usually without leaves, waiting for the rains to burst into bloom. This is a great introductory site to the islands and their wildlife, full of bird colonies of blue-footed boobies, two species of frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, as well as sea lions and marine iguanas. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 9 (Thu): Baltra Aiport-Quito.
Day 10 (Fri): Quito.
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Prices & Dates
Price per Person
|Horizon Deck Explorer Cabin||$7,139||$6,019||n/a|
|Horizon Deck Explorer Family Cabin||n/a||$8,309||$5,659|
|Horizon Deck Voyager Cabin||$7,159||n/a||n/a|
|Expedition Deck Explorer Cabin||$7,399||$6,239||n/a|
|Panorama Deck Explorer Cabin||$7,599||$6,409||n/a|
|Panorama Deck Darwin Suite||$8,509||$7,209||n/a|
- The above prices are valid until December 23, 2020.
- Triple rates are based on one child under 12 sharing a cabin with two adults paying full fare.
- There is a high season (Dec 24, 2020-Jan 04, 2021) surcharge of $203 per adult and $122 per child.
Every other Wednesday departures throughout the year.
- South American Vacations’ expert pre-departure planning services and documentation.
- Private airport/hotel transfers on the first and last day of the tour, and shared transfers out/in from select hotels in Quito and in/out in the Galapagos islands on the date of the cruise.
- Accommodations on board the M/V Santa Cruz II.
- All meals scheduled on board and others as indicated on the itinerary.
- Daily excursions to the islands conducted by English-speaking naturalist guides.
- Evening briefings and lectures.
- Use of snorkeling equipment.
Price Does Not Include
- International airfare.
- Domestic airfare ($508).
- Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee ($100).
- Transit control card ($20).
- Meals not indicated on the itinerary.
- Gratuities to ship crew and guides.
- Bar, 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.
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 a cabin on this ship for your desired dates of travel. The non-refundable deposits for single, double, and triple passengers are $1,800, $1,600, and $1,400 per person, plus the cost of the airfare (if we arrange it for you).
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