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Ecuador & Its Galapagos Islands

8 days with Avalon Waterways   Rating: First Class

Book this Trip Now and Save!

  • Save $1,000 per couple off Galapagos cruises. Expires January 28. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Avalon Journeys Club members save 5% off the cruise/land price. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.


Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Arrive in Quito, Ecuador.
Welcome to Quito!

Day 2 Quito.
Included sightseeing showcases Quito’s colonial history and treasures including the historic stone murals of the Legislative Palace, Independence Plaza and the 16th-century SAN FRANCISCO MONASTERY, and the Jesuit’s LA COMPANIA CHURCH with its stunning golden altars. Next, take a walk down one of Quito’s oldest streets, La Ronda, which is home to many artist’s workshops and galleries. Here, you will have the chance to meet some of the local artists and talk with them about their work before visiting a CHOCOLATE FACTORY to learn why Ecuador is considered one of the finest chocolate producers in the world. After seeing the chocolate-making process, a tasting is a must! Top off your day with a photo in front of the EQUATORIAL MONUMENT in the “Middle of the World.” Stand in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres simultaneously and test the effects of the earth’s rotation through different experiments like balancing an egg on a nail. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner. (B,D)

Day 3 Quito: Baltra–Galápagos Islands (Embarkation)–Cruising: Santa Cruz Island. 
Take a morning flight to Baltra, one of the remote Galápagos Islands. Upon arrival, embark the Treasure of Galápagos for five days of CRUISING among various Galápagos Islands. Each day, travel ashore to the remote islands with your expert Naturalist, who introduces you to the unique fauna living free and fearless of man. After lunch, join your Naturalist for a visit to the CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION, established to help conserve the Galápagos’ natural habitat and protect the famous giant tortoises. While here, learn about the tortoise-rearing program and see many of the various islands’ tortoises. Later, on board the ship, join a briefing on the next day’s adventure, followed by a Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner. (B,L,D)

NOTE:
The ship’s itinerary may vary according to Galápagos National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, and seasonal changes to create the perfect cross-section of sites visited. 

Day 4 Galápagos Islands Cruising: Santiago & Bartolomé Islands.
After breakfast, you will find yourself anchored in the western-central part of the archipelago where volcanoes are still active, attributing to the dramatic scenery. Join your Naturalist for an exploration of SULLIVAN BAY on SANTIAGO ISLAND, where you will walk on newly-formed (less than 100 years ago) lava flows reminiscent of the lunar landscape. Keep your eye out for lava lizards, marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and even the Galápagos penguin. This afternoon at BARTOLOMÉ ISLAND, hike to the summit for one of the best panorama views of the region with two beautiful bays and fascinating formations of lava flows and spatter cones, including the iconic Pinnacle Rock. End your visit with a chance to snorkel or swim off the beach with the playful sea lions, Pacific green turtles, harmless whitetip reef sharks, and if you are lucky—the Galápagos penguins! (B,L,D)

Day 5 Galápagos Islands Cruising: North Seymour Island & Mosquera Islet. 
Disembark at NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND, where your Naturalist will point out colonies of blue-footed boobies, Magnificent and Great Frigate Birds, swallow-tailed gulls, and lava herons. This is one of the few spots where you can compare the Magnificent and the rarer Great Frigate Bird breeding next to each other. The shores teem with sea lions and marine iguanas, and are a good spot for snorkeling. In the afternoon, visit MOSQUERA ISLET, a sandy island with one of the largest concentrations of Galapagos sea lions in the entire archipelago. A walk on the white coral beach reveals shorebirds like the endemic lava gull, waders like the yellow-crowned night heron, and intertidal hunters, such as the striking reddish-orange Sally Lightfoot crabs. (B,L,D)

Day 6 Galápagos Islands Cruising: South Plaza & San Cristobal Islands.
At SOUTH PLAZA ISLAND, wildlife includes sea lions, land iguanas, marine iguanas, and hybrid iguanas (only found on this island and a result of a cross between land and marine iguanas). Also known for its prolific birdlife, you will see blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, Audubon’s shearwaters, and many other species. This afternoon, visit the first site Charles Darwin visited in the Galápagos, CERRO BRUJO on SAN CRISTOBAL. Admire the stunning views of Kicker Rock before visiting a lagoon home to many migratory birds such as pelicans, black-necked stilts, ruddy turnstones, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and the great blue heron. (B,L,D)

Day 7 Galápagos Islands (Disembarkation)–San Cristobal–Quito.
After breakfast, disembark the boat in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for a visit to the SAN CRISTOBAL INTERPRETATION CENTER. Here, you will learn about the islands’ volcanic genesis, their remoteness, ocean currents, special climate, the arrival of different species, and their establishment. Next, head to the airport for your flight to Quito, where you will have free time this evening to prepare for your return flight home tomorrow. (B)

Day 8 Quito.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Map
All This Included
This exciting cruise vacation lets you sample the natural wonders of Ecuador and its Galápagos Islands. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Quito and have your photo taken at the “Center of the World.” You’ll also explore one of the oldest streets in Quito to visit with local artists and taste some Ecuadorian chocolate at a chocolate factory. Before taking to the sea, a highlight of your trip will be a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about conservation efforts for the giant tortoises. Then, embark on an exciting 4-night cruise among various Galápagos Islands on the recently refurbished Treasure of Galápagos. Have your camera ready as your Naturalist points out colonies of sea lions, pelicans, albatross, several species of Darwin’s finches, marine iguanas, flamingos, masked boobies, blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, storm petrels, short-eared owls, and other birds. Each day venture to a new island which is home to species found nowhere else in the world! During your cruise, you’ll also have a chance to snorkel in the tropical waters and perhaps get a look at sea turtles, sharks, and rays. A remarkable cruise adventure!
  • American breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 5 three-course dinners including a welcome dinner in Quito and a farewell dinner in Quito
  • Complimentary regional wine with all dinners on board
  • Complimentary coffee, tea, water on board throughout the day
  • Luxurious standards in elegant atmosphere.
  • Expedition team of multilingual Naturalists.
  • Daily multi-media natural history lectures.
  • A lounge serving premium spirit cocktails.
  • Observation area to watch sea creatures.
  • Well-stocked library/reading room.
  • Unwind in the heated Jacuzzi.
  • Air-conditioning throughout.
  • Open seating for all meals.
  • International cuisine & Ecuadorian entrées.
  • Access to a resident physician.
  • Equipment like wetsuits, snorkeling gear & kayaks available.
  • Glass-bottom expedition boat for marine life viewing.
  • Stargazing Program.
  • Maintain your routine in the fitness center.
  • Remarkable service.
  • English-speaking crew.
  • Email, radio, telephone, and Fax communications.
  • Included shore excursions with Local Guide.
  • And, much more.
Highlights
  • Quito: walking tour, visit San Francisco Monastery, La Compania Church, La Ronda Street, a Chocolate factory, and the Equatorial Monument; welcome dinner
  • Quito–Baltra–Galápagos Islands (Embarkation)–Santa Cruz Island: fly to the Galápagos Islands; embark Treasure of Galápagos; visit Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island
  • Galápagos Islands Cruising: Santiago & Bartolomé Islands: Naturalist-guided walks on each island; snorkeling
  • Galápagos Islands Cruising: North Seymour Island & Mosquera Islet: Naturalist-guided walks on each island; snorkeling
  • Galápagos Islands Cruising: South Plaza & San Cristobal Islands: Naturalist-guided walks on each island; snorkeling
  • Galápagos Islands (Disembarkation)–San Cristobal Island–Quito: disembark Treasure of Galápagos; visit San Cristobal Interpretation Center; fly to Quito
Accommodations
Quito: Swissotel
Galápagos Cruise: Standard cabin onboard Treasure of Galapagos
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra Nights per person in Quito:
in single room $206; in twin room $108
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Avalon Waterways, not included in pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway, starting at $1,390 (based on Miami departure in January 2018) and intra-vacation air segments; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only. Required intra-vacation air segments are: Quito/Galápagos; Galápagos/Quito. Air prices were effective on April 5, 2017, and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your tour, air prices may be higher.
  • The Galápagos National Park entrance fee and transit card ($120 value) is additional and mandatory. These fees will be added to your Vacation Estimate.
  • Triple rooms are not available
  • Prices shown include cruise in an ocean-view junior suite with private balcony. To upgrade to the master suite, add $500 per person in double occupancy or $1,000 in single occupancy.
  • 2019 prices and itineraries are subject to change.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Avalon Waterways terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.