9 days from £5,295pp

After a tour of Quito, it's off to San Cristobal in search of tortoises and mockingbirds. On Espanola you'll visit one of the most diverse bird colonies and check out an impressive blowhole which pushes water up to 75 feet in the air! Next head to Floreana to check out the historic Post Office Bay, before going flamingo spotting at Punta Cormorant. Sail on to Santa Cruz, home to many endemic bird species, sea lion colonies and a nesting site for the black turtles. After snorkelling at Tortuga Bay, depart for the coastal city of Guayaquil where your adventure wraps up with a tour.

Highlights

  • Explore the Mindo Cloud Forest

  • Sail the Galapagos aboard a smaller, boutique catamaran

  • Observe sharks and sea lions off the coast of remote Espanola

  • Check out one of the most diverse bird colonies in the Galapagos

  • Stop at the historically significant Post Office Bay

  • Look for tortoises in the wild

  • Spot sea lions and snorkel at Tortuga Bay

  • Tour the coastal city of Guayaquil

Ella
Senior Ecuador & Galapagos Travel Designer
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The renowned unique and diverse wildlife of the Galapagos Islands must be seen to be believed. Snorkelling whilst a hammerhead shark swam directly below me was definitely a wildlife encounter to be remembered!

Tortoise Treasure

9 days from £5,295pp

Itinerary

This exciting trip to the Galapagos Islands includes international flights, a private car and driver, excursions, accommodation, breakfasts and some lunches and dinners.

From the first conversation until you arrive home from your holiday, you’ll be looked after by one of our Travel Designers who has travelled extensively in the region and will give advice from their personal experience on how to make the most out of your trip. All of our trips are entirely bespoke and we will continually refine your itinerary until it’s perfect.

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Day

Location

Type

1-3

Quito

Wildlife

Kick off your exciting trip to the Galapagos in Quito with a city tour. Over the course of a day you’ll head to Panecillo Hill and San Juan Mirador for gorgeous hilltop views of the city, before heading on to the historic city centre where you’ll visit many of the churches and colonial-era buildings. After lunch, it’s on to the Middle of the World monument to experience life on both sides of the equator. Wrap up your day soaking up the epic landscapes of the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve.

The next day head out on a day trip to discover the wildlife and beauty of the cloud forests of Mindo. This special spot boasts one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity anywhere on the planet. Here you’ll find a number of exotic bird species as well as plenty of fun attractions. Check out the beautiful Hummingbird Garden, walk through the forest and indulge in a range of activities from a chocolate factory visit, orchid garden tour, ziplining or a bird watching tour with a local expert.

During your time in Quito, you'll stay at the Hotel Patio Andaluz, located in the city's historical centre.

4

San Cristobal Island

Cruise

Today you’re off to the Galapagos! Board the M/C Treasure of Galapagos, a luxurious converted catamaran where you can relax in the jacuzzi on the sun deck at the end of a hard day's wildlife watching, before enjoying delicious food prepared by the on board professional chef.

Start off on San Cristobal where you will visit the Cerro Colorado Tortoises Protection and Growing Centre. Check out the large corral, visitors centre and breeding centre. Once you’ve had your fill of tortoises, take the interpretative trail and look for native and endemic plants and birds, including the San Cristobal Mockingbird, Yellow Warbler and many species of finches and the Galapagos flycatcher.

5

Espanola Island

Cruise

In the morning head to Gardner Bay where you can enjoy swimming, snorkelling and kayaking in the crystal-clear ocean waters. There is also the opportunity to check out sea lions and observe sharks. Later on, you’ll head to Punta Suarez in Espanola, a rocky land spot home to one of the most impressive and diverse seabird colonies in the whole Galapagos. Look at the southern shore with its high-rise cliffs offering excellent views of soaring birds. There is also a blow hole where water rushes up to 75 feet in the air!

6

Floreana Island

Cruise

Today it’s off to Floreana to check out one of the most interesting historic sites in the Galapagos - Post Office Bay. This wooden barrel was placed here in the 18th century by whalers and was used as a makeshift post office. From here, head north and enjoy a gorgeous view from Baroness Lookout, named after Baroness Eloisa von Wagner who is said to have loved this spot and spent hours watching the horizon here. You can also walk to the nearby ruins of her house.

Later, swing by Punta Cormorant, a site which offers quite possibly the best Flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos. Situated between two lava cones, the atmosphere here is special and it's home to many birds including flamingos, stilts, white-checked pintail ducks and other migratory birds. Beach bums should check out the two distinct beaches here. The Green Beach is named after the high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand and Flour Sand Beach is made up of coral.

7

Santa Cruz Island

Cruise

Depart for Santa Fe, which some posit could be the oldest island in the Archipelago. Regardless, it’s home to a number of endemic species like the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats and one of the two species of land Iguanas of the islands. It’s also home to several sea lion colonies and interesting plants like the giant prickly pear cactus. In the afternoon head to Tortuga Bay, in Santa Cruz, a nesting site for the black turtle. It’s also an excellent spot for snorkelling – look out for the Galapagos sea lions, marine iguanas or, if it’s the right time of year, mating Pacific green turtles in the surf.

8-9

Guayaquil

Cruise

The next morning is all about wild tortoises! Visit the pond at El Chato, which attracts short-eared owls, Darwin’s ­finches, Vermilion Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, Galapagos Rails, and Paint-billed Crakes. Listen out for heavy footsteps and the sound of shrubs being crushed underfoot – it’ll be wild tortoises making their way through the bush! Later on, you’ll be transferred to Baltra Airport for a flight to Guayaquil. Once you arrive in the coastal city, enjoy a flexible city tour where you’ll see some of the top landmarks including the Malecón, Las Peñas neighbourhood, and the Historical Park. After touring the city, you’ll spend the night at Hotel del Park, and the next day transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Map of your trip

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