Giant tortoise on the Galapagos Islands
In the Footsteps of Darwin
There is literally nowhere else in the world like Ecuador and its Galapagos Islands. The region’s unique flora and fauna inspired Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theories, and they continue to dazzle visitors more than 150 years later.
This tour offers travelers an unforgettable opportunity to follow in Darwin’s footsteps as you travel through these famous islands aboard your yacht, the Isabella II. On the way you will be introduced to some of the Galapagos' most famous and rare residents, such as boobies, sea lions, giant tortoises and marine iguanas. There’s also a chance to go snorkeling in the crystal blue waters offshore, and to explore the bustling city of Quito with its historic churches and colonial buildings. It’s the trip of a lifetime, just make sure to pack an extra memory card for your camera because there’s so much to catch the eye, you’re bound to need it.
Explore the hustle and bustle of Quito City
Visit the active Cotopaxi Volcano
Go snorkeling in picturesque Baroness Cove
Meet the Charles Darwin Research Station's residents
Come face-to-face with Galapagos' wildlife
Itinerary of your trip
This exciting trip to Ecuador includes a private car and driver, excursions, accommodation, breakfasts and some lunches and dinners.
From the first conversation until you arrive home from your vacation, you’ll be looked after by one of our Travel Designers who has traveled 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 custom-made and we will continually refine your itinerary until it’s perfect.
Fly to Ecuador’s capital city of Quito which was the first World Cultural Heritage Site to be declared by UNESCO in 1978 thanks to its well-preserved central district, home to exquisite churches and colonial-era buildings. After spending your first night at La Casona de la Ronda Hotel, Day 2 is all about exploring the city with your private guide. Take in the panoramic views from Panecillo Hill and San Juan Mirador before stepping from one side of the equator to the other at the Middle of the Earth Monument. An amazing day ends with an exploration of the dramatic landscapes at the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve.
Day 3 is taken up by an included trip to the National Park of Cotopaxi. A local guide will offer insights into Ecuador’s markets, history and natural wonders, but it’s the tour of an active volcano and the idyllic Limpiopungo Lagoon that really fires the imagination.
A flight and a ferry take us to Santa Cruz Island on Day 4. After lunch, travel through the highlands to the Charles Darwin Research Station, home to many varieties of birds and an impressive prickly-pear cactus forest, although it’s the giant tortoises that are the star attraction. There’s time to learn about the station’s conservation work before exploring the town of Puerto Ayora. The day ends by boarding the yacht Isabella II, your home for the next four nights.
After breakfast on Day 5, go snorkeling off the coast of Floreana Island during a trip to Baroness Cove and Post Office Bay, where a humble barrel has served as the archipelago’s informal post office for the past 200 years. In the afternoon, look out for flamingoes at Punta Cormorant, and perhaps observe marine life from a glass-bottomed boat or local fishing vessel, known as a panga.
Day 6 involves a very different landscape. Punta Suarez on Espanola Island features an almost alien-looking, cooled lava pavement, home to bird life and marine iguanas as well as a spectacular blowhole. After lunch on the yacht, come face-to-face with sea lions, finches and hawks during a stroll along the stunning white beach at Gardner Bay, where it’s also possible to go kayaking or take another boat ride.
Day 7 begins at Punta Pitt on San Cristobal Island, the only place where three species of boobies nest together. There’s also a chance to swim, kayak, snorkel or go on a panga trip along the coast. There’s another opportunity for water activities at Cerro Brujo, but most visitors are happy to walk the same shores that once welcomed Charles Darwin, particularly if the local animal species are in full view.
After a night at the Oro Verde hotel at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, it’s time to fly back to the mainland before beginning the journey home, where tales of your experiences are sure to inspire awe and envy in all who hear them.