Ecuador: Quito & Ultimate Galapagos Discovery

| Ecuador | Quito | Galapagos Islands | Santa Cruz Island |
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Summary

This is a unique experience to see Ecuador's capital city Quito and the famous Galapagos Islands, which boast an extremely rich flora and fauna. 

The 11-day trip includes a visit to vibrant Quito, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After that, you will fly to the Galapagos Islands. You will be accommodated for seven nights at the eco-friendly yet luxurious Pikaia Lodge, located on Santa Cruz Island, which is the main in the Galapagos. During this week you will sail aboard MV I Pikaia (Pikaia Lodge's own private yacht) and visit other islands like Bartolomé, Santa Fé, South Plaza, Moquera, North Seymour and Chinese Hat. You will also have a few excursions on Santa Cruz Island.

During this trip you will not only stay at luxurious properties and sail in comfort, but also encounter a large variety of animals, birds and other wonders of wild nature: giant tortoises, Galapagos penguins, hordes of sea lions, tropical fish, green sea turtles, marine iguanas, Galapagos hawks, lava tunnels and field, volcanic craters. You will also have a chance to enjoy scuba diving, sea kayaking, mountain biking and other fascinating activities.

This journey can be extended with a trip to the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador or Peru. 

Itinerary

Day 1 - 2
Excursion starts:

Today you will begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Quito. On arrival in Ecuador's capital city you will be met and taken to your hotel.

Accommodation: Casa Gangotena

Day 2 - 3
Excursion starts:

Today you will enjoy a private city tour of Quito, which will help you learn more about this UNESCO world heritage site.

Meals: breakfast
Accommodation:
Casa Gangotena

Day 3 - 4
Excursion starts:

You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. On arrival you will be met by Pikaia Lodge's representatives and taken to the Itabaca Channel for a seven-minute ferry crossing to Santa Cruz Island followed by a 50-minute scenic trip in a private transport to Pikaia Lodge. After check-in at Pikaia Lodge, you will enjoy lunch at Evolution Restaurant or on the Pool Terrace. You will also have a chance to relax and familiarize yourself with The Lodge environment and facilities. It is recommended to enjoy walking, jogging or cycling the 3.5 km of trails within the boundaries, or swimming in the pool. There is also a good chance of encountering resident Tortoise within the property. Later you will enjoy a complimentary welcome cocktail which will be offered at DNA Bar. In the evening you will be spoilt with dinner at Evolution Restaurant.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Pikaia Lodge 

Day 4 - 5
Excursion starts:

After breakfast at Pikaia Lodge, you will enjoy a half day land exploration on Santa Cruz Island. Each morning activities are planned according to satellite weather imagery and tide charts. Guest will join groups of maximum 16 people for the land tour and two or three activities will be chosen from the list below:

- Los Gemelos Sinkholes & Scalesia Forest
- Giant tortoises farm in Rancho Chato II
- Volcanic craters and giant tortoises at Cerro Mesa
- Lava tunnels
- Tortuga Bay Beach
- Charles Darwin Scientific Research Center
- Garrapatero Beach
Other optional activities (for an additional cost) include: scuba diving, sea kayaking, mountain biking, catching and releasing fish.

Guests can relax and enjoy their days at The Lodge independently as well. Mountain bikes, helmets, snorkelling equipment and wetsuits are available without charge at the front desk or onboard the lodge's yacht. 

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Pikaia Lodge

Day 5 - 6
Excursion starts:

Today you will have to wake up early for the yacht exploration to Bartolomé Island and Chinese Hat. When leaving the lodge, there will be a coffee station at the Lodge's reception where you can grab a cup of your morning coffee. Then you will board the Lodge's transport for a 50-minute drive to the port. Once you board the Pikaia I Yacht, you will enjoy breakfast oboard this exclusive vehicle. While sailing, you can rest, shower, or freshen up in your air-conditioned private cabin, soak in the Jacuzzi, watch a Galapagos documentary, join a discussion with guides, sunbathe or watch for dolphins. At around 10 a.m. you will arrive in Bartolomé Island, which will surpise you with: 

- 300+ stairs to the summit of Bartolomé Island
- Breath-taking panoramic views of Pinnacle Rock with Santiago Island behind
- Pink and white sand beaches
- Beautiful snorkeling
- Galapagos penguins
- White tip and Galapagos Sharks
- Rays
- Hordes of Sea Lions
- Variety of tropical fish
- Green sea turtles
- Lava herons
- Sally light-foot crabs
- Galapagos hawks
- Lava Cacti

Then you will come back to the Pikaia I Yacht and, while sailing to another island, you will have buffet lunch with traditional Ecuadorian food onboard. At around 1 p.m. you will arrive in Chinese Hat (Sombrero Chino), which will suprise you with:

- This islet of Santiago is one of the smallest Galapagos Island and is shaped like an old-fashioned Chinaman’s hat
- Volcanic origin
- Gorgeous beach
- Bright red Sally light-foot crabs
- Marine iguanas
- Endemic Galapagos sea lions
- Lava lizards
- Lava field
- American oystercatcher
- Galapagos penguin
- Excellent snorkelling spot
- Spectacular marine life
- White-tipped reef sharks

At about 7 p.m. you will return to Pikaia Lodge and later enjoy dinner at the Evolution Restaurant.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Pikaia Lodge

Day 6 - 7
Excursion starts:

This morning you will enjoy breakfast at Pikaia Lodge. Later you will have a half day land exploration on Santa Cruz Island. At around 1:30 p.m. you will have lunch at The Lodge, and in the evening you will enjoy dinner at the Evolution Restaurant.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Pikaia Lodge

Day 7 - 8
Excursion starts:

Early in the morning grab a cup of coffee from the coffee station at Pikaia Lodge. Then, after a 50-min. drive to the port, get aboard the Pikaia I Yacht and enjoy breakfast while sailing to Santa Fé Island, which will surprise you with:

- White sand beach
- Opuntia (prickly pear) Forest
- Hordes of sea lions
- Galapagos hawk
- Cactus finch
- Marine and Barrington land iguanas
- Galapagos snake
- Fantastic snorkeling

Return to the yacht and have buffet lunch onboard while sailing to South Plaza Island, which will surprise you with:

- Gordon rocks
- Hordes of sea lions and fur seals
- Red-billed tropicbirds
- Swallow-tailed gulls
- Blue-footed Boobies
- Land iguanas
- Opuntia (prickly pear) trees
- Sesuvium plants
- Green portulaca

At about 7 p.m. you will come back to Pikaia Lodge and have dinner at the restaurant.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Pikaia Lodge

Day 8 - 9
Excursion starts:

Early in the morning enjoy a cup of coffee at Pikaia Lodge reception and then get to the port, from where you will saill to North Seymour Island. Onboard Pikaia I Yacht you will have your breakfast. At around 10 a.m you will arrive in North Seymour Island, which is famous for:

- Abundant birdlife
- Hordes of sea lions
- Hammerhead sharks
- Marine turtles
- Land and marine Iguanas
- Colony of frigate bird
- Blue footed Boobies
- Holy Wood forest

Later you will come back to the yacht, and while sailing to Mosquera Island, you will enjoy buffet lunch onboard. Moquera Island will surprise you with:

- Beautiful flat beach walk along the white sand beaches separates by barren lava rocks
- Hordes of sea lions everywhere
- Yellow crowned herons
- Lava gulls

At 7 p.m. you will return to Pikaia Lodge, and later you will have dinner at the lodge's Evolution Restaurant.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Pikaia Lodge

Day 9 - 10
Excursion starts:

Today is the last full day at Pikaia Lodge. After breakfast, you will enjoy a half day land exploration tour in Santa Cruz Island. At about 1:30 p.m. you will enjoy your lunch. Later you will have free time for rest and relaxation. In the evening, you will be delighted with the dinner at Pikaia Lodge's Evolution restaurant.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Pikaia Lodge

Day 10 - 11
Excursion starts:

Today you will be transferred to Baltra Island Airport for your flight back to the mainland to connect with your flight home.

Day 11 -
Excursion starts:

Arriving home.

- This is a guide itinerary and can be modified to suit. It is subject to availability and price at the time of booking. Other conditions may apply -

The air holiday packages shown are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is T7077. We are a member of the Travel Trust Association U1373. Please see our booking conditions for more information. Hurlingham Travel® Hurlingham Travel Services® are registered trade marks of Hurlingham Travel Services Limited.

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