- 2 night’s Accommodation in Quito with Breakfast
- 4 night’s Accommodation in Santa Cruz in Galapagos Islands with Full Board
- Private bilingual guide for transfer and tour in Quito
- Tours mentioned in the itinerary
- Naturalist bilingual guide for each activity in Galapagos in sharing basis
- Internal air tickets and airport taxes (subject to change)
- Transportation in Galapagos in sharing basis
- Daily excursions in Galapagos described in the itinerary in sharing basis
- VIP Lounge in Baltra Airport
- Galapagos entrance fee
- Galapagos Transit control card
- Administration fees – where applicable
- Itinerary based on a minimum of 2 guests
- Validity periods are as specified above; should a booking fall over two rate periods the rate will change and we reserve the right to re-quote
- Rates are not valid over the festive season from 20 December 2017 – 05 January 2018
- The rates quoted are subject to change without warning if there are any increases in Ecuador
- &Beyond trading terms apply
Transfer to hotel
Upon arrival at Quito Airport you will be warmly welcomed by your English-speaking guide, and driven to the Boutique Hotel Plaza Grande.
Spend 2 nights in Quito
Day 1 - 3
Situated in a circle of Andean peaks, Quito is the world’s second highest capital, with arguably one of the finest settings in the world. Originally settled by the Quitu tribe in the first millennium, Quito was an important part of the Incan Empire, before being destroyed and re-founded by Spanish conquistador Sebastián de Benalcázar in 1534. The colonial centre – declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978 – is one of the largest and best preserved in Latin America. It is home to excellent museums, churches and art galleries.
Perfectly positioned in the centre of Quito’s spectacular Plaza Grande, the landmark Boutique Hotel Plaza Grande offers truly sublime surrounds from which to explore this vibrant destination. Here, guests can unwind in luxuriously elegant suites, take advantage of three exceptional restaurants that serve international and Ecuadorian favourites, and take in the spectacular views of the government palace, the Cathedral and ancient domes of old churches.
After checking-in to the hotel, you will have the opportunity to freshen up and enjoy the rest of your day at your leisure.
Spend two nights at the Plaza Grande Hotel.
Embark on a fascinating tour of the city
Today, after a wholesome breakfast, you will embark on a fascinating tour of the city. Your adventure begins downtown, passing through the modern section of Quito, towards the city’s historic district. Take in the atmosphere of the Independence Square, flanked by the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and City Hall. Stroll past the El Sagrario Church and marvel at the exquisite stone facade of La Compañía Church. Visit the San Francisco Church, built over the ruins of an Inca palace in the 16th century. Ride up the road to the Panecillo or the Itchimbia hills for a breathtaking view of Quito.
During your tour you will have the opportunity to indulge in a wonderful chocolate tasting at the Galeria Ecuador, whilst learning about the cultivation of cacao plants. This adventure is fun for the whole family as the Galeria boasts an interactive game that allows you to practice sowing, growing and cultivating the cacao plant. You will also have the opportunity to make your own chocolate truffles. Under the guidance of an expert, use an array of different ingredients such as cinnamon, salt from cuzco, chocolate nibs, nuts and cacao, to create a mouth-watering morsel.
After your tantalizing foray into all things chocolate, you will be driven to the Cafe Plaza Grande where you will have another opportunity to delve into Ecuador’s scrumptious food traditions by participating in a cooking class. Learn how to prepare ceviche and the country’s famous helado de Paila (an ice cream made with fresh fruits).
After savouring a delicious lunch, your adventure will continue to the Equatorial Monument, situated “in the middle of the world”. The monument was built as a tribute to French scientists who determined the shape of the earth in the 1700s. Nearby, visit the Ethnographic Museum, which showcases various elements attributed to Ecuador’s different ethnic groups, or visit the Intiñan interactive museum, which shows the different Incan theories of determining the middle of the world.
Flight to the Galapagos Islands
Today, after a scrumptious breakfast, you will be collected for your flight to the Galapagos Islands.
Ferry crossing to Santa Cruz Island
Upon landing at the Baltra Airport, you will have access to the VIP Lounge, where you will be greeted by a representative from Pikaia Lodge and whisked away to the Itabaca Channel, for a quick ferry crossing to Santa Cruz Island.
Spend four nights in the Galapagos
Day 3 - 7
Perched on top of two extinct volcanic craters, Pikaia Lodge offers one of the most spectacular view points of the Galapagos. This exquisite, eco-friendly retreat has been designed with the discerning adventure traveller in mind. It offers a range of beautifully furnished rooms and suites that feature panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows and private shaded terraces or balconies with breathtaking unobstructed views.
After checking-in to the lodge, you will have the rest of the day to unwind or explore your surrounds – we recommend walking, jogging or cycling the 3.5 km of trails found within the estate or enjoy a swim in the sparkling pool. It is very common to encounter one of the resident tortoises – so be sure to keep your camera at the ready.
Spend four nights at Pikaia Lodge.
Explore the Galapagos by yacht
Today, you will explore the Galapagos by yacht. Hop aboard the Pikaia I Yacht, where you will be assigned a private cabin. A tasty breakfast will be served on board, before you set off for North Seymour Island. The island offers a wealth of attractions and is home to an abundance of fauna and flora. View the blue-footed booby and frigates, marine life such as turtles, sea lions and iguanas, and visit the Palo Santo (Holy Wood) forest. Explore the island along a hiking trail or take to the sea for a snorkelling adventure.
After topping up your energy levels with an authentic Ecuadorian buffet lunch, you will head off to Bachas Beach Island. Walk along the white sands of Bachas Beach, discover nearby lava lagoons and revel in the opportunity to see pacific green sea turtles, flamingo, lava gulls and Sally light foot crabs.
Two hours before sunset the yacht sets course for Pikaia Lodge. While sailing, you can freshen up in your air-conditioned cabin, soak in the Jacuzzi, watch a Galapagos documentary, join a discussion with guides, sunbathe or keep an eye out for dolphins.
Walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin
Today, you will have the opportunity to participate in the lodge’s morning exploration program. Each morning activity is planned according to satellite weather imagery and tide charts. You will join a group of a maximum of 16 people for the land tour and two or three activities will be chosen from the list below.
- Los Gemelos Sinkholes and 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 Centre
- Garrapatero Beach
Alternatively, you can choose to just unwind and spend the day at the lodge. It is recommended to pre-book early to take advantage of any optional third-party activities not included in the package.
Lunch will be served at Pikaia Lodge before continuing with the afternoon excursion.
Embark on another incredible sailing adventure around the Galapagos
Enjoy breakfast on board the Pikaia I Yacht as it makes its way to Bartolome Island.
Bartolome Island is the most recognized, visited and most photographed of the Galapagos Islands. It is famous for Pinnacle Rock, a towering spear-headed obelisk jutting out of the ocean – arguably the best known landmark throughout the entire Galapagos National Park.
Upon landing on the island, you will climb more than 300 stairs to the summit of Bartolome, where you will find, what has been hailed, the most beautiful views in archipelago. Marvel at Pinnacle Rock, with its backdrop of Santiago Island, and view pink and white sand beaches. Once back on the beach, take to the water for an incredible snorkelling excursion. Swim amongst Galapagos penguins, view white tip and Galapagos sharks, rays, sea lions, green turtles and a variety of tropical fish.
Enjoy a mouth-watering buffet lunch on board your yacht, before continuing to Sullivan Bay. The bay is a site of great geological interest. It is located at the south-east side of the Santiago Island. The area is covered by solidified, wave-shaped lava flows. Disembark for a guided walk that showcases the fascinating effects of volcanic activity. Find the moulds of trees, and in the surroundings of the volcano, view the region’s incredible vegetation. The lava at Sullivan Bay is known as Panoehoe, which is Hawaiian for string. This is due to the fact that when the lava cools down after an eruption over surface materials, it causes them to join – creating the shape of a string or a rope.
Transfer to Baltra Island Airport
Today, we wave a fond farewell as you are collected for your homeward flight.
After breakfast, your check-out time will be determined according to your flights. You will be transferred to Baltra Island Airport for your flight to Guayaquil.
Upon landing, you will be met by an English-speaking guide, who will assist you with your check-in for your international flight.