Ecuador and Galapagos Experience

A 9-Day Cox and Kings tour starting from $4,479

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Starting Price: $4,479 Printer Friendly Page
Tour Length: 9 Days
Countries Visited: Ecuador, South America, Galapagos
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More Information About This Tour:
Tour Type:
 Small Group Tours
Tour Category: Luxury Tour
Tour Operator: Cox and Kings
Tour Code: CK-EGE
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Cities Visited:
Quito, Cotopaxi, Galapagos Islands, Guayaquil

This journey provides a special opportunity to experience the Galapagos Islands and observe their remarkable wildlife at close quarters. See giant tortoises and a number of indigenous bird species, and swim with sea lions, penguins and perhaps even sea turtles. Explore the old colonial center of Quito, visit a colorful local market, see Ecuador’s most impressive volcano, and spend a final night in Guayaquil, on the banks of the Guayas River.

 
All hotel accommodations as per the itinerary

Meals as noted in the itinerary (B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner)

All transfers and transportation

Sightseeing as described in itinerary including entrance fees and services of professional local guides

 
Day 1 - Arrive Quito
You will be met and taken to your hotel. The Hilton Colon - 3 Nights

Day 2 - Quito
Walk along the narrow cobblestone streets and feel the charm of 16th century Quito. Visit Independence Plaza, the beautiful French styled square bordered by the Cathedral, the Government Palace and the Archbishop's Palace. See the renowned La Compania Church, whose ornate gold leaf interior and elaborately carved altars have recently been renovated to recapture their days of glory. Visit the wide open plaza and impressive church of San Francisco, the Escorial of the Andes, built in the 16th century by the Indians of St. Andrews School. Drive approximately 14 miles north of Quito to the monument which marks the 'Middle of the World', where it is possible to stand on both hemispheres simultaneously. Visit the Ethnographic Museum, which shows the different Native American groups that live in Ecuador. The Hilton Colon (B)

Day 3 - Quito
This morning, drive south on the Pan-American Highway through the spectacular 'Avenue of the Volcanoes' to the Cotopaxi National Park. Ecuador's finest mainland national park, the area covers 133 sq. miles and is dominated by the magnificent presence of Cotopaxi volcano. The volcano is a steep, snow-capped and symmetrical cone, giving it an appearance that matches the classic volcano shape imagined by most people. 19,347 feet, Cotopaxi is the second highest mountain in Ecuador and is the highest active volcano in the country. It is also the most destructive volcano in Ecuador having erupted on several occasions during the 1700s and 1800s, including the two occasions when it completely destroyed the town of Latacunga. The last major eruption was in 1903-04 with some relatively minor activity in 1942. The park has a visitor's center located 4 miles from the entrance with a small museum and lavatory facilities. Drive along the lava fields to enjoy views of the volcano (weather permitting) and take a walk through this ecological sanctuary, with its unusual flora, fauna and geological formations. Continue to the Limpiopungo Lagoon to observe a variety of birds, Andean flora and occasionally wild horses. After lunch at a local restaurant in the area, explore a traditional Andean market of Pujili, where you can find a variety of local products all hand-made by the local Andean people. The Hilton Colon (B, L)

Day 4 - Fly to the Galapagos
You will be collected at your hotel and taken to the airport. On arrival at Baltra airport, you will be met and transferred to the Itabaca Channel, where a small ferry will take you across to the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. Here, board your bus and transfer to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. After lunch, continue to Puerto Ayora and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, where you may see the giant tortoise pens, an impressive giant prickly-pear cacti forest and land birds like Darwin's finches, Galapagos mockingbirds and flycatchers. Take a stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora, before embarking the Isabela II. The Isabela II - Central Islands - 4 Nights (B, L, D)

Day 5 - Galapagos
After breakfast, make a wet landing on a sandy white beach where many sea lion harems can be found. Some of the island's endemic species include Galapagos hawks, Galapagos snakes, rice rats, different types of finches, and Galapagos mockingbirds. The visit includes a hike on a trail past salt bushes where Galapagos hawks as well as the Santa Fe land iguanas tend to roam. The Santa Fe species of iguana are a brighter yellow color and have uncommonly large spikes on their spine. The opuntia cactus, a favorite food of the land iguana, grows unusually tall here, up to 33 feet high and are the largest of their kind in the Galapagos. Playful sea lions will usually accompany swimmers and snorkelers, while manta rays and sea turtles may be seen against the sandy bottom of Santa Fe's beautiful anchorage. This afternoon, make a dry landing at South Plaza Island, located off the east coast of Santa Cruz Island. The turquoise waters of the channel contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. The rocks have grown thick with green seaweed in places, speckled with bright orange Sally Lightfoot crabs. Further up the shore, a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cacti. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline, you find sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide, playing with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small, amazing island. The Isabela II - Central Islands (B, L, D)

Day 6 - Galapagos
After breakfast, make a wet landing on a sandy white beach where many sea lion harems can be found. Some of the island's endemic species include Galapagos hawks, Galapagos snakes, rice rats, different types of finches, and Galapagos mockingbirds. The visit includes a hike on a trail past salt bushes where Galapagos hawks as well as the Santa Fe land iguanas tend to roam. The Santa Fe species of iguana are a brighter yellow color and have uncommonly large spikes on their spine. The opuntia cactus, a favorite food of the land iguana, grows unusually tall here, up to 33 feet high and are the largest of their kind in the Galapagos. Playful sea lions will usually accompany swimmers and snorkelers, while manta rays and sea turtles may be seen against the sandy bottom of Santa Fe's beautiful anchorage. This afternoon, make a dry landing at South Plaza Island, located off the east coast of Santa Cruz Island. The turquoise waters of the channel contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. The rocks have grown thick with green seaweed in places, speckled with bright orange Sally Lightfoot crabs. Further up the shore, a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cacti. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline, you find sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide, playing with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small, amazing island. The Isabela II - Central Islands (B, L, D)

Day 7 - Galapagos
This morning, make a dry landing at Bartolome, an island of varied volcanic formations with a 328-foot summit and a fabulous 360-degree view. Hike to the summit, a steep climb up a wooden staircase with handrails and several rest and observation stops. The view from the top is worth the effort and, depending upon the weather, you may be able to spot five other islands, one of the most spectacular views of the archipelago. Following the walk, take a dinghy ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock and then make a wet landing in a cove where you can enjoy the beach and snorkel. Here, you may have the chance to see a small colony of Galapagos penguins - the only penguins north of the equator. Sea lions may also be found here and, behind the beach, red and white mangroves, salt bushes, morning glory and prickly pear cacti can be found. Alternatively, ride on the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world. After lunch, take a panga ride to the landing site at Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago. Santiago, also called James or San Salvador Island, is located in the western central part of the Galapagos archipelago and is the fourth largest island. Santiago consists of two volcanoes; a typical shield volcano and a low, linear fissure volcano. A number of historic eruptions have been reported over the last two centuries, the last major one occurring in the early 1900s. The area is covered by lava flows, such as pahoehoe (Hawaiian for rope). This thin-skinned lava's molten material cools down in a way that causes the surface materials to buckle, creating a rope-like appearance. Pahoehoe lava is rare to the rest of the world, but is common to the volcanoes of Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands. Make a wet landing on a white coral sand beach for a hike over the lava flows. Wildlife here includes finches, Galapagos hawks, lava lizards and Galapagos penguins. The Isabela II - Central Islands (B, L, D)

Day 8 - Fly to Guayaquil
This morning, disembark at Baltra. You will be met and taken to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil. Upon arrival, you will be met and taken to your hotel. Unipark Hotel - 1 Night (B)

Day 9 - Depart Guayaquil
Enjoy the morning at leisure or take an optional tour of the city or (time permitting) a visit to the nearby Churute mangrove reserve. You will be collected at your hotel and taken to the airport. (B)

 
         
Touring Date
Land Only
Land + Air
Single
(Land Only)
Single
(Land + Air)
3/16/2018 - 3/24/2018
$4,739
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4/13/2018 - 4/21/2018
$4,739
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Note: Departures appearing above in green are guaranteed to operate by the tour operator.
         

Airfare Disclaimer
A NOTE ABOUT AIRFARE: We encourage you to buy your airfare from the tour operator, because if your tour cancels then your airlines tickets will be covered. Purchasing flights separately at a lesser rate and incorporating it with a Non-Guaranteed Departure Date can result in loss of total cost of your flight investment. Depending on the fare rules, flights may be Non-Refundable and/or Non-Transferable. Neither the tour operator and/or Atlas Cruises & Tours will be held responsible for loss if a tour is cancelled for Lack of Participation.

Documents
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS: Necessary Travel Documents such as Passports and Visas is the responsibility of the traveler. Passports must be valid six months from your return travel date.

First-class expedition cruiser

Visit an authentic local market & Cotopaxi volcano Encounter amazing wildlife at close quarters

 

Prices listed are per person, based on double-occupancy.

 
 

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