Galapagos Islands Special Packages Galapagos Odyssey & Colonial Treasures of Ecuador - 10 Days Special package details
Galapagos Odyssey & Colonial Treasures of Ecuador - 10 Days
Wednesday - Arrive in Quito
Thursday - Colonial Quito
Friday - Colonial Cuenca
Saturday - Ingapirca Ruins
Sunday - Fly to Galapagos Islands / Santa Cruz island
Monday - Rabida / Chinese Hat
Tuesday - Genovesa island
Wednesday - Bartolome island / Sullivan Bay
Thursday - Santa Cruz island / Fly to Quito
Friday - Depart Quito
Wednesday Arrive in Quito
Your guide will be waiting to escort you from the airport to your hotel. Overnight stay in a standard boutique hotel.
Thursday Colonial Quito
Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 2, 850 m. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America. The monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compania, with their rich interiors, are pure examples of the 'Baroque school of Quito', which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art. (whc.unesco.org)
You'll set off from the modern part of the city and continue on foot through Quito's Old Town to admire the colonial art and architecture of the XVI to XVIII centuries. Afterwards you'll have the opportunity to take in spectacular views of both colonial and modern Quito from the "Panecillo Mirador" which the highest point on the valley floor.
A special treat is lunch at "El Ventanal" restaurant on San Juan hill. The restaurant is characterised by a cozy atmosphere, minimalist decoration and special attention to service. El Ventanal offers an extensive selection of international gastronomy with an Ecuadorian flavor. BLD
Friday Colonial Cuenca
Santa Ana de los Rios de Cuenca is set in a valley surrounded by the Andean mountains in the south of Ecuador. This inland colonial town (entroterra), now the country's third city, was founded in 1557 on the rigorous planning guidelines issued 30 years earlier by the Spanish king Charles V. Cuenca still observes the formal orthogonal town plan that it has respected for 400 years. One of the region's agricultural and administrative centres, it has been a melting pot for local and immigrant populations. Cuenca's architecture, much of which dates from the 18th century, was 'modernized' in the economic prosperity of the 19th century as the city became a major exporter of quinine, straw hats and other products. (whc.unesco.org)
Today you'll take an early flight to Cuenca. This is a peaceful city with colonial flair, glistening marble buildings ennobled with wrought iron balconies and huge wooden doors. Lunch is at a typical restaurant in the historic center. Your guide will lead you on an exploration of the markets, churches, museums and craft shops for which the city is known. To the surprise of many, the Panama hat originated here. Dinner and overnight stay at a standard, superior or deluxe boutique hotel. BLD
Saturday Ingapirca Ruins
Departure from Cuenca to Ingapirca, the largest and most significant Inca site in Ecuador. The ruins, located just two hours to the north of Cuenca, date from the 15th and 16th centuries.
The Ingapirca ruins look like a small fortress. Some archaeologists think that its main elliptical platform structure (usnu), referred to as Temple of the Sun, was used for religious purposes. Its location on the Inca road that linked the northern and southern capitals of the Inca Empire, Quito and Cusco respectively, suggests it may have also served as a resting point for chasquis – runners that carried messages for the royal court. The structure itself has outstanding Inca stonework. Its doorways and niches were designed in the trapezoidal shape that is the unmistakable Inca style.
You'll enjoy a typical meal on site at the Posada del Inca restaurant before returning to Cuenca in time to catch your flight back to Quito. B
Sunday Transfer hotel – airport / Galapagos Islands
Pick up from your hotel early in the morning to take you to the airport to take your flight to Galapagos. Once you arrive in the islands you have to pay Galapagos National Park entrance fee and show your Transit Control Card. Please keep this document until you leave the islands.
A representative of Galapagos Odyssey will be waiting for you at the airport.
Dragon hill, Santa Cruz Island
The visitor site at Dragon Hill has been open for visits on 1993. This site is located in northwestern Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that lead to a hyper-saline lagoon behind the beach, frequented by flamingos, pintail ducks and other species of birds. This site has been re populated with land iguanas from Seymour, Isabela and Santa Cruz islands. There is a short walk to the Hill, which offers a beautiful view of the bay.
Rábida Island is unique because the red color of the rocks and sand. The volcanic material in this island is very porous and external factors as rain, salt water and sea breeze have acted as an oxidizing agent.
A short walk along a trail lead us to a coastal lagoon behind the beach permits the observation of land birds as finches, doves, yellow warblers and mocking birds. At the lagoon there is a colony of flamingos.
This is a small islet (1 sq km) located just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island. It is a recent volcanic cone, shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from north side. On the west it can be seen lava formations, formed under the sea and raised upward, this is why coral heads are found on the lava. This is an excellent visit for interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. The landscape is covered by sea lions colonies, marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins.
Tuesday Darwin Bay, Genovesa Island
This bay has origin when the crater of this island collapsed below sea level. The wet landing is on a beautiful white coral sandy beach. This is a favorite island for birdwatchers: red footed-booby, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels Yellow-crowned, black-crowned and lava herons, with and yellow warblers can be seen in the area.
Continuing on the trail, visitors climb gradually to the edge of the cliff seeing Red-Foots nesting in the Mangrove trees below. Bird watching includes sightings of Sharp-Beaked Finches, Large Cactus and Ground Finches, Galapagos Doves and Swallow-Tailed Gulls. Reaching the end the trail at the cliff's edge offers an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there.
El Barranco, Genovesa Island
El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay and it is also known as Prince Philip’s Steps, passengers will climb to a plateau that is part of the stretch of land that surrounds Darwin Bay on its eastern side. There is a big population of Masked boobies and Red-Footed boobies in the tree; Storm petrels and Short-eared Owls have found in Genovesa lava flows the ideal place for nesting.
Wednesday Bartolomé Island
Bartolomé Island is situated across Sullivan Bay. It has an altitude of 114 meters, from where we can observe one of the most beautiful sceneries of the Galapagos Islands such as: Volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle eroded by the sea. There is very little vegetation on this island.
It has two breathtaking beaches where marine turtles exist and at the base of the pinnacle, as well as a very small colony of Galapagos penguins.
The Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island
Santiago, also called James, or San Salvador Island, is located in the west central part of the Galapagos archipelago. It is the fourth largest island in the archipelago (following Isabela, Fernandina and Santa Cruz). Along with some of the large western volcanoes of Isabela and Fernandina, Santiago is also volcanically active, with many young flows and cones to be seen, particularly along the south, west, and east coasts. These may even be seen from the summit of Darwin Volcano and from space. A number of historic eruptions have been reported over the last 2 centuries. Santiago actually consists of two coalesced volcanoes: a typical shield volcano on the northwest end and a low, linear fissure volcano on the southeast end.
Thursday Highlands, Santa Cruz Island / Quito
The trail to the highlands leaves from Bellavista and passes through the agricultural zone, near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone, and then goes to the Fern and Sedge zone. With clear weather (unpredictable) this area affords beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round.
Transfer to the airport to take your flight back to mainland. Once you arrive in Quito, your guide will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel.
Friday Depart Quito
Transfer to the airport for your flight home or stay to explore a little more of Ecuador.
Want to stay longer, contact us directly
Total cost: USD 00.00
Take $1200 per couple off the package price and receive a BONUS Deluxe Boutique hotel upgrade for all reservations booked and paid for by November 30, 2012.
Offer applies to any 2012 departure. Subject to availability.
5 day / 4 night Galapagos tour - English-speaking naturalist guide, excursions, 4 nights on board in a twin share cabin, all meals as detailed, use of snorkeling equipment and kayaks.
3 day / 3 night Colonial Treasures of Ecuador tour - English-speaking guide, activities, private transport, twin share accommodation in superior boutique hotels, meals as indicated, entry fees.
Quito VIP package: 2 nights twin share accommodation in a Superior Boutique hotel with breakfast and 4 private transfers for your international and Galapagos flights.
Airfare to/from Galapagos, Galapagos National park entrance fee, Galapagos transit control card.
Not included: Alcoholic drinks, personal expenses, tips.
Price per person based in double occupancy. For Deluxe boutique hotel upgrade: $155 per person.
Cancellation fees apply as follows:
- 60 days or more prior to departure - 20%
- 59 - 0 days prior to departure - 100%
- Cancellation date is the day we receive notification in writing.
Children from 7 years old are welcome to this trip under parent supervision.