1 Start Quito.
The group flight usually arrives into Quito this evening. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. Free transfers are available for all clients. A local guide will welcome you to Quito and explain the schedule for the next few days. Stay: Hotel Vieja Cuba or similar.
2 Discover Quito at your leisure.
Today is free to relax, recover from the flight and explore the fascinating city of Quito. Quito is the second highest capital in the world, standing at 2,850m on the western cordillera of the Andes. It is one of the smaller and more attractive of the colonial capitals of South America. Because of the altitude visitors to Quito are advised to take it easy at first. Stay: Hotel Vieja Cuba or similar.
3 Fly to Galapagos. Visit Santa Cruz highlands and Charles Darwin Centre. Embarkation.
Transfer to Quito Airport and fly to Baltra in the Galapagos Islands . We take a short ferry crossing to Santa Cruz Island where we drive to the highlands to look for Galapagos giant tortoises. This afternoon visit the Charles Darwin Centre to learn about the ecology of the islands and visit the centre's tortoise hatchery. After this we board our boat at Puerto Ayora, the island's main town. As we may not be able to easily access our luggage from arrival at Baltra until this evening, please make sure that you bring your camera, sun cream and appropriate clothing: comfortable footwear for some short walks (possibly amongst grass), light clothes, a hat/cap and a light waterproof in case of a shower or mist. Stay Seven Nights: Cachalote Explorer
4 Chinese Hat & Isla Rabida
A short walk on the small island of Chinese Hat before snorkelling with Sea lions (and penguins if lucky!); on to the dark red beach of Isla Rabida to walk amongst spatter cones, pelicans, Blue-footed and Nazca boobies.
5 Isabela island
We start three days exploring the largest island of Isabela and walk to the huge 5-mile wide caldera on Sierra Negra volcano. In the afternoon it's possible to visit the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding centre on Isabela island.
6 Isabela Island
Cruising around Isabela's west side, we hope to see whales and dolphins. We land at Punta Moreno's swirling fresh lava flows and also explore the islets of Elizabeth Bay with the largest colony of penguins in the Galapagos.
7 Urbina Bay, Tagus Cove & Darwin Lake
In 1954 Urbina Bay was uplifted 4 metres. Walk here amongst exposed coral heads, wandering Galapagos giant tortoises and huge land iguanas. In the afternoon we visit Tagus Cove and Darwin Lake, directly opposite recently active Fernandina Volcano.
8 Punta Espinosa on Fernandina & Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela
Land at Punta Espinosa on Fernandina in the midst of a huge colony of Marine iguanas; the sea life is very rich here and supports a large Sea lion and Fur seal colony. Cross the straights and explore the cliffs of Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela.
9 Santiago Island & Bartolome Island
Excellent birding on Santiago Island at Puerto Egas followed by an afternoon snorkel and a walk amongst incredible volcanic scenery up little Bartolome Island - cones, lava tubes and Pinnacle Rock.
10 Fly to Guayaquil; end Guayaquil.
An early morning walk on North Seymour amidst Palo Santo trees and Blue-footed booby colonies. After a late breakfast we disembark for the journey back to Baltra to transfer to the airport and fly back to the mainland. We fly to Guayaquil airport where it's possible to connect with international flights this evening from 6pm onwards. Land only clients may prefer to organise post-tour accommodation for the night in Guayaquil and organise their international flights for the following day.