1 Start Quito
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 Casona de la Ronda 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 2850m 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 Casona de la Ronda or similar.
3 Fly to Baltra Airport on the Galapagos & Highlands (Santa Cruz)
Morning: Fly to Galapagos: Transfer to Quito Airport and fly to Baltra Airport in the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival to the Islands, you will pass through the airport inspection point to make sure that no foreign plant or animals are introduced to the island, and to pay the National Park Entrance Fee. Your guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbour where a dinghy will be waiting to take you to the yacht. Afternoon: Highlands (Santa Cruz): Santa Cruz offers excellent opportunities for viewing wild Galapagos giant tortoises, roaming through pastures in the agricultural zone and in the transition zone of adjacent El Chato Tortoise Reserve. Stay: Archipel I.
4 Tintoreras Islet & Isabela Island
Morning: Tintoreras Islet: This group of jagged rocky islets just off the coast of Puerto Villamil forms one of the most stereotypical sites of the Galapagos. Afternoon: Tortoise breeding centre & wetlands on Isabela Island: The wetlands and brackish lagoons of Isabela are among the best places to spot aquatic, wading and shore birds. Stay: Archipel I.
5 Isabela Island
Morning: Moreno Point: Fresh, promising greens of pioneer vegetation contrasts strongly with the dead, pitch-black lava flow that once reached the ocean at Moreno Point. Afternoon: Elizabeth Bay: At the remote Elizabeth Bay you will enjoy the best dinghy-ride of the Galapagos, which combines a visit to the Marielas Islets in the mouth of the bay, with the highest mangles in its innermost heart. Stay: Archipel I.
6 Isabela & Fernandina Islands
Morning: Tagus Cove (Isabela): Tagus Cove is a historical anchorage at the northern entrance of Bolivar Channel (between Isabela and Fernandina). Afternoon: Espinoza Point (Fernandina): Westernmost Fernandina harbours one of the world's most virgin, untouched ecosystems, and is another crown jewel of the Galapagos. Stay: Archipel I.
7 Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz) & North Seymour
Morning: Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz): Strolling along its coastline, the blinding white Bachas Beach appears full of natural life. It is one of the most important breeding sites for Pacific Green turtles. Afternoon: North Seymour : North Seymour is a highlight of your cruise. In the archipelago's most extensive seabird breeding colony you can walk just a short distance from frigatebirds and Blue-footed boobies. Stay: Archipel I.
8 Genovesa Island
Morning: Prince Philip's Steps: Not only because of its historical English name (Tower) Genovesa has a royal touch. Follow in the footsteps of Prince Philip - Galapagos lover for many years - and visit this favourite birding spot with the largest breeding colonies of red-footed and Nazca boobies, and look for a remarkable short-eared owl that hunts on foot! Afternoon: Darwin Bay: As one of the outer islands and most exclusive places on the Galapagos, Genovesa is well worth last night's longer navigation. This compact site in the heart of its flooded crater shows the extreme varied coastal ecosystems of the Galapagos in miniature; nearly too much for a single day. Stay: Archipel I.
9 Bartolome & Santiago
Morning: Bartolome: This tiny volcano islet is just recently born out of fire. Enter its wild romantic setting of spatter cones and craters and see the most famous panorama of the Galapagos/./ Afternoon: Sullivan Bay (Santiago): Sullivan Bay is incomparable to any other visitor's site; setting foot at the recently solidified lava flow is like landing on the moon! Stay: Archipel I.
10 Disembark Santa Cruz; fly Baltra to Guayaquil and end
Morning: Charles Darwin Research Station: The most memorable part of the Charles Darwin Research Station will probably be the successful breeding centre and its celebrity 'Lonesome George'. Afternoon: transfer out to Baltra Airport: Assisted by the naturalist guide and some crew members, the dinghy will bring you and your luggage to Baltra, where we will take the airport shuttle. From here we fly to Guayaquil where it's possible to connect with international flights this evening from 6pm onwards.