Itinerary

Day 1 Quito

Recover from jet lag and meet the team. If arriving early, why not take a stroll around the cobbled streets of this pre-Colombian town where the aroma of fritada (fried pork) sizzles from every street corner. Perhaps stop by Quito’s most ornate treasure, La Compania de Jesus, a church decorated with gold leaf and intricate woodcarvings.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Day 2 Isla Mosquera

Jump on a plane and head to the Galapagos. Hit the seas on the M.Y Pelikano and set sail for Isla Mosquera. Have the camera handy while spotting sea lions and marine birds, before hitting the water while snorkelling around the surrounding coral reef.

Day 3 Isla Isabela

Surrounded by five giant volcanic craters, explore the wetlands of Isla Isabela. Navigate around swamps, mangrove clusters and lagoons to see some of the island’s colourful bird life. Later, head to the Sierra Negra Volcano for a challenging hike up the ‘Black Mountain’ before visiting the Arnoldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Centre.

Day 4 Eden Islet/Cerro Dragon/Isla Santa Cruz

Darwin finches were crucial in helping Charles Darwin formulate his theory of evolution by natural selection, and are best viewed on Ballena Bay. Later, take a panga to Eden Islet for some amazing snorkelling opportunities. While submerged, see turtles, tropical fish and one of the Galapagos’ most famed residents, the marine iguana. Sail to Cerro Dragon and prepare for an afternoon inland walk. The spectacular bay view at the end of the trail is only beaten by the incredible wildlife residing at the top of the hill.

Day 5 Isla Rabida/Isla North Seymour

Walk upon the crimson sands of Rabida Island to get up close to pink flamingos, raucous sea lions and nesting pelicans. After a quick snorkel, head to North Seymour to spot some of the island’s more unique looking residents. Check out the flippers of the blue-footed booby and the bright red pouch of the male frigate bird.

Day 6 Charles Darwin Research Centre/Santa Cruz Highlands

Walk upon the crimson sands of Rabida Island to get up close to pink flamingos, raucous sea lions and nesting pelicans. After a quick snorkel, head to North Seymour to spot some of the island’s more unique looking residents. Check out the flippers of the blue-footed booby and the bright red pouch of the male frigate bird.

Day 7 Sombrero Chino/Isla Bartolome

Today is filled with volcanoes, lava flows and parasitic spatter cones as we hike around a once-active volcano. Arguably one of the most beautiful yet bizarre landscapes in the world, check out the tooth-like rock formation jutting out of the ocean and keep your eyes peeled for the impressive 1.2 m wingspan of the Galapagos hawk. On Sombrero Chino, follow the trail of the island’s volcanic origins, passing colonies of sea lions, iguanas and penguins.

Day 8 Espumilla Beach and Buccaneer’s Cove/Isla Santiago

Take some time to relax on the warm sands of Isla Santiago. As well as the usual, or should we say unusual, inhabitants of the Galapagos, the sand on the island is bewitchingly black and totally mystifying. Then journey to Espumilla Beach, an important nesting site for marine turtles before visiting Buccaneer’s Cove, where Darwin once camped for nine days while doing research in the area.

Day 9 Isla Daphne/Baltra

Daphne Island is the final island visited in the archipelago tour. Take one last look at the boobies, terns and petrels swooping in the air before making tracks to the airport. Back in Ecuador, why not swap stories (and photographs) over a final group dinner.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Day 10 Quito

If you have a little extra time before flying out pick up a few souvenirs in Plaza San Francisco, go mountain biking around the surrounding volcanoes and lakes or stroll up Calle La Ronda, the most lively street in the city.