Ultimate Galapagos & Ecuadorian Cloud Forest
Ultimate Galapagos Whales, Wildlife & Birds + Ecuador Central Highlands
The most comprehensive Galapagos wildlife tour. August & September are the best months for whale sightings and are also when thousands of the endemic waved albatross nest on Espanola Island and the giant tortoises migrate down from the highlands of Santa Cruz. This in depth tour offers multiple opportunities to encounter the full range of Galapagos wildlife and flora. Rare and endemic birds, swim with sharks, rays, turtles and tropical fish. Then travel to the Ecuadorean Highlands for more amazing birds and scenery.
- Unique 15 day cruise with marine & wildlife encounters
- Maximum whale & dolphin sightings
- Expert Galapagos Park Guide onboard offering guidance & briefings
- Daily hikes, snorkelling, kayaking, excursions & panga cruises.
- Excellent birding opportunities
- Observe Waved Albatross on Espanola Island
- Swim with sea lions & giant turtles
- Intimate, friendly atmosphere onboard
- Time to Explore Quito and its Old Town, a Unesco World Heritage Site
- Bellavista Cloud Forest Day Tour, Birding & Wildlife
- 14 Nights Galapagos Cruise Experience
- 3 Nights Hotel Stay B&B in Quito (1 night pre, 2 night post Galapagos cruise)
- Flights from Quito to Galapagos Islands Return
- All landings, Activities, Excursions & transportation with-in the itinerary
- Use of Kayaks & snorkelling equipment
- Certified Galapagos National Park Service Guide
- Visit to Charles Darwin Centre
- All Meals onboard MY Beluga
- Full Day Guided Tour Bellavista Cloud Forest
ITINERARY17 Nights 18 Days
- Day 1 | Arrival transfer from Quito Airport afternoon. Quito Hotel stay 1 night B&B
- Day 2 - 15 | AM transfer to airport for flight to Galapagos for 14 night cruise
- Day 16 | Disembarkation from cruise, flight back to Quito, transfers to hotel
- Day 17 | Bellavista Cloud Forest
- Day 18 | Transfer to Quito Airport for afternoon onward international flight home
Quito - Patio Andaluz Hotel
Private transfers from Quito Airport to the Patio Andaluz Hotel located in the heart of Historic Quito old town. You will have the rest of the afternoon and evening to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and cobbled streets of this Unesco Heritage Site.
Ferry to Santa Cruz Island
After breakfast, transfer to Quito Airport for flight to Baltra. $120 National Park fee to be paid on arrival. Ferry to Santa Cruz Island and guided tour to see giant tortoises in the wild, followed by a visit to the Charles Darwin Centre in Puerto Ayora. Embark and set sail.
Floreana Island - Post Office Bay
Floreana Island. Visit Post Office Bay with its historic barrel post box – continue the tradition and leave or pick up mail yourself for posting! Punta Cormorant and Devil’s Crown for guided walk to observe penguins and marine iguanas. Discover a green sand beach, coloured by olivine crystals, and then white sand Flour Beach. Amazing snorkelling with tropical fish, rays, sharks and turtles, plus superb birding.
Isabela Island - Puerto Villamil
Isabela Island. Visit the charming, Puerto Villamil and beach home to flamingos, whimbrels, gallinules, stilts and lava gulls. Call at giant tortoise breeding station and later walk to the rim of the Sierra Negra volcano with its scenic lava flows.
Isabela Island - Isabela Island
Isabela Island. Visit scenic Isabela Island and then a panga ride in Elizabeth Bay to see penguins on the small islets. At the narrow end of the bay, sea turtles and rays can usually be seen in the water. See red, white and black mangroves, flightless cormorant, penguins, blue-footed boobies and pelicans.
Isabela Island. Walking around Urbina Bay to see colourful land iguanas, giant tortoises, plus flora and birdlife. Snorkelling with rays and tropical fish. Later, enter cold-water Tagus Cove where whales and dolphins are often encountered.
Morning landing on volcanic Fernandina Island. Shoreline and lava walks to observe lava herons plus varied flora - lava cactus, petunia, mangroves. Snorkelling with juvenile sea lions, spot marine iguanas, flightless cormorant, penguins. Afternoon birds and marine life panga ride and snorkelling at Punta Vicente Roca, off Isabela.
Santiago Island. Landing on black beach at Puerto Egas. Visit fur seal grotto. See flamingos, flycatchers, lava herons and maybe a Galapagos snake. In the afternoon, climb the volcano cone on Bartolome island for long views. Beautiful, colourful volcanic rock formations, plus birds and snorkelling. l
Relax on board or swim in the morning. Later, on Santa Cruz, go walking near Dragon Hill to observe flamingos, finches and pintail ducks, plus land and marine iguanas.
Morning visit to Santa Fe Island to see land iguanas, a pelican nesting site, sea lion colony, mockingbirds, doves, Galapagos hawks and Palo Santo trees. Afternoon on South Plaza to see rare plants including tall opuntia cactus, plus nesting red-billed tropicbirds, sealion
San Cristobal Island
Landing at Cerro Brujo, San Cristobal Island - sea lions and marine iguanas plus flamingos in the nearby lagoon. Then, sail to the iconic Kicker Rock for spectacular snorkelling with sharks, turtles, rays and tropical fish. One of the highlights of the cruise. Also visit Puerto Baquerizo Moreno Interpretation Center.
Visits on Española Island at Gardner Bay and Islotes Gardner and Osborn for great snorkelling. Later landing at Punta Suarez to see blowhole and rare fauna and flora, including endemic waved albatross (April-December), Hood mockingbirds, finches, boobies and hawks plus Espanola lava lizards and brightly-coloured iguanas.
Santa Cruz - Darwin Centre
Revisit Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz for the Darwin Centre if missed before and possible souvenir shopping. Walk through cactus forest to Tortuga Bay – finches and iguanas. Afternoon walking in the lush highlands.
Chinese Hat Island
Morning landing at eponymous Chinese Hat Island, great for snorkelling with sealions and penguins. Beautiful volcanic landscape and white-coral sand beach. Afternoon visit to Sullivan Bay on Santiago for beautiful lava walk – marine iguanas, Sally Lighfoot crabs and turtles.
Genovesa Island. Here, at Darwin Bay, walk amongst seals, nesting red-footed boobies, gulls and great frigatebirds as you traverse the shoreline amongst the lava rocks and pools. Afternoon, climb Prince Phillip’s Steps for a cliff walk amongst nesting Nazca boobies and other birds. Look out especially for short-eared owls.
Quito Old Town
After breakfast we disembark with a transfer to Baltra airport for your flight back to Quito. Afternoon - arrival in Quito with transfer to The Patio Andaluz Hotel (bed & breakfast). Evening free to enjoy the World Heritage Old Town
Bellavista Cloud Forest
Bellavista Cloud Forest. A full day guided tour. The day starts after breakfast with an early morning pick up from your hotel. 145 Minute drive take you high into Ecuador’s Cloud Forest offering over 700 hectares of private conservation reserve and located in the Mindo region. Bellavista Lodge is one of the most remarkable places in the world for colourful bird life and orchids. Hike up streams to hidden waterfalls on 10 kms of nature walks graded from easy to genuine adventure. Access to shared naturalist guides who will accompany small groups to observe 100’s of bird species particular to this region including Cock of the Rock and up to 14 species of humming bird at close range at feeders. A very exciting day. Back to Quito for a relaxing evening.
After a leisurely breakfast your private transfer to Quito Airport awaits. Check-in for your independent flights back home.
Your Itinerary Accommodation
Patio Andaluz Hotel, Quito
Ideally located deep in the old town, this Boutique style hotel is an ideal location to explore the culture, history and vibrant restaurants and bars.
Located deep in the old town and cobbled streets of Quito this small & friendly boutique hotel was converted some years ago from an original colonial style house. Nestled just 150 meters from the main square, Independence Plaza and 7 minutes walk to from the Square of San Francisco this authentic hotel could not be better placed. The El Rinco de Cantuna Restaurant offers excellent Ecuadorian, Spanish and international cuisine Suites and 21 Standard rooms.
What Our Customers
• Although we thoroughly enjoyed the Galapagos it was mainland Ecuador which really took us by surprise with such a diversity of landscape and wildlife and incredible hospitality everywhere we went. Our local guides were so knowledgeable and helpful and our driver Manuel had a terrific sense of humour. We had some fantastic birding at both Mashpi, Le Selva and of course our day trip to Paz de Las Aves Reserve where we were lucky enough to see both the ‘Cock of the Rock’ and the giant antipitta. The devil nose train journey was as thrilling as we hoped and we even got lucky with Cotopaxi and got some lovely clear photos so all in all couldn't ask for more.
• This was an excellent trip from start to finish. Bellavista Lodge was a particular favourite of ours, so tranquil and a superb base to watch birds and wildlife while experiencing real Ecuadorian hospitality. Our guide, really knew his stuff and was so passionate about his job ,in fact all the local guides were excellent. I have to say a special word about Juan, our driver, who was so charming and funny, he really added to the overall enjoyment of the trip. The number and variety of birds we saw was amazing and I would have no hesitation in recommending Ecuador to other keen bird watchers.
Fantastic holiday with more wildlife than I was expecting. The Napo Wildlife Centre was wonderful, we were looked after with such care and attention and our guides’ knowledge of the areas’ and flora and fauna was outstanding, what they didn’t know probably wasn’t worth knowing. The food was so varied and they coped amazingly with my food intolerances, better than most European restaurants!!! Waking up to the sound of the howler monkeys will always live with me as will seeing my first Kinkajou, something I’ve wanted to see for a long time. Thank you for an amazing two weeks.
We had an amazing time in the Galapagos, thank you.We really enjoyed ourselves and will certainly come back to you next year.
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