Galapagos Deluxe Cruise-Ecuador 12 Days (Ecuador) - 12 Days / 11 Nights

Galapagos Islands - Cultural Tours

Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Quito
Welcome to Ecuador

Arrival in Quito, transfer to hotel

Day 2: Quito (B)

Colonial city tour: Quito displays the largest colonial town of the Americas and is the first Unesco’s World Heritage Site. Enjoy the eclectic architecture ranging from the modern quarters to varied colonial facades on churches and private residences decorated and balconies built along the last five centuries. The tour includes parks like El Ejido and Alameda, the monument of Simon Bolivar, the gothic Basilica of the Heart of Jesús, Independence Square developed during the past five centuries and flanked by the Presidential ant the Archbishop’s palaces dated back to XVII and XVII centuries and, the Metropolitan Cathedral with excellent samples of the Spanish renaissance. Walk along the so called street of the seven crosses and pass by the Jesuit convent, once head quarters of the first university in the country, El Sagrario church with a unique orthodox cross lay out dated back to the seventeenth century and the jewel of the crown, the Jesuit temple of`La Compañía de Jesús, perhaps the most important monument of the baroque art in Quito.From there continue to the plaza of San Francisco, with temple and convent known to be the largest on the once Spanish colonies on the Americas which displays a rich sample of artistic and cultural heritage.
Overnight in Quito.

Day 3: Otavalo Market (B, D)
Otavalo market & surroundings

Visit the well-known indigenous crafts market in Otavalo, opportunity to see the gentle and soft spoken Otavalo Indians, attired with beautiful and unique costumes. Interaction with the local people is given to the visitor through the process of bargaining, which is the fun element in the negotiations, while purchasing woven goods both in sheep´s wool and cotton, as well as, hats, belts, bags, jewelry and more. Then visit the village of Peguche which is known for its Otavalo weavers, they continue to work with their traditional and Spanish introduced looms. Visit to a family that handcrafts wind instruments, demonstration of the making of ancient instruments and playing of native music. Drive to Magdalena-Karanki a community based-tourism project where passengers can establish cultural ties staying at their comfortable homes with private facilities, enjoy the most authentic Andean home cooking.

Day 4: Chaski Route (B, L)
Karanki-Magdalena Community & train ride

Engage in farm activities, do arts and crafts, and undertake adventure hikes, horseback riding and biking, in the heart of the Andean highlands. Drive to Ibarra to take the train that travel on an early 20th century railroad system, built to connect the northern Andes and the Pacific Coast. A two-hour ride, dropping from over 8.000 ft. to almost half this altitude, embraces high altitude vegetation, dry zones with bromeliad and pear cacti, ending in a sub-tropical zone with sugar cane plantations. The main attraction of this ride is the travelling through tunnels and bridges following the canyon of Ambi river. Arrival to Salinas an Afro- Ecuadorian village to enjoy lunch and cultural experience. Return to Quito. Hotel accommodation

Day 5: Avenue of the Volcanoes, Baños (B)

Depart Quito towards the south highlands, drive along the “Avenue of the Volcanoes”. Weather permitting, the first giant to be seen is the volcano Cotopaxi, the world´s highest active snow covered volcano, among other Andean elevations. Headed east, start to descend to the valley of Patate, to the sub-tropical region where Baños is located. Baños is known as the “gateway to the Amazonia”. Tour of the Pastaza river canyon, known as the “Waterfall Avenue”, with some luck, observation of the active volcano Tungurahua ejecting its impressive fumaroles. Back again on the Pan-American high way we shall drive on the foothills of the highest elevation of Ecuador: Chimborazo, with over twenty thousand feet. Arrival in Alausí for overnight

Day 6: Devil’s nose train ride & Cuenca (B)

Take a spectacular bus-train ride through the Devil’s Nose, a true feat in railway engineering of the early twentieth century. Box lunch. Continue south and experience a dramatic landscape change with deep canyons and small green valleys to reach the village of El Tambo and detour to visit the Incan Archaeological site of Ingapirca, which means "Wall of the Inca", this is the most important Incan relic in Ecuador. This citadel was built in the fifteenth century on an ancient route that connected Quito to Cusco. The Solar Temple and the surrounding buildings follow the system of construction found in the ancient Incan capital, Cusco. Overnight in Cuenca.

Day 7: Cuenca city tour & Guayaquil (B)

City tour of Cuenca, the third largest city of Ecuador, along with Quito holds the title of World Heritage Site. A quaint colonial city, also known, for the profusion of handicrafts, such as pottery, embroidery, filigree jewels and the world wide known Panama hat. Visit a well displayed factory of Panama hats, a learning and shopping unique experience. Visit the Main Square, New Cathedral and the flower market. Visit either the Central Bank museum with permanent archaeological, ethnographic, colonial and republican art collections or the Conceptas Religious Museum. This museum gives to the visitor the experience of immerging in the monastic life of nuns, a very special visit. View point, Turi. Departure from Cuenca to Guayaquil for a breath taking and diverse drive. We start with high altitude impressive scenery by crossing El Cajas National Park we shall see lagoons such as La Toreadora, alpacas and a special tree: Polylepis or paper tree. From over 13.000 ft. we shall drop to sea level. Ecuador´s bio diversity will be understood in this ride, Andean moorlands, cloud forest, subtropical and tropical rainforest. Once in the lowlands or coast we shall see plantations of Ecuador´s main exports: bananas, cacao, coffee, rice, mangos and sugar cane. Hotel accommodation.

8-11 Deluxe Galapagos Cruise
Day 8: Monday: North Seymour (B, L, D)

Dry landing. An approximately two hour walk amidst large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies, magnificent frigatebirds, and swallow-tailed gulls for an in depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles and as well as sea lions. Many marine and some land iguanas can be also encountered.

Day 9: Tuesday - Santa Cruz (Dragon Hill) (B, L, D)

Dry landing. We walk by a brackish lagoon where feeding flamingos can be occasionally found. The trail leads across the typical dry zone vegetation up to Dragon Hill, an important nesting ground for the endemic land iguanas, offering lovely views of the anchorage and neighboring islands.

Floreana (Cormorant Point)
Wet landing on an olive colored beach. We hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as Scalesia villosa, white and black mangrove, and holy stick.
Novice snorkelers can practice on the main beach with playful sea lions and much more. Keep in mind this is an open-water activity; there is nothing to support your body on.

Day 10: Wednesday - Española (Suárez Point) (B, L, D)

Dry landing. An island of geological interest, we explore volcanic formations and a riveting wildlife: large sea lion colonies and seabirds including Española mockingbird, Nazca boobies and the spectacular red billed tropic bird. You will also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and the colorful sally lightfoot crabs.
A somewhat lengthy hike will bring you amongst Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, right up to nesting grounds that sometimes overlap the trail. Other birding favorites include Galapagos ground dove, Galapagos hawk, swallow-tailed gulls and the world’s largest colony of waved albatross, an unequivocal highlight during mating season (May-December).
Admire the island’s dramatic backdrop, featuring the famous Soplador, a seaward blowhole that shoots water at some 23 m. (75 ft.) in the air.

San Cristóbal (La Galapaguera Interpretation Center)
Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Passengers visit the San Cristóbal giant tortoise Breeding Center to learn about the National Park’s conservation programs. Passengers will also have the opportunity to visit the port village, have a drink or shop for arts and crafts and other souvenirs.

Day 11: Thursday - Santa Cruz (Carrión Point) (B, L)

A snorkeling activity is programmed, an opportunity to swim with a variety of tropical and subtropical fish, manta rays and perhaps the harmless white-tipped reef shark. Return to the M/VGalapagos Legend, checkout and transfer to airport. Return flight to Quito.

Day 12: Quito (B)

Transfer out.

End of the service.


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Tour type:
Cultural Tours
Galapagos Islands
• 3 nights deluxe Galapagos cruise based on doubled Standard Plus cabin. • Domestic air ticket to an
• Galapagos National Park & INGALA tax US$110 • Excess baggage fees. • Meals not specified on day by


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