Multi-Day Tour | Private

Galapagos | Ultra-Luxe Private Tour | Quito, Galapagos using luxury lodges (9 days)

Blue Parallel

Quito, Ecuador To Guayaquil, Ecuador

Valid for Departures Now Through: 01 Aug 2018

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Quito, Ecuador
Casa Gangotena None

Please note that the following itinerary is an example, as all of our journeys are custom-made.

Evening international flight arrival to Quito. Upon disembarking your plane, you will be met by your VIP assistant at the gate and escorted through immigration and customs hassle-free, without waiting in line. As you exit the secured area with your luggage, you will then be greeted by your personal host who will take you to your car for your private transfer to your luxury boutique hotel.

Day 2
Quito, Ecuador
Casa Gangotena Breakfast

Private guided tour of the colonial treasures of Quito. Spread across a spectacular Andean valley and flanked by 14 volcanic peaks, Quito’s setting alone is enough to strike you speechless. The historical center is a maze of colonial splendor and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978. Despite intensive restorations, the old town retains the vibrant working class and indigenous character that has always defined it. Walking its narrow streets will take you back to its original colonial setting. With your personal guide, you will visit its main historical highlights which include Monaterio de San Agustin (Quito’s oldest monastery), the elegant church of San Francisco, the Presidential Palace and the Archbishop’s Palace.

After your tour, enjoy a recommended lunch at Hacienda Rumiloma, located 25mins away from the city center and boasting incredible views. Later, private guided tour of the Guayasamin Museum and its “Chapel of Man”. Oswaldo Guayasamin was an Ecuadorian master painter and sculptor of Quechua and Mestizo heritage. He is still lauded as a national treasure. The Chapel of Man or La Capilla del hombre can be described as an architectural and artistic work dedicated to Latin American people over time. It began as a tribute, eventually becoming the current cultural complex which houses archaeological and artistic collections of Ecuador. This large complex began as Guayasamín’s home and atelier.

In the early evening, enjoy a guided tour of Quito’s architectural highlights, which are beautifully lit at night. A beautifully-designed lighting system brings out the best of Quito’s architecture and is an ideal opportunity to learn about the legends of Colonial Quito. Afterwards, you will enjoy exclusive access La Compañía de Jesús church followed by drinks on the roof.

Private transfer with your host to Theatrum restaurant, located within the Sucre National Theater and is one of Quito’s finest restaurants.

Day 3
Santa Cruz Highlands, Isla Santa Cruz, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Pikaia Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Flight to Baltra Airport via Guayaquil. You will be greeted by VIP personnel upon exciting the airport and escorted to the VIP lounge area while your immigration and national park paperwork is being processed. Transfer to the Baltra dock (approx. 15min) where you will board a speedboat to cross the Itabaca Channel over to Santa Cruz Island (approx. 5min). Upon arrival to Santa Cruz Island, transfer to Pikaia Lodge located in the highlands of Santa Cruz (approx. 45min). After checking in to your accommodation, enjoy a light lunch as you take in the expansive views from the property.

Hidden in a secluded location and nestled on top of an extinct volcano crater, Pikaia Lodge is designed for the environmentally conscious (it is the first carbon neutral accommodation in the Galapagos), eco-adventure traveler who seeks intimate contact with the unique heritage of the Galapagos along with all the comforts of a highly evolved lifestyle.

Head to the Lodge’s Homo Sapiens conference room for a short briefing on the week’s activities, followed by an overview on the natural history of the Galapagos Islands

Enjoy time relaxing at your leisure or explore the lodge’s property and 3.5km of trails on foot or by bike. Additionally, as guests of the lodge you will also have access to the infinity pool, gym, and spa. In the early evening enjoy a welcome cocktail at the lodge’s DNA bar. After dinner, you will also be invited to join in on a discussion on “The evolution of the species” with members of the Galapagos scientific community.

Day 4
Santa Cruz Highlands, Isla Santa Cruz, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Pikaia Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy a full day of yachting on board the exclusive Pikaia I yacht where your party will be assigned a private cabin (option to have breakfast on board). In the morning, your first stop will be on North Seymour Island where you will be able to enjoy hiking, kayaking or snorkeling activities. North Seymour is an uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island and so is generally flat and strewn with boulders. There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds. Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges. Despite the tremendous surf that can pound the outer shore, sea lions haul out onto the beach and can be found bodysurfing. Following a buffet lunch on board, sail to Bachas Island for further exploration. Here you will also have the opportunity to hike, kayak and snorkel. The sand on Bachas is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, and a favorite site for nesting sea turtles. The Sally Lightfoot crabs are abundant on the lava rocks along the water's edge. Witness flamingoes, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black necked stilts, and whimbrels.

In the late afternoon, head back to your lodge. While on board the Pikaia I and in the privacy of your air-conditioned cabin, take time to rest and freshen up with a shower. Additionally, you might also enjoy a variety of activities such as a soak in the Jacuzzi and drink at the bar or a discussion with guides as you watch for dolphins. Enjoy a delicious dinner at your lodge followed by a scientific conference, should you be interested.

Day 5
Santa Cruz Highlands, Isla Santa Cruz, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Pikaia Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you will have the flexibility to choose from different land based options available on Santa Cruz Island. Explorations are done in small groups and are based on climate conditions, satellite weather imagery and tide charts. Alternatively, you may also relax and enjoy the day at the lodge independently as well. Below are Blue Parallel’s recommendations:

Charles Darwin Research Center and Tortuga Bay

With an expert guide visit the Charles Darwin Research Center and Tortuga Bay. Explore the Charles Darwin Research Center which will introduce you to the history of the wildlife and to the presentation of the Galapagos Islands. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat. Following this, hike to the picturesque white-sand beach of Tortuga Bay and marvel at the marine iguanas swimming in the surf. The sandbanks along the beach are used by iguanas and sea turtles for nesting

Mount Mesa, Trapiche & Garrapatero

With an expert guide, visit Mount Mesa, Trapiche and Garrapatero on Santa Cruz Island. This adventure starts at "Cerro Mesa" crossing "Bellavista" and the viewpoint of the "Cascajo". At Cascajo stop to enjoy a phenomenal panoramic view of Santa Cruz and other islands of the archipelago, also observe a sub species of giant tortoise that lives in the area around the crater of "Cerro Mesa". Learn about the descent into "Cascajo”, “Trapiche” and then "Garrapatero" beach from your expert guide. Trapiche is a local farm where you can see how the locals produce alcohol from sugar cane and also the famous Galapagos coffee. In this tour we will have the opportunity to go through different climatic zones, such as: wetlands, an area of agriculture, transition arid and coastal zone, end up on a beach of crystal clear turquoise water and white sand. At the beach spend some time observing Flamingos, Frigates, Mocking Birds, Blue-Footed Boobies, among others birds

Highlands of Santa Cruz

Explore the highlands of Santa Cruz with an expert guide. Walk through tunnels formed by rivers of hot lava, examine giant pit craters formed by collapsed magma chambers and walk through the cloud forest to further discover the flora and fauna unique to the area

Later, delicious dinner at your lodge followed by a scientific talk should you be interested.

Day 6
Santa Cruz Highlands, Isla Santa Cruz, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Pikaia Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy a full day of yachting on board the exclusive Pikaia I yacht where your party will be assigned a private cabin (option to have breakfast on board). In the morning, your first stop will be on Bartolome Island where you will be able to enjoy hiking, kayaking or snorkeling activities as well as exploration of the island and its magical wildlife. Bartolome is a small island with beautiful white sand beaches and luxuriant green mangroves. You will see wildlife ranging from penguins to marine turtles, tropical fish, rays, starfish, and sea lions and enjoy spectacular views from Pinnacle Rock. Following a buffet lunch on board, head to Sullivans Bay for additional exploration. Here you will also have the opportunity to hike, kayak and snorkel.

In the late afternoon, head back to your lodge. While on board the Pikaia I and in the privacy of your air-conditioned cabin take time to rest and freshen up with a shower. Additionally, you might also enjoy a variety of activities such as a soak in the Jacuzzi and drink at the bar or a discussion with guides as you watch for dolphins.

Enjoy a delicious dinner at your lodge followed by a scientific talk, should you be interested.

Day 7
Punta Albemarle, Isla Isabela, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Iguana Crossing Hotel Breakfast

Transfer to the airport on Baltra Island where you will catch your private plane to Isabela Island where you will stay at Iguana Crossing Hotel. The hotel has been constructed with native materials and by local craftsmen so as to be in harmony with the island. The island´s natural surroundings become part of the decor at Iguana Crossing; the rooms have ocean views, the roof top Jacuzzi has an island panorama, and the poolside bar and deck overlook a most pristine floury white sand beach. Relax for the rest of the afternoon and enjoy a delicious dinner.

Day 8
Punta Albemarle, Isla Isabela, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Iguana Crossing Hotel Breakfast

Reach the islet of Tintoreras by dinghy and enjoy a gently walk with your naturalist guide. The islet of Tintoreras is situated to the South of Puerto Villamil. It has a small bay of completely tranquil turquoise waters where it is possible to observe sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, rays, etc. This bay is conected to a shallow crevice of crystalline waters which closes when the tide is low. In this crevice it is possible to see how white tipped sharks swim and rest with other tropical fish and sea lions! Return to your hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, visit "The Wall of Tears". Isabela was a penal colony from 1944 to 1959 when the prisoners rebelled, abducted a foreign yacht and escaped to the northern coast of Ecuador. This colony was famous for cruelty and torture practiced against the convicts. The “Wall of Tears” was constructed by inmates during this period, it is 5 to 6 meters tall by 3 meters wide and a length of approximately 100 meters. Its main feature shows thousands of lava rock stacked on each other without any cement to hold them together. On the way to the Wall, about two and a half Kilometers along the white sand beach, there are beautiful lagoons surrounded by four varieties of mangroves found in Isabela, also different migratory birds are commonly seen; for example: sanderlings, ruddy turnstones, black billed plover, american oystercatcher, lava gulls and other shore species. In the evening, return to your hotel for a delicious dinner.

Day 9
Guayaquil, Ecuador
None Breakfast

In the morning, private flight to Baltra. Enjoy aerial views of the islands. Upon arrival to Baltra, board your flight to Guayaquil. Upon arrival to Guayaquil, greeting by your personal host followed by check-in assistance for your international flight home.

Exclusively for Virtuoso Guests

Blue Parallel is a Virtuoso Preferred Tour Operator whose mission is to take discerning, time-constrained travelers to the most spectacular natural and cultural wonders of both Latin America and the Mediterranean. We create private, tailor-made journeys to UNESCO World Heritage destinations designed around the themes of insider access, privacy, breathtaking outdoor adventures, and white glove service. Virtuoso travelers receive amenities and VIP treatment on all Blue Parallel tours such as upgrades upon arrival (if available), Virtuoso-only amenities (spa credits, etc.), daily breakfast for two, and early check-in/late checkout (subject to availability).

Tour Features

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Description

Discover the highlights of Ecuador on this trip. In addition to the colonial treasures of Quito, the "Florence of South America", you will explore the Galapagos Islands, discovering its flora and fauna with your personal expert guides at various islands, namely the islands of Santa Cruz, Bartolome, North Seymour, Santa Fe, Plaza, and Isabela. Once in the Galapagos, spend your first 4 nights in the highlands of Santa Cruz where you will alternate days exploring the island and going on boating excursions to islands nearby. Afterwards, you will take a private plane to the remote Isabela island where you will stay at a beachfront hotel and explore the island and going on snorkeling adventures to nearby marine highlights.

About Us

Blue Parallel creates private, tailor-made journeys designed around the themes of World Heritage destinations, outdoor adventures, gourmet cuisine, exclusive lodging, white glove service and insider access. We operate in Latin America: the Amazon, Antarctica, Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Easter Island, the Galapagos Islands, Guatemala, Panama, Patagonia, Uruguay and the Yucatan Peninsula. And in the Mediterranean: the Adriatic Coast, Andalucia, Corsica, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Morocco, Sicily & the Aeolian Islands, Spain, Portugal and Turkey.

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Argentina

By: Kate


Reviewed on: 31 Jan 2018

Blue Parallel was amazing! Our guides were outstanding and provided us with excellent service. Every detail was considered and thought of for us. We adored every minute of our trip.