Multi-Day Tour | Private

Galapagos, Ecuador | Ultra-Luxe Tour | Quito and Galapagos by luxury cruise (10 days)

Blue Parallel

Quito, Ecuador To Quito, Ecuador

Valid for Departures Now Through: 15 Jul 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. Blue Parallel will recommend the best ship according to our client's needs.

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, Lunch

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
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Origin Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Greeting by your personal host in the lobby of the hotel and private transfer to Quito airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands via Guayaquil. Flight arrival on the Galapagos Islands. As you exit the plane, you will be greeted by your cruise personnel after clearing customs. Group transfer to the San Cristobal dock where you will board a zodiac to your cruise

The Galapagos Islands offer some of the best wildlife viewing in the world, not only because the animals themselves are beautiful and interesting, but also because they are virtually fearless. Through a quirk of evolution, large predators failed to evolve here, with the result that all the islands' wild residents are endowed with a unique sense of security. This means that the famous blue-footed boobies, the sea lions and the penguins will almost welcome you as you explore the islands with your personal naturalist guide. There will be plenty of opportunities to go swimming, snorkeling and hiking throughout the trip.

After checking-in to your cabins and an introductory briefing & safety drill, enjoy lunch on board. Later, disembark and travel by bus to Cerro Tijeretas (Frigatebird Hill), one of two sites where you can see nesting colonies of both species of frigate birds as well lava lizards, the medium ground finch and the San Cristobal mockingbird. Walk along the trail to Punta Carola for scenic views.

Return to your vessel and enjoy a welcome cocktail followed by dinner. A briefing on the following day's program will be provided.

Day 4
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Origin Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Go ashore this morning at Punta Pitt, a tuff formation that serves as a nesting site for many sea birds including all three types of boobies – blue-footed, red-footed and Nazca, both frigate bird species, swallow-tailed gulls, storm petrels, shearwaters and brown pelicans. Punta Pitt is considered one of the best sites for birds in the archipelago, and is also home to a colony of sea lions. At Pitt Rock, snorkel or swim with sea lions and colorful fish such as King Angel and Surgeon fish. Return to the yacht for lunch. Spend the afternoon at Cerro Brujo, a breathtaking white coral beach, with expansive views and good birdwatching. Take a peaceful walk along the beach, swim with sea lions or use the kayaks or stand-up paddle boards. Enjoy a zodiac ride through a cave called The Cathedral before returning to the shipfor a briefing followed by dinner.

Day 5
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Origin Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Disembark at Punta Suarez on Espanola Island, home to the greatest number of endemic species found in Galapagos. Colonies of blue-footed boobies here engage in sky-pointing to show off for potential mates. From April to December, the waved albatross, found only on Espanola, performs its wild mating ritual. Other easily spotted wildlife are the Nazca boobies busily caring for their young, stunning swallow-tailed gulls, the only nocturnal gulls in the world. Here you will also find Darwin’s Finches, Galapagos Doves, red-billed tropicbirds and Galapagos Hawks, as well as a unique species of marine iguanas with traces of red and green colorings. Follow the trail to the dramatic ocean blow hold, watch for colorful sally light-foot crabs crawling along the shoreline. Return to the Origin for lunch on board. Disembark at Gardner Bay, where large colonies or sea lions dot the seemingly endless white-sand beach. Enjoy time to take a leisurely stroll or relax on the beach, watching for birds such as the Galapagos hawk, Darwin’s finch, or Hood mockingbird. Swim with the playful sea lions from the beach, explore the bay and islets by kayak or take a Zodiac ride to explore the caves covered with invertebrates. Admire the colorful array of underwater life at the excellent snorkeling site near Tortuga Rock. Return to the ship for a briefing followed by dinner.

Day 6
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Origin Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Step ashore at Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island, where the olive-sand beach is alive with the sounds of sea lions, lava herons, yellow-crowned night herons, blue-footed boobies, and penguins. Follow a trail to a brackish lagoon, home to Bahama ducks, common stilts, Galapagos flycatchers, yellow warblers and the greater flamingos. Wind your way past a rich variety of plants including the morning glory, cut-leaf daisies, mangroves (black, red and white), palo verde and scalesia. The trail leads to a beach where sea turtles lay their eggs in the powdery sand dunes and sting rays swim in the shallow water. After the walk, there is an opportunity to snorkel at Devil’s Crown, a shallow sunken crater colonized by a brilliant array of colorful fish and coral, white-tipped sharks, sea turtles, spotted eagle rays and sea stars. Lunch is served back on board the Origin on the sundeck, weather permitting. Floreana is one of the few populated islands in Galapagos with a rich and intriguing human history. After lunch, visit one of the most famous sites in Galapagos, Post Office Bay, where a post barrel was erected in the late 18th Century for use by English whaling vessels. Visitors are invited to leave a post card and to pick up any mail destined for their home area. There is an opportunity to swim from the beach with sea lions. Late afternoon, take a Zodiac ride near Baroness Point to look for sea turtles and rays. Return to the ship for a briefing followed by dinner.

Day 7
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Origin Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Disembark at Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, the social hub of the Galapagos, with a population of 24,000. Travel by bus to the highlands, passing through all seven vegetation zones found in Galapagos. Visit a tortoise reserve, a private farm that protects giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Stop at the largest lava tubes in the archipelago, and visit Los Gemelos, (The Twins), a pair of large craters. Return to the Origin for lunch on board. This afternoon visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. See the tortoise corals and the breeding center with hatchlings and miniature tortoises that will be repatriated when grown. Scientists from all over the globe conduct biological research at the station from anatomy to zoology. Visit the new exhibit honoring Lonesome George, a worldwide icon of conservation as the last surviving tortoise from Pinta Island that tragically died of natural causes. Stroll through town to shop for souvenirs or stop at an internet café. Return to the ship for dinner or, if you wish, remain ashore for dinner on your own. Zodiac shuttles from Origin to the main dock will be offered throughout the evening.

Day 8
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Origin Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Go ashore today at Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat), a small island off the southern tip of Santiago that owes its name to its shape. After landing on a beach with colonies of sea lions, follow the trail to a primeval landscape of volcanic rubble including cracked lava formations and tubes. Marine iguanas and pairs of oystercatchers are commonly seen. Snorkel at a site frequented by large numbers of Galapagos penguins. After lunch, disembark at Bartolome, a young Island is inhospitable to most plants and animals. Climb the long wooden staircase to the summit of a dormant volcano, pausing along the way to marvel at lava bombs, spatter cones and cinder cones. The panoramic view from the top encompasses the entire island, including the distinctive eroded tuff cone known as Pinnacle Rock. The crystal clear water below beckons for snorkeling with schools of tropical fish, white-tipped reef sharks and Galapagos Penguins. Take a Zodiac ride along the rocky shoreline. Return to the ship for the evening briefing and dinner.

Day 9
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Origin Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Today’s visit to South Plaza, a small geological uplift with tall cliffs where swallow-failed gulls, shearwaters, and red-billed tropicbirds build their bests. The trail leads you through Opuntia (prickly pear) and Sesuvium, and land iguanas are seen here feeding on cactus leaves. The island is also home to a colony of bachelor sea lions, with dominant bulls in various stages of recovery from battles over prime beach territory. Return to the Origin and snorkel between North and South Seymour in deeper water. After lunch, go ashore North Seymour, a small geological uplift to observe swallow-tailed gulls, blue-footed boobies and endemic land iguanas. Visit the largest colony of Magnificent frigatebirds in the Galapagos, and watch for marine iguanas and sea lions body surfing the northern swells. Return to the ship for the Captain’s farewell cocktail party and dinner, followed by a slide show presentation.

Day 10
Quito, Ecuador
Origin Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack

Travel by bus to the Interpretation Center on San Cristobal to gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the Islands. Afterwards, spend time in port before heading to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil in the mainland. Once there, you will be greeted by your Blue Parallel host and assisted with check-in for your international flight home in the evening.

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 cruise through the Galapagos Islands discovering its flora and fauna with your personal expert guides at various islands, namely: San Cristobal, Espanola, Floreana, Santa Cruz, Bartolome, South Plaza, North Seymour.

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.