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Bienviendos a Ecuador! Upon arrival you will be met at the international airport and transferred to your hotel in Quito where the rest of the day is free. Afternoon visit Quito and its architectural treasures on a shared city tour. Your stroll takes you through Independence Plaza, past the Cathedral and the Presidential Palace, and on to the temple of La Compañia de Jesús. Touring continues with the Equatorial Monument that marks the exact point of the Middle of the World. Next visit the Ethnographic Museum to learn about the different Native American groups living in Ecuador.
Early this morning transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galápagos. Arriving on Baltra Island a transfer is arranged to the Finch Bay Eco Lodge. Arriving here check into your room. Then enjoy a briefing about what is on offer here at the hotel then head down to the beach and meet the sea lions!
For the next few days enjoy excursions to other Islands, Sea kayaking, Snorkelling, Hiking, all arranged by the hotels licensed and well educated guides.
This morning you will be transferred to Baltra port to embark your Galapagos Cruise named Santa Cruz. After check in, enjoy a welcome introductory briefing and lunch. After visit Las Bachas. Today it is an important nesting area for the east Pacific green sea turtle. Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, it is a glorious white beach (wet landing), with several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with snorkelling gear and techniques.
After breakfast, enjoy a coastal exploration along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer Cove. Learn about the history of Santiago Island, its relevance for the whalers, pirates and early researchers, including Darwin's epic voyage in 1835, and the conservation projects aimed at eradicating feral species. The cove is home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. After lunch wet landing for a mid-length walk. Most of the landscape is tuff-stone layers and lava flows. This is a great opportunity to see land and marine birds. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds and there is a colony of fur-sea lions.
Disembark at Rábida Island (wet landing) on a red-coloured beach, due to the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material. A gratifying stroll along the beach of this small island (1.9 sq. mi.) allows the observation of a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin's finches. After lunch disembark at Bartolomé Island (dry landing) for a hike to the summit. This is a moderately steep climb aided by a wooden staircase resting platforms and handrails; the view from the top is worth the effort.
The morning starts with a very interesting panga ride along the cliffs and then disembark (dry landing) on rocks for a steep climb (90 feet) up some stairs. Once at the top of the stairs, the land is flat, allowing for a stimulating walk of about a mile to the other side of this small island, observing large colonies of Nazca boobies, red footed boobies, great frigate birds and storm petrels. In the afternoon, a wet landing for an easy stroll observing hundreds of birds, mainly frigate birds, red footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds.
After breakfast, optional departure to see the breeding programme of giant tortoises at Cerro Colorado. Learn about his endangered species, and its promising recovery. This site is 45 minutes by bus, on the south shore of San Cristóbal Island. Return to town and transfer to the airport to take the flight back to Quito - Arriving here, connect to your later afternoon flight.