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Bienvenidos 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. (OVERNIGHT AT La Casona La Ronda Hotel)
Today your guided stroll in the city takes you through Independence Plaza, past the Cathedral and the Presidential Palace, and on to the temple of La Compañia de Jesús with its dazzling gilded interior and the impressive façade of the Monastery of San Francisco. Touring continues with the Equatorial Monument that marks the exact point of the Middle of the World. With a latitude of 0°, you can stand with a foot in each hemisphere and collect a certificate for having crossed the Equator. Next visit the Ethnographic Museum to learn about the different Native American groups living in Ecuador. (OVERNIGHT AT La Casona La Ronda Hotel)
Early this morning transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galápagos. Arriving on Baltra Island, we transfer you to the dock to board the M/V Santa Cruz for an introductory briefing and lunch. Set sail for the north shore of Santa Cruz Island to Las Bachas, a glorious white beach 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. Welcome cocktail, with expedition plan for Tuesday and dinner. OVERNIGHT - Santa Cruz Yacht, Master Suite cabin.
After breakfast, we explore the coastline along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer Cove, learning about the area’s distant and recent history. Enjoy fantastic natural formations such as the “Elephant Rock”, “The Bishop” and an impressive natural cave. This is a great site for snorkelling or panga ride. We sail onward to Puerto Egas and enjoy a swim and snorkel in the rocky coves, we also enjoy a hike to explore a bit the land wildlife in this area. OVERNIGHT - Santa Cruz Yacht, Master Suite cabin.
After breakfast, we land on Rábida Island’s red-coloured beach, caused by the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material. Our walk brings us close to a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. After, we sail to Bartolomé for a hike to the summit of this diminutive island that boasts fantastic views of the archipelago. Following our walk, we take to the pangas and the glass bottom boat for a ride around the colossal Pinnacle Rock, and then land at the beach to enjoy some swimming, snorkelling or just relaxing. OVERNIGHT - Santa Cruz Yacht, Master Suite cabin.
The morning starts with arriving at Genovesa Island where we have a panga ride along the cliffs of this dramatic island, followed by landing with a steep climb (90 feet) up some stairs to reach a flat plateau. After the walk, we can snorkel along the dramatic cliffs where there are chances of spotting lots of fish, including hammerhead sharks. We then sail to Darwin Bay, when we land at this beautiful beach to enjoy some swimming and/or snorkelling. Following our dip, we take an easy stroll to observe hundreds of birds, mainly frigate birds, red footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. OVERNIGHT - Santa Cruz Yacht, Master Suite cabin.
After breakfast, there is an optional departure to see the breeding programme of giant tortoises at Cerro Colorado. Here, we learn about this endangered species and its promising recovery. Following the visit, we return to town and transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. Arriving in Quito, our team is ready to take you to the hotel. (OVERNIGHT AT THE Rincon de Puembo Hotel)
Sadly your journey has reached its conclusion, we will transfer you to the airport for your flight home.