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Quito & Galapagos Islands 7 days - M/C Ocean Spray

 
Destination(s): Quito & the Galapagos Islands
Duration: 7 days / 6 nights
Frequency: Thursdays, year-round
Price: Starting at $5,050.0 per person / double
  *single supplement $2,495.00
Deadline to book: Open Booking
 
 
 

See firsthand why Quito was the first city UNESCO declared a World Cultural Heritage. From its historical ’Old Town’, to the Equatorial monument, surrounded by volcanoes and sheltered by a deep blue sky, it is sure to charm the most avid traveler.
Always a unique experience, the Galapagos Islands are simply at their best aboard on of the premier catamarans in the region, the M/C Ocean Spray. Can you think of a better way to explore the varied marine life, flora & fauna, of the Galapagos Islands each day? Lead by a certified naturalist guide each day and returning to the comfort of your cabin you’ll feel at home knowing that you are in the hands of professionals that pay careful attention to details. From organizing special activities when children are on board to making sure that you have everything you need to enjoy the Galapagos Islands at your pace.

PACKAGE INCLUDES:

  • Three night’s accommodation in Quito at the Patio Andaluz
    • Classic city tour of Quito & the Equatorial Monument (Private)
    • Otavalo Market Tour (Private)
  • Three nights aboard the M/C Ocean Spray
    • Two guided excursions daily
    • All meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
    • Champagne reception
    • Complimentary fruit plattter
    • Use of snorkeling equipment & wet suits
    • Use of kayaks
  • Round trip air from Quito to the Galapagos Islands
  • Galapagos National Park Tax
  • INGALA Card  
  • Private airport transfers throughout
  • Cruise fuel surcharge
  • Local assistance
  • Meals: Breakfast (6), lunch (4), dinner (3)

NOT INCLUDED:

  • International airfare from the US
  • Applicable airport departure taxes
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance

Day 1. Wednesday   Quito

After arriving in Quito, Ecuador and clearing customs you will be met by a tour representative and transferred to the Patio Andaluz for check-in and overnight. Meals: N/A

Day 2. Thursday   Quito and the Center of the World monument (4 hours)

A visit to downtown Quito to relish in this urban jewel and its treasures of art and architecture.  Quito's colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved of South America, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stroll starts at the Independence Plaza, flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop's Palace. Visit the temple of La Compañía de Jesús and its awesome gilded interior. Continue on to the Monastery of San Francisco, one the of great religious buildings of the New World; its impressive façade and atrium that lead to its Baroque interior influenced by Moorish style, with the winged Virgin of Quito at its main altar.

Then continue to the Equatorial Monument, 25 Kms. (16 miles) North of Quito, which marks the exact Middle of the World, latitude 0º, where you can stand with a foot on each hemisphere. Visit the Ethnographic Museum inside the monument, which shows the different Native American groups living in Ecuador. Beside the monument there is a colonial-style town, complete with main square, church, post office, bullring, cafeterias, restaurants and many gift shops with postcards and souvenirs. You will get a certificate for having crossed the Equator.

After the tour you will transfer back to your hotel and overnight. Meals: Breakfast

Day 3. Friday   Day tour to Otavalo Market (8 hours)

The journey starts after the pick-up in your hotel by a tour representative, the first stop will be to Calderon, a valley located 17 Kms north from Quito. Here the bread-dough figures will show you the unique skills of this community. The next stop will be after two hour drive through Andean landscapes, between mountains, farms and a lake you will be in Otavalo, the biggest indigenous market in South America with the Otavalos as the main settlers of this colorful place. You will be just in time to haggle for hand-knitted wool sweaters, colorful tapestries, wood carvings, silver jewelry, native paintings, woolen and panama hats, and much more.

Stopping for lunch at a traditional hacienda guests will enjoy the amazing landscape of this beautiful area. Enjoy a visit to Cotacachi, an entire town dedicated to selling fine leather products and handicrafts and continue to do so throughout our return to Quito and overnight. Meals: breakfast and lunch

Day 4. Saturday   Quito – Galapagos Islands

You will have an early morning transfer back to the airport to board a flight to the island of San Cristobal in the Galapagos. 

You will arrive at San Cristobal Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim you will be met by Ocean Spray staff and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.

 

 

Lobos Island

 

Blue-Footed and Nazca Boobies.

Possible Activities:  Short hike (less than 0.6 mi / 1km), dinghy ride and/or snorkeling

Difficulty:  Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing:  Dry Landing

Highlights:  Snorkeling with sea lions, frigate birds, and Blue-footed Boobies

In the afternoon we will visit Lobos Island. The name of this island means “Sea Lion Island”. This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, frolicking, jolly sea lions who will welcome you to their home with open fins! This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see

 

Kicker Rock

Possible Activities:  Snorkeling & dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: No Landing

Highlights: Deep water snorkeling: Sharks, tropical fish, turtles, manta rays (occ.), hammerhead sharks, and spectacular rock formations.  Sea Birds: Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies & frigate birds. Second best place to snorkel in the Galapagos.

A dinghy ride and snorkeling around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido) can be also be done in the afternoon.  Known as the Sleeping Lion because of its resemblance, this site is located off the coast of San Cristobal. There are remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea, two vertical rocks rising 500 feet above the ocean. This Galapagos Islands natural monument has become a favorite sight for cruises due to the many tropicbirds, frigate birds and boobies that fill the surrounding air. Beneath the sea the crystal waters offer a brilliant show of colorful tropical fish and invertebrates. Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5.   Sunday   San Cristobal Island – Pitt Point & Witch Hill

Pitt Point

Possible Activities: Dinghy ride, snorkeling, kayaking & hike (1.5 mi / 2 ½ km)

Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult

Type of Landing: Wet Landing

Highlights: Wonderful landscape, sea lion colony, and three possible species of Boobies.

We will visit Pitt Point in the morning. Pitt Point holds its own as the northeastern most site on San Cristóbal. After an easy hike, you will be rewarded with a unique treat. Herein lays the only nesting site which hosts all species of Galápagos Boobies. Photographers will be thrilled with this intimate natural experience. The attractive volcanic tuff formations will have geologists and laymen alike imagining the forces of nature that possessed the Earth to create this land.

 

Witch Hill

 

Possible Activities: Hike, dinghy ride, snorkeling & kayaking

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet Landing

Highlights: Beautiful rock formations, sea lions, shore birds, and land birds such as finches and mockingbirds.

Snorkeling: Spot tropical fish, anemones, and sponge coral.

In the afternoon we’ll visit Witch Hill (Cerro Brujo) where you will explore one of the nicest beaches in the Galápagos. You'll be tantalized by the texture and sight of the powdered, soft white sand. With a colony of sea lions and Blue-footed Boobies, this scenic place is bustling with life. Just beyond the beach is a lagoon, thriving with Egrets and Great Blue Herons. The turquoise water and abundant marine life will invite you to snorkel their midst. Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

 

Day 6. Monday   Floreana: Post Office Bay & Cormorant Point / Devil’s Crown

Post Office Bay

Possible Activities: Short hike (less than 0.6 mi / 1km) & snorkeling

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet Landing

Highlights: Barrel Post Office and beautiful sandy beach.

We will visit two sites on Floreana Island. In the morning, we will visit the famous Post Office Bay. You will land on a beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers placed a wooden barrel for use as an unofficial mail box. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So, don't forget your postcards, and don't be surprised if the post card arrives to its destination before you get home!

Cormorant Point/Devil’s Crown

Possible Activities: Snorkeling & dinghy ride & hike (1.2 mi / 2km)

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet Landing

Highlights & Animals: Flamingoes, green olivine crystal beach, and Devil's Crown: The best snorkeling site in Galapagos Islands with sharks, rays, rock formations, and lots of tropical fish.

In the afternoon, we will head to Cormorant Point. Here you can enjoy a hike to a salt-water lagoon which is home to flamingoes.  You’ll also be amazed by the green colored beach, caused by a high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand.  You will also get to swim in the crystal clear waters of Devil's Crown. This extinct volcano peaks out of the waters just off of Floreana's coast and offers a magnificent snorkeling experience. Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

 

Day 7.  Tuesday   Santa Cruz Island: Black Turtle Cove

Black Turtle Cove

Possible Activities: 2 hour dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: No Landing

Highlights: Hammerhead sharks, rays, sea turtles, and sea birds.

Black Turtle Cove is located on the north side of Santa Cruz Island and is only accessible by boat and with a guide. This shallow inlet is surrounded by mangroves and provides natural protection for a variety of marine life, attracting the vulnerable juveniles of many species. Below the surface of the water, you can see both black-tip and white-tip reef sharks, sea turtles, golden cow-nose rays, spotted eagle rays, and an occasional hammerhead shark. Pelicans and Boobies hunt here, diving gracefully into the water.

 

After this final visit, you will be transferred to Baltra Island's airport in time to catch your flight back to the mainland. Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Please keep in mind that on departure days, your morning visit will be early and short since we need to be prepared before heading back toward the airport for your returning flight to Ecuador’s mainland.

onditions and water currents, some wildlife described above may not be visible.

Important Notes:

- Please remember that the exact route and program may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter. It's also subject to change without previous notice due mainly to readjustment of the National Park policies and regulations.

- Dry landing: guests step from the dinghy onto rocks or a dock.

- Wet landing: as the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into around 20 cm (8 inches) of water and wade ashore.

- Optional activities, at no extra cost: kayaking, snorkeling. 


Note: All itineraries are subject to change, due to weather and other conditions. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change.


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