Opulent Galapagos

Travel back to the origins of nature …

 

M/Y Grace, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Photo: Quasar Expeditions.

 

Illuminates the theory of the origin of species...

 

One of the most dramatic regions in the world is the highlight of Opulent Galapagos, an odyssey from Arcana Mundi Expeditions, specialists in private luxury travel in South America. Beginning and ending high in the Andes of Ecuador, this equatorial adventure sweeps from the country’s colonial heritage to its unique natural splendors. In the city of Quito, the capital and a World Heritage Site, an expert guide and a chauffeur escort you through the city’s cobblestone streets and centuries-old plazas.

From Quito, take a flight to the Galapagos, where you will board a classic yacht and sail to Fernandina and Isabela Islands — their volcanic formations create a moonlike landscape you will never forget. As the days progress, experience the rare opportunity of snorkeling among Galapagos penguins, marine tortoises, white-tipped sharks and octopuses. A visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island will greatly enhance your understanding of this extraordinary archipelago. Staffed with international scientists, this exciting destination illuminates the theory of the origin of species.

Eden is unveiled in this delightful 10-night escape.

 

Land & Cruise Price (11 days/10 nights)

US$ 10,760 per person

With Hacienda Zuleta extension (3 days/2 nights): US$ 12,950 per person

The land and cruise price includes escorted transfers, private excursions with a professional guide and chauffeur on the mainland and semi-private excursions with a certified naturalist on the Galapagos Islands, entrance fees, specified accommodations, gourmet cuisine, all land and water transportation, and travel insurance for U.S. residents through the age of 59 years (over that age, there is a supplementary fee). Residents of other countries receive a 6% price reduction to purchase coverage in their home country. All prices are per person based on two people sharing a guest room. The price quoted assumes payment by wire transfer. If paid by credit card, there is a 3% surcharge, which is our cost of processing such transactions. Air fares are in addition to the land price.

 

Highlights

 

Day 1: Flight to Quito, Ecuador

International arrival this afternoon or evening in Quito. Reception and escorted transfer to the palatial Casa Gangotena. Dine on the 7-plate tasting menu at Zazu. Overnight in the Casa GangotenaPlaza View Room – Request 2nd floor.

Day 2: Quito (Colonial Quarter & the Equator)

Breakfast. This morning, drive to the top of El Panecillo. Begin your walking tour of the colonial quarter at the Museo Casa del Alabado, Continue to La Plaza de la Independencia. On one side is the Cathedral (1640), considered to be the oldest in South America. Down Calle de las Siete Cruces (Street of the Seven Crosses) is La Compañia de Jesús (1605), one of the great baroque masterpieces of the continent. Also in the baroque style is the oldest of South America’s colonial churches, La Iglesia de San Francisco (1535). It was constructed over the Inca Palace of Atahualpa and decorated with images of the sun to lure in the native people. The Moorish style of La Iglesia y Convento de la Merced is most likely explained by artists seeking refuge in South America after the expulson of the Moors from Spain. Started in 1538, the church was rebuilt in 1737. An à la carte lunch of Ecuadorian or international cuisine by chef Carlos Alvear at El Crater. Our afternoon destination is Rumicucho, a late 15th century Inca fortress, observatory and temple of the sun. Before returning to Quito, go to the equator. This evening, return to El Panecillo for a panorama of the beautifully illuminated colonial quarter. Though not of colonial vintage, the neo-Gothic La Basílica is the place to see bizarre and fascinating gargoyles. Admire the night view of the Spanish monuments along Calle de las Siete Cruces, on the way to La Plaza de la Independencia. Passing through the narrow streets of Old Quito, arrive at Theatrum to savor one of the two tasting menus of Ecuadorian cuisine by chef Mauricio Acuña. Afterward, return to your hotel. Overnight in the Casa Gangotena. – Plaza View Room – Request 2nd floor.

Intra-tour flight Quito – Baltra Island, Day 3, 10:20 am – 12:50 pm, Avianca AV-1634, Record locator: TBA

Day 3: Quito – Galapagos Cruise (Baltra Island & Daphne Major Islet)

Breakfast. Rise early this morning to catch your flight to the Galapagos. Upon arrival, transfer via panga (dingy) to the waiting M/Y Grace, once owned by Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, a wedding gift from Aristotle Onassis. Soon, this historic yacht, limited to 18 guests, will start her engines and set off into the archipelago. À la carte lunch and dinner. Overnight aboard the M/Y GraceAlbert Deck Master Suite.

Day 4: Galalpagos Cruise (Santa Fe Island & South Plaza Island)

Day 5: Galapagos Cruise (Genovesa Island: Prince Phillip’s Steps & Darwin Bay)

Day 6: Galapagos Cruise (Fernandina Island: Punta Espinosa & Isabela Island: Urbina Bay)

Day 7: Galapagos Cruise (Isabela Island: Tagus Cove & Punta Vicente Roca)

Day 8: Galapagos Cruise (Santiago Island: Espumilla Beach & James Bay)

Day 9: Galapagos Cruise (Santa Cruz Island: Highlands & Charles Darwin Research Station)

Intra-tour flight San Cristóbal Island – Quito, Day 10, 12:30 pm – 4:55 pm, Avianca AV-1637, Record locator: TBA

Day 10: Galapagos Cruise – Quito

As we head down the southwestern coast of San Cristóbal, you will want to rise early to view León Dormido (Sleeping Lion), a spectacular formation that rises 152 meters (500 feet) out of the Pacific. We continue on to Wreck Bay for a dry landing at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, where the Galapagos National Park Visitor Center presents a complete and documented history of the Galapagos, its ecosystems, flora and fauna. À la carte breakfast.

Important note: The Galapagos itinerary is subject to change without notice for various reasons, including but not limited to safety, weather, mechanical breakdown, unforeseen emergencies, and the discretion of the captain, guide, yacht operator and Galapagos National Park.

Continue to the airport for the return flight to Quito, where our airport representative will meet you for a transfer to the 400-year-old Casa de Hacienda Su Merced to relax and have dinner before returning to the airport for the flight to your next destination. Relax in the International VIP Lounge while awaiting departure, and enjoy a buffet of light fare and beverages. Dinner and day room in the Casa de Hacienda Su Merced Choose your room.

Day 11: Quito – Your Next Destination. Flight and arrival at your next destination.

 

 

La Compañia de Jesús, Quito, Ecuador.
Photo: Diego Delso.

 

Details

 

Day 1: Flight to Quito, Ecuador

International arrival this afternoon or evening in Quito. Reception and escorted transfer to the palatial Casa Gangotena, internationally recognized as one of the finest hotels in South America. Dine on the 7-plate tasting menu at Zazu, a Relais & Chateaux restaurant, where chef David Pico creates a fusion of South American and international cuisine. Overnight in the Casa GangotenaPlaza View Room.

 

 

Barrel vault of La Compañia de Jesús, Quito, Ecuador.
Photo: Diego Delso.

 

“Palaces more beautiful than the Alhambra were erected …”

 

Under the diadem of the Incas, Quito assumed a magnificence which it never saw before and has not displayed since. It was the worthy metropolis of a vast empire stretching from the equator to the desert of Atacama, and walled in by the grandest group of mountains in the world. On this lofty site, which amid the Alps would be buried in an avalanche of snow, but within the tropics enjoys an eternal spring, palaces more beautiful than the Alhambra were erected, glittering with the gold and emerald of the Andes. But all this splendor passed away with the sceptre of Atahuallpa …

– James Orton, Andes and the Amazon, 1870

 

 

La Iglesia de San Francisco, Quito, Ecuador.
Photo: Diego Delso.

 

Day 2: Quito (Colonial Quarter & the Equator)

Breakfast. Quito has the best-preserved historic district in South America. It is located on an active volcano, 9,300 feet above sea level in the Andes mountains. The city’s origins date back to the first millennium, when the Quitu tribe occupied the area and eventually formed a commercial center. The Quitu were conquered by the Caras tribe, who founded the Kingdom of Quito about 980 AD. In 1462, the Incas conquered that kingdom and created a majestic capital for their northern empire. In 1533, Rumiñahui, an Inca war general, razed the city to prevent the Spaniards from taking it, thereby destroying any traces of the prehispanic metropolis. In 1534, the Spanish conquistadores invaded, and Francisco Pizarro founded San Francisco de Quito. Walking along its cobblestone streets through centuries-old parks and plazas to churches filled with gold, you will imagine you’ve gone back in time to the astonishing colonial world.

 

 

Ceiling of La Iglesia de San Francisco, Quito, Ecuador.
Photo: Diego Delso.

 

This morning, drive to the top of El Panecillo. The significance of this hill dates back to Inca times, when it was known as Shungoloma (“hill of the heart”) and used as a place to worship the sun. Its summit overlooks Old Quito and is crowned by a winged statue of the Virgin. Begin your walking tour of the colonial quarter at the Museo Casa del Alabado, located in a Spanish residence built in 1671. The museum is devoted exclusively to pre-Columbian art, and will transport you into Ecuador’s past, thousands of years before the arrival of the Spaniards. Continue to La Plaza de la Independencia, where the country’s history was written. On one side is the Cathedral (1640), considered to be the oldest in South America. Down Calle de las Siete Cruces (Street of the Seven Crosses) is La Compañia de Jesús (1605), one of the great baroque masterpieces of the continent. Also in the baroque style is the oldest of South America’s colonial churches, La Iglesia de San Francisco (1535). It was constructed over the Inca Palace of Atahualpa and decorated with images of the sun to lure in the native people. The Moorish style of La Iglesia y Convento de la Merced is most likely explained by artists seeking refuge in South America after the expulson of the Moors from Spain. Started in 1538, the church was rebuilt in 1737.

 

 

La Plaza de la Independencia, Quito, Ecuador.
Photo: Mylene d’Auriol Stoessel.

 

An à la carte lunch of Ecuadorian or international cuisine by chef Carlos Alvear at El Crater, inside the Pululahua Volcano. Our afternoon destination is Rumicucho, a late 15th century Inca fortress, observatory and temple of the sun. It was built near the equator, which the Incas called Intiñan (Path of the Sun). Rumicucho was strategically located to allow communication by smoke signals with the ceremonial center of Cochasqui, 9 miles to the east, and with Quito’s El Panecillo and the Palace of Atahualpa, 17 miles to the south. Before returning to Quito, go to the equator, where you can stand with one foot in the southern hemisphere and the other in the northern hemisphere. Don’t be fooled by the Equatorial Monument, which isn’t in the true position.

 

 

Casa Gangotena, Quito, Ecuador.
Photo: Casa Gangotena.

 

This evening, return to El Panecillo for a panorama of the beautifully illuminated colonial quarter. Though not of colonial vintage, the neo-Gothic La Basílica is the place to see bizarre and fascinating gargoyles in the form of giant tortoises, iguanas, anteaters, monkeys, pumas, condors and other Ecuadorian fauna. Admire the night view of the Spanish monuments along Calle de las Siete Cruces, on the way to La Plaza de la Independencia. Passing through the narrow streets of Old Quito, arrive at Theatrum to savor one of the two tasting menus of Ecuadorian cuisine by chef Mauricio Acuña. Afterward, return to your hotel. Overnight in the Casa Gangotena. – Plaza View Room.

 

 

M/Y Grace, Albert Deck Suite, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Photo: Quasar Expeditions.

 

“We seem to be brought somewhat near to that great fact

— that mystery of mysteries —

the first appearance of new beings on this earth …”

 

The natural history of these islands is eminently curious, and well deserves attention. Most of the organic productions are aboriginal creations, found nowhere else; there is even a difference between the inhabitants of the different islands; yet all show a marked relationship with those of America, though separated from that continent by an open space of ocean, between 500 and 600 miles in width. The archipelago is a little world within itself, or rather a satellite attached to America, whence it has derived a few stray colonists, and has received the general character of its indigenous productions. Considering the small size of the islands, we feel the more astonished at the number of their aboriginal beings, and at their confined range. Seeing every height crowned with its crater, and the boundaries of most of the lava-streams still distinct, we are led to believe that within a period geologically recent the unbroken ocean was here spread out. Hence, both in space and time, we seem to be brought somewhat near to that great fact — that mystery of mysteries — the first appearance of new beings on this earth.

– Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle, 1845

 

 

Land iguana, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Photo: Ron Dahlquist.

 

“From so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful

have been, and are being evolved …”

 

Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.

– Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, 1859

 

Intra-tour flight Quito – Baltra Island, Day 3, 10:20 am – 12:50 pm, Avianca AV-1634, Record locator: TBA

 

Day 3: Quito – Galapagos Cruise (Baltra Island & Daphne Major Islet)

Breakfast. Rise early this morning to catch your flight to the Galapagos. Upon arrival, transfer via panga (dingy) to the waiting M/Y Grace, once owned by Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, a wedding gift from Aristotle Onassis. Soon, this historic yacht, limited to 18 guests, will start her engines and set off into the archipelago. Daphne Major Islet, a tuff cone, sits off the north coast of Santa Cruz Island, west of Baltra Island and North Seymour Island. We will navigate around the islet to witness bustling colonies of blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, magnificent frigate birds, short-eared owls and red-billed tropic birds. As the sun sets on your first day in this enchanted archipelago, toast the voyage ahead with a welcome cocktail. À la carte lunch and dinner. Overnight aboard the M/Y GraceAlbert Deck Master Suite.

 

 

Blue-footed boobie, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Photo: Beto Santillán.

 

Day 4: Galalpagos Cruise (Santa Fe Island & South Plaza Island)

Santa Fe offers one of the more beautiful and sheltered coves in the islands. Its turquoise lagoon is protected by a peninsula of tiny islets forming an ideal anchorage. Geologically it is one of the oldest islands in the archipelago. A wet landing on a sandy white beach brings us into contact with one of many sea lion colonies. Galapagos hawks are sometimes easily approached, perched atop salt bushes. You will be struck by the forest of giant prickly pear cactus. At the top of the trail, our goal is to spot one of the large species of land iguanas endemic to Santa Fe. Beige to chocolate brown in color, with dragon-like spines, these big iguanas truly resemble dinosaurs. After the hike, there is nothing more inviting than snorkeling in the calm waters of the bay where sea lions play, sea turtles swim and tropical fish hide amidst the islets that form the natural reef.

South Plaza Island is one of the smallest yet richest islands in the archipelago, known for its lush and diverse flora. A grove of luminescent-green prickly pear cacti, a ground cover of red sesuvium, the turquoise waters of the channel and fiery sally lightfoot crabs combine to create a colorful palette. One of the big attractions are the yellow land iguanas waiting for lunch to drop from a cactus in the form of a prickly pear. We follow a trail up the tilt of the island to cliffs that look out over the ocean. Swallow-tailed gulls with red banded eyes nest atop the overlook where you may spot marine life, such as manta rays. We may see red-billed tropic birds, Nazca and blue-footed boobies catching rides on the wind currents. À la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight aboard the M/Y GraceAlbert Deck Master Suite.

 

 

Male frigate bird displaying, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Photo: Beto Santillán.

 

Day 5: Galapagos Cruise (Genovesa Island: Prince Phillip’s Steps & Darwin Bay)

The southwestern part of Genovesa Island (also known as Tower Island) is an ocean-filled caldera ringed by the outer edges of a sizeable and mostly submerged volcano. Our first landing is Prince Phillip’s Steps. The dry landing begins at the base of this 25-meter (81-foot) stairway leading up to a narrow stretch of land that opens out onto a small plateau inhabited by red-footed boobies, masked-boobies, two species of storm petrels and short-eared owls. After completing the two hour hike, we return to the vessel to change into our wetsuits for some snorkeling at one of the best sites in the islands to see a rainbow assortment of tropical fish.

Landing across the bay to the north, on the white coral sands of Darwin Bay and walking up the beach, you find yourself surrounded by the bustling activity of great frigate birds. Puffball chicks and their proud papas — who sport bulging scarlet throat-sacks — crowd the surrounding branches, while yellow-crowned herons and lava herons feed by the shore. Farther along you will discover a stunning series of sheltered pools set into a rocky outcrop. Watch your step for marine iguanas, lava lizards and Galapagos doves that blend with the trail. The trail beside the pools leads up to a cliff overlooking the ocean-filled caldera, where pairs of swallow-tailed gulls, the only nocturnal gulls in the world, can be seen nesting at the cliff’s edge. Lava gulls and pintail ducks ride the sea breezes nearby. A brief panga ride brings us to the base of those same cliffs to reveal the full variety of bird species sheltering in the ledges and crevices created by the weathered basalt. The center of the caldera is very deep and attracts hammerheads and large manta rays. Right around sunset we will leave Genovesa to set out across the archipelago to the far western islands. À la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight aboard the M/Y GraceAlbert Deck Master Suite.

 

 

Red and turquoise-blue zayapas crab, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Photo: Beto Santillán.

 

Day 6: Galapagos Cruise (Fernandina Island: Punta Espinosa & Isabela Island: Urbina Bay)

Fernandina is the youngest and westernmost island in the Galapagos. It sits across the Bolivar Channel opposite Isabela. Our destination is Punta Espinosa, a narrow spit of land in the northeast corner of the island, where a number of unique Galapagos species can be seen in close proximity. As our panga driver skillfully navigates the reef, penguins show off by throwing themselves from the rocks into the water. Red and turquoise-blue zayapas crabs disperse across the lava shoreline, while great blue and lava herons forage through the mangrove roots. The landing is a dry one, set in a quiet inlet. A short walk leads to a large colony of marine iguanas resting atop one another in friendly heaps along the rocky shoreline, spitting water to clear their bodies of salt. Nearby, sea lions frolic in a sheltered lagoon. Dominating this landscape from high overhead looms the summit of La Cumbre, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Farther down this stretch of shore, the world’s only species of flightless cormorants have established a colony near an inviting inlet frequented by sea turtles. Galapagos hawks survey the entire scene from overhead. The snorkeling off Punta Espinosa offers some real treats, as many of the creatures you just saw on land, including the marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins and sea lions await you in the waters off the point.

 

 

Baby Sea Lion, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Photo: Beto Santillán.

 

Urbina Bay is directly west of Isabela’s Volcano Alcedo, where we will make an easy, wet landing. A highlight of this excursion is the giant land iguanas, whose vivid and gaudy yellow skin suggests that dinosaurs may have been very colorful indeed. Giant tortoises inhabit this coastal plain during the wet season before migrating to the highlands when it turns dry. Our landing beach provides a nesting site for sea turtles and also will provide you with opportunities to snorkel amongst marine creatures, or just relax on shore. This evening you have a real treat as the M/Y Grace sits at anchor in the Bolivar Channel, where you will be spectacularly surrounded by the towering shield volcanoes that form Fernandina and Isabela. Sunset in the channel is also an excellent time to spot whales and dolphins. À la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight aboard the M/Y GraceAlbert Deck Master Suite.

 

 

Los Tuneles lava formations, Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Photo: Beto Santillán.

 

Day 7: Galapagos Cruise (Isabela Island: Tagus Cove & Punta Vicente Roca)

Isabela is the largest island in the archipelago. It is formed from six shield volcanoes that merged into a single landmass. We head north along the western coast of Isabela Island to Tagus Cove. The cove’s quiet waters make for an ideal panga ride beneath its sheltered cliffs, where blue-footed boobies, brown noddies, pelicans and noddy terns make their nests, and flightless cormorants and penguins inhabit the lava ledges. From our landing, a wooden stairway rises to the trail entrance for a view of Darwin Lake; a perfectly round saltwater crater. While one does not normally think of greener pastures when planning to go snorkeling, that is exactly what you will find at Tagus Cove. The carpet of green algae that covers the floor of the cove gives the impression of a submerged pasture, and really that is just what it is. You can find marine iguanas grazing the algae along with numerous sea turtles gliding and munching their way along. Because the cove opens to the rich waters of the Bolivar Channel this is one of the best snorkeling sites in the island. You also have a good chance of snorkeling with underwater feathered friends, including Galapagos penguins and rare flightless cormorants.

 

 

Marine iguana, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Photo: Beto Santillán.

 

The entire area of Punta Vicente Roca lies on the flank of 2,600-foot Volcano Ecuador. This is the island’s sixth largest volcano. Half of Volcano Ecuador slid into the ocean leaving a spectacular cutaway view of its caldera. At the far northern reaches of Isabela Island lies Punta Albemarle. Albemarle is a prime nesting site for the rare flightless cormorant. The largest marine iguanas in the Galapagos also make their home here, perhaps selected for their size by the rough waters off the point fueled by an abundant food supply. There is also a small colony of fur sea lions that reside here. Mangroves form a green oasis in this otherwise ruggedly-volcanic habitat and its calm waters offer a refuge for sea-going turtles and rays. À la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight aboard the M/Y GraceAlbert Deck Master Suite.

 

 

Pink flamingos, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Photo: Beto Santillán.

 

Day 8: Galapagos Cruise (Santiago Island: Espumilla Beach & James Bay)

As you prepare to go ashore, imagine a young Charles Darwin in 1835 eager to make his landing. Darwin would spend nine days here, exploring the terrain while collecting specimens, including finches. The short walk up the beach leads inland to a mangrove typically inhabited by the common stilts. Beyond the mangroves is a brackish lagoon where flocks of pink flamingos and white-cheeked pintails wade in search of mollusks. The trail makes a pass over a tiny hilltop through a sparse Palo Santo forest before looping back to the beach. Galapagos finches and vermilion fly catchers inhabit the area. The tuff formations that form the cliffs that surround the cove have created a natural sculpture gallery rising from the sea.

In the afternoon we make our way along the northwestern shore of Santiago Island to South James Bay (Puerto Egas), which offers access to three unique sites. One landing is on a black beach. A trail crosses the dry interior and rises to the rim of an extinct, volcanic crater. Darwin describes his visit to South James Bay in Voyage of the Beagle. Another path leads south, where hikers are treated to a series of crystal-clear grottos formed of broken lava tubes. These are home to sea lions and tropical fish. Further to the north, another landing and path lead to a series of inland lagoons, home to flamingos. Birders coming to James Bay will have the opportunity to spot vermillion flycatchers, Galapagos hawks and the tool-wielding woodpecker finch. James Bay is a snorkeling site that is accessed from the shore instead of a dinghy. The sandy beach slopes off into a rocky bottom where a multitude of sea turtles like to hide by blending in with the rocks. But these rocks move and will swim right up to you. At certain times of the year large schools of golden rays and spotted eagle rays also glide by. Both fur sea lions and California sea lions occasionally pass through as well. À la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight aboard the M/Y GraceAlbert Deck Master Suite.

 

 

Giant tortoise, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Photo: Beto Santillán.

 

Day 9: Galapagos Cruise (Santa Cruz Island: Highlands & Charles Darwin Research Station)

Santa Cruz, our next stop, is the second largest island in the Galapagos archipelago. Baltra, where your flight landed, is on the far north end of the island. Puerto Ayora, where we dock, is in the south. A highlight of any trip to the archipelago is a visit to the Santa Cruz Highlands, where the sparse, dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush, wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our destination is the Wild Tortoise Reserve, where we will have chances to view these ancient creatures in their natural setting. Next, we return to Puerto Ayora, home to the Charles Darwin Research Station, the center of the great restorative efforts taking place in the park. Here, we visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding & Rearing Program, which began by rescuing the remaining 14 tortoises on the island of Española in 1970. This program has restored the population of animals there to over 1,000. We return to the M/Y Grace for lunch, after which you will have time to return to Puerto Ayora to shop, visit an Internet café or simply enjoy this little port town. À la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight aboard the M/Y GraceAlbert Deck Master Suite.

 

 

León Dormido, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Photo: Beto Santillán.

 

Intra-tour flight San Cristóbal Island – Quito, Day 10, 12:30 pm – 4:55 pm, Avianca AV-1637, Record locator: TBA

 

Day 10: Galapagos Cruise (León Dormido & Galapagos National Park Visitor Center) – Quito

As we head down the southwestern coast of San Cristóbal, you will want to rise early to view León Dormido (Sleeping Lion), a spectacular formation that rises 152 meters (500 feet) out of the Pacific. It takes the form of a sleeping lion, but from another angle you can see that the rock is split, forming a colossal tablet and, piercing the sea, a great chisel ready for etching. Small vessels can navigate through the narrow channel between the rocks. We continue on to Wreck Bay for a dry landing at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, where the Galapagos National Park Visitor Center presents a complete and documented history of the Galapagos, its ecosystems, flora and fauna. À la carte breakfast.

Important note: The Galapagos itinerary is subject to change without notice for various reasons, including but not limited to safety, weather, mechanical breakdown, unforeseen emergencies, and the discretion of the captain, guide, yacht operator and Galapagos National Park.

 

 

Cristóbal Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Photo: Beto Santillán.

 

Continue to the airport for the return flight to Quito, where our airport representative will meet you for a transfer to the 400-year-old Casa de Hacienda Su Merced to relax and have dinner before returning to the airport for the flight to your next destination. Relax in the International VIP Lounge while awaiting departure, and enjoy a buffet of light fare and beverages. Dinner and day room in the Casa de Hacienda Su Merced

Day 11: Quito – Your Next Destination

Flight and arrival at your next destination.

 

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