8-day Galapagos Cruise Holiday & Tour of Quito
This Galapagos holiday explores the colonial charm of Quito as well as an 8 day Galapagos cruise aboard the Beluga.
Galapagos Holiday with 8-day
Cruise & Tour of Quito
Prices from: £4,860 pp for 9 nights
Your Galapagos holiday starts in the capital of Ecuador. Quito is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site high on an Andean plateau surrounded by majestic mountains. You have 2 days here to explore this charming city.
Spend time in the old town where you will find an abundance of churches, imposing government buildings, grand plazas and elegant mansions. Spend time at one of the many pavement cafes, watching life unfold around you as you sip a coffee.
From Quito you will fly to the Galapagos to join an 8 day cruise of these spectacular Islands aboard the Beluga, a comfortable motor yacht with a friendly crew, relaxed atmosphere and plenty of indoor and outdoor areas for taking it easy and socialising between island visits.
Let the Galapagos holiday and wildlife spotting begin – giant tortoises, fur seals, sea lions, marine iguanas, frigate birds, flamingos, blue-footed boobies and much more. You’ll be enchanted and entranced from the moment you first step ashore for your Galapagos holiday.
Free Domestic flights included worth £550 pp on sailings of 7 nights or more!
*Booking is valid for any sailing on the Beluga of 7 nights or more. Only available to new bookings. Free domestic flights are the flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands and return. All offers are subject to availability.
All of our itineraries with Galapagos sailings can be tailored to use the Beluga so you can use this fantastic offer!
- Galapagos holiday including:
- Quito – 2 nights
- Cruise on the Beluga – 7 nights
- Guided tour of Quito
- Excursions on the Galapagos with a naturalist guide
DAY 1: WEDNESDAY
You’ll be met by a local representative at Quito airport who’ll transfer you to La Casona de la Ronda, where you have the rest of day free to rest after your journey. The hotel is a lovely colonial house with a cosy lounge, pretty central courtyard and restaurant. Relax – you’ve arrived in Ecuador!
DAY 2: THURSDAY
This morning your guide will call for you at a mutually agreed time for a guided tour of the city. In the old town you’ll visit a selection of the historic churches and the imposing cathedral with its magnificent 18th century tableau ‘The Holy Shroud’. The tour usually ends at the top of El Panecillo hill for an impressive city panorama. The afternoon is free, so you might want to continue sightseeing, go shopping or take things easy at the hotel. Breakfast
DAY 3: FRIDAY
This morning you’ll be transferred to the airport for the flight to Baltra in the Galapagos Islands for the next stage of your holiday. A guide from your yacht will greet you and escort you to Beluga, your home for the next seven nights. Your first excursion is to the highlands of Santa Cruz where you can watch giant tortoises in their natural environment, foraging for food. Later, at the Charles Darwin Research Station you learn about the flora and fauna of the islands from staff, and have a further opportunity to observe giant tortoises at the breeding centre, where there are hatchlings and juveniles as well as adults. From here you return to Beluga, with time for a shower and change of clothes before your welcome dinner. Full board
DAY 4: SATURDAY
Today you’ll be on Floreana, a favourite island for visitors over the centuries including pirates who prized its safe harbours. You land at Punta Cormorant, where your guide leads a walk to see flamingos and a variety of shore birds at a salt water lagoon. There should also be time for swimming and snorkelling at Devil's Crown, a partially submerged volcanic cone. Later you travel to Post Office Bay, where in centuries gone by whalers left letters in wooden barrels to be collected and delivered by others. You can continue this tradition by leaving your own postcard, to be collected by a future visitor, and maybe taking one to deliver yourself. Full board
DAY 5: SUNDAY
Today you visit Isabela, the largest of the Galapagos Islands. You spend time in Puerto Villamil, the sole town on the island, and the tortoise breeding centre nearby. From here you travel to Las Tintoreras, a small islet off the south coast with a white sand and black stone beach. At low tide you can see reef sharks here swimming alongside small fish and sea lions. After lunch you stretch your legs as you explore Sierra Negra volcano, an active volcano with a huge caldera some 10 kilometres wide. There are opportunities for hikes and photographs before you return to the yacht. Full board
DAY 6: MONDAY
Today you should see a wide array of wildlife. Punta Moreno, on the west coast of Isabela, is this morning's destination. There are tidal rock pools, small lagoons and mangroves here, ripe for exploration. During your excursion you can expect to see penguins and seabirds including flamingos, blue herons and brown pelicans. Later in the day you travel to Elizabeth Bay. Here you should spot blue-footed boobies, flightless cormorants and penguins. The coast here is backed by dense mangrove forests and there are many islets in the bay. Look out for sea lions, turtles and marine iguanas. Full board
DAY 7: TUESDAY
Continue your exploration if Isabela. At Urbina Bay there are two paths leading off the beach, one heads along the coast and should lead to views of cormorants while the other goes inland where you can expect to see tortoises. Following lunch aboard Beluga, you visit Tagus Cove whose steep sides form a natural harbour. You follow in the footsteps of visitors such as included pirates, buccaneers and whalers, many of whom left their mark by carving their names on the rocks which makes interesting reading. This is a good area for watching whales and dolphins. Bird life is profuse and includes finches, hawks, yellow warblers and large-billed flycatchers.Full board
DAY 8: WEDNESDAY
This morning you land on Fernandina, the youngest island in the archipelago and one of the most volcanically active. Punta Espinosa is a beautiful location, surrounded by the six volcanoes on Isabela. Wildlife here includes a huge number of marine iguanas and flocks of flightless cormorants. The afternoon you are back on Isabela amidst the impressive geological formations of Punta Vicente Roca. This is a promontory with two coves on either of the eroded remains of a volcanic ash cone. Numerous nesting birds can be seen here including blue-footed and Nazca boobies and brown noddy terns. Full board
DAY 9: THURSDAY
Today you visit Santiago, the second of the islands visited by Charles Darwin. At Puerto Egas you follow a walking trail along the coast to the fur seal grottoes. These creatures like rocky coastlines with abundant shade, so this is a perfect location to observe them. An inland trail leads to an abandoned salt mine in a small volcanic cone, with a seasonal salt water lagoon here where you may see flamingos. Later you land on Bartolome, with an extinct lava cone and a walkway to the summit which leads past volcanic ash fields and spatter cones. The pioneer plants and lava cactus add to the lunar atmosphere. At the top your efforts are rewarded with a wonderful view across the islands, one of the most photographed scenes in the archipelago. Full board
DAY 10: FRIDAY
Your last port of call on the cruise is the small island of North Seymour. It has the largest colony of frigatebirds in the islands. You should also spot swallow-tailed gulls, blue-footed boobies, land iguanas and sea lions. You disembark from Beluga later and will be transferred to the airport in Baltra, for your flight to the mainland. Breakfast
2019 Price from (pp sharing): £4,860 (ex. international flights)
Includes: Airport transfers, ground transport, 9 nights twin share accommodation (2 in hotels and 7 on Beagle), meals as shown, half-day guided tour of Quito, guided excursions on the cruise as offered by the Beagle, use of kayaks and snorkelling equipment during the cruise, return flights to the Galapagos Islands from the Ecuadorian mainland.
Excludes: International flights, departure taxes, visas (not currently required by British passport holders), travel insurance, Galapagos National Park tax to be paid locally in US$, meals not shown as included, drinks, tips, items of a personal nature.
Getting there: This holiday starts and ends in Quito. Flights from the UK start from about £675. We normally book these for you.
Departure dates: This is a private tailor made trip. Part of the time you will be on a yacht which depart on a certain day of the week. This particular itinerary uses Beluga itinerary ‘B’ and needs to start in Quito on a Wednesday. Beluga offers an alternative itinerary ‘A’ which can be used as an alternative to the itinerary above. See the yacht page for details. NOTE: We can tailor make this holiday using the cruise vessel of your choice. Please click here for the full collection of Galapagos yachts.
La Casona de la Ronda
La Casona de la Ronda is a charming colonial house in the heart of historic Quito. The en-suite rooms blend traditional features with modern comforts. The restaurant, Cafe La Ronda, serves local and international cuisines. You can enjoy coffee, tea, soft drinks or wine in the cosy lounge by the open fire. There is a lovely central courtyard and an unusual vertical garden. This has more than 150 species of plants including orchids native to Ecuador. The hotel is an excellent base for exploring the city of Quito.
The Beluga is an elegant, comfortable motor yacht recently fully refurbished. She accommodates a maximum of 16 guests in 8 double cabins. All have a private bathroom with hot water shower. The yacht is fully air-conditioned. Beluga has lots of inside and outside space and different deck areas for relaxing, including a sundeck and a shaded seating area on the upper deck. There is a pleasant lounge, with large panoramic windows and a separate dining room. The food is excellent, and the yacht crew offer a great service.
Take the next step...
We know and love the Galapagos Islands, and would delighted to help you plan your perfect Galapagos holiday. Call 01473 599082 and speak to one of our Galapagos travel specialists today.