Ecuador Cloudforest & Galapagos Cruise holiday
Combine the canopies of the cloudforest with a Galapagos
cruise on board the elegant tall ship, Mary Anne.
Cloudforest & Galapagos Cruise
Prices from: £4,930 pp for 12 nights
Your Ecuadorian adventure starts in Quito, the highest capital city in the world. Designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1978, you will be charmed by the well preserved historic centre with its ornate buildings and imposing cathedral.
From here you will transfer to the cloudforest. The environment supported by the unique climate of the cloud forest is like no other. Your days at Bellavista Lodge will be filled with bird watching and wildlife spotting in forest walks, canoe rides and from the canopies above the tree line – you may even catch a glimpse of the rare spectacled bear going about his daily routine!
Your trip ends with an amazing cruise in the Galapagos Islands aboard the stunning tall ship, Mary Anne. The scenery and wildlife of this amazing destination will take your breath away.
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Galapagos Islands. Tell us what you want, and we will tailor make your perfect trip.
- Quito – 2 nights
- Bellavista – 2 nights
- Quito – 1 night
- Mary Anne – 7 nights
DAY 1: MONDAY
You’ll be met at Quito airport and driven to your hotel. Patio Andaluz is in the centre of the old town, with a lovely courtyard restaurant, popular Cava Bar and cosy lounge. The day has been left free, so you can chose whether you want to do some local exploring or simply unwind at the hotel after your journey.
DAY 2: TUESDAY
This morning you’ll have a guided tour of the old and new towns. Quito is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and has many fine buildings including churches and monasteries. Your guide will advise you about local history and culture, giving you a good understanding of the city. You’ll have the afternoon to do as you wish, as you look forward to the rest of your exciting holiday. Breakfast
DAY 3: WEDNESDAY
This morning you’ll leave Quito for the 2 hour drive to Bellavista Cloudforest Lodge, travelling along a mountain road and enjoying fine views all the way. You’ll be welcomed to the lodge and shown to your room. After lunch you can chose whether to explore on your own following a waymarked trail, or join a guide for an organised hike. Either way this will be your first glimpse of the cloudforest and its wildlife. Full board
DAY 4: THURSDAY
Rising early you’ll join a guide for a dawn walk spotting a variety of birds at one of their busiest times of day. You’ll then enjoy breakfast at the lodge. Suitably refreshed you’ll set out with the guide on a walk to secluded waterfall or follow a self-guided trail of your choice, later returning for lunch. In the afternoon there’ll be more chances to discover the riches of the cloudforest and enjoy the company of your knowledgeable guide. Full board
DAY 5: FRIDAY
You’ll have another chance to sport birds at dawn or watch hummingbirds at the feeders, and a final cloudforest excursion this morning. Bellavista is one of Ecuador’s best birding locations and both the variety and sheer numbers on show cannot fail to impress. Having had lunch you’ll be collected and driven back to your hotel in Quito, to prepare for the next phase of your holiday. Breakfast, lunch
DAY 6: SATURDAY
This morning you’ll be transferred to the airport for the 4 hour flight to Baltra in the Galapagos. A guide from Mary Anne will be waiting to greet you and escort you to the yacht, arriving in time for lunch. Mary Anne will set sail for Black Turtle Cove where you’ll set off in a panga (dinghy) to explore the mangroves, looking for herons, pelicans, rays and turtles. Tonight you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and a chance to get to know your crew. Full board
DAY 7: SUNDAY
This morning you’ll have a wet landing at Darwin Bay on Genovesa where your guide will lead you past a tidal lagoon teeming with marine birds, and on to a viewpoint overlooking the bay. The trail continues giving you the chance to spot red-footed boobies, the smallest of the 3 booby species in the islands. Back in the bay there may be time for swimming. In the afternoon you’ll climb Prince Philip’s Steps up a steep cliff for views of nesting birds. Full board
DAY 8: MONDAY
Bartolome summit looks out over one of the most photographed scenes in the archipelago, the perfect bay and Pinnacle Rock, a large volcanic cone. You’ll want your camera to hand to capture this famous view. You’ll return to Mary Anne for lunch, later visiting Sullivan Bay on Santiago, to walk across a relatively youthful lava flow, just 100 years old. With its strange, almost liquid, patterns, this is another great photo opportunity. Full board
DAY 9: TUESDAY
Today you’ll land on the red sand beach at Rabida, where sea lions often bask on the shore. A trail leads to a saltwater lagoon oft visited by flamingos. There are good chances to see Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers and Galapagos mockingbirds, too. After lunch you’ll step ashore at Cerro Dragon on Santa Cruz, where there is a thriving population of land iguanas, saved by the efforts of the Charles Darwin Research Station after facing extinction by feral dogs. Full board
DAY 10: WEDNESDAY
Bachas Beach consists of 2 beaches. The longer has the remains of 2 American World War 2 barges, after which the beaches are named. The other is backed by a saltwater lagoon and is a good place to watch herons, flamingos, lava gulls and black neck stilts. You might also see a few marine iguanas sunning themselves. Later you’ll be taken out in the panga to look for sea lions and turtles at Punta Carrion, followed by time for snorkelling. Full board
DAY 11: THURSDAY
This morning’s destination is South Plaza, a tiny island with lush vegetation that attracts a range of sea birds and land iguanas, and you’re likely to see sea lions on the beach. In the afternoon the focus will shift to Santa Fe, another small island a little further south, where there are both land and marine iguanas, and walking trails you can follow among the large prickly pear cacti. Full board
DAY 12: FRIDAY
Espanola is the most southerly of the islands. In the morning you’ll land at Punta Suarez for a nature walk revealing now familiar sea lions and marine iguanas. Birds include doves, finches, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, as well as the Espanola mockingbird, the sole carnivorous mockingbird in the archipelago. This afternoon will find you on Gardner Bay, a beautiful arc of white sand, where you can go swimming. Back on board you’ll have a farewell dinner this evening. Full board
DAY 13: SATURDAY
On your final morning in the Galapagos you’ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station for a chance to see young giant tortoises from various islands being cared for at the breeding centre. Watching these creatures up close is a wonderful way to conclude your time in these unique islands. Later you’ll be transferred by bus to Baltra airport for the flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland. Breakfast
Price from (pp sharing): £4,930 (ex. international flights)
Includes: 12 nights twin share accommodation (3 in hotels, 2 in a cloudforest lodge and 7 on board Mary Anne), transfers, private ground transport on mainland, half-day guided tour of Cusco, services of an English-speaking guide at Bellavista, shore excursions with a naturalist guide as offered by Mary Anne, use of snorkelling equipment and kayaks on cruise, meals as shown, drinking water, soft drinks, tea and coffee on 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 currently US$100 payable locally in US$, tips, meals not shown as included, drinks, personal expenditure
Getting there: This holiday starts and ends in Quito. Flight prices from the UK start from around £675. We normally book these for you.
Departure dates: This is a private tailor made trip, but part of the time you will be on a yacht as part of a group, which has a set departure day. This specific itinerary using Mary Anne east itinerary needs to begin in Quito on a Monday. Mary Anne also offers an 8-day west islands itinerary if you prefer. See the yacht page for details.
NOTE: This holiday can also be used in conjunction with any of the cruise vessels we offer. If you use a different vessel, the holiday may begin on a different day of the week, and the price will vary according to the yacht used. Please click here for the full collection of Galapagos yachts.
Patio Andaluz is in attractive colonial building dating back to the 16th century and has been beautifully converted to provide elegant guest accommodation. The architecture features arches, alcoves, balconies and patios and the hotel is filled with antique furniture and has beautiful polished wooden floors. The en-suite guest rooms are tastefully decorated in keeping with the colonial style of the building. After a busy day sightseeing in Quito, return to Patio Andaluz and wind down with a glass of cava in the cosy bar, browse through a book in the library or enjoy some tasty tapas. Later you can have a delicious dinner in the El Rincon de Cantuna restaurant in the main courtyard, which specialises in Ecuadorian and Spanish food and has an extensive wine list.
Bellavista Cloudforest Lodge
Bellavista provides a choice of accommodation styles, from the geodesic dome to the bamboo house, and rooms to suit single travellers, couples, families and groups You won’t have to sacrifice creature comforts while staying here, hot showers, comfortable beds and tasty food are all part of the Bellavista experience. The lodge has over 10kms of forest trails and 4 waterfalls on its property which you can explore at your leisure, while guides are provided to lead you on nature hikes and wildlife excursions in the vicinity. This is the perfect base from which to explore Ecuador’s cloudforest.
Mary Anne is an elegant, distinctive 3-masted tall ship. When not ashore you’ll have time to relax on board, enjoy the wonderful views and watch for dolphins and whales. Kayaks and snorkelling equipment are carried on board, free for you to use. If you have an interest in sailing you may want to take part in a sailing lesson or learn how to navigate using the stars and if you feel confident you can enter the nautical knots competition! Your cabin offers modern comforts with air conditioning and an en-suite bathroom with hot and cold water. There is a comfortable, wooden-panelled lounge and a cosy bar. Mary Anne has ample deck space with plenty of seating. She takes a maximum of just 16 passengers despite having capacity for 34, so will never feel crowded.
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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.