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Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands - Deluxe

Tour Code: ECU15

A 20-day holiday incorporating a 2-week cruise around the 'Enchanted Isles' in our First Class motor cruiser 'Beluga', a visit to Antisana or Otavalo, plus an optional 4-day extension to the Amazon Jungle

20 days from £7995(inc flights) Land Only Price: £7295 SRS: £230 + an optional 3-day extension


The Galapagos Islands form a volcanic archipelago straddling the equator some 960 kilometres off the coast of Ecuador. They consist of volcanic peaks, strange lava fields, beautiful sandy bays, and clear seas. Their natural history is outstanding, and much of it is endemic. There are Giant Tortoises, prehistoric-looking Land and Marine Iguanas, and countless breeding seabirds; most appealing of all is the ‘tame’ and obliging nature of the islands’ extraordinary wildlife.

  • The most comprehensive Galapagos cruise on the market
  • 28 endemic bird species such as Small Ground Finch
  • Led by expert natural history guide, born & raised in Galapagos
  • Daily landings at wildlife-rich visitor sites for Giant Tortoise, Blue-footed Boobies & more 
  • Ample time & superb opportunities for photography
  • Snorkel in crystal-clear, fish-filled waters with inquisitive young Galapagos Sea Lions
  • Visits to Espanola, Genovesa & Fernandina
  • Waved Albatrosses nesting & courting during July/August
  • Look for seabirds & cetaceans as we cruise between islands
  • Exciting Amazon rainforest extension at Sacha Lodge

Food

Included in the price, except for main meals in Quito. Allow £50+.

Accommodation

Blue-footed Boobies

Blue-footed Boobies

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Fly London to Quito

Day 2 Quito

Day3/16 Galapagos Cruise

Day 17 Quito

Day 18 Antisana or Otavalo

Day 19 Depart Quito

Day 20 Arrive London

The Galapagos Islands, surely, need no introduction. Ancient seafarers called them the Enchanted Isles, recognising their unique landscape and extraordinary fauna, but it was Charles Darwin who drew them to the world’s attention. By observing the fascinating changes and adaptations made in the birds and reptiles through thousands of years of isolation on these predator-free islands, Darwin was able to formulate his theory of evolution.

The Galapagos Islands form a large archipelago straddling the equator some 960 kilometres off the coast of Ecuador. Of volcanic origin, they are beautiful islands with great variety and often bizarre form; each island with its own peculiar shape and charm. There are volcanic peaks, strange lava fields, beautiful sandy bays, and clear seas, perfect for snorkelling in the sheltered coves. Their natural history is outstanding — so much of it endemic. 28 bird species, from the Small Ground Finch to the magnificent Waved Albatross, occur nowhere else in the world. There are giant tortoises, prehistoric-looking Land and Marine Iguanas, colourful crabs such as the Sally Lightfoot, and even a Galapagos Snake. Most appealing of all is the tame and obliging nature of this extraordinary wildlife; it is a photographer’s paradise — a telephoto lens is usually unnecessary.

Our 2-week cruise is special. We avoid the routine, large and luxury motor vessels, and their noisy crowds, by chartering our own vessel,  the elegant First Class motor yacht Beluga, which accommodates 16 passengers in 8 comfortable, air-conditioned cabins. This provides a freedom, flexibility and group independence essential to the specialist nature of our holiday. Moving at our own pace, we will have a greater chance to enjoy these islands to the full, and to benefit from the knowledge of our expert naturalist-guide.

We will aim to visit all the major islands and many smaller ones, starting and ending our cruise on Baltra Island. At Academy Bay, on Santa Cruz Island, we will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise breeding station, and make a trip up to the highlands to look for the reptiles in the wild. We will walk amongst spectacular volcanic scenery on Bartolome Island, and we will swim amongst fur seals and Sea Lions from the beaches on James Island. With a mixture of night-time voyages (for the longer navigations) and shorter day-time sailings, we will explore each island for its own peculiar wildlife specialities. On Espanola we should see the magnificent Waved Albatross in December and January (and, in August, its remarkable courtship display) together with thousands of nesting seabirds and colourful Marine Iguanas. Genovesa, way to the north, hosts huge colonies of frigatebirds and Red-footed and Masked Boobies, plus a population of storm-petrel hunting diurnal Short-eared Owls. Fernandina, geologically the newest of the islands and volcanically active as recently as 2009, offers wonderful scenery with spectacular isolation. Endemic Flightless Cormorants breed here and we must keep an eye to sea for the chance of a passing pod of Killer or Bryde’s Whales.

As we cruise between the islands, there is time to read, relax and keep a tour diary. There will be time to sea-watch, enjoying our quiet companions the petrels, shearwaters, gulls and boobies, and to keep an eye out for dolphins playfully swimming in the bow-wave of our boat.

In Ecuador, after our cruise, we offer a choice between spending a day visiting and birdwatching on Antisana, a magnificent volcano permanently adorned with snow, and a day at Otavalo, an Indian town to the north of Quito with one of the best indigenous markets in South America. We also offer an extension to Sacha Lodge in the Amazon Jungle, enjoying the rich birdlife of the area and the various trails and dug-out canoe excursions that enable a thorough exploration of this area of the great Amazon rainforest.

Sally Lightfoot CrabPinnacle Rock and Santiago (Geoff Carr)Land Iguana (John Willsher)Marine Iguana (Jane Hodgson)Magnificent Frigatebird (Jane Hodgson)Marine Iguanas (John Willsher)Galapagos Hawk (S. W. Birch)Short-eared Owl (John Willsher)Nazca Booby (John Willsher)Galapagos MockingbirdsGalapagos Sea LionsLarva Heron (John Willsher)Sealion (John Willsher)Brown Pelican (John Willsher)Pond (John Willsher)Galapagos Giant TortoiseBelugaBelugaBelugaBeluga bridgeBeluga deckBeluga deckBeluga Dining SaloonBeluga Dining SaloonBeluga Saloon

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DeparturesAvailableCost

Wed 24th January 2018 - Mon 12th February 2018

FULL

£7995

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £7395 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Tour extension: Sacha LodgeMore info

Wed 8th August 2018 - Mon 27th August 2018

YES

£8295

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £7395 More info

Room sharing options: Female sharing is available More info

Tour extension: Sacha LodgeMore info

Wed 23rd January 2019 - Mon 11th February 2019

YES

£7995

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £7295 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Tour extension: Sacha LodgeMore info

Wed 30th October 2019 - Mon 18th November 2019

YES

£7995

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £7395 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Tour extension: Sacha LodgeMore info

Visiting: Galapagos Islands

Tour Extensions

If you wish to prolong your holiday we offer the following extensions.

Sacha Lodge

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Andy Tucker
Operations Manager

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01962 733051

Tour Focus

MammalsCruisingReptilesBirds

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