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What is tailor made? Customised itinerary | Every trip is unique | Flexible accommodation options | Designed to your budget

    Places visited:

  • Quito
  • Galapagos Islands
  • San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands
  • Experience the unique fearless wildlife of Galapagos.

  • Visit the Galapagos Islands' largest colony of magnificent frigate birds.

  • See the marine iguana, the world's only marine lizard.

  • Snorkel with sea lions and white-tipped sharks.

  • Explore the old town of Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Audley Travel specialist Anna

What our specialists say...

This is a week-long expedition cruise around the Galapagos Islands: ideal for those short on time. After flying into Ecuador’s capital, Quito, you’ll spend a day getting to know the city through a private tour before flying out to the Galapagos Islands to meet your vessel. You’ll journey to a different island each day for a guided walk and an optional swim and snorkel. All guides on board your vessel are trained naturalists and help you explore the Galapagos Islands’ remarkable flora and fauna. Private transfers to and from airports are included, as are all meals on board your vessel.

We recommend this trip for:

  • Quito
  • Galapagos Islands
  • San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands

Itinerary idea in detail

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Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Day 1 Quito

International outbound flight , Quito

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Quito. On arriving in Quito you're met by your private guide and taken to your hotel by private transfer. It usually takes an hour to get there, and your guide will provide you with all the relevant introductory information needed for your trip, such as hotel vouchers. Relax in your hotel after your flight.

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Day 2 Quito

Quito

Take a private guided walking tour of the highlights of Quito. Your guide shows you the city's highlights, such as colonial temples, monasteries and plazas. They'll also help you unravel the grand architecture of the Church of San Francisco. The tour lasts for three hours, ending at a viewpoint over the city. In the afternoon, you're free to keep exploring Quito at leisure. We recommend visiting one of the city's museums, such as the pre-Hispanic art museum Casa del Alabado.

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Day 3 Galapagos Islands

Quito , Galapagos Islands

A private transfer will take you to the airport in time for your two hour flight to the Galapagos Islands. On arriving, you're met by members of the crew who will take you to the MV Monserrat. After being welcomed aboard and given a safety briefing, you'll set sail to the island of Isabela, which is dotted with volcanoes. You'll begin excursions the next day.

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Day 4 Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

This morning you take a guided hike to the top of Sierra Negra Volcano on Isabela Island. It's a steep climb but the views from the crater rim (the second largest in the world) are expansive. In the afternoon, enjoy a visit to Las Tintoretas, a small island opposite the town of Puerto Villamil. Look out for white-tipped sharks in the bay. You can also visit the island's tortoise breeding centre to see and learn about the iconic Galapagos Tortoise.

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Day 5 Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

Visit the tiny island of Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat), so-called because of the shape made by its sloping volcanic cone. Walk on a guided trail and admire the island's lava formations. On its crescent of beach, look for Sally Lightfoot crabs. In the afternoon you'll visit Rábida Island. Its beach is reddish due to the high volume of iron in the island's volcanic rock. Here, you might see greater flamingos feeding at a brackish pond, and nesting colonies of pelicans.

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Day 6 Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

Today you'll visit Santiago Island, a former haunt of pirates and sailors. On guided walks and snorkeling trips, look out for marine iguanas (the world's only marine lizard), fur seals and sea turtles. The island's distinctive features include a salt crater and tidal pools. Fur seals can often be spotted here. You'll then continue to one of the Galapagos Islands' loveliest beaches, Playa Espumilla. Look out for sea turtles nesting among the mangroves.

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Day 7 Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

Today, at North Seymour Island, visit the largest colony of nesting magnificent frigate birds in the Galapagos. During mating season, look for the male birds' mating rituals, which involve puffing out the red sacks on their chests. Other wildlife on North Seymour includes marine iguanas and swallow-tailed gulls. This afternoon, visit Puerto Ayora, the main town in the Galapagos Islands. Here, at the Charles Darwin Research Centre, observe giant tortoises and learn about how the islands' naturalist guides are trained.

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Day 8 Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

South Plaza Island, one of the smallest islands in the Galapagos archipelago, has a large population of land iguanas. Covered in patches of cactus forest, it's also a good place to spot Audubon shearwaters and swallow-tailed gulls. The afternoon takes you to Santa Fé Island. It's a great place for obvserving and snorkeling with sea lions. It's also home to many endemic species: Galapagos Hawks, Galapagos Snakes, rice rats and Galapagos Mockingbirds, as well as its own species of land iguana.

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Day 9 Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

Visit the eroded volcanic cones of Punta Pitt on San Cristóbal Island. The real highlight here is the chance to spot red-footed boobies, which only inhabit two islands in the entire archipelago. In the afternoon, move on to Isla Lobos. Its sea lion population is delightfully curious and it makes a good spot to go swimming.

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Day 10 International return flight

Galapagos Islands , San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands , International return flight

Take a guided walk on the trails of Seymour Island to spot magnificent frigate birds. During mating season, you'll see the birds puffing their red chest sacks as part of their ostentatious mating rituals. You may also see a colony of sea lions. In the afternoon travel by shared transfer to Guayaquil airport for your flight to Quito, where you catch your onward flight.

Day 11 International return flight

International return flight

Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Audley Travel specialist Anna
Audley Travel specialist Caroline

Contact a specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to the Galapagos Islands will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.

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When to go

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Quito
 
 
 
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