ECUADOR AND THE GALAPAGOS
February 9-18, 2018
Day 1 – Friday, February 9, 2018
Arrival in Quito
Hotel Sheraton or similar
Arrival in Quito, meet-and-greet at the airport. Transfer to the hotel to relax and freshen up. Enjoy a welcome dinner this evening. Meals included: D
Day 2 – Saturday, February 10, 2018
Flight to Galapagos - Isabela Island
Early breakfast. Pick up from the hotel, transfer to the airport for your flight to Baltra-Galapagos. Upon arrival to Baltra, transfer to the port to board your fast boat to Puerto Villamil - Isabela Island. Meet-and-greet, transfer to Scalesia Lodge. Scalesia Galapagos Lodge is located in the highlands of Isabela, about 20 minutes from Puerto Villamil.
The resort is situated in forty acres in the middle of a magical forest, with a spectacular view of the coast of Isabela Island and the Pacific Ocean. Scalesia Galapagos Lodge is a new concept of lodging in the Island, it has been designed to connect you with nature and allow you to explore and enjoy Galapagos at its best. Beautifully designed, the lodge offers comfort and first class service.
The social area consists of a restaurant, different meeting areas, a conference room, terraces, a swimming pool and more. The lodge has sixteen 430 square feet tents brought from South Africa, with a 200 square foot front porch. These beautifully appointed and comfortable tents are set up in the middle of resort’s forest.
Here you will find the peace and tranquility only Galapagos can offer you. The remainder of the afternoon at leisure. Meals included: B, L, D
Day 3 – Sunday, February 11, 2018
Tintoreras in the Morning - Los Humedales in the Afternoon
Morning visit to the Tintoreras, an islet formed by lava flows located 10 minutes by dinghy from Puerto Villamil. Its name comes from the white tip reef sharks called in Spanish “Tintoreras” which are frequently seen in this area. Different species of animals can be seen in the area, such as sea lions, marine iguanas and penguins. This is a perfect place to practice snorkeling. Return to the hotel by lunch time. In the afternoon visit Los Humedales, a complex with various trails where you can find the four species of mangroves existing in Galapagos. This area is characterized by solitary beaches, lava tunnels, natural pools and estuaries where you can see flamingos and other birds. You will also visit the Turtle breeding center where the National Park is breeding turtles in danger of extinction. Some of these giant turtles have been released by the park and can be found on the trails. Meals included: B, L, D
Day 4 – Monday, February 12, 2018
Sucre´s Cave - Mirador de Mango - Beach activities
Sucre`s Cave (Cueva de Sucre) is a very recent addition to the visitor sites available on Isla Isabela, accessible only by land and not visited by cruise ships. It is located in the agricultural zone just about nine miles from Puerto Villamil. Situated in an area of reforestation and conservation, Cueva de Sucre consists of a path of about fifteen-hundred feet underground, running through a strip of vegetation and across a lava tunnel before ending at a nursery installation used to reproduce indigenous and endemic flora and fauna. Inside the cave, there are places where you can stand and examine the interesting volcanic formations. The Mirador de Mango offers panoramic vistas of southern Isabella and a great place to see finches. In the afternoon free time to enjoy the magical beach of Puerto Villamil or enjoy one of the following activities for extra cost: biking, surfing or kayaking. Meals included: B, L, D
Day 5 – Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Return to Santa Cruz Island – Puerto Ayora
After breakfast transfer to Puerto Ayora. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, where you can find giant tortoises, different species of Iguanas, and vegetation made of cactus’ and endemic Galapagos trees and bushes. After lunch, afternoon at leisure to enjoy the beach. Meals included: B, L, D
Day 6 – Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Navigation Day Tour
Option #1) North Seymour and Bachas
Morning: North Seymour Island was lifted from the ocean floor by a seismic event, which explains its low, flat profile. Swallow-tailed gulls sit perched in ledges of the cliffs only a few yards above the shoreline. A forest of Palo Santo trees stand just above the landing site, usually without leaves, waiting for the rain to bring them into bloom. Amongst the emblematic fauna of the island you will be able to see sea lions, land iguanas and blue footed boobies. The trail turns inland where you will find active and dynamic colonies of both species of “magnificent” and “great” frigate birds.
Afternoon: Las Bachas, a beautiful coralline beach located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, is the perfect place for practicing snorkeling, swimming or to simply enjoy the white soft sand. Several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. Wet Landing
Option #2) Bartolomé
This morning you will visit one of the iconic destination of the Galapagos: Bartolomé Island. A steep climb up a wooden staircase takes you to a magnificent vista. After the hike you board dinghies for a ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock, followed by time to enjoy the beach and some snorkeling. We can also ride in the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world.
Bartolome has also two beautiful beaches half-moon-shaped with gold color sand that invite you to sunbathe or snorkel around the lava formations, you might expect to find the Galapagos penguin and sea turtles swimming in shallow waters.
Note: Due to the Galapagos National Park regulations, group must be divided in groups of less than 16 pax in order to make the excursion. Each group will be accompanied by a Galapagos National Park Guide. The visited island will be confirmed at time of booking. Meals included: B, L, D
Day 7 – Thursday, February 15, 2018
Flight to Quito - Otavalo
Return to Baltra for the return flight to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito, transfer to Otavalo (approximately two hour travel time). Otavalo is a largely indigenous town in the Imbabura Province of Ecuador. This highland town is situated in a valley surrounded by imposing volcanoes. Once at the hacienda time to check-in and settle into your rooms. Enjoy the beautiful gardens of the Hacienda and learn about its history as a colonial textile enterprise with thousands of weavers exporting their fabrics to the United States.
Meals included: B, L, D
Day 8 – Friday, February 16, 2018
Hotel Sheraton or similar
Explore the famous Otavalo craft market where locals show their crafts and agricultural products and interact with the local community. Visit a local rose farm and an introduction to the floral industry, one of the major economic activities in Ecuador. Ecuador is home to more than 300 varieties of roses, known worldwide for their beauty and high quality. Enjoy lunch at the Farm Hacienda, a beautiful property dating back to colonial and republican times. After lunch, travel to Quito. Meals included: B, L, D
Day 9 – Saturday, February 17, 2018
Quito city tour and Middle of the World
Hotel Sheraton or similar
Enjoy a tour of the city. Quito is a unique city surrounded by volcanoes and with the largest best preserved colonial center in America. Its colonial buildings constructed between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries illustrate the rich history of the city and will transport you to another era. Its superb churches are repositories of religious arts and artifacts. There is no question why UNESCO declared Quito a Cultural Heritage of Humanity Site.
Continue to the famous Middle of the World city [Ciudad Mitad del Mundo] and enjoy an opportunity to be in both hemispheres at the same time - a once in a lifetime experience! The Middle of the World monument and the Equatorial Monument are located approximately 20 minutes from Quito and it is here that the world is divided into two hemispheres by the Equator. In the afternoon return to the hotel to freshen up before a farewell dinner in the city. Meals included: B, L, D
Day 10 – Sunday, February 18, 2018
Pick up from your hotel and transfer to the airport for your international departure flight. Meals included: B [starting at 6:00 AM]
PRICE PER PERSON:
PRICE INCLUDES: Destination Southwest staff person to manage program; airport transfers; round-trip airfare from Quito to Baltra; nine nights lodging; meals as indicated in the itinerary; all sightseeing and admissions as described in the itinerary; local English-speaking guides where applicable; all transfers by land or boat during tour; baggage handling for one piece of luggage per person; bottled water; all gratuities [restaurant and local guides]; all applicable taxes. NOT INCLUDED: Round-trip airfare from the US to Ecuador; alcoholic or soft beverages with meals; and personal incidentals.
ALSO INCLUDED: A five-hundred dollar [$500.00] per person fundraising fee to benefit KNME.
Terms & Conditions:
Deposit Policy: $250.00 per person due at time of registration.
Payment Policy: Full payment is due on or before December 8, 2017.
Cancellation Policy: The above-mentioned services can be canceled any time prior to December 8, 2017, for full deposit refund, minus a $50.00 processing fee. If tour is cancellations any time after December 8, 2017 participant will receive no refund of deposit or full payment. We strongly suggest buying travel insurance. We will include a travel insurance option with your tour confirmation.
Disclaimer: Destination Southwest (DSW), a division of S&L Tours, LLC, acts only as an agent for the various independent suppliers that provide hotel accommodations, transportation, sightseeing, activities, meals and other services connected with this tour. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of the suppliers. DSW and its respective employees, agents, guides and representatives accept no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or any other incident which may be caused by the negligence, defect, or default of any company or person performing these services. Responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages, or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather, strikes, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, and acts of nature, local laws, or other such causes. DSW is not responsible for any baggage or personal effects of any individual participating in the tours arranged by DSW. Destination Southwest reserves the right to cancel any tour if pre-registration does not meet a minimum number. A complete refund will be offered in that event.