(Santa Cruz Island)
Grip your handlebars tight and feel the thrill of being alive as you hurtle down the steep slopes of Cotopaxi volcano on a downhill biking adventure that makes the X Games look like child’s play.
This is just the beginning of this adrenalin-pumping adventure as you explore the volcanoes that surround Ecuador’s capital city of Quito before moving on to the remote natural paradise that is the Galapagos Islands. SCUBA divers will find some of the finest dive sites in the world, while the uninitiated can enjoy a snorkeling experience with a chance of swimming with inquisitive wild dolphins and rays. Elsewhere on the islands, hike to bleak lava fields and witness lava flows and volcanic crater lakes; paddle an ocean kayak to your own private paradise; see giant tortoises in their natural habitat; board a yacht to explore the surrounding islands; and take full advantage of the stunning equatorial night sky on a star-gazing tour.
You can customize this trip at every turn, and there are so many optional tours to choose from that you’ll have a difficult time packing all your favorites into your itinerary. Of course, you may want to build in some rest time to enjoy the white sandy beaches that surround your premium resort. And your dedicated team of private guides will ensure you get the most out of every experience as they lead you on a series of once-in-a-lifetime adventures.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Upon your arrival you will be met by a local representative who will help you locate your vehicle.
Enjoy a private airport transfer in Quito with a professional driver.
The Hotel Patio Andaluz Quito, located in the heart of historic “Quito Antiguo” and surrounded by churches, museums and national monuments, was declared Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO in 1978. The Hotel is an official National Treasure and holds centuries of history within its walls. It was part of the original Solaris (original building sites) that constituted the City of San Francisco of Quito at the time of its foundation.
Depart from Quito driving south through the inter-Andean valleys until we reach the entrance to the Cotopaxi National Park. Cotopaxi National Park & its scenery by bike, Vast plains, dirt roads, trails and small paths are the perfect setting for playing around on your bike and enjoying this adventure to the full. Discover the magic of this secret realm of giants. Enjoy a box lunch and then return to Quito to arrive late afternoon.
Drive from Quito to the entrance of the Pasochoa Protected Forest, a collapsed crater south of Quito. Pasochoa is an old volcano whose horseshoe-shaped kettle environment is home to hundreds of species in the only remaining Andean forest close to Quito. We will travel to an altitude of 3,150 m / 10,334 ft along the northeastern flank of Pasochoa, from where we will take a less-demanding road to the summit. The descent route passes through the northeastern mountain moorlands and then heads towards the rocky terrain of the tallest summit, located at 4,200 m / 13,779 ft. Enjoy a box lunch and return to Quito in the late afternoon.
Fly from Quito to Galapagos via Guayaquil today. The flight duration is approximately 4 hours. Please note: Flight rates and availability are subject to change until booking.
Please note: your airline tickets for the Galapagos flights are issued locally, and will be provided for you on the day you depart for the Galapagos, at the airport, by our local representative. For all Galapagos flights, the luggage allowance is 20 kg (44 lbs) per person.
The $100 entrance fee to the Galapagos Islands Park and the $10 Tourist card are included in your booking. Please note that the itinerary is a guide only - the route and program vary according to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety precautions and wildlife encounters.
Upon arrival at the airport at Baltra Island, you will be taken across the Itabaca Channel, to Santa Cruz Island. Where a bus will take you to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island for a visit the Giant Tortoises Reserve in their natural habitat, a once in a lifetime experience!
A stop is then made at the Twin Pit Craters, great depressions of volcanic material, formed by a long process of slow sinking of the ground, where exceptional Scalesia trees, ferns, mosses and orchids can be seen in the surroundings.
Box lunch is provided and then on to the Finch Bay Eco Hotel to enjoy its multiple attractions: pool, the white coral beach in front of the hotel and rest on your hammock.
Many options for multisport activities are available for those guests not wishing to take a yacht excursion to visit nearby islands.
The waters of Galapagos are a Natural Heritage Site, and world known for top notch diving. In Galapagos, the water realm brings the diver right up front with the healthiest marine life of the planet, as well as unique encounters with big animals like rays, sea turtles, sharks, and an array of tropical and subtropical species of fish. The diving is generally not for beginners, but the different sites offer varied options. Please inquire at the hotel lounge for more details.
With the aid of binoculars, or in most cases without them, you will notice that the many natural features of the hotel host many species of Galapagos birds. The trails within the hotel grounds are easy to follow and pretty much self-guided. Don't be surprised if after one outing your list of recorded species is above twenty, with little time invested.
Some activities may be subject to additional costs - please ask for details.
Located on Santa Cruz Island at Punta Estrada, across the bay from the town of Puerto Ayora, it is situated in a quiet location, with only pedestrian and bicycle circulation - there are no cars in the neighborhood. The hotel has been fully renovated and transformed, with important changes to upgrade its facilities and landscaping. The hotel's new look features environmentally friendly materials and use of natural light with large windows, beachfront access, large pool and outdoor Jacuzzi. The charming Finch Bay Hotel - named after the famous Darwin's Finches abundant in the surroundings - is just steps from the beach on a private seaside location, surrounded by mangroves. Here guests can cherish the privacy, natural surroundings and superb service offered by the Finch Bay.
Your excursion today is to:
NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND - Yacht Excursion
A stroll on flat terrain allows the observation of Palo Santo trees and colonies of blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls and magnificent frigate birds. Towards the other side of the island, the ocean crashes against the rocks and sea lions surf in the waves.
PLAZA ISLAND - Yacht Excursion
This small island is full of fascinating wildlife, at sea side and along the cliffs: sea lions, land iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, Opuntia cacti and vegetation that changes colors with the seasons.
Leave early in the morning for a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, home to famous “Lonesome George” and many other giant tortoises. Then, overland transfer to the Baltra airport to take the flight back to the continent.
Fly from Galapagos to Quito via Guayaquil. The flight duration is approximately 4 hour.
Depart from Quito International airport - end of itinerary
A departure tax must be paid upon departing Ecuador through the Quito airport. The payment must be made in cash and the cost is of USD$44.30 per person. Subject to change without notice.
Laura Iyer ,
January 10, 2014
We just returned last night from our Patagonia adventure and wanted to tell you we had the time of our lives! Everything turned out perfectly. Guides were fun, on time and informative. The excursions were great for an active family and, of course, amazing.
I can't tell you what was our favorite. The boys enjoyed exploring the mountains in El Chalten (they called it Mountain running) while Mohan and I relaxed in the beautiful hotel. I thought after the glacier trek it can't get any better - but it kept surprising me and amazing me. My personal favorite was the horseback riding. I thought afterwards after everything we have seen the bike tour would have to be a let down - NOPE - it also was so exciting and our guide was a hoot! We had great weather for each activity (I know there is a bit of luck involved with that one).
Meals were amazing and after so many active excursions no guilt in pigging out.
I am so happy we took a little risk and went out of the way with our vacation this year. We will have this with us for a life time.
Thank you again,
Laura, Mohan, Ryan, and Nathan
Catherine Dudley ,
January 10, 2014
GREAT trip! We were very pleased with every aspect that you set up for us including the tour of Quito and environs. Our guide spoke excellent English, the driver was courteous and we felt safe and well-informed throughout the day. We're still going through the 500+ photos that I took and the 1700+ photos that my son took. Galapagos was a fabulous trip and the Eclipse was a terrific way to navigate the islands.
Mark Dornfeld ,
November 11, 2013
"My wife and I had a wonderful trip, we really enjoyed ourselves. All the accommodations that you booked for us were exceptional and our drivers and guides were lovely. We had great weather the whole trip and only lost one activity due to high winds. As you know this is a beautiful part of the world so my camera was snapping all the time. We would definitely use your services in the future for this type of travel. Thanks for all you help and expertise........be well.....m.d."
Jack Gregory ,
November 11, 2013
I wanted to give you a little feedback on our recent trip to Peru.
In a word – EXCELLENT – especially the high quality people you work with in Peru. We have taken tours all over the world, S. Africa, France, England, Vietnam, China to name just a few, and the service we received in Peru was far beyond and of the other experiences we have had. The attention to detail was very much appreciated, picking us up at the airport, taking us back to the airport and complete, hassle free, handling of all our details truly made this a stress free experience.
Special thanks to:
-The entire reservation system and the people I came in contact with that process...every detail accounted for
-The people that looked after us in Lima
-Andre, the young man in Cusco who faithfully phoned every night just to make sure the day went well, my wife was well and that we knew what we had to do the next day.
-The Sumaq hotel in Aquas Calientes...you can tell the level of service by the details...I watched a waitress hold a high stool for a lady to prevent her from tipping backwards as she got on the stool, the lady didn’t even know the waitress did it....that’s client care.
-Especially Mariela, the tour guide in Cusco...highly knowledgeable, passionate, personable and shows great care for the people she guides.
Hainsworth Sherry ,
November 05, 2013
Clients were very impressed. Guides were amazing and accommodation was beyond expectations. They will definitely travel with you again and they have highly recommended Kensington Tours.
Hope I can work with you again the in the near future.
Scott Parks ,
November 05, 2013
Sandy and I are back from Peru and had a wonderful time. Kensington seems to have the best contacts in each country and Peru was no exception. I wanted to take the time to give you some specific feedback on each segment of out trip.
The “Hotel B” in Lima is fantastic. It’s an old house that has been turned into a small Hotel. The people are great and the location in Barranco is just what we like.
The Inkaterra Amazonica is probably the best place place to stay in the Amazon region. The rooms give a real feel of the sounds of the rain forest.
The hotels in both Cusco and Aquas Calientes were perfect with great locations. We added an additional day in Aquas Calientes which gave us three days in Machu Picchu. For us, this was well worth it and gave us the time we wanted to see all aspects of Machu Picchu. Pictures did not do justice to the site, although we got some great pictures.
The trip to see the Nasca Lines was, also, worth the time. Our guide added some side trips including lunch at a local winery which we really enjoyed. The Hotel Paracas was an unexpectedly high quality resort and a great way to end our trip.
Thanks for your help we look forward to next year
June Murray ,
August 20, 2013
"Buenas Noches Brandi-
I filled out the survey but I wanted to send you a note to say thank you. Our trip was the stuff lifelong memories are made of and I mean every part of it. From our time spent in Quito, to the Safari Camp and Isla Isabela. I cannot say enough about the professionalism of the staff at our accommodations and the expertise of all our guides (most especially Tanya Helmig at the Safari Camp). We hope to go back for an extended stay.
I have attached 2 photos for you of Bart and I. I think the joy is clearly evident- thank you for making it possible.
Barbara Mackey ,
July 22, 2013
"We just completed a family trip to Costa Rica, with three families traveling from different locations. All the coordination efforts were made easily and efficiently by our Kensington representative, Brandi Merchant, who was wonderful; an absolute delight to work with. All the accommodations were first class and the guides knowledgeable and very punctual. We will be using Kensington again!
Cindy Thoene ,
July 22, 2013
What an AMAZING trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously…the trip of a lifetime!
We returned late on Thursday and had out of town visitors through the weekend and we are just now unpacking and getting back to non-vacation reality.
I will share my feedback and get pictures sent to you soon.
Thanks for everything….truly a perfect trip!
July 24, 2013
Our trip was wonderful, we had a great time, wish we could have spent more time. In fact, I now know I would have spent more time in Cuzco and the Machu Picchu area.
Machu Picchu was fabulous.
Margot, our guide, and the driver, were absolutely wonderful, low key, very personable, very accommodating, really good. We didn't end up with enough time on the last morning in Cusco to finish the tour, but got a feel- of Sacsayhuman, Qengo, Koricancha. We saw Ollayantatambo, and went to Moray and Maras, and Wayra ranch which was also outstanding, on the next day, but did not do Pisac and the market. We got tired and ran out of time so cut a couple things. Louis the coordinator was good as well.
Would love to go back and learn more some time.
The coordinator in Lima was extremely nice too, and very helpful.
In fact, we loved the food, the people and everything. The Libertador Palacio , the Tambo del Inka and the Sanctuary were indeed outstanding hotels. LAN was all on time, great service.
Thank you again for all your help.
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