(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.
Christina Adams ,
April 21, 2014
"I know it's silly to give all 10's, obviously every trip has it's ups and downs, but if it hadn't been for our Kensington Tours planning, guides and drivers we would have been lost! It was wonderful to be out in a strange new environment yet know we had a safety net and a friendly face. The places we visited were awesome but I think we'll remember most the people that we met. Thank you and I'll send photos soon! Sincerely, Christina Adams"
Thomas Peyla ,
April 21, 2014
"I rated the quality of the accommodations an 8, but that is only because I chose to have more budget type accommodations. I was very happy with the hotels. The tours and guides were outstanding."
Susan Pope ,
April 21, 2014
"The arrangements all worked out very well, especially the drivers picking us up from airports and hotels. The hotels, although all in different categories, were mostly excellent. Eliza's Manor in Christchurch was especially good. My other favorites were the Novatel in Queenstown, the Grace in Sydney, and the Regent of Rotorua. My least favorite was the Quadrant in Auckland which was not located in a very convenient area. Provided breakfasts and boxed lunches were excellent too. We were unable to take three of the side trips....separate email coming. One suggestion would be that two very long days back to back should be avoided if possible, and travelers' ages taken into account. The trip to Milford Sound was an extremely long day and the Routeburn Trail hike was scheduled for the next day when it could have been on the following day which was free. We were happy to see so many different areas of New Zealand and experience everything from glow worm caves to fjords to a Maori hangi and geothermals."
Vivian Jennings ,
April 21, 2014
"Very pleased with organization. Not having to worry about connections or arrangements is wonderful. Great selection with hotels, Coral 1 and Napo Wildlife. Kensington puts all the details together to ensure a wonderful trip. Highly recommend the Galapagos and Amazon. "
Daniel More ,
April 21, 2014
"All was great. Guides were knowledgeable, personable, friendly... that's what really made the trip."
Marlin Barad ,
April 21, 2014
"Sofia, thank you for putting together a great trip. We certainly enjoyed ourselves very much. The planning and care was excellent. We hope we can do another trip with you all soon. Marlin Barad"
Laura Iyer ,
January 10, 2014
"We just returned last night from our Patagonia adventure and 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 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! 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.
Catherine Dudley ,
January 10, 2014
"GREAT trip! We were very pleased with every aspect that Brandi 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.
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