(Santa Cruz Island)
Your kids will squeal with delight as an inquisitive dolphin swims near and splashes its playful greeting as you snorkel this pristine marine environment where the protected wild residents hold little fear of people.
The Galapagos Islands are a family-friendly paradise where your kids will be able to have close encounters with not only dolphins, but also sea lions, penguins, sea turtles, rays and an array of fish species. Composed of 13 main islands, 17 islets and dozens of ancient rock formation, the Galapagos Islands showcase a unique, protected eco-system that offers a telling insight into how the environment existed millennia before human intervention. You’ll stay on picturesque Santa Cruz Island where you’ll hike to Giant Tortoises Reserve in the highlands; explore vast volcanic craters; trek through pristine subtropical rainforest; and take sunset strolls along the long stretch of white sandy beach at Tortuga Bay.
The focus is on flexibility for this family-friendly trip. You can choose from a wide range of activities to suit your family’s style. Explore the shores and hidden coves of surrounding coastline in an ocean kayak; go mountain biking in a tropical paradise; head out after dark on a spectacular star-gazing tour; take advantage of the expert knowledge of your private guides on a bay discovery tour; board a yacht to a neighboring island; or just relax on the beach at your charming hotel.
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.
Enjoy a private airport transfer in Quito with a professional driver.
Enjoy a five hour private guided tour of Colonial Quito and discover the Middle of the World on a private guided tour with lunch.
The UNESCO World Cultural Heritage city of Quito, or, to give it its full name; "San Francisco de Quito" is recognized as the largest and best preserved colonial city in the Americas. Sights of interest include the gothic styled Basilica of the Heart of Jesus; dwellings with architectural influence from the Spanish Conquistadores (visible in the tiled roofs, forged iron rode balconies and beautifully carved doors), the heart of Quito - Independence Square, which is flanked by the Presidential and the Archbishop´s palaces, as well as the Metropolitan Cathedral. The Jesuit church of La Compañía de Jesús meanwhile, is a magnificent example of the baroque style in Latin America.
From there, your driver and guide will bring you approximately 11 miles (18 Km.) north of downtown Quito, to visit “Mitad del Mundo” (Middle of the World) and the Equator Monument situated at 0º0’0” latitude where the eighteenth century French Geodesic Expedition built one of the three pyramids as landmarks for their planet calculations to deduct the shape of the earth in a complex which replicates a Spanish-American village. You'll also have the chance to visit the Intiñan Solar Museum, where you’ll find scientific and experimental aspects of being right at the Equator.
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.
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.
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, where a bus will take you to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island for a visit to the Giant Tortoises Reserve in their natural habitat - a once in a lifetime experience!
Manzanillo is on the natural path tortoises take every year as they migrate to higher moist locations during the garúa season (June-September), or when they descend to the warmer lowlands during the wet season. Year round, tortoises can be seen grazing on the surrounding vegetation, or wallowing in muddy banks or in a small red-colored pond (impressively colored by surface red pond-weeds). The area is teeming with life: chirping vegetarian, small-tree, large-tree and woodpecker finches, mockingbirds and flycatchers, as well as ducks, herons and gallinules make this an exciting morning visit.
After lunch and exploring the tortoise reserve, you will continue your road south bound across Santa Cruz Island to Puerto Ayora, the Galápagos’ most populous town, where you will board the hotel’s fiber glass boat (called a “panga”) for the short hop across to the “German Neighborhood”. This part of Puerto Ayora can only be reached by boat and there are no cars. A short walk along a path takes you to the hotel. Welcome to the Finch Bay Eco Hotel! After checking in, you are free to enjoy the hotel’s attractions: the pool and bar area, the white coral beach in front of the hotel, or swing in their hammock. In the evening, dinner includes the delicacies of local and international gastronomy, one of the main reasons people choose the Finch Bay Hotel.
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.
Your excursion today is to Bartolome Island, which is famous for Pinnacle Rock, a towering spearheaded obelisk that rises from the ocean’s edge and is the best known landmark in the islands. Enjoy the spectacular Galapagos views as you ascend the hillsides of this unique island. Interesting lava formations and tuff cones can be observed, and sea lions and penguins swim near Pinnacle Rock. Enjoy snorkeling or swimming from the beach.
Start your day with a much appreciated relaxed morning’s breakfast at the hotel, and a stroll along the neighbouring brackish lagoons. Their “panga” launch will take you to Puerto Ayora and a short distance further, you will reach the starting point of the trail to Tortuga Bay. The walking distance is 2 km (1.3 miles) along a fairly flat and straight path, where you get to explore and understand the arid, deciduous forest and its inhabitants. This is a great birding trail, if you take a little time to wander about and listen to the chirps and songs.
When you reach Tortuga Bay, you will understand why this is often referred to as Ecuador’s most beautiful beach. Over one kilometre of snow-white sand and turquoise waters with the never-ending sound of swells caressing the island. If surfing is something you have always wanted to try, this is your chance! The surf instructors of the Santa Cruz Surf Club (CSSC) give surfing lessons here.
Other activities include exploring the shore birds of “Playa Brava”, Tortuga Bay’s first beach, the nesting grounds of the green Sea Turtles, foraging marine iguanas, and the impressive change in sand, water, coastal vegetation and landscape, when you reach “Playa Mansa”. Kayaking in tandem sit-on top craft is a great way to experience nature up-close.
What else can be more relaxing then to end your Tortuga Bay experience with a soothing dip in the calm and clear waters of Playa Mansa, before the day-boat leaves the bay to bring you back to the hotel’s dock in Academy Bay. The ride takes less than half hour. For the rest of the afternoon, you can enjoy the hotel’s facilities (swimming pool, beach, sea kayaks, etc.) or continue exploring the island’s vast list of sites including the Charles Darwin Research Station, home to famous “Lonesome George” and many other giant tortoises.
Today you leave the Finch Bay Hotel and on the way to Baltra, you will stop at the Twin Pit Craters, great geological 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. Then, overland transfer to the airport in Baltra to take the flight back to the continent.
Fly from Galapagos to Quito via Guayaquil. The flight duration is approximately 4 hours.
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.
The award-winning Galápagos hotel, the Finch Bay Eco Hotel, lays just steps from the beach in a secluded location, across the bay from Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz in the heart of the Galapagos Islands. The ecologically-orientated Finch Bay has Ocean View Suites and Garden View Rooms. Each room is air-conditioned with private bath and hot water, hair dryers and biodegradable soap and shampoo dispensers, wooden blinds, a black-out curtain, tile floors, a telephone. All rooms are non-smoking. Guests love the hotel’s natural surroundings, the ocean, the swimming pool and bar area, the chef’s culinary creations, the fact that we’re close to everything and yet set apart, the daily yacht excursions aboard the hotels own superb yacht, and of course, the warm and sincere service that each and every one receives.
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"
Frank Manna ,
April 21, 2014
"Our guided transfers were exceptionally accommodating even though our flights were considerably delayed. The Annavillanas Jungle Lodge was spectacular for location, accommodations and food. The Rio Carnival experience was unique and unforgettable and our seats were wonderful. Loved the location of our hotel in Rio.......right on the street of Copacabana Beach.......fantastic. "
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.
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.
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