(Santa Cruz Island, Isabela Island)
Take a tour of colonial Quito and then step foot on Latitude 00'00'00 during a visit to the Middle of the World site. The following day travel to the Galápagos Islands and discover a fascinating realm of natural life, home to some of the most astonishing creatures found anywhere on Earth. Galápagos Islands are made up of 13 main islands, 17 islets, and dozens of ancient rock formations. The Galapagos Safari Camp, a luxury tented camp nestled in the wild highlands of Santa Cruz Island, offers an authentic inland experience with stunning views over the Pacific Ocean and the National Park. Explore one of the neighbouring island, swim with the Galapagos penguins, the only equatorial penguins found in the world, or snorkel with dolphins, sea lions and marine iguanas, as they gracefully swim the waters of the Pacific, visit the Charles Darwin Research in Puerto Ayora are only few highlights of this magnific place. No visit to Galapagos is complete without a stay on Isabela Island; laying on the western edge of the archipelago, it is known for a large penguin colony and giant tortoises. Spend two days exploring the highlights including Tintoreras, the volcano and more!
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.
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.
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 VIP service allows you the convenience of pre-paying the National Park Entrance Fee of USD100.00 per person. This way, when you arrive in Galapagos, the Safari Camp staff will escort you to a VIP room at the airport, so you can wait comfortably while they take care of paying the Entrance Fee.
This service also includes a private transport from the airport to the channel, from where you will cross the narrow Itabaca Channel to Santa Cruz Island.
Once in Santa Cruz, you will be accompanied by a bilingual naturalist guide who will take you to a farm in the highlands for a tasty lunch. You will then do a complete tour of the area, exploring various vegetation zones and microclimates, walking around pit craters, through lava tunnels and being acquainted with endemic Scalesia and Guayabillo forests. At the Tortoise Reserve, you will observe the emblematic giant tortoises in their natural habitat and the abundant bird life of the highlands. Your tour will end at Galapagos Safari Camp where you can enjoy a sunset cocktail followed by dinner.
After an early rise, you will take a boat trip to explore one of the neighbouring islands (North Seymour, Bartolomé, Plazas, Santa Fé, Floreana or Isabela). Each island has its particular natural habitat and you will be guided through the evolutionary marvels of your destination. The Galapagos Marine Reserve is the second largest reserve in the world; you will be able to snorkel off the boat and experience the richness of the aquatic species. Alternatively, if you are SCUBA certified we can replace one or both day trips with diving.
Today you will have the opportunity to explore another island near Santa Cruz. Or simply relax and stay to enjoy the facilities at the Galapagos Safari Camp.
In the morning, you will be driven to the eastern part of the island. At 490 meters above sea level, Cerro Mesa offers dramatic views, has the largest crater on Santa Cruz and numerous endemic plants as well as up to 7 subspecies of finches and the Vermillion Flycatcher. After lunch, you will visit Garrapatero, a pristine beach where the contrast of mangroves, black lava, white sand and turquoise water, in addition to the buzzing coastal bird life and the small pink flamingo lagoon is sensational. Kayaking and mountain biking is available.
The Enchanted Isles are seldom seen from above. Today you will fly to Isabela on a small propeller plane giving you an overall impression of the formations of this volcanic archipelago. The semi-submerged craters, turquoise water, open sea, rocks and islands are quite a treat usually for the eye. Isabela is the largest and one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos with much volcanic activity. The flight will be arranged on either a 6 seater propeller plane or a 19 seater jet. The flight will be shared amongst others travelling between the two islands.
Please note that if there is inclement weather this flight will be cancelled and replaced with a boat transfer.
Upon arrival, you will have lunch at a restaurant in town followed by a visit to the Tintoreras where you will be amazed at the variety of wildlife and weird rock formations. Admire the swarms of iguanas along the trails, penguins fishing opposite blue footed boobies, sea lion pups playing in the water alongside white tip sharks. If time permits, you could visit the Tortoise Breeding Centre where you will see a comprehensive example of the tortoise’s various stages of development.
This day will be devoted to exploring Sierra Negra, a large shield volcano at the south-eastern end of Isabela Island, one of the most active with the largest caldera of the Galapagos volcanoes; the most recent historic eruption was in October 2005. This fantastic 16 km walk takes you round the rim of the caldera and over petrified lava flows. You will witness impressive views of the island and surrounding volcanoes. Return to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport and fly back to Baltra where you will make your flight connection to the mainland. The flight will be arranged on either a 6 seater propeller plane or a 19 seater jet. The flight will be shared amongst others travelling between the two islands.
Enjoy the VIP room at the Baltra airport, so you can wait comfortably for your flight to Guyaquil or Quito.
Fly from Galapagos to Quito via Guayaquil. The flight duration is approximately 4 hours.
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.
Casa Gangotena is a newly-restored historic mansion overlooking Plaza San Francisco. This three-story accommodation harbours 31 rooms which showcase eye-catching style, contemporary design, antiques, fine furnishings, modern technologies and quintessential comforts. The hotel is at once intimate – like the family home it was – and sophisticated, with all the facilities and services today’s world travellers expect. It mimics the soothing hues and stylish comforts that greeted its residents and their guests for decades.
Galapagos Tented Camp is set on a ridge in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, overlooking the National Park and offering magnificent views over the Pacific Ocean, the famous western and northern islands of Isabela, Santiago, Pinzón, Baltra, Rabida, Guy Fawkes and Daphne. The stylish central lodge is perched on a hill with panoramic views from its spacious veranda. The open-plan interior draws the eye to the islands scattered on the horizon below. Relax in the lounge and bar, with their cosy fireplace. Savour the local and international dishes created by their creative chef with homegrown produce in the dining room. Guests can enjoy the tranquility of the infinity pool to cool down and observe nature. The 55-hectare farm is rich in birdlife with finches, warbles, mockingbirds, Galapagos doves, egrets and owls. Tortoises make frequent visits to the farm and are often seen in the area.
The marine iguanas come from sheltering in the wetlands where brilliantly colored flamingos wade along the path that passes close to the hotel and down to the emerald green sea of Isabela, hence the name, Iguana Crossing. The Iguana Crossing Boutique sits on the waterfront of the most beautiful beach on Isabela. It is surrounded by the national park wetlands and overlooked by the six majestic shield volcanoes on the island.
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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