(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.
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.
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 getting 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.
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 & 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 home-grown produce in the dining room. Guests can enjoy the tranquility of the infinity pool to cool down and observe the 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.
You will spend the day walking with your guide. An uphill 5 km trail to Media Luna begins at the village of Bellavista; you will walk through the Miconia zone, a virtual monoculture of Miconia Robinsonia over the hillside, a fantastic success story after the near-destruction of this habitat by the invasive Quinine tree. There is a variety of ferns, including the lovely Galapagos Tree Fern. From there you can continue to Puntudo, a pointy volcanic cone, or to the highest point on the island, Cerro Crocker (864 mts). Ornithologists and bird watchers will take pleasure in this area, a sharp eye might catch several interesting species such as rails, finches and petrels.
Today you will have the opportunity to explore another island near Santa Cruz. Or simply relax and stay to enjoy the facilites at the Galapagos Safari Camp.
In the morning you will be driven to the eastern part of the island. At 490mts. 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. 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.
The marine iguanas come from sheltering in the wetlands where brillianty coloured 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.
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 is a fantastic 16 km walk that 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 hour.
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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