Quito & Galapagos Explorer

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  • Four nights aboard a luxury yacht, sailing the Galapagos Islands. Walk amongst sea lions, red-footed boobies, penguins, lava flows and so much more with your expert guide.
  • Private guided tour or Quito, capital of Ecuador.
  • Includes local flights to/from Galapagos.
  • Luxury accommodations selected by regional specialist.
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As you wake to greet a new day in paradise, stroll out onto the deck of your boutique yacht as it ever so carefully threads through hundreds of stunning volcanic islands enroute to one of the planet’s most magnificent natural environments.

Here in the Galapagos Islands – made up of 13 main islands, 17 islets and dozens of ancient rock formations – you’ll enter a remote natural paradise that has been protected from the ravages of the modern world for centuries. Inquisitive dolphins, sea lions, penguins, rays, sea turtles and marine iguanas who have learnt no fear of people are likely to interrupt your snorkeling time with a playful sojourn. On land, view the alien landscape of lava fields and volcanic formations from a vantage point on the banks of a salt-water crater lake; take a dinghy ride past large colonies of Galapagos penguins; view graffiti left by 19th-century pirates; and land on remote white sand beaches where hiking trails lead to stunning inland sites.

You’ll spend your downtime on a boutique yacht where your elegant cabin provides comfortable lodgings for the duration of your Galapagos Islands adventure. On shore, your team of experienced private guides are all certified naturalists who delight in revealing the hidden natural wonders of this wonderful, prehistoric eco-system that is home to many species of flora and fauna found nowhere else on the planet. ... Show More »

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. « Show Less

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Quito
    Quito
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    JW Marriott Hotel
    Breakfast
  • Day 2 Quito
    Quito
    • Private - Colonial Quito & the Middle of the World Tour (with Lunch) (5 hrs) - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    JW Marriott Hotel
    Breakfast
  • Day 3 Quito to Galapagos to Galapagos Cruise to Baltra Island to Santa Cruz Island
    Quito to Galapagos to Galapagos Cruise to Baltra Island to Santa Cruz Island
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    • Galapagos Airline Ticket Information - Ticket
    • Tourist Transit Card
    • National Park Entrance Fee
    • Air - Quito - Galapagos [Connecting in Guayaquil] - Economy
    • Port - Coach/Driver
    • Embarkation
    • Dinner on Board
    • Santa Cruz Highlights
    M/Y Odyssey (4N)
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 4 Rabida Island to Galapagos Cruise
    Rabida Island to Galapagos Cruise
    • Rabida Island & Chinese Hat
    • Breakfast on Board
    • Dinner on Board
    M/Y Odyssey (4N)
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 5 Genovesa Island to Galapagos Cruise
    Genovesa Island to Galapagos Cruise
    • Darwin Bay & El Barranco
    • Breakfast on Board
    • Dinner on Board
    M/Y Odyssey (4N)
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 6 Santiago Island to Galapagos Cruise
    Santiago Island to Galapagos Cruise
    • Bartolome Island & Sullivan Bay
    • Breakfast on Board
    • Dinner on Board
    M/Y Odyssey (4N)
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 7 Santa Cruz Island to Baltra Island to Galapagos
    Santa Cruz Island to Baltra Island to Galapagos
    • Breakfast on Board
    • Santa Cruz Highlands
    • Disembarkation
    • Airport - Coach/Driver
    • Air - Galapagos - Guayaquil [2 hrs] - Economy
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Day 1: Quito

Enjoy a private airport transfer in Quito with a professional driver.

Accommodation: JW Marriott Hotel

Welcome to Quito Ecuador and the JW Marriott Hotel Quito, where you will be greeted by an awe-inspiring atrium entrance. This hotel in Quito is one of the top-ranked Ecuador hotels according to Tripadvisor and Frommers. The guest rooms feature magnificent views of the mountains and volcanoes surrounding the city, including the famous snow-capped Cotopaxi Volcano. The JW Marriott is located next to the popular La Mariscal neighborhood, host to many Quito restaurants and bars. The hotel is close to the famous old city which is a Cultural World Heritage Site, and is just two hours to Otavalo, the largest craft market in South America. What sets the hotel apart is the resort type heated pool, the large fitness facility, and relaxing treatments available in the spa. Many vacation travelers and incentive groups stay at this hotel in Quito before or after their cruises to the Galapagos Islands.

Quito
Quito
JW Marriott Quito
JW Marriott Quito

Day 2: Quito

Enjoy a five hour private guided tour of Colonial Quito and discover the Middle of the World on a private guided tour with lunch included.

A wonderful tour through the streets and main squares of Quito Historic Centre, first city in the world to be declared by the UNESCO as "World Cultural Heritage" in recognition for its architectonic and artistic value. A visit to the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo is part of this spectacular visit; this convent has the best exhibition of architectural and religious art in the colonial city. You will have the opportunity to be delighted by the delicate and unusual beauty of this colonial Convent Treasures as the Chapels of El Rosario and Pompeya whose walls and columns are decorated in gold with an original blend of vegetable and anthropomorphic figures are a vivid example of the world famous Quito School of Art. The Convent of Santo Domingo displays colossal doors and ceilings covered with oil paintings and gold leaf. After this unique and special experience you will have lunch at typical Restaurant. In the afternoon, a short trip to the north of the city of Quito will lead you to the planet's Latitude 0´0´0´´where the Itiñan museum known too as "The trek of Sun" will guide you through the wonderful world of the Andean Cosmo-vision, culture and traditions. This is the place where you can stand with one foot on the northern hemisphere and the other one on the southern hemisphere…a unique experience.

Accommodation: JW Marriott Hotel
Mitad del Mundo Equatorial Line Monument
Mitad del Mundo Equatorial Line Monument

Day 3: Quito - Galapagos - Galapagos Cruise - Baltra Island - Santa Cruz Island

Enjoy a private airport transfer in Quito with a professional driver.

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.

Your mandatory Galapagos tourist transit card is included in your itinerary pricing.

Your mandatory Galapagos National Park entrance fee and tourist card are included in your itinerary pricing.

Please note: the itinerary is a guideline only -  the route and program vary according to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety precautions and wildlife encounters.

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.

Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, you'll be met by guides who will collect your luggage, and escort you on the short group transfer to the harbor. From there, motorized rafts (pangas) will transport you to your awaiting ship where you'll be welcomed aboard by the crew.

Welcome aboard!

Take some time to get settled in to your stateroom, and to explore the ship. Lunch will be served aboard before your first island visit is made.

The visitor site at Dragon Hill has been open for visits since 1993. This site is located in the northwestern part of Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that leads to a hyper-saline lagoon behind the beach, frequented by flamingos, pintail ducks, and other species of birds. This site has been repopulated with land iguanas from Seymour, Isabela, and Santa Cruz islands. A short walk to the hill offers beautiful views of the bay. 

Accommodation: M/Y Odyssey (4N)

The M/V Galapagos Odyssey is a luxury yacht constructed in 2008, offering the highest level of comfort of any boat its size in the Galapagos Islands. The yacht has a maximum capacity for 16 passengers. All cabins have private facilities, individually controlled air conditioning, a small desk and sofa. All the main and upper deck cabins feature large windows, which can be individually opened. The highest deck is a sun deck with comfortable loungers and a Jacuzzi. The top deck offers a shaded area and a cocktail bar. Besides a spacious lounge, dining area, bar and library on the main deck, there is a shaded outside space for al fresco dining.

Galapagos Cruise
Galapagos Cruise
M/V Odyssey
M/V Odyssey

Day 4: Rabida Island - Galapagos Cruise

Rabida Island is unique because of the red color of the rocks and sand. The volcanic material on this island is very porous and external factors such as rain, salt water, and sea breezes have acted as an oxidizing agent. A short walk along a trail will lead you to a coastal lagoon behind the beach permitting the observation of land birds such as finches, doves, yellow warblers, and mocking birds. At the lagoon, you’ll find a colony of flamingos.

The Chinese Hat is a small islet (1 sq km) located just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island. It’s a recent volcanic cone, shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from north side. On the west, you can see lava formations formed under the sea and raised upward, this is why coral heads are found on the lava. This is an excellent visit for interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. The landscape is covered by sea lions, marine iguanas, and Galapagos penguins.

Accommodation: M/Y Odyssey (4N)
Sea Lions
Sea Lions
Marine Iguana
Marine Iguana

Day 5: Genovesa Island - Galapagos Cruise

Darwin Bay originated when the crater of the island collapsed below sea level. The wet landing is on a beautiful white coral sandy beach. This is a favorite island for birdwatchers as you may see red footed-boobies, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels yellow-crowned, black-crowned and lava herons, and yellow warblers. Continuing on the trail, climb gradually to the edge of the cliff and see red-foots nesting in the mangrove trees below. Bird watching includes sightings of sharp-beaked finches, large cactus, ground finches, Galapagos doves, and swallow-tailed gulls. Reaching the end of the trail at the cliff's edge, it offers an incredible view of the island.

El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay, also known as Prince Philip’s Steps. You will climb to a plateau that is part of the stretch of land that surrounds Darwin Bay on its eastern side. There is a big population of masked boobies and red-footed boobies in the tree; storm petrels and short-eared owls have been found in Genovesa lava flows, which is the ideal place for nesting.

Accommodation: M/Y Odyssey (4N)
Red-Footed Booby
Red-Footed Booby
Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler

Day 6: Santiago Island - Galapagos Cruise

Bartolome Island is situated across Sullivan Bay. It has an altitude of 114 meters, from where you can observe one of the most beautiful sceneries of volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle. There is very little vegetation on this island. It has two breathtaking beaches where you can spot marine turtles, as well as a very small colony of Galapagos penguins.

Santiago, also called James, or San Salvador Island, is located in the west central part of the Galapagos archipelago. Along with some of the large western volcanoes of Isabela and Fernandina, Santiago is also volcanically active, with many young flows and cones to be seen, particularly along the south, west, and east coasts. These may even be seen from the summit of Darwin Volcano and from space. A number of historic eruptions have been reported over the last 2 centuries. Santiago actually consists of two coalesced volcanoes: a typical shield volcano on the northwest end and a low, linear fissure volcano on the southeast end.

Accommodation: M/Y Odyssey (4N)
Bartolome Island
Bartolome Island
Penguins
Penguins

Day 7: Santa Cruz Island - Baltra Island - Galapagos

The trail to the highlands leaves from Bellavista and passes through the agricultural zone, near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone, and then goes to the Fern and Sedge zone. With clear weather, this area affords beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round.

After your morning stop, you'll disembark from your ship and bid farewell to the expedition crew.

A group transfer will bring you to Baltra Airport for your outbound flight.

Fly direct from Galapagos to Guayaquil. The flight duration is approximately 2 hours.
Please note that flight rates are subject to change without prior notice.

Accommodation:
Santa Cruz Island
Santa Cruz Island

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

JW Marriott Hotel: Quito

Welcome to Quito Ecuador and the JW Marriott Hotel Quito, where you will be greeted by an awe-inspiring atrium entrance. This hotel in Quito is one of the top-ranked Ecuador hotels according to Tripadvisor and Frommers. The guest rooms feature magnificent views of the mountains and volcanoes surrounding the city, including the famous snow-capped Cotopaxi Volcano. The JW Marriott is located next to the popular La Mariscal neighborhood, host to many Quito restaurants and bars. The hotel is close to the famous old city which is a Cultural World Heritage Site, and is just two hours to Otavalo, the largest craft market in South America. What sets the hotel apart is the resort type heated pool, the large fitness facility, and relaxing treatments available in the spa. Many vacation travelers and incentive groups stay at this hotel in Quito before or after their cruises to the Galapagos Islands.

JW Marriott Quito
JW Marriott Quito
Deluxe
Deluxe

M/Y Odyssey (4N): Galapagos Cruise

The M/V Galapagos Odyssey is a luxury yacht constructed in 2008, offering the highest level of comfort of any boat its size in the Galapagos Islands. The yacht has a maximum capacity for 16 passengers. All cabins have private facilities, individually controlled air conditioning, a small desk and sofa. All the main and upper deck cabins feature large windows, which can be individually opened. The highest deck is a sun deck with comfortable loungers and a Jacuzzi. The top deck offers a shaded area and a cocktail bar. Besides a spacious lounge, dining area, bar and library on the main deck, there is a shaded outside space for al fresco dining.

M/V Odyssey
M/V Odyssey
  • MaryBurchenal — December 12, 2014 — South America

    We are back. We did have a wonderful time with our daughter and I certainly had no reason at all for being at all nervous that things would not go smoothly. Everyone associated with our time in Iguazu Falls was helpful, more than pleasant and always on time. I thought originally that we could manage such a trip on our own. But when we got there and saw the hassles we would have run into with the visas, border crossings, transportation and such, I realized that going the way we did was the wise choice. Absolutely we would travel with you again. And if anyone asks about the best way to see that part of the country, I would not hesitate to recommend KT.

  • Janet Huebert — December 12, 2014 — South America

    Well, Cindy, we’ve been home for a week but I can’t stop replaying every day of our wonderful holiday in my head! It was all that I had hoped for and MORE! We enjoyed all of the locations we visited – the beauty of the landscapes, the sight of wildlife, the rich culture & interesting history of Argentina & the outgoing, positive attitude of its people. Our guides were terrific – so friendly & knowledgeable & helpful & enthusiastic! We had no delays or difficulties & our accommodations were outstanding. Have I mentioned that it was a FABULOUS holiday??!!! My thanks to you for coordinating, booking, confirming and generally taking care of our requests in planning our adventure.

  • Ann Schiller — December 12, 2014 — South America

    Fabulous trip to Machu Picchu, Cusco and Lima. Trip of a lifetime with a sensational group of guides, drivers, and transfer staff! Loved the Sanctuary Lodge! A must! Thank you, Nella Huaringa, for planning this amazing journey! Thanks for making sure we didn't miss a thing on our itinerary even when we lost a travel day, due to a broken airplane that turned back midair, on our way to Lima. We appreciate your service above and beyond.

  • WendyRobinson — December 12, 2014 — South America

    Wow! All my life, I have planned and organized our trips, requiring considerable research and contact time--not to mention, most significantly, all the stress involved at each destination to make sure all connections are made. This time, I put it in the hands of some extremely capable people--and sat back and relaxed. And relax I did! We were booked into full-service, quality accommodations at all times; our transport and tour guidance were all on an individual, private basis, except where public transportation was in order; and--most valuable to us--we were met and assisted through all travel/hotel connections. We truly felt pampered. At one point, in fact, we had a problem with an immigration paper that we had lost, and a Kensington representative personally accompanied us through the whole process of replacing it--even though we were officially "on our own" that day. That's what makes the difference--the responsibility and accountability toward clients. Kudos to Kensington and to our representative, Brandi Merchant. We are already planning more travel and see no reason to look any further than to an agency that has earned our trust.

  • LorettaCappuccitti — December 12, 2014 — South America

    We had a wonderful time on our trip. The accommodations were all great. The guides and drivers were all very pleasant and knowledgeable. We were very happy with our choice of destinations and with the way the trip was organized. It was a lot of flying in two weeks but well worth it. Erika was able to accommodate a short-notice addition (Nazca Lines) to our trip which we appreciated. Thank you Erika for your help. Great trip!!

  • Christina Adams — April 21, 2014 — South America

    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 — South America

    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 — South America

    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 — South America

    All was great. Guides were knowledgeable, personable, friendly... that's what really made the trip.

  • Marlin Barad — April 21, 2014 — South America

    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


* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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