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ECUADOR

Price $5950 12 Days
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ECUADOR

$5950 per person

Watch our GALAPAGOS VLOGS to see what you can expect from this trip. Take into consideration these were some of our first vlogs, so they are not very comprehensive, the story telling has clearly evolved, and our equipment was well, not so good.

At 9,200 feet above sea level and stretching for 36 miles on a plateau lined with volcanoes, Quito was the first city ever to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, back in 1978 owing to its geographical beauty, 18th-century architecture, priceless colonial treasures, and its living traditions and culture. The Old Town in Quito also known as Centro Historico is still one of the best-preserved historic centres in Latin America even after numerous earthquakes. Quito’s Old Town is also one of the most important historic areas in Latin America.

The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands famous for the fact that they were unpopulated by man until the 1800s. They are also known for their endemic species, particularly the giant tortoises that give the islands their name. The islands are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the surrounding waters are a national park and a biological marine reserve. Of the 18 islands, Baltra, Floreana, Isabela, San Cristobal and Santa Cruz are now populated by more than 25,000 people. An English pirate originally named the islands, but the Ecuadorians have given the islands Spanish names. The Islands were made famous by Charles Darwin after he visited them on his scientific voyage on the HMS Beagle, and the endemic species here contributed significantly to Darwinian Theory.

This tour will take us from walking the streets of Old Town in Quito where we will learn about Incan history, dine on local cuisine and engage with artists to the crystal blue waters of the Galapagos Islands. The best of both worlds: history and a rich culture to nature and sea life. While in the islands, we will spend 8 days on a motorized boat (no, not our boat) where we will explore the land and sea by way of hiking, snorkeling, swimming, dinghy and more.

If you want to explore a land considered untouched and one with nature, make new friends, and learn about Incan history, this is for you. If you care about connecting deeply with a new culture and its sea life in a way you cannot do on a traditional vacation, this is for you. If you approach the world with a glass-half-full attitude, this is for you.

Does this sound dreamy? The experience is all that, and more.

Get more details about our trips and who they are ideally for here. The FAQ section also answers many of the questions you may have about vaccines, accommodations, insurance, etc. Both of these pages may be helpful to read before you register for this trip.

Each trip offers a volunteer afternoon, which is optional. During this time we engage with a local partner, give back to the community and connect deeper to the culture. In the case of this trip, we might try to get more creative so-as to protect our oceans better. Maybe the month before departure, we will all go plastic-free and share what we are doing on the trip FB group. We are open to suggestions. As a brand, we will also donate a portion of the proceeds to ocean conservation.

The meals onboard are a mix of national and international food, with lots of fresh fish and seafood options, but also some meat and chicken. We are pleased to be able to offer vegetarian and vegan cuisine on the cruise portion of this trip. We are working out details to a vegetarian option for the Quito segment, and possibly a vegan option.

Price is based on double occupancy. Please click the Accommodations & Boat tab above for additional occupancy options and pricing.

*Galapagos has made the “Top 5 experiences” list by all four WorldTowning family members. It is currently in the #1 spot!

  • Destinations
  • Departure City
    Quito
  • Departure Date
    January 27, 2022
  • Return Date
    February 7, 2022
  • Level of Difficulty
    Minimum age is 9. The maximum age is 75. Unfortunately, Ecuador is not wheelchair accessible or accessible to those facing physical challenges. The early part of this trip will be focused on walking in the Old Town, which means this trip requires mobility and energy. If you struggle with physical activity, have accessibility needs or need special care, then this trip might not be for you. We cannot guarantee access to alternative modes of transportation (cabs, buses, etc.), which means you will need to walk, even if you are struggling. As a general rule, you should be able to walk up to 3 miles per day, climb 3 flights of stairs (elevators are not always available), and be able to drag or carry your belongings on wobbly streets. In several locations, porters will not be available to help us, which is another reason you'll need to be fit. Of course, we wish this trip could accommodate everyone, but this is Ecuador, and certain things are beyond our control. We will spend time in the water swimming with the sea life on parts of the cruise - if you prefer to remain on board during this time, that is an option as well. You will be able to wear a wet suit (rental fee) and/or life jacket if you feel more comfortable with them. The average high temperature (Galapagos) during January-February is 84°F / 29°C and the average low is 70°F / 21°C. The water temperature is 74°F / 23°C.
  • Included
    Accommodations
    Activities/Tours
    Flights Within Country
    Gift Basket
    Live Q & A
    Meals
    National Park Fees
    Personal Guides
    Private FB Group
    Tips for Guides
    Transportation
    Vegetarian Options
    Welcome Party
    WorldTowning Swag
  • Not Included
    Alcohol
    Arrival Day Meals
    Arrival Transportation
    Departure Day Meals
    Departure Transportation
    Equipment Rental
    Flights to Country
    Juice, Soda, Smoothies
    Laundry, Phone Calls, Room Service
    Souvenirs
    Tipping at the Restrooms
    Trip Insurance
1
ARRIVAL (January 27th)

ARRIVAL
Make yourself comfortable in the hotel. We'll gather in the evening to commence our trip. Please note: If you would like to arrive earlier and explore on your own prior to the start date, that is fine. Our trip officially begins on January 27th in the evening. We can't wait to meet all of you.

As a warm welcome, we would like to invite you to a "meet n'greet" for wine, local snacks and sweets the evening you arrive. If you will be arriving late, don't worry, as we will do a more formal welcome at breakfast in the morning. In addition, we will hold a short workshop on the opening evening so you can learn about Ecuadorian life nowadays, traditions, celebrations, history ... and the language, from a local. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the culture before we get started. Get a good night's sleep because tomorrow we rock and roll!
2
OTAVALO (January 28th)
OPENING BREAKFAST
This is the first official day of our voyage together. We will all meet at the opening breakfast to discuss the day, address any questions, and meet those of you who got in late the night before and missed the meet n' greet.

FULL DAY TOUR (8:00 am - 7:00 pm)
We will board a bus by 8:00 am in the morning for a day of adventure.

Quitsato Solar Clock:
Point where the Equinoctial Line crosses, a local guide will explain the informative astronomy data, and we will learn how the natives measured time to establish the days of solstices and equinoxes.

Lake San Pablo Lookout:
Panoramic view for photographing one of the largest lagoons in the province of Imbabura and our first rest stop. Here we will be able to buy the famous biscuits and cheese leaf sold only on this site.

Otavalo's Indigenous Market:
As one of the largest indigenous markets in South America, Otavalo brings together more than 500 different artisans and merchants that sell diverse products, ranging from alpaca sweaters to charangos (miniature guitar-like instruments native to Latin America), and other interesting artifacts. A WorldTowning family favorite.

Peguche Waterfall:
Sacred place where the Otavaleños perform ancestral rituals and purifying baths.

Cuicocha Lagoon Boat Tour:
Cuicocha’s famous lake rests inside a 3 km (2 mi) wide caldera that resulted from a massive explosion that occurred approximately 3,100 years ago. The volcano has been dormant ever since, but the volcanic ash that scattered as a result of the eruption turned the area into one known for its nutrient-rich soils.

LUNCH
This day is full of adventure. The only time to stop for lunch is when we arrive in Otavalo. Most people do not want to spend their time eating when the market is much more exciting. We will have a brown bag lunch for each of you to eat at your leisure during the day.

DINNER AT SAN IGNACIO
We will return from our day tired and probably a bit jet-lagged, as it is our first day. We will dine on local cuisine just a short walk from our hotel.
3
QUITO OLD TOWN (January 29th)
OPENING BREAKFAST
At the hotel.

WALKABOUT & CONVERSATION IN OLD TOWN (9:00 am – 12:00 pm)
Description to come.

LUNCH
Cooking class. Description to come.

WALKING LA RONDA OR REST
Stroll along Calle La Ronda for a glimpse into the culture and Spanish-era heritage of Quito. This lively pedestrian street is the place to explore historic buildings, sample traditional food, watch artisans at work, and enjoy live entertainment. It’s said that Calle La Ronda’s history dates back to the 1400s when it was an Incan trail.

DINNER
Description to come.
4
QUITO & GALAPAGOS (January 30th)


BREAKFAST
At the hotel.

FLIGHT TO GALAPAGOS
After breakfast we will leave for the airport.

LUNCH
On the boat.

ADVENTURE
Isla Lobos:
The scenic Ecuadorian islet of Isla Lobos is set off the northwestern coast of San Christobel Island, just a few kilometres from the fishing town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. This tiny flat island serves as a beautiful sanctuary and is an excellent destination to spot an array of protected species, and wildlife, including blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, marine iguanas, fur seals, tortoises and sea lions. We can look forward to close encounters with several aquatic species such as manta rays, red crabs, schools of fish, and hammerhead sharks, while snorkelling.

DINNER
On the boat.

 
5
GALAPAGOS (January 31st)


*Shot of the boat at 2:18 in the vlog

BREAKFAST
On the boat.

ADVENTURE
Santa Fe:
We begin with a hike towards the cliffs to view the giant prickly pear cactus and land iguanas. We may also spot sea turtles, sea lions, and white -tipped sharks from the boat.

LUNCH
On the boat.

ADVENTURE
South Plaza:
On South Plaza, we will see one of the largest populations of land iguanas, and various species of birds, such as the red- billed tropic bird, the swallow-tailed gull, as well as sea lions along the coast.

DINNER
On the boat.
6
GALAPAGOS (February 1st)
BREAKFAST
On the boat

ADVENTURE
Charles Darwin Research Station:
The Charles Darwin Research Station is involved in conservation research for the islands. We will learn about natural history and issues concerning conservation of the islands, like introduced species. We will also see the tortoises at the tortoise breeding project.

The Foundation is part of a network of local and national organizations supporting Galapagos Island protection. It works closely with the Galapagos National Park Service, the main government authority overseeing the safeguarding of the islands’ natural resources, providing the results of scientific research to conserve this living laboratory.

LUNCH
On the boat.

ADVENTURE
Highlands of Santa Cruz:
We will take a bus to visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz and El Chato Reserve, a perfect place to see giant tortoises in their natural environment. We will also explore the reserve´s lagoon and lava tunnels.

DINNER
On the boat.
7
GALAPAGOS (February 2nd)


BREAKFAST
On the boat.

ADVENTURE
Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island:
The first activity of the day is a visit to Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island, the largest and one of the youngest islands in the archipelago.

LUNCH
On the boat.

ADVENTURE
Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island:
We will heead to the breeding center Arnaldo Tupiza, which was created to rescue endangered populations of tortoises that live around the island. Then we will visit the Flamingo Lagoon, and finally, a visit to the Wall of Tears, a historical site that pays homage to the prisoners of the former penal colony, who were forced to build a wall out of huge blocks of lava.

DINNER
On the boat.
8
GALAPAGOS (February 3rd)


BREAKFAST
On the boat.

ADVENTURE
Moreno Point, Isabela Island:
Early in the morning, we visit Moreno Point on the north coast of Isabela Island, following a trail of solidified lava to a coastal lagoon where you may see several species of birds, like the Darwin Finch, Galapagos Dove, and more. You can also enjoy a panoramic view of three of Isabela Island's volcanoes: Alcedo, Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul.

LUNCH
On the boat.

ADVENTURE
Elizabeth Bay, Isabela Island:
Featuring green mangroves and rocky formations it is home to vast species of marine life such as penguins, lava herons, turtles, sea lions, marine iguanas, seagulls, blue-footed boobies and flightless cormorants.

DINNER
On the boat.
9
GALAPAGOS (February 4th)
BREAKFAST
On the boat

ADVENTURE
Tagus Cove:
Valued as a safe anchorage spot for over 300 years, Tagus Cove is sandwiched between two volcanic craters that serve as protection from the open ocean. This site was popular among whalers and pirates during the past centuries. We will also tour the area on foot to view Darwin Lake and Wolf and Darwin Volcanoes.

LUNCH
On the boat

ADVENTURE
Espinoza Point, Fernandina Island:
The largest colonies of marine iguanas live here.

DINNER
On the boat
10
GALAPAGOS (February 5th)


BREAKFAST
On the boat.

ADVENTURE
Puerto Egas:
Great spot to view shore birds and reptiles. We will also snorkel here and watch rays, turtles and reef sharks. A lava rock beach that functions as a home and breeding ground for a prolific population of marine iguanas, Puerto Egas’ spectacular shoreline consists of old lava flow featuring many interesting formations.

LUNCH
On the boat.

ADVENTURE
Rabida Island:
A red sand beach awaits us this afternoon. Watch a colony of pelicans, gaze at palo santo trees, native to this place, and admire sea lions.

DINNER
On the boat.
11
GALAPAGOS (February 6th)

BREAKFAST
On the boat.

ADVENTURE
North Seymour Island:
At the beginning of the day (6:00 am), we will head to North Seymour Island to see the various species of birdlife that inhabit there, like blue-footed boobies and frigate birds.

LUNCH
Johnny Rockets at the airport.

FLIGHT
Back to Quito on the 1:00 pm flight.

DINNER
TBD
12
QUITO AIRPORT (February 7th)
This the last morning of the trip and the toughest. Saying goodbye to new friends is never easy, but we like to think of it as "until we meet again!" After our final breakfast, the trip will officially conclude. We will miss all of you terribly!

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Hosts
Accommodation
Meals
Transport
Value for Money

  THE BOAT The Eden was built in Ecuador in 1996 and went through a complete overhaul in 2002. She is now custom-designed for Galapagos island cruising. All interiors are nicely decorated and offer the comfort weary explorers seek after a full day of hiking, snorkeling or diving. The Eden is the signature yacht that complies with local and international standards of safety and is environment-friendly. She has capacity for 16 travelers, accommodated in 8 double ocean view cabins, all with private bathrooms and a generous hot water supply. The spacious sun deck allows for observation of dolphins and whales, and guests may choose to relax and enjoy the equatorial sun and sea breeze, all part of the Galapagos Islands’ magical environment. Delicious meals with Ecuadorian and international delicacies are served in an interior buffet area. There are also 2 separate social areas with a well-equipped bar for socializing with fellow explorers. The boat also comes equipped with a comfortable dining room, mini library, TV, DVD player, complete snorkel equipment (mask, tube, fins), and a desalination machine. ACCOMMODATIONS Double & Quad Occupancy Rooms - $5950 USD (per person) All cabins on the boat are double occupancy. This means that if you are two traveling, you will have a cabin to yourselves. If you are four traveling, you will need to room in two cabins. We offer two options: bunk beds or two singles in a cabin. The selection of these rooms are first-come, first-serve basis. Each style has its own set of benefits. Single & Triple Occupancy Rooms (Please contact us for pricing) Since the cabins are double occupancy, we would ask you to be willing to share a room with someone of the same gender. If not, the price would increase greatly as you would need to purchase both beds. We know this is not ideal, but it is how the ship is laid out. A similar model would apply for a triple. However, for the three nights in Quito, we can offer a single room for no additional cost.
WTV will require their guests to follow the local regulations pertaining to COVID-19 safety, which may include having a negative COVID test prior to arrival, wearing a mask and/or providing proof of vaccination. We will update this space as it gets closer to our departure.