This Galapagos holiday is a great alternative to the traditional Galapagos cruise, providing more spacious accommodation and exceptional prices. Spend the first 4 days exploring the highlands in and around Quito, Ecuador's colonial capital city. Next head to the Galapagos for 4 days of exploring the unique geology and fascinating wildlife.
Galapagos Island Stay + A Taste of Ecuador
Day 1 (Thursday) - Fly overnight from the UK to Quito Meal included on the transatlantic flight.
Fly overnight from the UK to Quito. Day 2 (Friday) - Arrival in Quito. Free afternoon. Meal included on the transatlantic flight.
You are met at the airport and escorted to your hotel. Quito is the elegant capital of Ecuador situated high in the Andes at 2,800m, close to the famous ‘middle of the world’ equatorial line. After settling in you have the afternoon free to explore. Day 3 (Saturday) - Take the optional Colonial Quito excursion, or enjoy a free day in Quito Breakfast at the hotel.
Spend the day getting to know Quito. See the best of this fascinating city on our half-day optional Colonial Quito excursion, which takes you from the iconic main square to the Plaza San Francisco, the church of La Compañia, and Panecillo hill for magnificent views of Quito. Day 4 (Sunday) - Take the optional Otavalo excursion, or enjoy a free day in Quito Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch is included if you take the Otavalo excursion.
Further explore Quito or leave the city behind on our optional full-day Otavalo excursion, which takes you two hours north of Quito, past volcanoes, lakes and mountains, to the old market town of Otavalo, where you can shop for crafts in the colourful market. The excursion also includes a visit to a bird sanctuary, where you can see condors and different species of birds of prey, and to a workshop in Peguche where traditional Andean instruments are made. Return to Quito in the late afternoon. Day 5 (Monday) - Take the optional Bellavista Cloud Forest excursion, or enjoy a free day in Quito Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch is included on the Bellavista excursion.
Spend a further day taking in the delights of Quito, or venture out into the beautiful countryside on our optional Bellavista Cloud Forest excursion. The full-day excursion begins with an early two-hour drive from Quito to the Bellavista Lodge, stunningly located high in the lush Ecuadorian cloud forest. Spend the day exploring the trails around the lodge, where you can see waterfalls and hummingbirds. Arrive back in Quito in the late afternoon.
The Bellavista Cloud Forest excursion can be extended to two days, allowing you more time to explore the area. To do this you may need to extend the length of your holiday.
Day 6 (Tuesday) - Fly to the Galapagos, visit the Santa Cruz highlands and check into your hotel Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch in the highlands of Santa Cruz.
Fly to the Galapagos Islands, famous as inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. This archipelago off Ecuador’s west coast is home to some of the most unique wildlife in the world, as your stay here will help you discover. Visit the volcanic craters of Los Gemelos and the Giant Tortoise Reserve, both located in the highlands of Santa Cruz. Lunch is provided. In the afternoon, check into your hotel in the small town of Puerto Ayora and your home for the next four nights. Spend the rest of the day relaxing or walk down to the waterfront. Day 7 (Wednesday) - Visit Bartolome Island and walk through the unique volcanic landscape Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch on the Galapagos excursion.
Drive to the north of Santa Cruz Island, then board a boat to sail to Bartolome, a volcanic islet just off the east coast of Santiago Island. See lava lizards at Sullivan Bay, where you can snorkel. After lunch on board the boat, enjoy the great views from the summit of Bartolome and visit the small rookery of Galapagos penguins near the beach. You can swim and snorkel from the beach or walk to the other side of the island to see sea turtles nesting (from January to March) and sharks and turtles swimming close to shore. The excursion on this day will be taken with non-Llama Travel passengers and an island other than Bartolome may be visited. This will be confirmed at the time of booking. Day 8 (Thursday) - Visit Tortuga Bay & the Charles Darwin Research Centre on Santa Cruz Island Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch in Puerto Ayora.
Begin the day with a walk through deciduous forest to reach Tortuga Bay on the southern coast of Santa Cruz, a beautiful white-sand beach with marine iguanas, sharks, rays and birdlife. Return to Puerto Ayora for lunch, and then take an afternoon visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the work done in the conservation of the islands. A series of walkways takes you through the captive breeding program where you will see juvenile and adult tortoises from different islands and also the final resting place of the late great Lonesome George, the very last of his species. Day 9 (Friday) - Visit Seymour Island to see large colonies of exotic seabirds Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch on the Galapagos excursion.
Cross to the north of Santa Cruz Island by road and embark on a boat excursion to the island of North Seymour, home to a large colony of magnificent frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, noddy terns and land and marine iguanas. You have lunch on board the boat, before continuing to Bachas Beach. Here you can swim and snorkel, before returning to Santa Cruz. The excursion on this day will be taken with non-Llama Travel passengers and an island other than North Seymour may be visited. This will be confirmed at the time of booking. Day 10 (Saturday) - Check out of the Galapagos Suites hotel, then fly overnight to the UK, via Guayaquil Breakfast at the hotel. Meal on the transatlantic flight.
Transfer to Baltra airport for your flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city. From here, connect to your international overnight flight to the UK. Day 11 (Sunday) - Arrival in the UK
Your flight arrives in the UK in the late morning or afternoon.