8-day Galapagos Cruise Holiday & Tour of Quito
This Galapagos holiday explores the colonial charm of Quito as well as an 8 day Galapagos cruise aboard the Beagle, a classic British-built brigantine.
Galapagos Holiday with 8-day
Cruise & Tour of Quito
Prices from: £3,815pp for 9 nights
Your Galapagos holiday starts in the capital of Ecuador. Quito is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site high on an Andean plateau surrounded by majestic mountains. You have 2 days here to explore this charming city.
Spend time in the old town where you will find an abundance of churches, imposing government buildings, grand plazas and elegant mansions. Spend time at one of the many pavement cafes, watching life unfold around you as you sip a coffee.
From Quito you will fly to the Galapagos to join an 8 day cruise of these spectacular Islands aboard the Beagle. She’s a beautiful sailing yacht named after the vessel that brought Charles Darwin to the Galapagos in the 1830s.
Let the Galapagos holiday and wildlife spotting begin – giant tortoises, fur seals, sea lions, marine and land iguanas, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies and much more. You’ll be enchanted and entranced from the moment you first step ashore for your Galapagos holiday.
- Galapagos holiday including:
- Quito – 2 nights
- Cruise on the Beagle – 7 nights
- Guided tour of Quito
- Excursions on the Galapagos with a naturalist guide
DAY 1: SUNDAY
You’ll be met by a local representative at Quito airport who’ll transfer you to La Casona de la Ronda, where you have the rest of day free to rest after your journey. The hotel is a lovely colonial house with a cosy lounge, pretty central courtyard and restaurant. Relax – you’ve arrived in Ecuador!
DAY 2: MONDAY
This morning your guide will call for you at a mutually agreed time for a guided tour of the city. In the old town you’ll visit a selection of the historic churches and the imposing cathedral with its magnificent 18th century tableau ‘The Holy Shroud’. The tour usually ends at the top of El Panecillo hill for an impressive city panorama. The afternoon is free, so you might want to continue sightseeing, go shopping or take things easy at the hotel. Breakfast
DAY 3: TUESDAY
This morning you’ll be transferred to the airport for the flight to Baltra in the Galapagos Islands for the next stage of your holiday. A guide from your yacht will greet you and escort you the short distance to the harbour and the Beagle, your home for the next 7 nights. Your first excursion is to the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz, to learn about the flora and fauna of the islands and to observe some of its most famous inhabitants, giant tortoises. Then it’s back to Beagle for your welcome dinner. Full board
DAY 4: WEDNESDAY
Today you’ll be on Floreana, firstly to see a fresh water spring and tortoise enclosure, and later taking a ride in the panga (dinghy), to Devil’s Crown, an underwater lava cone. There will be time for swimming and snorkelling, before your guide leads you on a walking trail at Punta Cormorant to see flamingos at a salt water lagoon. Finally you’ll reach a white sand beach, a favourite nesting site for green sea turtles, before heading back to Beagle for dinner. Full board
DAY 5: THURSDAY
You’ll be in the south of the archipelago on Espanola today. Punta Suarez has a rich bird population including blue-footed and Nazca boobies, Darwin’s finches, swallow-tailed gulls, mockingbirds and Galapagos hawks. Between April and November you’ll also see large numbers of waved albatrosses. Sea lions, marine iguanas and lava lizards are found here too. Among the natural features there’s an impressive blowhole shooting water high up into the sky. Later you’ll visit Gardner Bay to watch sea lions and enjoy a swim. Full board
DAY 6: FRIDAY
Landing at Punta Pitt on San Cristobal you’ll climb a steep path to a plateau, looking out for red-footed boobies, a variety of sea birds and marine iguanas. Back on board, you’ll get close up views of Kicker Rock, made up of two 500-foot high rocks. It’s a popular breeding place for many marine birds. After lunch you’ll arrive at Isla Lobos with its large colony of sea lions, endemic lava lizards and frigate birds. Full board
DAY 7: SATURDAY
The voyage continues to Santa Fe. Here you’ll encounter sea lions and land iguanas at close quarters. You can do some swimming and snorkelling. In the afternoon you’ll visit South Plaza with its distinctive vegetation of prickly pear cacti and sesuvium. This ground-cover plant changes colour according to the season, being bight green in the wet and orange in the dry. Wildlife here includes land iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls and red-billed tropicbirds. Full board
DAY 8: SUNDAY
Picking your way past sea lions by the shore on North Seymour you’ll follow a path inland, looking out for land and marine iguanas as well as frigatebirds on the way. Later in the day you’ll visit Bartolome. This gives one of the best known views in the archipelago. Climbing to the highest point in the island you look down to the bay and Pinnacle Rock. You’ll have the option to walk to the other side of the island or to enjoy some snorkelling, spotting turtles in the water. Full board
DAY 9: MONDAY
Today you’ll see Sombrero Chino, named for its likeness to a Chinese coolie hat when viewed from a certain angle. You should see white-tipped reef sharks, rays and shoals of fish in the water, and sea lions and penguins on the shore. There will be time for snorkelling. This afternoon you’ll have a walk on Santa Cruz past prickly pears to lagoons where flamingos are frequently seen. Full board
DAY 10: TUESDAY
This morning you’ll have a panga ride in the mangroves at Black Turtle Cove. This is good for views of turtles, rays and sharks. After this you’ll be taken back to the airport for your flight to the mainland and onward travel plans. Breakfast
Price from (pp sharing): £3,815 (ex. international flights)
Includes: Airport transfers, ground transport, 9 nights twin share accommodation (2 in hotels and 7 on Beagle), meals as shown, half-day guided tour of Quito, guided excursions on the cruise as offered by the Beagle, use of kayaks and snorkelling equipment during the cruise, return flights to the Galapagos Islands from the Ecuadorian mainland.
Excludes: International flights, departure taxes, visas (not currently required by British passport holders), travel insurance, Galapagos National Park tax to be paid locally in US$, meals not shown as included, drinks, tips, items of a personal nature.
Getting there: This holiday starts and ends in Quito. Flights from the UK start from about £675.
We normally book these for you.
Departure dates: This is a private tailor made trip. Part of the time you will be on a yacht which depart on a certain day of the week. This particular itinerary uses Beagle itinerary ‘B’ (centre southern) and needs to start in Quito on a Sunday. Beagle offers an alternative itinerary to the western islands (‘A’), which can be used as an alternative to the itinerary above. See the yacht page for details.
NOTE: We can tailormake this holiday using the cruise vessel of your choice. For instance, a similar holiday using an 8 day cruise on the Seaman Journey will cost from £4,160. Please click here for the full collection of Galapagos yachts.
La Casona de la Ronda
La Casona de la Ronda is a charming colonial house in the heart of historic Quito. The en-suite rooms blend traditional features with modern comforts. The restaurant, Cafe La Ronda, serves local and international cuisines. You can enjoy coffee, tea, soft drinks or wine in the cosy lounge by the open fire. There is a lovely central courtyard and an unusual vertical garden. This has more than 150 species of plants including orchids native to Ecuador. The hotel is an excellent base for exploring the city of Quito.
Beagle is an elegant 105-foot brigantine, with an attentive and professional 6-man crew. There are 6 double cabins. All are fully air conditioned. They have an upper single bunk as well as the double bunk at the lower level. The 7th cabin has 2 single bunks. All have private shower rooms. Communal areas are spacious, with a central saloon. Here you’ll find reference books and board games. Outside the teak decks are ideal for relaxing, enjoying some sun and fresh air. Yoga mats are provided if you want some exercise. There are sunny and shaded seating areas to choose between. Beagle carries snorkelling equipment and kayaks to help you explore.
Galapagos Seaman Journey is a supremely comfortable catamaran. It accommodates a maximum of 16 passengers and feels spacious and uncrowded. Between island visits there’ll be plenty of time to unwind on board, either in the privacy of your cabin, or enjoying the fresh air and views from one of the sundecks. There is a small library with a collection of natural history books. You can socialise in the lounge and bar as you chat to other passengers. Meals are served indoors and on the deck. Cabins are located on the main and upper decks. All have en-suite bathrooms with 24 hour hot water, large picture windows and air conditioning to keep them pleasantly cool.
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We know and love the Galapagos Islands, and would delighted to help you plan your perfect Galapagos holiday. Call 01473 599082 and speak to one of our Galapagos travel specialists today.