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Ecuador Short and Sweet:
With M/V Santa Cruz Cruise
Experience the essence of Ecuador with the colonial city of Quito, and the islands of the Galapagos. As the capital of Ecuador, Quito is rich with colonial churches, notable religious artwork and charming little streets, all surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery. From here, you will fly to the Galapagos Islands for a 4-night cruise on the M/V Santa Cruz. You will meet giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, the Galapagos albatross, and many other species in this living museum.
•2 Nights Quito
•4 Nights M/V Santa Cruz with Guided Tours, National Park Fee, and All Meals
•All Ground Transfers
•Private Quito City Tour
•Daily Breakfast
Arrive Quito:
Quito airport greeting, and transfer to your selected hotel.

(Accommodations, Quito)

After breakfast, you will have a private scenic tour of Quito.

Private Scenic Tour of Quito
Your three-hour city tour begins with a visit to the historic Colonial Centre, designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and considered to be the largest and best preserved in South America. This area is said to have 40 churches and chapels, 16 convents and monasteries with their cloisters, 17 plazas and courtyards, and 12 museums. Begin your walk at Independence Square, flanked by the neoclassical Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Palace and the Archbishop's Palace dating back to the middle 1500s. Continue to the Monastery of San Francisco, Quito's oldest church and monastery, and one of the great religious buildings of the New World. Its impressive facade and atrium lead to its gilt interior, Baroque but influenced by Moorish style, with the winged Virgin of Quito at its main altar.

(Breakfast Accommodations, Quito)

Quito to Galapagos Islands:
Transfer to the airport for a flight to the Galapagos. Introductory briefing and lunch.

Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island): Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, this important nesting area is a glorious white beach, with several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with snorkeling gear and techniques. Welcome cocktail, expedition plan for Tuesday, and dinner.

(Lunch, Dinner, Accommodations, M/V Santa Cruz)

Buccaneer Cove (James Island):
Learn about the conservation projects aimed at eradicating feral species. Today, the island is free of feral goats, and the cove is home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. Enjoy fantastic natural formations such as the "Elephant Rock", "The Bishop" and an impressive natural cave. This is a great site for snorkeling, too! Lunch on board.

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accommodations, M/V Santa Cruz)

Rábida Island (Jervis):
Disembark at Rábida Island (wet landing) on a red-coloured beach, due to the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material. A gratifying stroll along the beach of this small island allows the observation of a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin's finches. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach, both for beginners as well as for experienced snorkelers, due to the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. Non-snorkelers will enjoy a ride on the glass bottom boat. Lunch on board.

Bartolomé Island: Disembark at Bartolomé Island for a hike to the summit. This is a moderately steep climb aided by a wooden staircase, resting platforms, and handrails. Dinghy ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock, then time to enjoy the beach and some snorkeling, possibly with Galápagos penguins, or else a ride in the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world. Expedition plan for Thursday and dinner.

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accommodations, M/V Santa Cruz)

Prince Philip's Steps (Tower/Genovesa Island):
The morning starts with a very interesting panga ride along the cliffs and then disembark on rocks for a steep climb up some stairs. Once at the top of the stairs, the land is flat, allowing sightings of large colonies of Nazca boobies, red footed boobies, great frigate birds and storm petrels. Those not wishing to disembark can enjoy a longer panga ride along the cliffs. Lunch on board.

Darwin Bay (Tower/Genovesa Island): In the afternoon, a wet landing for an easy stroll observing hundreds of birds, mainly frigate birds, red footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. Optional walk over sharp lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views, or else return to the beach to enjoy swimming and snorkeling at this beautiful natural harbour, or join us in a Glass Bottom boat ride. Farewell cocktail, departure briefing and dinner.

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accommodations, M/V Santa Cruz)

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristóbal Island):
After breakfast, optional departure to see the breeding programme of giant tortoises at Cerro Colorado. Learn about his endangered species, and its promising recovery. This site is 45 minutes by bus, on the south shore of San Cristóbal Island. Return to town and transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.

Important: Please remember that the exact route and programme may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter. Itineraries and programme are subject to change without previous notice due mainly to readjustment of the National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes or safety reasons.

(Breakfast, M/V Santa Cruz)

** Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change