Nestled amid snow-capped Andean peaks, Ecuador’s capital, Quito, has long been overlooked by travelers on their way to the country’s most famous destination, the Galapagos Islands. But visitors who bypass this lively historic city of some two million people are missing out. At 9,350 feet above sea level, on the eastern slopes of the Pichincha Volcano, Quito offers breathtaking vistas around nearly every corner. Its historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the largest in South America, with 40 colonial churches and chapels, 16 convents and monasteries and picturesque plazas. In recent years, museums have been opened; mansions restored; hotels, restaurants and cafes opened and safety improved. In 2011, Quito was named the American Capital of Culture by the International Cultural Capitals Bureau due to its rich mix of architecture, heritage and cultural traditions. It is indeed a city of surprises, worth a visit in and of itself!
Nothing will prepare you for the thrilling natural encounters that await during 5 days of nature scouting in the Galapagos, the chain of 19 remote volcanic islands mainly occupied by national parkland that lies 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. The islands are some of the youngest, most pristine landmasses in the world, and home to large numbers of species of flora and fauna peculiar to the setting due to its geographic isolation and relative lack of human contact.
Some of the most unusual species in the world evolved here, included giant tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and even the world’s only equatorial penguin. The islands comprise the Galapagos National Park and are considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nearly all uninhabited by humans, these islands can only be visited with a certified naturalist guide and an approved Galapagos yacht.
Highlights vary from island to island and our schedule, which will be arranged for us by Galapagos National Park, is sure to include breathtaking & dramatic landscapes, sun-bathing iguanas, white sandy beaches full of sea lions; snorkeling with sea turtles & sharks, kayaking & hiking… but this is just a glimpse of all that awaits! We realize it sounds cliché but words truly cannot describe, nor can photos capture, the Galapagos experience.
While in Quito guests will stay at the sophisticated & elegant Casa Gangotena Hotel. The Casa Gangotena is an award-winning colonial style hotel located in the heart of historical Quito, at Plaza San Francisco. Please note that this hotel has 31 rooms, therefore we will not have exclusive use of the hotel but will be sharing it with other discerning travelers. Rooms are well appointed, with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning and modern amenities.
While in Galapagos guests will stay on our own private luxurious yacht. This boat is brand new, specifically designed to cruise the Galapagos, with contemporary cabins and furnishings and a large sun deck, ideal for our yoga practices, sunbathing & stargazing! Each cabin has an en-suite bathroom and air conditioning. Please keep in mind that this is an expedition yacht, not a cruise ship, therefore cabin space- while modern, clean & fresh- is limited. This is a very on-the-go Escape- you will most likely only be in your cabin for sleeping!
WELLNESS ACTIVITIES: Yoga, hiking, snorkeling, kayaking
Share: $7,350 per person based on two people sharing a room. We can pair you with a roommate if traveling solo!
Private: Room Rate Upon Request
Contact us today for a detailed itinerary or to inquire about this wonderful journey!
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