8 Day Santa Cruz Western Island Galapagos Tour Including 4 Night Cruise- EC-MTR-02 - 8 Days

Overview

M/V Santa Cruz Vessel information
Travel galapagos island on-board the 43 cabin M/V Santa Cruz, built exclusively for Galapagos Islands cruising was completely renovated in 1998, having been redesigned and refurbished inside and out. The Santa Cruz has gained worldwide recognition for its excellent standards, including superb service, expert crew, the most knowledgeable multilingual naturalist/guides and menus that feature the very best international cuisine and celebrated Ecuadorian dishes. Its capacity is for ninety guests.

Our Galapagos Travel Team consists of a Chief Naturalist and five Naturalists. All will delight guests with diverse natural history explanations, superb on-deck talks, and eye-catching lectures regarding natural history issues. Their multimedia presentations and recaps will complement the day’s activities. Together with the Captain, they will plan the day’s program. They are masters of Galapagos travel. Soon enough, our Naturalists will become the highlight of your voyage on santa cruz galapagos. At night, when pitch-dark starry skies are seen, stargazing is an amazing nocturnal activity. The southern skies are beautifully arranged with exuberant constellations.

On the M/V Santa Cruz Boat Deck, there are two master suites with double beds (plus a sofa bed for a child) and a private balcony, and two junior suites with twin beds (plus a sofa bed for a child). Six Superior-Class cabins have twin or double beds, that together with the remaining Standard Cabins on the Upper and Main decks offer a variety of accommodations, all meeting the same high standard for comfort and style. Family guests have ample choice among single, double and triple accommodations.

Itinerary

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Upon arrival you will be transferred to the Hilton Colon Hotel for check in and overnight.

After an early morning breakfast, the tour will depart towards the city center of downtown Quito, or Centro Histórico, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. We will start with a panoramic view of Alameda Park and the Basilica, followed by a walk down the street of the Seven Crosses. The trip will continue with a walking tour, starting at Independence Square. From here, we will visit the presidential palace, the main cathedral, the gold-plated La Compañía Church, San Francisco Church and San Francisco Plaza. Around midday the tour will head north to the equator for a trip to the monument at the Middle of the World. You may choose to visit either the Ethnographic or the Inti Ñan Museums, both located near the site of the monument. Along the way we will stop for a traditional Ecuadorian lunch. After seeing these incredible sites, the tour will head back to Quito, where you will return to your hotel. Meals B
or Guayaquil Tour
After breakfast experience downtown Guayaquil and discover the spirit of Ecuador ‘s largest city; drive around the turn-of-the century neighborhood of Las Peñas and if your legs permit, climb to the recently restored lighthouse on top of “ Santa Ana ” Hill .
Walk through the city’s bustling riverfront “Malecon 2000”, which is the most modern and beautiful in Latin America or visit “ La Rotonda ” with a magnificent view to the Guayas River, drive through “ 9 de Octubre ” Avenue and see Seminario Park with its astonishing population of green iguanas in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral .
We will also see El Parque Centenario and its columns of the heroes that honor the independent movement of the city. Return back to your hotel. Meals B

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristóbal Island)
Arrival by plane to San Cristobal Island and immediate transfer to the dock to board the MV SANTA CRUZ, anchored at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the Provencial capital of the Galápagos Islands. Cabin assignment and introductory welcome talk. Later, lunch, and ship’s boat drill. All activities on board will be announced via our P.A. system.
Punta Pitt (San Cristóbal Island)
In the afternoon, disembark (wet landing) on the eastern tip of the island. Pitt Point is an eroded tuff cone; the trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline. This is the only site in the Galápagos where the three species of boobies can be found together, as well as the two frigate species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions along the beach. After the walk, if conditions are favorable, there is a chance to swim from the beach or snorkel at the nearby islets. Expedition plan for Sunday and dinner.

Santa Fe Island
After breakfast, a wet landing on a sandy white beach with many sea lion harems. Bulls vie for the right of “Beach Master”, while smaller males masquerading as females make stealthy mating moves. Galápagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The giant prickly pear cactus found here live up to their name with tree-sized trunks! The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the afternoon walk. Snorkelling and swimming from the beach rounds off the rewarding experience, or if guests prefer, the glass-bottom boat for non-snorkellers. Lunch on board.
South Plaza Island
Disembark (dry landing) in the channel between North and South Plaza Islands, where the island tilts toward the water, the approach makes for a lavishly colorful sight! The turquoise waters of the channel contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. The rocks have grown thick with green seaweed in places, speckled with bright orange ‘Sally Lightfoot’ crabs. Further up the shore a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as ground cover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide playing with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but amazing island. Expedition plan for Monday and dinner.

Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)
Morning disembarkation (dry landing) visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens, including tortoise celebrities like “Lonesome George” within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds.  These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Following our visit, we board our transport to enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem.
Santa Cruz Island
We have several options available for the afternoon, which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader:

  1. Trek along trails amid miconia forest in the highlands, home to many elusive birds including the dark-rumped petrel.
  2. Mountain bike (mostly downhill) to Garrapatero Beach.
  3. Sea kayak and relax on a beautiful, sandy beach.
  4. Experience sustainable agriculture in an organic coffee plantation.
  5. Discover SCUBA diving day in Puerto Ayora. This is a day designed for people who wish to discover the marine wonders of the archipelago, but who are not ready to dive in the current-strong Galápagos open waters. A local diving outfitter is contacted on your behalf. This activity takes for most of the day and has a cost. Please ask us for more information.

At the end of the afternoon’s activities, we return to Puerto Ayora and embark on the M/V Santa Cruz.

Punta Suárez (Española (Hood) Island)
Morning outing at Punta Suárez (dry landing) for an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including waved albatrosses (April – December), Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tail gulls as well as a view of the Galápagos famous “blow-hole”. Among its land birds, the Hood island mockingbird, Galápagos hawks, Galápagos doves and three species of Darwin’s finches are common highlights. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas. Back on board for lunch.
Gardner Bay (Española Island)
In the afternoon, disembark (wet landing) at a white coral beach for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches or enjoy the beach. There is great snorkelling in this area, or a ride aboard the glass-bottom boat. Departure briefing, Farewell Cocktail and dinner.

Baltra Island
Disembark at Baltra Island. You will be transferred to the Airport for your flight to Quito or Guayaquil. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to the Mercure Alameda Quito or Hilton Colon Guayaquil for check in and overnight.

Day 08 :
Day 8:

This morning you will be transferred to the Quito / Guayaquil Airport for your return flight to the USA.

Includes:

  • All airport and cruise transfers.
  • R/T Domestic flight to meet your cruise.
  • Three (3) nights stay in mainland Ecuador in first class hotels w/breakfast: Alamedo/Quito& Hilton Colon Guayaquil.
  • 4 Night cruise aboard M/V Santa Cruz.
  • Half Day City Tour in Quito or Guayaquil.
  • SLT exclusive tour performance guarantee.
  • SLT $1 Million Insurance Protection Plan.

Excludes:

  • The Galapagos National Park entrance fee USD $120 per person will be collected prior to your departure.
  • International airfare

In Quito: Mercure Grand Hotel Alameda
Property Details

Number of rooms: 103

With 103 comfortable rooms with high speed internet access, the hotel offers a pleasant environment for combining business with pleasure.The Spicy Coffee Shop and Deli is a modern place to eat where one can enjoy the best of regional and international cuisine.

In Guayaquil: Hilton Colon Guayaquil

Elegance, comfort, security and personalized service are just some of the characteristics that make Hilton Colón Guayaquil, a real five-star city resort hotel. The splendid building is located only five minutes away from José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport and dominates the city’s new booming commercial and financial zone in Ecuador. The hotel is surrounded by the main shopping centers and offers easy access to the downtown district area.

Hilton Colón Guayaquil Hotel Features:

294 suites and rooms
Five restaurants and three bars
Room service available 24-hours
Business center
Meeting rooms, congress, and convention facilities with capacity up to 1800 people
Outdoor pool
Health club & spa

Download Itinerary
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8 Day Santa Cruz Western Island Galapagos Tour Including 4 Night Cruise- EC-MTR-02
From $5,599.00
per Adult

Trip Facts

  • Car,Cruise
  • Hotel
  • Sight Seeing
  • Breakfast
  • title=Galapagos, San Cristobal Island, Santa Fe Island, South Plaza Island, Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Punta Suarez, Baltra Island

Weather

Quito16°CCloudy
SUNRISE06:22
SUNSET18:29 -05
Feels like: 15°CWind: 14km/h NPressure: 1010.84mbarUV index: 0
Daily Forecast
Mon22/13°C
Tue20/12°C
Wed21/12°C

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