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Dec 19, 2020
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Dec 26, 2020
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Itinerary

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Tour Itinerary

Mysteries of the “enchanted islands” that time forgot, a virtual wildlife wonderland... but how did the birds, reptiles and small mammals, found nowhere else on Earth, first make their way here... what is the real story behind the disappearance of the Galápagos Tortoise... how did naturalist Charles Darwin miss the pink iguana – discovered 150 years after his visit but millions of years old... Get ready to sleuth! This eight-day family adventure takes guests to the exotic Galápagos Islands, a region rich with a variety of local wildlife, flourishing flora and on-island excursions. Sailing through the four-island system by panga and by expedition ship, Santa Cruz II , as you and your family take in the beautiful views on both land and sea. Across this island society; explore the lagoons on Baltra Island that have a variety of birds within its ecosystem including pintail ducks, flamingos and stilts. Snorkel in Santiago Island in Buccaneer Cove where local sea lions may sneak up alongside you and surprise you. Hike up Bartolomé Island accompanied by incredible views at the summit. See the intricacies of the island firsthand! From the red sand of Jervis Island to the marine iguanas who forage for food in the sea, e ven the crabs are different here, with their bright red and yellow shells that provide quite a contrast to the black-lava rocks of these volcanic islands. Learn from Galápagos naturalists who travel with you... take walks on lave terrains... travel ashore via pangas... swim and snorkel... And much more!

Day 1: Arrive Quito, Ecuador

Tour begins: Swissôtel Quito. A transfer is included from Mariscal Sucre International Airport to the Swissôtel Quito, where you'll enjoy an Executive Level room.


Meals:

Day 2: Visit the Equator and explore Quito

Quito is not only 9,200 feet above “seal” level, it’s also on the Equator... the "middle of the world." Take the opportunity to stand on both the northern and southern hemispheres at the same time, and learn more about Quito's unique geography at the Inti Ñan Museum before enjoying an Ecuadorian lunch near a volcanic crater. Explore centuries-old Colonial Quito on a guided tour. Join us tonight for our welcome reception and dinner at your hotel, then get a good night’s sleep so you’ll be rested and ready for your family's unforgettable Galápagos experience tomorrow.


Meals: B, L

Day 3: Fly to islands time forgot

Your family's Galápagos tour and cruise* commences today when you fly from Quito to the volcanic island of Baltra and board your new expedition ship, Santa Cruz II. Your first shore excursion features a ride ashore on a panga to the island of Santa Cruz, and a wet landing on Las Bachas Beach (named for the US military barges, referred to as "bachas," that were beached and abandoned there after WWII) – an important nesting area for the green sea turtle. On a guided hike around a saltwater lagoon today, look for flamingos, pintail ducks, sandpipers and stilts; join our expert naturalists for an informative briefing back aboard ship this evening, prior to the Captain's welcome reception followed by dinner.


Meals: B, L, D

Day 4: Santiago Island and Locals

Start the day with a morning boat ride off Buccaneer’s Cove on Santiago (James) Island – once a favorite haunt of pirates and whalers – to observe seabirds like frigates, pelicans and boobies, and go snorkeling off the panga. After lunch aboard ship, a wet landing at Puerto Egas on Santiago provides even more opportunities to see seabirds, along with a colony of sea lions and marine iguanas; enjoy a swim and a snorkel from the beach before returning to the ship.


Meals: B, L, D

Day 5: "Noisy" Rábida & Bartolomé Views

Meet Darwin's finches and other rare birds today after a wet landing on Rabida (Jervis) Island, with its red-colored beaches. Experience both wet and dry landings on your excursion to Bartolomé Island; hike up to the summit and drink in amazing vistas of its volcanic features and the neighboring islands. Ride a panga around Pinnacle Rock, and view sea lions, sea turtles and tiny tropical Galápagos penguins in a panorama of life found only here. Tonight you'll find out more about the Galápagos Islands with our shipboard naturalists.


Meals: B, L, D

Day 6: Genovesa Bird Spotting & More

Explore Genovesa (Tower) Island by panga and a dry landing; climb up Prince Philip’s steps for a hike across the island, where you'll see masked boobies, frigate birds, storm petrels and more. An afternoon cruise and a wet landing at Darwin Bay offers more amazing views of thousands of rare birds, including red-footed boobies, gulls, mockingbirds, herons and finches, as well as an optional walk across volcanic terrain. Back aboard the ship, celebrate the end of your cruise – and your family's most unforgettable Galápagos tour – at our Captain’s farewell dinner.


Meals: B, L, D

Day 7: Disembark / Fly to Guayaquil

Disembark Santa Cruz II on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, and visit a tortoise reserve to observe in the wild one of the rarest forms of wildlife that continue to thrive here on the Galápagos Islands – the giant tortoise – and efforts being made by the Ecuadorian National Park Service to preserve and protect life on the islands for future generations. Late morning, travel to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil on the mainland, and an overnight at the Wyndham Guayaquil. Join us this evening for a poolside farewell party at your hotel as your family's Ecuador and Galápagos tour comes to a close.


Meals: B, D

Day 8: Journey Home

Tour ends: Guayaquil. A transfer from the Wyndham Guayaquil to José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport is included. You should allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in.


Meals: B

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Inclusions

Mysteries of the “enchanted islands” that time forgot, a virtual wildlife wonderland... but how did the birds, reptiles and small mammals, found nowhere else on Earth, first make their way here... what is the real story behind the disappearance of the Galápagos Tortoise... how did naturalist Charles Darwin miss the pink iguana – discovered 150 years after his visit but millions of years old... Get ready to sleuth!

This eight-day family adventure takes guests to the exotic Galápagos Islands, a region rich with a variety of local wildlife, flourishing flora and on-island excursions. Sailing through the four-island system by panga and by expedition ship, Santa Cruz II, as you and your family take in the beautiful views on both land and sea. Across this island society; explore the lagoons on Baltra Island that have a variety of birds within its ecosystem including pintail ducks, flamingos and stilts. Snorkel in Santiago Island in Buccaneer Cove where local sea lions may sneak up alongside you and surprise you. Hike up Bartolomé Island accompanied by incredible views at the summit. See the intricacies of the island firsthand! From the red sand of Jervis Island to the marine iguanas who forage for food in the sea, even the crabs are different here, with their bright red and yellow shells that provide quite a contrast to the black-lava rocks of these volcanic islands. Learn from Galápagos naturalists who travel with you... take walks on lave terrains... travel ashore via pangas... swim and snorkel... And much more!

  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - On-tour film vignettes custom-made for Tauck by BBC Earth natural history experts plus other select BBC Earth touches
  • All gratuities to Tauck Directors, local guides, drivers, naturalists, and ship staff
  • On-Tour Air included (2 flights)
  • 4 nights aboard the new 90-guest Santa Cruz II, designed especially for Galápagos Islands cruising; dry and wet landings
  • Your cruise may be a shared ship experience with non-Tauck guests onboard as well; all Tauck guests will be accompanied by one Tauck Director for approximately every 40 Tauck guests, and your itinerary will always be highlighted by exclusive, private Tauck shore excursions

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Accommodations


Santa Cruz II
Swissôtel Quito
Wyndham Guayaquil

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Questions & Answers

Question: What is the level of activity on this tour?

The activity level on a Tauck tour is usually moderately paced, however since this is the Galapagos the pacing for this itinerary is slightly elevated. There will be walks through uneven and rocky trails.

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Tauck Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.5
Accommodations
4.4
Itinerary
4.6
Professional Staff
4.7
Repeat with Operator
4.5
Value for Money
4.3

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Ratings based off 811 reviews about Tauck Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

Our goals were met and exceeded by Affordable Tours.

Wonderful Tauck Tours..we will travel with them again..thank you for the suggestion..

This is our 7th Tauck tour/river cruise and they have never disappointed.

Our trip was amazing and we had to he most amazing guide Leah she went above and beyond

Ms Lawren Farias was our agent. She went out of her way to make sure that everything went smoothly and it did I would defiitely use her again. She was outstanding.

Maya was absolutely wonderful! I only want to book with her for any future travel.

The Tauck tour exceeded our expectations.Our tour director was exceedingly well informed and organized.She was the best.

The tour was one of our best. Tauck's attention to detail and covering nearly 100% of our costs or fees and booking 5* hotels is why we liked the trip.

Fantastic vacation! Exceeded all our expectations! Trip of a Lifetime!!!

Tauck delivered as promised and more. The tour director was very helpful and knowledgeable. We wouldn't hesitate to book with them again.

Tauck provides great tours. This is our 4th with Tauck. They provided transport for us even when our itinerary was different than usual. The Tauck tour director was wonderful.

The Tour director (Mark) is excellent, the accommodation were first class and convenient and most included meals were very good. We also were blessed with a wonderful group of fellow travelers which I believe is due to Tauck's reputation.

Tauck does a wonderful job in providing a variety of great travel experiences in a worry free environment where every small detail is taken care of.

Both AffordableTours.com and Tauck are very professional organizations who ensure your traveling experiences are exceptional. Highly recommend both and we keep coming back to book with both.

Very professional and well done!


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