Start in Ecuador’s mountainous capital of Quito, checking out the UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town, complete with colonial architecture, beautiful churches and busy squares. From here, you’ll fly to the Galapagos Islands and Isla Santa Cruz to stay in a carbon-neutral eco-lodge atop a dormant volcano. From here, you’ll spend several days exploring Santa Cruz’s giant tortoises, sea lions and volcanos, as well as taking day cruises around nearby islands. You’ll snorkel with penguins and tropical fish, explore lava fields and learn more about the archipelago’s wildlife, before returning to your lodge each night. Transfer back to Quito for your departure.

Key information

Destinations Destinations Quito, The Galapagos Islands
Isla Santa Cruz, Isla Bartolomé, Isla Santiago
Activity Activity Luxury, Nature & Wildlife
Physical Level Physical Level Easy
Season Season January - December

Suggested itinerary

Explore colonial Quito

Explore colonial Quito

Day 1 in Quito

Perched between Andean mountain peaks, dramatic Quito is the perfect introduction to laidback Ecuador. Check out the UNESCO World Heritage old town, packed with colonial architecture, art-filled churches and buzzy plazas.

Don't miss

Climb Pichincha Volcano

Climb Pichincha Volcano

Take the cable car up to the 4,000m high lookout for magnificent views over Quito and the snow-capped mountains that surround it. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can book an organised bike up to 4,500m for even more impressive views.

Follow in Darwin’s footsteps on Isla Santa Cruz

Follow in Darwin’s footsteps on Isla Santa Cruz

Day 2 in Isla Santa Cruz

Almost all visitors to the Galapagos Islands will touch down in Isla Santa Cruz at some point. From beach walks at Tortuga Bay to giant tortoises at El Chato Reserve, there is plenty to see — but make sure to visit the Charles Darwin Research Centre to learn more about the wildlife you’ll encounter on your trip.

Don't miss

Walk in the hills with giant tortoises

Walk in the hills with giant tortoises

The endangered giant tortoise is making a comeback on the Galapagos thanks to a concerted conservation effort. Head to the highlands of Santa Cruz to see these gentle giants shuffling around the hills.

Yacht excursion to Isla Bartolomé

Yacht excursion to Isla Bartolomé

Day 3 in Isla Bartolomé

Tiny Bartolomé is most famous for its landscapes and scenery. A set of steep steps leads to a 360-degree viewpoint over the island, looking back on black volcanic formations, marine life and striking reds and greens.

Don't miss

Penguins and Pinnacle Rock

Penguins and Pinnacle Rock

Pinnacle Rock on Bartolomé Island is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the Galapagos. Climb its 114m summit for views before heading down to the beach to see -- and swim -- with the diminutive Galapagos penguin.

Yacht excursion to Isla Santiago

Yacht excursion to Isla Santiago

Day 4 in Isla Santiago

Once a hideout for smugglers and pirates, Isla Santiago is now best-known for Sullivan Bay, where century-old lava has solidified into bubbles and caves, and Puerto Egas, a wet landing where you can see seals, sea lions and sea birds.

Don't miss

Snorkel at Puerto Egas

Snorkel at Puerto Egas

Snorkelling at Puerto Egas allows you to get in the water with sea lions, sea turtles, tropical fish and even sharks – this is one of the archipelago’s premier places to get in the water.

Return to Quito

Return to Quito

Day 5 in Quito

Return flight from Baltra Island airport to Quito for your onward connection.

Where to stay

Classic

Habitat Hotel

An iconic Galapagos hotel situated in Puerto Ayora on the waterfront of Academy Bay, Isla Santa Cruz. Hotel facilities include private deck and restaurant area with incredible panoramic views of the Galapagos Islands.

Classic

Coral 1 & 2

The perfect cruise vessels for charter groups where comfort is guaranteed. Equipped with two terraces, a dining area, lounge, library, jacuzzi and restaurant serving Ecuadorian and international cuisine.

Capacity: 36 passengers.

Superior

Sea Star Journey

Boutique yacht offering a wide range of itineraries for those wanting visit the Galapagos Islands in comfort. Featuring 8 air-conditioned suites and spacious social areas with all the luxuries and facilities of a superior first class motor yacht.

Capacity: 16 passengers.

Deluxe

M/V Santa Cruz II

Conceived for operations in remote areas, this state-of-the-art expedition vessel carries just 90 passengers and a crew of 52, including 6 naturalist guides and a medical officer. Facilities include dining/bar/lounge area, boutique/gift shop, Internet access, reading room/natural history library, glass-bottom Boston Whaler, snorkelling equipment and wet suits.

Capacity: 90 passengers.

Deluxe

Pikaia Lodge

A secluded, sustainability-focused hotel nestled on top of an extinct volcano crater, offering luxurious accommodation with an on-site restaurant, infinity pool, spa and lounge bar.

Book this itinerary

This route booked with one of our specialist tour operators would cost from $4,680pp. Pricing varies by accommodation class, and can be tailored to suit your budget.

Pricing is typically inclusive of hotels, transfers, meals, and all guided excursions and activities.

Learn more

Contact us now and we'll connect you with a specialist tour operator with more information on how to tailor and book this itinerary.

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