- Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands
Experience the unique wildlife encounters that inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution as you tour spectacular Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Get unusually close to sunbathing iguanas, playful sea lion pups and male frigate birds as your yacht sails among the isles of this volcanic archipelago. Enjoy the region's natural beauty as you swim with turtles and reef sharks and take in its urban wonders on city tours of Quito and Guayaquil.
Depart London on your scheduled flight to Quito, via Bogota.
On arrival in Quito, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Take in the breath-taking mountain backdrop of the highest capital city in the world as you enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Breakfast & Lunch
In the morning enjoy a half day walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the historic old town awaits. Visiting Independence Square, stop at the Cathedral and Presidential Palace before passing the church of La Compania and San Francisco. Finishing at El Panecillo Hill, here you will have panoramic views over the capital city whilst enjoying a well-deserved lunch. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure or take an optional trip to the equator monument.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Fly to the Galapagos Islands for 4 nights of yachting around this archipelago, known for its unrivalled number of endemic animal species. An afternoon excursion takes you to the Galapagos Interpretation Centre, where you will learn more about the islands' history. A walk up nearby Tijeretas Hill offers magnificent views. Return to the yacht for the night.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Visit the white coral beaches of Espanola Island and watch the sea lions, marine iguanas and birds on the shore. Swim or snorkel in these warm waters for the chance to spot manta rays, reef sharks and other marine life. In the afternoon, spot endemic wildlife on a hike to Suarez Point and 'Soplador', a seaward blowhole. Return to the yacht for the night.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Visit Floreana Island, where a wooden barrel installed in the 1700s serves as an informal post office. Drop off a postcard in the hopes that some other traveller will deliver it to its destination, then enjoy a morning of swimming and snorkelling on the beach. This afternoon, hike to a flamingo-filled lagoon and a large sea turtle nesting site. Return to the beach for some swimming and snorkelling before boarding the yacht again.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn more about its giant tortoise breeding program then wander the town of Puerto Ayora and shop for souvenirs. A drive through the surrounding highlands takes you from the coast to dense, humid forests, giving you ample opportunity to spot wildlife and birds. Later, visit the stunning sand cove of Ballena Bay for time to relax on the beach.
This morning transfer to the airport and flight to the city of Guayaquil.
Tour the picturesque port city of Guayaquil, strolling along the Malecon 2000, an impressive boardwalk overlooking the Guayas River. You will then visit the colourful hillside neighbourhood of Las Penas. Continue on to Parque Bolivar, known locally as Iguana Park for the many iguanas that bask on its lawns. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure or take an optional excursion to Parque Historico, a thematic open-air park.
Enjoy a free morning before you are transferred to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Keith Stannard26 Jun 19
good standard of hotels throughout tour
David Lowe09 Oct 18
Thank you for a lovely holiday and a great experience.
A visa is not required for entry into Ecuador for UK passport holders. Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities & for general queries. We strongly advise you check with your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding required passport validity.
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your flight is to Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito with Avianca (AV), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 2. Baggage allowance (per person): Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage plus one item of hand luggage providing the exterior dimensions (height length width) do not exceed 115cm and 10kg in weight. Weight restrictions will be finalised on your e-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Heathrow Airport advises that check-in should be three hours before your flight departure time. IMPORTANT: Please note that final flight details will be confirmed on your final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure. A printed E-ticket is no longer required at check-in, all you need to do is present your passport to the staff at the desk and your boarding pass will be given to you.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves moderate days of walking on uneven paths and small hills, and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 2, and the maximum will be 30. If in the unlikely event there are less than 2 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.t be suitable.
You will have different guides in Quito, Galapagos and Guayaquil, please note you won't have a Tour Leader who accompanies you throughout the journey.
The currency in Ecuador is the US Dollar We recommend that you exchange your currency before you leave the UK.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any meals where these are not mentioned on your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, drinks and snacks. Approximately $250 per person should be sufficient for the duration of your tour. Please also bear in mind that there will be several shopping opportunities throughout your tour. Tipping is at your discretion; however, we would recommend approximately: For mainland: Guide $6 pp / per day; Driver $4 pp /per day. For Galapagos: Crew 15pp/per day; Guide $10pp/per day and Barman $5pp/per day. Tips are accepted in the local currency (US Dollars), however it is asked that if you do not tip in the local currency that you only pay with notes, as coins cannot be exchanged. As normal practice you may be asked for your credit card details on check-in at the hotel/cruise in order to cover any extras incurred during your stay. If you do not have a credit card, you may be asked for a cash deposit. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted in hotels.