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Our tour to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is your chance to experience one-of-a-kind wildlife watching. Choose this tour for access to one of the most exclusive and premier travel destinations in the world.
Depart London on your scheduled flight to Quito where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
In the morning 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.
Fly to Baltra Island this morning where you will be met and transferred to Santa Cruz via a short ferry crossing. After a welcome drink and a leisurely lunch, your guide will take you to see the island's famed giant tortoises. These gentle giants roam freely between the national parks and boast lifespans of over a hundred years. Next visit the lava tunnels; formed by rivers of fast flowing liquid lava, a walk through these passageways will take you on an exciting journey back in time to the very formation of these volcanic islands.
Today, take a boat trip out to one of the bio-diverse Galapagos isles. Here you have the opportunity to view a selection of wildlife the islands are so revered for. Spot iguanas lazing in the shade of cacti, blue-footed boobies and sea lions perched on top of rocky outcroppings or frigate birds showing off their vibrant red pouches. Before lunch get a sea lion's view of these magnificent creatures and other marine life such as sea turtles, rays and tropical fish as you snorkel around the bay.
After breakfast, journey on foot through arid, aromatic forests that hug the spectacular white sandy coastline of Tortuga Bay to arrive at hidden blue lagoons. These natural pools are perfect for swimming or snorkelling in or rent a kayak and paddle close to white tip sharks, turtles and schools of rays on the tranquil lagoon of Playa Mansa.
Embark on another boat trip to a different island today to enjoy more wildlife spotting and snorkelling.
Start today with a stop at Cascajo, a breathtaking viewpoint where you can witness a phenomenal panoramic view of Santa Cruz and other islands of the archipelago. Descend onto Garrapatero beach where you can observe flamingos, frigates, mockingbirds and blue-footed boobies. In the afternoon you have the chance to be part of a volunteer program to plant a tree and leave your own eco-signature in these enchanted lands.
Returning to Baltra Island, you will catch a flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city. Transfer to your hotel and have the rest of the day at leisure.
Embark on a guided morning walk of the city. Starting at the Malecon 2000, an impressive boardwalk overlooking the Guayas River, you will then visit the picturesque neighbourhood of Las Penas before strolling down Avenue 9 de Octubre, the main downtown district. Finish at Parque Bolivar, one of the only parks in the world to have land iguanas.
Transfer to Guayaquil airport for your flight back to the UK.
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.
You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Holidays is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:
|Age in Years||Up to 64||65 - 74||75 - 85|
|Up to 17 days cover||£42||£79||£135|
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.
All flights are operated by LAN TAM airlines. Each passenger is entitled to 23kgs of hold luggage and hand luggage not exceeding 55cm x 40cm x 20cm in size. Flight times are for guidance only & subject to change.
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 passengers on your tour will be 10 and the maximum number of passengers will be 35. If in the unlikely event your tour does not reach the minimum passenger numbers, then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not 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.
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Price||Book Now|
|03 Dec 2017||13 Dec 2017||£3295pp||Book Now|
Unfortunately, we do not have any places with no single supplements on this tour. However, if you are happy to share with another passenger of the same gender, then let us know at the time of booking and we will endeavour to find you a travelling partner. Alternatively, please ask about our single supplement prices in order to book your own twin room.
Please note that the Charles Darwin Station is currently partially closed. The Santa Cruz is still offering the excursion as to Charles Darwin Station as there are some sections still open to the public. The Santa Cruz is also offering various other optional excursion as a replacement should clients not want to participate in the visit.
Travel Advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information you can visit their website at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Weather and Climate
Please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
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