Monday-Friday:9:00am - 9:00pm
Saturday:9:00am - 8:00pm
Sunday:10:00am - 9:00pm

Escorted Tours

Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

  • Route:
  • London
  • Quito
  • Cruise of the Galapagos Islands
  • Guayaquil
  • London
11 DAYS from £3845pp

Tour Highlights

  • 5 night cruise of the Galapagos Islands
  • Quito & Guayaquil City tour
  • See giant tortoises, penguins, sea lions & more
  • Charles Darwin Research Station & Darwin Lake
Book Now

or call us on 0800 781 4893

Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

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.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: UK to Quito, Ecuador

Depart London on your scheduled flight to Quito, via Madrid, Spain.

    Day 2: Quito

    Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.

      Day 3: Quito

      After breakfast your guide will pick you up from the hotel to commence a half day walking tour of the historic Old Town of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your guide will lead you through Independence Square, stopping at the awe-inspiring Cathedral and Presidential Palace. Next admire the church of La Compania, then on to the church of San Francisco whose atrium runs from one side of the square to the other. Your tour then takes you to the summit of El Panecillo Hill, meaning 'the little bread loaf' which is the perfect location for a panoramic view of this memorable capital city over a well deserved lunch. You will then be returned to your hotel where the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

      • Breakfast & Lunch

      Day 4: Quito to The Galapagos Islands

      In the morning you will be transferred to the airport for your domestic flight to Baltra Island, then taken via speedboat to board the deluxe MV Santa Cruz ship. Holding just 90 passengers, this ship was built exclusively for touring these islands and once on board you will receive an introductory welcome briefing, a safety drill and lunch. No time is wasted as you disembark the ship in the afternoon on North Seymour Island for your first glimpse of the island's wildlife. Moving past prickly pear cacti and a tiny forest of silver Palo Santo trees you will chance upon colonies of blue footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds, swallow tailed gulls as well as sea lions and marine iguanas. Guests are divided into small groups of no more than 15 with their own expert 'naturalist' guide.

      • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

      Day 5: The Galapagos Islands

      Today you will start by exploring the coast by a small boat known as a panga, whilst your guide explains the dramatic geology of the area and the nesting place for the flightless cormorants, whose wings no longer function for flight but has evolved instead to swim and dive for its prey, propelling itself by powerful kicks. Depending on weather conditions, you may be able to snorkel alongside the cliffs, rich in marine life with the chance to swim amongst green sea turtles and gigantic Mola Mola, the world's largest bony fish. After lunch back on board and a little time to relax, the afternoon is dedicated to exploring the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina, which having had no introduced mammals, boasts a very unique environment with an unusually high density of marine iguanas. Other sightings may include the wildly bright Sally light-foot crabs, hordes of penguins and waved albatrosses too.

      • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

      Day 6: The Galapagos Islands

      Following breakfast, you will arrive on the northwest of Isabela Island, at Tagus Cove. A gentle uphill hike takes you to the edge of Darwin Lake, a crater filled with salt water supposedly caused by a tidal wave when a volcano erupted centuries ago. A panga ride will then take you to spot local wildlife and provides another opportunity to swim and snorkel with multi-coloured tropical fish and marine life. After a break for lunch, you will continue on to Urbina Bay, the fascinating result of an uplifting of the ocean floor back in 1954. Those wishing to snorkel will have the chance to swim with the exceptionally fast flightless cormorants and playful penguins, dipping and diving around you. Others may prefer to remain on land, perhaps spotting a giant tortoise or vibrant-coloured Galapagos land iguana.

      • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

      Day 7: The Galapagos Islands

      In the morning you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station located on Santa Cruz Island. Charles Darwin arrived in 1835, and was so inspired that he wrote his most famed 'The Origin of The Species' and set up his headquarters for scientific investigation and conservation. The highlight here is the giant tortoise breeding centre where you can explore a walk-in adult tortoise enclosure to come face-to-face with these famed Galapagos giants. You will then be taken to enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island before embarking on an afternoon of activities depending on your preference. Choose from mountain biking, kayaking or a hike to discover the flora and fauna.

      • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

      Day 8: The Galapagos Islands

      Your final day amongst these captivating islands takes you to the volcanic isle of Floreana. Your group will explore the north shore by foot, perhaps spotting flamingos, pelicans and other birds. In the afternoon your final excursion will either be on a glass - bottom boat or a panga for those wishing to explore the underwater wonders with their snorkel and mask. You'll be taken to Champion Islet, known as one of the best snorkelling spots in the archipelago then on to Cormorant Point to walk alongside the lagoon where pintail ducks, common stilts, herons and greater flamingos gather. Enjoy your final dinner on board as the sun sets over some of the most mystical and fascinating islands on planet Earth.

      • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

      Day 9: Galapagos Islands to Guayaquil

      The cruise ship will return to Baltra Island where you will disembark and be transferred to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest and most populated city. Your guide will accompany you to your hotel which is centrally located in the heart of the tourist and commercial district. The rest of the day will be at leisure.

      • Breakfast & Light Snack

      Day 10: Guayaquil

      After breakfast your guide will meet you to begin a half day walking tour of the city. Guayaquil is situated on the Guayas River, and has undergone considerable development over recent years, reflected in the numerous modern shopping centres and happening eateries nestled amongst revitalized squares and parks. You will be led down the Malecon 2000, an impressive boardwalk overlooking the Guayas River, then visit the picturesque neighbourhood of Las Penas which looks like a cross between a Mexican and Greek fishing village. Stroll down Avenue 9 de Octubre, the main downtown thoroughfare and shopping district and arrive at Parque Bolivar, one of the only parks in the world to have land iguanas, some measuring over a metre in length. The tour will end here and lunch will be served in a local restaurant. The rest of the day will be at leisure.

      • Breakfast

      Day 11: Guayaquil to the UK

      Transfer to Guayaquil airport for your flight to the UK.

      • Breakfast
      Your Meals
      • Included Breakfast will always be served at your accommodation each morning during the tour.
      • Included Lunch and Dinner, where included, will be served in local restaurants or at your accommodation.

      Included in the Price

      • Included Fully Escorted Tour with local English Speaking Guides throughout
      • Included Scheduled Flights from the UK.
      • Included All internal travel including air-conditioned/heated transportation.
      • Included Accommodation, meals as specified and entry fees to all sights.
      • Included All airport taxes and security charges.

      Important Information

      Visas

      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.

      Insurance

      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 YearsUp to 6465 - 7475 - 85
      Up to 17 days cover£42£79£135

      For all persons 86 years and over, please contact us for insurance prices. 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.

      Payment

      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.

      Flight Information

      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.

      Health and Vaccinations

      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.

      Physical Accessibility

      This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves 2 half days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches. You will also disembark boats sometimes with a rough sea. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties or disabled people.

      Group Size

      The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10 & the maximum will be 30. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date 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.

      Tour Guide

      This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival & will have a guide with you throughout the duration of your trip, ensuring you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

      Currency Information

      The currency in Ecuador is the US Dollar. Cash machines are available in Quito & Guayaquil but there will not be a chance to exchange currency during your cruise.

      Personal Expenses

      You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any drinks and personal purchases such as souvenirs, laundry, and any extra snacks. If you would like to hire a wetsuit on the cruise this is available for approximately $18. Approximately £400-£500 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour.

      Tour Dates & Prices

      Depart UKArrive UKPriceBook Now
      2017 Dates
      26 Mar 201705 Apr 2017£3995ppBook
      23 Apr 201703 May 2017£3995ppBook
      04 Jun 201714 Jun 2017£3995ppBook
      27 Aug 201706 Sep 2017£3995ppBook
      10 Sep 201720 Sep 2017£3995ppBook
      24 Sep 201704 Oct 2017£3995ppBook
      08 Oct 201718 Oct 2017£3995ppBook
      05 Nov 201715 Nov 2017£3995ppBook
      19 Nov 201729 Nov 2017£3945ppBook
      03 Dec 201713 Dec 2017£3845ppBook

      Travelling alone?

      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.

      Charles Darwin Station

      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.

      Download Tour Dossier - 2016

      Download Tour Dossier - 2017

      Fact File

      • Minimum temperature: 17°C
      • Maximum temperature: 31°C

      Here to help

      • Get in touch with one of our experts on Ecuador and Galapagos
      • 0800 781 4893 (free)
      • 0333 321 3144(mobile friendly)
      • Request a call back

      Hotels and Accommodation

      Dann Carlton Hotel

      Dann Carlton Hotel

      MV Santa Cruz Ship

      MV Santa Cruz Ship

      Unipark Hotel

      Unipark Hotel

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