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Ecuador 
The Wonders of the Galápagos - Overview
DATES & COST 

January 3 - 10, 2023 (8 Days / 7 Nights)
This tour starts and ends in Quito. 

$5,200 per person / double occupancy
$1,980 optional single supplement
$960 optional balcony cabin upgrade (single or double)
Additional night in Quito: $300 twin or single room (includes airport transfer)
Includes all fees and taxes

This tour can be combined with the Nature's Paradise of Costa Rica tour (January 11 - 20, 2023)

TWO SPACES LEFT (SINGLE OR SHARED)

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE 
  • 3 nights at a modern luxury hotel in Quito, in the upscale Floresta neighborhood, in the heart of Quito; 4 nights on a small luxury cruise ship, M/V Galápagos Legend, sailing around the enchanted Galápagos Islands
  • Delicious meals: 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners, including drinks
  • Private airport transfers on arrival and on departure
  • In-depth guided tour of Quito's Old Town, focusing on its Spanish colonial history
  • TeleferiQo up the Pichincha Volcano, touring the Middle of the World Monument on the Equator and the Solar Intinan Museum
  • All transportation in Quito by a private, air-conditioned bus
  • Round trip flight from Quito to Baltra in the Galápagos Islands, including all taxes and fees
  • Certified naturalist-led boat trips, walks and lectures in the Galápagos Islands
  • Snorkeling and outdoor activities in the Galápagos
  • Galápagos Migration Control Card
  • Galápagos National Parks Fee
  • All sightseeing fees and admissions, as per itinerary
  • All restaurants', guides' and drivers' gratuities in Quito
  • Private local guides and an experienced Tour Director
NON INCLUDED

Additional/optional costs may include: travel insurance, optional single room/cabin supplement, optional balcony cabin upgrade, optional early hotel check-in, any required Covid-19 related testing, optional ship crew gratuity, optional Tour Director's gratuities, meals not included in the itinerary, WiFi Internet on the cruise ship; telephone charges, laundry, minibar, and personal expenses.

The tour cost does not include airfare to and from the tour’s location.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • The fascinating, full of contrasts Quito, the capital of Ecuador
  • Riding the TeleferiQo up the side of the Pichincha Volcano
  • Visitng the Middle of the World Monument and Solar Intinan Museum
  • Sailing around six Galápagos islands on a luxury cruise ship
  • Learning about Darwin's Theory of Evolution right where it was conceived
  • Black lava fields and white coral beaches of the Santiago Island
  • Getting up close to the prehistoric iguanas, giant land tortoises, exotic birds and Galápagos seals in their native habitat
  • Swimming and snorkeling among tropical fish, manta rays, sea lions, swordfish and sea turtles
  • Watching the antics of the Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, flamingoes, Frigate birds, Sally Light food crabs and penguins
  • Visiting the Santa Cruz Highlands with their high population of giant tortoises
Testimonials 

Everything was great, loved the land excursions in the Galapagos. The last day was fabulous, sea lions, boobies, penguins, everything up close. Enjoyed our tour of Quito at the start of the trip, too. Sights and Soul provides the best in small group travel – I am constantly amazed at the lovely accommodations as well as excellent cuisine. Great bang for the buck. - Marcia from Tennessee

I enjoy the Sights and Souls tours – there is a lot packed into a day. Accommodations are always excellent and well located. Tour guides in the cities and sights visited are top notch and well informed. Just a pleasant, easy way to travel – especially when traveling solo. - Sherry from Kansas

Everything about the Galapagos was amazing! The wildlife was fantastic, especially all the amazing birds. S&S always does a great job with accommodation, food, logistics, etc., and this was no exception. – Andrea from Wisconsin

As always – good time, great accommodations and meals. Galapagos is like nowhere else! – Sally Ann from Ohio

The tour was complete and well planned. Exquisite, life long memories. The visits to the islands were beyond description – beautiful vistas, the seals, penguins and blue footed bobby birds! – Elaine from Florida

I totally appreciated how everything was taken care of and how wonderful we were treated. I enjoyed the women in the group. Everything about the Galapagos was amazing! – Susan from Massachusetts

I have NOTHING negative to say; it was 100% perfect! – Rachel from British Columbia

The dream trip of a lifetime! - Marina from Newfoundland

The tour was wonderful, start to finish. – Cathy from Virginia

The Galapagos Tour was the trip of a lifetime. A dream made real. The accommodation at the hotel in Quito and also on the Legend vessel was wonderful, and the food was superior, especially that breakfast buffet at the Swissotel! The tour leader was efficient and kind and catered to our best interests at all times. I am happy to have had the opportunity to travel with Sights and Soul once again. Many thanks. - Marina from Newfoundland

Great trip which was on my bucket list. Also great value, and more affordable than the $10,000 trips you generally see advertised. Including a couple of days in Quito was a great way to add some balance with the old colonial heritage mixed with the nature/ecological part of the trip. – Christine from Ontario, Canada

I can always count on your tours for great accommodations and food and fabulous tour directors. – Cheryl from California

The tour of Ecuador and Galapagos was a dream of a lifetime! Our tour leader, Kerry was super organized and knowledgeable; just a warm, wonderful person. Everything ran smoothly and I felt like I came away with terrific memories and great new friends – Teresa from Pennsylvania 

Tour Director
Marina Rossow

Visiting the Galápagos Islands is a life-changing experience, and the magic and mystery of the islands will inspire you to think differently about the world. This isolated group of volcanic islands sprinkled 620 miles off Ecuador’s coast in the Pacific Ocean, has taken on almost mythological status as a showcase of biodiversity which inspired Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. With the lack of natural predators, the friendly Galápagos animals are completely fearless of humans, and this is perhaps the only place in the world, where you can see the wildlife so close-up: gigantic sea tortoises walk next to you, the blue-footed booby performs its mating dance right in front of you and sea lions do figure eights as you snorkel past. Most of the islands are devoid of vegetation and it is this lunar landscape, one of the most amazing places on Earth, that supports the fragile ecosystem offering such truly unique experiences. The enchanted Galápagos Islands comprise a mysterious landscape of wonder, beauty, and the most unusual wildlife found anywhere on Earth.

The focus of the tour is the abundant biodiversity and the geological wonders of the enchanted Galápagos Islands, but we will also spend two days exploring Ecuador's capital of Quito, getting an appreciation for its fascinating colonial history, its people and its culture. While the Galápagos Islands will make you feel like you’ve journeyed off the map, the experience of visiting Quito is very much grounded on Earth. The city is a geographical contrast: located at 10,000 feet and flanked by gorgeous snowcapped mountains, it is only 11 miles from the Equator. It also offers surreal visual contrasts: the Colonial Old Town, filled with gothic and baroque Spanish churches, is lined with gleaming skyscrapers and modern architecture. This visual drama of the city sets the stage for the wonders of the rest of the country.

Click on the image to enlarge the map

After two days spent touring Quito, we'll fly to the Galápagos Islands, and board M/V Galápagos Legend to spend 5 days cruising around six of the islands, made famous by Charles Darwin, as we learn about their uniqueness from a highly qualified and diverse team of experts. The magnificent M/V Galápagos Legend is a newly refurbished ship, outfitted with a fleet of Zodiacs, a glass-bottom boat, and snorkeling gear. It is small enough for an intimate experience, yet offers the little luxuries that our travelers expect: a spacious library and lecture rooms, a bar and a restaurant, a pool, a jacuzzi and a running track. During the cruise, we'll explore the varied marine life and the rich flora and fauna, as we wake up to a new vista each day.

We'll see prehistoric iguanas, giant tortoises, exotic birds, plants, beautiful landscapes of volcanoes, lava cones and magma flows. We'll swim and snorkel in the warm clear waters among tropical fish, manta rays, sea lions, swordfish, sea turtles and other marine wildlife. We'll watch the antics of Blue-footed Boobies and observe the beauty of Nazca Boobies, flamingos, and Frigate birds. We'll get up close to sea lions, seals, Sally Lightfoot crabs, iguana, penguins, and giant land tortoises in their native habitat, where Darwin developed his research on evolution. We'll enjoy two shore excursions daily, as well as lectures explaining the geology, history, evolution, flora and fauna of the islands.

Click on the image to enlarge the map

WHAT MAKES THIS TOUR SPECIAL
  • Accommodation at the centrally located, upscale hotel in Quito, Ecuador
  • Luxury expedition ship in the Galápagos Islands with Junior Suites accommodations
  • A private guide and driver for an extended itinerary in Quito
  • Inclusion of the domestic flights in Ecuador
  • Inclusion of the Galápagos Migration Control Card and the Galápagos National Parks Fee
  • Inclusion of drinks throughout the tour
  • Knowledgeable and experienced Tour Director
  • Exclusive experiences, not available to larger groups
  • A small group of maximum 15 women