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Ecuador & Galápagos...

Ecuador & Galápagos Islands Cruise: San Cristóbal to Santa Cruz

10 days |  16 days with Peru extension
10 days |  16 days with Peru extension
Group size1535 travelers

4.9 out of 5 stars

Physical activity
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
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Get to the heart of Ecuador’s cultural and natural heritage.

If you think good things come in small packages, Ecuador’s the best present of all. Introduce yourself to this South American country on this version of our Ecuador & Galápagos Islands Cruise. Begin in its UNESCO-listed capital of Quito, replete with remnants of Spanish colonial rule, before departing from San Cristóbal for an island-hopping expedition through the Galápagos. Wrap up with a visit to the indigenous city of Otavalo, then extend your trip into Peru—if you’re feeling adventurous.

Your tour package includes

  • 4 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 4 nights aboard the M/V Galápagos Legend cruise ship
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 5 dinners
Read more

Included highlights

  • Cerro Panecillo
  • Old Quarter Quito
  • La Compañía
  • Gardner Bay
  • Floreana Island
Read more
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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Quito3 nights
Day 1: Flight & late-night arrival in Quito

Welcome to Ecuador! Arrive in Quito late this evening and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Quito
Included meals: Breakfast, Welcome lunch

Today, embark on a guided sightseeing tour of Quito.

  • Drive up Cerro Panecillo hill for views of the city and surrounding volcanoes
  • Sit down to enjoy an included welcome lunch
  • Marvel at the neo-Gothic Basilica of the National Vow
  • Enjoy a walking tour of the Old Town, passing by the Legislative Palace, Independence Square, and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito
  • Enter La Compañía, the city’s Baroque church, to view its gold leaf interior
  • Step inside the 16th-century Monastery of San Francisco
Day 3: Free day in Quito
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Quito or add an excursion.

Antisana Ecological Park & Hacienda Lunch

From $149 per person

Galápagos Islands4 nights
Day 4: Galápagos cruise & San Cristóbal
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fly to San Cristóbal, the easternmost island of the Galápagos, to board your cruise this morning.

  • Enjoy an included lunch aboard the ship
  • Disembark and hike to San Cristóbal’s Frigatebird Hill for views of the bay, as well as birding opportunities to see the tropical frigatebirds

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Day 5: Española Island
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, visit Española Island to explore one of the most picture-perfect beaches that the Galápagos has to offer.

  • Relax on the white sand beaches and snorkel in the shallow waters just off the shore of Gardner Bay
  • Get up-close to the friendly Galápagos sea lions who call the island home
  • Look out for mockingbirds, finches, marine life, and more
  • Enjoy an included lunch
  • Visit Punta Suarez, on the western edge of the island, which is a wildlife hub for boobies, albatross, sea lions, iguanas, and more

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Day 6: Floreana Island
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Floreana has something for both history lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.

  • Stop at Post Office Bay to visit the oldest operating post office in the Pacific, where whalers used to leave letters to be picked up by returning voyagers
  • Enjoy an included lunch
  • See flamingos feeding in the lagoon, diamond stingrays swimming offshore, and green sea turtles exploring their nesting grounds in Punta Cormorant
  • Explore the volcanic shore of Devil’s Crown and snorkel for the chance to see yellowtailed surgeonfish, creolefish, turtles, spotted eagle rays, parrotfish, and hammerhead sharks
  • Put on your snorkel and hit the water to get up close to green turtles, harmless whitetip reef sharks, and lots of fish in Champion Islet

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Day 7: Santa Cruz Island
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Your day on Santa Cruz Island is all about wildlife and the sensation of being somewhere very few people have ever been.

  • Pass a brackish lagoon with your guide and keep your eyes peeled for shore birds and flamingos
  • Walk through dry zone vegetation before reaching Dragon Hill, where you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the neighboring islands and spot land iguanas
  • Enjoy an included lunch aboard your ship
  • Relax on the powdery beach at Punta Bowditch during a visit to this recently opened area of the Galápagos
  • Explore the salt pools and white coral that surround the water islet

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Otavalo1 night
Day 8: Transfer to Otavalo via Quito
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Disembark the ship to further explore Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos before making your way to Otavalo, a market town in the Andes Mountains.

  • Journey to the Santa Cruz highlands, northwest of Puerto Ayora, to visit a giant tortoise nature reserve
  • Walk through the humid forest landscape to see these slow-moving reptiles in action
  • Return to Baltra and board your flight back to Quito on the mainland

Celebrate your trip at a farewell dinner this evening.

Overnight Flight1 night
Day 9: Otavalo market visit & departure
Included meal: Breakfast

Visit the Otavalo market to browse the stalls, shop for indigenous crafts, and attend a local weaving demonstration. Then, stop to view the Quitsato Sundial, a monument located on the equator, where you’ll view a demonstration of equatorial effects.

Afterward, relax in a dayroom before boarding your flight home late tonight or early tomorrow morning.

Please note: If you’re traveling on the tour extension to Peru, you will overnight in Quito.

Arrive Home
Day 10: Arrival home

Please note: Due to varying flight schedules, some travelers may depart on the morning of day 10, arriving home later that evening.

Extension to Peru
Fly to Lima to experience the best Peru has to offer—and, yep, that includes Machu Picchu. Continue your trip to see the legacy of the conquistadors and uncover the Lost City of the Inca, all with your expert Tour Director at your side.
Quito1 night
Day 9: Otavalo market visit
Included meal: Breakfast

After your visit to Otavalo market, enjoy a free afternoon in Quito.

Lima1 night
Day 10: Flight to Lima
Included meal: Breakfast

Fly to Lima, Peru this morning and get settled in to your hotel.

Cuzco2 nights
Day 11: Flight to Cuzco & folklore show
Included meal: Breakfast

Fly to Cuzco and spend free time getting acclimatized to the city’s high elevation.

Tonight, get a taste of Peruvian cuisine during an included dinner as you watch a traditional folklore show featuring indigenous dances from around the country.

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Cuzco
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Set out on a sightseeing tour of Cuzco, the UNESCO-recognized ancient capital of the Inca Empire.

  • Stroll through ruins at Kenko, the “red fortress” of Puca Pucara and Sacsayhuaman, which was once completely covered in gold
  • View the towering Cristo Blanco statue, a thank-you gift from the Palestinian refugees who took shelter in the city during World War II
  • Stop at the colonial-era Plaza de Armas to enter Cuzco Cathedral
  • Walk through the city center and step inside the Convent of Santo Domingo, built by the Spaniards where the Inca temple of Koricancha stood

Spend a free evening in Cuzco or add an excursion.

Peruvian Cooking Demonstration & Dinner

From $175 per person

Machu Picchu1 night
Day 13: Aguas Calientes via the Sacred Valley
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, you’ll transfer to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. First, make a stop in the Sacred Valley to see the sights.

  • Peruse the colorful stalls of the wide-open Pisac Market, where you’ll find local fare and traditional crafts on display
  • Enjoy an included lunch in Urubamba
  • Continue to the ancient Ollantaytambo ruins to explore still-standing Incan homes
  • Board a train to Aguas Calientes

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Please note: Travelers must submit full passport details by Tour Finalization Date or risk being denied entry to Machu Picchu due to scarcity of tickets and daily entrance restrictions.

Cuzco1 night
Day 14: Sightseeing tour of Machu Picchu & train to Cuzco
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

On today’s guided tour, you’ll uncover the lost city of Machu Picchu, one of the most spectacular archaeological sites on the entire South American continent.

  • Tour the ruins of the ceremonial center, cultivation terraces and guard house
  • Visit Funeral Rock, the Main Temple, Temple of the Three Windows, Chamber of Ornaments, the Sacred Plaza, the Intihuatana stone, the Temple of the Sun, the Rock Quarry, the Ritual Fountains and the Condor Temple
  • Enjoy an included lunch before taking a scenic train ride back to Cuzco for the night
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 15: Flight to Lima, sightseeing tour & departure
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell lunch

Fly to Lima this morning. Then, enjoy a farewell lunch before setting out on a guided tour, which highlights Lima's modern and colonial quarters.

  • Visit the Miraflores district and Parque del Amor
  • View Plaza Mayor and the Municipal Palace in Lima’s historic center
  • Enter the Cathedral of Lima and descend into the catacombs below the Church of San Francisco

Later, relax in a dayroom before boarding your overnight flight home.

Arrive Home
Day 16: Arrival in the U.S.

Arrive home.

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4.9 out of 5 stars

Overall rating 4.9 out of 5

Based on 7 authentic traveler reviews
Sort by

    5 out of 5 stars

    Galápagos Legend was Legendary !
    7/24/23 by 1st-time traveler Teresa

    Words cannot express how my time on and off the Galápagos Legend meant to me! The entire journey was a spiritual experience for me!

    5 out of 5 stars

    7/24/23 by 1st-time traveler Alex

    First ever tour with GoAhead and I loved everything about it. Rodrigo our guide was great, the activities were exquisite from hiking to snorkeling, to the awesome cruise around the unique Galapagos islands.

    5 out of 5 stars

    Wonderful trip
    7/25/22 by 9th-time traveler Susan

    Excellent from start to finish

    Show more reviews

    Traveler photos

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    Mercure Alameda Quito
    Mercure Alameda Quito

    This contemporary hotel is located in La Mariscal district of Quito. Guests enjoy two restaurants, a wine bar, a fitness center, and free Wi-Fi. Nearb...

    Read more +
    Galapagos Legend
    Galapagos Legend

    This boutique cruise ship sails in the waters around the Galápagos Islands. Guests enjoy a pool and jacuzzi, gym, and stargazing area. Nearby, you’ll ...

    Read more +
    Hosteria Hacienda Pinsaqui
    Hosteria Hacienda Pinsaqui

    An hour and a half north of Quito, Hacienda Pinsaqui is ideally located at the foot of Imbabura volcano and in the heart of the province of lakes in E...

    Read more +
    Jose Antonio Deluxe Lima
    Jose Antonio Deluxe Lima

    This comfortable hotel is located by the University of Piura. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, a gym, and outdoor pool. Nearby, you’ll find Parque Central de ...

    Read more +
    Hotel Jose Antonio Cuzco
    Hotel Jose Antonio Cuzco

    This comfortable hotel is located in Cusco's Main Square. Guests enjoy the sauna, on-site restaurant, and terrace. Nearby you'll find Cusco Cathedral,...

    Read more +
    El MaPi by Inkaterra
    El MaPi by Inkaterra

    This contemporary hotel is located in Aguas Calientes. Guests enjoy Wi-Fi, a bar, and laundry service. Nearby, you'll find Machu Picchu, Phuyupatamarc...

    Read more +


    Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
    Add our airfare package and you'll get:
    • Round-trip flight for your tour
    • Airport transfers at your destination
    • A great price locked in today
    • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
    • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
    • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
    • Find out more about flights


    Print FAQ

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