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Ecuador & Galápagos...
 

Ecuador & Galápagos Islands Cruise

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

4.7 out of 5 stars

264
Physical activity
turtle swimming through coral reef in the galapagos islands
galapagos tortoise walking down a path
church of the jesuits in quito ecuador
colorful buildings in quito city center in ecuador
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
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Venture into the heart of Ecuador’s societal and natural heritage.

Ecuador puts new meaning behind the saying, “good things come in small packages.” In terms of flora, fauna, and opportunities for viewing unique local wildlife, this South American country runs the gamut. Journey to Quito for a taste of Ecuadorean culture and Spanish colonial history. Then, island hop through the Galápagos, where you’ll move from mangrove swamps to lava flows to sunny shorelines, encountering scores of exotic creatures along the way. End in the indigenous city of Otavalo, famous for its colorful market.

Special departures of this itinerary

Sail from San Cristóbal

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
  • Rábida Island
  • Snorkeling with sea turtles
Read more
Start planning today

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Day-by-day itinerary

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

After your flight, arrive late this evening in Quito and settle into 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
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, fly to the small island of Baltra to board your cruise.

  • Enjoy an included lunch aboard the ship
  • Make a wet landing on Mosquera Islet, which is located between North Seymour and Baltra Island and is one of the smallest islands in the Galápagos
  • Walk along the island’s sandy, barren lava rock covered terrain
  • Relax on the beach or snorkel in the water

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Day 5: Santiago Island & Rabida Island
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a wet landing, you’ll enjoy the western portion of Santiago Island before continuing to Rabida Island.

  • Spend the morning exploring the extensive lava flows and swimming or snorkeling in volcanic rock pools
  • Look for yellow-crowned night herons, starfish, marine iguanas, and fur seals
  • Enjoy an included lunch aboard the ship
  • Transfer to Rabida Island, where the volcanic geology creates red sand beaches
  • Take a dinghy ride along the cliffs to snorkel and observe nesting seabirds

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

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

After a wet landing, begin your exploration of Isabela Island, the largest in the Galápagos archipelago.

  • Snorkel with the sea turtles that swim just off the shore of Urbina Bay
  • See the giant tortoises that live on the slopes of the nearby Alcedo Volcano
  • Enjoy an included lunch aboard the ship
  • Tour Tagus Cove and see the blue-footed boobies that nest there
  • Go on a dinghy ride and enjoy the option of deep sea snorkeling

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Day 7: Espinosa Point & Vicente Roca Point
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s dry landing is at Espinosa Point, formed by lava flows over thousands of years.

  • View the area’s marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and the fearless Galápagos hawk
  • Enjoy an included lunch aboard the ship
  • Take a dinghy ride to Vicente Roca Point and the Bolivar Channel, where you can snorkel with sea lions, sea turtles, and penguins
  • View dolphins and whales that are attracted to the Bolivar Channel by the cold waters of the Cromwell Current (seasonal, June to September)

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.

Show full itinerary
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Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Overall rating 4.7 out of 5

Based on 264 authentic traveler reviews
Sort by

    5 out of 5 stars

    2/12/24 by 1st-time traveler Anonymous

    I thought the guides made the trip for me! They were very nice and patience. They explained everything in detail. I enjoyed seeing all the animals in their natural habitat.

    5 out of 5 stars

    Deluxe and all encompassing
    2/12/24 by 1st-time traveler Cindy

    EF and our director Rodrigo made this trip wonderful. Our days were packed with as many activities as we wanted to participate in. We learned so much about Ecuador and saw all of the wildlife imaginable. The accommodations were top notch and the service staff on the ship was extremely attentive. ...

    Read more +
    EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 2/26/24

    Hi Cindy Thank you for sharing your feedback abou...

    Read more +

    4 out of 5 stars

    Fun trips to interesting places
    2/12/24 by 2nd-time traveler Anonymous

    Just got back from the Ecuador & Galápagos Islands 10 day trip. Very fun & the animals & birds were very interesting. Can’t find some anywhere else in the world! I saw penguins, giant tortoises, fur seals, blue footed boobies, marine iguanas, flamingos, sea lions and many other birds & fish! Th...

    Read more +
    EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 2/23/24

    Hello Thank you for sharing your wonderful experi...

    Read more +
    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.

    Hotels

    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 +
    Wyndham Quito Airport
    Wyndham Quito Airport

    This contemporary hotel is located in the Tababela neighborhood outside of Quito. Guests enjoy a fitness center, spa, and free Wi-Fi. Nearby, you’ll f...

    Read more +
    Manto Hotel Lima
    Manto Hotel Lima

    This elegant boutique hotel is located in Lima. Guests enjoy the on-site restaurant and bar, terrace and city views. Nearby you’ll find the Larcomar, ...

    Read more +
    Hilton Garden Inn Cusco
    Hilton Garden Inn Cusco

    This contemporary hotel is located in Santa Ana. Guests enjoy courtyard yoga, Wi-Fi, and a 24-hour market. Nearby, you'll find Plaza de Armas, Quirika...

    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 +

    Flights

    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

    FAQ

    Print FAQ

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