Tailor-Made Holiday

Boat and Lodge Based Galapagos Islands

Cruise the Galapagos islands by boat and stay in a high-end tented camp

10 days

from £5,670pp (excluding flights)

Visit the colonial city of Quito, cruise around the Galapagos Islands and end relaxing in the highlands of one of the inhabited islands.

  • Watch the sunset over Quito from the roof top terrace of your hotel, overlooking the main plaza
  • Cruise by small boat in the Galapagos Islands, great to maximise time and see the most wildlife
  • Get close to the endemic wildlife, on land with a specialist guide and under water with a snorkel
  • Relax and reflect on the journey in a tented camp in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island


Quito

Start your Ecuador holiday in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Quito, a great place to people watch and get a feel for the vibrancy of South America. Wander at your leisure around the cobbled streets and beautiful colonial buildings. Take a long leisurely lunch or relaxing evening meal in one of the many wonderful restaurants.

Galapagos Islands by Boat

Fly from Ecuador's mainland to the magical islands of the Galapagos, a place that will take your breath away and remain in your memory for life. Spend four nights aboard a small luxury boat, where meals and fully guided excursions with a specialist naturalist guide, are included. Explore the islands in small groups and enjoy how close you really get to the wildlife as it sits and watches as you go past. Discover also the underwater world, with daily snorkelling opportunities where you are likely to come face to face with a playful sea lion or watch a graceful ray glide past.

Wind down time on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

Wind down your holiday in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, staying at the Galapagos Safari Camp. A chance to relax and take in all that you have experienced in the Galapagos Islands.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 5670 £ 950
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Full board meals on the boat
  • Accommodation on B&B basis in Quito & Galapagos Safari Camp
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Galapagos National Park fees
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Madrid

Fly Madrid to Quito


With Pichincha Volcano one side, Machangara Gorge on the other and the equator passing directly through, few can rival Quito's setting. Few also can match the splendour of its old town, with its colonial churches, mansions and plazas.

Quito was named as the first World Cultural Heritage Site in the world by UNESCO in 1978. This historical city sits at 2,850 metres and has the largest and best preserved historic centre and colonial quarters in Latin America.


You will be staying at Casa Gangotena, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Day at leisure in Quito
Wander the cobbled streets of this historic city, visiting Independence Square and its ornate churches. Visit the artisan markets, and spend time in some fascinating museums that include Casa del Alabado, the Guayasamin Museum, and the Intinan Museum. Catch the cable car up Pichincha Volcano at 4,100-metres for stunning views of Quito and the surrounding area, and travel further afield to see the equatorial monument and visit the vibrant market town of Otavalo. Visit the cloud forest and see a myriad of different flora and fauna, have lunch in a traditional hacienda, or journey through the Avenue of the Volcanoes.


You will be staying at Casa Gangotena, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Fly Quito to Baltra


Embark Sea Star
Transfer to the harbour and embark the ship. After lunch, set sail towards Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) on Santa Cruz Island, which takes its name from its healthy population of land iguanas. After landing at a small pier, set off on foot towards a salt water lagoon, which is often frequented by common stilts, pintail ducks and occasionally flamingos. Then take a short walk uphill to a land iguana nesting site. Here, admire the breath-taking views of the bay, before descending for the chance to go swimming.

It was Charles Darwin's 1835 exploration of the Galapagos Islands, whilst serving as a naturalist on HMS Beagle, and his subsequent 1859 publication On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection that first brought the world's attention to these fascinating islands.

Today the Galapagos remain a living laboratory of evolution where birds and animals have no fear of man. Blue-footed boobies, flightless cormorants, land and marine iguanas and giant tortoises roam freely and for anyone with an interest in natural history, wildlife and ecology, a visit to these islands is an unforgettable experience.

Located some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, the archipelago is now a National Park and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There are 13 islands (isles) in total and dozens of smaller islets and rocks - all the result of volcanic activity with exotic plant life, unique wildlife species and an extraordinary landscape fringed with blue sea.


You will be staying at Sea Star Journey, Full board

Day 4

Visit the Red Island Rábida
Visit Black Turtle Cove, which is only accessible by dinghy. Surrounded by three species of mangroves, this picturesque cove is an important nursery site for sea turtles, as well as a nesting site for seabirds. Look out for pelicans, herons and egrets.

After lunch, land at Sombrero Chino, a small islet off the south-eastern coast of Santiago Island. Translating as 'Chinese Hat', the island's name perfectly describes its unique shape. The island features various interesting geological formations, whilst the waters nearby are home to a number of marine species, such as sally lightfoot crabs and sea lions. Have the chance to hike across this rugged terrain and swim amongst tropical fish.


You will be staying at Sea Star Journey, Full board

Day 5

Full day on Genovesa Island
In the morning, land near El Barranco, on Genovesa Island. Also known as 'Prince Phillip's Steps', El Barranco is a steep path with stairs carved into the rock. Trek upwards and out onto a plateau full of birdlife that lies amongst a palo santo forest. Red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves can all be spotted here.

Continue to Darwin Bay Beach, with its soft, coralline white sand. Follow a trail into the lush mangroves, where red-footed boobies nest, and past sea lions playing in tidal pools. Finish with spectacular views over the cliffs. Close to the shore, sharks, colourful reef fish, various rays and tortoises are all commonly spotted.


You will be staying at Sea Star Journey, Full board

Day 6

Bartolome and Santiago Island
Visit Bartolome Island, which sits across from Sullivan Bay. Home to little vegetation, this arid island is renowned for its lunar landscape. Encounter different volcanic formations, including spatter and tuff cones, lava flows and lava tubes. The island's two beaches are home to sea turtles, whilst a penguin colony exists nearby.

After lunch, head towards Santiago Island and land at Sullivan Bay, known for its spectacular volcanic formations and relatively young pahoehoe lava flows. Look out for the few plants that survive here, including the low-lying pioneer plant, known locally as 'mollugo', as well as the lava cactus.


You will be staying at Sea Star Journey, Full board

Day 7

Disembark Sea Star
Follow a trail from Bellavista, up into the highlands of Santa Cruz. Unlike the arid terrain that covers much of the archipelago, this area is rich with lush green vegetation. Scalesia trees dot a landscape of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones. Afterwards, transfer to the airport.

Travel from Baltra to Galapagos Safari Camp


Meet the guide and take a five minute drive to the channel between Baltra and Santa Cruz Island, then a five minute boat ride across. Continue by road crossing Santa Cruz Island, a journey of 40 minutes.


Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos with the majority of the population living mainly in Puerto Ayora. This lively town has a selection of hotels, restaurants, gift shops and is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station.

Aside from humans, the island is home to giant tortoise, sea lions, flamingos, marine iguana, lava heron, boobies and land iguanas. By heading up to the highlands which is surrounded by Scalesia trees, cacti and ferns you will have the opportunity to see the giant tortoise thriving in this lush green scenery. Further north, towards Las Bachas you will find white sandy beaches and if you take a closer look, you’ll see marine iguana and turtle trails on the beach. You may also see the iconic blue footed boobies that tend to stand on the rock edge keeping a look out. Travelling west you will come to Cerro Dragon - one of the only spots in the Galapagos where you will be able to see land iguanas.


You will be staying at Galapagos Safari Camp, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

Galapagos Safari Camp at Leisure
Spend the next few days at Galapagos Safari Camp. Some suggestions of things to do - relax in or around the infinity pool with views across the island, explore around the farm where giant tortoises can be seen as well as a selection of birds. Walk to the viewpoint, the highest point on the fam, a great place for some yoga, a private lunch or sunset cocktails. Guided excursions can also be arranged.


You will be staying at Galapagos Safari Camp, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

Travel from Galapagos Safari Camp to Baltra


Cross Santa Cruz Island from the Galapagos Safari Camp heading north, a 40 minute journey. Reach the channel between Santa Cruz and Baltra, travel the five minutes across by boat, before continuing to the airport by road.

Fly Baltra to Guayaquil

Fly Guayaquil to Madrid overnight

Day 10

Fly Madrid to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Sea Star Journey

Sea Star Journey

Sea Star Journey is a stylish motor boat, measuring 43 metres....

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Casa Gangotena

Casa Gangotena

Casa Gangotena is located in the old town of Quito overlooking Plaza San Francisco, a historic square dating back to Inca times - and later the setting for grand and beautiful mansions....

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Galapagos Safari Camp

Galapagos Safari Camp

The eco-luxury Galapagos Safari Camp is set on a ridge in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, overlooking the National Park, Pacific Ocean and some of the western and northern islands....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Galapagos Islands

James Armitage, Travel Expert

"The help and great knowledge James offered really made the holiday special"

"James listened and managed our expectations and therefore made sure we were prepared for all eventualities when going on our holiday to Brazil"

"James was brilliant and all the advice was spot on."

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John Faithfull, Travel Expert

"Personalised service. Seemed to really want to get it right for us. Very impressed when I first called and John spent 40 minutes finding out what we wanted to do and tailoring it for us."

"The expertise that John has really gave us faith in where we were going, the regions, the hotels, the trips. John knew about it all, he described them in detail, and when we asked for different regions he was straight in there with suggestions and ideas. The way the whole trip was planned and presented to us, never any pressure to book or any problem to change plans /ideas."

"John Faithful was wonderfully helpful and conscientious in arranging the itinerary and was always ready to suggest alternatives or rearrange matters without any hesitation; this and his detailed knowledge gave one great confidence."

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Paul Bird, Travel Expert

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Roxy Dukes, Travel Expert

"Roxy filled us with enthusiasm and came up with some great ideas for a trip. We liked the idea of a slightly 'off the beaten track experience' and some private bespoke activities and that's exactly what we've had. Thank you!"

"Roxy created a wonderfully interesting route which was the basis for a super trip. She also chose lovely places for us to stay and interesting activities for us to participate in, introducing us to the idea of private guided experiences which we thoroughly enjoyed."

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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