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Download Galapagos and Ecuador - Onboard the Coral Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Quito
You will be met on arrival at Quito Airport and transfered to our Quito hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Quito.
Day 2: Quito
Explore the bustling streets and squares of the largest historical centre in the Americas. On our tour we visit some of its most important churches such as the majestic La Compañía (Society of Jesus Church) and iconic San Francisco, guardians of a stunning multi-ethnic artistic and cultural heritage. Drive through the traditional neighborhood of San Juan. Finish the tour at the “Panecillo” hillside with its breathtaking views of the old and modern city. Overnight in Quito.
Day 3: Explore Calerdon, Cuicocha, Crater Lake, Cotacachi
We depart early on our tour including Calderón, a village known for its decorative bread dough figurines, the valleys of Guayllabamba and Cayambe, with landscapes dotted with towering volcanoes and amazing opportunities for taking pictures. You will have a delicious lunch. of local Ecuadorian specialties while musicians play on traditional instruments. Then you will go to the crater lake of Cuicocha, and finally the leather-making village of Cotacachi. Overnight at a traditional hacienda or inn near Otavalo.
Day 4: Train to Ibarra, Salinas and Otavalo Market, back to Quito
From Otavalo, we drive to Ibarra and go to the train station. The Chaski Antawa Train (messenger train) runs on the railway built at the beginning of the 20th century connecting the northern highlands to the tropical coast. From Ibarra, the train climbs down to the warm, dry valley of Ambuqui, through sugarcane plantations, magical landscapes, and tunnels, crossing bridges that span deep canyons and gullies. The 26-km ride to Salinas plunges from 7,216 to 4,920 feet (2,200 mt down to 1,500 mt) above sea level in only about two hours. Enjoy a unique lunch at Kleintours' social project, the “Chaski Antawa Restaurant”, which is our way of helping the Valley of Salinas and its surrounding area become a tourist destination and raising the standard of living of its inhabitants. Its menu was carefully selected and drawn up by the community using high quality standards. We then travel to Otavalo and its famous indigenous arts and crafts market, the largest in South America. Overnight in Quito.
Day 5: Fly to Galapagos Islands, Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz)
This morning you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Baltra Island where we are greeted by our Galapagos guides.
Day 6: Cormorant Point, Champion/Devil’s Crown And Post Office Bay (Floreana)
Today we will have a wet landing on an olivine green sand beach. We hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as Scalesia villosa, white and black mangrove and holy stick. The trail continues to a beautiful white-sand beach, one of the most important nesting sites of Green Pacific Sea Turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the Sting Rays that may be hiding in the sand and which can be dangerous if accidentally stepped on. From the beach one can spot sea turtles, Blue-footed Boobies plunging into the water, and small reef sharks floating along the shoreline in search of food.
Day 7: Gardner Bay, Gardner & Osborn Islets, Suarez Point (Espanola)
Today we land on a beautiful white coral sand beach guarded by a colony of sea lions. There are no trails, so we stay along the shore where we can spot Galapagos Hawk, American Oystercatcher, Galapagos Dove, Hood Mockingbird, Yellow Warbler, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin's finches: a subspecies (Geospiza fuliginosa) of the Large Cactus Finch, which is similar to the large ground finch, the Small Ground Finch (Geospiza fuliginosa) and the Warbler Finch (Certhidea Olivacea) which is another endemic subspecies. Swimming and snorkeling offers a great variety of Galapagos marine animals: King Angelfish, Creole Fish, Damsel Fish, parrot fish, manta rays, and White-tipped Reef Sharks.
Day 8: Interpretation Center & Tijeretas, Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve (San Cristobal)
Today we have a dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos Islands. Passengers will visit the Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about Natural History in the Galapagos Islands. The Museum of Natural History displays information on the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, the arrival of the different species and their colonization, among other points of interest. The Human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and colonization of the islands.
Day 9: Cerro Brujo, Pitt Point and Islet (San Cristobal)
Cerro Brujo is an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of aa lava formations, and a beautiful white sand beach - great for snorkeling and sunbathing. We visit a lagoon where migratory bird species can be seen: Black-necked Stilts, Ruddy Turnstones, Whimbrels, other sandpiper species and White-cheeked Pintails. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal and the adjacent coast.
Day 10: Espumilla Beach & Buccaneer Cove, Egas Port (Santiago)
We start the day with a wet landing. This visitor site is surrounded by a mangrove forest, which makes for a pleasant walk, taking us to a magnificent viewpoint of the entire bay. We will see Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and White-checked Pintail. There's also a lagoon where Flamingos can occasionally be seen.
Day 11: Bartolome, Sullivan Bay (Santiago)
On Bartolome we discover a fascinating moonscape formed by different volcanic parasitic cones —lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones —as we hike to the summit for impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone known as Pinnacle Rock. We also encounter marine iguanas and lava lizards.
Day 12: El Chato (Santa Cruz)
This morning we have a dry landing. We will reach the Santa Cruz highlands and visit a private farm, Primicias (El Chato), where giant tortoises are found in their natural habitat. The road to the reserve is one of the best places to observe land birds. Tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers and Cattle Egrets inhabit the area.
Day 13: Depart Quito
Transfer to the airport.
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