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Download Galapagos and Ecuador - Solo 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: Otavalo Market
Journey by vehicle for a day at Otavalo and its famous indigenous arts and crafts market, the largest in South America. Enjoy the marvelous indigenous market and various sites around Otavalo. Lunch is included today. In the afternoon visit the village of Peguche, famous for its tapestries, and its small local museum of Andean musical instruments. Visit the Condor Park Refuge to observe birds of prey, vultures and owls. Overnight at Hacienda.
Day 3: Explore Cotacachi, Cuicocha Crater Lake — Return to Quito
Today drive through the Ecuador landscape dotted with towering volcanoes and amazing opportunities for taking pictures. Stroll around the leather-making village of Cotacachi, and then explore the crater lake of Cuicocha. Overnight in Quito.
Day 4: Fly to Galapagos Islands, Baltra Island, highlands and Pit Craters (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 5: Egas Port & Salt Mines (Santiago), Pinnacle Rock (Bartolome)
At Egas Port we land on a beach of black volcanic sand, first visited by Darwin in 1835. The first section of the trail is comprised of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half of partially uneven terrain, comprised of volcanic basaltic rock lounging the shoreline.
Day 6: Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz) and North Seymour
We walk by a brackish lagoon on Santa Cruz where feeding flamingos can be occasionally found. The trail leads across typical dry zone vegetation up to Dragon Hill, an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas and which offers lovely views of the anchorage and neighboring islands. The forest is home to mockingbirds, Darwin's finches, Yellow Warblers and Galapagos Doves.
Day 7: Ballena Bay and Eden Islet (Santa Cruz)
Ballena (Whale) Bay is a beautiful green sand cove at the base of Dragon Hill on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island. The beach contains a large amount of olivine crystals of volcanic origin. The crystals were formed when the magma was still underground. The content is magnesium, iron and silica. A small population of tortoises from Pinzón Island previously lived at the site, but were probably taken by whalers or earlier inhabitants. There is an opportunity to see marine iguanas and sea birds followed by free time for snorkeling.
Day 8: Moreno Point and Elizabeth Bay (Isabela)
The main attractions at Punta Moreno are coastal lagoons amidst black lava flows where bird life is particularly interesting. It offers a panoramic view of three volcanoes, the most active of the Galapagos: Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul on Isabela Island and La Cumbre, on Fernandina Island. Mangrove forest, lava formations, coastal and migratory birds and usually flamingos, can be seen here. Lava cactus, sea turtles, lagoons and tidal pools and candelabra cactus are other highlights to be encountered.
Day 9: Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove (Isabela)
Depending on the season, we may find giant tortoises, land iguanas and the unusual Flightless Cormorant. After a short walk inland, snorkeling time is allotted, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plant life that changes depending on the season.We can observe the beautiful colors of plants that attract different insects, birds and reptiles. We will explore the uplifted coral reef that resulted from 1954 volcanic activity, with a spectacular view of Alcedo Volcano.
Day 10: Espinosa Point (Fernandina) and Vicente Roca Point (Isabela)
Espinosa Point is the only spot that we visit on Fernandina, and from it we can see the island of Isabela across the Bolívar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. The largest, most primitive-looking race of marine iguanas are found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs; a wonderful opportunity to encounter Flightless Cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos Penguins and the “King” of predators on the Islands, the Galapagos Hawk.
Day 11: Highlands (Santa Cruz)
A 45-minute bus ride will take us to the Santa Cruz highlands, located to the northwest of Puerto Ayora, where we will find a natural reserve with giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles are responsible for the island's name and therefore approaching them in their humid and forested abode is always an inspiring adventure. They can weigh between 250 and 300 kg and can live up to 150-200 years.
Day 12: Depart Quito
Transfer to the airport.
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