Day 01: QUITO
Transfer from airport to hotel.
Overnight at Dann Carlton Hotel
DAY 02: QUITO / GALAPAGOS
Breakfast at Hotel
Transfer to Airport for flight to Galapagos
Arrival at BaltraAirport and transfer to the Itabaca Channel to take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. A 30-minute bus ride takes us to a restaurant in the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island to enjoy lunch, and then continue to Puerto Ayora.
Charles Darwin Research Station
Afternoon visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the ‘rearing in captivity’ programme for the giant tortoises. Here, guests witness the efforts and results of all the field work done in the name of science. An impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest and many land birds can be also seen. Then, a stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora allows guests to get a feel for local Galapagueño life while browsing the many handicraft and souvenir shops before embarking on Yacht Isabela II. Welcome cocktail, expedition plan for Saturday and dinner.
DAY 03: GALAPAGOS
Baroness Cove & Post Office Bay (Floreana Island)
Wet landing at the Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has been serving as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries, to learn about the human side of the islands, its early inhabitants and the adventures of pirates and whalers. Panga ride along the maze of channels on the north shore of Floreana, see the Sea Lion colonies, marine turtles in shallow waters, rays and occasionally penguins. Wet Landing at Baroness Cove and a short walk up to the observation tower to enjoy breath taking views of Floreana and its nearby islets. Snorkelling and/or kayaking is possible. Back on board for lunch.
Cormorant Point (Floreana Island)
Disembark at Cormorant Point (wet landing) at an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk that includes a brackish water lagoon where bird species like greater flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and others may be observed. This outing also includes a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest (from December to May). The afternoon visit includes a short navigation to Champion Islet near Floreana. Fantastic snorkelling with the option of the glass bottom boat. Expedition plan for Sunday and dinner.
DAY 04: GALAPAGOS
Punta Suárez (Española (Hood) Island)
Morning outing at Punta Suárez (dry landing) for an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including waved albatrosses (April – December), Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tail gulls, as well as a view of the Galápagos famous “blow-hole”. Among its land birds, the Hood island mockingbird, Galápagos hawks and doves, and three species of Darwin’s finches are common highlights. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas. Back on board for lunch.
Gardner Bay (Española Island)
In the afternoon, disembark (wet landing) at a white coral beach for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches or enjoy the beach. There is great snorkelling in this area, paddle on kayaks or a ride aboard the glass-bottom boat. Expedition plan for Monday and dinner.
DAY 05: GALAPAGOS
Punta Pitt (San Cristóbal Island)
Morning disembarkation (wet landing) on the eastern tip of the island.
Punta Pitt is an eroded tuff cone; the trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline. This is the only site in the Galápagos where the three species of boobies can be found together, as well as the two frigate species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions along the beach. After the walk, if conditions are favourable, there is a chance to swim from the beach or, for more advanced snorkelers or kayakers, off the nearby islets. Lunch on board.
Cerro Brujo (San Cristóbal Island)
A dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers takes guests to Cerro Brujo’s white coralline beach (wet landing). The beach is a large expanse, great for walking, with rewarding bird watching with good views of seabirds like blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, herons, frigate birds, and more shore birds. Also, look out for Galápagos sea lions. Highlights ashore include the Chatham (San Cristóbal) mockingbird, Chatham lava lizard; both species are endemic to this island and seen nowhere else in the Galápagos. These are the same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon, back in September 1835, as San Cristóbal was the first island where he set foot in the Galápagos. Farewell cocktail, departure briefing and dinner.
DAY 06: GALAPAGOS /QUITO
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristóbal (Chatham) Island)
After breakfast, departure to the port and airport to take the flight back to the mainland.
Transfer from Aiport to Hotel
Overnight Dann Carlton Hotel Quito
DAY 07: QUITO
Breakfast at Hotel
Visit Quito City & the Middle of the World and enjoy local lunch – 6 hours
A visit to downtown Quito to relish in this urban jewel and its treasures of art and architecture. Quito’s colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved of South America, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stroll starts at the IndependencePlaza, flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the MunicipalBuilding and the Archbishop’s Palace. Visit the temple of La Compañía de Jesús and its awesome gilded interior. Continue on to the Monastery of San Francisco, one the of great religious buildings of the New World; its impressive façade and atrium that lead to its Baroque interior influenced by Moorish style, with the winged Virgin of Quito at its main altar. Lunch at one of the excellent restaurants in Quito or the equator area.
Then continue to the Equatorial Monument, 25 Kms. (16 miles) North of Quito, which marks the exact Middle of the World, latitude 0º, where you can stand with a foot on each hemisphere. Visit the EthnographicMuseum inside the monument, which shows the different Native American groups living in Ecuador. Beside the monument there is a colonial-style town, complete with main square, church, post office, bullring, cafeterias, restaurants and many gift shops with postcards and souvenirs. You will get a certificate for having crossed the Equator.
Overnight Dann Carlton Hotel Quito
DAY 08: QUITO /COCA /NAPO AMAZON LODGE
Breakfast at Hotel
Transfer to Airport for flight to Coca
Departing from Quito, 30 minute flight to Coca over the eastern Andes mountain range. After landing, about mid morning, and airport procedures a 5 min transfer in local chiva (hired bus) or local taxi from airport to Port Francisco de Orellana will drive us to embark onto a comfortable covered motor boat. Here we start a canoe ride along the Napo river for about 2 ½ hours approx, lunch box in route. Along the way birds like herons, kingfishers and others can be spotted. After arriving at NWC’s entry dock we disembark for restroom then take a majestic and peaceful 1 ½ hours dugout canoe ride surrounded by trees overhead, paddling along a narrow creek that connects to the lake where the lodge is located. Good possibilities of monkeys sights of various species as well as large birds like toucans, parrots or even macaws. Late afternoon arrival to the NWC lodge by the overwhelming view of the Añangu lake, welcome drink and facilities. After dinner optional cayman (alligator) observation around the lake and natural sounds at night.
DAY 09: NAPO AMAZON LODGE
Early wake up to reach the best and easy access parrot clay licks in Ecuador, about 1 hour away from the lodge, guests reach there just before parrot activity kicks off at the clay lick between 7:30 to 8:30. A total of 11 species of parrots, parakeets and macaws can be seen. A visit that depends on weather conditions but usually successful. Later, hike along forest trail to visit to the Quichua community of Añangu and sharing time with a family on their activities. Return to the creek and hike through a TerraFirmeForest for about 30 minutes until we arrive to the second parrot clay lick where if the weather conditions help will be able to find different species of parrots, parakeets and even macaws. Box lunch at the parrot clay lick observatory. Late afternoon arrival to the lodge.
DAY 10: NAPO AMAZON LODGE
After early breakfast, depart from the lodge to the finest experience at a canopy tower on the Napo. A 36m high canopy tower opened to guests in November 2004, a great way to experience the life above the forest floor. This is the second tower at the NapoWildlifeCenter (the first is attched to the dining hall and allows great views of the lake). The canopy tower is located about 20 minutes from the lodge deep within the terra firme forest. As you ascend the 12-story tower, you pass through different levels of the forest and emerge on top of a huge Ceiba tree. Here you cross onto a wooden platform that is actually built into the tree and experience the view formerly reserved only for the birds. The metal tower itself was constructed to the highest standards, galvanized, and carefully inspected by engineers. Safety is the priority. The platform at the top of the tree was constructed by tree platform specialists as well. From top to bottom, there is no finer canopy experience in Eastern Ecuador. Flocks of colorful tanagers pass right through the canopy of the tree, Blue-and yellow Macaws fly past, in nearby trees Spider Monkeys search for fruit, two species of large toucans call in the early mornings and afternoons, and the life of the forest canopy opens before you. Birds that are virtually impossible to see from the forest floor far below are suddenly right beside you, oblivious to your presence. The canopy tower opens a whole new world to guests of the NapoWildlifeCenter!! Served lunch at the lodge. Afternoon visit to a terra firme trail, hike along primary forest to discover the forest interior,posibilities of finding lizards, colorful manakins or the unique and endemic Golden mantle tamarin monkeys. After the hike, explore the lake and creeks by dugout canoe with great possibilities of running into a Giant otter family on the way…
DAY 11: NAPO AMAZON LODGE /QUITO
Early departure and last excursion canoeing back to the Napo river, the creek may reveal new sights of Giant otters, Monk Saki monkeys or many other rare birds. Entry docking area, use of restrooms and embarking on motorized canoe in order to return back to Coca, arrival approximately after 2 hours boat ride up river, in order to check for Coca – Quito flight, schedule to be announced according to departure details and arrangements.
In Quito Airport connect with International flight.
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