Take a Bow - Central Islands

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Colonial Quito
Frigatebird spotting
Bartolome's lunar-like landscape
Sombrero Chino
  • This short journey is the perfect introduction to the amazing and varied wildlife that call the Galapagos Islands home. Starting our journey at the Santa Cruz Highlands, we get to meet the granddaddy of the Galapagos – the giant tortoise. From sea lions, fur seals, boobies and frigatebirds, it is astounding how close our encounters will be with the animals. We also witness the awesome work of nature on a visit to the spectacular volcanic terrain of Bartolome.


    Day 1 - Quito

    Quito was the first city in the world to receive the World Heritage Site status from UNESCO, back in 1978. Nice work, Quito! Give it a high-five as you wander around today before the trip kicks off.

    Attend a welcome meeting in the evening, check with the hotel reception for details

    Quito is located at 2850 metres above sea level and at this altitude you may possibly experience some effects from the high altitude, we suggest that you avoid any strenuous activity on this day

    Wander through the narrow, winding cobblestone streets and explore the lively Plaza Grande and Plaza San Francisco, see The Baroque art and architecture when visiting the churches, monasteries and public buildings

    Perhpas head for one of the many viewpoints over the city, El Panecillo (The Little Bread Loaf) offers views of the city’s white houses and surrounding volcanoes, the 30-metre high statue of La Virgen de Quito sits atop this small hill and can be seen from all over the city

    La Cima de la Libertad, the site of Ecuadorian independence from Spain also offers great views

    Day 2 - Morning flight to Baltra, Visit Santa Cruz Highlands

    It's only a short flight to Baltra, then you get to climb aboard your floating home and settle in. Before you get too comfy on that sun lounger, we're going to take you on a quick trip to the Santa Cruz Highlands.

    Transfer to Quito Airport and fly to the Galapagos Islands (you may depart as early as 4am)

    A US$10 per person transit card is payable on departure at Quito Airport and a US$100 per person national park entry fee is payable on arrival - have cash on hand for these transactions to save time
    You'll be met and transferred to the boat (the Nemo III) when you arrive

    You'll be assigned cabins, meet the crew members and get to know our naturalist guide and fellow travellers over lunch

    Head to the highlands of Santa Cruz for a total change of scenery

    Travel through the agricultural region and into the misty forests, where you'll see Unique Scalesia cloud forest, dome shaped giant tortoises in the wild, different species of Darwin finches and possibly the world famous woodpecker and warbler finches as well as vermillion flycatcher

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 3 - South Plaza and Santa Fé

    You want wildlife, you got it. Potential sightings today include marine and land iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, frigatebirds and blue-footed and masked boobies. Not a bad way to start the trip.

    Visit Plaza Sur or South Plaza, a small but pretty island

    Go for a trail walk past sea lions and one of the largest populations of land iguanas

    Spot ropicbirds and swallow-tailed gulls as well as gathering of male sea lions called ‘the gentlemen’s club’ from the southern cliffs

    Go to Santa Fe, see more sea lions and possibly swim with them

    Perhaps see see the Galapagos hawk, land Iguanas, a variety of finches and the Galapagos mockingbird, sea lions, marine turtles, frigatebirds, Galapagos doves and lava lizards

    This is a great spot for snorkelling

    Go for a walk along a trail along the coast and into Opuntia Forest - see a forest of giant cactu and palo santo trees

    Enjoy free time on the beach to snorkel and watch sea lion pups

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4 - Isla Bartolomé and Sombrero Chino

    Walk off last night's dinner on the Summit Trail, which takes you to the top of Bartolome. The views are awesome, and then we'll reward you with a swim and snorkel at the beach on Sombrero Chino.

    Head to Bartolome Island, enjoy the volcanic landscape, see Galapagos penguins and lava lizards

    Climb 360 wooden steps to the summit of the island (you'll need walking shoes) - enjoy views of Pinnacle Rock

    Hike to the top of a once active volcano with views of Sullivan Bay, on nearby Santiago Island, look out for the Galapagos hawk here

    Go snorkelling, see tropical fish, sea stars and hopefully penguins, white tipped reef sharks and rays

    Approach Sombrero Chino via a sandy beach with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs

    Explore the islands volcanic origin

    Follow a trail through sea lion colonies, and past marine iguanas

    Snorkel here and hoepfully see penguins and sharks

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5 - Isla Mosquera – Baltra – Fly Quito

    Some say that Sally Lightfoot crabs were named after a Caribbean dancer, referring to the fact they jump and climb. Even if it's not true, we think it's cute and are choosing to believe it. See plenty of them today before flying back to Quito. 

    Sail to Isla Mosquera, a popular place for sea lions and marine birds

    See Sally Lightfoot crabs and brown pelicans

    Go snorkelling

    This is your final excursion, head to the airport for your flight back to Quito

    Upon arrival at Quito airport you'll be transferred back to the hotel


    Day 6 - Quito

    fter breakfast, it's time to head home. The Galapagos is sure to leave a lasting impression, like when you sleep on a creased pillow and wake up with red marks all over your face, but nicer.

    The adventure ends today after breakfast - there are no activities planned for today

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Bus, Motorised Yacht, Plane, Zodiac
2 nights Hotel, 3 nights Motorised Yacht
Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador

What to know

On arrival in the islands you must pay the US$100 national park fee to enter Galapagos National Park and a US$10 transit fee. 

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