Galapagos Cruise

"It is not the strongest of species that survive...but the one most responsive to change." - Charles Darwin

Galapagos…The mere mention of these islands conjures dreams of adventure, intrigue, and excitement. It’s a place of mystery that millions know about, but only a handful have explored. To visit is to live a moment like you never have before.

Our excursion of the islands begins on a first-class, luxury motor yacht. With a limit of sixteen passengers, this state of the art vessel provides an intimate yet extravagant seafaring experience. Cabins built with relaxation in mind also offer spectacular views of the surrounding ocean as far as the eye can see. Have a drink while basking under the sun’s rays on the sundeck or pop into the jacuzzi for a soak and sip on your drink of choice to unwind.  The Majestic is a ship built for a trip of maximum comfort on an adventure of a lifetime.

The sights in store for you during this 5-day cruise include wonders like the famous Galapagos tortoises, which helped inspire Charles Darwin to write his infamous On the Origin of Species. These beloved animals live hundreds of years and are gargantuan rulers of their domain. Seeing them in their natural habitat is not to be missed.

These islands are special thanks in large part to the strong currents from Antarctica flowing towards the Galapagos bringing with them an abundance of plankton : the main food source for many ocean creatures. The billions of microscopic plankton which feed the huge shoals of fish also attract penguins, a rare vision this far north. Further up on the chain, larger species come to dine on these fish, creating a perfect ecosystem, as Darwin would say. The wonders underwater are equally impressive. Beneath the pristine waters you can explore an untouched haven of natural beauty swimming alongside reef sharks, manta rays, and tropical fish. If exploring the ocean depths is out of your league, don’t fret because above the waves the exotic birds of the Galapagos await. Here your eyes will feast upon blue footed boobies, flamingos, albatross, and the strange frigate bird. Also worth exploring are the many lava tubes on Santa Cruz Island. Formed from the flows of molten rock these tubes prove to be a fascinating, but haunting adventure. And for those wanting to soak in the sun and float in the clear blue seas, then Tortuga Bay will make for a relaxing afternoon to while away the day.

The Galapagos Islands are the main draw of this tour, but Ecuador’s largely undiscovered mainland is also not to be missed. Nestled in the Andes Mountains amid the Amazonian rainforest Ecuador’s Spanish roots are still evident and it is home to an array of a people with a rich history and fantastic adventures including soaring active volcanoes, towering waterfalls, a train ride on a nearly vertical mountain slope, and so much more. Seven days of exploration and adventure will be yours to treasure for a lifetime.

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GALAPAGOS & QUITO 9 DAYS/8 NIGHTS ITINERARY

Day 1 : Quito Arrival

Welcome to Ecuador! Today you arrive in Quito and settle into your hotel in the city. Quito is the capital city of Ecuador, nestled high in the Andes Mountains and the home of what is considered to be the best-preserved historic center of both of the Americas. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to numerous 17th century Spanish colonial sites and architecture. Quito’s Old Town is full of ornate religious edifices, stimulating museums, aristocratic houses frozen in time, and lots more for you to discover.

Most of you will arrive in the evening, so once you have checked in to the hotel, you can explore the neighborhood and get a good night’s rest for tomorrow’s activities!

Included :

  • Activities : Arrival (At your own expense); Free time
  • Meal : None
  • Accommodation : Boutique hotel

Day 2 : Quito

After breakfast at the hotel, we will take a guided walking tour of the historic center of the city after which you will have some free time to wander around on your own. After lunch, we will head to the middle of the world : the Equator. The location was determined to be the spot where the two hemispheres were divided in 1736. However, modern technology has proven that the actual Equatorial line is 240 meters north of the indicated line that we will see. Nonetheless, you will be close to and in one of the handful of inhabited cities in the world that the Equator passes through! Once we have finished our tour at the Equator, we will head back to our hotel for a group dinner and then some R&R or more free time to explore the city.

Included :

  • Activities : Quito Old Town guided walking tour; Equator guided tour; Free time
  • Meals : Breakfast 
  • Accommodation : Boutique hotel

Day 3 : Quito – Baltra Island – Santa Cruz Island (Interpretation Center Fausto Llrena)

Today you will depart by plane to Baltra Island. Once you have collected your luggage at the airport, your guide will meet you and you will transfer to your luxury-class motor yacht : The Majestic, to commence your 5-day cruise around the islands. If you would like to learn more about the The Majestic, please click HERE.

The Majestic is a brand new, top of the line motor cruise yacht with nine rooms, each room offering views of the ocean. Additionally, each room is air-conditioned with its own private bathroom. The Majestic also has a beautiful dining room where you will have your meals together each day. For some R&R, there is a spacious lounge area as well as a bar and jacuzzi located on the sundeck with panoramic views.

You will get settled into your rooms and in the afternoon, head to Santa Cruz Island where you’ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, which is home to the extraordinary Galapagos turtles. These turtles, fully grown, can weigh up to 500 pounds and reach 6 feet in length! Subspecies of turtles interact with one another and many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans as they stretch out their heads for a photo opportunity. These slow-moving animals were easy prey for pirates and colonists who used them for food and money which led to a threatening decline in numbers in the late 1970s. This is why great care is now being taken to bring their numbers back up. The hatcheries ensure that the tortoises grow big enough to have a better chance of surviving once released back into the wild.

Included :

  • Activities : Santa Cruz transfer via Baltra Island by taxi, plane, and boat; Charles Darwin Research Center visit
  • Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation The Majestic Luxury Motor Yacht

Day 4 : Genovesa Island (Darwin Bay & El Barranco)

In the morning, you will head to Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island. There is a white sand coral beach which heads a half-mile trail that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can be spotted here. Further down the path are tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view off a cliff. Once you get to the island via dinghy, you will go for a 1 mile hike to see the local fauna and flora among mangroves and coral pebble beaches. You will also be able to go kayaking or snorkeling where you can see rays, colorful reef fish and if you are lucky…hammerhead sharks!

In the afternoon, you will head to another part of the island called El Barranco. Also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, El Barranco’s steep, rocky paths lead up to a high cliff-face where marvelous views can be appreciated. This site is also home to red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves. Bird lovers will be delighted at the vast array of bird life at El Barranco.

At the end of the day, you will head back to the boat for some down time after today’s adventure. Lie back on the deck and see an infinite number of stars, have a drink at the bar, or take a dip in the jacuzzi!

Included :

  • Activities : Genovesa Island transfer; Darwin Bay & El Barranco visits; 2 guided hikes; Dinghy ride; Kayaking; Snorkeling
  • Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation The Majestic Luxury Motor Yacht

Day 5 : Rabida Island – Chinese Hat Islet

To start your day, you will head to Rabida Island, one of the most colorful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago and a great snorkeling site. Its famous maroon sandy beach and stunning landscapes are very eye-pleasing. The island is a birdwatcher’s delight. Some of the rarest species are in abundance, such as nine varieties of finches, large-billed flycatchers, Galapagos hawks and brown pelicans.

After lunch, you will make your way to Chinese Hat Islet (also known as Sombrero Chino). This small islet is located very near the southeast coast of Santiago Island. Its name comes from the distinct shape of the islet’s summit. This small islet is a great location to view many geological formations such as lava tubes and lava flows. Look for bright red Sally lightfoot crabs and marine iguanas. The path goes past a colony of endemic Galapagos seas lions before passing a lava field where you’ll find lava cacti growing in the cracks. The Sombrero Chino is known as an excellent snorkeling spot. Protected by the larger Santiago Island, the water is fairly calm, but still deep enough to attract some spectacular marine life such as white-tipped reef sharks. Very lucky snorkelers may also see a rare Galapagos penguin! In spite of its close proximity to the larger Santiago Island, Sombrero Chino receives fewer visitors than other Galapagos sites. This is because it’s semi-protected by the park service. Such a small island is very vulnerable, especially if a large number of visitors is introduced. Thus, access is restricted to a select few ships in order to limit damage to the fragile ecosystem.

Included :

  • Activities : Rabida Island & Chinese Hat Islet transfers & visits; 2 guided hikes; Dinghy Ride; Snorkeling
  • Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation The Majestic Luxury Motor Yacht

Day 6 : San Cristobal Island (Witch Hill & Lobos Island)

This morning you head to Witch Hill on San Cristobal Island. Located on the northern coast, this eroded hill and its surroundings present one of the most picturesque beaches in the Galapagos with its white powdery sand and abundance of animals. Wildlife includes sea turtles, rays, and various types of booby birds. The clear water provides an excellent opportunity to swim and snorkel.

In the afternoon, you’ll start off to Lobos Island, which means “Sea Lion Island.” This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, frolicking, jolly sea lions who will welcome you to their home with open flippers. This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.

Included :

  • Activities : San Cristobal Island transfer; Witch Hill & Lobos Island visits; 1 guided hike; Dinghy ride; Snorkeling; Kayaking
  • Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation The Majestic Luxury Motor Yacht

Day 7 : San Cristobal Island (Interpretation Center) – Quito

On your last day cruising around the Galapagos, you will stop by the Interpretation Center, which was opened in 1998 as a phase of the “Interpretation and Environment Education Project.” Visitors can enjoy expositions on natural history, human history, and conservation. The conservation efforts represent the movement to protect the wildlife and natural environment through means of population and tourist control. The Interpretation Center has an outdoor stadium, audio-visual equipment, and much more!

After your adventure on San Cristobal Island, you will say goodbye to the Galapagos Islands and all of its inhabitants as well as your yacht crew as you head toward the San Cristobal Airport to catch your flight back to Quito.

Included :

  • Activities : Interpretation Center visit; Quito transfer by boat, plane, and van; Free time
  • Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
  • Accommodation : Boutique hotel

Day 8 : Quito 

Today you will have the day to explore Quito on your own. Your hotel is situated in the perfect spot to explore Quito’s Old Town and if you’re feeling up for it, sign up for a food tour or take in an excursion around the city…It’s completely up to you!

  • Activities : Free time
  • Meals : Breakfast
  • Accommodation : Boutique hotel

Day 9 : Quito 

Today is your last day in Ecuador, so depending on your flight time, you can have some free time to see some last sites in Quito or do some last minute souvenir shopping.

Included :

  • Activities : Free time; Departure (At your own expense)
  • Meals : Breakfast

 

*Itinerary subject to change.

GALAPAGOS & QUITO 9 DAYS/8 NIGHTS PRICING

$4,400Trip cost per Person (Based on Double Occupancy)

$500 – Upgrade to Superior Room (Price is Per Person).

Superior rooms are on a first-come, first-served basis. There are 4 superior rooms on the boat. 

What is included :

  • 4 nights accommodation in Quito
  • Activities as indicated on itinerary
  • Round-trip flight: Quito – Baltra Island / San Cristobal Island – Quito
  • Ground & sea transportation
  • 5-day cruise on The Majestic (all-inclusive)
  • Bilingual national park guide & local Quito guide
  • Use of snorkeling equipment and wetsuits
  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners

What is not included :

  • Optional excursions and activities
  • Some lunches and dinners
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities
  • International flight
  • Insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • $100 Galapagos National Park fee *Subject to change
  • $20 Transit Control Card
  • Souvenirs

I’m a single traveler. Will I be charged a single supplement?

If you would like to be paired up with someone of the same gender on the trip to avoid paying the single supplement, we can arrange this for you. If there is no one with whom to pair you up, you WILL have to pay the single supplement. Pairing with another person of the same gender comes on a first-come, first served-basis. After you reserve your spot, we will send you a questionnaire pertaining to this. 

If you want a single room throughout the tour, you can purchase the “single supplement”.  The single supplement fee for this trip is $1,500. If you would like your own room, you can buy the additional supplement at check-out.

 

 

Cost

The highlight of this tour will be the 5-day cruise among five of the islands. Please be aware that travel to the Galapagos Islands is quite expensive. Each year, only a certain number of passes are available in an effort to moderate the human impact on and preserve these beautiful islands. We have selected a luxury class motor yacht that has been recently built (constructed in 2013). We opted for this boat because it has one of the best itineraries available. Taking into consideration our time in Ecuador, flights and the top notch quality of the boat, our tour is very reasonably priced.

We have chosen the luxury motor yacht : The Majestic as our means of transportation during the cruise around the Galapagos Islands. It is a smaller sized boat that can accommodate only 16 passengers maximum and has just 9 rooms. On bigger boats, it can take as long as two hours for all passengers to board and disembark from the boat, which in turn, takes away from the time to explore each amazing island. Another reason that we have decided upon a sea-based tour in the Galapagos as opposed to a land-based tour, is that day trips from a base island to other various islands can take three or more hours to arrive at each destination. This leaves only an hour or so to explore before returning to the base island. A cruise is optimal because it allows us to sail to our destination at night and when we wake up in the morning, we will have already arrived at our destination! This means we can explore less visited islands that have a more bountiful quantity of wildlife and plant life and have much less tourists.

To see the layout and specifications of the boat on which we will be sailing, please visit the following link : The Majestic.

With all of this in mind, we planned this trip to ensure that you experience the best that the Galapagos Islands have to offer as well as fantastic adventures in mainland Ecuador.

While this is one of the more expensive trips we offer, you will not be disappointed in this once in a lifetime experience! You will spend five days in a first-class luxury boat chosen because of its quality as well as its itinerary. Additionally, all in-country flights, most activities and meals are included. Taking all of this into consideration, you will find that our pricing for this tour is very competitive!

Group Size 

Our tour groups have a maximum of 12 travelers plus Galapagos field guides as we explore various islands and a local mainland Ecuador guide. We prefer small group travel because based on our experience, large groups are less easily able to integrate into a society and generally have less authentic contact with the locals. The more people in the tour group, the more the group experiences their own “group culture” rather than the one of the country that they are visiting. 

A small group number also means that tour group members will receive more personal treatment by the tour guide who can more thoroughly attend to the needs of each person. Small tour groups are also more mobile and can be easily integrated into a social scene. In this way, the traveler is more likely to be treated as an individual rather than a tourist ready to be exploited for his or her money.

Small tour groups are more flexible as travel plans can be more easily changed or altered en route. If the group discovers a special event or festival in Ecuador that they would like to attend, and it is not covered in the original tour itinerary, it is possible to change the itinerary. As a small group, it is easier for the group to come to an agreement and for the tour guide to alter the reservations.

Small groups are low-impact because they don’t introduce a large number of foreigners to a local scene where they can have adverse impacts on the local society and other travelers. For example, a large tour group can take up all the seats on a local bus, or book out an entire restaurant forcing locals and other travelers away from their preferences. 

Physical Difficulty

This tour is rated 6.5/10 in terms of physical difficulty with 10 being the most difficult. During most of the trip you will be escorted around in a luxury first-class motor yacht, so you won’t have to exert yourself physically very much while traveling. You may find that some hikes in areas with rougher terrain may be more difficult depending on your level of fitness. You may also find walks on hotter days to be a bit exhausting. Other than these things, this trip is pretty accessible for everyone. Remember, if you’re not feeling up for a particular activity, you don’t have to do it!

Currency 

In Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, all notes are U.S. currency, while U.S. and Ecuadorian coins can be used interchangeably. (The Ecuadorian coins are in the same denominations and sizes as their U.S. counterparts). Do not be surprised to receive U.S. Sacajawea $1 coins as change; they are very common, and yes, as they are legal tender. Euros can be changed at a few places, British pounds less so; it’s advisable to have a little bit of U.S. cash on you on arrival. *Please note that traveler’s cheques are not advised and nearly impossible to use anymore.

ATMs are readily available in most towns. They will be part of the Plus or Cirrus systems and use a four-digit PIN. They usually dispense the full amount in $20 bills. Some will include some tens and fives.

If possible, bring at least $50 worth of one-dollar bills to use for tips, cabs, and small purchases in markets. Making change is sometimes a hardship for small vendors and cab drivers. A good rule of thumb for using larger bills is not to use a bill larger than 50% of your tab. (i.e. Don’t pay a $6 tab with a $20 bill). Even restaurants can have a hard time making change for a large bill and you may have to wait while an employee runs out to neighboring businesses to scrounge up your change.

If you need to get smaller bills ($5s and $10s) as well as coin change, the Banco Central (Central Bank of the Government of Ecuador) will make change for you free of charge. Bring your passport to prove identification. Hours are typically from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday.

Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted by many hotels, travel agencies, and larger restaurants. Smaller or budget hotels and other vendors will probably not accept cards, nor will many restaurants off the tourist circuit. Be aware that Discover cards and American Express are not widely accepted.

Be prepared to pay a foreign transaction fee depending on your credit/debit card. Check with your bank to find out what their foreign transaction fees are, so be sure to call your bank before departure to find out about what fees they charge when you use your card in another country. When using any kind of card, we recommend obtaining a receipt.

Souvenirs

There are plenty of souvenirs to be found in Ecuador. Dozens of souvenir shops line the main drags of Quito and the Galapagos’ bigger towns. You can spend hours browsing for that perfect souvenir. Local craft markets are found on several of the islands as well. The Galapagos also have local artists and artisans that craft the Islands’ inspiration into one-of-a-kind works. Their creations will make a special gift for your loved ones – or yourself! 

Galapagos National Park regulations prohibit the sale of souvenirs made from banned materials like sea shells, coral, lava rock, animal parts and any endemic species : plants or animals unique to the Galapagos Islands. Please make sure not to buy any souvenirs made from these items.

A good rule of thumb in responsible traveling is to buy locally. Keep in mind the source of the souvenirs. It is obvious that some are not from Galapagos or Ecuador at all, but clearly marked China or some other foreign country.

Communication

If you have a smart phone, it will likely work in Quito, but coverage may be spotty if not absent in the Galapagos Islands. Be sure to check with your provider to get informed about data and call roaming while abroad. You also may consider contacting your service provider to learn about what kind of international plans they offer for calls, texts, and data.

Wifi 

In general, hotels and restaurants in just about any tourist town in Ecuador now offer wifi. There are also Internet cafes in abundance in most cities and towns. Bear in mind that although it’s available, it’s not always as fast as you may be used to, especially on the islands.

There will be no wifi on the cruise ship, so if you don’t have an international plan on your phone, we recommend purchasing a local SIM card for your phone or tablet in Quito for approximately 6 USD. You can add credit so that you will be able to have Internet on your device when you are close to San Cristobal and Santa Cruz Islands. Access to Internet may be limited or completely absent when further away from these islands.

At the airport, you can purchase a SIM card from either CLARO or MOVISTAR. CLARO usually seems to work best, but sometimes MOVISTAR has better reception while CLARO has none. If traveling with another person, we recommend having your companion get one and you get the other.

What to Bring 

Temperatures in Ecuador in the month of January will vary depending on the region, but are generally are cool during the day and cold at night. The month of January has generally lower temperatures with average daily highs in the mid- to high 50s°F throughout the month and with the possibility of temperatures in the mid- to low 40s°F at night.

January is one of the warmer months in the Galápagos, with the wind dropping for calmer seas. Highs average in the low- to mid 80s°F and lows in the low- to mid 70s°F. Although there is also a greater chance of rain, these are the best months to visit if you’re spending several days on a boat. In January, marine iguanas begin to mate and birds start nesting. Turtles also commence their egg laying on the beaches and January is considered by most to be an ideal time for snorkeling. The ocean temperature is warmer for swimming and snorkeling. Great wildlife is guaranteed no matter when you visit.

Below are a few things that we suggest bringing to make your trip more comfortable :

  • Good comfortable walking shoes/hiking boots
  • Deck shoes (i.e. Crocs or flip flops)
  • Snorkeling mask, snorkel and fins (Optional as the boat will offer free of charge)
  • Waterproof day pack
  • Rain jacket
  • Light and warm jacket or fleece
  • Clothing that can dry fast
  • Water shoes (Optional)
  • Bathing suit
  • Diarrhea/constipation medicine
  • Sunscreen (biodegradable, if possible)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Camera
  • First aid kit
  • Warm pajamas
  • Seasickness medication

*There is now a new full face snorkel mask that is said to work very well. If you are interested, click on the link below to view and/or purchase one before your trip.

Snorkel Mask

A comfortable and securely closable bag is also a good idea if you have a camera or other travel items while out and about on excursions. Finally, it is advisable to avoid flashy, expensive accessories and/or jewelry that are valuable or precious to you.

Please be aware that if there is rain, wind or any other weather conditions that nature decides to throw at us, all activities and excursions will continue as planned unless the weather is deemed unsafe for any reason.

Outlets

Ecuador’s outlets are like those in North America : two flat, parallel prongs (type A). Be prepared to pack the necessary adapters and converters if you plan on bringing electronic devices. A converter is necessary only if the voltage requirement of what you are plugging in is different from Ecuador’s electrical voltage of 120 (110 is fine). Most modern electronics such as digital cameras, cell phones, computers, and battery chargers are dual voltage, so a converter is no longer necessary if you are visiting from a country that uses 220 or 240v. Check each of your gadgets to ensure that they are dual voltage. This information will sometimes be in raised letters or printed on a tag on the AC adapter or affixed to the device itself; it will say something like “Input : 100-240v”.

Laundry 

The hotels in Ecuador offer laundry services if needed.

Safety

As with most travel destinations, it is important to exercise caution and to be aware of your surroundings while traveling in Ecuador. We suggest not wearing expensive jewelery when walking around and keeping an eye on your bag while out and about. Wearing your bag on the front of your body is also advisable. Traveling at all times with one other person or more is also a good idea, especially at night. It is always a good idea to store portions of your cash in different places. (i.e. $100 in your purse, $100 in your suitcase, $100 in your carry-on, etc.) Finally, it’s also a good idea to carry a color copy of your passport and keep the original in a safe place.

Most travelers to Ecuador do not have any problems. As long as you remember to keep a watchful eye on your belongings and stay aware of your surroundings, you will have a safe and memorable trip!

The United States State Department offers general travel information about this country. See below for more information.

U.S. State Department Travel to Ecuador

Guides

Your guides are handpicked for their expertise and are an excellent resource for questions about Ecuadorian society, history, and culture. Your guide will work to ensure that each individual has the most rewarding experience possible. Like local friends, our guides show you the best of the country by providing direct access to the people and places less traveled. While on the various Galapagos Islands, you’ll have naturalist guides who will show you around the islands and help you learn all about the wildlife on the islands. Most travelers tip the guides anywhere 10 ~ 15 USD per day, especially if you like your guide and you thought that he or she helped you have the trip of a lifetime!

Drinking Water

Most will agree that the drinking water in Ecuador is not safe for consumption. Thus, drinking tap water anywhere in Ecuador is not advisable and drinking only bottled water is highly recommended.

Medical Facilities

Should you fall ill during your trip, there are pharmacies that can be easily located during your stay in Ecuador. If you have specific medical requests, the brand names may be different, but knowing the ingredients’ chemical names would be helpful as most pharmacists worldwide will know these names. Be aware that many medicines that are over the counter in the U.S. may only be by prescription in Ecuador. If you have prescriptions, bring them with you in the original bottle with the prescription from your doctor and in your name.

Altitude sickness is also common among travelers to Ecuador. It usually comes in the form of insomnia, headaches, and/or nausea. To prevent altitude sickness or lessen its effects, try ascent to higher levels gradually so that your body can adjust to the change. As you’ll be flying into Quito, which has an altitude of around 9,000 feet, (3,000m), you can drink lots of water, get lots of rest and take some pain relief medicine. If you are prone to severe altitude sickness or have pre-existing medical conditions that might cause the effects to have a stronger hold on you, we highly recommend consulting your physician to get a prescription to help with oxygen profusion in high altitude locations.

Tipping

Tipping is commonplace in Ecuador, but the amount of the tip tends to be less strict than what most North Americans are used to. We recommend only tipping what is fitting and what you feel the quality of the service merits. For most family-run restaurants, fifty cents to a dollar is plenty unless you feel that the service exceeded your expectations. It is a good idea to keep spare change in a coin purse as this will come in handy in situations where you leave a tip. Below is a basic guide of who and how much to tip :

  • Bellhops : 0.50 ~ 1 USD per piece of luggage.
  • Taxi : While not customary, it is acceptable to round up to the next USD. (i.e. If the fare is 4.50 USD, give 5 USD)
  • Hotel maid : 0.50 ~ 1 USD a day daily or at the end of your stay in cash.
  • Waiter : 10 ~ 15% of the bill at restaurants unless it is already included.
  • Tour guide : 10 ~ 15 USD per day or more, especially if you feel that your trip was enhanced by the guide’s services.
  • Boat crew : 10 ~ 15 USD per day or more, especially if you feel that your trip was enhanced by the crew’s services.
Arrival

In your pre-departure notes you will receive the name of the hotel in both the local language and English as well as pertinent phone numbers.

Visa :

Most visitors to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for less than 90 days in each country DO NOT need a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your travel dates. A round/onward trip ticket is needed to prove the length of your stay.

Nationals of the following countries require a visa to enter Ecuador for any reason and should approach the Consulate of Ecuador in their home country before traveling (list may change without notice) : Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia.

Flights :

Once you book your flights please forward your flight information to us. You will be given the hotel name and address in both English and Spanish prior to arrival to show the taxi driver. Your arrival and departure city is Quito.

 

*Please do not book any flights until you receive a confirmation from us which will be sent to you 24 hours after paying your deposit. 

June to November  At this time, the Humboldt Current flows to the Galapagos from the south. It carries cold water and cold weather as well as water rich in nutrients and plankton, which attracts fish and birds. It tends to be overcast and cloudy, but does not often rain. This period is also rather windy, which lends to rougher seas.

December to May — While water and the air are warmer in these months, it is the rainy season. Rain comes and goes quickly though. This is also the sunniest time of year. December and January are the high season with lots of tourists.

The waters are warmer in these months, so swimming and snorkeling are more bearable. However, there aren’t as many fish to see. As it is breeding season for land birds, it’s a good time to watch some unusual mating rituals. This is the period in which sea turtles nest on the beach. Sea lions also mate in the rainy season and you’ll be able to see males fight for the females.

Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands Cruise : Luxury class motor yacht (The Majestic)

Constructed in 2013, The Majestic is a modern, top of the line 16 passenger motor yacht with nine rooms. All of its equipment and safety features exceed the international safety standards.

Each room is equipped with a private bathroom, cold/hot water, and air conditioning. Additionally, each room has a window offering views of the surrounding ocean.

The Majestic also has a beautiful dining room where we’ll have our meals together each day. For some R&R, there’s a spacious lounge area, bar and jacuzzi located on the sundeck with panoramic views.

Visit the following link for more information on The Majestic : CLICK HERE


Quito

 

*Hotels are subject to change.

Insurance :

Due to the nature of this trip, we require that you purchase trip/travel insurance. We work with Travelex, which offers travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

For more information on the recommended plans or to enroll, click HERE or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228- 9792. Globe Drifters’ reference location number is 09-0984.

Otherwise, you are welcome to shop around online for a provider and policy that best suits your needs.

Vaccinations :

Below is information from the CDC and its recommendations regarding vaccinations for travel to Ecuador :

CDC Ecuador

 

Trip Date

NOVEMBER 12
NOVEMBER 20, 2018
RESERVE YOUR SPOT
USD $4,400

Total price per person on a twin share basis. Superior rooms are an extra $500 per person and can be purchased at check-out. Single Supplement can be purchased for an additional $1,500.


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