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+Itinerary

The Galapagos Islands – Central Islands

Day 1: En Route from U.S. / Arrive in Quito, Ecuador
Day 2: Quito Historic Tour
Day 3: Quito / Flight to Baltra / Santa Cruz Highlands / Puerto Ayora – Embarkation
Day 4: Santa Fe Island / South Plaza Island
Day 5: North Seymour Island / Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island)
Day 6: Bartolomé Island (James Island) / Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
Day 7: San Cristóbal – Disembarkation / Flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador 
Day 8: Guayaquil / Depart for U.S.


Day 1: En Route from U.S. / Arrive in Quito, Ecuador
After an evening arrival in Quito, transfer to your award-winning hotel for a comfortable night's sleep.
Overnight: Casa Gangotena – Quito 

Day 2: Quito
Head out for a full-day, guided walking tour of historic Old Town. A local expert will take you through the Quito neighborhood called San Roque, where you'll visit with local artisans including shopkeepers, hat makers, and sweet confectioners. Explore the San Francisco Market—one of the oldest in the capital—up the hill on Calle Rocafuerte. There, learn about unique fruits and vegetables grown in Ecuador, and local culinary traditions.

Continue your journey downhill to the cobbled street of La Ronda, featuring balconies festooned with colorful flags. Stop by a chocolatier to learn how cacao beans are processed, and taste the finest chocolates of Ecuador! 

Next, head north toward the political heart of the city. Following a brief narrative, stroll to the Jesuit church of La Compañía to admire its stunning gold-leaf interior. A lunch of Ecuadorian specialties  featuring Cocina Mestiza—a perfect blend of international flavors and locally sourced ingredients—will be served at the beautiful Theatrum Restaurant.

In the afternoon, head to the Casa del Alabado Archaeological Museum, within a restored 17th-century colonial mansion, to view its collection of pre-Columbian art. This evening, meet your traveling companions for a welcome reception and prepare for your upcoming adventure.
Overnight: Casa Gangotena – Quito (B,L,R) 

Day 3: Quito / Flight to Baltra / Santa Cruz - Embarkation
Arrive by plane to Baltra Airport and transfer to the Itabaca Channel to ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. After a short, scenic drive across Santa Cruz Island, arrive in the Highlands to enjoy lunch and visit the iconic species for which the Galapagos Islands are named. Spot the saddle-backed shell of the lumbering Galapagos giant tortoise and walk among them while your naturalist guide describes their habits as well as the conservation efforts surrounding this remarkable reptile. 

Take a late afternoon stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before embarking on Isabela II

Join the captain this evening for a cocktail and briefing on the exciting activities to come. 
Overnight: Isabela II (B,L,D) 

Day 4: Santa Fe Island / South Plaza Island
This morning's anchorage is at the sandy white beach of Santa Fe Island—a haven for sea lion harems. These playful, curious creatures frolic close to shore, away from predators including sharks and orcas. Here also, Galapagos hawks—the apex predator of the Galapagos with no natural enemies—are often easily observed. Santa Fe Island is the only island of the archipelago with its own species of land iguana, aptly named the Santa Fe Land Iguana. They gently explore the arid forest in search of fruits from the prickly pear cactus.

Mid-morning snorkeling off the beach provides an opportunity to observe sea turtles and colorful fish. Or perhaps paddle a kayak to spot wildlife near shore. 

Following lunch, travel through the turquoise waters around South Plaza Island, with its white sand beach and black lava shoreline. Here, witness the densest colony of the Galapagos land iguanas with their bright yellow colors. You may also have a chance to see some of the hybrid iguanas, a very uncommon pairing of marine and land iguanas, living on the islands.
Overnight: Isabela II (B,L,D) 

Day 5: North Seymour Island / Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island)
After breakfast, set out for a leisurely walk through the island's interior and coastline, spotting for various bird colonies including frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, and marine iguanas. Another population of land iguanas can be seen here, and also noteworthy, is the unique origin of this island as a result of an uplifting event from the adjacent sea bed.

Take advantage of time to snorkel or explore by glass-bottom boat.

Afterward, visit Las Bachas, where U.S. military barges were beached and abandoned after WWII. Today it's an important nesting area for the east Pacific green sea turtle. Brackish lagoons on the north shore of the island are feeding grounds for a variety of wading birds including stilts and flamingos. 
Overnight: Isabela II (B,L,D) 

Day 6: Bartolomé Island (James Island) / Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
One of today's highlights includes a panoramic view of the Galapagos from a special vantage point—an overlook atop Bartolomé Island. On a pristine day, more than 10 islands can be seen from this viewpoint. 

Return to the beach to board dinghies for a cruise around Pinnacle Rock, formed by an eroded tuff-stone cone—light limestone created by the accumulation of small volcanic elements. Pinnacle Rock is home for a small colony of the flightless Galapagos penguin, which shares the area with sea lions and other marine birds.

After lunch, explore Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago featuring a white coral sand beach that's ideal for swimming. This location has some of the best snorkeling within the archipelago. See and feel the volcanic origin of Galapagos by traversing the walking trail across a lava field consisting of lava that flowed here in 1897, and the lava shapes are the enigmatic volcanic features.

This evening, join fellow travelers and crew for a festive farewell toast followed by dinner.
Overnight: Isabela II (B,L,D) 

Day 7: Baltra – Disembarkation / Flight to Guayaquil
Bid a fond adiós to the Isabela II crew this morning prior to departing Baltra for Guayaquil, where you will spend your final night.
Overnight: Wyndham Guayaquil (B,L aloft) 

Day 8: Guayaquil / Depart for U.S.
In the morning, transfer to the airport to board your flight back home. (B)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, R = Reception

(Itinerary subject to change.)

Activity Level:

Moderate

Guests should be sure-footed on stairs and able to walk at least one mile on rocky, volcanic, and uneven ground, as some nature hikes will be on irregular and steep terrain. Guests should also be comfortable managing beach landings and boarding small vessels, both from shore and the deck of the Isabela II. Also keep in mind that you will experience varying altitudes, to which you may not be accustomed. 

Maximum elevation: 9,350 feet in Quito, Ecuador