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The Galapagos Islands & Ecuador

10 days Land & Cruise, Nature & Wildlife
Ecuador puts new meaning behind the saying, “good things come in small packages.” In terms of flora, fauna and opportunities for viewing unique local wildlife, this South American country runs the gamut. Journey to Quito for a taste of Ecuadorean culture and Spanish colonial history. Then, island hop through the Galápagos, where you’ll move from mangrove swamps to lava flows to sunny shorelines, encountering scores of exotic creatures along the way. End in the indigenous city of Otavalo, famous for its colorful market.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 18 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including cobblestone streets, unpaved trails and sandy paths, with some hills.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 4 nights in handpicked hotels & 4 nights aboard the M/V Galápagos Legend

  • Breakfast daily, 4 lunches, 4 dinners on board the ship, 2 three-course dinners with beer or wine on land

  • Private deluxe motor coach, a round-trip flight between Quito and the Galapagos Islands

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Select entrance fees

Map of Galapagos and Ecuador

Quito 3 nights Hotel info

Day 1: Flight & late-night arrival in Quito

After your flight, arrive late this evening in Quito and settle into your hotel.

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Quito

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, embark on a guided sightseeing tour of Quito before meeting your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

• Enjoy a walking tour of Old Town, passing by the Legislative Palace, Independence Square and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito

• Enter La Compañia, the city’s Baroque church, to view its gold leaf interior

• Step inside the 16th-century Monastery of San Francisco 

• Drive up Cerro Panecillo hill for views of the city and surrounding volcanoes

Day 3: Free day in Quito

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Quito or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Mindo Cloud forest $119pp* Details

Travel to the heart of the Ecuadorian cloud forest, a unique and serene natural setting. Look out for exotic wildlife and flowers as you explore the biodiversity of the region on a series of moderately-paced guided hikes. There are hundreds of bird species in the Mindo Cloud Forest—keep an eye out for hummingbirds on feeders as well as colorful butterflies. You'll also visit the El Pahuma Orchid Reserve to see gardens full of a wide variety of unique orchids, ferns and other plants.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $129)

Galapagos Islands 4 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Galápagos Cruise

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, fly to the small island of Baltra to board your cruise. 

• Boat aross the narrow channel separating Baltra from Santa Cruz Island

• Cruise to Black Turtle Cove, where you may see turtles, rays and sharks swimming among the mangroves

Day 5: Santiago Island & Rabida Island

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a wet landing, you’ll enjoy the southeastern portion of Santiago Island before continuing to Rabida Island.

• Spend the morning exploring the extensive lava flows, swimming and snorkeling in Sullivan Bay and spotting flamingos, sea turtles, sea lions and migratory birds

• Transfer to Rabida Island, where the volcanic geology creates red sand beaches

• Take a dinghy ride along the cliffs to snorkel and observe nesting seabirds

Day 6: Isabela Island

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a wet landing, begin your exploration of Isabela Island, the largest in the Galápagos archipelago. 

• Snorkel with the sea turtles that swim just off the shore of Urbina Bay

• See the giant tortoises that live on the slopes of the nearby Alcedo Volcano

• Tour Tagus Cove and see the blue-footed boobies that nest there

• Go on a dinghy ride and enjoy the option of deep sea snorkeling

Day 7: Espinosa Point & Vicente Roca Point

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s dry landing is at Espinosa Point, formed by lava flows over thousands of years. 

• View the area’s marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs and the fearless Galápagos hawk

• Take a dinghy ride to Vicente Roca Point and the Bolivar Channel, where you can snorkel with sea lions, sea turtles and penguins

• View dolphins and whales that are attracted to the Bolivar Channel by the cold waters of the Cromwell Current (seasonal, June to September)

Otavalo 1 night Hotel info

Day 8: Transfer to Otavalo via Quito

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Disembark the ship to further explore Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos before making your way to Otavalo, a market town in the Andes Mountains.

• Journey to the Santa Cruz highlands, northwest of Puerto Ayora, to visit a giant tortoise nature reserve

• Walk through the humid forest landscape to see these slow-moving reptiles in action

• Return to Baltra and board your flight back to Quito on the mainland

• On the way to Otavalo, stop to see the Quitsato Sundial, a monument located on the equator, where you’ll view a demonstration of equatorial effects

Later, enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.

Day 9: Otavalo market visit & departure

  Included meals: Breakfast

Visit the Otavalo market to browse the stalls, shop for indigenous crafts and attend a local weaving demonstration. Later, transfer to the airport for a late-night or early-morning flight or continue your adventure in Peru.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 10: Arrival in the U.S.

Arrive home.

Please note: Due to varying flight schedules, some travelers may depart on the morning of day 10, arriving home later that evening.

Add Peru Starting from $1,799 pp

Experience Peru in all its diversity. Wander the colonial cities that display the legacy of Spanish conquistadors, explore the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco and visit the lost city of Machu Picchu.

Quito Region 1 night Hotel info

Day 9: Otavalo market visit & transfer to Quito region

  Included meals: Breakfast

After your visit to Otavalo market, transfer to Rincon de Puembo near the Quito airport and enjoy free time to relax before your early morning flight.

Cuzco 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Fly from Quito to Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast

Fly from Quito to Cuzco and spend free time getting acclimatized to the city’s high elevation.

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Join a local guide on today’s tour of Cuzco, the ancient Incan capital.

• Admire the old Spanish cathedral, La Merced Church, Plaza de Armas and Convent of Santo Domingo

• Travel to three Incan archaeological sites near Cuzco, including Sacsayhuaman, Cuzco’s most impressive Incan ruins

Machu Picchu 1 night Hotel info

Day 12: Aguas Calientes via the Sacred Valley

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, you’ll transfer to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. First, make a stop in the Sacred Valley to see the sights.

• Peruse the colorful stalls of the wide-open Pisac Market, where you’ll find local fare and traditional crafts on display

• Continue to the ancient Ollantaytambo ruins to explore still-standing Incan homes

• Board a train to Aguas Calientes

Cuzco 1 night Hotel info

Day 13: Return to Cuzco for a sightseeing tour of Machu Picchu

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

On today’s guided tour, you’ll uncover the lost city of Machu Picchu, one of the most spectacular archaeological sites on the entire South American continent. 

• Tour the ruins of the ceremonial center, cultivation terraces and guard house

• Visit Funeral Rock, the Main Temple, Temple of the Three Windows, Chamber of Ornaments, the Sacred Plaza, the Intihuatana (Intiwatana) Stone, the Temple of the Sun, the Rock Quarry, the Ritual Fountains and the Condor Temple

• Enjoy a scenic train ride back to Cuzco for the night

Lima 1 night Hotel info

Day 14: Sightseeing tour of Lima

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Fly back to Lima, where you’ll set out on a guided tour highlighting the capital city’s modern and colonial quarters.

• Visit Miraflores and the Parque del Amor

• Stop in the San Isidro District to visit Huaca Huallamarca temple and its museum

• View Plaza Mayor and the Municipal Palace in Lima’s historic center

• Enter the Cathedral of Lima and the Monastery of San Francisco, where you can descend to the catacombs

Day 15: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free morning in Lima, then relax in a dayroom before boarding your overnight flight home.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 16: Arrival in the U.S.

Arrive home.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 4 nights in handpicked hotels & 4 nights aboard the M/V Galápagos Legend

  • Breakfast daily, 4 lunches, 4 dinners on board the ship, 2 three-course dinners with beer or wine on land

  • Private deluxe motor coach, a round-trip flight between Quito and the Galapagos Islands

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Select entrance fees

Map of Galapagos and Ecuador

Quito 3 nights Hotel info

Day 1: Flight & late-night arrival in Quito

After your flight, arrive late this evening in Quito and settle into your hotel.

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Quito

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, embark on a guided sightseeing tour of Quito before meeting your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

• Enjoy a walking tour of Old Town, passing by the Legislative Palace, Independence Square and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito

• Enter La Compañia, the city’s Baroque church, to view its gold leaf interior

• Step inside the 16th-century Monastery of San Francisco 

• Drive up Cerro Panecillo hill for views of the city and surrounding volcanoes

Day 3: Free day in Quito

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Quito or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Mindo Cloud forest $119pp* Details

Travel to the heart of the Ecuadorian cloud forest, a unique and serene natural setting. Look out for exotic wildlife and flowers as you explore the biodiversity of the region on a series of moderately-paced guided hikes. There are hundreds of bird species in the Mindo Cloud Forest—keep an eye out for hummingbirds on feeders as well as colorful butterflies. You'll also visit the El Pahuma Orchid Reserve to see gardens full of a wide variety of unique orchids, ferns and other plants.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $129)

Galapagos Islands 4 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Galápagos Cruise

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, fly to the small island of Baltra to board your cruise. 

• Boat aross the narrow channel separating Baltra from Santa Cruz Island

• Cruise to Black Turtle Cove, where you may see turtles, rays and sharks swimming among the mangroves

Day 5: Santiago Island & Rabida Island

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a wet landing, you’ll enjoy the southeastern portion of Santiago Island before continuing to Rabida Island.

• Spend the morning exploring the extensive lava flows, swimming and snorkeling in Sullivan Bay and spotting flamingos, sea turtles, sea lions and migratory birds

• Transfer to Rabida Island, where the volcanic geology creates red sand beaches

• Take a dinghy ride along the cliffs to snorkel and observe nesting seabirds

Day 6: Isabela Island

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a wet landing, begin your exploration of Isabela Island, the largest in the Galápagos archipelago. 

• Snorkel with the sea turtles that swim just off the shore of Urbina Bay

• See the giant tortoises that live on the slopes of the nearby Alcedo Volcano

• Tour Tagus Cove and see the blue-footed boobies that nest there

• Go on a dinghy ride and enjoy the option of deep sea snorkeling

Day 7: Espinosa Point & Vicente Roca Point

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s dry landing is at Espinosa Point, formed by lava flows over thousands of years. 

• View the area’s marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs and the fearless Galápagos hawk

• Take a dinghy ride to Vicente Roca Point and the Bolivar Channel, where you can snorkel with sea lions, sea turtles and penguins

• View dolphins and whales that are attracted to the Bolivar Channel by the cold waters of the Cromwell Current (seasonal, June to September)

Otavalo 1 night Hotel info

Day 8: Transfer to Otavalo via Quito

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Disembark the ship to further explore Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos before making your way to Otavalo, a market town in the Andes Mountains.

• Journey to the Santa Cruz highlands, northwest of Puerto Ayora, to visit a giant tortoise nature reserve

• Walk through the humid forest landscape to see these slow-moving reptiles in action

• Return to Baltra and board your flight back to Quito on the mainland

• On the way to Otavalo, stop to see the Quitsato Sundial, a monument located on the equator, where you’ll view a demonstration of equatorial effects

Later, enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.

Day 9: Otavalo market visit & departure

  Included meals: Breakfast

Visit the Otavalo market to browse the stalls, shop for indigenous crafts and attend a local weaving demonstration. Later, transfer to the airport for a late-night or early-morning flight or continue your adventure in Peru.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 10: Arrival in the U.S.

Arrive home.

Please note: Due to varying flight schedules, some travelers may depart on the morning of day 10, arriving home later that evening.

Add Peru Starting from $1,799 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Experience Peru in all its diversity. Wander the colonial cities that display the legacy of Spanish conquistadors, explore the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco and visit the lost city of Machu Picchu.

Quito Region 1 night Hotel info

Day 9: Otavalo market visit & transfer to Quito region

  Included meals: Breakfast

After your visit to Otavalo market, enjoy free time to relax before your early morning flight to Cuzco.

Cuzco 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Fly from Quito to Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast

Fly from Quito to Cuzco and spend free time getting acclimatized to the city’s high elevation.

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Join a local guide on today’s tour of Cuzco, the ancient Incan capital.

• Admire the old Spanish cathedral, La Merced Church, Plaza de Armas and Convent of Santo Domingo

• Travel to three Incan archaeological sites near Cuzco, including Sacsayhuaman, Cuzco’s most impressive Incan ruins

Machu Picchu 1 night Hotel info

Day 12: Aguas Calientes via the Sacred Valley

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, you’ll transfer to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. First, make a stop in the Sacred Valley to see the sights.

• Peruse the colorful stalls of the wide-open Pisac Market, where you’ll find local fare and traditional crafts on display

• Continue to the ancient Ollantaytambo ruins to explore still-standing Incan homes

• Board a train to Aguas Calientes

Cuzco 1 night Hotel info

Day 13: Return to Cuzco for a sightseeing tour of Machu Picchu

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

On today’s guided tour, you’ll uncover the lost city of Machu Picchu, one of the most spectacular archaeological sites on the entire South American continent. 

• Tour the ruins of the ceremonial center, cultivation terraces and guard house

• Visit Funeral Rock, the Main Temple, Temple of the Three Windows, Chamber of Ornaments, the Sacred Plaza, the Intihuatana (Intiwatana) Stone, the Temple of the Sun, the Rock Quarry, the Ritual Fountains and the Condor Temple

• Enjoy a scenic train ride back to Cuzco for the night

Lima 1 night Hotel info

Day 14: Sightseeing tour of Lima

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Fly back to Lima, where you’ll set out on a guided tour highlighting the capital city’s modern and colonial quarters.

• Visit Miraflores and the Parque del Amor

• Stop in the San Isidro District to visit Huaca Huallamarca temple and its museum

• View Plaza Mayor and the Municipal Palace in Lima’s historic center

• Enter the Cathedral of Lima and the Monastery of San Francisco, where you can descend to the catacombs

Day 15: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free morning in Lima, then relax in a dayroom before boarding your overnight flight home.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 16: Arrival in the U.S.

Arrive home.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 4 nights in handpicked hotels & 4 nights aboard the M/V Galápagos Legend

  • Breakfast daily, 4 lunches, 4 dinners on board the ship, 2 three-course dinners with beer or wine on land

  • Private deluxe motor coach, a round-trip flight between Quito and the Galapagos Islands

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Select entrance fees

Map of Galapagos and Ecuador

Quito 3 nights Hotel info

Day 1: Flight & late-night arrival in Quito

After your flight, arrive late this evening in Quito and settle into your hotel.

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Quito

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, embark on a guided sightseeing tour of Quito before meeting your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

• Enjoy a walking tour of Old Town, passing by the Legislative Palace, Independence Square and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito

• Enter La Compañia, the city’s Baroque church, to view its gold leaf interior

• Step inside the 16th-century Monastery of San Francisco 

• Drive up Cerro Panecillo hill for views of the city and surrounding volcanoes

Day 3: Free day in Quito

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Quito or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Mindo Cloud forest $119pp* Details

Travel to the heart of the Ecuadorian cloud forest, a unique and serene natural setting. Look out for exotic wildlife and flowers as you explore the biodiversity of the region on a series of moderately-paced guided hikes. There are hundreds of bird species in the Mindo Cloud Forest—keep an eye out for hummingbirds on feeders as well as colorful butterflies. You'll also visit the El Pahuma Orchid Reserve to see gardens full of a wide variety of unique orchids, ferns and other plants.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $129)

Galapagos Islands 4 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Galápagos Cruise

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, fly to the small island of Baltra to board your cruise. 

• Boat aross the narrow channel separating Baltra from Santa Cruz Island

• Cruise to Black Turtle Cove, where you may see turtles, rays and sharks swimming among the mangroves

Day 5: Santiago Island & Rabida Island

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a wet landing, you’ll enjoy the southeastern portion of Santiago Island before continuing to Rabida Island.

• Spend the morning exploring the extensive lava flows, swimming and snorkeling in Sullivan Bay and spotting flamingos, sea turtles, sea lions and migratory birds

• Transfer to Rabida Island, where the volcanic geology creates red sand beaches

• Take a dinghy ride along the cliffs to snorkel and observe nesting seabirds

Day 6: Isabela Island

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a wet landing, begin your exploration of Isabela Island, the largest in the Galápagos archipelago. 

• Snorkel with the sea turtles that swim just off the shore of Urbina Bay

• See the giant tortoises that live on the slopes of the nearby Alcedo Volcano

• Tour Tagus Cove and see the blue-footed boobies that nest there

• Go on a dinghy ride and enjoy the option of deep sea snorkeling

Day 7: Espinosa Point & Vicente Roca Point

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s dry landing is at Espinosa Point, formed by lava flows over thousands of years. 

• View the area’s marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs and the fearless Galápagos hawk

• Take a dinghy ride to Vicente Roca Point and the Bolivar Channel, where you can snorkel with sea lions, sea turtles and penguins

• View dolphins and whales that are attracted to the Bolivar Channel by the cold waters of the Cromwell Current (seasonal, June to September)

Otavalo 1 night Hotel info

Day 8: Transfer to Otavalo via Quito

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Disembark the ship to further explore Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos before making your way to Otavalo, a market town in the Andes Mountains.

• Journey to the Santa Cruz highlands, northwest of Puerto Ayora, to visit a giant tortoise nature reserve

• Walk through the humid forest landscape to see these slow-moving reptiles in action

• Return to Baltra and board your flight back to Quito on the mainland

• On the way to Otavalo, stop to see the Quitsato Sundial, a monument located on the equator, where you’ll view a demonstration of equatorial effects

Later, enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.

Day 9: Otavalo market visit & departure

  Included meals: Breakfast

Visit the Otavalo market to browse the stalls, shop for indigenous crafts and attend a local weaving demonstration. Later, transfer to the airport for a late-night or early-morning flight or continue your adventure in Peru.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 10: Arrival in the U.S.

Arrive home.

Please note: Due to varying flight schedules, some travelers may depart on the morning of day 10, arriving home later that evening.

Add Peru Starting from $1,799 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Experience Peru in all its diversity. Wander the colonial cities that display the legacy of Spanish conquistadors, explore the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco and visit the lost city of Machu Picchu.

Quito Region 1 night Hotel info

Day 9: Otavalo market visit & transfer to Quito region

  Included meals: Breakfast

After your visit to Otavalo market, enjoy free time to relax before your early morning flight to Cuzco.

Cuzco 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Fly from Quito to Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast

Fly from Quito to Cuzco and spend free time getting acclimatized to the city’s high elevation.

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Join a local guide on today’s tour of Cuzco, the ancient Incan capital.

• Admire the old Spanish cathedral, La Merced Church, Plaza de Armas and Convent of Santo Domingo

• Travel to three Incan archaeological sites near Cuzco, including Sacsayhuaman, Cuzco’s most impressive Incan ruins

Machu Picchu 1 night Hotel info

Day 12: Aguas Calientes via the Sacred Valley

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, you’ll transfer to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. First, make a stop in the Sacred Valley to see the sights.

• Peruse the colorful stalls of the wide-open Pisac Market, where you’ll find local fare and traditional crafts on display

• Continue to the ancient Ollantaytambo ruins to explore still-standing Incan homes

• Board a train to Aguas Calientes

Cuzco 1 night Hotel info

Day 13: Return to Cuzco for a sightseeing tour of Machu Picchu

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

On today’s guided tour, you’ll uncover the lost city of Machu Picchu, one of the most spectacular archaeological sites on the entire South American continent. 

• Tour the ruins of the ceremonial center, cultivation terraces and guard house

• Visit Funeral Rock, the Main Temple, Temple of the Three Windows, Chamber of Ornaments, the Sacred Plaza, the Intihuatana (Intiwatana) Stone, the Temple of the Sun, the Rock Quarry, the Ritual Fountains and the Condor Temple

• Enjoy a scenic train ride back to Cuzco for the night

Lima 1 night Hotel info

Day 14: Sightseeing tour of Lima

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Fly back to Lima, where you’ll set out on a guided tour highlighting the capital city’s modern and colonial quarters.

• Visit Miraflores and the Parque del Amor

• Stop in the San Isidro District to visit Huaca Huallamarca temple and its museum

• View Plaza Mayor and the Municipal Palace in Lima’s historic center

• Enter the Cathedral of Lima and the Monastery of San Francisco, where you can descend to the catacombs

Day 15: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free morning in Lima, then relax in a dayroom before boarding your overnight flight home.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 16: Arrival in the U.S.

Arrive home.

How's the weather?

  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & visa requirements

In order to enter Ecuador (and Peru on the extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

About your Galápagos cruise

Your Galápagos cruise offers the latest in cruise comfort while also providing an intimate and environmentally safe look at the Galápagos Islands. The yacht features an outdoor pool, observation decks, solarium, library, bar and large restaurant. Choose from a wide variety of activities in your free time—everything from snorkeling to stargazing. Please note: Due to the ship’s itinerary, the order of days in Quito before and after the cruise could change. Download a detailed summary of the ship’s amenities and available cabins [PDF].

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Clothing & packing tips

For your Galápagos cruise, casual dress is appropriate. Waterproof shoes or sandals, a bathing suit, sunscreen and insect repellent are essential for your visit to the Galápagos. On land, you’ll want to dress in light, loose-fitting clothing suitable for exploring the sights and pack a sun hat, sunglasses, sturdy pair of walking shoes and rain gear. If you plan to visit an elegant restaurant, you’ll probably feel more comfortable with something more formal to wear. Also, remember that it’s preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

Travelers to Ecuador should be comfortable in high-altitude conditions. Elevation throughout the country varies widely. The altitude of Quito is close to 10,000 feet (Cuzco on extension is 11,000 feet). Travelers, especially those with heart or lung conditions, should consult with their personal healthcare providers before undertaking high-altitude travel.

Important health tips

In order for you to stay healthy throughout your tour, we recommend the following:

  • Drink bottled water. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing teeth.
  • Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they are cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
  • Bring a small first-aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication and any prescription medications.

Cuisine

Food in Ecuador relies heavily on locally grown fruits and vegetables, along with regional seafood and game. You’re likely to find local dishes featuring potatoes, yucca root, bananas and plantains. Seafood, including bass, trout and catfish, is also prevalent and served grilled, fried or marinated as ceviche. Ecuador’s tropical fruit is delicious—specialties include melons, papayas, passion fruit and tamarinds.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Quito (or Lima on the extension). The tour also includes a flight to and from the Galápagos Islands and the four-night island cruise. The extension includes internal flights from Quito to Cuzco and from Cuzco to Lima. Most destinations on tour are walkable, including Quito, although local buses are available as well.

Electricity

Ecuador uses 110 volts, the same as in the U.S.

Time zones

Ecuador falls on a similar time zone to Eastern Standard Time, except it does not observe daylight saving time. Ecuador has the same time as New York from October to April, and is one hour behind New York from April to October.

Currency

The U.S. dollar (USD) is the currency you’ll use in Ecuador. On land, you’ll find that ATMS are widely available. During your cruise, any onboard charges can be billed to your credit card. Please note that U.S. bank notes with denominations higher than $20 may not be accepted in some areas of Ecuador. If you’re joining the tour extension to Peru, you’ll also use the Peruvian sol. Better rates of exchange are usually available in Peru, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Please Note: If you will be exchanging U.S. dollar bills in Peru, we advise that they be in new condition, as most vendors will not accept bills if they are wrinkled or dirty.

Tipping

On your cruise, tipping your waiter, busser and cabin steward is customary if you’re pleased with the service. Gratuities are generally given at the end of the voyage. We recommend $15 per traveler per day, to be divided among your waiter, busser and cabin steward. Separate tips are recommended for the naturalist guides. We recommend $8 per person per day. All cruise tipping can be handled by cash or by credit card. At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director.

How's the weather?

  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa requirements

In order to enter Ecuador (and Peru on the extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

About your Galápagos cruise

Your Galápagos cruise offers the latest in cruise comfort while also providing an intimate and environmentally safe look at the Galápagos Islands. The yacht features an outdoor pool, observation decks, solarium, library, bar and large restaurant. Choose from a wide variety of activities in your free time—everything from snorkeling to stargazing. Please note: Due to the ship’s itinerary, the order of days in Quito before and after the cruise could change. Download a detailed summary of the ship’s amenities and available cabins [PDF].

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Clothing & packing tips

For your Galápagos cruise, casual dress is appropriate. Waterproof shoes or sandals, a bathing suit, sunscreen and insect repellent are essential for your visit to the Galápagos. On land, you’ll want to dress in light, loose-fitting clothing suitable for exploring the sights and pack a sun hat, sunglasses, sturdy pair of walking shoes and rain gear. If you plan to visit an elegant restaurant, you’ll probably feel more comfortable with something more formal to wear. Also, remember that it’s preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

Travelers to Ecuador should be comfortable in high-altitude conditions. Elevation throughout the country varies widely. The altitude of Quito is close to 10,000 feet (Cuzco on extension is 11,000 feet). Travelers, especially those with heart or lung conditions, should consult with their personal healthcare providers before undertaking high-altitude travel.

Important health tips

In order for you to stay healthy throughout your tour, we recommend the following:

  • Drink bottled water. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing teeth.
  • Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they are cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
  • Bring a small first-aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication and any prescription medications.

Cuisine

Food in Ecuador relies heavily on locally grown fruits and vegetables, along with regional seafood and game. You’re likely to find local dishes featuring potatoes, yucca root, bananas and plantains. Seafood, including bass, trout and catfish, is also prevalent and served grilled, fried or marinated as ceviche. Ecuador’s tropical fruit is delicious—specialties include melons, papayas, passion fruit and tamarinds.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Quito (or Lima on the extension). The tour also includes a flight to and from the Galápagos Islands and the four-night island cruise. The extension includes internal flights from Quito to Cuzco and from Cuzco to Lima. Most destinations on tour are walkable, including Quito, although local buses are available as well.

Electricity

Ecuador uses 110 volts, the same as in the U.S.

Time zones

Ecuador falls on a similar time zone to Eastern Standard Time, except it does not observe daylight saving time. Ecuador has the same time as New York from October to April, and is one hour behind New York from April to October.

Currency

The U.S. dollar (USD) is the currency you’ll use in Ecuador. On land, you’ll find that ATMS are widely available. During your cruise, any onboard charges can be billed to your credit card. Please note that U.S. bank notes with denominations higher than $20 may not be accepted in some areas of Ecuador. If you’re joining the tour extension to Peru, you’ll also use the Peruvian sol. Better rates of exchange are usually available in Peru, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Please Note: If you will be exchanging U.S. dollar bills in Peru, we advise that they be in new condition, as most vendors will not accept bills if they are wrinkled or dirty.

Tipping

On your cruise, tipping your waiter, busser and cabin steward is customary if you’re pleased with the service. Gratuities are generally given at the end of the voyage. We recommend $15 per traveler per day, to be divided among your waiter, busser and cabin steward. Separate tips are recommended for the naturalist guides. We recommend $8 per person per day. All cruise tipping can be handled by cash or by credit card. At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director.

How's the weather?

  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa requirements

In order to enter Ecuador (and Peru on the extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

About your Galápagos cruise

Your Galápagos cruise offers the latest in cruise comfort while also providing an intimate and environmentally safe look at the Galápagos Islands. The yacht features an outdoor pool, observation decks, solarium, library, bar and large restaurant. Choose from a wide variety of activities in your free time—everything from snorkeling to stargazing. Please note: Due to the ship’s itinerary, the order of days in Quito before and after the cruise could change. Download a detailed summary of the ship’s amenities and available cabins [PDF].

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Clothing & packing tips

For your Galápagos cruise, casual dress is appropriate. Waterproof shoes or sandals, a bathing suit, sunscreen and insect repellent are essential for your visit to the Galápagos. On land, you’ll want to dress in light, loose-fitting clothing suitable for exploring the sights and pack a sun hat, sunglasses, sturdy pair of walking shoes and rain gear. If you plan to visit an elegant restaurant, you’ll probably feel more comfortable with something more formal to wear. Also, remember that it’s preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

Travelers to Ecuador should be comfortable in high-altitude conditions. Elevation throughout the country varies widely. The altitude of Quito is close to 10,000 feet (Cuzco on extension is 11,000 feet). Travelers, especially those with heart or lung conditions, should consult with their personal healthcare providers before undertaking high-altitude travel.

Important health tips

In order for you to stay healthy throughout your tour, we recommend the following:

  • Drink bottled water. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing teeth.
  • Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they are cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
  • Bring a small first-aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication and any prescription medications.

Cuisine

Food in Ecuador relies heavily on locally grown fruits and vegetables, along with regional seafood and game. You’re likely to find local dishes featuring potatoes, yucca root, bananas and plantains. Seafood, including bass, trout and catfish, is also prevalent and served grilled, fried or marinated as ceviche. Ecuador’s tropical fruit is delicious—specialties include melons, papayas, passion fruit and tamarinds.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Quito (or Lima on the extension). The tour also includes a flight to and from the Galápagos Islands and the four-night island cruise. The extension includes internal flights from Quito to Cuzco and from Cuzco to Lima. Most destinations on tour are walkable, including Quito, although local buses are available as well.

Electricity

Ecuador uses 110 volts, the same as in the U.S.

Time zones

Ecuador falls on a similar time zone to Eastern Standard Time, except it does not observe daylight saving time. Ecuador has the same time as New York from October to April, and is one hour behind New York from April to October.

Currency

The U.S. dollar (USD) is the currency you’ll use in Ecuador. On land, you’ll find that ATMS are widely available. During your cruise, any onboard charges can be billed to your credit card. Please note that U.S. bank notes with denominations higher than $20 may not be accepted in some areas of Ecuador. If you’re joining the tour extension to Peru, you’ll also use the Peruvian sol. Better rates of exchange are usually available in Peru, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Please Note: If you will be exchanging U.S. dollar bills in Peru, we advise that they be in new condition, as most vendors will not accept bills if they are wrinkled or dirty.

Tipping

On your cruise, tipping your waiter, busser and cabin steward is customary if you’re pleased with the service. Gratuities are generally given at the end of the voyage. We recommend $15 per traveler per day, to be divided among your waiter, busser and cabin steward. Separate tips are recommended for the naturalist guides. We recommend $8 per person per day. All cruise tipping can be handled by cash or by credit card. At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 8/22/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: AZ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Good trip with areas for improvement

Overall the trip was very good; especially, the Galapagos and visit to the equator. The best benefit is realized if you take advantage of the snorkeling: 2 times per day. Day trip to the rain forest and butterfly museum was probably not worth it. But, not sure how you would spend your time in Quito otherwise. Probably could have eliminated this day from the tour. Some improvement needed on the exit process: the last day we were dropped off at the airport 6 hours before our flight time and the airline would not take our luggage until 3 hours prior to flight time.

 

Hi Richard! We are glad you had a good time on tour. We’re also pleased that you took advantage of the fabulous snorkeling opportunities! We regret that there were a couple aspects of the tour that you feel could be improved, and we will be sure to share them with our Product Development team for evaluation. Regarding your airport transfer, Go Ahead provides airport transfers as a convenience and added benefit to those who book their air travel through us. Whenever possible, our Travel team tries to schedule the group’s flights around the same time so that we are able to consolidate the airport transfer times. That said, it isn’t always possible to schedule everyone’s flights at exactly the same time. It all depends on the airlines and flight destination, which is why some travelers will have more time before their flight than others. Regardless, we recommend getting to the airport at least three hours prior to departure. Again, we’re glad that you overall you enjoyed your tour, and we hope to welcome you on another soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 02, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 4/30/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: WA

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Galapagos and more!

My husband and I recently returned from this tour and we loved it! It was my husband's idea to add this tour at the end of the Grand Tour of South America and we are so glad that we did. The Galapagos Islands were the high point for him and I marveled at the natural wonders too. Beginning the trip with two days in Quito was great because it allowed everyone in the small group (16) to acclimate and get to know each other a bit. The days and nights on the ship were comfortable and filled with new, fantastic experiences. The zodiac rides and island exploring that made up our days were led by a knowledgeable and highly competent guide - Alejandro - and we learned so much from him! The snorkeling was great - clear water and many fish and other sea life - even though we didn't attempt the deep water type. The meals were appetizing and filling and we loved the served dinners. All the ship's staff were friendly and eager to please. When we returned to the mainland, we went to Otavalo, an indigenous area north of Quito. The hacienda that we stayed in could have been a destination in itself, with lovely gardens, spacious rooms with lots of historical significance and many nearby activities. The market was delightful and we all bought many souvenirs. Rodrigo was a wonderful guide and tried to hard to please us and accommodate our every request. I definitely recommend this trip to anyone wishing to visit the Galapagos!

 

Hi Beth! What a great idea to add this tour after your tour of South America! The Galapagos Islands are certainly a magical place, and we’re so glad you were able to experience it. It sounds like you enjoyed many unique activities and saw lots of endemic wildlife. It’s great to know that you enjoyed the food and that the ship’s staff provided good service. We’re happy your Tour Director enhanced your experience on tour and was able to accommodate your requests. Thank you for recommending this tour, and thank you for your wonderful review.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | May 25, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 2/22/2016

Number of Past Tours: 22

From: NH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Opporunity for Wildlife Sightings

On our first day we explored Quito's historic district. I selected the option for the Mindo Cloud Forest.. Highly recommend this option.....Then our four night cruise. Small 100 passenger ship. Very comfortable. We had two daily excursions to the different islands. Beautiful birds, seals, iguanas, penguins, lizards, crabs, large turtles..... At the end of our cruise, we traveled north of Quito to Otavalo. All along the way, we had incredible scenery. Our lodging was on a lovely hacienda. Ecuadorian musicians entertained us. Delicious food. But, the most important part of our trip was our outstanding Tour Director, Eduardo. He was kind, patient, interesting, well organized and so very helpful. I hope that others are fortunate to have Eduardo as their TD.

 

Hi Kathy! Thank you for your wonderful review. We're so glad you had a fantastic time on tour! It sounds like you were able to soak up the beautiful natural scenery and spot lots of unique wildlife. We're happy you decided to include the Mindo Cloud Forest optional, and we're pleased you would recommend it. It also thrills us to hear that your Tour Director was the most important part of your trip! We will definitely communicate your feedback to his supervisor. Again, thank you for sharing your experience and we look forward to welcoming you on your next tour!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | March 25, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 1/11/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Eduardo....The Most Awesome Tour Director

We had a wonderful time on our trip! It was one of those trips of a life time! We had Eduardo as our Tour Guide. He was Amazing and each of us in our group had our own experiences where he went Above and Beyond to either fix something, show us something or make sure that our trip was above and beyond our expectations. I could have spent more time in the Galapagos Islands...but all and all it was a wonderful trip. The snorkeling and hiking was great. Our hotels and meals were All very exceptional as well. The Galapagos Legend (ship) was very nice and the food was incredible. We continued on to do the Machu Picchu Extension which was quite an experience, too.

1 / 5
 

Hi Gloria! We’re thrilled you felt this was a “trip of a lifetime.” We think so, too! It sounds like your Tour Director had a very positive impact on your experience by going above and beyond for your group. Our Tour Directors are very passionate and caring people, and we are fortunate to work with them. We’re glad you found your expedition ship to be nice and provide delicious meals. We’re also happy you were able to do the Machu Picchu extension. Machu Picchu is surely not to be missed. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, and we hope to welcome you on tour again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | February 18, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 1/11/2016

Number of Past Tours: 9

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great experience !!!

Our recent trip to Equador and Galápagos was beyond great. Our tour guide Eduardo was extremely knowledgable about the culture, history, and geography of his country, and very happy to share his knowledge. He had the itinerary at a very comfortable pace so we could take everything in without a feeling of being rushed. All the accommodations were first class. On the Galápagos leg he arranged to have the best for his group, wait staff on the ship, island naturalist, and bus drivers. All the individuals worked very hard to make sure we were well informed and taken care of in every way. My only negative comment would be that 5 days is only scratching the surface of the islands. I would highly recommend this trip.

 

Hi Peter! Thank you for your fantastic review! We’re so glad you felt taken care of and that you would recommend this trip. It’s also great to hear you found your accommodations to be ‘first class’ and your Tour Director to be so knowledgeable. We work hard to design itineraries with paces that suit our travelers, and we are glad to learn that you were comfortable with how this tour was planned. Go Ahead has a worldwide network of professionals whose job it is to provide the best possible experience for our travelers. We are happy to learn that you enjoyed our partners who operated the cruise ship. We completely agree that five days is only scratching the surface of the islands, so we have happily introduced an entirely new and exciting itinerary that is a few days longer, has a different land component, and touches on different islands. Please feel free to contact our expert team of Tour Consultants with any questions at 1(800) 590 1170. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, and we hope to welcome you on another tour soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | January 26, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 8/10/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing adventurous trip!

Once again, Go Ahead had everything in place for this trip & I had a fabulous time. Our tour director was Fabricio & he was great! Getting into Quito & looking for a stranger holding the Go Ahead sign & then 10 days later we are saying goodby to a friend who we had a great adventure with. He was fun to travel with and gave us so much information about the areas we were visiting. The day trip to Otavalo was very scenic & we all found items to bring home from the market place. I can't say enough good things about our time on the MV Galapagos Legend. All the trips to the individual islands were amazing. While I did all the trips it was nice that the crew let people know if it might be more difficult for walking etc as there were some that were a bit tougher & some passengers elected to stay on board. One thing that I didn't realize ahead of time was how many opportunities for snorkeling there would be. I went 4 times and kayaking once too. The ship was great. Lots of comfy seats for sitting out on the deck. The food was good with plenty of options. & snacks every time you came back from a boat ride. The only downside was how loud the engines were. It took a couple of nights to get used to it. Our naturalist was Alejandro & there was no question he could not answer. Those guides are so patient with all the repetitive (& sometimes stupid) questions that are asked of them. Our last full day we were supposed to go to Cotopaxi, but since it had erupted a few days prior we had to come up with a plan B. So we went to Mindo instead. Most of us went to the butterfly farm there but 2 people opted for some river tubing that was offered. Then we went to a local bean to bar chocolate "factory" for a tour & sampling. Lunch at another beautiful hacienda where there were lots of humming birds. Just one note to travelers.....don't be expecting to sleep in on this trip......lots of early wake up calls. But so worth it. If they offered this to different islands in the Galapagos I would go again! Worth every penny!

1 / 6

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/29/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

From Creationism to Natural Selection

This tour will amaze and please all who are interested in religion and science! From touring the catholic churches in Quito to swimming with sea turtles in The Galapagos, Go Ahead has out done themselves! I have gained a great amount of respect for the efforts made by the Ecuadorian people to preserve the Galapagos Islands. Our itinerary was superb. Our tour guides were very sympathetic and caring to and for our needs. I think everyone should make this trip a high priority. Lastly, this is my second tour with Go Ahead and it amazes me that all of my fellow travelers have been experienced world travelers too.

1 / 1

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/15/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Absolutely Gorgeous

The scenery in both Quito and Galapagos is absolutely stunning. In Quito, Cotopaxi, and the Andes are amazing, and in Galapagos we saw erupting volcanoes, solid lava flows, beautiful islands, and turquoise waters. In Quito, the culture is extraordinary. It's also a great place to practice Spanish. In the market Otavalo, you can get something priced 25 dollars for only 12! In Galapagos, there is no place where you don't see wildlife. When we first got off the bus, I immediately spotted pelicans, a blue-footed booby, a sea lion, a marine iguana, and multiple crabs. While relaxing on the boat, I saw sharks, sea turtles, and sea lions swimming right next to us! The sky was also filled with frigate birds, who perched on the top of the boat. The Giant Tortoise Reserve has tortoises that are bigger than I am! Our tour guide even wore a shell!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/15/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: MN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A wonderful experience

Let's start pre-trip. My roommate had to cancel about two weeks before the trip. I felt that Go Ahead went out of their way to work with me to change to a "single" status room (I still don't understand the logic behind that since the trip was paid for and my friend was getting reimbursed through insurance). Bottom line, they got everything taken care of in a timely, polite, manner. There were a group of five of us that went. At different points, we tried to get information on the baggage weights for the flight to Baltra and the ship. We got conflicting responses - 30 pounds versus 44 pounds. That's a big difference when you are trying to figure out how to pack. I suggest having this information in print and sent as part of the tour package. As for the trip itself, it was incredible. I loved Fabricio (guide in Ecaudor) and Edwin (guide in Peru). I felt they were both very knowledgable, tried to give us information about their countries, were available and capable of handling anything. Having guides like this made the trip go from "good" to "fabulous". I liked our accomodations and transportation. I loved the meals that were provided and felt that an effort was made to introduce us to native dishes. The ship was great and I felt like everything was so well-organized. The naturalist (Valerio) was superb. It is great to see all of the animals, but I also wanted to be educated and I feel that I got that. Peru and Macchu Pichu were also great experiences. The mountains were beautiful and the people were wonderful. Edwin did a good job of reading the group and offered us extra excursions the really added to the trip. A special thanks to all who were on this tour, because you were considerate, on time and fun. We were never waiting for people and I loved the respect that was shown for the flora and fauna in the Galapagos. If you are considering this trip, I will warn you, there were a lot of very early mornings, a lot of altitude changes, a lot of travel, a lot of walking/hiking, and a lot of swimming in the islands. If you have concerns about your physical abilities, you may want to ask a few quesitons before you sign up for the trip. My travel group was lucky in that everyone handled all of this well and there were no serious health problems. However, this might not be for everyone.

1 / 1

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/15/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fabulous Fabricio

This tour covered two locations-Ecuador and the Galapagus Islands. While in Ecuador, Fabricio not only provided insightful information on the locations on the tour agenda but also was constantly providing information about the country and the wonderful people who live there. He also managed to always be available to help with suggestions for dining and shopping and any other needs for our "free time". Fabricio is conscientious and sincere and witty and fun. He created a magical trip filled with wonderful memories. While in the Islands, Fabricio's Tour Director capacity was replaced with a Naturalist. Although no longer guiding, he was always available to help with the various questions or issues that popped up. He truly became a friend during the cruise.

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