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Ecuador & Galápagos...
 

Ecuador & Galápagos Islands Cruise

10 days |  16 days with Peru extension
10 days |  16 days with Peru extension
Group size1535 travelers
Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

275
Physical activity
turtle swimming through coral reef in the galapagos islands
galapagos tortoise walking down a path
church of the jesuits in quito ecuador
colorful buildings in quito city center in ecuador
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
This tour itinerary varies by year
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    Venture into the heart of Ecuador’s societal and natural heritage.

    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.

    Special departures of this itinerary

    Sail from San Cristóbal

    Your tour package includes

    • 4 nights in handpicked hotels
    • 4 nights aboard the M/V Galápagos Legend cruise ship
    • 8 breakfasts
    • 5 lunches
    • 5 dinners
    Read more

    Included highlights

    • Cerro Panecillo
    • Old Quarter Quito
    • La Compañía
    • Rábida Island
    • Snorkeling with sea turtles
    Read more
    Start planning today

    An expert specializing in tours of this region is here to help.

    Talk to a Tour Consultant

    Day-by-day itinerary

    Print itinerary
    Quito3 nights
    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, Welcome lunch

    Today, embark on a guided sightseeing tour of Quito.

    • Drive up Cerro Panecillo hill for views of the city and surrounding volcanoes
    • Sit down to enjoy an included welcome lunch
    • Marvel at the neo-Gothic Basilica of the National Vow
    • Enjoy a walking tour of the Old Town, passing by the Legislative Palace, Independence Square, and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito
    • Enter La Compañía, the city’s Baroque church, to view its gold leaf interior
    • Step inside the 16th-century Monastery of San Francisco
    Day 3: Free day in Quito
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Enjoy a free day in Quito or add an excursion.

    Antisana Ecological Park & Hacienda Lunch

    From $109 per person

    Galápagos Islands4 nights
    Day 4: Galápagos Cruise
    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

    • Enjoy an included lunch aboard the ship
    • Make a wet landing on Mosquera Islet, which is located between North Seymour and Baltra Island and is one of the smallest islands in the Galápagos
    • Walk along the island’s sandy, barren lava rock covered terrain
    • Relax on the beach or snorkel in the water

    Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

    Day 5: Santiago Island & Rabida Island
    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

    • Spend the morning exploring the extensive lava flows and swimming or snorkeling in volcanic rock pools
    • Look for yellow-crowned night herons, starfish, marine iguanas, and fur seals
    • Enjoy an included lunch aboard the ship
    • 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

    Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

    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
    • Enjoy an included lunch aboard the ship
    • 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

    Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

    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
    • Enjoy an included lunch aboard the ship
    • 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)

    Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

    Otavalo1 night
    Day 8: Transfer to Otavalo via Quito
    Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

    Disembark the ship to further explore Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos.

    • 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

    Make your way to Otavalo, a market town in the Andes Mountains, and celebrate your trip at a farewell dinner this evening.

    Overnight Flight1 night
    Day 9: Otavalo market visit & departure
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Visit the Otavalo market to browse the stalls, shop for indigenous crafts, and attend a local weaving demonstration. Then, stop to view the Quitsato Sundial, a monument located on the equator, where you’ll view a demonstration of equatorial effects.

    Afterward, relax in a dayroom before boarding your flight home late tonight or early tomorrow morning.

    Please note: If you’re traveling on the tour extension to Peru, you will overnight in Quito.

    Arrive Home
    Day 10: Arrival home

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

    Extension to Peru
    Fly to Lima to experience the best Peru has to offer—and, yep, that includes Machu Picchu. Continue your trip to see the legacy of the conquistadors and uncover the Lost City of the Inca, all with your expert Tour Director at your side.
    Quito1 night
    Day 9: Otavalo market visit
    Included meal: Breakfast

    After your visit to Otavalo market, enjoy a free afternoon in Quito.

    Lima1 night
    Day 10: Flight to Lima
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Fly to Lima, Peru this morning and get settled in to your hotel.

    Cuzco2 nights
    Day 11: Flight to Cuzco & folklore show
    Included meal: Breakfast

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

    Tonight, get a taste of Peruvian cuisine during an included dinner as you watch a traditional folklore show featuring indigenous dances from around the country.

    Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Cuzco
    Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Set out on a sightseeing tour of Cuzco, the UNESCO-recognized ancient capital of the Inca Empire.

    • Stroll through ruins at Kenko, the “red fortress” of Puca Pucara and Sacsayhuaman, which was once completely covered in gold
    • View the towering Cristo Blanco statue, a thank-you gift from the Palestinian refugees who took shelter in the city during World War II
    • Stop at the colonial-era Plaza de Armas to enter Cuzco Cathedral
    • Walk through the city center and step inside the Convent of Santo Domingo, built by the Spaniards where the Inca temple of Koricancha stood

    Spend a free evening in Cuzco or add an excursion.

    Peruvian Cooking Demonstration & Dinner

    From $125 per person

    Machu Picchu1 night
    Day 13: Aguas Calientes via the Sacred Valley
    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    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
    • Enjoy an included lunch in Urubamba
    • Continue to the ancient Ollantaytambo ruins to explore still-standing Incan homes
    • Board a train to Aguas Calientes

    Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

    Please note: Travelers must submit full passport details by Tour Finalization Date or risk being denied entry to Machu Picchu due to scarcity of tickets and daily entrance restrictions.

    Cuzco1 night
    Day 14: Sightseeing tour of Machu Picchu & train to Cuzco
    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 stone, the Temple of the Sun, the Rock Quarry, the Ritual Fountains and the Condor Temple
    • Enjoy an included lunch before taking a scenic train ride back to Cuzco for the night

    Please note: There are several circuits through Machu Picchu. The one your group will take is subject to availability.

    Overnight Flight1 night
    Day 15: Flight to Lima, sightseeing tour & departure
    Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell lunch

    Fly to Lima this morning. Then, enjoy a farewell lunch before setting out on a guided tour, which highlights Lima's modern and colonial quarters.

    • Visit the Miraflores district and Parque del Amor
    • View Plaza Mayor and the Municipal Palace in Lima’s historic center
    • Enter the Cathedral of Lima and descend into the catacombs below the Church of San Francisco

    Later, relax in a dayroom before boarding your overnight flight home.

    Arrive Home
    Day 16: Arrival in the U.S.

    Arrive home.

    Show full itinerary
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    Reviews

    4.7 out of 5 stars

    Overall rating 4.7 out of 5

    Based on 275 authentic traveler reviews
    Sort by

      5 out of 5 stars

      Quito, Galapagos, Machu Picchu and in between
      4/22/24 by 2nd-time traveler Karen

      This has been my childhood dream to see the Galapagos and Machu Picchu... and let me tell you, this tour did not disappoint. I am so glad that I picked Go Ahead Tours. we have traveled with them now four times, and each time our tours have been amazing... I can't say enough about the guides, Rocio a...

      Read more +

      5 out of 5 stars

      4/22/24 by 1st-time traveler Sharon

      Everything about the trip was fabulous.. From the tour guide Rosio!! To all the hotels we stayed at!! Galápagos Islands we incredible.. all the staff on the ship we the best.. We also did the extension to Peru.. All I can say is WOW!! Incredibly beautiful! A must see.. Leo our guide was the best an...

      Read more +

      4 out of 5 stars

      Galapagos tour
      4/22/24 by 2nd-time traveler Sandra

      Great tour with a lot of information - packed days full of activities that gave us a well rounded view of the islands Tour guide was wonderful and kept us well informed Naturalist had a wealth of information and a great sense of humor Ship was accommodating. Dinners were a little tough getting the...

      Read more +
      EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 5/9/24

      Hi Sandra, Thank you for sharing your feedback wi...

      Read more +
      Show more reviews

      Traveler photos

      Hotels, flights & FAQ

      Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

      Hotels

      We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
      Mercure Alameda Quito
      Mercure Alameda Quito

      This contemporary hotel is located in La Mariscal district of Quito. Guests enjoy two restaurants, a wine bar, a fitness center, and free Wi-Fi. Nearb...

      Read more +
      Galapagos Legend
      Galapagos Legend

      This boutique cruise ship sails in the waters around the Galápagos Islands. Guests enjoy a pool and jacuzzi, gym, and stargazing area. Nearby, you’ll ...

      Read more +
      Hosteria Hacienda Pinsaqui
      Hosteria Hacienda Pinsaqui

      An hour and a half north of Quito, Hacienda Pinsaqui is ideally located at the foot of Imbabura volcano and in the heart of the province of lakes in E...

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      Wyndham Quito Airport
      Wyndham Quito Airport

      This contemporary hotel is located in the Tababela neighborhood outside of Quito. Guests enjoy a fitness center, spa, and free Wi-Fi. Nearby, you’ll f...

      Read more +
      Jose Antonio Deluxe Lima
      Jose Antonio Deluxe Lima

      This comfortable hotel is located by the University of Piura. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, a gym, and outdoor pool. Nearby, you’ll find Parque Central de ...

      Read more +
      Hilton Garden Inn Cusco
      Hilton Garden Inn Cusco

      This contemporary hotel is located in Santa Ana. Guests enjoy courtyard yoga, Wi-Fi, and a 24-hour market. Nearby, you'll find Plaza de Armas, Quirika...

      Read more +
      El MaPi by Inkaterra
      El MaPi by Inkaterra

      This contemporary hotel is located in Aguas Calientes. Guests enjoy Wi-Fi, a bar, and laundry service. Nearby, you'll find Machu Picchu, Phuyupatamarc...

      Read more +

      Flights

      Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
      Add our airfare package and you'll get:
      • Round-trip flight for your tour
      • Airport transfers at your destination
      • A great price locked in today
      • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
      • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
      • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
      • Find out more about flights

      FAQ

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