Stride climate

Trip Type : N/A
Quito & The Astonishing Galapagos tour

Quito & The Astonishing Galapagos

Great Value Vacations
4.3 . Great
93%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
8 days
From: $ 2,742 $ 343 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • The Galapagos, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, is considered one of the world's top destinations for wildlife-viewing.
  • Swim with sea lions in Tortuga Bay and marvel at dramatic landscapes at the Twin Craters, both tours included on this vacation!
  • Stroll Quito's historic center, venture to the top of Panecillo Hill and stand on the equatorial line, all on an included tour.
  • Visit one of the largest markets in Latin America in Otavalo and observe the daily life of Ecuador's indigenous people.
  • Spend a free day in Quito, either by visiting the City Museum or taking the cable car to the top of Cruz Loma hill.

Short Description

Scratch the Galapagos Islands off your bucket list with this 7-night adventure! Begin in Quito, see the famous market in Otavalo and end in Darwin's "Enchanted Islands" of the Galapagos with incredible flora and fauna at every corner.

Trip Type N/A
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Quito
End City Ecuador

Trip Includes

  • Round-trip economy class airfare into Quito (UIO), out of Baltra (GPS)
  • All airport transfers
  • 4 nights in Quito at the Mercure Alameda Hotel, or similar
  • Quito City Tour with Equatorial Line Monument (6-hours)
  • Otavalo Indian Market Tour (full-day)
  • One-way, economy-class flight from Quito (UIO) to Baltra (GPS)
  • Santa Cruz Highlands Tour with lunch (en-route to Puerto Ayora hotel)
  • 3 nights in Puerto Ayora at the Fiesta Hotel Galapagos, or similar
  • Full-day boat excursion, with lunch*
  • Visit to Tortuga Bay
  • Visit to Charles Darwin Research Station
  • Breakfast daily
  • *Your included full-day boat excursion will be to one of the following islands: North Seymour, South Plaza, Bartholomew, Santa Fe or Dragon Hill. The exact island will be confirmed after booking as the time of travel will determine which island will be the best experience for your trip!

Find your perfect trip
A vast selection of trips on every continent, for every style. Thousands of itineraries from hundreds of trusted travel companies.
Save time
Use simple search and comparison tools to easily find the best trip. Don't sweat the logistics -- travel providers plan for you.
Save money
Book directly with the operator. Find inclusive packages for the best value and get access to amazing deals.
Travel confidently
Read unbiased user reviews, pick the company that fits your style, and connect with them directly. No worries, just memories.

Travelers Also Viewed

See all similar trips

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Quito!

Accommodation: Hotel Mercure Alameda

Arrive in Quito and enjoy a transfer to your first accommodation. Quito is set at the foot of the volcano Pichincha and surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The city is known for its colonial churches, monasteries, paintings, sculptures and the magnificent blend of Spanish, Flemish and Moorish architecture. Quito has a total of 86 churches and monasteries, giving it the name of the “Convent of America."

Spend your first night in Quito trying the local cuisine like hornado (roasted pork) or for the more adventurous eaters, cuy (guinea pig)!

Transfer to Quito hotel

Day 2: Quito

Wake up and enjoy a 6-hour tour of Quito's highlights including Panecillo Hill and the “Middle of the World” - the Equatorial Line.

Later, head to Quito's Old Town and admire its picturesque plazas and magnificent churches. San Francisco Square is a great place to get a true sense of the city!

Quito City Tour with Equatorial Line Monument (6 hours)

The tour of Quito will introduce you to this culturally unique city. See the Independence Square with the Government Palace and the Cathedral (outside), admire the facade of church La Compania de Jesus. Afterwards, visit the famous hill of the old town, Panecillo (little bread) where you will see the angel statue “Virgen de Quito.”

Later, visit the Equatorial Line Monument called “Middle of the World” where you get a truly rare experience to stand in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres simultaneously! The Equatorial Monument marks the spot where an 18th-century French scientific expedition established the exact position of the Equator. The area has been built as a typical colonial town, with restaurants, gift shops and Post Office with philatelic sales. Visit the monument and Ethnographical Museum, which shows the history of the Indian cultures of Ecuador.

Day 3: Quito - Otavalo - Quito

Take an approximately 2-hour bus ride today to Otavalo, a town in the Andes that hosts a famous crafts market dating back to pre-Incan times.

Once in Otavalo, visit the traditional Indian market and be amazed at the colorful textiles, clothing and more on display! Then head to Cotacachi village, famous for its leatherworks.

Otavalo Indian Market Tour (full-day)

Discover the world-famous Indian handicrafts market in Otavalo. Otavalo's indigenous residents have achieved economic prosperity as a result of their skill in weaving a tremendous variety of designs in belts, tapestries, ponchos and other clothing items. Residents have a long tradition as artisans and traders and they commonly travel to Europe and other countries in the Americas to sell their wares.

See families wearing their colorful clothes and speaking Quichua as their first tongue and Spanish as their second in this typical indigenous city. Enjoy the unique variety of handicrafts at the giant market and take some new souvenirs with you.

Continue to the town of Cotacachi, known as Ecuador’s center for leatherworks. Here you can stroll along the small streets and pop into the various shops to pick up a unique leather souvenir.

Day 4: Quito

Today is yours to explore Quito on your own. For spectacular views over Quito's mountainous landscape, hop aboard the cable car known as TelefériQo, which takes you on a 10-minute ride to the top of Cruz Loma.

For a dose of art and culture, see the magnificent works of pre-Hispanic and colonial religious art at Ecuador's National Museum or learn more about Quito's history at the City Museum.

In the evening, head to Plaza Santo Domingo to watch the street performers along with quitenos (as Quito's residents are known). This plaza is absolutely breathtaking at night!

Day 5: Quito - Baltra Island - Santa Cruz Island

Depart Quito and fly to Baltra Island! From the airport, take a bus to the Itabaca Canal where you will board a ferry to the other side of Santa Cruz island.

Santa Cruz is the second largest island of the Archipelago and is the most important harbor. Colonized since the 1920s, Puerto Ayora is the main tourist hub and is home to the Galapagos National Park headquarters and the Charles Darwin Research Station.

En route to your accommodation, enjoy a tour of the Santa Cruz highlands where you will see the Twin Craters (Los Gemelos)!

Transfer to Quito airport (UIO)

Fly to Baltra!

Transfer to Puerto Ayora hotel

Santa Cruz Highlands Tour with lunch (en-route to Puerto Ayora hotel)

Visit the Santa Cruz highlands and see the Twin Craters, also known as Los Gemelos. Located side by side and connecting Puerto Ayora to Baltra, the magnificent Twin Craters were formed as a result of the collapse of the crust into the crater. There are many craters of this type in this area, signaling the possibility that these craters are all elements of the same fissure.

The vegetation of this area is dominated by Scalesia trees, giving the whole landscape a lush green feel. See a lava tunnel and take a short walk where you can observe the famous giant tortoise in its natural environment. Have lunch in the highlands.

Day 6: Santa Cruz Island

Pack lots of sunscreen and water because today you are going on a full-day boat excursion to one of the Galapagos Islands! Depending on time of year and availability, you will visit either North Seymour, South Plaza, Bartholomew, Santa Fe or Dragon Hill. Each island is unique and offers plenty of opportunity for exploration.

Full-day boat excursion, with lunch

On this full-day boat excursion, visit one of the Galapagos islands and witness the astonishing wildlife all around you. Enjoy lunch on board.

You will visit one of the following islands:

North Seymour: Located North of Baltra, North Seymour is one of the best places to see blue-footed boobies and Frigatebirds. Blue-footed boobies are found on the flat area near the coast and nest from May to November. Continuing the trail to the interior, stumbles upon the biggest congregation of Frigatebirds in the island. While on North Seymour, there is a high chance of seeing a Frigatebird robbing a booby, a gull or even another Frigate bird for food.

South Plaza: This island is famous for its extraordinary flora like the towering cacti "trees" that form the principal diet for both the land iguanas and the cactus finch. Other birds that may flutter by include lava gulls, yellow warblers and red-billed tropicbirds with their elaborate tails. You also might see a large colony of sea lions lounging in the sun!

Bartholomew: A tiny island of just 0.5 square miles, Bartholomew offers one of the most spectacular views of the Archipelago. Located near the west coast of James, on the other side of Sullivan Bay, the island is famous for its Pinnacle Rock, which is the representative characteristic of Bartholomew. The climb to the high peak is both challenging and worth-doing. On your way up, you will encounter different formations of volcanic origin like spatter and tuff cones, lava flows and lava tubes. Once on the summit, admire the spectacular view of the surroundings.

Santa Fe: The island of Santa Fe is one of the oldest islands of the archipelago. Its age and isolation have allowed several endemic animals to evolve, including species of land iguana, rice rat and gecko. On the northern coast, visit Bahía Barrington, a small tranquil bay where you can observe green sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies and Frigatebirds. Sea lions are the most obvious sight on Santa Fe with two large colonies on the beaches and pups playing with snorkelers in the bay.

Dragon Hill: This rocky, low-lying hill on the northwestern side of Santa Cruz Island is home to an impressive population of Galapagos land iguanas, or miniature dragons. Explore the desert-like landscape, pass through forests of cacti and fragrant Palo Santo trees and see flamingos at the lagoon!

*The excursion is shared with international travelers and accompanied by an English-speaking guide.

Day 7: Santa Cruz Island

A scenic 45-minute walk from Puerto Ayora will lead you to Tortuga Bay, a paradisaical beach and one of the longest white sandy beaches in the archipelago. The magnificent setting is worth the walk! Spend some time snorkeling in the bay or relaxing on the beach - either way, you're bound to run into a friendly iguana or two!

You'll then visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, a biological research station and breeding center housing an extensive collection of preserved specimens of Galápagos plant life and the famous giant tortoise.

Visit to Tortuga Bay

Tortuga Bay is arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in South America. Be sure to keep an eye open for the marine iguanas, sea turtles, sharks, pelicans and the occasional flamingo. A western rocky edge divides the beach, resulting in a calm small cove and beach surrounded by mangroves. Here you'll have the opportunity to swim and snorkel around the bay.

Visit to Charles Darwin Research Station

When Charles Darwin came to the Galapagos Islands in 1835 he found some truly incredible species of animals and in turn, became inspired to develop his theory of evolution. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and find the famous giant tortoises, the baby-tortoise house, iguanas and more!

See how the conservation of the islands is conducted and understand the huge efforts of scientists, park rangers and park managers to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Above all, the reduction of brought-in animals is very important to the natural balance of the archipelago. The Research station supports scientists all over the world with their work at Galapagos.

Day 8: Depart Ecuador

Sadly, your Ecuador adventure ends today. In the morning, transfer to Baltra airport for your flight home. Relive all the incredible memories and start planning your next vacation!

Transfer to Baltra airport (GPS)

Fly home!

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 2,742
Price Per Day: $ 343 per day
Check Availability

Ask Our Destination Experts

Brian Gillis
Email Us

Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

6,665 Great Value Vacations Travel Reviews & Ratings

93%
4.3 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,962
Great 1,549
Average 688
Disappointing 255
Terrible 210
Value
4.3
Guide
4.3
Activities
4.3
Lodging
4.3
Transportation
4.3
Meals
4.3

Quito & The Astonishing Galapagos

Write a Review
No reviews yet for this trip. Be the first one to write a review

Company Reviews

The customer service was excellent

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
When I booked with Great Value I was nervous because it seemed too good to be true. Nope, just a really great deal. I was able to take my dream trip to Ireland and Scotland and it was within my budget. Everything was covered, my lodging, flights, and rental car. There was no hidden fees, or fine print that would nickel and dime me later on, as "good deals" usually have. I also had to change the date of my trip and the customer service was excellent and this change was simple. Thank you Great Value, I'll be using you every time I travel from now on
Read more

Everything on the trip was excellent.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Everything on the trip was excellent. The only concern with any services from GVV was initial communications ahead of the trip regarding when and how we'd receive all our travel vouchers, as some were available online, and some were to be picked up in country upon arrival. It took no less than 5 phone calls to learn some vouchers would be picked up in country. The trip was outstanding, exhausting, but gloriously beautiful. It was exhausting from the perspective of moving around the country and only a few places were 2 nights. But, we knew that going in, and we wanted to see ALL of Switzerland and this certainly checked those boxes. We saw majestic mountains, we saw countless waterfalls and glaciers. The trains in Switzerland were all clean and we felt safe. The hotels were good with delicious breakfasts each morning. Overall, I would recommend GVV to a friend or family member and I would personally book another vacation with GVV.
Read more

Our trip was amazing!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was my first time planning a trip out of the country. I read previous reviews who had a good experience with Great Value Vacation. Our trip was amazing! The booking and reservations were easy to use with the vouchers provided. The staff was helpful. The only downside was I upgraded to have an automatic vehicle and they gave me a stick shift. It took a while to get sorted out but other than that I loved my trip! I will definitely use great value vacations again when I book my next trip. I opted for the additional wine tasting package and I did not regret it! I recommend adding those additional tours to get a more complete experience.
Read more

Great customer service

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
My wife and I recently booked our vacation through Great Value Vacations. We were a bit nervous to travel to Europe for the first time, but we are glad we did. Great Value Vacations took care of us. Great customer service. Seamless transactions. They booked the hotels and flights for us. All we had to worry about were the daily activities! I would highly recommended them. The hotels offered through the package were as advertised: nice and in great locations. The flights times were also convenient. The best part was the price. I am thankful for the experiences Great Value Vacation was able to provide for us!
Read more

Really enjoyed both of my trips

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Really enjoyed both of my trips through Great Value Vacations. I went on one family trip to Ireland (Adare villa, rental car with trips out to Dublin, Cliffs of Moher and more) . The villa was very comfortable with a kitchen, three bedrooms, and proximity to the local shops /restaurants. We were able to upgrade to an automatic car and had fun navigating to each location on our itinerary. The trip as planned by the agency still leaves time for exploring on your own and since we picked a trip with our own transportation, we had flexibility on which tours we wanted to do and when.

My second trip was a solo trip to Scotland. I like to go on vacation by myself sometimes, but it can be hard to find ones where you aren’t penalized for being on your own. This train trip to Edinburgh, Inverness, and Glasgow worked out really well for me. The hotels were all near the train stations and in safe areas (good lighting, plenty of people, etc.). I got a good mix of options for sightseeing in each city. The hop-on, hop-off bus circuit was especially useful for getting around Edinburgh. I also added an extra tour on in Glasgow to see nearby castles and a distillery and was very glad to have done so as the views of the countryside were amazing!

Summary: Have enjoyed my previous experiences and would definitely use again
Read more

Above and beyond our expectations

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Just got back from our trip to Italy booked through Great Value Vacations & was our dream come true! We could not have gone if it were not for their unbelievable rates. Each 4 Star Villa we stayed at was above and beyond our expectations...I cried after leaving each part of our journey. I am so glad I took a leap of faith and would HIGHLY RECOMMEND booking with them. Besides the Villas being beautiful, great locations, clean, and great staff; each place we arrived at actually said, "They said to give you a very nice room." (with a rate of just under $1,900 a piece for 9 nights not counting travel days at 4 stars Villas in Rome, Tuscany, & Venice including airfare and rent a car... a few friends told us to expect the worst rooms at the places we were staying ~ NOT the case! Our rooms had the best views...I could go on and on. Every step of the way was smooth with no worries whatsoever. Thanks again GVV! LOVED IT!
Read more

Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Trip ID#:

greatvaluevacations-PK-GC4P-SH-QAG-UIO

Similar Trips

See all similar trips
×
Great Choice!

You can access members-only savings of up to $700 on over 6,000 Stride Select trips.

Sign in to see trip eligibility

or
or
Provide email and password

With your FREE membership you get to:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
Already a member?

We respect your privacy and take great care to protect your information. By joining you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

×
×
Sign in to Save Trips
Welcome back! We're so happy to see you. ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
  • Bookmark trips you like
  • Share with your travel companions
  • Track price changes
  • Access private discounts on trips you save
×
Sign in to see your results

TripFinder is a member-only feature. Don’t worry, it’s free!

With a membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
×
Activate your free Stride membership

Just use the email address and password provided in the email we sent.

? Forgot Password?

With your free membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
×
To Follow, sign in or sign up (it's free) ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
member benefits
First name is required!
Last name is required!
First name is not valid!
Last name is not valid!
This is not an email address!
Email address is required!
This email is already registered!
Please enter valid email address
Password is required!
Enter a valid password!
Please enter 6 or more characters!
Please enter 32 or less characters!
Passwords are not the same!
Terms and Conditions are required!
Email or Password is wrong!
Please select the captcha checkbox!
Please select the valid captcha!
Something went wrong! Try again later!
Find the 3 best trips for you.
Take a short quiz to recieve your top matches.

x
x
Download your brochure

Enter your email to get the "" brochure.

x
Brochure successfully sent!

We've sent the "" brochure to "". Check your inbox!