March 5 to 15, 2018•$10498
Depart Toronto Meals Included: Dinner
This morning we will gather at Toronto Pearson Airport for our flight to Quito, Ecuador. Upon arrival this afternoon, we will transfer to the Hilton Hotel for a 3-night stay. Join us for a welcome dinner before turning in for the evening.
Quito, EC Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today, enjoy a city tour with a local expert. The city's crown jewel is its Old Town, packed with colonial monuments and architectural treasures. What a special experience it will be to stand in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres simultaneously while at the equatorial line monument.
Otavalo & Cotacachi Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning we travel to the Otavalo Market. Surrounded by the peaks of the Imbabura, Cotacachi, and Mojanda volcanoes, this famous South American market is a place of history and tradition. The Otavaleno people have been weavers since pre-Incan times and make up 50% of the town’s population. You will see families wearing colorful garments and speaking Quichua as their first tongue and Spanish as their second. Before our lunch in a private hacienda we will visit a rose plantation. Later, we continue to Cotacachi, a small town famous for its leather works. Stroll along the small streets and just try to choose one of the various shops as your favorite.
Legend Cruise Ship Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today we fly to the Galapagos and embark on the Legend Cruise Ship. Our first tour will be Black Turtle Cove on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, accessible only by sea. Turtles enjoy swimming here in the calm waters while fish, rays, and small sharks circle below.
Santiago Island Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning we visit Sullivan Bay (wet landing) located at the southeastern portion of Santiago Island. This island features extensive lava flows believed to have been formed during the last quarter of the 19th century. The walk across the lava is amazing – you will think you’ve arrived on another planet.
Next, we tour Rabida Island (wet landing). This unique island with its stunning red beaches is not to be missed. Island marine mammals are abundant here; the island beaches and surrounding waters are home to a colony of sea lions and a vast array of tropical fish. This is also a bird watcher’s paradise as finches, blue-footed boobies, doves, yellow warblers, pelicans, mockingbirds, and flamingos all make their home here.
Urbina Bay & Tagus Cove Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Urbina Bay lies in the middle of the western shore of the Galapagos' largest island, Isabela. A wet landing onto a volcanic black beach brings you to a kilometer-long trail. Flightless cormorants, pelicans, giant tortoises, and land/marine iguanas can all be observed here.
Later, we visit Tagus Cove (dry landing) where you will learn about the five volcanoes that form it. Expect excellent views of lava fields and formations. A trail leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater lake. Board a dinghy for a ride close to the shoreline. Admire a variety of seabirds, graffiti believed to have been left by 19th-century pirates, and be given the chance to snorkel.
Espinoza Point & Vicente Roca Point Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning we will visit Espinoza Point (dry landing). The largest, most primitive-looking race of marine iguanas are found here mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs.
Later we head to Vincente Roca Point which provides wonderful deep-water snorkeling in the Bolivar Channel. The upwelling of cold water currents in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life.
Santa Cruz Highlands Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today we depart the M/V Galapagos Legend (dry landing) and travel by coach to the Santa Cruz highlands where we will visit a natural reserve with giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles are responsible for the island’s name and therefore approaching them in their humid and forested abode is an inspiring adventure.
Afterwards, we transfer to the airport and fly to Guayaquil. Join us for dinner tonight at our overnight hotel, the beautiful Wyndham, situated just steps from the historic Santa Ana Hill and its famous lighthouse.
Cerecita Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We’ll travel 55 km to Hacienda El Castillo, a cocoa plantation and chocolate factory situated in Cerecita. You’ll appreciate the entire chocolate making process from the sowing of seeds to the drying of the cocoa crops. Later, enjoy a typical costeño lunch served at the hacienda before returning to Guayaquil.
Guayaquil Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today we’ll tour the city of Guayaquil and visit a Panama hat factory. Join us tonight for our farewell dinner.
Depart for Toronto Meals Included: Breakfast
After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the airport for our flight home.
The Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador, are one of the most famous destinations for wildlife watching.
This remote archipelago is a land of stark lava formations, cactus forests, lush green highlands, turquoise bays and tropical beaches. Tourism to the Galapagos is regulated in order to protect its wildlife. With the high demand for travel to these islands, it is bound to fill up quickly which is why I'm announcing it so far in advance.
With few vessels licensed to operate in this archipelago, we will be travelling on the Galapagos Legend Ship in junior suites. This is a first class vessel that only holds 100 passengers. It is small enough to offer an intimate experience with nature but large enough to handle the seas. You can expect personalized service, knowledgeable guides, well-organized tours and daily briefings in the main salon.
Please realize that there is plenty of walking on this journey and you must feel comfortable embarking and disembarking zodiacs. This isn’t a journey for someone that has mobility issues.