Private Journeys

Luxury Galapagos Islands cruise

11 days from £8,050pp

Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Galapagos Islands

Itinerary

map marker Map

Day 1

Arrive in Quito and transfer to hotel.

Your hotel in Quito (the Andean capital of Ecuador) is the Casa Gangotena, a richly luxurious boutique hotel on the main square of the Old City, Plaza San Francisco. The building is a restored Renaissance-inspired mansion which preserves the aristocratic ambience and décor of its former incarnation: it couldn’t be more romantic and sensuous.

The active volcano Guagua Pichincha, to the east, glowers over the dynamic city which, at 2,850m, is one of highest capital cities in the world. Quito is divided into two contrasting districts. The modern zone is characterised by towering glass buildings and houses banks, international companies, hotels, shops and restaurants, while the central colonial area has well-conserved and recently spruced-up white-washed architecture, open air markets and graceful Spanish-style mansions and churches.

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Day 2

Guided tour of Otavalo and its market with lunch in an aristocratic colonial hacienda.

It is a 90min drive along a twisting road through rolling mountain scenery to the small town of Otavalo. Visit the colourful indian market where locals sell ponchos, scarves, blankets, wall hangings, woven belts, hats, handbags and much more. Here, locals barter in silence, in marked contrast to the raucous noise of other markets. Afterwards, continue to the nearby indigenous village of Peguche, where local artisans weave in their own homes.

Have lunch in one of the charming haciendas which pepper the area, Hacienda Pinsaqui, set within a large subtropical garden. Built in 1790, it has been a textile mill, working hacienda, and most recently an equestrian centre. Guests have included the nationalist liberator, Simón Bolivar.

Market

Day 3

Fly to the Galápagos Islands, board the elegant MY Grace.

Fly to the Galápagos Islands (2 hrs) where you will embark on your luxurious yacht, MY Grace. Your naturalist guide will be waiting to take you to the quayside.

The MY Grace has a fascinating history and has sailed under many names, but is currently known by that of her late owner, Princess Grace of Monaco. Under the banner of Deo Juvante, Prince Rainer and the Princess spent their honeymoon together on board.

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Days 4-9

Land excursions from the cruise around the Galápagos Islands.

The Galápagos Islands emerged in the Pacific Ocean 6 million years ago following a spate of volcanic activity and, isolated from the continental mainland, have become home to unique animal and plant species.

The islands were the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which formed the basis for his revolutionary book ‘The Origin of the Species’, published in 1859. Without fear of humans, they are sufficiently trusting to allow you approach them and observe them up close.

Although geologically constantly on the move, these islands remain suspended in time, with giant tortoises, iguanas, penguins, frigate birds, waved albatross and blue-footed boobies and a wealth of rare flora all thriving there. For many, the fascinating and unique wildlife and natural beauty of the islands are matched by the thrill of being at sea. Find a spot on deck as you make your way through the ocean, often trailed by flocks of birds and playful dolphins.

The itinerary for your days in the Galápagos will depend on your date of departure and is subject to change. There are normally two landings a day to seek out the different wildlife that inhabits the islands. Islands visited will vary.

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Day 10

Fly to Guayaquil, connect with international flight home or extend your holiday.

If you can spare the time we recommend that you extend your holiday to spend a few days stay at Mashpi Lodge in the bird-filled Mindo cloud forest: a veritable jungle just a couple of hours’ drive from Quito. 

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Real Latin America Experts

  • Evie Oswald
    Evie Oswald - Travel Consultant

    It’s hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Consultant

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.

  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Consultant

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made team.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Consultant

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is an invaluable part of our Group Tours team.

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

Meet the team