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Private Journeys

Luxury Galapagos Islands cruise

11 days from £7,998pp

Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Galapagos Islands


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.


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.


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.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert

    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.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    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 a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

Meet the team