Arrive in Quito and transfer to hotel.
Transfer to your hotel in old Quito, the Andean capital of Ecuador. 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.
Guided walking tour of Quito.
Visit the colonial centre of the capital, the first city ever to be named a world heritage site. High on the agenda is a walk through the Main Plaza, the Plaza de Independencia, where you will see the government palace, the cathedral, and some of the most important churches built around the 16th and 17th centuries, including the monastery of San Francisco.
Fly to the Galápagos Islands, board MV Letty.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galápagos Islands (2 hrs) where you will embark on the cruiser MV Letty for your 8-day cruise around the archipelago. Your naturalist guide will be waiting to take you to the quayside.
This is a very popular, small, mid-range motor cruiser. The teak furnishings create a sleek, nautical look. She has two transparent-bottomed kayaks in which to explore the undersea world.
Land excursions on the Galápagos Islands.
The Galápagos Islands emerged in the Pacific Ocean six million years ago following a spate of volcanic activity and, isolated from the continental mainland, have become home to unique plant and animal species. Without fear of humans, they are sufficiently trusting to allow you to approach them and observe them up close.
The islands were the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which formed the basis for his revolutionary book ‘On The Origin of Species’, published in 1859.
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 your ship makes 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 each day to seek out the different wildlife that inhabits the islands.
Fly to Guayaquil, connect with international flight home.
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
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.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant
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.
Sophie Barber - Travel Consultant
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia.
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.
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.
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.