The Best of Ecuador & Galapagos

The Best of Ecuador & Galapagos

Purpose: Wildlife, Ecotourism, Culture, History
No. of days: 8 days - 7 nights incl. cruise
First & Last Cities: Quito, Guayaquil
Other cities: Otavalo, Galapagos Islands Cruise
Starting cost: $2,609
Situated in a circle of mountainous peaks of the Andes, Quito has one of the most magnificent settings in the world. Its colonial old town was the first location in the world to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Altogether the city has to offer 86 churches and monasteries of the 16th and 17th century. Due to its beautiful churches and monasteries, Quito is known as the “Convent of America”. This attractive city is located only 22 km (13, 7 mi) away from the “Middle of the World”, the Equatorial Line.
Ecuador’s largest city Guayaquil is the industrial and commercial center of the country and home to over 2, 5 million people. It is situated on the western banks of the Río Guayas, about 35 miles from its outflow into the Gulf of Guayaquil. The Pacific Ocean enters through the gulf of Guayaquil into the city’s harbor. Guayaquil’s port is the main door to 90% of all Ecuadorian imports as well and half of its exports.  The climate is hot in the first semester of the year and a nice cool breeze blows the rest of it. In the recent past the city has seen some great changes with the construction of a beautiful riverfront promenade: Malecon 2000, green areas, and modern shopping arcades that attract tourism from inside and outside the country.
Day 1: Quito
Welcome to Quito!  Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure to explore the city on own.
Day 2: Quito (Colonial City Tour & Middle of the WorldJ
Your half day tour will take you through five centuries of history ranging from modern quarters to varied colonial facades on churches and private residences decorated and balconies built hundreds of years ago. See the gothic Basilica of Jesus’ Heart, the Independence Square developed during the past five centuries and flanked by the Presidential and the Archbishop’s palaces dated back to XVII and XIX centuries. Walk through the charming colonial quarter towards the Metropolitan Cathedral with excellent samples of the Spanish renaissance.  Visit the Jesuit temple, a perfect example of baroque art considered the jewel of the crown of the colonial architecture in Quito, then continue to the Plaza of San Francisco, which displays a rich sample of artistic and cultural heritage. Your tour ends with a visit the “Middle of the world” monument situated at 0º0’0” latitude. [B]
Day 3: Quito (Otavalo Market)
On the approximately two-hour panoramic bus ride to famous Otavalo market, you will visit the small town of Calderón, where the typical miniature bread figurines are made, admire the arid and fertile Guayllabamba gorge and village, and pass the Lago San Pablo with its great background – the rock massive Taita Imbabura. Once in Otavalo discover the worldwide known Indian handcrafts market. The local Indians 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. It’s time to test your bargaining skills! Your next stop is in Cotacachi, a crater lake at an altitude of 3.000m. The small town Cotacachi itself is Ecuador’s center of leatherworks. Here you can stroll through the small streets choosing one of the various shops as your favorite.  In the afternoon you go back to Quito. [B]
Days 4-6: Quito, Galapagos Cruise
Early morning transfer to the airport to take your flight to the Galapagos’ Islands. Enjoy a 3-night top quality cruise aboard M/Y Coral I & II or M/V Galapagos Legend. Only a special few have the chance to travel through this paradise, sailing on a charming ship, with nautical interior decoration of wood and brass, featuring ample outer decks, sea-view cabins and suites, Jacuzzi, pool, bars and more. See prehistoric iguanas, giant tortoises, exotic birds, and plants, beautiful landscapes of volcanoes, lava cones and magma flows. Swim and snorkel at any time of the year in the warm clear waters among tropical fish, manta rays, sea lions, swordfish, sea turtles and other marine wildlife. Multilingual naturalist guides lead shore excursions twice a day to a place unlike any other full of wildlife that has no fear of man. Lectures explaining the geology, history, evolution, flora and fauna of the islands are provided in several languages. A fine selection of meals will delight you, from buffet breakfast to gourmet dinners, ice cream festivals, and evening barbecues. [B/L/D]
Day 7: Galapagos Cruise, Quito or Guayaquil
End of the cruise and transfer to the airport to board your flight to Quito or Guayaquil. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel [B]
Day 8: Quito or Guayaquil
Day at leisure. At agreed time transfer to the airport and board your flight to the USA or to the next destination [B]
[B] = Breakfast | [B/L/D] = Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner






Tour includes
  • Round trip transfers between airports and hotels
  • Accommodation for 7 nights
    • Quito - 3 nights
    • Galapagos - 3 nights (cruise)
    • Quito or Guayaquil - 1 night (last night)
  • Meals:
    • Daily breakfast
    • 3 Lunches
    • 3 Dinners
  • Tickets to attractions mentioned
  • Local English-speaking guides
  • All transfers and tours are on shared basis
  • All hotel taxes

Flight to/from Galápagos $449 must be booked through HWDT

Not included in tour
  • International or domestic air tickets*
  • Taxes and surcharges related to airline tickets
  • Transit Control Card $20
  • National Park Entrance Fee $100
  • Fuel charge $50
  • Early check-in or late check-out at hotels
  • Services and food not listed in the itinerary
  • Beverages during the meals
  • Hotel extras, and personal expenses.
  • Tips for guides, drivers and in restaurants

Hotels in your Tour

Category Hotel Name Room Type Tripadvisor
First Class
Quito Hotel Mercure Standard room 4
Galapagos M/Y Coral I & II or M/V Galapagos Standard Plus Cabin n/a
Guayaquil Hotel Oro Verde Standard room 5
Quito Swissotel or Marriott Deluxe room 4.5
Galapagos M/Y Coral I & II or M/V Legend Standard Plus Cabin n/a
Guayaquil Hilton Colon Guayaquil Deluxe room 4

All hotels and cruises are subject to confirmation at the time of booking

Tour Pricing

Category From
2019 Departures
First Class $2,785
Deluxe $2,955
Rates are minimum per person sharing a room and may change without notice.
Rates may change depending on the date of travel
Prices for single room or for 3 passengers sharing a room are available on request
Valid through December 20th 2019. Not valid for Holidays and big Conventions.
Other blackout dates may apply.
Tour Code: EQ02UIO19IDM

Important Cruise conditions and Schedules:
Deposit upon confirmation $500 (five hundred) dollars per person
Full payment: 61 days prior to departure or at time of reservation if less than 61 days before departure
Up to 121 days before departure cruise deposit is fully refundable
120 to 61 days before departure: full deposit will be forfeited ($500 per person)
60 to 0 days: Non-refundable
Name changes on same departure
120 to 61 days before departure: $150 penalty per person
60 to 0 days: Not permitted
Change of cruise dates:
120 to 61 days before departure: $150 penalty per person
60 to 31 days before departure, a 80% penalty will apply for same names.
Price adjustments apply depending on available date, ship, and cabin(s). Above conditions do not apply Dec 18th through January 10th.


Cruise Schedules:

3-night Cruises
Mon AM Arrival in Baltra and transfer to boat
PM Santa Cruz: Highlands / Pitt Craters
Tue AM Santiago: Egas Port / Salt Mines
PM Bartholomew Island
Wed AM Santa Cruz: Dragon Hill
PM North Seymour Island
Thu AM Santa Cruz: Bachas Beach
Transfer to the Baltra airport
4-day Cruise C
Mon AM Arrival in Baltra and transfer to boat
PM Mosquera Islet
Tue AM South Plazas Island
PM Santa Fe Island
Wed AM San Cristobal: Pitt Point
PM San Cristobal: Witch Hill
Thu AM San Cristobal: Colorado Hill
Transfer to the San Cristobal airport
Itinerary A: 4 days - 3 nights
Sun AM Arrival in Baltra and transfer to boat
PM Santa Cruz: Fausto Llerena Breeding Center
Mon AM Dragon Hill
PM Bartholomew Island
Tue AM Rabida Island
PM Bachas Beach
Wed AM Black Turtle Cove and transfer to the airport
Itinerary C: 4 days - 3 nights
Sun AM Arrival in Baltra and transfer to boat
PM Santa Cruz: Fausto Llerena Breeding Center
Mon AM Mosquera Islet
PM North Seymour
Tue AM Santa Fe Island
PM South Plaza
Wed AM Interpretation Center & Tijeretas and transfer to the airport

The schedules depend on your day of departure.