Location: Galapagos & Ecuador Duration: 13 Nights Price: From £8,950 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation, some meals, private transfers, experiences as stated and taxes

The Galapagos Islands comprise one of the most extraordinary natural environments on the planet, with giant tortoises, marine and land iguanas and waved albatross among the rare and endemic species which live here. This lodge-to-lodge itinerary is perfect for those wanting to experience the Galapagos on land rather than a cruise ship. Your journey begins in the cobbled streets of Quito, home to colonial architecture and art galleries, before your Galapagos adventure begins. On Santa Cruz, you’ll meet the iconic giant tortoise, before spotting iguanas, sea turtles and blue-footed boobies amid the lunar landscapes of Isabela. Your adventure ends on San Cristobal, where you’ll snorkel with hammerhead sharks, observe sea lions playing in the sand, and observe the ornate courtship dances of the waved albatross.

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Those looking for a land-based adventure.

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Add some time on the mainland at an Amazon lodge for yet more extraordinary wildlife.

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Wildlife & Nature
Adventure
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Family-friendly

QUITO - 2 nights

Your adventure begins on the Ecuadorian mainland in the capital, Quito. This city, high in the Andes, is famous for the Spanish colonial architecture of its beautifully preserved old town, and you’ll stay right in the heart of it at La Casona de la Ronda. Right on your doorstep, on La Ronda itself, you can taste top-quality chocolate at gourmet chocolatiers, feast on fresh empanadas from steaming food carts, and browse handicrafts shops for traditional souvenirs. Other highlights in the old town include the towering Monastery of San Francisco and the glittering church Compania de Jesus, covered in ornate woodcarving and gold leaf. The Chapel of Man, by contrast, is a striking art museum, the brainchild of legendary Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamin.

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Quito
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SANTA CRUZ – 4 nights

Your wildlife adventure begins now as you board a flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands, transferring to the Galapagos Safari Camp on Santa Cruz. Over four nights here, you’ll enjoy land-based activities, led by expert guides, to meet the region’s incredible wildlife. Beginning in the island’s western highlands, you’ll visit lava tunnels, pit craters and scalasia forests en route to meeting the giant Galapagos tortoise, an icon of the islands. Over the next two days, you’ll embark on boat trips to explore the surrounding islands, perhaps to meet marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins on Isabela, or to snorkel with sea turtles and reef sharks off Bartolome. Day four sees you exploring the eastern half of Santa Cruz, spotting vermilion flycatchers in the Cerro Mesa Reserve and exploring the mangroves, lava fields and flamingo lagoons of El Garrapatero Beach. The lodge itself is a luxurious safari camp, split between the stylish main lodge and luxury tents.

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ISABELA – 3 nights

A private charter will take you to Isabela, the next stop on your Galapagos adventure. Even by the standards of the Galapagos, Isabela is peaceful and unspoilt – there are no tarmac roads, and your hotel, Iguana Crossing, is named for the lizards who are often seen ambling at their own pace across the paths. Hikers will love the trip to nearby Sierra Negra, an active volcano whose scorched red and black terrain is home to a surprisingly rich array of life: giant tortoises can be spotted lumbering on the southern slopes. Another great experience is a boat trip to nearby Los Tuneles, a bizarre network of underwater volcanic tunnels left by lava tubes. The clear water is teeming with sea turtles, and the rocky, lunar landscape is populated with prehistoric cactuses and blue-footed boobies. Iguana Crossing, your home for the next three nights, is a stylish boutique hotel on Isabela’s south coast.

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SAN CRISTOBAL – 4 nights

The final stop on your Galapagos adventure is the island of San Cristobal, the easternmost island. Included in your stay is a day-trip by boat to the island of Espanola, where you’ll observe the complex courtship rituals of the waved albatross, with couples dancing, bowing and appearing to fence using their beaks. As you have four nights here, you can choose to take another boat ride, this time to Kicker Rock, to see the remains of a volcanic cone which soars sharply from the ocean. Here, the adventurous will have the opportunity to snorkel with spotted eagle rays, hammerhead sharks and Galapagos sharks. You’ll also be able to spot blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds nesting on the rocks. If you want to see more iconic wildlife, visit Lobos Island to meet lazy sea lions and spot marine iguanas basking in great numbers on the rocks, while back on San Cristobal you can hike to the tortoise reserve to meet the giant tortoise. You’ll spend four nights in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno at Golden Bay, a luxurious hotel with an indulgent spa, perfect for winding down after a day’s swimming, snorkeling or hiking.

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