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Ecuador & Galapagos Cruise

QUITO, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS & GUAYAQUIL

    Save up to $800 per couple!!!

For a limited time only save up to $800 per couple on this remarkable journey to Ecuador & Galapagos. Reserve by October 6, 2016 to qualify for the early booking discount. Space is limited so please reserve early.

Click here for the 15 Day Machu Picchu & Galapagos Cruise!

Itinerary at a glance Tour Highlights Your tour includes
  • International flight from Miami
  • 3 nights in Quito
  • 4-night Galapagos Cruise
  • 1 night in Guayaquil
  • International flight to Miami
  • The Equator (Quito)
  • Church of San Francisco (Quito)
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Walking Tour of Guayaquil
  • Round trip airfare from Miami via LAN Airlines
  • Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • Intra-South America flights, ground transportation and transfers
  • Accommodations at First Class hotels
  • Four-night Galapagos Cruise aboard the first-class, newly-renovated MV Santa Cruz II
  • Galapagos Park fee
  • 17 meals: 8 breakfasts (B), 4 lunches (L), 5 dinners (D)
  • Comprehensive sightseeing tours and shore excursions
  • Professional English-speaking tour director starting in the afternoon of Day 3 

Click on the tabs below to learn more!

Land + Air
(Land Only Prices Available Upon Request)

Tour cost airfare included

Depart

Return

Reserve by
Oct 6 2016

Reserve after
Oct 6 2016

2016

 

w/check 
discount

Sale

 After Sale

Oct 28

Nov 5

$ 4499

$ 4599

$ 4899

Nov 11

Nov 19

$ 4299

$ 4399

$ 4699

Nov 25

Dec 3

$ 4499

$ 4599

$ 4899

Dec 9

Dec 17

$ 4299

$ 4399

$ 4699

2017

 

w/check 
discount

Sale

 After Sale

Feb 3

Feb 11

$ 4599

$ 4699

$ 4999

Feb 17

Feb 25

$ 4599

$ 4699

$ 4999

Mar 3

Mar11

$ 4499

$ 4599

$ 4899

Mar 17

Mar 25

$ 4599

$ 4699

$ 4999

Mar 31

Apr 8

$ 4599

$ 4699

$ 4999

May 26

Jun 3

$ 4599

$ 4699

$ 4999

Jun 9

Jun 17

$ 4599

$ 4699

$ 4999

Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
Single room supplement is 2016: $1349 / 2017: $1549
For more information on this tour, please contact us here or call us during business hours (Mon-Fri, 9:30-5:30 EST) at 800-337-7773.

MV SANTA CRUZ II

CABIN UPGRADE:
Rates are based on outside cabin with big windows on the Horizon Deck (Category B).
Upgrade to higher deck:
• Outside Cabin with big windows on the Expedition Deck (Category A): Add $299 per person for twin-sharing / $449 for single occupancy.
While every effort is made to adhere to the schedule outlined while cruising the Galapagos Islands, the final shore excursions mentioned are subject to change.
Reservations and Payments 
Reservations can be made by phone (1-800-337-7773) and will be confirmed upon receipt of $300 per person non-refundable deposit (by check) which must be received within 7 days of reservation. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Baggage fees may apply. Space and prices subject to availability. For complete booking information and terms & conditions click here.

Click here for the 15 Day Machu Picchu & Galapagos Cruise!

 

ABOUT GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
Welcome to the enchanting Galapagos Islands, a magical place like no other on earth! Charles Darwin turned these fascinating isles into a unique living laboratory to study evolutionary changes that led to a new understanding of life on earth. In order to protect the ecological balance, the number of visitors to the islands is limited. You’ll be one of those privileged guests to visit the islands and get to know a wide variety of exotic wildlife unique to this archipelago! Get close to animals less fearful of humans than those found elsewhere. This is a once in a lifetime adventure you’ll never forget!
ABOUT MV SANTA CRUZ II
The newly-renovated M/V Santa Cruz II is one of the finest ships in her class to sail the Galapagos archipelago. The cruise ship offers excellent standards, including first class service, expert crew, knowledgeable multilingual naturalist/guides and menus that feature tasty international cuisine and celebrated Ecuadorian dishes. It has capacity for ninety guests. The onboard Expedition Team consists of a Chief Naturalist and seven other Naturalists. The Naturalist team will delight guests with diverse natural history explanations, superb on-deck talks, and eye-opening lectures regarding the special Galapagos Islands. All cabins maintain the same high standard for both comfort and style. All cabins have large windows, and the entire ship is air-conditioned.

 

Day 1
Depart USA/Arrive Quito (Ecuador)
Your exciting expedition to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands begins this afternoon as you depart on your flight. Evening arrival in Quito, the colonial capital of Ecuador, located just 15 miles from the equator and surrounded by ice-capped volcanoes. En route to your first-class, centrally located hotel, your guide will provide tips and suggestions for your day at leisure tomorrow. Hilton Colon Hotel

 

Day 2
Quito.
Today is at leisure for you to explore Quito independently. You’ll have plenty of tips and suggestions from your guide for your independent sightseeing.
 Hilton Colon Hotel (B)

Day 3

Quito.
On a guided morning tour of Quito learn about its colonial past, history and culture. Visit the old town and see the Church of San Francisco, the first religious building constructed in South America by the Spanish. See the facade of La Compania, the city’s most ornate church. Admire the spectacular views of the Valley of Tumbaco. On a clear day, you’ll see the impressive volcanoes surrounding the city. Afterwards, drive north to the Equatorial Line Monument where you’ll have fun straddling the hemispheres in the middle of the world. The balance of the day is at leisure. (B)

Day 4
Quito/ Galapagos Cruise: Las Bachas, Santa Cruz Island
After an early breakfast, fly to the island of Baltra, one of the gateways to the islands. Over the next five days cruise along and visit the enchanted Galapagos Islands, where you’ll see a variety of exotic wildlife. Board your upscale cruise boat, your base while exploring the islands and enjoy a welcome lunch onboard. This afternoon, enjoy a guided shore excursion of Las Bachas, a wet landing on a white-sanded beach backed by a saltwater lagoon, located at the northern coastline of Santa Cruz Island. Here, you will encounter an amazing variety of sea birds, marine iguanas, and turtles. Later, you’ll have a chance to swim and snorkel at the nearby white-sand beach. Reboard the ship and enjoy dinner onboard. MV Santa Cruz II (B,L,D)

Day 5
Galapagos Cruise: Santiago Island
After breakfast, disembark your ship near Santiago Island, a spectacular island consisting of two overlapping volcanoes. Begin by exploring Buccaneer Cove, a popular site for pirates, sailors, and whalers in the 17th and 18th centuries. Buccaneer Cove is known for its impressive 50 meter tuff cliffs, a dramatic landscape made even more impressive by hundreds of seabirds perched on top of the cliffs. Two of the more recognizable rock formations are known as “The Bishop” and “Elephant Rock.”  You’ll have the opportunity to snorkel or take a boat ride, but don’t forget to keep an eye out for the many sea lions relaxing by the beach.

 

Later in the day, you’ll visit Puerto Egas, a black sand beach with spectacular rock formations in the background. Walk along a trail that crosses the dry interior where marine iguanas are scattered around and the remains of a salt-mining enterprise can still be seen. Continuing down the trail will lead you to the Fur Seal Grotto, one of the few places in the Galapagos where fur seals can be seen. Later, you can swim and snorkel in search of octopuses, sea horses, starfish and other magnificent sea life. (B,L,D)

Day 6
Galapagos Cruise: Rabida Island/Bartholomew Island
This morning, explore the spectacular Rabida Island, home to the largest variety of lava types in the Galapagos and known for its high cliff along the north coast and its long sandy beaches. Follow a trail into the interior of the island that provides the occasional flamingo and leads you to a saltwater lagoon in the dry zone of the island. Along the beaches and lagoons, savor the views of the volcanic peaks and the clear waters or observe the sea lions and pelicans in their natural habitats. You’ll have the opportunity to snorkel, or if you’d like, enjoy a ride on a glass bottom boat.

 

In the afternoon, make your way to the breathtaking Bartholomew Island, a volcanic island where black lava fields contrast with lush green vegetation and spectacular white sand beaches. Enjoy the beautiful beach or hike to the summit of the island where you’ll enjoy an impressive view of the surrounding islands. During the hike, you will pass by marine iguanas, lava lizards, and more. At the summit, marvel at Pinnacle Rock, the remains of an eroded tuff cone, leans into Bartholomew’s northern bay and provides one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Galapagos Islands. You will also encounter small, friendly companions: the Galapagos penguin, the only existing species of penguin in the equator area. (B,L,D)

Day 7
Galapagos Cruise: Genovesa Island
Today you will visit Genovesa Island, a horse-shoe shaped island located in the northeastern region of the archipelago. It is the only island north of the equator open to tourists, and it is the best place to see red-footed boobies and the great frigate birds.  In the morning, you can hike on “Prince Philip’s Steps”, an extraordinary path that leads through a seabird colony full of Nazca and red-footed boobies. After reaching the plateau, the trail continues inland and passes more nesting booby colonies in the thin Palo Santo forest. Towards the end of the trail, you’ll look over a rocky lava plain where wedge-rumped storm petrels fly in all directions.

 

Later, visit Darwin Bay, a spectacular byproduct of a submerged crater surrounded by steep cliffs. Here you will observe hundreds of birds, mainly great frigate birds, red-footed and masked boobies, lava gulls, herons, finches, and mockingbirds. Hike along a magnificent trail, enjoy the beach, or snorkel along the cliffs while looking for colorful tropical fish, golden rays, and perhaps even hammerhead or Galapagos sharks. (B,L,D).

Day 8
Galapagos Cruise: San Cristobal Island/Guayaquil
This morning, bid farewell to your ship and explore San Cristobal Island, the easternmost island in the Galapagos archipelago. As soon as you dock, you’ll be greeted by sea lions, and then you will make your way to the “Galapaguera,” where giant tortoises are brought from their natural habitats in order to breed and raise their young in a controlled environment. Here you will enjoy beautiful vegetation, and of course, both giant and baby tortoises. Afterwards, transfer to the airport of San Cristobal for a domestic flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city and main seaport, renowned for its “Caribbean soul”. En route to your centrally located hotel, you’ll tour the most interesting parts of this tropical metropolis, highlighted by Parque Bolivar (also known as Parque Seminario), Palacio Municipal and La Rotonda dedicated to Simon Bolivar and San Martin. This evening, you’ll enjoy a farewell dinner with your group. Hotel Wyndham Guayaquil (B,D)

Day 9
Depart Guayaquil/Arrive USA.
In the morning, say “adios” to Ecuador and transfer to the airport for your return flight to Miami. (B)

Check out this video of a recent smarTours Galapagos cruise!


Trip Preparation

FLIGHT INFORMATION

Your flights to and from Miami International Airport and Ecuador are via LATAM Airlines (operating as LATAM Airlines Ecuador). You should check-in for your flight at least 3½ hours before the scheduled departure.  Please keep in mind that flight schedules are always subject to change.  The current departure and return schedules are as follows:

 

Departure Date

Miami (MIA)

Depart

Return

2016: Sep. 2

11:30PM

7:00PM

2016: Sep. 16, Sep. 30, Oct. 28

2017: Mar. 17, May 26

3:30PM

3:00PM

2016: Nov. 11, Nov. 25, Dec. 9

2017: Feb. 3, Feb. 17

2:30PM

2:00PM

 

On the return trip to the USA, please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs if you are planning a connecting domestic flight.  We recommend at least 3 ½ hours. 

ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT

LAN Airlines does not accept advance seat assignments. Actual seat assignments will be provided at the airport. Please note that smarTours is not involved with your seat assignments.  It is between you and the airline! 

PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION

You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of return. American passport holders do not require a visa. Non-U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates as to the most current visa requirements to all their travel destinations. It is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.

TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS

Your airline tickets along with final instructions and travel tips will be sent to you 10 – 7 days before the scheduled departure of your tour.  Please make sure to advise us in writing in case of a change of your address.

CLIMATE

Since Ecuador is located near the equator, the weather is temperate with average daytime high temperatures ranging from 60’s to the 80’s. However, in areas of higher elevations (Quito) as well as in the Galapagos Islands, morning, late afternoon and evening temperatures will be considerably cooler (30’s to 50’s).

NON-INCLUDED MEALS

You may dine at either of the hotels used on this tour or other nearby restaurants recommended by your guide. Average cost for dinner (excluding drinks) in the hotel’s coffee shop is about $20-25 per meal per person. Your hotel will accept credit cards for your non-included meals. 

CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY

Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards.  However, for “street shopping” you will need cash in U.S. dollars.    It is recommended that you bring along cash in small denominations. The official currency of Ecuador is the US dollar!

BAGGAGE

Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (maximum of 44 lbs.) and one carry-on piece not to exceed 18”x10”x8”. We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.

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Average rating:  
 4 reviews
by David Takashima on smarTours
Galapagos and guide

It was a great tour on the Santa Cruz II and have a great tour guide in Paul. I would like to have a tour back to the Galapagos. The tour guide was outstanding and the wildlife was everything that I have wished for. The guides used by SMART TOURS were experienced and helpful.

by David on smarTours
Outstanding

Outstanding tour and guides on this trip to Galapagos. Smart Tours had a good schedule and excellent guides. Paul was informative and friendly. Highly recommend.

by Debbie Boyd on smarTours
Machu Pichu & Galapagos Cruise

This trip gave me a great appreciation for the Inca civilization. We stayed in some beautiful hotels. Climbing Machu Pichu was a bit of a challenge with the heat, altitude, tall steps and the mosquitoes were horrible. (take really good bug spray/repellent) We had a beautiful clear day and it didn't start to rain until after we finished. Snorkeling and hiking in the Galapagos with sea lions, sharks, sea turtles etc. was fantastic! The people I meet on smarTours trips are the best! Take hiking sticks if you have them.

by MARY ANN KRUSLING on smarTours
WONDERFUL TRIP

We took our granddaughters on this tour for their High School Graduation present. It was all that we dreamed. They had a wonderful time. Our guide Roberto was fantastic as was all of the naturalists on the ship. It is a unique part of the world and I highly recommend this tour. The sea can get rough so motion sickness pills are a must. It is more of an expedition than a tradtional cruise. You must be in good physical condition in order to enjoy all that is offered


 

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