Galapagos Islands - Incentive
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Incentives Travel

Ecuador & Galapagos Incentive - 9 days

Ecuador & Galapagos Incentive - Mitad del Mundo


Day 01 Tuesday: Arrive in Quito
Today you arrive in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, which lies at 2.800 m above sea level. We pick you up from the airport and take you into the Swissotel in the modern centre of the city. The rest of the day is at your own disposal to acclimatise to the altitude. In the evening you will enjoy a cocktail in the hotel bar while your guide will go over the plans for the journey. Overnight at the Swissotel. -/-/-

Day 02 Wednesday: Quito City Tour – Mitad del Mundo
Today you explore the colonial centre of Quito, visit Independence Plaza flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop’s Palace. Continue to the Church of San Francisco, one of the greatest religious buildings of the New World. Its impressive façade and atrium lead to its gild interior, a Baroque influence by Moorish style, with the winged Virgin of Quito at its main altar. Later you drive to the northern modern part of Quito to the city park “La Carolina” in order to visit the botanical garden of Quito where you will get a good impression of the great diversity of the Ecuadorian Flora. For lunch you drive from Quito 25 km northward to Mitad del Mundo (literally middle of the world) where the Equatorial Line Monument is located. The monument reminds the French-Spanish expedition from 1763-1744, which, under the leadership of Charles de la Condamine, determined the position of the equator. Here you can stand with one foot on the Northern and with the other one on the Southern hemisphere. You will visit the nearby Museo de Sol where you will get to know a lot about the culture and the knowledge of the Incas. In the afternoon you will return to Quito. Overnight at the Swissotel. B/L/-

Day 03 Thursday: Flight to Galápagos – cruise with the Legend / Bartolomé Island
In the morning you will be picked up from the hotel and taken to the airport in Quito for the flight to the Galapagos Islands. Arrival on Baltra Island where you firstly will pay the National Park Entrance Fee before you will be met by your guide and be transferred to the dock to board the Legend. Here you will start your cruise with your first excursion. Arriving at Bartolomé you will ascend a lookout point from where you can admire the spectacular panorama of the Sullivan Bay and the famous needle shaped rock, the so called Pinnacle Rock. The beaches at the foot of the Pinnacle Rock boast some fine snorkeling spots from which you can discover the marvelous underwater world with a good chance to encounter penguins or the softly gliding turtles. B/L/D

Ecuador & Galapagos

Day 04 Friday: Isabela Island – Urbina Bay / Fernandina Island – Espinosa Point
This day will lead you to the largest island of the archipelago, Island Isabela. With a surface of 4588 the isle engages more than the half of the land area of whole Galápagos. At your next approachyou will visit the “Bahia Urbina”. As a result of a strong outbreak of the volcano Alcedo in the year 1954 suddenly large sections of the coast were pushed up approximately 4 m, so that you can observe coral reefs here ashore. Meanwhile the reefs are covered with trees of chamomile and muyuyo. Furthermore you can observe terrestrial iguanas and the rare Mangrove finch from really close. From January to June occasionally elephant turtles, which live in the higher mountains, are visiting the bay. In the afternoon you will visit Fernandina Island which is not only the westernmost but also the youngest and most pristine Island found in Galapagos. The last eruption of the volcano La Cumbre in 2005 created huge interesting fields of lava. Punta Espinoza, one of Fernandina’s visit points, is situated within a fascinating lava scenery with Lava-Cactuses and on the surface of the lava growing mangroves. Beside this unique scenery you will come in contact with numerous animals here. The highlights are sea lions, penguins, the flightless cormorant (especially in spring and summer) and one of the biggest iguana colonies of Galápagos. Do not miss a snorkeling trip during which you have the possibility to explore the beautiful underwater world. B/L/D

Day 05 Saturday: Santiago Island – Egas Port / Rábida Island
Today you will land at Santiago Island, also known as James, or San Salvador Island, which is the fourth largest island in the archipelago. The influences of the former salt mine workers and their imported animals are still alive on the island. The last tries to populate Santiago Island were given up forty years ago. Visit the dark sand beach with a lot of marine iguanas at Egas Port after a wet landing. After a short walk of about 2 km along the coast you will reach the cliffy lava coast with natural pools where sea lions take a bath and herons and other sea birds are as well local. Additionally you can encounter a small group of sea bears. The surrounding area is good for spotting and observing colonies of sea lions, red sally light-foot crabs, lava iguanas, Galápagos buzzards and lava herons. In the afternoon you will make an excursion to the small volcano island Rábida with its dark red beach. A small path there leads you to the little lagoon, which is often visited by flamingos. On your way to this lagoon you will pass nesting pelicans and other sea birds. The beach of Rábida Island is considered as one of the most beautiful places to go snorkeling. Because of a huge richness of fishes you can also observe a lot of sea lions there. B/L/D

Day 06 Sunday: Island Santa Cruz – Charles Darwin Research Station – Highlands
Today you anchor at the harbour of Puerto Ayora on Island Santa Cruz. Beside its rank as homestay for sea lions and pelicans, the marina is a popular starting point for round-the-world-yachtsman. The island itself has come to be both touristic and scientific center of the archipeleago. The Charles Darwin Research Station and the Galapagos National Park offices are based on Santa Cruz Island. The station encompasses an information centre, a museum, a library and a tortoise breeding station. Here you will have an opportunity to visit some of the best scientists of the Galápagos. Park rangers and park managers among others, who make huge efforts to preserve this Unesco World Heritage Site, conduct the conservation of the islands. In the tortoise breeding and rearing centre you can encounter tortoises of different subspecies, which are prepared for reintroduction to their natural habitats. The most popular inhabitant of this Station is probably Lonesome George. He is the only survivor of his specific turtle species. In the past all approaches to find a partner for him failed. But in July 2008 the scientists found a carved nest wit nine eggs from a female tortoise. Three of them could be saved and now accordingly to strict instructions they are incubated syntheticly. In the afternoon you will visit the highlands of Santa Cruz.
The lush landscape there is a welcome contrast to the arid scenery of the smaller, lower islands. On your way you will cross the different zones of vegetation, from the dry lower region full of cactuses to the woods of scalesia in the highlands. Points of interest are the famed lava tunnels, a fun and geologically informative visit. During a visit of a hacienda in the highlands you can observe the Galapágos giant tortoises in their natural habitat. B/L/D

Day 07 Monday: Island Batra- Las Bachas Beach / Flight back to Quito
In the morning you will visit the long sandy “Las Bachas” Beach. Here you encounter sea lions, herons and marine iguanas and with good luck penguins. You also have the opportunity to swim offshore of this soft white sand beach. Snorkelling enthusiasts can explore the fascinating underwater world as well. Afterwards you will be escorted to the airport of Baltra island and from there you will fly back to Ecuador mainland. Upon arrival you will be picked up from the airport and taken to the Swissotel. B/-/-

Cotopaxi National Park

Day 08 Tuesday: Cotopaxi National Park
You leave Quito towards the south on the Pan-American Highway through the famous avenue of the volcanoes until the entrance of the Cotopaxi National Park where you will visit the little museum. On your way through the national park you will visit the lagoon Limpio Pungo as well as the Inca ruins ‘El Salitre’ located in the highlands of the park and have lunch at the Tambopaxi mountain refuge with great views of Cotopaxi volcano. In the afternoon you return to Quito. In the evening you will have a farewell dinner at the Swissotel. Overnight at the Swissotel. B/L/D

Day 09: international flight
According to your flight time you will be taken to the airport in order to catch your international flight. B

B= Breakfast L= Lunch/Box lunch D= Dinner

Prices 2011
21 – 35 Participants USD 3,725.- per person
10 – 20 Participants USD 3,805.- per person
04 – 09 Participants USD 3,895.- per person

Single room/cabin supplement USD 2,285.-

Included in the price:
Private transportation, Accommodation in the mentioned Hotels above or hotels of the same category (double room with private bath), English speaking guide, flight Quito – Galapagos – Quito, 5-days cruise on board of the Legend in double cabins (Junior Cabin), meals as mentioned above, entrance fees (except Galapagos), migration card USD 10.- per person, all visits mentioned in the Itinerary.

Not included in the price:
International flights, beverages, international airport tax Quito (USD 43.- per person), entrance fee Galapagos National Park USD 100.- per person, single supplement, personal expenses, tips, travel insurance.

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