With this itinerary you will overnight at Silberstein hotel, one of the best accommodations the islands have. It is a comfortable lodge but with strict rules to respect the environment and the biodiversity the islands have. This is a special itinerary in which you will not only enjoy the unique flora and fauna of the area but also taste its local flavor!

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SHARED EXPERIENCES

Day 01 Quito

Reception at the airport and transfer to the selected Hotel.

Day 02 Quito

SCENIC TOUR AND MIDDLE OF THE WORLD:

A 4 hours visit to downtown Quito to relish in this urban jewel and its treasures of art and architecture. Quito’s colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved of South America, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The visit starts at the Independence Plaza, flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop’s Palace. Visit the temple of La Compañía de Jesús and its awesome gilded interior. Continue on to the Monastery of San Francisco, one the of great religious buildings of the New World; its impressive façade and atrium that lead to its Baroque interior influenced by Moorish style, with the winged Virgin of Quito at its main altar. Then continue to the Equatorial Monument, 25 Kms. (16 miles) North of Quito, which marks the exact Middle of the World, latitude 0º, where you can stand with a foot on each hemisphere. Visit the Ethnographic Museum inside the monument, which shows the different Native American groups living in Ecuador. Beside the monument there is a colonial-style town, complete with main square, church, post office, bullring, cafeterias, restaurants and many gift shops with postcards and souvenirs. You will get a certificate for having crossed the Equator.

Overnight at selected hotel

Included: Breakfast

Day 03 Quito

COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK:

Early departure from Quito by motorcar on the Pan-American Highway to the south, to visit the Cotopaxi National Park, an ecological sanctuary of 88,920 acres, around the magnificent Cotopaxi Volcano, which rises 5897 meters (19,347 feet) above sea level. The evergreen landscape of the Ecuadorian highlands is one of the main attractions, along valleys and mountains covered by multicolored fields. After an hour and a half, the entrance to the park is reached and then it’s up a dirt road for approximately one hour. Upon arrival to the park there is an introductory briefing about the habitat of the Andean paramo or moorlands, its flora and fauna in the small Interpretation Center. Continue on to Limpiopungo Lagoon to observe a variety of birds and occasionally wild horses. On clear days, the Cotopaxi Volcano is the magnificent backdrop. A short walk around the lagoon allows the observation of the Andean flora. Lunch is at a restaurant of the area before returning to Quito in the afternoon. The entrance fee to Cotopaxi National Park is extra.

Overnight at selected hotel

Included: Breakfast, lunch

Day 04 Quito

Transfer from the hotel to the airport.

Flight from Quito to Galapagos.

VISIT CHARLES DARWIN STATION

At the arrival at Baltra airport a staff member from Hotel Silberstein will welcome the new guests and help with the luggage as well as with the guidance towards the bus towards the Channel of Itabaca, which separates the island Baltra from Santa Cruz. Here, a small ferry crosses in approximately 5 minutes the azure waters of the Channel towards the island Santa Cruz. From here the private transport with a double cabin Pick up or Minibus crosses the island in about 45 minutes towards Puerto Ayora and the new home, Hotel Silberstein.

Special attention should be paid to the changing surroundings from arid red and rocky ground in the North towards green and vivid nature in the highlands and the South. The charming welcome procedure at the hotel is followed by the introduction and explanation of the personalized itineraries and the accommodation in our spacious rooms. If demanded, it is possible to enjoy an Ecuadorian or international lunch at the hotel restaurant, before our specialized guide joins the guests to the Charles Darwin Research Station in the afternoon.

This station hosts educational museums, both about the history and development of the Galapagos Islands and the protection of this natural heritage. The endemic giant land tortoises can be observed. At Galapagos many different tortoise species exist and with this station their extinction is meant to be anticipated. Subsequently, there is some leisure time to explore the small, but pictorial harbor town Puerto Ayora with its many shops of local arts and crafts. The dinner is served at the cozy hotel restaurant after an exciting day.

Overnight at Silberstein Hotel

Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 05 Galapagos Islands

BARTOLOME

Very early in the morning - at 5.00-5.30 am - the bus departs from the Hotel Silberstein to take the guests to the Channel of Itabaca where the yacht awaits ready to depart. A day in a paradise with beautiful white beaches, an outer space ambient, clear water and many native animals is about to begin. At the two hour boat trip the unique possibility to have breakfast watching the sun rise on sea is offered. Also the opportunity to experience dolphins and other marine residents closely to the boat in the early hours is probable.

Landing at Bartolome, approximately 300 steps follow their way up through the moon-like ambient to the highest point of the volcano island. The reward is an amazing view over the islands Santiago, North Seymour, Baltra, Santa Cruz and Rábida, the Chinese Hat as well as the well-known Pinnacle Rock which is the remains of an ancient volcano, consisting of black lava. It is the home of thousands of sea birds and the most famous photographed portrait of the Galapagos Islands. Then after, changing clothes for the beach visit, the dinghy-ride will provide the guests with an amazing impression of the only 50 cm tall Galapagos Penguin standing on the cliff or shooting like a bullet through the clear waters.

Further, arriving the shore, a short walk through the dunes takes the visitor to the northern beach. Here the pelicans have their nesting area and, just a step away inside the bay, small white-tip reef sharks have their territory and can be observed. Back at the southern beach the shallow sea invites to go swimming and snorkeling along with the cozy Galapagos penguins, sharks, starfish, rays, sea turtles and plenty of other exotic and colorful fish or just to enjoy the diversity of native residents such as marine iguanas, sea lions, pelicans and many more. Lunch takes place at the boat after this amazing adventure.

For this day the trip ends to return in the late afternoon to the Hotel Silberstein. Again, there is some leisure time to stroll over the mole of Puerto Ayora, before dinner is served at the Hotel Silberstein.

Overnight at Silberstein Hotel

Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 06 Galapagos Islands

SEYMOUR AND BACHAS

This day trip starts at 8 am and offers the golden chance to get to know the northern island Seymour and Bachas beach.The bus takes the guests to the yacht at Itabaca Channel and afterwards, during the one hour cruise to Seymour Island the awakening of the archipelago can be witnessed.

The disembarkation takes place from the Dinghy straight to the rocky coast near a small forest consisting of gray and silver trees the Palo Santo (Holy Stick) without leaves most of the year.

Seymour is famous for its large colonies of different kinds of birds. Especially the male frigate birds with their red pouch to attract females in the breeding time and the famous Galapagos blue-footed boobies can be observed. These seabirds have a wedge shaped tail, long pointed wings and for the courtship the males lift first one, then the other blue foot into the air and dance to impress the female. Other highlights of the excursion are a beach with small cliffs, the observation of sea-gulls, many sea lions, marine iguanas and pelicans, almost an arm length away.

The fresh cooked lunch consists of two courses and is served on the yacht. Whilst the siesta time the yacht continues to Bachas beach at the Northern coast of Santa Cruz. First it is suggestible to take a short hike to a Flamingo pond just behind the beach and afterwards refresh swimming and snorkeling at this lonesome, paradisiac beach with white sand and turquoise water! Sea lions, different kind of rays, tortoises and tropical fish may join you in your underwater experience!

The return to Puerto Ayora is approximately at 16:30h. Here it is possible to have a walk at the pier and shop some souvenirs or enjoy the sunset from the hotel roof before the day ends with a lovely dinner at our restaurant "El Pelicano".

Overnight at Silberstein Hotel

*Visits of day 2 or 3 can be replaced by the following visit. Note that this information will be previously confirmed by the hotel:

PLAZAS AND PUNTA CARRION

The group departs at 8 am from the hotel, leaving towards the north to the channel of Itabaca and then hopping on the yacht to cruise to Plazas South Island. It is one of the smaller islands of the Galapagos visitors are able to reach, located close the eastern coast of Santa Cruz. After 1 ½ hours, Plazas welcomes the traveler with a bright colorful red and green carpet of Sesuvio, an endemic plant, spread over the Island and the loud, friendly barking of several sea lion families which have settled down on the shore of the channel between North- and South Plazas where the yacht anchors. The turquoise water of the ocean jars perfectly with the white shining beaches and the black lava rocks of the coast. The hike is easy and goes along relaxing sea lions and Land Iguanas around most of the Island to reach the highest cliff where swallow-tailed gulls cross the air screaming and the sea lions which could not persist against their competitors climbing up the almost vertical wall. At the same time tropical birds, blue-footed boobies and other marine frigate birds glide gently in the wind. We suggest to take your binoculars along and get an extraordinary close view of these animals as well as the other marine life. The view from the highest point over the ocean and the powerful waves breaking at the cliffs is an experience the visitor will not forget.

Afterwards the trip continues to Punta Carrión where lunch is served on board. This is a great spot to snorkel and swim among rays, sharks and hundreds of colorful tropic fish. Take a refreshing drink back at the hotel bar, before enjoying dinner at the restaurant.

Overnight at Silberstein Hotel

Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 07 Islas Galapagos

TOURTUGA BAY AND SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS

Breakfast at the hotel.

Visit Tortuga Bay beach.

Lunch at hotel.

HIGHLANDS OF SANTA CRUZ:

The local guide leaves with the group in the afternoon towards the Highlands of Santa Cruz.

Driving through the rural area of the island the travelers can experience the agriculture of the archipelago as well as the diversity of its surface. Surrounded by wild landscape and different species of the flora and fauna, it is possible to glance at finches which are famous for being the basis of Darwin´s evolution theory. Watch the famous Galapagos land tortoises in their natural environment and learn how the private ranches aid to protect these special animals and their habitat. You can hear their sounds while they are trying to eat the leaves of the trees or searching for delicious nourishment. Tortoises of all different ages and sizes are gathering here: Small young ones with shining carapaces and older ones, a little bit more laggard and partly with cracked carapaces – tracks of a long life.

The well-known Lava Tunnels are another amazing experience! Formed by the lava floods of the volcanoes they range from the highlands down to the sea level. The track is collapsed on several spots. Nevertheless a track of about 30 minutes hike is intact and gives the observer an impression of their formation and where the tunnel gets too small to pass or the collapsed rock averts as if they still hold many undiscovered mysteries. The personalized guide will share in detail the story of the origin of these tunnels. The town at sunset shows the contrasts the Island has and invites for a pleasant dinner back at the hotel.

Overnight at Silberstein Hotel

Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8 Galapagos Islands

TRANSFER OUT

Breakfast at the hotel.

According to the individual flight schedules of the guests, coordinate every transfer to the airport of Baltra with our hotel staff individually, the service does not end until the guests have checked in with full satisfaction, many pictures and uncountable unforgettable memories in their luggage.

Flight from Galapagos to Quito

Reception at the airport and transfer to the selected Hotel

Overnight at selected hotel

Included: Breakfast

Day 09 Quito

OTAVALO - NATIVE FAIR - PEGUCHE:

This full day excursion goes north, to the land of the Otavaleños and South America’s most famous Indian fair. Early departure from Quito towards Calderón, a small village that keeps the tradition of making colorful dough figurines of Indian dolls, llamas, flowers and even great Christmas ornaments. Guests can observe how each figure is molded by hand, with dough of different colors carefully put together; then it is baked and varnished. Continue on the Panamerican Highway through dramatic mountain scenery to the textile market of Otavalo, where guests will enjoy visiting the many stalls full of ponchos, scarves, blankets, wall hangings, woven belts (fajas), hats, handbags and much more. Here Otavaleños barter in silence, in marked contrast to the raucous noise of other markets; take your time to negotiate the best bargains. Then, proceed to Peguche, an Indian village very near Otavalo that is home to the artisans who do the weaving in their homes; guests can learn about their culture and beliefs. Lunch is at one of the charming country inns or haciendas of the area like Pinsaqui, Puerto Lago or Cusin.

Overnight at selected hotel

Included: Breakfast, lunch

Day 10 Quito

FREE DAY

Overnight at selected hotel.

Included: Breakfast

Day 11 Quito

FREE DAY

Transfer from the hotel to the airport. Private Service.

Included: Breakfast

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