2017: In the Footsteps of Darwin on Santa Cruz & Isabela Islands (IST)

9 days from Quito to Guayaquil

Centenarians? we flash their photos on the news when it's their birthday, because they are so rare. But in the Galapagos? A centenarian is young-at least if you are a giant tortoise. Speaking of giant tortoises, you'll get the chance to see them on this 9-day vacation to the Galapagos Islands. And Monograms makes it easy! We've arranged your hotel reservations, daily buffet breakfast (as well as five lunches and five dinners), sightseeing, and transportation between islands. Plus, you'll have Naturalists in the Galapagos and a Local Host in Quito. Your Local Host is there for you to help you personalize your vacation, answer questions, offer suggestions, and ensure your vacation runs smoothly.

When you arrive in Quito, your Local Host will greet you with a warm welcome and a set of materials to help you get settled and ready to explore. The next day, after included breakfast, we'll pick you up at your selected hotel for your private, guided sightseeing tour with a local expert. Hear the insider stories and little-known secrets as you see Independence Square, San Francisco Plaza Church, the Basilica, and other must-see attractions. In your spare time, perhaps take an excursion to the Middle of the World (latitude 0) and stand with a foot in each hemisphere. The next day, after included breakfast, we'll pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival you will be met by an expert Naturalist who will take you to a private Giant Tortoise Reserve to see these amazing creatures grazing in the wild on Santa Cruz Island. After an included lunch, we'll take you via speedboat to Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago and where you'll stay for three nights.

While on Isabela Island, you'll see Sierra Negra Volcano, the second-largest active crater in the world; a Giant Tortoise Breeding center, where you can witness them up close; Flamingo Laguna to see these birds in action; Las Tintoreras, where you'll take a walk on a lava field; and Tunel del Estero, a tunnel formed by lava flows. You'll also have the opportunity to see boobies, penguins, flamingos, marine iguanas, and many more species. Plus, you'll have the opportunity to snorkel to see sea turtles, sea lions, tropical fish, and maybe even sharks!

Then we've arranged for you to transfer to Santa Cruz Island via speedboat. During your 2-night stay here, you'll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about the Galapagos' conservation efforts. You'll journey to Turtle Bay, a great place to snorkel from the white-sand beach and to see marine iguanas, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, turtles, and more. From Santa Cruz, you'll also take an excursion to one of the other nearby Galapagos Islands.

We know you probably won't want to leave the Galapagos Islands, but when your time on Santa Cruz Island has come to an end, we've arranged transportation to the airport for you. In fact, Monograms has taken care of everything between the sightseeing, guides, hotels, and transportation. Add the time and headaches saved, and you're a delighted traveler indeed!

Call (520) 445-6812 for more information or to book today! Mention code 12911225

Tour Operator
9 Days
Escorted - No
Day 1QuitoQuito, where you will be met by your Local Host.
Day 2QuitoYour private city TOUR showcases the rich legacy left by the Incas and, later, the Spaniards. See Independence Square, dominated by its formidable Cathedral, San Francisco Plaza Church, and the BASILICA with its marvelous stained-glass windows. (B)
Day 3Isabela IslandTake a morning flight to Baltra, one of the remote Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival, transfer through the highlands of SANTA CRUZ and visit LOS GEMELOS, twin pit craters formed from collapsed lava chambers. This is your first opportunity to catch a glimpse of Darwin's finches, short-eared owls, and other native birds. Next, walk through a private Giant Tortoise RESERVE, where you will get an up-close view of these prehistoric creatures grazing in the wild. After lunch at a local hacienda, board a speed-boat that will whisk you away to the largest island in the archipelago, Isabela Island. En route, watch for whales and dolphins. Upon arrival, enjoy a welcome drink and Naturalist briefing. (B,L,D)
Day 4Isabela IslandHead out to Sierra Negra VOLCANO to see the second-largest active crater in the world after Africa's Ngorongoro. After lunch, spend time at the GIANT TORTOISE BREEDING CENTER, where you will see Giant Tortoises at different stages of development and admire them up close. They live here safely until the age of five when they are released back into the wild on their islands of origin. Later, at FLAMINGO LAGUNA, enjoy a rare opportunity to observe these birds up close. (B,L,D)
Day 5Isabela IslandAt LAS TINTORERAS, watch for boobies and penguins before taking a walk on a lava field, home to marine iguanas and sea lions. From atop the lava field, view a small water canal full of white-tipped reef sharks. At the nearby bay, take time to snorkel to see sea turtles, sea lions, tropical fish, and maybe even sharks! After lunch, visit the wetlands in search of flamingos and other seabirds. Also keep a look out for masked boobies, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, and sea lions before continuing on to TUNEL DEL ESTERO, a tunnel formed by lava flows. (B,L)
Day 6Santa Cruz IslandReturn to Santa Cruz by speed boat and tour the CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION. Learn about conservation efforts by scientists, park rangers, and locals who help preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site. This afternoon, journey to TURTLE BAY, a great place for snorkeling from the white-sandy beach. Here you can observe marine iguanas, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, turtles, and many other endemic shore birds. (B,L,D)
Day 7Santa Cruz IslandEnjoy a full-day boat EXCURSION to one of the nearby islands of North Seymour, South Plazas, Bartolome, Dragon Hill, or Santa Fe. The island visited will be determined by Galapagos National Park. (B,L,D)
Day 8GuayaquilDepart for your flight to Guayaquil. (B)
Day 9GuayaquilYour vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Click Quote or call us to get additional information on your chosen travel date. Special offers or competitive pricing may be available!

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Dates & Prices do not include air travel.
Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Monograms, not included in pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway and intra-vacation air segments; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only, starting at $634. Required intra-vacation air segments: Quito/Galapagos; Galapagos/Guayaquil. Air prices were effective on July 13, 2016 and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your vacation, air prices may be higher.

Galapagos package includes Galapagos National Park entrance fee and transit card ($120 value).

2018 departures are subject to itinerary and price modifications. Details will be available in July 2017.* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. Pricing may vary on this date due to hotel availability. Some packages require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Monograms).

Travel Terms & Conditions
The purchase of any travel services offered by Monograms, constitutes a contractual arrangement between you (the Traveler) and Monograms, and represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand the Terms & Conditions prior to booking. These Terms & Conditions cover Deposit & Final Payment information, Air-Inclusive Deposits & Final Payment, Revisions & Revision Fees, Air Arrangements, Participation, Travelers Who Need Special Assistance, Young Travelers, Smoking, Price Policy, Visas and Passports, Hotels & Accommodations, Baggage Allowance, Travel Documents, Not Included in the Land Price, Refunds, Service Inquires After the Vacation, Holidays, Safety, Photos & Pictures, Optional Excursions, and Responsibility.

Important Notes
  • Vacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change.
  • A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required for Monograms to reserve space for you. View Terms & Conditions for limited exceptions.
  • The following charges are not included in the land vacation price unless otherwise noted: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; Intra-vacation air unless specified in the itinerary; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; International Air Transportation tax; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; airport taxes and fees including the September 11th Security fee up to $10 per person, passenger facility charges up to $18 per person, Federal domestic flight segment fees up to $3.70 per segment, and U.S. and International arrival and departure and other government-imposed added by the airline and applicable at time of booking; port taxes; passports; visas and vaccinations; tips to your Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ship's crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted Monograms menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant or onboard your vessel (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); airport transfers on non-qualifying flights; optional excursions; additional activities and excursions purchased online; porterage at airports and train stations; Travel Protection; and all other items of a personal nature.

    Booking your Vacation with Air
    For air departure dates within 331 days, you'll be offered a choice of carriers and flight schedules as well as price points to choose from when selecting your flights. Your schedule will be provided to you at the time of booking (schedules are subject to change by carriers). Monograms offers 2 air options: Flex Air and Instant Purchase Air. Flex Air allows flexibility if you want to make changes to your vacation schedule. Instant Purchase Air may offer additional airline options but has more restrictions. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option. Guaranteed air-inclusive prices: air is only available to passengers traveling from the United States and only available when booked in conjunction with a land vacation. An additional $300 per person non-refundable air deposit is required for Flex Air booked in conjunction with any land vacation (i.e. air-inclusive vacation). Air can only be booked by Monograms in conjunction with a vacation package. Instant Purchase Air requires air payment in full at time of booking (i.e. air-inclusive vacation) plus non-refundable service fee ($30 per person for North America, $80 per person for South Pacific, $50 per person for all other destinations). Once booked, Instant Purchase Air is non-refundable, and non-changeable. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option. However, once your airfare is confirmed and Monograms has received your full air and land deposit, your air-inclusive vacation price is guaranteed.

    Air-Inclusive Vacations - Applicable Taxes & Fees
    Air-inclusive vacations include government-imposed taxes and fees applicable at the time of booking and will be shown as a Total Amount. Additional airline fees for baggage may apply. At the time of booking your air-inclusive vacation online, carrier Websites will be provided to check baggage fees, or you can visit www.iflybags.com for up-to-date baggage pricing/restrictions. For return travel from some countries, international travelers are required to pay entry and/or exit fees at the airport. These fees will be collected by the local government and are payable by the traveler at time of travel. Your confirmation booking information will contain information about these fees.
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