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Escorted Tours

Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands


Route:
  • UK
  • Quito
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Guayaquil
  • London
Tour Pace:

10 DAYS from €5263pp

Tour Highlights
  • Fascinating city tours of Quito and the picturesque port city of Guayaquil
  • Embark on a cruise through the spectacular Galapagos Islands
  • Enjoy snorkelling trips to swim with unique sea life
  • On-land excursions to observe the Islands' flora and fauna
  • Explore the Highlands Tortoise Reserve

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Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

Experience the unique wildlife encounters that inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution as you tour spectacular Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Get unusually close to sunbathing iguanas, playful sea lion pups and male frigate birds as your yacht sails among the isles of this volcanic archipelago. Enjoy the region's natural beauty as you swim with turtles and reef sharks and take in its urban wonders on city tours of Quito and Guayaquil.

Tour Itinerary

1
UK to Quito

Depart London on your scheduled flight to Quito, via Bogota.

2
Quito

On arrival in Quito, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Take in the breath-taking mountain backdrop of the highest capital city in the world as you enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

3
Quito

In the morning enjoy a half day walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the historic old town awaits. Visiting Independence Square, stop at the Cathedral and Presidential Palace before passing the church of La Compania and San Francisco. Finishing at El Panecillo Hill, here you will have panoramic views over the capital city whilst enjoying a well-deserved lunch. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure or take an optional trip to the equator monument.

  • Breakfast & Lunch
4
Quito to Galapagos Islands - San Cristobal Island

Fly to the Galapagos Islands for 4 nights of yachting around this archipelago, known for its unrivalled number of endemic animal species. An afternoon excursion takes you to the Galapagos Interpretation Centre, where you will learn more about the islands' history. A walk up nearby Tijeretas Hill offers magnificent views. Return to the yacht for the night.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
5
Galapagos Islands - Espanola Island

Visit the white coral beaches of Espanola Island and watch the sea lions, marine iguanas and birds on the shore. Swim or snorkel in these warm waters for the chance to spot manta rays, reef sharks and other marine life. In the afternoon, spot endemic wildlife on a hike to Suarez Point and 'Soplador', a seaward blowhole. Return to the yacht for the night.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
6
Galapagos Islands - Floreana Island

Visit Floreana Island, where a wooden barrel installed in the 1700s serves as an informal post office. Drop off a postcard in the hopes that some other traveller will deliver it to its destination, then enjoy a morning of swimming and snorkelling on the beach. This afternoon, hike to a flamingo-filled lagoon and a large sea turtle nesting site. Return to the beach for some swimming and snorkelling before boarding the yacht again.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
7
Galapagos Islands - Santa Cruz Island

Arriving at a lava dock, we first encounter marine iguanas camouflaged perfectly against the dark rock. Walking past prickly pear cacti, we reach a long, sickle-shaped beach with Dragon Hill in the distance. A circular walk takes you past a shallow lake where flamingoes feed. Moving inland, reach a dry, forested area where land iguanas nest and burrow. This afternoon, head to Punta Bowdith on Santa Cruz Island for an unparalleled sense of solitude. Relax on a powdery beach, snorkel around turquoise water islets, and hike beside salt pools and dried white corals.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
8
Galapagos Islands to Guayaquil

This morning, explore the Highlands Tortoise Reserve, where you can spot various bird species including yellow warblers, and cattle egrets (often seen perched on tortoises' shells). Along the way, you'll witness the island's diverse ecosystems as you travel from the coast, through agricultural zones, and into dense, humid forests. Look out for Galapagos giant tortoises wandering through pastures in the paddocks. Later, fly to Guayaquil.

  • Breakfast
9
Guayaquil

Tour the picturesque port city of Guayaquil, strolling along the Malecon 2000, an impressive boardwalk overlooking the Guayas River. You will then visit the colourful hillside neighbourhood of Las Penas. Continue on to Parque Bolivar, known locally as Iguana Park for the many iguanas that bask on its lawns. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure or take an optional excursion to Parque Historico, a thematic open-air park.

  • Breakfast
10
Guayaquil to the UK

Enjoy a free morning before you are transferred to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

  • Breakfast

Important Information

Visas

A visa is not required for entry into Ecuador for UK passport holders. Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities & for general queries. We strongly advise you check with your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding required passport validity.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

Payment

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of €300pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

Flight Information

Your flight is to Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito with Avianca (AV), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 2.
Baggage allowance (per person): Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage plus one item of hand luggage providing the exterior dimensions (height length width) do not exceed 115cm and 10kg in weight. Weight restrictions will be finalised on your e-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Heathrow Airport advises that check-in should be three hours before your flight departure time.
IMPORTANT: Please note that final flight details will be confirmed on your final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure. A printed E-ticket is no longer required at check-in, all you need to do is present your passport to the staff at the desk and your boarding pass will be given to you.

Health and Vaccinations

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

Physical Accessibility

This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves moderate days of walking on uneven paths and small hills, and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

Tour Guide

You will have different guides in Quito, Galapagos and Guayaquil, please note you won't have a Tour Leader who accompanies you throughout the journey.

Currency Information

The currency in Ecuador is the US Dollar We recommend that you exchange your currency before you leave the UK.

Personal Expenses

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any meals where these are not mentioned on your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, drinks and snacks. Approximately $250 per person should be sufficient for the duration of your tour. Please also bear in mind that there will be several shopping opportunities throughout your tour. Tipping is at your discretion; however, we would recommend approximately: For mainland: Guide $6 pp / per day; Driver $4 pp /per day. For Galapagos: Crew 15pp/per day; Guide $10pp/per day and Barman $5pp/per day. Tips are accepted in the local currency (US Dollars), however it is asked that if you do not tip in the local currency that you only pay with notes, as coins cannot be exchanged. As normal practice you may be asked for your credit card details on check-in at the hotel/cruise in order to cover any extras incurred during your stay. If you do not have a credit card, you may be asked for a cash deposit. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted in hotels.

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKPrice
2023 Dates
15 May 202324 May 2023SOLD OUT
29 May 202307 Jun 2023SOLD OUT
21 Aug 202330 Aug 2023€5935.00
04 Sep 202313 Sep 2023€5711.00
02 Oct 202311 Oct 2023€5599.00
13 Nov 202322 Nov 2023SOLD OUT
2024 Dates
08 Jan 202417 Jan 2024€5599.00
07 Feb 202416 Feb 2024€5375.00
04 Mar 202413 Mar 2024€5263.00
13 May 202422 May 2024€5935.00
27 May 202405 Jun 2024€5935.00
19 Aug 202428 Aug 2024€6159.00
02 Sep 202411 Sep 2024€5935.00
30 Sep 202409 Oct 2024€5711.00
11 Nov 202420 Nov 2024€5599.00
Travelling alone?

Unfortunately, we do not have any places with no single supplements on this tour. However, if you are happy to share with another passenger of the same gender, then let us know at the time of booking and we will endeavour to find you a travelling partner. Alternatively, please ask about our single supplement prices in order to book your own twin room.

Charles Darwin Station

Please note that the Charles Darwin Station is currently partially closed. The Santa Cruz is still offering the excursion as to Charles Darwin Station as there are some sections still open to the public. The Santa Cruz is also offering various another optional excursion as a replacement should clients not want to participate in the visit.

Cabin Upgrades

A selection of Cabin Upgrades are available including Junior Suite from £499pp and a Balcony Suite from £859pp

Single Travellers

Single Supplement for the main tour starts from just £1359

What to expect

Fact File
Min/Max temperature

17 °C / 31 °C

When to go

Please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.

Quito

Galapagos Islands

Guayaquil

What to pack
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen and hat in summer
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Camera and charger/spare batteries
  • An electric plug converter
  • Loo paper for public WCs
  • Binoculars
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Anti-bacterial hand gel
  • Swimwear
  • Mosquito Repellent
Customer Rating:
10/10
L Gorski
25th Sep 2019

Thank you!
I have celebrated my 75th birthday in style. Surrounded by at least 99 fellow passengers with chocolate cake, candles plus personal birthday icing much photographed.
Looking forward to the next Mercury adventure.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Keith Stannard
26th Jun 2019

good standard of hotels throughout tour

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
David Lowe
9th Oct 2018

Thank you for a lovely holiday and a great experience.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
J Duffin
17th May 2018

Best deal I could find.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Tour Map
Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands Route Map
Extensions
  • Ecuador
    Santa Elena Beach Stay

    4 nights from €693pp

    View
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Hotels & Accommodation

Extensions

Santa Elena Beach Stay
Tour Route
  • London
  • Quito
  • Cruise of the Galapagos Islands
  • Guayaquil
  • Santa Elena
  • London

To end your journey in Ecuador why not extend your stay by relaxing on the beautiful beaches in the province of Santa Elena.

4 nights
from €693pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension