View of Cuicocha Crater Lake at Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve.

Best of Ecuador & Galapagos Islands Tour

Ratings of Zicasso's Service
Customizable Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist

Countries Visited

Galapagos / Ecuador

Places Visited

Quito, Pinchinca Volcano, Santa Cruz Island, Tortoise Reserve...

See all

Suggested Duration

12 Days

Natural and cultural history dance across Ecuador, where endemic Galapagos wildlife mixes with the enchantment of haciendas and heritage cities. Combining the iconic treasures, this best of Ecuador and Galapagos Islands tour wraps Quito and Imbabura around a luxury Galapagos cruise aboard a beautiful yacht. Blue-footed birds, golden churches, inquisitive seals, presidential haciendas, and orange iguanas standing on lava flows will all be on display during these 12 days that blend the unforgettable...

Customizable Itinerary

Expand All

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the Galapagos Islands on a luxury cruise ship 
  • Snorkel with seals, marvel at unique nesting sights, and wander across mysterious volcanic lava flows
  • Tour the iconic Central Galapagos and discover unusual endemic species that epitomize the theory of evolution
  • Take a walking tour through the enchanting streets of Quito, the world's first ever UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Tour the quaint villages and towns of Imbabura, including the vivid streets of Otavalo on market day
  • Horse ride through remote valleys and take a train journey through Chota, a combination of activities that reflect the history of the Highlands
  • Complete the trip with two nights in Hacienda Zuleta, a lavish guesthouse that's been in the family of a former Ecuadorian president for over a century

Detailed Description

The Galapagos Islands blur the distinction between fiction and natural history. Even after five days, they will not seem real. This series of volcanic islands is home to a distinct collection of unusual endemic wildlife. Cast adrift in the Pacific and separated from the world, they've evolved into a remarkable sight for all natural history lovers. Blue-footed boobies nest beside marine iguanas, Galapagos penguins, and sea lion harems are discovered on snorkeling adventures and ten subspecies of giant tortoise plod across lawns of green. Magnificent frigates inflate their red chests to attract a mate as your eyes are distracted by a migratory whale. On this best of Ecuador and Galapagos Islands tour, you'll discover the eclectic treasures of the area and enjoy the Central Galapagos Islands on a five-day luxury cruise aboard a fantastic yacht. Consider perusing our other Galapagos cruise tours to truly customize this experience.

However, Ecuador's history isn't just a natural one. Quito was named as the world's first ever UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978 and makes for an intriguing journey back in time. Spend the first couple of days lost in its antiquity where you will discover more places that border on the fictional. From a church completely covered in gold to a 16th-century conqueror mansion that will be your hotel, the streets will be carved with centuries of conquest and excess.

Each Galapagos Island will be as unique as the wildlife that graces it. Visiting the Central Galapagos provides an idyllic and eclectic overview of the islands' endemic appeal. There will be multiple opportunities to discover the marine world, through a choice of snorkeling and glass-bottom boat rides. In the water, you can expect penguins, white-tip reef sharks, turtles, playful seals, and a remarkable kaleidoscope of tropical fish. You'll come head-to-head with giant tortoises and a strange group of endemic iguanas, as well as walking across lava flows that symbolize the islands' history. A visit to North Seymour Island and various other nesting sights will also ensure that iconic birdlife is experienced at remarkable proximity. Blue-footed boobies, red-chested frigates, Galapagos hawks, flamingos and swallowtail gulls are all featured here. This wildlife is everywhere and you will have to watch where you walk to ensure you don't step on it. Galapagos sea lion harems bask in the sand, iguanas are camouflaged, and you'll be just a couple of meters from endemic bird nests.

Then, back onboard, you learn more from the three naturalist guides. Life on this luxury boat will include three sumptuous meals a day, a jacuzzi, wide sundeck, comfortable lounge bar, and spacious cabins.

Back on land, Imbabura will be equally enchanting, a valley of boutique towns and haciendas that showcase the rural vibrancy of history. Following your Galapagos cruise, your stay here will offer a gentle and luxurious step into history. This includes accommodation at Hacienda Zuleta, a weekend home of two Ecuadorian presidents that's been converted into arguably the country's most opulent experience.

To learn more about Ecuador and Galapagos tours, read some of Zicasso's Galapagos tour reviews.

Starting Price

$11,695 per person (excluding international flights)

Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.

What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all activities and tours
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip

Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.

Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service

4.88 stars based on 220 reviews.

Galapagos / Ecuador Travel Review: Quito, Cotopaxi, Cloud...
"Our guide in Ecuador was excellent, and the crew and guide...

Reviewed By Michael C.

Galapagos / Ecuador Tour Review: Quito, Baltra Island, Puerto...
"Galapagos / Ecuador Tour Review: Quito, Baltra Island,...

Reviewed By ann h.

Galapagos / Ecuador Trip Review: Ziplining, Waterfall Rappelling,...
"We were extremely pleased with this travel company. Before...

Reviewed By Kelly S.

Galapagos / Ecuador Tour Review: Amazon Rainforest, Quito,...
"We were extremely pleased with the service provided by...

Reviewed By Jeff J.

Galapagos / Ecuador Luxury Solo Travel Review: One-Week...
"I would look no further than Zicasso in the future to book...

Reviewed By Mamta S.

Galapagos / Ecuador Luxury Trip Review: Quito, Amazon Rainforest,...
"Our travel agent’s remarkable expertise shone through in...

Reviewed By Ravi K.

Your Dream Vacation

in 3 simple steps

  1. 1

    Describe your dream trip

  2. 2

    Get matched with top travel specialists

  3. 3

    Book the trip

Free service - no credit card required