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Day 1: Quito
Departure flight. Arrive in Quito and transfer to your hotel for check-in. Time to relax and explore on your own.
Day 2: Quito
Today stroll cobble-stoned streets as you tour the the old colonial center. See Independence Plaza, the elegant cathedrals of San Francisco, La Compania, and San Augustin, Quito's oldest monastery. Enjoy a spectacular view of the city and snow-capped mountains from Panecillo Hill.
Day 3: Galapagos Cruise - San Cristobal Island
Depart for the airport and a flight that will transfer you to your cruise ship. First stop is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Critobal Island. The southwestern half of the island is inhabited and formed by an extinct volcano. The other half of the island contrasts dramatically with flat, dry, harsh environments. The San Cristobal Interpretation Center presents a complete and documented history of the Galapagos, its ecosystems, flora and fauna.
Day 4: Galapagos Cruise - Punta Suarez (Espanola Island) - Punta Cormorant (Floreana Island)
Fascinating start today with Espanola Island, teeming with wildlife. See curious mockingbirds, sea lions, the waived albatross, colonies of masked and blue-footed boobies, Darwin finches and Galapagos doves and hawks. Continue on to Floreana Island, one of the few populated in the Galapagos. Land on a beach of green sand and follow the trail to a lagoon to see pink flamingos, pintail ducks, and common stilts, among others. Time to visit the small settlement of Puerto Velasco Ibarra.
Day 5: Galapagos Cruise - Urbina Bay (Isabela Island) - Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
Today explore Isabela Island, the largest of the Galapagos, created by intense volcanic activity. A boat ride reveals marine life, Galapagos penguins, and fabulous views of the lava fields and volcanic formations. On to Fernandina Island, where along the shoreline you will view hundreds of marine iguanas basking in the sun. Flightless cormorants build their nests on the point and often Galapagos hawks fly overhead.
Day 6: Galapagos Cruise - Santa Cruz Island - Baltra Island - Guayaquil
Stop at Santa Cruz Island, home to the Charles Darwin Research Center, and staffed by international scientists engaged in research. Have your picture taken with giant tortoises, and stroll through the small town of Puerto Ayora. Continue on to Baltra, disembark your cruise ship, and board your flight to Guayaquil, Educador's largest city and the center of Ecuador's fishing and manufacturing industries. Dinner and overnight in Guayaquil.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight.
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