Ecuador & Its Galápagos Islands with the Amazon 2020

12 Day Cruise Quito to Quito

2020 Information. Switch to 2021 »

This exciting cruise vacation lets you sample the natural wonders of Ecuador and its Galápagos Islands. Enjoy guided sightseeing in Quito and have your photo taken at the “Center of the World.” You’ll also explore one of the oldest streets in Quito to visit with local artists and taste some Ecuadorian chocolate at a chocolate factory. Before taking to the sea, a highlight of your trip will be a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about conservation efforts for the giant tortoises. Then, embark on an exciting 4-night cruise among various Galápagos Islands on the recently refurbished Treasure of Galápagos. Have your camera ready as your Naturalist points out colonies of sea lions, pelicans, albatross, several species of Darwin’s finches, marine iguanas, flamingos, masked boobies, blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, storm petrels, short-eared owls, and other birds. Each day venture to a new island which is home to species found nowhere else in the world! You’ll also have a chance to snorkel in the tropical waters and perhaps get a look at sea turtles, sharks, and rays.

Following your adventure around the Galápagos Islands, continue on to encounter a new set of flora and fauna in the Amazon! From Quito, fly to Coca and travel by canoe to your Amazon lodge for a 3-night stay that includes a rainforest canopy walk, a guided night tour to see the wildlife that comes out at night, cruises through the flooded forest, and spend time with the natives on a visit to a local village and school. A remarkable cruise adventure!


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Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Arrive Quito, Ecuador: Welcome to QuitoDay 2 Quito: Walking tour, visit San Francisco Monastery, La Compania Church, La Ronda Street, a Chocolate factory, and the Equatorial Monument; welcome dinnerDay 3 Quito–Baltra–Galápagos Islands (Embarkation)–Santa Cruz Island: Fly to the Galápagos Islands; embark Treasure of Galápagos; visit Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz IslandDay 4 Galápagos Islands Cruising: Santiago & Bartolomé Islands: Naturalist-guided walks on each island; snorkelingDay 5 Galápagos Islands Cruising:North Seymour Island & Mosquera Islet: Naturalist-guided walks on each island; snorkelingDay 6 Galápagos Islands Cruising:South Plaza & San Cristobal Islands: Naturalist-guided walks on each island; snorkelingDay 7 Galápagos Islands (Disembarkation)–San Cristobal Island–Quito:Disembark Treasure of Galápagos; visit San Cristobal Interpretation Center; fly to QuitoDay 8 Quito–Coca–Amazon: Fly to Coca; travel by boat and dugout canoe to your Amazon lodgeDay 9 Amazon: Visit a parrot clay lick; guided walk through the jungle; night walk or canoe rideDay 10 Amazon: Cruise on the Napo through the flooded forest; visit a local community, school, and villageDay 11 Amazon–Coca–Quito:Return to Coca; fly to QuitoDay 12 Quito: Your vacation ends this morning

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Always Included

You've always forged your own path...with your own distinct perspective of looking at the world. Avalon Waterways presents a river cruise experience with your unique style in mind—offering expansive views and wider perspectives. That's why we've designed a cruise experience that's just a bit different. Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board.

Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board. See the Ship Amenities Section below for more information about the amenities in our fleet’s unique ships.

Throughout the Ship
Suites & Staterooms
Avalon Choice® Shore Excursions
Dining

Throughout the Ship:

  • Luxurious standards in elegant atmosphere
  • Expedition team of multilingual Naturalists
  • Daily multi-media natural history lectures
  • Observation area to watch local fauna
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew and Cruise Director
  • Air-conditioning throughout
  • Access to resident paramedic
  • Radio and satellite communications
  • Included shore excursions with Local Naturalist
  • On board the Delfin III
    • Deluxe excursion skiffs with cold towel service, fresh fruit, and refreshments
    • Series of cultural performances, educational talks, and cooking classes
    • Small gym
    • Rainforest Spa
    • Refreshing plunge pool on the open-air deck
  • On board the Treasure of Galápagos
    • Complimentary snorkeling gear
    • 24-hour complimentary water, tea and coffee
    • Jacuzzi

Suites & Staterooms:

  • On board the Delfin III
    • Deluxe beds with fine linens & European-style duvets
    • Bedside tables with reading lamps
    • Premium bath amenities
    • Internal communication system
    • Individual climate control and in-room safe
    • Large mirror in bathroom
    • Daily maid service
    • Luxury honeycomb spa robes and slippers
    • Nightly turn-down service
    • Hairdryer
    • Easy under-bed luggage storage
    • Seating area
    • Pillow Menu
  • On board the Treasure of Galápagos
    • Bedside tables with reading lamps
    • Private bathroom with full shower, hairdryer & bath products
    • Individual climate control and in-room safe
    • Twice daily housekeeping
    • Closet for storage
    • Complimentary bottled water
    • Private balcony
    • Small table with two chairs

Avalon Choice® Shore Excursions:

Selection of 3 types of included shore excursions on every cruise:

  • Classic: must-see sights with a Certified Local Guide
  • Discovery: inspiring and interactive activities designed to spark your interest
  • Active: energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go
  • Plus independent exploration options and use of our exclusive AvalonGO APP

Dining

  • Innovative menu of traditional Peruvian specialties as well as Western favorites
  • Complimentary regional wines at dinner
  • Complimentary water, coffee, tea, select soft drinks, local beer, and Pisco-based cocktails
  • throughout the day at the bar (Amazon portion only)
  • Open seating for all meals
  • A lounge serving premium spirit cocktails

Day-By-Day Itinerary

(B) = Breakfast   (L) = Lunch   (D) = Dinner

Day 1

ARRIVE IN QUITO, ECUADOR

¡Bienvenido a Ecuador! South America’s Most Biodiverse Country

Take free time today to relax and prepare for your upcoming Galápagos adventure, or walk through the historic city to sample ceviche or helado (Latin-American ice cream). Dine out tonight or ask about the best clubs for music and dancing.

Day 2

(B, D)

QUITO

A Gold Altar, Artistic Avenues, and Two Hemispheres in One Day

Classic
Take a Guided Sightseeing Tour of Quito that showcases the colonial city’s historic sites, including the impressive Legislative Palace with its enormous sculpted mural of Ecuadorean history. You’ll also see Independence Plaza and visit the 16th-century San Francisco Monastery, and La Compañía Church—the exquisite Jesuit cathedral with its spectacular Spanish baroque architecture—more than 160 years in the making.
Discovery
Take a Guided Walk down Calle La Ronda—one of Quito’s oldest streets—with a wealth of artist’s workshops and galleries where you’ll meet local artists and learn about their original works. Later, visit a local chocolate factory for a tour and a tasting to discover why Ecuador is one of the world’s finest chocolate producers.
Classic
Your day in Quito ends with a Guided Excursion to the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo—a monument to the Equator—the “middle of the world.” Stand in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres at the same time at the exact location of the Earth’s Equator. Observe the equatorial effects of the dual-spiraling directions of water and balancing eggs on end.

This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with delicious regional cuisine.

Day 3

(B, L, D)

BALTRA–GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS (EMBARKATION)–SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

The Theory of Evolution—and Giant Babies

This morning, take a flight to the Galápagos island of Baltra where you’ll embark on your five-day cruise aboard the Treasure of Galápagos.

Discovery
Join your naturalist on a Guided Excursion to Santa Cruz Island to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station— established to help conserve the Galápagos’ natural habitat and protect the famous giant tortoises. While here, learn about the tortoise-rearing program and see many of the various islands’ tortoises.

Later on board your ship, join in a briefing of the next day’s adventures, and enjoy a Captain’s welcome with cocktails and dinner.

NOTE:
The ship’s itinerary may vary according to Galápagos National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, and seasonal changes to create the perfect cross-section of sites visited.

Day 4

(B, L, D)

SANTIAGO ISLAND

Volcanos, Marine Life, and Lunar Landscapes

Discovery
This morning, you will find yourself anchored in the western-central part of the archipelago where volcanoes are still active, attributing to the dramatic scenery. Take a Naturalist Led Excursion of Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island where you will walk on newly-formed (less than 100 years ago) lava flows reminiscent of the lunar landscape. You can catch sight of lava lizards, marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and even the Galápagos penguin.

This afternoon, cruise to Bartolomé Island.

BARTOLOMÉ ISLAND

Hike the Summit, Snorkel, and Swim

Active
Take a Guided Hike to Bartolome’s 114-meter summit for spectacular panoramic views of the region with two beautiful bays and fascinating formations of lava flows and spatter cones, including the iconic Pinnacle Rock. Later, take a snorkel and swim off the beach here—home to playful sea lions, Pacific green turtles, white tip reef sharks, and Galápagos penguins.

Day 5

(B, L, D)

NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND

Masterful Marine Iguanas and Birds of a Different Color

Classic
Take a Naturalist-Led Excursion to see colonies of remarkable bird species, including blue-footed boobies, great frigate birds, and magnificent frigate birds—with its inflated red chest and nearly 7-foot wingspread. Watch for gulls and herons of all assortments.
Active
Take a Guided Snorkeling Excursion in the aqua blue waters just off North Seymour Island’s shore—teeming with sea lions and amphibious marine iguanas—found only in the Galápagos.

This afternoon, cruise for the sandy island of Mosquera Islet.

MOSQUERA ISLET

A Sea Lion Haven of White Coral Sand

Discovery
Take a Guided Walk on the white coral beaches to the islands’ largest congregation of Galápagos sea lions. You’ll see a wide variety of shore birds reflecting the island’s amazing biodiversity—from the deep-gray lava gull to the yellow-crowned night heron.

Day 6

(B, L, D)

SOUTH PLAZA ISLAND

Tracing Darwin’s Footsteps and Audubon’s Muses

Discovery
This morning, take a Naturalist-Led Excursion to South Plaza Island to observe wildlife, including sea lions, land iguanas, marine iguanas, and hybrid iguanas (only found on this island and a result of a cross between land and marine iguanas). You will see blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, Audubon’s shearwaters, and many other species.

This afternoon, cruise to Cerro Brujo on San Cristobal Island.

SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND

Blue Herons, Blue Lagoons, and a Sleeping Lion

Active
Take a Guided Walk at the site where Charles Darwin first visited the Galápagos. See the volcanic remains of magnificent Kicker Rock—also called León Dormido (Sleeping Lion). Walk beside one of the island’s blue lagoons to see a number of migratory birds, including pelicans and great blue herons.

Day 7

(B)

GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS (DISEMBARKATION)–SAN CRISTOBAL–QUITO

The Geological Genesis of a Magical Archipelago

Discovery
This morning, cruise to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for a Naturalist Guided Tour of the San Cristobal Interpretation Center. You’ll learn about the Galápagos’ fascinating volcanic origins, remote location, climate, and the arrival of diverse species that inspire both imagination and science.

This afternoon, you’ll say farewell to the magical islands of Galápagos and fly to Quito. This evening, spend free time relaxing or enjoy one of Quito’s many fine restaurants.

Day 8

(B, L, D)

QUITO–COCA–AMAZON

Fly from Quito to Coca and travel by boat down the Napo River to a small tributary where you transfer to a dugout canoe for the remainder of your journey to your Amazon lodge. Floating along the narrow river, discover the Ecuadorian Amazon, the world’s largest remaining tropical rainforest, where more life hums, buzzes, chatters, and bubbles than anywhere else on the planet. One Amazonian tree can host more ant species than all of the British Isles put together, one hectare of forest boasts almost as many frog species as all of North America, and the great expanse of jungle contains more than 20% of the Earth’s vascular plant species. You can find a monkey small enough to sit on your fingertip, an 8-pound toad, a spider that eats birds, and the world’s largest snake—the 30-foot-long anaconda.

Day 9

(B, L, D)

AMAZON

Early this morning, your Naturalist brings you to a parrot clay lick to see parrots, macaws, parakeets, and other species feeding. Next, a walk through the jungle introduces medicinal plants and immense biodiversity that have been used by native cultures for hundreds of years. Tonight, accompany your Naturalist on a night walk or canoe ride to discover creatures rarely seen during the day—you many even spot a caiman or two!

Day 10

(B, L, D)

AMAZON

This morning, depart on a Napo River cruise through the flooded forest in search of the varied wildlife. Here, you will have a good chance of seeing troops of squirrel, capuchin, and howler monkeys, and maybe even the incredibly well-camouflaged 3-toed sloth. Later, visit a local community, school, and village, and spend some time with the natives to learn about their culture and way of life. Finish your day fishing for piranhas or even taking a refreshing swim in the same waters—the less brave can send their guide in first.

Day 11

(B)

AMAZON–COCA–QUITO

Depart by canoe this morning in search of monkeys, giant otters, and rare birds on your return to Coca for your flight to Quito.

Day 12

(B)

QUITO

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Notes

  • Maximum elevation on tour: 9,200 ft.
  • Small Group Discovery - We never allow more than 16 passengers on our Small Group Discovery vacations, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the destination and local culture.


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Ecuador & Its Galápagos Islands

Start Sooner, Stay Longer

Start your vacation earlier or stay longer with destination options before or after your Avalon cruise.

Ship Details

Treasure of Galapagos

Treasure of Galapagos

Seeing the Galápagos Islands on board the 9-suite Treasure of Galápagos goes beyond traditional cruising and allows you a truly intimate experience with a maximum of 16 guests. Chartered exclusively for Avalon guests, the Treasure of Galápagos features spacious suites with balconies and takes you around the archipelago to explore the natural wonders of the region in privacy and comfort. Completely refurbished in October 2017, the Treasure of Galápagos is built to luxurious standards and features an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere, allowing guests to enjoy all that the Galápagos is famous for intimate contact with the wildlife! Delve into this unique world with the Treasure of Galápagos' crew and expert Naturalist, who shares their passion for nature and conservation of this mysterious part of the world. The Treasure of Galápagos' non-smoking interior features elegantly appointed common areas including an indoor lounge & bar, dining area, shaded outdoor lounge, sun deck with Jacuzzi, and an observation area for whale or dolphin watching. Each of the seven outside suites offers a private balcony, which is rare in the Galápagos, air-conditioning, private bathroom, hairdryer, and safe. In addition, the 430 square-foot Master Suite boasts two private balconies as well as a private living area.

Included Amenities

  • Non-smoking interior and staterooms
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew and Cruise Director
  • Multilingual Naturalists
  • Air-conditioned throughout
  • Spacious, open seating restaurant
  • Floor to Ceiling Panoramic Windows
  • Indoor/outdoor Bar & Lounge
  • Free flow house wine with dinner
  • Rainforest Spa
  • Comprehensive shore excursion program
  • Series of cultural performances, educational talks and cooking class
  • Elegant, contemporary design
  • Upscale bar serving premium spirits
  • Multimedia natural history lectures
  • Outside viewing deck
  • Air-conditioned indoor lounge with nightly entertainment
  • Small gym
  • Complimentary coffee, tea, mineral water, select soft drinks, local beer, and Pisco-based cocktails throughout
  • Open-air deck with shade system & premium lounge chairs
  • Outdoor Plunge pool on open-air deck
  • Deluxe excursion skiffs with cold towel service, fresh fruit, and refreshments

Staterooms & Suites

Suite - 215 sq. ft.
Features
  • 5 twin cabins with 2 single beds (cabins 2, 3, 4, 8, & 9)
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Bedside tables with reading lights
  • Private bathroom with full shower, hairdryer & bath products
  • Closet for storage
  • 3 double cabins with 1 queen bed (cabins 5, 6 & 7)
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Twice-daily housekeeping
  • Private balcony
  • Small table with two chairs
Master Suite - 430 sq. ft.
Features
  • King size bed
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Twice-daily housekeeping
  • Private bathroom with full shower, hairdryer & bath products
  • Closet for storage
  • Private living area with sofa bed
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • Bedside tables with reading lights
  • Small table with two chairs
  • Two private balconies
DECK PLANS

Hotels

 Optional Excursions

No matter what you’re into: food, wine, history, art, music or anything else, we give you the freedom to personalize your vacation with optional excursions that speak to your interests.

When you book your excursions with us, you can be assured that every optional excursion that we offer coordinates with the free time that you'll have in your destination, so you'll never have conflicts between included and optional activities. Our team of travel experts carefully selects each optional excursion that we offer to ensure that you receive the highest quality at a great value. Our tried-and-true partners have a finger on the pulse of the city in which they operate so they deliver the very best experiences. We offer experiences you cannot create on your own and because you’re booking with us, we coordinate all your transportation and timing needs.

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased). Optional excursions are available for purchase on our MyAvalon site 90 days prior to the tour start date.

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)

No Excursions are available at this time.