2020: Cruising the Galapagos on board the Coral - 7 Night cruise with Ecuador's Amazon & Peru (ISZE)
21 days from Quito to Lima
|Offer valid through 12/31/2019|
|Day 1||Quito||Arrive in Quito. Your hotel is available for mid-afternoon check-in.|
|Day 2||Amazon Lodge||Fly to Coca and travel by CANOE TRIP downriver to your selected Amazon lodge, your home base for the next three nights. (B,L,D)|
|Day 3||Amazon Lodge||At the Napo Wildlife Center: Your time in the Amazon accompanied by a Local Guide includes early morning EXCURSIONS to parrot clay licks; dugout canoe rides in search of river otters, potoos, kingfishers, hoatzins, jacamars, hawks, and monkeys; and walks along the canopy platform to view spider monkeys, aracaris, toucans, blue and gold Macaws, numerous species of tanagers, and the red-rumped cacique. In your free time, consider a walk through the jungle in search of interesting plants and colorful or well-camouflaged insects. You are also invited to join families of the Anangu indigenous community on their daily activities, such as harvesting bananas, coco, and manioc. (B,L,D daily)At the Sacha Lodge: During your stay, enjoy NATURE EXCURSIONS with a Naturalist who introduces you to the Amazon. On the suspended rainforest canopy walk, your Naturalist points out many different species of vibrantly colored birds. Jungle walks show off the immense biodiversity and medicinal plants that have been used by the native cultures for hundreds of years. Visit the lodge's butterfly house, one of Ecuador's largest, and take a night walk or canoe ride with a Local Guide to discover creatures that can rarely be seen during the day! You will also cruise through the flooded forest in search of troops of squirrels, capuchin, and howler monkeys-and maybe even the incredibly well camouflaged 3-toed sloth. After fishing for piranhas, arrive at the Kapok Tree tower, perched 135-feet high. Get close-up views of birds as the sun sets on volcanic Mount Sumaco and the Andes. (B,L,D daily)|
|Day 4||Amazon Lodge||At the Napo Wildlife Center: Your time in the Amazon accompanied by a Local Guide includes early morning EXCURSIONS to parrot clay licks; dugout canoe rides in search of river otters, potoos, kingfishers, hoatzins, jacamars, hawks, and monkeys; and walks along the canopy platform to view spider monkeys, aracaris, toucans, blue and gold Macaws, numerous species of tanagers, and the red-rumped cacique. In your free time, consider a walk through the jungle in search of interesting plants and colorful or well-camouflaged insects. You are also invited to join families of the Anangu indigenous community on their daily activities, such as harvesting bananas, coco, and manioc. (B,L,D daily)At the Sacha Lodge: During your stay, enjoy NATURE EXCURSIONS with a Naturalist who introduces you to the Amazon. On the suspended rainforest canopy walk, your Naturalist points out many different species of vibrantly colored birds. Jungle walks show off the immense biodiversity and medicinal plants that have been used by the native cultures for hundreds of years. Visit the lodge's butterfly house, one of Ecuador's largest, and take a night walk or canoe ride with a Local Guide to discover creatures that can rarely be seen during the day! You will also cruise through the flooded forest in search of troops of squirrels, capuchin, and howler monkeys-and maybe even the incredibly well camouflaged 3-toed sloth. After fishing for piranhas, arrive at the Kapok Tree tower, perched 135-feet high. Get close-up views of birds as the sun sets on volcanic Mount Sumaco and the Andes. (B,L,D daily)|
|Day 5||Quito||Depart your Amazon lodge and fly from Coca to Quito today. The remainder of your afternoon is at leisure. (B)|
|Day 6||Quito||Your included PRIVATE CITY TOUR showcases Independence Square, the cathedral, San Francisco Plaza Church, and the basilica with its marvelous stained-glass windows. (B)|
|Day 7||Santa Cruz||Fly to Baltra and transfer with your expert Naturalist to the CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION, where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program helps preserve the fragile Galapagos environment. Learn how eggs are brought from the nearby Galapagos Islands, incubated artificially until the galapaguitos (little turtles) are born and, at the age of 5, are returned to their native areas. Board your ship for your 7-night cruise. (B,L,D)|
|Day 8||Cruising: Santa Cruz & Bartolome Islands||At DRAGON HILL on Santa Cruz Island, walk by a brackish lagoon where feeding flamingoes can occasionally be found. The trail leads to an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas, and offers lovely views of the neighboring islands. The forest is home to mockingbirds, Darwin's finches, yellow warblers, and Galapagos doves. After lunch, visit BARTOLOME to discover a fascinating moonscape formed by volcanic parasitic cones. Hike to the summit for impressive views of the surrounding islands and Pinnacle Rock. Bartolome offers some of the best snorkeling, thanks to clear waters and abundant sea life, including sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, and perchance Galapagos penguins. (B,L,D)|
|Day 9||CRUISING: RABIDA & SANTIAGO ISLANDS||On RABIDA ISLAND, see its red-colored beach, formed from the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material. Here, your Naturalist points out large colonies of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers, and several species of Darwin's finches. This is a wonderful place to snorkel from the beach, due to the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. Later, explore Buccaneer Cove on SANTIAGO ISLAND and see the dramatic coastline inhabited by a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. At Espumilla Beach, walk through the mangroves and see salt-water lagoons that are home to wading birds like flamingos. (B,L,D)|
|Day 10||Cruising: Santa Cruz Island||Arrive at BLACK TURTLE COVE on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, accessible only by sea, where turtles enjoy swimming in the calm waters along with colorful fish, rays, and small sharks. This cove has been declared a 'Turtle Sanctuary,' and is home to sea birds, including pelicans, herons, and egrets. EDEN ISLET offers opportunities to see Nazca and blue-footed boobies, and reef sharks. Disembark at WHALE BAY on Santa Cruz in search of marine iguanas and seabirds, followed by time for snorkeling. (B,L,D)|
|Day 11||Cruising: Isabela & Fernandina Islands||Off the coast of ISABELA ISLAND, admire impressive geological formations, including a sheer cliff that is home to a diverse sea and coastal birds such as pelicans, Galapagos penguins, and flightless cormorants. There are whale-watching opportunities between May and December. Your afternoon visit of ESPINOSA POINT on Fernandina Island reveals the largest, most primitive-looking of marine iguanas, mingling with sea lions, flightless cormorants, and Galapagos penguins. (B,L,D)|
|Day 12||Cruising: Isabela Island||At Urbina Bay, walk on a volcanic black beach in search of giant tortoises, land iguanas, and flightless cormorants. At TAGUS COVE, learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that formed Isabela Island. Take a trail to a saltwater crater lake for excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. A dinghy ride reveals marine wildlife, blue-footed boobies, brown noddies, and maybe Galapagos penguins. (B,L,D)|
|Day 13||Cruising: Santiago Island||Walk along a trail comprised of volcanic ash and basaltic rock at PUERTO EGAS to tidal pools populated by fur seals and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Snorkeling is a highlight, and marine wildlife includes lobster, starfish, marine iguanas, and octopus. A walk at SULLIVAN BAY features extensive Pahoehoe lava flows. (B,L,D)|
|Day 14||Lima||Disembark on Santa Cruz Island and visit BACHAS BEACH, where you will find two flamingo ponds, sunbathing iguanas, and many coastal birds. This beach is also a main nesting site for sea turtles. You will find remains of barges that sank long ago, once the property of the U.S. Navy air base operating on Baltra Island during World War II. Later, fly to Lima, Peru. (B)|
|Day 15||Lima||Your included CITY TOUR focuses on Lima's rich colonial history as well as the modern city. Lima was the bastion of Spanish South America from its founding in 1535 until the independence of the South American republics in the early 19th century. See the Cathedral, where the remains of Francisco Pizarro are sealed in a wooden coffin, and the SANTO DOMINGO CONVENT to see the relics of three famous Peruvian saints-Santa Rosa de Lima, San Martin de Porres, and San Juan Macias. (B)|
|Day 16||Cusco||Fly to Cusco, high in the Andes. Your GUIDED TOUR visits the SANTO DOMINGO MONASTERY, previously the Koricancha Temple, one of the most important temples devoted to worship of the sun. It is said it was covered in gold leaf and filled with golden representations of nature. In the Plaza de Armas, see the Cathedral before taking a short drive outside the city to the ruins of SACSAYHUAMAN with its intricate stone walls, amphitheater of KENKO, and the Red Fortress of PUCA PUCARA. (B)|
|Day 17||Sacred Valley||Today, a short drive into the Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, brings you to AWANAKANCHA to learn about the importance of the alpaca (llama) for Inca cultures, as well as the ancient weaving techniques still in use today. Continue, to the market town of PISAC, where you can buy handmade rugs, alpaca sweaters, and jewelry at bargain prices. At the other end of the valley, visit OLLANTAYTAMBO to see some of the finest examples of Inca masonry. (B,L)|
|Day 18||Machu Picchu||Board a TRAIN TRIP bound for MACHU PICCHU and cut a path through the Sacred Valley to this 'Lost City of the Incas,' discovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911. On a GUIDED TOUR, explore this intact fortress with its temple remains, holy houses, and mile-long aqueduct. For hikers, a brisk one-hour walk leads to the Sun Gate, the ancient entrance used by the Incas. (B,L,D)|
|Day 19||Cusco||A morning at leisure allows you to wake up early to see the sunrise over MACHU PICCHU with your second included entrance to the ruins. Return to Cusco by train, where your Local Host will recommend options for your free time. Perhaps visit the Inca Museum or wander through the artisan district of San Blas. (B)|
|Day 20||Lima||Fly to Lima, where the remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B)|
|Day 21||Lima||Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)|
|US$ Price Details|
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 $1,461. Required intra-vacation air segments are Quito/Coca; Coca/Quito; Quito/Galapagos; Galapagos/Lima; Lima/Cusco; Cusco/Lima. Air prices were effective on July 10, 2019, and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your vacation, air prices may be higher. Prices are per person, based on double room occupancy; single rooms are available at a supplement.Cruise pricing is based on a Standard Plus cabin on the Coral. Cabin upgrades are available.Galapagos package does not include Galapagos National Park entrance fee and transit card ($120) but are additional and mandatory. These fees will be added to your Vacation Estimate.2021 departures are subject to itinerary and price modifications. Details will be available in July 2020.
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