Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands
Day 1 UK - Quito
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Quito.
Day 2 Quito
We’ll explore the Ecuadorian capital this morning. Quito is renowned for its well-preserved colonial old town, built on the site of a major Inca city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, we'll discover architectural treasures such as the ornate 16th-century San Francisco church, and the Presidential Palace overlooking Independence Square.
This afternoon you’re free to relax or explore at your own pace.
- City tour of Quito (morning)
Day 3 Otavalo
We head to Otavalo this morning, a small town that has been the setting for a market since pre-Incan times. The local people are skilled weavers and their colourful ponchos, blankets, carpets and needlework are sold here. There’s a food market too, where local farmers sell their produce.
We return to Quito to spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
- Visit Otavalo market (morning)
Day 4 Cotopaxi National Park - Riobamba
Today we’ll journey from Quito to Cotopaxi National Park, passing the stunning Avenue of the Volcanoes. The park is named after Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, rising to 5,900m. We’ll take the time to walk around the park, making a stop at Limpiopungo Lake overlooked by snow-capped peaks and a haven for birdlife. We may even spot wild horses or if we're really lucky the majestic condor as we explore. We’ll continue towards our hotel near the city of Riobamba, the former capital of Ecuador.
- Visit to Cotopaxi National Park (all day)
Day 5 Ingapirca - Cuenca
Leaving this morning, we make a stop at the modest Church of La Balbanera, built with volcanic stone. It’s considered to be the oldest church in Ecuador, despite being largely rebuilt after an earthquake in 1797.
We continue, travelling through stunning Andean scenery, to the archaeological site of Ingapirca, the most important complex of Inca ruins in the country. It was a centre of sun worship, and the elliptical Temple of the Sun still dominates the site. The onsite museum houses an interesting collection of Inca artefacts. We reach Cuenca later today.
- Visit Ingapirca (afternoon)
Day 6 Cuenca
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cuenca is widely regarded as the most beautiful city in Ecuador. This morning we discover some highlights on our guided tour, including the New Cathedral, the Flower Market and the Homero Ortega Panama Hat factory, where we learn about the history and production of one of Ecuador’s most famous exports.
- City tour of Cuenca (morning)
Day 7 Guayaquil
We travel towards Ecuador’s biggest city and main port, Guayaquil, passing through the breathtaking scenery of El Cajas National Park along the way. The afternoon is at leisure.
- Visit El Cajas National Park (morning)
Day 8 Guayaquil - Baltra, Galapagos Islands - Mosquera Islet
This morning we take a flight to Baltra Island, gateway to the magical Galapagos Islands, home to such a wealth of unique wildlife. We board our ship to begin our cruise.
Our first port of call is Mosquera Islet, one of the smallest islands in the archipelago. This land of pale sands and coral reefs is home to one of the largest colonies of sea lions in the Galapagos, as well as blue-footed boobies, Sally Lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas, turtles, rays, barracudas and tropical fish.
- Island visit (afternoon)
Day 9 Santiago - Rábida
We step out onto Puerto Egas on Santiago Island. The eroded lava shoreline shelters a great variety of wildlife - lava lizards, fur seals and Galapagos sea lions bask in the sunshine.
Sailing on, we reach Rábida Island this afternoon, a land of unique geological formations. The unusually high iron content of the island’s volcanoes has left a red tint to its rocks and beach. It's home to an abundance of marine mammals and is also the only island where you can find all nine species of Darwin’s finches.
- Island visits (morning/afternoon)
Day 10 Isabela
Our ship takes us to Isabela Island, calling at Urbina Bay at the foot of the Alcedo and Darwin volcanoes. Penguins, flightless cormorants and turtles inhabit this area and it’s also one of the best places to spot Darwin’s finches and land iguanas.
This afternoon we sail on to the secluded Tagus Cove. The salt-water crater lake, visited by Darwin, is part of a trail leading to lava fields and volcanic formations. Later we enjoy a dinghy ride along the shoreline, spotting blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, brown noddies and other sea birds. There’s also an opportunity to go deep-water snorkelling.
- Island visit (morning/afternoon)
Day 11 Fernandina - Isabela
This morning we visit Fernandina Island, dominated by La Cumbre, the most active volcano in the Galapagos Islands. At a mere 700,000 years old, Fernandina is the youngest and most pristine of these ever-evolving islands. It has a rich variety of native wildlife including the largest of the marine iguana species, sea lions and the Galapagos hawk.
In the afternoon we return to Isabela Island, at Vicente Roca Point, taking a dinghy ride along the coast to learn about the dramatic geology with our guide. This is a nesting place for flightless cormorants, but we may also see boobies, pelicans, noddy terns, marine iguanas and fur seals here.
- Island visits (morning/afternoon)
Day 12 Santa Cruz - Guayaquil - In flight
We explore the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island - one of the best places to observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat. They can live for up to 200 years and weigh as much as 300kg. You may also spot highland birds such as vermillion flycatchers, cattle egrets, mockingbirds and finches.
We fly back to Guayaquil for your return flight to the UK.
- Island visit (morning)
Day 13 UK
Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.