Mexico - Guatemala - Galapagos
20 days / 19 nights
Small Group with English-speaking guides
In this tour:
- Mexico City - A City of colonial palaces and architectural modernism.
- National Anthropological museum of Mexico.
- Charming Coyoacan and San Angel.
- House-museum of Frida Kahlo and hacienda La Noria.
- Taxco - World Capital of silver.
- Caves of Cacahuamilpa - in the hall of a Mountain King.
- Hot air balloon ride over Teotihuacan.
- Archeological sites of Teotihuacan and Atlantes of Tula.
- Tolantongo Canyon, hot mountain pools, mineral waterfalls and sauna-caves.
- Canyon de Sumidero, San Juan Chamula, San Cristóbal de las Casas.
- Waterfalls El Chiflon, Agua Azul and Misol-Ha.
- Archeological sites Palenque and Yaxchilan - cities of Maya lost in the jungle.
- Tikal - dream come true of archeologists and naturalists, a wonderful combination of nature and temples.
- Flores - a unique city on an island in the middle of a large Itza Lake.
- Antigua Guatemala - ancient center of Guatemala, colonial charm of the country.
- Panajachel and Atitlan Lake - a child of a large volcanic explosion.
- Quito - a unique colonial city, which is completely included in a list of Culture Heritage of Humanity.
- Galapagos Islands.
Day 1. Mexico City. Arrival and transfer to the hotel. Accommodation at the hotel for 2 nights.
Day 2. Mexico City - Historical Center - Modern Santa Fe district. Breakfast at the hotel. Pedestrian walk around the Historical Center of Mexico City, a city formed in 1325, with a viewing of a central square - Zocalo, Cathedral Catholic church and a Presidential Palace, decorated with frescas by the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera. Author's excursion around the most interesting corners of the Historical Center of the capital. After that - acquainting excursion down to a modern area of the Mexican capital - the rich Santa Fe. Our trip lies to the main boulevard of the city - Paseo De La Reforma with its famous sculptures and a modern world architecture in a shape of hyperbolic paraboloids. It is down this famous boulevard, paved in the image of famous Parisian Elysian Fields and known for its abundance of greenery, with fountains and monuments, that we follow to a modern region of Santa Fe, passing a wonderful Chapultepec city park with its unique historical castle-museum, observe tall tower-apartments of the famous Polanco neighborhood, drive by the second presidential palace of Los Pinos - residence of the president of the country, move down to the rich residential areas of the capital, and arrive to Santa Fe - a region of architectural modernism, area of original innovative buildings, whose architectural style can compete with the most famous modern projects in the world. After that, we return to the main boulevard of Paseo de La Reforma, where the National anthropological museum is located. The museum is a host to the world largest collection of Mesoamerican art, mainly of the culture of Mayan people, Aztecs, Olmecs, Toltecs, Zapotecas, Mixtecas and other people of ancient Mexico, and also a large ethnographic expo, dedicated to the peoples of modern Mexico. The collection of the museum holds many world famous exhibits, for example the Rock of sun, called the Aztec calendar, gigantic stone heads of Olmecs, found in the jungle of Tabasco and Veracruz, Mayan treasures from Chichen-Itza and Palenque and many other exhibits of Mesoamerican civilizations. After the museum visit, you will be transferred to the hotel. (Breakfast and lunch included)
Day 3. Coyoacan - San Angel - Taxco. Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will see unique districts of Mexico City, charming cobblestone streets of Coyoacan, and a district of San Angel. Coyoacan means "place of coyotes" in a language of Nahuatl. From here,Cortes started his invasion of an Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. Visit to the San-Juan Bautista church. It dates to a XVI century, but its ceiling frescas were miraculously well preserved. There are a lot of colonial era houses and museums on the streets of Coyoacan. It is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved parts of the city, with elegant streets, hundreds of amazing buildings from XVI - XIX centuries and well-kept parks. Abundance of cafes, shops, restaurants and art studios creates a charming atmosphere. Walking around Coyoacan, you will imagine how it must have looked like in the beginning of 1900's, when Frida Kahlo was born in the now famous "Blue house." It was here where a famous Mexican artist lived a bigger part of her unusual life, filled with passion and pain. "Legs, why do I need them, when I have wings to fly", - that is how Frida herself described her physical and spiritual being. Visit to a house-museum of Frida Kahlo. After that, we will visit Hacienda La Noria, which today is a location for the Dolores Olmedo museum. In a cultural aspect, Coyoacan is one of the liveliest parts of Mexico City. Later - a visit to the San Angel district. Just like many other neighborhoods of Mexico, San Angel used to be a separate city until in the end of 1940's - beginning of 1950's a larger city grew around it. San Angel still kept its colonial era architecture and charm, reminding about the fact that in XVIII - beginning of XIX century it served as a summer residence of many Mexican aristocrats. A visit to the Carmen Temple museum, a former women's monastery with a curious collection of mummified nuns occupying it in the past. We will view a world-renowned famous Azteca stadium and a building of the Government University with their unique mosaics, reflecting the history of pre-Spanish Mexico. After that, we will depart to the state of Guerrero, to the unique city of Taxco, which has been enrolled into a list of "Magical Cities of Mexico". Your sight will be opened up to a colorful panoramic view of Mexican valleys and majestic mountains, overgrown with gigantic cacti. Arrival to Taxco and accommodations at the hotel - an antique hacienda - for 1 night. (Breakfast included)
Day 4. Taxco - Cacahuamilpa Caves - Teotihuacan. Breakfast at the hotel. Introduction to Taxco - a worldwide capital of silver. The city became famous since the times of Spanish colonial conquests. Narrow cozy streets, paved with rough stone, whimsical houses with fountains, solids of red tile roofs in a background of endless mountaintops make Taxco one of the most picturesque places in the entire Mexico. Taxco is considered a monument of antiquity, and there is an atmosphere of 18th century ruling in the air. A pedestrian excursion around most interesting streets and squares of Taxco, silver stands and shops. We will see the main square, Plaza Borda, house-museum of Frenchman Joseph de la Borda - founder of silver business in the city, Cathedral of Santa Prisca, built in the 18th century in a style of classical baroque. Lunchtime. Afterwards we will visit Cacahuamilpa caves - a real travel in time and space. The most beautiful grottos of the country with 27 halls of unusual stalactite and stalagmite formations stretch 4590feet, some rising up to 280 feet. On the surface of these structures, you can detect images of animals, humans, various fantastic shapes - an endless feast for your imagination! Later, we will move to Teotihuacan. Evening arrival and accommodation at the hotel for 1 night. (Breakfast included)
Day 5. Teotihuacan-Tula de Allende - Tolantongo Canyon. At 6am-transfer to a deck from which we will partake in a breathtaking flight over Teotihuacan! The activity is optional, and only people that desire to do this will go. Return to the hotel at eight in the morning. Full breakfast. We move on to a visit to an archeological zone Teotihuacan. According to the Aztec legend, this city was a birthplace to all arts, wisdom, knowledge, gods, and beliefs in them. A wide street lies across the city - Road of the Dead, on the northern end of which stands the Pyramid of Moon. Modern scientists have not finished studying the technology it took to build these pyramids. You will delve deep into the mystery of one of the most impressive archeological ensembles of the world. Everyone knows that it is here where the energetic center of Mexico is located. At the top of the Pyramid of Sun, you have to make a wish, raise your hands to the sky and let the energy flow into your body. The amazing impressive view really makes you feel like a bug among this humongous magnificence. Departure to Tula de Allende-mystical and real, to this day not explored by many city-an ancient capital of Toltecas. Viewing of the Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli pyramid (which in translation means "Temple of Morning Sunrise") which the famous Telamons of Tula -stone statues of strange human figures 15 feet in height- stand upon. Many intriguing details can be discovered on the figures of these stone giants... After the visit to the archeological complex - heading to Tolantongo Canyon. In the very heart of Central highlands of Mexico, where a desert plateau ends with canyons to the coast of Mexican Bay, there are unique thermal pools of Tolantongo, famous throughout many centuries. Being an active volcanic location, Central plateau heats up the thickness of earth and ground waters, seeping through the breaks. This gives birth to hot mineral springs. Simultaneously with the plateau, there are cool rivers running down the canyons...and in Tolantongo, they come together. Arrival to the hotel, located on a bottom of the canyon, on a shore of a blue, very warm river. Accommodation at the hotel for 1 night. (Breakfast included)
Day 6. Warm Mountain Pools - Mountain Selva - Sauna-Cave - Water Tunnel - Mexico City. Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will have a heavenly relaxation and enjoying of a unique nature of Tolantongo canyon. Swimming in these mineral warm mountain pools, you will slowly watch all the panoramic beauty of the canyon spreading below. Here there are over 30 individual pools, artistically built into an amazing mountain selva and filling with natural waters constantly running warm river, escaping from the mountain and streaming with multiple cascades, falling into the pools. You will observe the flight of powerful condors, flying over their natural territory. You will hear spellbinding chirping of unknown mountain birds, sometimes showing off their colorful feathers and lightning fast hiding in the overhanging trees-giants mulato. Being here, in this tall mountain selva, you will view a breathtaking low selva of a Tolantongo canyon down below, pierced by a bright azure river by the same name. That is where your destination lays, and we will walk it slowly in about 40 minutes down a forest path, which is located in this wonderful tropical forest-a real magic of nature. The way is not difficult, since we are going downhill. Hot streams, breaking through onto the surface in these places are probably the only obstacle, which everyone will easily overcome. On the way - viewing of unusual trees, whose trunks are almost completely red; it would take 5-6 people to wrap around these trunks, wild banana stems completely covered with small red fruit. The path goes deep into the selva, then leads us out onto the open observation decks-get your cameras ready! It is impossible to describe these breathtaking views. The whole ecosystem of Tolantongo on a palm of your hand! Further, our way lies along the azure river, where the steam rising above it and above the surrounding mountains tells about the comfortable temperature of the water. A stop for a swim and a lunch in the amazing mountain restaurant. We continue our way to the most unusual mountain tunnel, to a cave-sauna and to multiple beautiful waterfalls. You will have plenty of time to enjoy these heavenly corners of Tolantongo. People say that these places should be called "Wonders of the World". Departure to Mexico City at 18:00 in the evening. Arrival to Mexico City at 21:00 in the evening. Accommodation at the hotel for 1 night. (Breakfast included).
Day 7. Mexico City - Tuxtla Gutiérrez - Canyon de Sumidero - San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport. Flight to the state of Chiapas - one of the most interesting and ecologically beautiful Mexican states. Arrival and a direct transfer (only 30 minutes) to the Canyon de Sumidero. You will be able to take a boat ride down the Grijalva River, flowing down the bottom of the canyon. The canyon was formed by mountain cliffs, where the highest point reaches a thousand meters. The Grijalva River (sometimes called Rio Grande) runs down the bottom of the canyon, whose length reaches around 17 miles. The canyon is considered one of the natural wonders in Chiapas, and it impresses with its powerful beauty. Turn after turn, the canyon opens up to a view of even bigger cliffs, the tops of which bathe in sunlight - the sun never reaches the very bottom of the canyon, to the river level. The boatman stops several times during the length of the canyon. First stop is a clock tower of Our Lady of Guadalupe - a small cave in a mountain, a natural karst formation high above the water level. Second stop is a so-called "Christmas Tree" - a natural growth on a cliff a couple of hundreds of feet high, reminding of a Christmas tree in it shape. There, from the top of the tree, the water quietly flows down, and then with a loud noise drips in the river, sparkling in the sunlight with many colors of the rainbow. Then we follow to the Cave of the Cross. The most amazing part of the canyon - its highest point -more thanthree thousand feet above the river level. According to the legend, that is the point from which the remnants of a Chiapas military brigade, which did not want to surrender to the Spanish, jumped from. In this exact point of the canyon we will stop to listen to a hollow silence. Cliff-walls, covering the skies, look like church columns - a magnificent view! Lunch at a restaurant of a colorful modern hacienda. After that, we follow to a town of San Cristobal de Las Casas, located high up in the mountains, with amazing architecture among the crowded mountains, with colorful houses along the long streets, with a wonderful combination of predominant Indian locale and luxurious forms of Spanish baroque. All this creates an unforgettable atmosphere, which is exactly the magical magnet that makes people return here again and again... In 2003 San Cristobal was included in a list of "Magical cities of Mexico". Evening stroll down the street of November 20th - a pedestrian zone, filled with souvenir stands, little restaurants, café-book stores, where you can buy objects of folk handmade art, rare artwork albums, books by sub-comandante Marcos, and also painting by local artists. San Cristobal de Las Casas has been popular with its Indian mystique for a long time, and is a hang out location for bohemian youth from many countries around the world. To this day people of Maya live here following their traditions and beliefs. This is their land and their city. Without a spiritual Indian nature, there is no Mexico, and that is why in this city, just like in the whole country, you can feel a mix of paganism with Catholicism. Visit to Santo Domingo monastery and the oldest Dominican cathedral of San Cristobal de Las Casas. (Breakfast included).
Day 8. San Juan Chamula - National preserve Chiflon Waterfall. Breakfast at the hotel. Visit to a colorful local market in San Cristobal. Further, on our trip lies into an unusual mystical city of Tzotzil Indians - San Juan Chamula. It is famous for its church, in which in a very interesting way intertwined together images of Catholic rituals with pre-Spanish beliefs. To this day in the walls of this church, you can hear the prayers in Tzotzil and Lacandon dialects. After that, we will depart to the El Chiflon Waterfall, which in translation from Spanish means "whistling", "humming" - one of the most picturesque waterfalls of Chiapas State. A trident of enormous waterfall streams on a green slope of the mountain range can be seen from far away, catching attention with its unique shape and location right in the middle of the mountain. You will get to the steepest and powerful stream of the waterfall at first by a concrete path with multiple observation decks, and then down a simple narrow mountain trail, which weaves around a mountain through a dense forest, forcing to overcome a steep ascent. But what you will see on the way... is simply magnificent... raging river, whirlpools, trees growing right from water, absolutely amazing rocks, whimsical tree roots, miniature waterfalls coming down into small crystal clear mountain lakes. Accommodation at the eco-lodge, located on a territory of the preserve for 1 night. (Breakfast included)
Day 9. Chiflon Waterfalls - Agua Azul - Misol Ha - Palenque. Breakfast - box-lunch. Early departure to Palenque - ruins of an extremely beautiful city from the period of blooming Mayan culture. The road is mountainous and difficult, but very beautiful - mountains and pines, bubbling streams of the rivers peek through the shaggy green mountains. You go deeper and deeper into the Chiapas selva, closer to the waterfalls of Agua Azul and Misol-Ha. Visit to the Agua Azul waterfall and swimming in its waters. Departure to the Misol-Ha waterfall - it is here were the scenes from the movie "Predator" with Schwarzenegger were shot. The waterfall brings down its streams from a 120-feet height into a round lake, forming natural pools for swimming. The lake has extraordinary parameters: at a diameter of only 45 feet, the depth of it is 75 feet. Evening arrival to Palenque. Accommodation at the hotel for 1 night. (Breakfast-box-lunch included)
Day 10. Palenque - Yaxchilan. Breakfast at the hotel. Excursion to the National park of the ancient city of Palenque. The shapes of most of its buildings can be barely discerned under a dense canopy of always-green jungle. But in the center of the city, in several places over the forest vegetation raise, like white phantoms, the ruins of the largest architectural structures of Palenque: a square, looking like a bell tower of an ancient cathedral, tower of a palace and elegant twin temples on tall pyramid bases - "Temple of Sun", "Temple of the Cross", and "Temple of Signatures." Countless clusters of buildings are strewn around a hilly plane, covered with a dense tropical forest and crossed by multiple rivers and streams, taking their beginning in the mountains. There is a combination of wild beauty of surrounding from all sides mountains, covered with selva and tatters of fog, with beautiful even in a ruin state proportions of stone temples on the hills. The ruins of Palenque, appearing so suddenly among the endless forest ocean, completely boggle your mind. Here in front of you is a mystery of the centuries, a mystery of the civilization, which died out, disappeared, yet still miraculously continues to live in those grandiose structures. After that, we will depart towards the border between Mexico and Guatemala, which lies along the Usumacinta River. Today our goal is to visit a sacred city of Lacandon Indians - Yaxchilan. It is the only really "lost" city in the jungle of Chiapas. You can only get here via the Usumacinta River, dividing Guatemala and Mexico. You will board the boat and go downstream, observing both shores and lives of simple Indians from the sides of Mexico and Guatemala. After landing ashore, you will walk down the jungle trails, which will lead you to the ruins of ancient Yaxchilan. You are awaited by fantastic nature, mystique of the past and an archaeological center, tracking over two thousand years. Accommodation for 1 night in the eco-lodge on the Mexican side. (Breakfast included).
Day 11. Frontera Corozal (Mexico) -Tikal (Guatemala) - Flores. Breakfast at the eco-lodge. Crossing the border with Guatemala, transfer to Tikal. Excursion to Tikal - archeological monument with ancient pyramids. Ascending to the top will give you an ethereal feeling that you are alone in a whole universe and possess an extraordinary power. Tikal presents a complex system of temples, pyramids, acropolises, ritual buildings, a complex of so-called "small palaces", and also whole blocks for noblemen and warriors. In contrast with western civilizations, whose temples represent a closed, inward aimed space, places like Tikal are open to the world. At some point,Tikal was populated by 100 thousand people, and that was at the time when most European cities could not even count 25 thousand inhabitants. Culture of the people, which occupied this region in the ancient times, represents a huge interest: Maya possessed wide knowledge of astronomy, which their calendars were based on, were specialists in medicine, art, architecture, and building of the cities. The shapes of the majestic pyramids stand out in the background of wild vegetation of the jungle. For over 1500 years,Tikal was an important religious, political and scientific center. In Tikal, announced by UNESCO to be a "heritage of humanity", everything breathes in the open air. Tikal is a dream come true for archeologists and naturalists, a wonderful combination of nature and temples. Lunchtime. After lunch,we will transfer to Flores - an ancient capital of Peten kingdom in Guatemala. Today it is a small and unusual town on an island in the middle of a large Itza Lake, which is densely built up by houses with red tile roofs. Arrival and accommodation at the hotel for 1 night. (Breakfast included).
Day 12. Flores - Guatemala City - Antigua Guatemala. Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport. Departure to the capital of Guatemala. Meet and greet at the airport and a direct transfer to Antigua. Arrival and accommodation at the hotel for 1 night. Light relaxation after the flight. Pedestrian viewing excursion around the city. Antigua is not only a clean and quiet city, marked by colonial beauty and surrounded by volcanoes. This ancient center of Guatemala was formed in 1543. It was a location for a residence of Spanish colonial administration - The Kingdom of Guatemala, which included all countries from a very southern territory of Mexico to Costa Rica. During the growth period the population of Antigua reached 60 thousand people; there were over 30 churches, 18 female and male monasteries, 15 shelters, 10 clock towers, a famous San Carlos university, 5 hospitals, an orphanage, fountains and parks, city water system and a canalization system. In 1965, the Pan-American Institute of geography and history called Antigua a "Monumental city of Americas". Today it is rather considered a city of love, with whimsically weaving cobblestone streets. Romance itself lives in its cafes, restaurants, churches, colonial hotels, museums and private mansions. Ruins of palaces and monasteries are preserved and covered in colorful vegetation, which creates a unique atmosphere. Every house here is a part of history. During our excursion you will be introduced to structures from the Mayan period and a more recent colonial Spanish architecture - the Neapolitan cathedral, Palacio de los Capitanes, Santo-Domingo monastery, built in 1642. This place with stone galleries, where Dominican monks were walking around once, lighting their way only by candle light, is now a location for a hotel. We will visit a jasper factory, a main sacred stone of the Mayas. Declared in 1979 by UNESCO as a "Cultural heritage of humanity" Antigua is a central area, 60 blocks wide, which kept a noble look despite the fact that its glory mainly lies in the ruins of buildings, destroyed by a powerful earthquake over two centuries ago. (Breakfast included).
Day 13. Antigua - Panajachel. Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will visit the Atitlan Lake. Your sight will be introduced to amazing views - the road will lead you to crystal clear waters between two volcanoes and further - to a city of Panajachel, located on a shore of a magically beautiful Atitlan lake, one of the deepest lakes in the world. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that not a single river flows out of this freshwater lake. This ancient lake, which is called the most beautiful on the planet, is considered the best area for acquainting with local culture of mountain part of Guatemala. Many millions of years ago this was a birthplace of three volcanoes, and thanks to an eruption of one of them, the Atitlan Lake was born - a child of a massive volcanic explosion. Near the lake and on the sloping down volcanic hills there are ninesettlements and what today is a paradise with green vegetation and colorful Indian outposts, tens of thousands of years ago looked like an empty space, covered with ashes and rocks. Atitlan Lake was formed by a massive volcanic eruption, which occurred 85 thousand years ago. Arrival to Panajachel and accommodation at the hotel for 1 night. Today we will go for a walk around the streets of Panajachel with its many quaint shops, items made by craftsmen, hand-woven blankets, fabric and clothes. (Breakfast included)
Day 14. Panajachel - Guatemala City - Quito. Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Guatemala City. Flight to Quito at 5: 35 in the evening. Fly over with one landing in El Salvador. Arrival to Quito at 11:35 in the evening. Meeting and transfer to the hotel. Accommodation at the hotel for 2 nights. (Breakfast included)
Day 15. Quito - Teleferico. Breakfast at the hotel. Full 8-hour observational excursion around the city. Quito is a unique colonial city which has entered the "Cultural Heritage of humanity" list in its entirety, and after visiting it, you will see that it was completely deservedly so. The city is divided into 2 parts: Old and New. Old Quito is a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets, classical buildings made of stone and un-fired bricks, spacious squares, majestic cathedrals, beautiful chapels, elegant churches and monasteries. Quito was erected in 1534 on the ruins of Inca settlements and in several centuries has absorbed many traditions and cultures - in its architectural image you can trace Indian, Spanish and Dutch motifs. New Quito was formed in the 40's of the XX-th century, when local elite left their luxurious mansions in the center and moved to the northern regions. Here there are banks, offices, supermarkets, boutiques, souvenir shops and best hotels of the city. Today you will visit a former Jesuit monastery, whose crypt holds wax figures portray a historical scene of a ruthless attack of Spanish conquerors on the inhabitants of Quito. Excursion will continue with a visit to the San Francisco square and appropriately named church and monastery. The church of San Francisco, built in 1535 - the oldest church in Quito - impresses with its abundance of gold, used for interior decorating and spiritual center of the country. Lunch at one of the traditional restaurants. You will walk down the labyrinths of colonial streets and feel like a real inhabitant of this wonderful city. After that, we will continue our familiarizing with Quito from elevation of the bird's eye view. It is especially pleasant to enjoy the view of the Ecuadorian capital from a viewing platform on the Pichincha Mountain at a height of 13442 feet, where you will get by the Teleferico lift. When the sun sets behind a snow covered mountain range, Quito, which is located right under your feet, shines and glistens in its rays. Right when the darkness falls, the whole city suddenly flares up with millions of lights. Quito is located in the valley between the mountains and at night looks like a fiery snake, crawling down a darkened ravine. Evening return to the hotel. (Breakfast included)
Day 16. Quito - Baltra Island - Gigantic tortoises of Santa Cruz highlands. Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport for a flight to the Galapagos Islands. The plane is flying to the Baltra Island. Your view will be opened to an almost Martian landscape - clay earth, red in some places; the grass is like natural metal, bare sharp shrubs without leaves, tree-like cacti, and all this is on a background of a wildly azure sea and bright blue sky. Passing of a passport control and paying the entrance tax in the Galapagos Park. Shortly after, we will arrive by bus to the bay. We will cross the Itabata bay by motorboats to the Santa Cruz Island - second largest island of the Galapagos Archipelago, with a highest point at 2834 feet. On its southern side, there is a village of Puerto Ayora. It is stretched out along the coast from the Charles Darwin station. This is a location for research and monitoring of the ecosystem of Galapagos Islands. In addition, this is where the employees grow and prepare for resettlement into the natural environment many types of animals, populating the islands. Puerto Ayora is an unofficial capital of the islands and a largest populated area. Today we will start our first acquainting with a wonderful world of Galapagos with a visit to the highlands of a Santa Cruz Island and its main object of curiosity-gigantic tortoises, which live here in the wild in their natural habitat. We will be able to approach these ancient giants when they are eating grass in luxurious green pastures. Besides that, here we will see extraordinary blooming tree-giants, whose shade is a perfect hiding location for whole families of gigantic tortoises. Treating ourselves to a hot tea made of aromatic Louisaherb, we will continue our trip to the hotel, located in a colorful town of Puerto Ayora. Arrival and accommodation at the hotel for 3 nights. (Breakfast included).
Day 17. Navigation to Bartolame Island. 6am departure by bus from the hotel to the Itabaca canal and departure in a leisure yacht for the whole to a unique corner of the Earth with volcanic lava of the most diverse cooled shapes, images and tones - completely mind boggling and hard to describe with words. It will take us 2 hours by walking to get to the Bartolame Island. If we get lucky, we will be able to see sea turtles and frolicking dolphins. On board of the yacht we will be offered an extra breakfast, fruits, coffee or tea. The lunch will also be offered later. Landing on the Bartolame Island, we will travel up a special wooden staircase, laid out on top of a lava field, and observe endemic flora of the island - three types of cacti and out of this world surrounding landscapes. During the next 30 minutes we will be ascending the landscape, which looks like the moon, to the highest point of the Bartolame Island, which opens to amazing views of Santiago Island, Northern Seymour, Baltra, and of Pinnacle Rock - the remnants of an ancient volcano. This is a symbol of Galapagos Islands, captured by many photographers. After that we will head to a heavenly white-sand beach and swim in clean crystal clear waters of the Pacific ocean, observing starfish, bright fish, sea lions, red Galapagos crabs hiding in lava cracks, and marine iguanas, proudly sitting on top of volcanic rocks. We will spend approximately 1 hour on the beach. After that, we will go back and in 2 hours arrive to the Itabaca canal. Evening return to the hotel. (Breakfast and lunch included)
Day 18. Galapagos - Tour to the Puerto Ayora Bay. Breakfast at the hotel. Landing on a motor boat from the Puerto Ayora wharf, exit to Loberia bay and in 10-15 minutes - arrival to a very interesting volcanic island - a habitat of sea lions. Here they are everywhere - on the island, in the water, frolicking around our boat, playing around and chasing marine iguanas, stoically defining their territory. During calm waves, you will be able to swim with these curious "players" and colorful fish. Further, our trip will continue to the "Love Canal" with romantic landscapes and turquoise waters. Gannets with blue feet, marine iguanas and sea lions also enjoy this special atmosphere. Nearby there is the Shark Canal with a huge amount of riff sharks, they can be visible from a cliff over the canal. 30 minute walk through unreal red landscapes to a "Dog Beach" with opuntias and a large colony of marine iguanas. Also, here you can meet pelicans and other types of Galapagos fauna. The key of the excursion is a walk down salt fields of Las Grietas, where famous Galapagos salt is obtained. An excellent place for a refreshing swim in barely salty water, protected from the sun by cliff shadows. The path, leading along the salt fields, lies next to bright blooming cotton trees, since cotton here grows on trees! After that-exit to an amazing calm beach and a swim in a company of pelicans, sandpipers, white herons, frigates, marine iguanas and gannets. Evening return to the hotel. (Breakfast included)
Day 19. Volcanic Craters - Baltra- Quito. Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport. On the way, we will visit volcanic "Twin" craters. Flight to Quito. Arrival and transfer to the hotel. Accommodation at the hotel for 1 night. We highly recommend no to plan any adjoining flights on that day to avoid trouble due to a likely delay of a plane from the Galapagos Islands. (Breakfast included)
Day 20. Quito - flight home. Breakfast at the hotel. Now we will have a very important decision - to return home or to stay. If you decide to return home, you will be transported to the airport. If you decide to stay, we will be able to continue with the most interesting program to a continental part of Ecuador or any other country in Latin America. Just let us know about your decision at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org (Breakfast included)
|Rates per person in USD***|
|Double occupancy DBL||$6399|
|Single occupancy SGL||$7254|
***If the travel company creates and pays the group of 21, 22 place is available free of charge in double occupancy. In this case, you will need to pay only intercontinental flights and what is not included in the tour price according to the program.
- 19 nights of accommodations at four star hotels and eco-lodges with inclusive breakfast.
- 2 lunches according to the program.
- Domestic flight Mexico City - Tuxtla Gutierrez
- Domestic flight Flores - Guatemala City.
- International flight Guatemala City - Quito.
- Domestic flight Quito - Baltra - Quito.
- Excursions, site visits and navigation according to the program.
- Entry tickets according the program.
- Comfortable bus or a Sprinter.
- All transfers according to the program.
- Sightseeing as indicated, with an English-speaking guide. Russian or Spanish guide - by inquiry.
Price does NOT include:
- International flight.
- Border taxes during the border crossing between Mexico and Guatemala. Every tourist pays on location.
- Meals NOT mentioned in the program.
- Cost of additional tours and visits along the route.
- Tips to drivers, guides, hotel bellboys.
- Necessary tourist visas.
- Entrance fee to the Galapagos island National Park - $100 USD. Every tourist pays individually at the airport of the Baltra Island.
- Tourist INGALA card (migration card of Galapagos Islands) - $10 USD. Every tourist pays at the Quito airport before the flight registration.
- Tour insurance. Offered for an extra charge. Milavia International, Ltd strongly recommends purchasing the tour insurance.
- A full payment of a group tour is required 90 days before the beginning of the tour.Failure to make full payment on time may result in automatic cancellation of reservation.
- Tour payments are only accepted in bank transfers to the bank account of Milavia International, Ltd, in a bank in the USA. Credit cards are not accepted as a method of payment.
- The payment for the tour should only occur after the Buyer is provided with a final invoice.The Tour Operator provides a Buyer with a final invoice, which indicates the deadline for the payment. The Buyer is required to comply with the deadlines for the payment, or his/her order is automatically terminated. The fee for the reinstating of the order is US$250.
Cancellation policies of the tour and return of the monetary funds:
- Cancellation of a ground part of the tour program 89-65 days before its start: full monetary refund with the exception of the expenses spent on refund registration and banking operations.
- Cancellation of a ground part of the tour program 64-35 days before its start: 50% monetary refund with the exception of the expenses spent on refund registration and banking operations.
- Cancellation of a ground part of the tour program 35 days before its start and a NO SHOW: no monetary refund would be offered.
- Flight cancellations: Milavia International is not responsible for monetary refunds for unused airline tickets and does not refund the payments for cancelled domestic flights. The Buyer has the right to use the purchased tickets within one year. If the ticket cost for new dates during the year increases, the Buyer must pay the difference in the ticket cost.Air schedules are subject to change and Milavia International cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by such changes and delays.
- Milavia International strongly recommends purchasing the tour insurance and offers it for an additional fee.
- Tour cancellation due to force-majeure: no monetary refund would be offered.
- The Buyer of the tour has the right to choose any insurance company.
- The Buyer is fully responsible for tour insurance purchasing or refusal of thereof.
- Any claim must be made in writing within 15 days after the tour.
- Vouchers for the paid service are sent out electronically 10 days before the start of the tour.
- If the passenger has health problems or physical limitations of any kind, it is essential to let Milavia International, Ltd know at the time of booking.
- Passengers with orthopaedic problems are not recommended to this tour.
- Milavia International, Ltd reserves the right to remove any individual at any time during the tour if she/he is physically incapable to participate in the planned activities.
- Milavia International, Ltd. assumes no responsibility for special arrangements.
Passports and Visas:
- Passengers must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after date of travel.
- Additionally, all passengers are required to hold a valid visa wherever required. It is the passenger's responsibility to check with the appropriate consulates as to the visa requirements and obtain proper travel documents before the trip. Visa fees are not included.
Our Pictures from previous tours:
Taxco & Cacahuamilpa http://www.milaviainter.com/en/mex4.php
Tolantongo Canyon http://www.milaviainter.com/en/mex8.php