Ecuadorian Andes and Luxury Galapagos: LGBTI Group Tours.


2 options: East and West

For more information contact us at: info@ishpingotours.com
Or on +1 (833) 263-2636 (U.S. and Canada)


We invite you to join fellow LGBTQ travelers on a unique adventure through the Galapagos Islands on a classic sailing ship. The journey begins in Quito, where we will visit the best-preserved historic center in Latin America along with the Middle of the World (equator).


Then we will travel to the Galapagos and embark on what will be our home for the next eight days: the Mary Anne.


Highlights:

  • 2 nights in Ecuador’s capital: Quito – a UNESCO world heritage site and the best-preserved colonial city in Latin America – staying at a 5-star luxurious Hotel in the heart of the historic center.
  • Quito city tour including a visit to the Middle of the World.
  • 8 days/7 nights exploring the unique and enchanting Galapagos Islands.
  • Navigating with full sails, you will enjoy traveling without the sound of engines, an activity that often attracts dolphins and whales.


Previous Experiences:


Itinerary East


You will be greeted by our representative at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport. From there, you will be transported to your hotel located in the heart of Quito's financial and commercial center, a great base for your short visit to Ecuador's capital, the 2nd highest in the world.


As members of the group could be arriving on different flights, no activities are planned for the first evening of the tour. If you arrive early enough, the hotel is close to upscale shopping malls and many restaurants to choose from. And if the altitude is an issue for you, try some of Ecuador's famous chocolate - it will help!

Dia 1.jpg



A day designed to give us a taste of our new environment. No trip to Ecuador is complete without a visit to the equator and so first we visit Mitad del Mundo for a great photo opportunity with one foot simultaneously in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Then we'll go for lunch at a restaurant that serves typical food from the Andean region to experience the best of local cuisine.


In the afternoon we explore Quito’s superb historic center – the best-preserved colonial center in Latin America declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.


We will spend time exploring the cobbled streets, squares, and churches of this fascinating area. Afterwards, we return to our hotel for a welcome cocktail and briefing about the rest of the tour before heading out to dinner on our own. An early night is suggested as it’s an early rise tomorrow for the flight to the Galapagos.


Dia 2.jpg



The Mary Anne is the only three-masted barquentine in Galapagos and is also the only sailing ship capable of navigating under full sail without the use of the motor. A Truly authentic nautical experience awaits you!


AM – Baltra Airport

You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the Quito airport for your flight to Baltra Island. There will be a brief stop in Guayaquil for refueling and to allow other passengers to embark and disembark.


Upon arrival on Baltra, you will be met at the airport by your certified English Speaking naturalist guide and taken by private van to the passenger pier where you will board a panga (inflatable dinghy) to transfer to the ship.


PM –Black Turtle Cove

After lunch the ship will navigate a short distance to Black Turtle Cove, a large mangrove lagoon on the north coast of Santa Cruz Island. Pelicans and herons roost on the branches while marine dwellers such as green sea turtles and golden rays may cruise right next to the panga as it makes its way through the mangroves.


Dia 3.jpg



AM – Darwin Bay

The horseshoe-shaped island of Genovesa is one of the youngest in the archipelago being a mere one million years old. Famous for its many species of birds, including the world’s largest colony of red-footed boobies,the island is a paradise for birdwatchers. Being the only island north of the equator to allow visitors makes it an even more special and coveted destination.


PM – Prince Philip's Steps (El Barranco)

After lunch disembark at Prince Philip's Steps locally known as El Barranco, a series of steep, rough-hewn steps in the cliff face, which you climb to follow a path through busy seabird colonies to a forest of Palo Santo. At the end of the path is revealed the highly impressive sight of over 200,000 pairs of Galapagos storm petrels seemingly all taking to the skies at the same time.


Dia 4.jpg



AM – Bartolomé

At Bartolomé there will be a dry landing before a climb up the wooden steps and walkway to reach the summit of this spatter cone for a most breathtaking panoramic view of the island's iconic Pinnacle Rock and views of neighboring Santiago Island and many other central islands in the distance.


Afterwards, the guide will lead you to a white sand beach used as a nesting site by green sea turtles. Enjoy snorkeling in the bay while keeping an eye out for the Galapagos penguin and other interesting species.


PM –Chinese Hat

Less than aquarterof one square kilometer in size,this island gets its name from being shaped like a Chinese hat. This shape is best appreciated from the north side of the island.


Lava formations can be seen on the western side. They were formed under the sea and later uplifted making it possible to observe coral heads on the lava. These amazing landscapes are home to sea lion colonies, marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins.


Dia 5.jpg



AM – Rábida

Make a wet landing onto Rábida’s deep-red beach to explore the red island’s fascinating interior and saltwater lagoon where flamingos are usually present. Darwin’s finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, and yellow warblers feed off the vegetation. You may see brown pelicans nesting on saltbushes that fringe the beach.


PM – Dragon Hill

After navigating across to Santa Cruz and a dry landing,the guide will lead you to Dragon Hill (Cerro Dragón) on the island's northwest shore to visit a saltwater lagoon, home to Greater Flamingos, black-necked stilts, and white cheeked pintails. Further inland there is fantastic land iguana nesting site.


Dia 6.jpg



AM – Highlands of Santa Cruz

Spend today visiting Santa Cruz Island´s most famous highlights. After a dry landing at the pier in Puerto Ayora, we board our transportation and head to the island’s highlands.This area,incontrato the coastal region, has lush vegetation and forest dueto the humidity that gathers at the higher altitude.


The first visit will be to one the ranches of the area where it is possible to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. As these animals migrate from the coastal area to the highlands and back, the chosen ranch will depend on the presence of the tortoises, as they roam free and change locations throughout the year.


This is also a good place to see the Galapagos hawk and barn owl of this island and the surrounding forests are filled with birds such as the vermilion flycatcher and yellow warbler


PM - Charles Darwin Research Station

After lunch visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see giant tortoises from several different islands. The animals are found in large, semi-natural pens for their protection, but also to ensure an easy view for visitors. The pens are divided according to four different stages: eggs, neonates, juveniles (held until they are mature enough to be repatriated), and adults.


Dia 7.jpg



AM – South Plaza

Make a dry landing on one of the oldest docks of the archipelago. Colorful South Plaza is home to vibrant green prickly pears, deep red Sesuvium and coppery-orange land iguanas.


Impressive seaward cliffs are excellent for spotting a variety of coastal birds. This is also a great place to observe the adult and pup sea lions swimming along the shores.


PM – Santa Fe

After a wet landing on Santa Fe onto a white beach where sea lions are usually resting, look for the endemic species of land iguana, larger and yellower than land iguanas on other islands. The largest prickly pear cacti in the Galapagos are also found here.


Dia 8.jpg



AM – Suarez Point

In the morning you will head to Suarez Point, one of the most popular landing sites in Galapagos. The highlights of this visit include sea lions near the landing place, sometimes seen body‐surfing in the large breakers, large marine iguanas, with red‐colored males in the breeding season, oystercatchers, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos doves, swallow‐tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds, and three species endemic to Española: the waved albatross (present only from April to December), the Española mockingbird, and the Española lava lizard. The trail ends in El Soplador, a blowhole that sprays water some 25 m (75 feet) into the air.


PM – Gardner Bay,Gardner Islet & Osborn Islet

Spend the afternoon in the fantastic Gardner Bay (wet landing) of Española Island. There is an outstanding white sand beach with many sea lions present along with marine iguanas,and the intrepid Española mockingbird. Close to Española, there is a good spot for snorkeling called Gardner Islet. While snorkeling, there is a good chance playful sea lions will join you. Get ready for more snorkeling at Osborn islet, a great place to observe great quantities of marine life.


Dia 9.jpg



AM – Highlands of Santa Cruz & Baltra airport

This is the last day in the islands. After breakfast disembark in Puerto Ayora to take the transport to the Baltra airport, making a short stop to visit the Twin Craters. Los Gemelos (twins) are in fact not craters, but magma domes that have collapsed, leaving two deep and wide holes located to the side of the road that leads to Puerto Ayora from The other side of the island.


After this visit, continue on to the Baltra airport for the flight back to mainland Ecuador.


Dia 10.jpg


Itinerary West


You will be greeted by our representative at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport. From there, you will be transported to your hotel located in the heart of Quito's financial and commercial center, a great base for your short visit to Ecuador's capital, the 2nd highest in the world.


As members of the group could be arriving on different flights, no activities are planned for the first evening of the tour. If you arrive early enough, the hotel is close to upscale shopping malls and many restaurants to choose from. And if the altitude is an issue for you, try some of Ecuador's famous chocolate - it will help!


Dia 1.jpg



A day designed to give us a taste of our new environment. No trip to Ecuador is complete without a visit to the equator and so first we visit Mitad del Mundo for a great photo opportunity with one foot simultaneously in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Then we'll go for lunch at a restaurant that serves typical food from the Andean region to experience the best of local cuisine.


In the afternoon we explore Quito’s superb historic center – the best-preserved colonial center in Latin America declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.


We will spend time exploring the cobbled streets, squares, and churches of this fascinating area. Afterwards, we return to our hotel for a welcome cocktail and briefing about the rest of the tour before heading out to dinner on our own. An early night is suggested as it’s an early rise tomorrow for the flight to the Galapagos.


Dia 2.jpg



The Mary Anne is the only three-masted barquentine in Galapagos and is also the only sailing ship capable of navigating under full sail without the use of the motor. A truly authentic nautical experience awaits you!


AM – Baltra airport

You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the Quito airport for your flight to Baltra Island. There will be a brief stop in Guayaquil for refueling and to allow other passengers to embark and disembark.


Upon arrival on Baltra, you will be met at the airport by your certified English-speaking naturalist guide and taken by private van to the to the Itabaca Canal to cross by ferry to Santa Cruz Island to start the tour in the highlands where at a local ranch to see the giant tortoises in their natural habitat.


PM - Charles Darwin Research Station

Lunch is served at the ranch before continuing on to Puerto Ayora to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see giant tortoises from several different islands. The animals are found in large, semi-natural pens for their protection, but also to ensure an easy view for visitors. The pens are divided according to four different stages: eggs, neonates, juveniles (held until they are mature enough to be repatriated), and adults.


Dia 3.jpg



AM – Punta Cormorant & Devil's Crown

Spend the day on Floreana, one of the few islands that have a fresh water source, the main reason it was home to European colonists including the excentric Baroness Von Wagner de Bousquet among others who eventually mysteriously disappeared.


There will be a wet landing onto the olivine beach or Punta Cormorant where you can observe Greater Flamingos in the brackish lagoon on the way to another special beach with the finest sand you'll ever set foot on. It is a sea turtle nesting ground where sharks and rays also visit regularly.


Our last activity of the morning will be a short panga ride to snorkel at Devil's Crown, an old volcanic crater and one of the best snorkeling sites on the itinerary.


Dia 4.jpg


PM – Post Office Bay

After lunch there will be a wet landing to visit Post Office Bay, an interesting part of the human history of the island. Here is where you can leave postcards in the large barrel just as the whalers did centuries ago and also select cards to hand deliver when you return home.



AM – Black Beach & Asilo de la Paz

After breakfast visit Floreana's Black Beach to learn about the intriguing human history of the island and it's first inhabitants.


Then visit the fresh water source known as Asilo de la Paz as well as the caves that served as hideouts for pirates and also where the first Galapagueño was born according to the stories of Floreana, which involve the infamous baroness and her lovers who mysteriously began to disappear after settling on the island.


PM – Full afternoon navigation

After the visit to the island there will be the best opportunity for a not-so- common yet well-beloved activity in the archipelago: a full afternoon navigation to look for whales and dolphins. This activity is complimented by the impressive landscapes of Isabela and the Cerro Azul Volcano.


Dia 5.jpg



AM – Punta Moreno

Isabela is the largest island in the archipelago representing 58% of the land mass. After breakfast, step ashore at Punta Moreno during a dry landing. The pahoehoe lava flow is superb and surrounded by giant shield volcanoes, some of which are still active. From here there will be a short walk to a lagoon where flamingos are usually present.


PM –Urbina Bay

There will be a wet landing onto a black sand beach at Urbina Bay, a nesting site for green sea turtles. Take a brief hike inland in search of land iguanas and giant tortoises that migrate to and from the highlands depending on the season.


At the beach, admire the remains of a geological uplift exposing coral heads and marine fossils and if the sea conditions and time allows, snorkeling will be offered as an additional activity.


Dia 6.jpg



AM – Tagus Cove

There will be dry landing at Tagus Cove, a historical pirate hideaway where names of countless ships are recorded for posterity on the cliff face. Hike through beautiful Galapagos landscapes to Darwin Lake, a saltwater crater lagoon surrounded by tuff stone.


PM - Punta Espinosa

After crossing the Bolivar Channel to Fernandina Island, one of the world's most pristine sites, there will be a dry landing at Punta Espinosa.


Strolling along the shoreline, be on the lookout for flightless cormorants, Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos penguins and hawks, sooty colored marine iguanas and bright red-orange Sally Lightfoot crabs.


Dia 7.jpg



AM – Puerto Egas

At Puerto Egas make a wet landing as you disembark onto a dark sand volcanic beach with an interesting history of human settlement. Sleepy Galapagos fur seals lounge under arches of lava carved out by the ocean and occasionally dip into the crystalline pools, also known as 'grottos'. Walk along the shore to observe the abundant marine life.


PM – Buccaneer Cove and Espumilla Beach

After a wet landing on Santa Fe onto a white beach where sea lions are usually resting, look for the endemic species of land iguana, larger and yellower than land iguanas on other islands. The largest prickly pear cacti in the Galapagos are also found here.


At Buccaneer Cove take a panga ride around the beautiful coastline. This place got its name because it used to be a refuge for British buccaneers who anchored here to collect supplies and clean their ships. The cove is very scenic with views of the cliffs and a dark beach. Don't forget to look for two unusual rock formations known as 'The Monk' and 'Elephant Rock'.


Next, head to central Santiago for a wet landing on Espumilla Beach. This golden-colored beach is used by green sea turtles as a nesting site.


A forest trail leads through some of the largest specimens of Palo Santo trees found in the islands. Here you can observe yellow warblers, the amazing Galapagos flycatcher and Darwin finches.


Dia 8.jpg



AM – Sullivan Bay

In the morning you will head across to Sullivan Bay for a dry landing. Walk over a recent lava flow including very fresh pahoehoe lava formations, lava bubbles containing crystallized minerals and pioneer plans. Along the shorline you may find Galapagos penguins and herons going after small fish.


PM –North Seymour

North Seymour is a small, uplifted island. After a dry landing walk right up to nesting bird colonies of the two species of frigate birds, blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls and experience the thrill of spectacular mating ritual displays.


Dia 9.jpg



AM – Mosquera Islet & Baltra airport

Mosquera is a small islet between Baltra and North Seymour. It measures approximately 160 meters across and 600 meters longe. The is home to one of the largest sea lion colonies and is also a haven for shorebirds. Orcas occasionally come to the islet to feed on the sea lions.


After this visit, the ship will navigate to Baltra where passengers will disembark and be transferred to the Baltra airport for the flight back to mainland Ecuador.


Dia 10.jpg


Accommodations and Cruise:

Cruise

The Mary Anne is the only ship of its kind in the Galapagos: an imposing 3-masted barquentin with 1,000 m2 of sails. This sailing ship always has the best naturalist guides and crew on board, who are always attentive to all of the details necessary to make your trip unforgettable. The Mary Anne has both single and double cabins, making it the one of the only boats in the islands that doesn’t require a single supplement for solo travelers.



Sheraton Classic Hotel

The Sheraton is located in the heart of the most avant-garde part of Quito. It is one of the most modern hotels in the city and offers a fitness center that includes a sauna, steamroom and massage area. It also offers an indoor hydromassage pool and a sun terrace for you to enjoy. The rooms are spacious and overlook one of the busiest parks in the city.



Rates & Dates

Price From

$4803

Price Per Day:

$ 408,3 per day


Deposit: 30%


Single Supplement from $184


Departures:


Departing

Ending

Itinerary

Price

Single Suplement

July 1st

July 10th

East

$ 4803

$ 184

Nov 25th

Dec 4th

West

$ 5269

$ 184



Ecuador Love Live Ecuador Touch the Sky International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association