When visiting the Galapagos Islands, you have the choice of flying into Quito orGuayaquil. There are several airlines with international routes into both cities.While it is possible to arrive one night prior to the cruise, we recommend guests consider spending two nights prior and explore the area.
Guayaquil is considered the gateway to Galapagos and the closest point from the mainland on a 90- minute non-stop flight to the islands. The airport is a 15-minute drive into downtown or Samborondon, an upscale suburb. At sea level, you will avoid the higher altitude of Quito.
Quito is situation in an Andean valley at 9186 feet above sea level, making it the 2nd highest capital city in the world. The airport is a 50-minute drive into downtownQuito where most hotels are located. The flight to Galapagos will make a stop in Guayaquil.
A truly iconic hotel in Quito, this beautifully restored mansionsings with the history of the city. Situated in the heart of old town overlooking Plaza San Francisco, Casa Gangotena is a showcase of eye-catching eclectic style. This three-story luxury boutique hotel isa member of the Relais & Chateux collection with a stunning view of Panecillo Hill. Explore or relax in the garden redolent with perfume of native flowers, the wood-paneled library or atop the panoramic third-floor rooftop terrace.
Upon arrival at Mariscal Sucre Airport in Quito, you will be met at the airport by an English-speaking guide holding a sign board with your name on it. Look for him/her as you exit the customs area. Your guide will escort you to a private vehicle waiting to transfer you to Casa Gantotena, a Relais & Chateaux property, located50 minutes from the airport.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast provided by the hotel in their lovely café and courtyard.This morning your guide will meet you at your hotel for a private guided walking tour of the historical center of Quito, starting with a visit to El Panecillo, the landmark hill rising at the southern edge of the historic center. Quito’s Winged Virgin statue is visible from almost anywhere in the city. Explore Colonial Quito on foot; SanFrancisco church and museum of religious art, La Compania Cathedral and seventons of gold gilding, bustling Independence Plaza, flanked by the PresidentialPalace and the Cathedral of Quito.Lunch is at La Gloria, or other iconic restaurant in Quito, featuring a unique gastronomic experience. After lunch, you can choose from three activities: In the afternoon, choose from one of the three unique experiences:
1.A visit to Capilla del Hombre (Chapel of Man), the former home and intimate chambers of the famous painter Oswaldo Guayasamin, guided by an art specialist from the museum.
2. Drive north to Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World) to straddle both hemispheres at the same time. Latitude zero marks the spot where a geographic expedition located the exact position of the equator. Visit the Equatorial monument and IntiNan Museum, which displays examples of pre-Columbian life in Ecuador and has demonstrations on the unique geography, astrology, and natural sciences.3.Ride the Teleferico (cable car) offering spectacular view of the city. Soar up to the slopes of Pichincha Volcano in a gondola on a ten-minute ride to an altitude of 4050 meters. The look out point offers views of surrounding valleys and snow-covered volcanoes.
Optional: A fine dining experience awaits you at The Restaurant located in the hotel, featuring delightful original creations using locally sourced ingredients
Enjoy breakfast provided by the hotel in their lovely courtyard. You’ll meet your guide in the hotel lobby and transfer by private vehicle to the airport. Check-infor the Avianca Flight AV1630 with our representative and depart for Guayaquil.There is a 30-minute stop and you remain seated before departing on a one-hour30 minute flight to Galapagos. Arrival is before noon-time (flight times subject to change).
2022 RATES (per person double occupancy based on 2 guests):
There are 31 comfortable rooms; 12 luxury rooms, 8 plaza view rooms, 1 Jr Suite and 1 Balcony Jr Suite, with both double and King size beds offering elegant yet contemporary design, adorned with fine antiques and quintessential comfort.
$1075.00 Luxury Room
$1200.00 Luxury Plus Room
$1250.00 Plaza View or Junior Suite
If Casa Gangotena is not available, we will substitute with the Illa Experience Hotel