GLUTEN FREE IN THE GALAPAGOS, WITH A STOP IN QUITO, ECUADOR
Choose any date of travel (this is an individual itinerary, not a group trip)
Gluten Free Travel-Us has just introduced a new gluten free itinerary for the Galapagos Islands, with a stop to explore Quito, Ecuador en route. Ellen has been working with local experts to ensure the needs of her gluten free travelers are taken seriously. The itinerary below is just an example of the sites you can see when visiting Ecuador and the Galapagos. It can be altered based on when you would like to travel, your budget, your interests, and your desired length of stay. For example, you can shorten your time in Quito and add days in the Galapagos. The Galapagos can also been done as a shipboard experience. No matter what you choose, you can rest assured that Ellen will have vetted the restaurants, hotels, safari camps, and the local tour companies to ensure they have the knowledge and experience to keep her special gluten free travelers healthy.
This itinerary includes greeting by a bilingual guide upon arrival at the airport in Quito, all private transfers, accommodations at deluxe hotels and safari camps, gluten free meals each day, and the specific visits/excursions detailed below. Pricing is always based upon number of travelers, time of year, and exact itinerary.
Day 1: Arrival Day
A bilingual guide will pick you up from the airport and will transfer you to the hotel. He/ she will be able to assist you in anything you may need. Accommodation in Quito.
Day 2: Tour of Quito and "Middle of the World"
The tour begins with a visit to Quito's downtown, one of the biggest cities in South America. Your first point is the oldest street of the city, La Ronda, that used to be the home of musicians, poets and politics. Here you will experience the traditions of the city by first stopping in the gastronomic capsule, to have an explanation of the different local spices that are used for the typical Ecuadorian meal. Next, you will visit a house of handicrafts made of metal and wood, most designed for the traditional churches and made by hand for furniture decoration. After your time along La Ronda, you will visit the Independence Square, surrounded by important historical buildings. You'll visit the Cathedral (16th Century), the Presidential Palace, El Sagrario Church (17th Century), and La Compania de Jesus (17th Century), La Compania is one of the most beautiful baroque churches in South America. Next stops, also not to be missed, are the Church of San Francisco (and Monastery), built a few months after the arrival of the Spaniards (16th). Finally, we will drive to see the view from Panecillo Hill, which is where the virgin of Quito, the unique winged virgin of the world, is located. You will have a wonderful view of the city and the surrounding mountains and volcanos.
Afterwards, you will drive 30 km north of Quito, towards the "Middle of the World" where the equatorial line divides the northern and southern hemispheres. You'll visit the monument built in honor of the French scientific expedition that arrived in Ecuador in the 18th century to determine the correct location of the equator line. Here you will have the opportunity to visit the Ethnographic Museum, located inside the Equator Monument, which displays the main cultures of Ecuador. Or you can visit the Intinan Museum, a scientific and cultural museum, located in the exact crossing of the Equator Line. Return to Quito, where you will stay for the night.
Day 3: Transfer from Your Hotel to a Hacienda
For more than 100 years, this property has been and remains a colonial working farm of 1500 hectares. It belongs to the family of Mr. Galo Plaza Lasso, a former president of Ecuador. Here you are a guest of the family. All of the guest rooms are located in the main building which dates back to 1691. The hacienda has 15 beautifully decorated bedrooms, all with their own fireplace.
Day 4 and 5: Enjoying the Sights Around the Hacienda
Enjoy the property and its the gardens, the community, the 14th century Caranqui archeological pyramid, and a visit to the Condor Rehabilitation Center. Additional tours are available and include horseback riding, mountain biking, and cooking classes. These can be booked once at the property.
Day 6: Depart Quito for a Galapagos Safari Camp
A guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the Quito airport for a flight to the Galapagos.
Upon arrival, an English speaking naturalist guide will meet you at the VIP lounge at Balta Airport to escort you on your excursion to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Enjoy a delicious, gluten-free, locally-sourced lunch at a farm in the western hills. Take in the area's natural beauty, pit craters, lava tunnels, and learn more about the Scalesia and Guayabillo forest. At the Tortoise Reserve, spend some time in the giant tortoise's natural habitat, surrounded by the abundant bird life of the area. End this day at The Galapagos Safari Camp where you willl enjoy dinner. You will stay in a luxury safari tent.
Day 7 and 8: Galapagos Safari Camp
Early morning finds you on a motor vessel to one of the neighboring islands: North Seymour, Bartolome, Plazas, Santa Fee, Floreana or Isabela. Each island is an endemic treasure to explore and enjoy. The Galapagos Marine Reserve is the second largest marine in the world, and snorkeling off the boat is highly recommended.
Day 9: Galapagos Safari Camp
A morning drive takes you to the Eastern part of the island. At 490 meters above sea level, Cerro Mesa Reserve offers spectacular views of the largest crater on Santa Cruz Island, exotic plants, and seven unique subspecies of finch, along with the elusive vermilion flycatcher. After lunch, you'll explore Garrapatero Beach, with stunning contrast of mangroves, black lava, white sand, and turquoise water including a flamingo lagoon. Kayaking and mountain biking are optional.
Day 10: Sunrise Walk and Departure
Enjoy the peaceful serenity that the Galapagos Safari Camp has to offer. Relax, walk, or enjoy the sunrise from the observatory before departure back to Baltra, on to Quito, and finally to your city of departure.
PLEASE NOTE: IN THIS SPECIAL SITUATION, IF WE CAN GET A NUMBER OF TRAVELERS WISHING TO GO AT THE SAME TIME, WE COULD CREATE A GROUP TRIP IF YOU DESIRE.