In the Footsteps of Darwin on Santa Cruz & Isabela Islands

About Isabela Islands, Ecuador

Centenarians… we flash their photos on the news when it’s their birthday, because they are so rare. But in the Galápagos? A centenarian is young—at least if you are a giant tortoise. Speaking of giant tortoises, you’ll get the chance to see them on this 9-day vacation to the Galápagos Islands. And Monograms makes it easy! We’ve arranged your hotel reservations, daily buffet breakfast (as well as five lunches and five dinners), sightseeing, and transportation between islands. Plus, you’ll have Naturalists in the Galápagos and a Local Host® in Quito. Your Local Host is there for you to help you personalize your vacation, answer questions, offer suggestions, and ensure your vacation runs smoothly.

When you arrive in Quito, your Local Host will greet you with a warm welcome and a set of materials to help you get settled and ready to explore. The next day, after included breakfast, we’ll pick you up at your selected hotel for your private, guided sightseeing tour with a local expert. Hear the insider stories and little-known secrets as you see Independence Square, San Francisco Plaza Church, the Basilica, and other must-see attractions. In your spare time, perhaps take an excursion to the Middle of the World (latitude 0) and stand with a foot in each hemisphere. The next day, after included breakfast, we’ll pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport for your flight to the Galápagos Islands. Upon arrival you will be met by an expert Naturalist who will take you to a private Giant Tortoise Reserve to see these amazing creatures grazing in the wild on Santa Cruz Island. After an included lunch, we’ll take you via speedboat to Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago and where you’ll stay for three nights.

While on Isabela Island, you’ll see Sierra Negra Volcano, the second-largest active crater in the world; a Giant Tortoise Breeding center, where you can witness them up close; Flamingo Laguna to see these birds in action; Las Tintoreras, where you’ll take a walk on a lava field; and Tunel del Estero, a tunnel formed by lava flows. You’ll also have the opportunity to see boobies, penguins, flamingos, marine iguanas, and many more species. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to snorkel to see sea turtles, sea lions, tropical fish, and maybe even sharks!

Then we’ve arranged for you to transfer to Santa Cruz Island via speedboat. During your 2-night stay here, you’ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about the Galápagos’ conservation efforts. You’ll journey to Turtle Bay, a great place to snorkel from the white-sand beach and to see marine iguanas, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, turtles, and more. From Santa Cruz, you’ll also take an excursion to one of the other nearby Galápagos Islands.

We know you probably won’t want to leave the Galápagos Islands, but when your time on Santa Cruz Island has come to an end, we’ve arranged transportation to the airport for you. In fact, Monograms has taken care of everything between the sightseeing, guides, hotels, and transportation. Add the time and headaches saved, and you’re a delighted traveler indeed!

City Highlights

Sightseeing with a Local Guide, inside visits, and special features are shown in UPPERCASE


Buffet breakfast daily5 lunches5 three-course dinners


As outlined in the day-by-day itinerary (not including intra-vacation flights)


Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.

Contact our travel experts for more details