Brimming with splendorous vegetation and fascinating animal life, it is no wonder the Galapagos Islands gave rise to Charles Darwin’s unparalleled innovations. Art in Voyage presents a curated travel experience to “a little world within itself,” which combines opulence on land, and sea. Unprecedented grandeur at our Relais and Chateaux partner properties, and a private catamaran experience aboard the “Beyond III,” awaits. Accompany us on a journey of a lifetime, and indulge in invigorating adventure, pampering, and authentic cuisine. The bespoke itinerary includes snorkeling and diving with captivating marine flora and fauna or meandering across volcanic lava fields bustling with iguanas. From Quito to the shores of Santa Cruz, and all that lies between, we assure you that this private travel journey will be mesmerizing.
Hike in the surreal landscapes indigenous to the Galapagos Archipelago, and discover a multitude of ecosystems and endemic wildlife. Amble along the beach, before kayaking or snorkeling in the revitalizing ocean. Acquaint yourself with the country’s history and culture by joining our private tours of the historic center of Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage site
Enjoying a Private Expedition by Art In Voyage means that you will have exclusive access to our conservation and naturalist guides, who are exceedingly knowledgeable and passionate. By joining a private expedition, you are guaranteed to be immersed in Mother Nature without skimping on the indulgence factor.
We will welcome you to Ecuador with a private transfer from the airport to our picturesque property, where you will be warmly greeted with cocktails followed by a traditional lunch. That afternoon, we will introduce you to the UNESCO World Heritage site, Quito, where a private local guide will lead us on a walking tour of the city's most wondrous cultural and historical sites. Learning more about ancient arts and crafts will be done by paying a special visit to the local artisans. In the evening, we will host a welcome dinner in your honor at the renowned gourmet restaurant Zazu, where your meal will be paired with both local and international wines.
After enjoying an Ecuadorian breakfast, we will make our way to the breathtaking Galapagos Islands. This swift journey will take approximately 2 hours by flight. The Beyond III crew (in addition to our conservation and nature guide) will greet us upon arrival and provide a snapshot of our upcoming 4-day itinerary. We sail to our first destination, Dragon Hill, which is a hypersaline (saltier than the ocean) lagoon that lies behind the beach. This lagoon is frequented by flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks, and a variety of other bird species. The nesting sites of iguanas and the spectacular views of the bay can be enjoyed after a short walk to the top of the hill. Dinner will be served on board.
We make our way to Cerro Brujo on San Cristobal Island, one of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin. Cerro Brujo is a pristine white-sand beach that is inhabited by brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, and marine iguanas. For an underwater experience, snorkeling in the turquoise waters can be enjoyed. Our next stop for the day will be Leon Dormido. This small, distinctive island comprises two rocks that jut out of the ocean. It is home to a large colony of seabirds too. Kicker Rock is an excellent dive site where you will see large rays, turtles, hammerhead sharks, and, of course, an array of reef fish. Sundowners take place at Isla Lobos, home to great frigate-birds and various beautiful Aves. Dinner will be served on board.
Today, we set sail towards Osborn Islet (Espanola Island). This small island offers a majestic marine excursion, where you can snorkel and swim at leisure. After lunch, we make our way to Gardner Bay where the beaches and ultramarine waters are truly awe-inspiring. Around the small islets nearby, snorkelers will find multiple colorful fish and curious turtles. The bay is also frequented by a transient colony of friendly sea lions that embrace human companionship in the water. We complete the day’s adventure at Suarez Point which is one of the most outstanding regions of the Archipelago, where a plethora of wildlife species can be found along its pebbled beaches and cliffs. In addition to five species of nesting seabirds, there are the inquisitive and bold mockingbirds, Galápagos doves, and Galápagos hawks. Several types of reptiles, including the marine iguana and the oversized lava lizard, are unique to this island. Another exceptional dinner will be served on board.
Post yet another delicious breakfast, we will make our way to Santa Fe Island. This is a volcanic uplift and host to a forest of Opuntia cactus, the largest of its kind in the archipelago. Here, weathered cliffs provide a haven for swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds, and sehar-waters petrels. Watch in awe as the Santa Fe land iguana species and lava lizards pepper the terrain. The island is home to a charming turquoise lagoon and because of its calm waters, you can snorkel amongst the sea lions (an absolute privilege indeed). After lunch, we return to Santa Cruz and stop at the Darwin Research Station. The scientific research, technical information, and provision of the appropriate channels to ensure the proper preservation of the Galápagos Islands can be found at the station. A private guided tour will inform us about the natural history, issues concerning the islands, as well as visit the tortoise breeding/rearing project. Dinner will be served on board.
We will make our way to South Plaza this morning, which has one of the largest populations of land iguanas in the Galápagos Islands. It is also home to marine iguanas; and a hybrid iguana whose ancestors are both marine and land iguanas. The stark combination of dry and coastal vegetation zones are highlighted by the panoramic cliffs and rocky trail that circumnavigates the island. We will disembark, bid the Beyond II adieu, where Pikaia Lodge will be our home for the next 3 nights. A long, lazy lunch will be served overlooking the ocean and the expansive scenery surrounding the luxury eco-lodge. Later, a relaxing spa treatment (with our compliments) awaits. Don’t get too comfortable, as a delectable dinner paired with international wines awaits.
Today we revel in relaxation! We have cruised around the Archipelago, kept you captivated with adventure for days, and have admittedly woken you up rather early (on the odd occasion). This is a great chance to simply take it easy and enjoy the amenities that the property has to offer. Stroll down to the white sandy beach for an afternoon of farniente surrounded by the local wildlife or take part in the unique hobbies on offer (such as sport fishing, kayaking, and hiking in one of the most dazzling destinations in the world).
After breakfast, for those eager to learn more about the endemic fauna and flora, we have arranged a morning hike in the surrounding jungle. We return to the property, after a delightful picnic, where you have ample time to relax before we depart for one last cruise around the island on board a private yacht. We toast to a successful adventure with sundowners and return to the property to enjoy a gourmet dinner, paired with excellent international wines.
A final breakfast awaits, after which we make our way to the airport to catch a short flight back to Quito. If you wish to uncover more of Quito or Ecuador we have some excellent suggestions…Why not extend your adventure to the nearby Ecuadorian Cloud Forest, where the sounds of the rainforest will wash over you as you keep your eyes peeled for butterflies and lush orchid forests? How about ticking the Inca Trail off of your bucket list with an extension to Machu Picchu? The possibilities are endless and we are eager to assist.
Casa Gangotena occupies a pivotal spot in Quito’s Old Town: the southwest corner of San Francisco Plaza, the history of which dates all the way back to the time of the Incas. According to early Spanish chroniclers, the plaza remained surrounded by temples and palaces during the 15th century, with one temple having sat right where Casa Gangotena now stands today. The importance of the San Francisco Plaza throughout the Colonial period and the following centuries led several wealthy families to build their homes around it. The Gangotena's — one of the capital’s leading families — whose members have consisted of important industrialists, politicians, landowners, academics and even poets build this as their stately home in 1924. Today this historic mansion houses a world class boutique hotel owned and operated by Relais & Chateaux.
Be sure to head up to the third-floor terrace and enjoy unrivaled views of the majestic mountains and volcanoes, as you reflect on the profound and historical significance of the San Francisco Plaza along with its surrounding churches and neighborhoods!
The Beyond III is one of the newest and most luxurious yachts found in the Galapagos archipelago. Designed by a team of experienced shipwrights that had input from local guides and guests. Making the Beyond III the ultimate way to see these incredible islands in style and world-class comfort. The twin-hull design of this luxury catamaran allows for much more space than traditional single-hulled vessels, meaning more room and luxurious, comfortable common areas and sailing stability. On board, you will find complimentary use of sea kayaks, paddle boards, snorkel masks, snorkels, fins, and short or long wet suits. This luxury ship boasts panoramic views with floor to ceiling glass windows in your room and throughout its interior. Plenty of outdoor and indoor lounging areas, plus a hot tub on the Sky Deck to help unwind after a day of exploring the islands. A professional chef creates irresistible meals from fresh locally grown ingredients. Meals are served in the alfresco dining area on the sky deck so that you can enjoy the cool sea breeze and take in the stunning scenery.
Pikaia Lodge is a luxury eco-lodge set in a secluded reserve, nestled on top of an extinct volcano crater on the island of Santa Cruz in the Galapagos. Named after the archipelago's Pikaia Gracilens, an extinct species which evolved more than 500 million years ago and was a precursor of modern vertebrates, including humans.
Well-appointed rooms await with exquisite views of the surrounding reserve. With a small number of guest rooms, this eco-lodge guarantees a level service not found anywhere else on the island. Pikaia Lodge includes an explorations program that consists of guided adventures that cover the distinct landscapes and wildlife found on the island. Programs include hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, visiting beaches, volcanic craters, or lava tunnels; looking for giant tortoises and endemic wildlife; visiting the Charles Darwin Scientific Research Center or visiting organic coffee farms in the highlands. It boasts an onsite restaurant, infinity pool, and world-class spa. After cruising the Galapagos, you can take a few days to relax and explore the island of Santa Cruz or simply sit poolside with a cocktail and take in the scenery, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Giant Tortoises that call this area home.
All listed retreats (hotels, villas and barges) are, at times, subject to changes. If replaced, similar or higher standards will be upheld.
A refundable deposit of $1250 per person is due at the time of your reservation. In case of a cancelation at more than 90 days prior to departure, your deposit will be returned minus a $500 per person administrative fee.
Your final balance is due 90 days prior to departure, at which point your journey becomes non-refundable.
NEW! Find a replacement at least 30 days prior to departure and your journey will be fully refunded, minus a $500 per person administrative fee.