Before you head to the Galápagos, you’ll land in Quito, Ecuador’s capital. You won’t meet up with your fellow travelers until the evening, so you have a day to explore the city, perhaps taking advantage of some of G Adventures’ optional excursions
Quito was founded in 1534, on the site of an earlier Inca city, and has one of the best-preserved historic centers in Latin America. (This helps explain why Quito’s old town was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.) Among the many Baroque masterpieces, the churches of San Francisco, San Domingo, and La Compañia stand out. Quito’s squares are as important as the buildings in creating this unique cityscape, and foremost among them is the Plaza de la Independencía, dotted with statues and flanked by both the cathedral and the presidential palace.
If you want to venture farther afield, G Adventures also offers excursions to latitude 0°, where the equator passes through Ecuador and you can stand with a foot in both hemispheres. Or, if you arrive early enough in the day (or the night before), you can join a full-day trip to Cotopaxi, the world’s highest active volcano, at 14,763 feet. From the lagoon at its bottom to points near its summit, you’ll be able to observe a variety of flora and fauna that thrive at different altitudes—it’s an ideal excursion to put you in the mindset for your Galápagos adventure.
At the end of the day, you’ll return to your hotel to be introduced to your fellow travelers at a welcome meeting where your CEO—Chief Experience Officer—will go over the details of your trip.