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Trip Inspiration

Quito & The Galápagos Islands – CCRF

for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund

Escape to Ecuador for eleven days of natural beauty, exotic wildlife and fascinating culture! Begin your adventure with two nights in Quito before flying to the Galápagos Islands. Board a Quasar Expeditions ship for eight days of exploration in the majestic Galápagos Islands. Spend your days photographing wildlife, enjoying scenic walks or engaging in more active adventures like kayaking, snorkeling or hiking on the islands. After your cruise, wrap up your Ecuadorian adventure with one more night in Quito before embarking on your journey home.


Travel Beyond is proud to present this unique itinerary – designed especially for the Dawn of a Dream auction.  We are honored to support the Children’s Cancer Research Fund’s incredible work.

Return to the Dawn of a Dream Website

Trip Highlights


  • Three nights in the vibrant city of Quito
  • Seven nights of exploration in the Galápagos Islands


  • Private tour of Colonial Quito
  • Abundant wildlife viewing, on land, air and water
  • Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and panga rides
  • Walks and hikes


Arrive Quito, Ecuadora

Welcome to Ecuador! Upon arrival in Quito, you will be met for your private transfer to Casa Gangotena Hotel. Accommodations have been reserved for two nights, including breakfast.

Welcome to Casa Gangotena! Since opening in 2011, this has consistently been ranked as one of Quito’s top hotels, as well as one of the finest in all of South America. The elegant property is located in a restored mansion dating from 1926, in the heart of Quito’s UNESCO World Heritage colonial center. From the hotel’s meticulously preserved terrace, you have a commanding view of Plaza de San Francisco, are just a short walk from the city’s top architectural attractions and close to the bustle of Quito’s Old Town.

Casa GangotenaMeals: N/A



Today after breakfast, you will be met for your private, half-day Colonial Quito City Tour, including lunch.

Your excursion of colonial Quito starts on the city’s small, winding streets and romantic plazas. Approaching Independence Square or “Plaza Grande” will bring you to some of Quito’s most famous temples that make up the icons of the architecture of this World Heritage Site. Spend time wandering the area before continuing to Quito’s Archaeological and Art Museum, “Casa del Alabado.”  This Pre-Columbian Museum boasts a collection of 400 pieces dating back more than 4000 years ago, tucked away safely in a beautifully restored colonial residence in the heart the historic center. Through interactive exhibits, the museum describes the daily life of several of the remarkable Pre-Columbian cultures that inhabited present-day territory of Ecuador. The exhibits focus on the fascinating vision of these ancient cultures centered on the integration of three different and interacting worlds: The Underworld, The Middle World and the Supra world. The Axis Mundi is a mystical world of magic and wisdom which connects the three worlds, through the knowledge of the Shamans. This is a fascinating Ecuadorian history lesson.

Enjoy lunch at one of the city’s best restaurants before returning to your hotel. Spend the rest of your day at leisure.

There is plenty to do in Quito! Named as the first “World Cultural Heritage Site” in the world by UNESCO in 1978, Quito has the largest and best preserved Historic Center in Latin America. Its narrow streets are lined with charming, flower-filled balconies that enhance this beautiful section of Quito’s historic legacy. Nearby, the modern area of the city is filled with cafes, restaurants, galleries and shops. You will delight in the historic charm and modern amenities of this colonial city. Casa Gangotena is within walking distance of several of the city’s major attractions. The location will allow you to further explore Quito on foot, at your own pace, with easy access to your hotel.

Casa GangotenaMeals: Breakfast / Lunch


Quito to the Galápagos Islands

Today you will be met for your private transfer to the Quito Airport for your flight to Baltra Island in the Galápagos.

Upon arrival in Baltra Island, you will be welcomed aboard M/Y Grace, where you will spend seven nights. Enjoy lunch and a briefing from your crew as the yacht sets sail and you begin your exploration of the islands.

Aboard M/Y GraceMeals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner


Welcome to the M/Y Grace! The yacht has had a storied life at sea! She was born in 1928 and had a variety of owners before being gifted to Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco as a wedding gift from Aristotle Onassis. Although M/Y Grace looks as young and chic today as the princess who honeymooned aboard her in the 1950s, she is nonetheless what the French call “une femme d’un certain age.” She’s surrendered none of her youth’s glamour to the scars and wrinkles of a gallant life, including a stint chasing submarines during World War II. Combat aged her and she bore several different names, but over the years, her wealthy and famous benefactors ensured she was kept in the style to which she was accustomed. She was acquired by Quasar Expeditions in 2007 and was rechristened the M/Y Grace: a name that would take her back into her history, to her most elegant times. Over the course of the next two years the yacht was rebuilt completely from the ground up. Today, she plies the waters of the Galápagos Islands, the elegant hostess to inquisitive adventurers.

DAY 4-9

Exploring the Galápagos Islands


Your Days Onboard

Your days onboard will start with a wake-up call to give you time to prepare for the day’s activities. The ship’s crew will always tell you what is in store for the day so you can prepare accordingly. Fuel up for your adventures with a hearty breakfast before embarking on your morning shore excursion or activity. Following your morning adventure, you will return to the boat where you will enjoy lunch, followed by free time or a siesta. Each afternoon you will set off on your second daily excursion to further explore the islands. Return to the boat to freshen up before sharing dinner with your shipmates. This is the perfect time to swap stories about your day’s adventures! Finally, get a briefing about the next day’s activities before retiring to your cabin or simply relaxing on board under the stars.


What You Will See and Do

A visit to the Galápagos Islands takes you into a “living museum,” and you are sure to enjoy some great wildlife encounters during your exploration! In addition, each island boasts its own individual landscape, ranging from barren black, volcanic rocks, to swaths of white – or red – sand beaches meeting the water’s edge. Your cruise will take you to some of the most beautiful spots in the archipelago. No matter what your interests, you will find up-close-and-personal photo opportunities among the various landscapes and their water-, land- and air-loving inhabitants.

Water activities abound in the islands! On any given day, you may visit the best locations to see sea turtles and sea lions. Snorkel, swim or kayak in the crystal-clear waters with these incredible creatures, or alongside brightly colored tropical fish, penguins, dolphins and whales. Join your guides on a panga ride to get closer to the rocky cliffs that line some of the islands or to circumnavigate smaller islands in search of the island’s more elusive wildlife.

Land-loving animals are anxious to greet you upon your arrival to each island, and you will walk among the unique creatures that call the islands home. Hikes are offered regularly, and depending on the island, you may find yourself wandering beside iguanas, orange sally lightfoot crabs, flightless cormorants, giant land iguanas or giant tortoises.

Don’t forget to look up! Overhead you will see red-billed tropic birds, frigatebirds and shearwaters fly in dancing air displays. Observe red footed boobies, comically perched by wrapping big red feet around tiny branches. Blue footed boobies rest along the cliff’s edge as if posing for a picture.

Your cruise will also include a stop on Santa Cruz island. This is the second largest island in the Galápagos, and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic center of the archipelago. You will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program.

Throw off the bowline. Sail away from the safe harbor.

Catch the trade winds in your sails.

– Mark Twain

Aboard M/Y GraceMeals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

DAY 10

The Galápagos Islands to Quito

Today your Galápagos cruise comes to an end. Enjoy a morning activity before you bid farewell to the M/Y Grace.

After your visit, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito, you will be met for your private transfer to Cultura Manor. Accommodations have been reserved for one night, including breakfast. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure. Your hotel is situated halfway between the historic district of Quito and the popular Foch neighborhood full of restaurants, making both destinations an easy walk.

Welcome to Cultura Manor! A delightful mix of European traditions and contemporary trend, this Quito hotel can be considered a retreat within the city. In 1933, Cultura Manor was the home of Quito’s most prestigious club, where upper class Ecuadorians congregated to discuss business, hunting trips and the future of the country. After five decades of glory, the club slowly fell in oblivion and later closed completely, before recently being restored to its former splendor. You will enjoy the modern amenities and pleasant surroundings of this historic hotel.

Cultura ManorMeals: Breakfast

DAY 11

Depart Ecuador

Today you will be met for your private transfer to the Quito airport for your international flights home.

N/AMeals: Breakfast


Terms and Conditions:

  • Trip may be redeemed for departures May 4 – Jun 8, 2019 or Oct 5 – Dec 14, 2019. Subject to availability.
  • Winners must book travel within one year by November 4, 2018.

Important Notes:

  • The exact cruise itinerary is determined by the Galápagos National Park Service in accordance with strict regulations designed to protect the fragile ecosystem of the islands. The itinerary is subject to change according to these regulations and other factors beyond our control.
  • While on your Galápagos Cruise, all activities and transfers are shared with other guests.
  • All passport and visa requirements are subject to change without notice.

This trip includes:

  • Two nights at Casa Gangotena Hotel, with breakfast for two
  • Seven-night Galápagos cruise for two from Quasar Expeditions, based on cabin availability, aboard the M/V Evolution or the M/Y Grace
  • One night at Cultura Manor Hotel, with breakfast for two
  • Accommodation on a shared basis
  • Every land service on the itinerary
  • Meet & Assist service on arrival
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions and transfers as shown in itinerary
  • Use of snorkeling gear during your cruise
  • Services of the hotels and cruise staff
  • Flights between Quito and the Galápagos Islands
  • Galápagos National Park taxes and transit cards

This trip does not include:

  • International flights
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Passports and airport fees
  • Trip insurance (medical evacuation coverage, at minimum, is required)
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Drinks, meals, entrance fees, porterage, tours/excursions and transfers not specified
  • Any new Government taxes, levies, fuel or industry increases which are beyond our control