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- Exploring one of the most unique archipelagos on the planet
- Snorkelling, hiking, swimming beside endemic species of sharks, tortoises, sea lions & iguanas
- Following in the footsteps of Darwin
- Learning about conservations efforts being made by Galapagos National Park authorities
- Enjoying the freedom to explore the inhabited islands on the Galapagos Island Hop
- Peering into one of the world’s largest calderas
[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Itinerary” tab_id=”1449208778879-fcec8e78-e9ba”][vc_column_text]
Day 1: ARRIVAL TO QUITO
Welcome to Ecuador! Upon arrival a driver will transfer you from the international airport to the hotel located near the airport.
Accommodation: Hacienda near airport
Day 2: GALAPAGOS ISLANDS / SAN CRISTOBAL
After breakfast, transfer from your Hotel in Quito to the national airport for your flight to Galapagos. Your Galapagos Islands Tour begins now!
When you arrive, proceed to the National Park counter where you will pay $100USD (CASH ONLY) per person. Upon arrival in San Cristobal your transfer driver will be waiting for you outside the airport and will take you to your hotel to do the check in and have time in the morning to walk around Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
In the afternoon, you will do the first visit of this itinerary is to La Lobería. A beach of coral sand, the Sea Lion Rookery is a part of the coast that has been named due to the great quantity of sea lions that rest here.
Besides sea lions, you will be able to see birds like the yellow warbler, frigate birds and various species of finches. Marine iguanas of the Galapagos will be found in these rocks as well.
Here you will enjoy walking and snorkelling activity.
Accommodation: San Cristobal
Day 3: KICKER ROCK – LEON DORMIDO
Kicker Rock is an islet of the western coast of San Cristobal which offers great view of sea birds roosting on the cliffs and sea birds in flight. It is a dive site, but big boats can only cruise around from a distance to see the geological formations and the bird life. Your boat will stop here to experience some of the best snorkelling in the Galapagos Islands. Please note, diving can be arranged, but must be booked in advance.
You will have the opportunity to snorkel around Kicker Rock. Kicker Rock is an eroded volcano with a high concentration of marine life that includes Galapagos Sharks, Hammer-Head Sharks, Sea Turtles and an abundance of fish along the wall of this majestic rock.
Your box lunch will be served on the boat while you are anchored on a beautiful bay. Here you will have a chance to walk around on a beach with red and white mangroves or go for a swim in the calm blue water before returning back to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno around 15h30.
Accommodation: San Cristobal
Day 4: SAN CRISTOBAL- PUERTO AYORA SANTA CRUZ
Early this morning, transfer to the port to take the fast boat to Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz. We recommend you eat a light breakfast and if you are prone to seasickness take a Gravol/Dramamine 15 minutes before embarkation. The trip could take from 2:00 to 3:00 hours depending on the sea conditions.
Upon arrival to Puerto Ayora, you will be transferred to your hotel with time to explore Puerto Ayora. You can visit the Charles Darwin Station where you will gain insight to the great efforts made by scientists, guides, rangers and park managers to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see the famous Galapagos tortoises that are the islands’ namesake.
Later this afternoon, enjoy an excursion to the Garrapatero to experience more unique wildlife and admire its unique morphology.
Accommodation: Santa Cruz
Day 5: SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS
The highlands of Santa Cruz is a great place to see lots of land birds, Vermillion flycatchers, finches, owls, and even cattle egrets. You will also have a great opportunity to see tortoises in the wild. Santa Cruz is the only island in Galapagos that has 6 different vegetation zones, so the changes of the vegetation make it unique. If time permits you will also visit the twin craters located alongside the road, which connects the North and South of the Island.
Accommodation: Santa Cruz
Day 6: NAVIGATED TOUR TO PLAZA SUR
Though South Plaza is a very small island, it has the biggest sea lion colony in the Archipelago and a very healthy population of land iguanas. There are also amazing cliffs and landscape where one can see a variety of sea birds in flight.
Punta Carrion is located on the north-eastern side of Santa Cruz – a small cove surrounded by mangroves. It is a fantastic snorkelling site as mangroves act as a nursery for many species of vertebrates, such as sharks, turtles and other species of fish and invertebrates, such a clams, sponges, crustaceans, etc. The visit is mainly a snorkelling activity.
Return to Puerto Ayora in the afternoon.
PLEASE NOTE: There are no ATM machines on Isabela so please use the bank machine elsewhere.
Accommodation: Santa Cruz
Day 7: ISABELA FREE AFTERNOON
This morning you will take an early speedboat to Isabela. Eat a light breakfast, do not have sodas, and if you are prone to seasickness take a Dramamine 15 minutes before embarkation as the ride can be rough (2-2:30 hours).
Upon arrival to the port in Puerto Villamil, a local driver will be waiting for you to take you to the Hotel. Today is a free day, but you may choose to visit the Tortoise Breeding Center or Muro de las Lagrimas.
Recommended afternoon activity:
Tortoise breeding Center Arnaldo Tupiza (Isabela)
The Galapagos National Park together with the Darwin Foundation have established a breeding center for Galapagos tortoises. These reptiles are facing problems due to the presence of introduced species, such as dogs, rats, cats, goats, etc. The area where the tortoises are protected in located in the dry zone and in order to get there one crosses an area of brackish water lagoons.
MURO DE LAS LAGRIMAS
“This site has historic importance. It is located on the far side of the beach following a trail that passes the abandoned airport. The trail starts at the beginning of the long beach, where is possible to see shore birds. It passes the cemetery and continues inland until the wall is reached. This wall was constructed by the prisoners of the penal colony that existed in Puerto Villamil from 1944 until 1954”. It was a place for punishment and created a lot of deaths due to the way it was constructed.
Day 8: FULL OR ½ DAY SIERRA NEGRA VOLCANO
This morning a guide and driver will take you to the Volcan Sierra Negra. It is important to wear good hiking shoes and bring plenty of water. The Galapagos Islands were formed by the accumulation of volcanic material produced by the eruptions and there are six active volcanoes on Isabela. Sierra Negra is the last volcano to have erupted, on the 22nd of October in 2005, and it has the second largest crater on earth- 10Km in diameter.
You will walk along the rim in direction to Volcan Chico, a fissure of lava that erupted on Nov. 1979. There are active fumaroles, sulfur deposits and barren lave, it is a good place to see how animals and plants arrive and colonize lava and affords spectacular views of the Western side of Isabela.
Day 9: LAVA TUNELS
This is a fabulous boat excursion to Lava Tunnels; collapsed lava tubes that have reached the sea and have become natural “aquariums”. The snorkelling is spectacular; here you can see many species of colourful fish, sea lions, eagle rays, crawfish, moray eels and sharks, green sea turtles, white-tipped sharks, and various rays. The birdlife is also quite amazing: Black-Necked Stilts, Whimbrels, White-cheeked Pintail ducks, Lava gulls and Ruddy Turnstones.
In the afternoon return to the hotel and enjoy the beautiful beach near the hotel.
Day 10: ISABELA – BALTRA – QUITO
Early in the morning, you have a transfer to the port to take the fast boat to Puerto Ayora and continue your trip to Baltra to take your flight to Quito.
When you arrive to Quito, your guide will be waiting for you to bring you to your hotel in the colonial area of the city.
Accommodation: Quito Hotel
Day 11: DEPARTURE DAY
This morning you enjoy the beauty of colonial Quito with a local guide. Independence Square -House of the President, “Palacio de Carondelet”, the Cathedral, the Archbishops Palace and the City Hall. From here, you will walk south towards some of the most important and beautiful colonial churches in the city. The Compañia de Jesus is the most impressive church in Ecuador, built and about 350 years ago by Jesuits and has 7 tons of gold in gold leaf decorating the main altar and the altars located on each side of the church.
We visit the Plaza San Francisco, an extraordinary cobblestone square, surrounded by red tile roof, white washed buildings. Concluding our walk with a visit of the San Francisco church which is the oldest in South America, belonging to the Dominican order.
After visiting Colonial Quito you may choose to go by bus to the cable car station and from there go up to 14000 feet on the top of Churoloma for great views of the city.
This afternoon/evening, you will be transferred to the international airport to catch your flight. Thank you for travelling with us!
EXTEND YOUR STAY IN ECUADOR! Ask for details
4 day/3 nights in an Amazon Jungle Lodge
3 days/2 nights at a Hacienda in the Highlands
[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Accommodation” tab_id=”1449289426670-de1f94c1-4595″][vc_column_text]IMPORTANT:
Quito: Pakakuna Villa, Patio Andaluz, or other
Santa Cruz: Hotel Mainao, or other
San Cristobal: Finch Bay Eco-Resort, or other
Isabela: La Casa de Marita, or other
*Please note that itinerary and hotels can be adjusted to best fit your budget and interests. [/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Important Info” tab_id=”1449289392103-be095264-cb20″][vc_column_text]PLEASE NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change. Although we always do our best to stick to the itinerary, due to the ever changing nature of National Park Guidelines, activities, hotels, and sites are subject to change due to forces beyond our control.
PASSPORTS: Must be valid for at least 6 months upon return date to your home country. Proper documentation is the responsibility of each traveller.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Inclusion & Exclusion” tab_id=”1449208780765-5fd2d40a-5e8d”][vc_column_text]TOUR INCLUSIONS:
• 14 nights 4*-5* hotel/lodge accommodation
• Meals as per itinerary
• Private services and group excursions
• Experienced bilingual guide services
• Entrance fees to all the sites mentioned in the program
• Airport Transfers
• All applicable taxes
*Please note that the diving sites are subject to change as dictated by the National Park -they can be confirmed closer to the
• International flights (can be arranged through us email@example.com)
• Mandatory travel medical insurance and optional cancellation insurance (can be arranged through us firstname.lastname@example.org)
• $100USD per person (cash only) upon entry Galapagos National Park Fee
• $20USD per person (cash only) upon entry Ingala Entrance ticket
• Domestic flights Quito to Galapagos, Galapagos to Quito (can be arranged through us email@example.com)
• Services not specified, meals not specified
• Expenses due to mishaps
• Tips for local guides, service staff, drivers, housekeeping, etc
• Alcohol, laundry or other personal expenses
• Departure taxes (if applicable)
– Though we will do our best to follow this itinerary as closely as possible, it is subject to change due to factors beyond our control[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Pricing & Dates” tab_id=”1449223591510-29ce0fb2-4171″][vc_column_text]
Date: AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
*Please note that pricing depends on number of participants and hotels chosen.
Full payment is due 60 prior to departure.