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Galapagos Wildlife Adventure

$4,199.00

Immerse yourself in the wildlife, culture and unique ecosystem the Galapagos has to offer as we hike, bike, kayak, and snorkel our way across the archipelago.

We’ll spend the week snorkelling with curious sea lions, grazing sea turtles, majestic rays, and an abundance of tropical fish while visiting each of the 4 inhabited islands. We’ll start with a downhill bike ride through the San Cristobal Highlands learning about the vegetation before taking to the water for our first snorkel at the amazing Kicker Rock. We’ll hike up an active volcano to one of the biggest calderas in the world on Isabella Island, take a coastal kayak in Isabela’s beautiful Bay and dine on a black sand beach in the mysterious Floreana Island. Blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and frigate birds populate each island and up close encounters are common so have your camera ready!

Each island has historical and educational sites we’ll visit along the way to learn about the human history and the many programs in place to maintain this delicate environment through research, education and sustainable tourism. We’ll be staying in quaint hotels and dining in local restaurants that get you off the beaten path and into the amazing culture. No trip would be complete without an opportunity to observe Giant Tortoises in their natural habitat which we do just before strolling through an ancient lava tunnel!

Experience Galapagos amidst the animals, the locals and the landscapes in this unforgettable 10 day adventure.

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Highlights Include:

  • Visiting one of most unique archipelagos in the world
  • Learning about conservation initiatives at the Charles Darwin Research Foundation
  • Snorkeling with sea turtles, playful sea lions and amazing underwater wildlife
  • Hiking up an active volcano and one of the world’s largest calderas
  • Visiting the 4 inhabited Galapagos Islands and learning about the rich history & culture
  • Admiring the famous giant tortoises in their natural habitat

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Day 1: Arrival Day Quito

Arrive in Quito any time and check into your hotel. This evening you will be met by a representative for a briefing about your upcoming adventure and an opportunity to get know your new travel mates before your first dinner together.If you arrive early, you can use your free time to get acquainted with one of the highest capitals in the world sitting at just over 2750m above sea level. The city is nestled in a long, narrow valley of the Andes and flanked by the Pichincha Volcano to the west. For a great view and a little exercise, Pichincha is easily accessible for a day trip. If you’re in a cultural mood, head to the Old Town to stroll through the magnificent cathedrals and take in the colonial architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. El Panecillo or ‘the Little Bread Loaf,’ is located high atop a hill in the Old Town and is a major Quito attraction boasting a panoramic view of the city. Museums are scattered throughout the New and Old Town as well as local artisan markets that are great for picking up souvenirs. The New Town is teeming with cafes and restaurants and is a vibrant mix of locals, expats, and fellow travellers. New Town and Old Town are easily accessible by trolley or taxi. If you’d prefer, we’d be happy to help arrange these pre-tour activities for you.

We can also assist in booking any accommodation you may need if arriving earlier or staying later in Quito.

Overnight: Quito Hotel

Meals: Dinner

Day 2: Fly to San Cristobal – Bike Ride & La Loberia

This morning we take a short flight to the one of the oldest islands in the Galapagos archipelago, San Cristobal. Welland in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, a coastal town and the administrative capital of the islands. After sampling some of the local cuisine, we embark on a tripinto the highlands for a scenic downhill bike ride. Starting at a panoramic viewpoint called La Soledad, we ride through the tiny town of El Progreso and five different vegetation zones until we reach a beach called La Loberia. There we will watch sea lions sun bathing, playing and vying for our attention. If you can’t wait to get in the water, this is your first opportunity. As the sun sets, we ride back to town and get ready for a welcome dinner of fresh fish and island cuisine at a small local restaurant.Overnight San Cristobal Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 3: Snorkeling & Interpretation Center

Today we take to the water to get a glimpse of the underwater world of Galapagos. The tour starts with a cruise along the coast in our boat identifying shore birds like the Great Frigate and famous Blue-Footed Booby. Then we anchor in a channel near Isla Lobos or Sea Lion Island where we get our fins wet in search of damselfish, puffer fish, and, hopefully, curious sea lion pups.From there we continue to Kicker Rock or Leon Dormido as it’s known by the locals to explore the final remains of a tuff cone rising over 143 meters out of the ocean. If Kicker Rock were a building, it would have almost 50 floors! Along the edge and through a channel of this drastic compact ash formation, we’ll be on the hunt for sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, chocolate chip starfish, and, with any luck, a Galapagos Shark or two. Don’t worry; they won’t be as interested in you as you are in them.

Puerto Grande, a beautiful beach accessible only by boat, is our final stop for the day. After lunch on board, feel free to spend your time swimming in the turquoise water or snapping photos of Kicker Rock in the distance. Heading back to town late afternoon to visit the Interpretation Center, learn about the history and mystery of the archipelago from its discovery and what makes it so special, to Charles Darwin’s visit and the present day efforts to protect this amazing World Heritage site. To culminate the educational afternoon, pick a spot near the playful sea lions at nearby Mann Beach or grab a front row seat at Casa Blanca to toast in the sunset

DIVING – occasionally, the option to dive is available. Please inquire in advance.

Overnight San Cristobal Hotel

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 4: Boat to Floreana Island, Snorkeling and Highland Visit

After breakfast, depart by boat for the least inhabited of the main islands, Floreana. En route, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, whales and the waved albatross. Enjoy a pre-lunch snorkel before going ashore to a black sand beach at the home of the Witmer’s, one of the islands first settlers.With a population of less than 150 people, Puerto Velasco Ibarra is a sleepy little town but not without its secrecies. Read up on how life came to be on Floreana and how some lives mysteriously ended.After lunch, take a siesta while listening to the waves or walk along the coast in search of sunbathing iguanas. This afternoon we’ll bus up to the highlands of Floreana to visit the Pirate and Whaler Caves from long ago. We return to town and our beachside accommodation in time to enjoy the day’s last light before heading to the Baronesa for dinner.

Overnight: Floreana Hotel (Because of the small nature of the hotel and lack of availablity, sometimes we are unable to stay and must continue on to Isabela.)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5: Boat to Isabela, Pink Flamingos, Panga Ride, Snorkelling, & Tintoreras Walk

This morning we embark for Isabela, the largest island in the archipelago. Once we arrive in Puerto Vilamil, we take a short walk to the nearby wetlands which is home to pink flamingos and pintail ducks. After lunch, we board small pangas to explore a protected bay and search for the Galapagos Penguin – the only penguin found north of the equator.We hop out for a short walk at Tintoreras or Shark Alley, an isolated islet and popular iguana nesting site that’s home to hundreds of marine iguanas. Next, you can test the waters for a snorkel in a calm inlet that’s home to a variety of colourful fish and winding underground lava tubes. This area is often frequented by green sea turtles that like to rest on the calm, sandy bottom. We’ll return to town late afternoon in search of our own sandy resting spot to toast in our first Isabela sunset, arguably the most beautiful of all the islands.

Overnight: Isabela Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6: Sierra Negra Volcano & Lava Fields

Lace up your hiking boots, we’re heading up a volcano! Sierra Negra Volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in Galapagos; its last eruption was in October 2005. As we hike to the perimeter of the caldera, we’ll be on the look out for bird species found only in the highlands like the bright red Vermillion Flycatcher and the elusive short-eared owl. Once we reach the rim, we’ll have a nine kilometre view that stretches across one the most active calderas in the world. We traverse the vast lava fields of Volcan Chico en route for a lookout that boasts breathtaking views reaching to the north of Isabela. After enjoying a hearty sense of accomplishment, we make our way back to town late afternoon for some free time to curl up with a book or venture down to the water for a relaxing swim before dinner.Overnight: Isabela Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 7: Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre, Wetland Walk, & Wall of Tears

We start the morning with a leisurely walk through a coastal lagoon. This mangrove-lined path leads us to Isabela’s Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre where we’ll see giant tortoises in all stages of development. The centre has almost a thousand giant tortoises training for life on their own! Next, we take a step back in time to visit the Wall of Tears. Built by convicts and still standing over 50 years later, this landmark is a remnant of Isabela’s penal colony past. From there you can catch a ride back to town or choose a relaxing stroll down a white sand beach. The afternoon is yours to explore the town, sit with the birds and iguanas or head toward your favourite beach bar.Overnight: Isabela Hotel

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 8: Visit Santa Cruz Highlands, Darwin Research Foundation, Lava Tunnel, and Wild Tortoises

We’ll wave goodbye to Isabela this morning as we depart for Santa Cruz Island. After checking in, we hop on a bus bound for the Highlands to explore an underground lava tunnel and visit Primicias Ranch. For the first time we’ll be able to see Giant Tortoises in their natural habitat cooling off in a watering hole or munching away on grass. On the way back to town we’ll make a pit stop at a local coffee distributor for a bag of fresh ground Galapagos Coffee, the only thing exported from the islands. We visit the Charles Darwin Research Foundation where we learn about the foundation’s successes in repopulating the islands with the once endangered land iguana and several species of Giant Tortoise. From the collection of the eggs to the age of release, we observe how the giant tortoises are raised and readied for life on their own. This afternoon we’ll talk a short walk that ends in white sand and luscious waves.Tortuga Bay is gorgeous beach accessible only by foot and laden with choices. It is the perfect place to swim, sunbathe, bodysurf, or do all three. After our fun in the sun, we make our way back to town for our farewell dinner.

Overnight: Santa Cruz Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 9: Free Morning – Return to Quito

Get up early for a final hike or savour your last moments on the island for souvenir shopping – the choice is yours. You’ll fly back to Quito early afternoon where you’ll have a bit of time to explore before our final dinner together.

Overnight Quito Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 10: Departure Day

As today is the last day of the tour, there are no planned activities though we would be happy to help you arrange your free time. Thank you for travelling with us!

Meals: Breakfast

Meals: B
*All information and itineraries are designed to be as informative as possible and are provided in good faith. Due to the temperament of Mother Nature and the Ecuadorian Government, itineraries may change and activities may be shifted, omitted or replaced without notice. Our goal is to give you the best possible tour with a safety-first mentality. We also must comply with all rules set forth by the national and local governments no matter how convenient or inconvenient they may be. The good news is that we rarely have to change the itinerary drastically and we are very adept at dealing with the challenges of operating in a third world country. You’re in good hands!

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January 15, 2016 – January 24, 2016
January 29, 2016 – February 7, 2016
February 12, 2016 – February 21, 2016
February 26, 2016 – March 6, 2016
March 11, 2016 – March 20, 2016
March 25, 2016 – April 3, 2016
April 8, 2016 – April 17, 2016
April 22, 2016 – May 1, 2016
May 6, 2016 – May 15, 2016
May 20, 2016 – May 29, 2016
May 20, 2016 – May 29, 2016
June 3, 2016 – June 12, 2016
June 17, 2016 – June 26, 2016
July 1, 2016 – July 10, 2016
July 15, 2016 – July 24, 2016
July 29, 2016 – August 7, 2016
August 12, 2016 – August 21, 2016
August 26, 2016 – September 4, 2016
September 9, 2016 – September 18, 2016
September 16, 2016 – September 25, 2016
September 23, 2016 – October 2, 2016
October 7, 2016 – October 16, 2016
October 21, 2016 – October 30, 2016
November 4, 2016 – November 13, 2016
November 18, 2016 – November 27, 2016
December 2, 2016 – December 11, 2016
December 16, 2016 – December 25, 2016

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Tour Inclusions

  • 9 nights accommodation
  • All meals except two dinners
  • Internal flights to and from Galapagos
  • Transportation between and on islands
  • All activity fees
  • Drinking water
  • Tips for local support crew
  • Ecuadorian local guide

Tour Exclusions

  • International Flight
  • Airport transfers for international flights
  • $100 park entry fee – cash only
  • $20 ingala fee – cash only
  • 2 evening meals (budget $10-$15 per person per meal)
  • Alcoholic drinks, sodas, bottled drinks
  • Mandatory travel insurance
  • Optional trip cancellation insurance
  • Tour leader gratuities
  • Personal items
  • Departure taxes (domestic and international if applicable)

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$4199 USD per participant Double / Twin

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