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9 Day Wildlife Adventure Exploring the Mythical Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences


(No availability) 9 Day Wildlife Adventure Exploring the Mythical Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Quito, Quito Canton, Pichincha Province, Ecuador

Thrilling Wildlife Adventure Ecuador

Located in the Pacific Ocean some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, this archipelago and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique “living museum” and showcase of evolution. This “living laboratory” of evolution inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection and continues to offer a unique opportunity to explore a pristine natural ecosystem.

Key information

  • Starting point and ending point: Quito
  • Languages: Spanish and English speaking guide
  • Park fees are not included, prices are 100 USD.

Highlights

  • 5-day birding sessions
  • 6-day snorkeling sessions
  • Transportations during activity
  • Service of certified, experienced, bilingual local guides
  • Visit 4 islands of this magic archipelago
  • Domestic flights from and to Quito
  • 8 nights' accommodation
  • Breakfast and lunch

Styles


9 activity days in English
The organizer also speaks: Spanish
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Accommodation

  • Day 1: Garden Hotel San Jose de Puembo in Quito
  • Day 2 and 3: Opuntia Hotel in San Cristobal Island
  • Day 4: Angermeyer Water Front Inn in Santa Cruz Island
  • Day 5 and 6: Albermale Hotel in Isabela Island
  • Day 7 and 8: Angermeyer Water Front Inn in Santa Cruz Island
  • Day 9: You will be back to Quito.

Program

Day 1: Arrival to Quito

Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage city, capital of Ecuador. Upon arrival in Quito, you will be transferred to your hotel. Most international flights to Ecuador arrive late at night. Overnight hotel at Garden Hotel San Jose or similar and breakfast.

Day 2: San Cristobal

Located in the Pacific Ocean, some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, this archipelago and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique “living museum” and showcase of evolution. This “living laboratory” of evolution inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection, and continues to offer a unique opportunity to explore a pristine natural ecosystem. Early transfer to Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) from where you will embark on a one hour and 45-minute flight to San Cristobal Island (Chatham). In the afternoon, you will check into your hotel and meet your Galapagos naturalist guide. After lunch, you'll visit the Interpretation Center where you will have an introduction to the Galapagos Islands, flora and fauna, as well the human history of the islands. Then a short walk to Tijeretas Hill, a spectacular viewpoint. A trail leading off from the Interpretation Center heads up Frigate-bird Hill. Here it is possible to see magnificent frigate birds and great frigate birds in the same colony. This is the perfect place to compare and learn to distinguish them. One of the trails will lead you to a calm water inlet, a perfect place for snorkeling where you may have an amazing encounter with sea turtles, sea lions and many species of tropical fish.

Day 3: Kicker Rocks Boat Trip and snorkeling day

After breakfast, you will join a group and visit Kicker Rocks. This formation is what remains of a volcanic cone that has been eroded by the sea. Above the water, the monolithic rock formation towers over 500 feet above the Pacific Ocean and is home to a number of Tropicbirds, Blue-footed boobies and Frigatebirds. However, the true appeal of this location lies below the surface of the sea. The natural erosion of this ancient cone has created a channel between the rocks that provide the ideal habitat to view a variety of sharks and rays including Spotted Eagle Rays, White-tip Reef sharks, sea turtles, the elusive Galapagos Shark and Hammerheads! This will be a truly unforgettable experience. Because it is not permitted to moor at Kicker Rock, a lunch stop and swim at a nearby beach is included.

Day 4: Santa Cruz Island

After breakfast, you will be transferred by the public speedboat for approximately two and a half hours from San Cristobal to Santa Cruz (Indefatigable island). Upon arrival to Puerto Ayora, the largest town of the Islands, the guide will greet you at the main passenger dock and later you’ll check in at the hotel.

Option 1: Highlands - Lava Tunnels

Santa Cruz is the only island having a road that crosses its interior running from Puerto Ayora in the south to the Itabaca Channel crossing in the north, thus providing the opportunity to see the interior and higher elevations of this marvelous island. You will have a guided tour to the highlands where you will be delighted by the island’s variety of life zones and geology and see giant tortoises in their natural state! Then you will visit a giant lava tunnel: underground tunnels dug by hot lava twist that turn and intertwine providing an exciting opportunity to view the immense effect of volcanic activity.

Option 2: Tortuga Bay

A 45-minute walk through an amazing trail leads you to Tortuga Bay, considered by the majority of visitors one of the most beautiful beaches in Galapagos. Here, you can snorkel in the beautiful calm water inlet that reveals the full richness of the Galapagos marine life. You can see colorful reef fish, white-tip sharks, rays and sea turtles. You will also take time to walk through the marine iguana sanctuary where you might also catch a glimpse of blue-footed boobies, lava herons, and frigate birds along the shore.

Day 5: Transfer to Isabela Island, Humedales and Tortoise Breeding Center

Following breakfast, you will be transferred to Isabela Island. After a two-hour boat ride, you will reach the largest island of the archipelago. This seahorse-shaped island is 80 miles long and remarkably beautiful; a well-kept secret, it is one of the least visited of the Galapagos Islands. The timeless fishing village of Villamil still maintains sandy streets where locals and visitors alike walk bare feet. With a population of only 2,000 people, life here is quiet, and within moments of arrival, you cannot help but take a deep breath and slip into the relaxed lifestyle. After leaving your bags at the hotel and finishing a delicious lunch, you will visit the flamingo lagoon and Playa Grande. With a long, palm-lined white sand beach, and several brackish-water lagoons frequented by flamingos, Black-necked stilts, whimbrels, White-cheeked pintails, and gallinules; Isabela's rich animal, bird, and marine life is beyond compare. You will visit the marshlands or "humedales" where elevated walkways lead you over tidal lagoons that include four mangrove species and provide habitat for flamingos and numerous migratory birds including Whimbrel, Short-billed Dowitcher, Wilson’s phalarope, Common tern, Blue-winged teal, Black-bellied and Semipalmated Plovers, Greater and Lesser yellowlegs to name a few. The wooden walkways lead to the tortoise breeding center and its interesting interpretive displays. The center has been responsible for the breeding and release to the wild of over 2,000 giant tortoises in the past few years alone. From the center, a walk along the beach takes you through town and back to your hotel, or perhaps, pause in town to get a feel for local life.

Day 6: Exploring Isabella Island

Option 1: Sierra Negra Volcano

After a one-hour drive to the Isabela highlands, you gain an entirely new perspective on the Galapagos experience. At the starting point of this day’s walk, you will immediately notice the difference in vegetation and weather-fostered by the southeast trade winds that bring significant humidity to the southern side of the island. The lowland landscape of prickly pear and the endemic candelabra cactus dominating the coastal areas gives way to more lush and diverse flora including bromeliads and epiphytes. Your path leads to the rim of the Sierra Negra Volcano. The volcano stands at 4,888 feet and last erupted in 2005, subsequently depositing a new outstanding layer of lava. As you circle the caldera either walking or by horse, you will spot a variety of birds including the rare and endemic Galapagos rail, Galapagos Martins, finches, flycatchers as well as the Galapagos hawk. From the caldera’s rim, you will continue to "Volcan Chico" to see fumaroles (gas and steam vents in the earth’s crust) and unusual lava formations, a striking visual record of the islands’ geological history. From the highest vantage points, you will enjoy spectacular views of Isabela’s other volcanoes and nearby islands. Along the walk, you are introduced to "aa" and "pahoehoe" lava; you will feel the steam beneath you, and witness new life being created within the most inhospitable of environments. You will have your box lunch in a very welcoming resting area at "Jaboncillo". In the afternoon, you will drive back to Puerto Villamil to take a well-deserved rest at the hotel or Playa Grande.

Option 2: Los Tuneles

Los Tuneles is an area of naturally occurring underwater stone tunnels. The tunnels are the remainder of lava tubes and make the landscape look like something out of a different world. Getting there takes about an hour by boat from Isabela. Along the way, you can see some of the most important nesting sites of the Galapagos green sea turtles. Going from the open ocean through the breakers into the calm waters of Los Tuneles is an adventure itself. The water at The Tunnels is amazing! It's calm, shallow, and clear blue. Here, you will have one of the most remarkable snorkeling experiences and admire a series of arcs and tunnels underneath the water that create the perfect habitat for many Galapagos marine species.

Day 7: Tintoreras Islet - transfer to Santa Cruz

After breakfast, you will join a group to go to Tintoreras (local name for White-tip reef sharks) a series of islets in front of Puerto Villamil. A small boat will transfer you to a small dock in the Tintoreras islet where you will begin a short walk. The small bay of completely tranquil turquoise water provides habitat for sea lions, Galapagos penguins, sea turtles, marine iguanas, rays, and other species. The bay is connected to a shallow crevice of crystalline water that is frequented by sharks. The relatively short loop trail is primarily on "aa" lava. Marine iguanas nest on the islet and sharks can be seen in the crevice where they rest during the day. This is one of the few reliable places to see the unique Galapagos penguins, the only species of penguin living close of the equator in the wild. It can survive due to the cool temperatures resulting from the Humboldt Current and cool waters from great depths brought up by the Cromwell Current. Here you will have the opportunity to experience Galapagos’ stunning marine diversity through a snorkeling activity. In the afternoon you will be transferred to take a speedboat to Santa Cruz.

Day 8: Santa Fe Island

Today you will meet Fabian, a local entrepreneur and former fisherman, who is a part of an initiative from the Galapagos National Park to encourage the local community to get involved in more sustainable practices. You will embark on Fabian's boat, Lancha Sebastian, with your local Galapagos Naturalist to an extraordinary journey to Santa Fe Island, which offers one of the most beautiful and sheltered coves in the archipelago. Its turquoise water is protected by a peninsula of tiny islets forming an ideal anchorage. Santa Fe has been uplifted seismically, and you can see underwater lava formations and snorkel in an inlet bay with a colony of sea lions.

After a delicious lunch on-board you will have a wet landing on Playa Escondida, a pristine beach where only a few local operators have the opportunity to visit.

Day 9: Santa Cruz-Baltra-Quito

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Itabaca Channel. This drive will take approximately 50 minutes. In the way, you will make a short stop at the Twins: two collapsed lava craters on each side of the road, surrounded by Scalesia forest-a tree species endemic to the Galapagos. Upon arrival to the Itabaca Channel, you will take a short 10-minute ride on a ferry to Baltra, followed by a five-minute bus drive to the airport to take your flight back to Quito.

Please note: This is a sample itinerary subject to change due to weather conditions, safety, National Park regulations, navigable tour availability and particular interests of guests. Changes and additions are made in order to maximize your experience, wilderness enjoyment and cultural interaction with local people. We can add navigable tours to different islands upon request.

Location

This incredible 9 days adventure and wildlife tour will take place in Galapagos National Park in Ecuador.

Food

We accommodate all types of diets when notified in advance.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Tea
  • Soda

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Lacto-ovo Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Pescatarian
  • Lactose Free
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Optional full day boat trips to other Islands: Española, Bartholomew, South Plaza, and North Seymour or other destinations are available upon request and availability.

Please ask for further information on additional activities and destinations in Galapagos or to extend your trip to mainland Ecuador.

What's included

  • Excursions and activities listed in itinerary
  • Air tickets Quito - Galapagos - Quito
  • Galapagos certified naturalist guide
  • Snorkeling gear (mask, fins, and snorkel)
  • Entry tax to Isabela Island
  • Boat transportation
  • Transfers in-out
  • Breakfast and lunch listed in the itinerary with soft drink and purified water
  • 8 nights' accommodation

What's not included

  • International airfare
  • Transit control card for Galapagos (must be purchased and filled directly at the airport, 20 USD)
  • Entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park must be paid directly upon your arrival at the Galapagos National Park airport control, 100 USD)
  • Dinners
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Wetsuit
  • Tips
  • Any other item not specified

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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