Fly to the famous Galapagos Islands, situated about 1000km (625 miles) west of the Ecuadorian mainland, the islands are bleak, barren and rocky. Made famous by Charles Darwin’s scientific voyage in the ‘Beagle’ during the 19th century, the islands’ unique wildlife – which includes giant tortoises, lizards and iguanas – remains the most interesting feature for the modern-day visitor. Some 50 per cent of the islands’ species are found nowhere else in the world. In 1978, UNESCO declared the Galápagos to be ‘the universal natural heritage of humanity’ (Cruise is available as a 3-Day, 4-Day or 7-Day option. Exact cruise itinerary will vary depending on date of arrival and specific yacht availability).
NOTE: Due to capacity constraints in Galapagos, there is a $300pp non-refundable booking fee in addition to the 30% per person deposit. This booking fee is paid to vessel owners to secure reservations.
Enjoy a private airport transfer with a professional driver.
The JW Marriott Quito is a magnificent structure, built to be seen and triumphing over the city in its size and stature. The 241 rooms are luxurious and well-appointed, offering all the necessities one is accustomed to at home and providing breathtaking views of the snow-capped Cotopaxi Volcano. Dining at the many restaurants is a viable option, as chefs always have something delicious up their sleeve. The facilities at the hotel are very promising, as one may make use of the whirlpool, swimming pool, and fitness facilities. The Mariscal area is also very busy and popular, so don't be shy to check out Quito.
Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, you pass through an airport inspection point to insure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands. After this, a guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor and then on board your cruise ship.
Fly from Quito to Galapagos via Guayaquil on Tame Airlines. The flight duration is approximately 4 hours.Please note: Flight rates and availability are subject to change until booking.
The $100 entrance fee to the Galapagos Islands Park and the $10 Tourist card are included in your booking. Please note that the itinerary is a guide only - the route and program vary according to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety precautions and wildlife encounters.
Disembark at Bachas Beach (wet landing), on the north side of Santa Cruz Island. Here you will encounter sea lions, marine iguanas, and sea turtles. You will have the opportunity to swim at this white-sand beach.
Naturalist's briefing on the next day's activities followed by dinner on your cruise ship.
The brand new Cormorant incorporates the very best of Galapagos Catamaran design. The modern and ample accommodation includes jacuzzi, huge sun deck and a private balcony for each of the spacious staterooms. Cormorant combines high quality with high value making your Galapagos experience an affordable luxury.
Bartolomé Island is situated across Sullivan Bay. It has an altitude of 114 meters, from where we can observe one of the most beautiful sceneries of the Galapagos Islands such as: Volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle eroded by the sea. There is very little vegetation on this island. It has two breathtaking beaches where sea turtles exist and at the base of the pinnacle, as well as a very small colony of Galapagos penguins.
Sullivan Bay provides a unique opportunity to view a recent lava flow of approximately 100 years ago. The East Side of James Island is known to have barren volcanic landscapes, dominated by black pahoehoe (ropy) lava flows of very young age. On the surface of the lava it is possible to observe trees that were carried down by the flow of the fresh lava. It is also interesting to see how some Mollugo plants are starting to colonize the small lava fissures.
Dry landing on the northern part of the Islet. The walk begins with an impressive cactus forest surrounded by land and marine iguanas; as we reach its highest point, be on the lookout for tropicbirds and a bachelor sea lion colony. In South Plaza there is a large colony of the smaller sized land iguanas. The population is approximately 300 individuals. They feed on all kinds of vegetation, but during the dry season survive on the fruits and flowers of Opuntia cacti. Due to their proximity with marine iguanas, where we will encounter the one and only Galapagos hybrid iguana.
After a wet landing, enjoy hiking on the Santa Fe Island, to explore the giant opuntia cactus forest, admire the endemic land iguanas, and enjoy the sea lions. Excellent snorkelling opportunity.
A dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers takes guests to Cerro Brujo’s white coraline beach (wet landing). The beach is a large expanse, great for walking, with rewarding birdwatching with good views of seabirds like blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, herons, frigate birds, and more shore birds. Also, look out for Galápagos sea lions. Highlights ashore include the Chatham (San Cristóbal) mockingbird, Chatham lava lizard; both species are endemic to this island, and seen nowhere else in the Galápagos. These are the same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon, back in September 1835, as San Cristóbal was the first island where he set foot in the Galápagos.
Wet landing on the eastern tip of the island. Pitt Point is an eroded tuff cone; the trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline. This is the only site in the Galápagos where the three species of boobies can be found together, as well as the two frigate species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions along the beach. After the walk, if conditions are favourable, there is a chance to swim from the beach.
We head to the Interpretation Center, which was built with the cooperation of the Spanish Science Centre, and it gives a very good introduction to the Galapagos islands, its marine and land life, fauna and flora. It is located in the outskirts of the small city of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, which is the capital of the Galapagos Province.
In the morning we visit Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido) also known as the Sleeping Lion because of its resemblance. It is located of the coast of San Cristobal, and you can find the remains of a lava cone eroded by the ties, as well as two vertical rocks rising 500 feet from the ocean that form a small channel that is navigable by small boats. This Galapagos Island's natural monument has become a favorite sight for cruises due to the many Tropicbirds, Frigates and Boobies that fill the surrounding air. Beneath the sea, the nearly crystal waters offer a brilliant show of colorful tropical fish and invertebrates.
Wet landing atGardnerBayon a white coral beach, amidst a large colony of sea lions. In this open area you can spot many species of birds, such as Galapagos hawks, oyster catchers, Galapagos doves, hood mockingbirds and yellow warblers, as well as marine iguanas and lava lizards. The bay is a great area for snorkeling and swimming.
After a dry landing at Suarez Point, you will learn about the lava terrain while crossing the inactive lava fields. In addition to the Sea Lion colonies, this is also one of the most important sites for bird watching. You will see such species as the hooded mocking bird, red billed tropic bird, Galapagos dove and swallow-tailed gull. There are also lava lizards, colorful sally lightfoot crabs and colonies of marine iguanas and masked and blue-footed boobies. Nesting grounds sometimes overlap the trail. This island also has the world’s largest colony of waved albatross (approx. 15,000). If you are lucky, you will be able to observe their mating ritual. Before leaving the island, you will visit the famous blowhole, which shoots water into the air at almost 75 feet.
Wet landing at the historical Post Office Bay to learn about the human side of the islands, its early inhabitants and the adventures of pirates and whalers. There is an old barrel adorned with a variety of signs pointing the direction and giving the distance to places all over the world. It is here that early settlers or visitors would leave their mail in hopes that someone going in the right direction might take their mail and deliver it or pass it on. A short walk from the famous barrel takes you to a tunnel formed by lava flows. Down a tricky path you can observeDarwin’s finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, yellow warblers and lava lizards. The Baroness's Viewing Point is the perfect place to take in the beautiful landscape that defines Floreana, and a great spot to learn about the intriguing history of the Baroness and her three lovers.
Wet landing on a green sand beach at Cormorant Point, followed by a hike on well-marked trail to a large, brackish lagoon. Here you will see one of the biggest populations of flamingos in the islands. Champion is a favorite snorkelling site filled with colorful fish, sea lions, and mayabe and occasional shark or sea turtle! Novice snorkelers can practice back on the main beach where the sea lions are playful, while experienced snorkelers can roam the waters.
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora, staffed with international scientists conducting biological research and conservation projects. Here you will see the Giant Tortoises that are part of the breeding program of Fausto Llerena. If time permits take a stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora and enjoy a snack or the views across the harbour.
Fly from Galapagos to Quito via Guayaquil on Aerogal. The flight duration is approximately 4 hour.
A departure tax must be paid upon departing Ecuador through the Quito airport. The payment must be made in cash and the cost is of USD$44.30 per person. Subject to change without notice.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Ecuador for the most up to date visa information.
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