Wildlife destination extraordinaire Galápagos is often considered the Holy Grail for Wildlifers. A 1000 miles from the nearest coast, located at the confluence…
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Wildlife destination extraordinaire
Galápagos is often considered the Holy Grail for Wildlifers. A 1000 miles from the nearest coast, located at the confluence of three ocean currents, the Galápagos are a ‘melting pot’ of marine species. The ongoing seismic and volcanic activity reflects the processes that formed the islands. These processes, together with the extreme isolation of the islands, led to the development of unusual animal life – such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise and the many types of finch – that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.
The archipelago consists of 19 islands and dozens of islets and rocks that dot a vast area that covers 45,000 square kilometers. Thanks to a lack of natural predators, wildlife in the Galapagos has no fear of humans, making the islands one of the world’s greatest wonders and a magical destination to visit.
You can also do our Ecuador Birding tour to round off a complete birding experience
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ARRIVAL TO SAN CRISTÓBALINTERPRETATION CENTER, TIJERETAS, PUNTA CAROLA HALF DAY The guide will pick you from the airport and help check you in before lunch. In the afternoon you will visit the interpretation center built in 1998 and located on the northern edge of the city. You will be learn the history and origin of the Galapagos Islands, after which you will visit Tijeretas hill, located 2 km from the interpretation center, southwest of San Cristobal Island, where Charles Darwin first disembarked. Next, you will visit Punta Carola, which is one of the best places for surfing. Punta Carola is a beach of golden sand and in its calm waters play with the sea lions. After this your will come back to your hotel.
ESPAÑOLA DAY TOURThis morning you will visit Española Island after a 2-hour boat ride and some and snorkeling in Gardner Islet. You can search for starfish scattered all around the ocean floor, a rainbow of reef fish, sea lions, sea turtles, rays, and even Galapagos sharks! Continuing on to Suarez Point we’ll disembark for the birdwatching hike (1.2 miles). Endemic Albatross, Española Mockingbirds, Nazca Boobies, Galapagos Doves, Galapagos Hawks, and colonies of marine iguanas await you! Back on board, you will be returned to San Cristobal just in time for the sunset.
PUERTO AYORA– CHARLES DARWIN STATION – SANTA CRUZ ISLAND HIGHLANDS Early in the morning you will take the speedboat from San Cristobal to Puerto Ayora. After breakfast you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, where you can see the memorial site for the last living Galapagos tortoise of its species. In the afternoon, you will go to the Highlands of Santa Cruz to make closer contact with the Giant Galapagos Tortoises in their natural habitat. You will be surrounded by all the excursion by the endemic vegetation of the Galapagos. You will have lunch here. At night you will have a special dinner organized by us to show you the gastronomy of the island.
NORTH SEYMOUR DAY TOURToday you will visit an uninhabited island, North Seymour. The tour starts between 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m . You will be picked up at your hotel. A bus will take you to a 45 minute ride towards the Canal Itabaca to board the boat to sail from the channel to North Seymour Island, located 2 km from this site. The tour will begin with a dry landing on slippery black basalt stone. The hike takes a short climbing walk over “pillow lavas”, afterwards the terrain becomes more regular and easy to walk. Frigates could be observed along the trail along with other species such as lava gulls, sea lions, brown terns, pelicans, tropical birds. The endemic plant of this island is the lignum vitae tree, an icon of the site. In the summertime they look like dead trees, but after the February rains, they become green overnight. This gives the island a very special appearance. Other plant species abundant in the area are the Opuntia cactus, Croton, Castile and Sesuvium. Sometimes you can watch green iguanas taking shade under bushes.
SANTA FE ISLANDAfter breakfast you will travel to Santa Fe Island, a small island which lies in the center of the Galapagos archipelago. Geologically, it is one of the oldest islands in the archipelago, since volcanic rocks from about 4 million years old have been found here. The vegetation of the island is characterized by brush, palo santo trees and stands of a large variety of the prickly pear cactus and Opuntia echios. Among animals, Santa Fe is home to endemic species: the Barrington Land Iguana and the Santa Fe Rice Rat. You will enter the bay of Santa Fe in a panga ride and you will start the trip with some very nice snorkeling. Here you will be able to see beautiful wildlife and majestic cliffs. You have a “wet landing” here which means there is no dock in Santa Fe, the boats get on the beach and from there you will disembark in the sea so you bring shorts and shoes that can get wet. Also, you will observe colonies of sea lions, blue footed boobies, and marine iguanas. After lunch, you will return to Santa Cruz Island to rest and relax in the hotel.
TRANSFER OUT - BALTRAAfter breakfast, you will travel to Baltra Airport with a Spanish speaking driver, where you will depart to Quito or Guayaquil. End of services
- All airport pick ups & drop offs.
- Meals as described in the itinerary (B= breakfast, L = lunch or lunch box).
- Accommodation in double rooms (Hotels are subject to availability).
- Transportation between Itabaca Channel – Baltra Airport.
- Local naturalist guide (English & Spanish speaking).
- All activities as described in the itinerary.
- Snorkeling equipment: mask, snorkel, fins and life vest.
24/7 assistance in English, Dutch and Spanish.
- International flights.
- Domestic flight (Quito-Galapagos-Quito)
- Food & drinks that are not mentioned in the itinerary.
- Entrance fee for the Galapagos National Park: $ 100 p.p. cash only.
- Migratory Control Card / Ingala Transit Card: $ 20 p.p. – cash only.
- Isabela dock fee: $ 10 p.p. cash only.
- Water Taxi around $ 1 p.p. (small boat that takes you from the speedboat to the harbor and back).
- For rent: wetsuit (recommended between May – November): $ 5 p.p. per day – cash only.
Personal travel & health insurance.
- Optional tips for the guide.