Galapagos In-Brief – Western

Galapagos Cruise

  • Galapagos Grand Odyssey
  • Motor Yacht
  • 16 Capacity
  • 6 Days
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Summary : The Galapagos Islands are considered one of the most spectacular and pristine National Parks in the world. Visitors delight in the abundant, unusual, and surprisingly approachable wildlife—from Galapagos giant tortoises to playful sea lions to the fascinating blue-footed boobies.

We strongly recommend two pre-cruise nights and one post-cruise night in Quito or Guayaquil. Please inquire about adding these or other services to your trip.

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling

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Itinerary
Day 1
Baltra Island / Santa Cruz Island

Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, your representative will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a bus ride to the Itabaca Channel and then transfer to Puerto Ayora.

Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors come here to observe and appreciate natural wonders, it is also interesting to learn how the protection and conservation of the islands are carried out. The Charles Darwin Station on Santa Cruz Island offers a chance to learn more about the Galapagos Islands.

Day 2
Isabela Island

A delightful area reached by a nice zodiac ride: “Tintoreras” are small islands in front of Puerto Villamil coast. See Galapagos penguins and sea lions that often pop out on shore. White-tipped reef sharks are fairly common in the archipelago. Their name in Spanish is Tintorera, thus the name of this site, as they are always found here resting in the shallow waters.

Isabela Island is the largest and one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos archipelago. Land in Puerto Villamil and travel to the highlands to Sierra Negra slope. Do some hiking on uneven terrain until arriving at the Sierra Negra volcano rim. Sierra Negra is the second widest crater in the world. From this viewpoint, you have fantastic sights to the 6 x 5-mile-wide crater, the rest of the volcanoes, and Perry Isthmus, a 6-mile-wide lava field. From here, hike to Chico Volcano to watch the striking lava formations, examples of the geological occurrences that have created the Galapagos Islands.

Day 3
Isabela Island

Punta Moreno is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcano. The trail runs along a lava flow Pahohoe (solidified lava in the form of corrugations or an accordion) into a complex of coastal lagoons. Its main attraction are several species of birds which can be found around the lakes and mangroves.

Elizabeth Bay is a marine visitor site where the excursion is carried out in a Zodiac. Your zodiac ride starts with a visit to the Marielas islets home to the largest and most important penguin colony in the Galapagos Islands. The excursion continues into the cove that is surrounded by red mangroves where you can admire their red roots and green leaves. It is here that you are able to observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions. Frequently visitors have been able to see Galapagos Hawks soaring overhead while schools of Pompano and Dorado fish swim below.

Day 4
Fernandina Island / Isabela Island

Fernandina is the third largest island in the archipelago and has a single visitor site, Punta Espinoza, located at the northeastern tip of the island. Just across Tagus Cove is a visitor site where some of the unique species of the Galapagos can be seen. Marine iguanas gather in larger groups here than on any other island. They bask in the sand, swim near the shore and sometimes block the way at the landing dock. Among the unique species found here is the Flightless Cormorant, a bird lacking predators that has survived by finding food in the ocean. Their wings, tails and feet progressively adapted for swimming. To see these birds is to witness evolution happening right in front of you.

In the afternoon at Tagus Cove, a tour along the cliffs in a Zodiac will provide good chance to see the Galapagos penguin, the Flightless Cormorant, and other sea birds. From the landing dock, an estimated 30-minute hike to the top of the cliff allows you to view Darwin Lake, an uplifted ultra-saline lake that's saltier than the sea. You can also see several volcanoes from this location. Look carefully at the graffiti on the surrounding cliffs of the cove; it has been written by pirates, whalers and buccaneers in past centuries.

Day 5
Santiago Island

Espumilla Beach is located on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. The main attractions here are the Palo Santo forest and a marvelous beach, which is an important site for nesting marine turtles. In the afternoon, explore Puerto Egas, a site with a black beach located at the west side of the island. The volcanic tuff deposits have favored the formation of this special black sand beach.

Day 6
San Cristobal Island

Visit Isla Lobos this morning. This little island is reached in approximately one hour by Zodiac from Port Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Island. The trail leads across a dry vegetation zone, substrate of volcanic rocks and sandy areas. There is a small population of blue-footed boobies and frigate birds which nest in this site. Observe a large colony of sea lions at the beach. After Isla Lobos, transfer to the airport in San Cristobal for a flight back to Quito or Guayaquil.

Notes

This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Ship Dry Dock Dates: Jan 27 - Mar 23, 2015

Included:
Cabin accommodations aboard ship; all meals aboard ship; water, coffee and tea; all shore activities and excursions; English-speaking guide; snorkeling equipment; kayaking equipment; transfers in the Galapagos Islands.

Not Included:
International airfare; airfare to/from Galapagos Islands; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee, $100 adults, $50 children under 12, subject to change without notice; Galapagos Transit Card ($10 per person); wetsuit rental; alcoholic beverages and soft drinks; passport expenses; traveler's insurance; gratuities to ship staff and crew are left to the discretion of the passenger; fuel surcharge may apply.

We are happy to add hotels, air and land arrangements as requested, and you will be quoted for services.

Airfare between Quito/Guayaquil and the Galapagos Islands:
The flights between mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) and the Galapagos Islands are an additional cost. To secure your seats on often overbooked flights, ExpeditionTrips must reserve these flights for you at the time of cruise booking. Approximate cost (including service fee): $450-$600 per adult; $250-$325 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).