Wildlife of the Galapagos

$4599 to $4949 per person sharing $750 single supplement

10 day Itinerary below. Starts and ends in Quito, Ecuador.Departs every other week with a Friday start (private tours also available)

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Wildlife of the Galapagos Itinerary

Day 1 ARRIVAL DAY QUITO

  • Welcome to one of the highest capital cities in the world: Quito, Ecuador. You are free arrive anytime you like to take in some of the sites that this historical colonial city has to offer. There will be a welcome letter awaiting you at the hotel plus an information packet with a list of things to do and see in and around Quito. That evening, during our welcome dinner, there will be a full briefing to inform the group about the trip ahead. (D) Please note - you may wish to arrive a day or two ahead to have time to explore all that Quito has to offer.

Day 2 DEPARTURE FOR SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND

  • The tour begins with a morning transfer to the airport and a flight to San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos. Upon arrival in San Cristobal you will be transferred to your hotel. After lunch we will make our way to the top of the island through the settlement of El Progresso, to La Soledad from where we will have panoramic views out over the Pacific towards Santa Cruz, Floreana and Santa Fe Islands. Afterwards we will jump on mountain bikes for an exhilarating downhill ride through the lush highlands of the island, through El Progresso and down to the township of Puerto Barequizo. Next we will pay a visit to the Interpretive Center to learn more about the mysterious history of “The Enchanted Islands”. Later we will hit Mann Beach for a swim where we can observe playful Sea lions and Frigate birds gliding on the thermals. That evening, an island welcome dinner of fresh fish and locally grown produce awaits. (B, L, D)

  • During our time in the Islands, we will stay in hotels by night and then venture out in “The Christine” (our boat) for snorkeling and beach combing trips by day. This is a wonderful way to see the islands - sleeping on and exploring the land while having our boat at our disposal by day.

Day 3 SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND

  • The day begins with a short boat ride in the Christine to Kicker Rock, observing along the way the abundant marine life that Galapagos is famous for. On the way we will stop off at la Isla de Lobos to observe nesting Frigate birds and Blue Footed boobies along with swimming and snorkeling with the playful young sea lions. A real highlight of the trip! We then continue on to Kicker Rock, the remains of an underwater volcano rising vertically 150m out of the sea. Here we can dive and snorkel, keeping an eye out below for Sea Turtles, Manta Rays and the occasional harmless Galapagos shark. After stopping by Cerro Brujo Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the islands, we will return to port late in the afternoon. (B, L- OPTIONAL DIVING, PLEASE ENQUIRE)

Day 4 & 5 FLOREANA ISLAND

  • This morning we depart from San Cristobal Island for Floreana Island. Keep an eye out for dolphins and the magnificent albatross along the way. Here we will experience some of the best snorkeling in the islands at Enderby Islet or Champions Bay and Devils Crown. In the afternoon we visit the Pirate and Whaler Caves from long ago in the highlands of the island.(B, L, D)

Day 5 ISABELA

  • Today we embark for Isabela, the largest island in the archipelago. Once we arrive in Puerto Villamil, we’ll check in, have lunch and then head off for a leisurely walk through a coastal lagoon. If we’re lucky, we’ll see some pink flamingos along the way! This mangrove-lined path will lead us to Isabela’s Giant Tortoise Breeding Center where we’ll see giant tortoises in all stages of development. The center has almost a thousand giant tortoises training for life on their own!
  • After our visit, we’ll stroll back into town along the beach in search of the perfect spot to toast in our first Isabela sunset, arguably the most beautiful of all the islands.

Day 6 ISABELA

  • A full day tour takes us up Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Galapagos (its last eruption was in October 2005) and with the second largest crater in the world.  Here you can experience a birds-eye view of this magical landscape. We’ll continue on to traverse the vast lava fields of Volcan Chico in route for a lookout that boasts breathtaking views reaching to the north of Isabela. That evening we can kick back at the bar on the beach and enjoy a nice cold beer or cocktail (B, L)

Day 7 ISABELA

  • This morning we’ll head to the water for a kayak around the sheltered bay area of Puerto Villamil. Galapagos penguins (the only penguin found north of the equator), sea turtles and rays frequent these shallow waters and blue-footed boobies, frigate birds and pelicans may be seen resting along the shore and in some nearby mangrove trees. Next, we’ll trade paddles for fins as we hop in for an exploratory snorkel in the calm, shallow waters. You can choose how you spend your afternoon – you’ve earned some free time! Grab your fins and return to our snorkeling spot or perhaps you’d like to take a step back in time and visit the Wall of Tears. Built by convicts and still standing over 50 years later, this landmark in remnant of Isabela’s penal colony past. A beachside road leads the way and it’s a lovely walk or bike ride. Stop offs along the way look into the brackish lagoons like Poza de las Diablas and tucked away beaches like Playa del Amor. Make sure you watch your step – this is also an area where juvenile giant tortoises have been reintroduced to the wild. Tonight we’ll meet back up for a well deserved feast as it’s our last night in Isabela.(B, L, D

Day 8 SANTA CRUZ

  • Today is an early morning departure to the Island of Santa Cruz. Today we will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here we can observe many species of tortoises and Land iguanas in captivity, brought back from the brink of extinction. Later in the day we head to Tortuga Bay, a stunning beach with fine white sand to see marine iguanas or try your hand at some body boarding or surfing. (B, L, D)

Day 9 SANTA CRUZ, DEPART FOR QUITO

  • This morning we’ll hop on a bus bound for the Highlands, home to some immense farms where giant tortoises still roam free. We’ll visit a private Giant Tortoise Reserve where, for the first time, we’ll be able to see these massive creatures in their natural habitat cooling off in a watering hole or munching away. We’ll also have the chance to explore some nearby lava tunnels and gain a better appreciation of the natural forces that created these islands.

  • On the way up shout if you want coffee and, time permitting, we’ll make a pit stop at a local distributor for a bag of fresh ground Galapagos Coffee, the one export from these islands. From the highlands, we’ll continue across the island as we head for Baltra, a tiny island off the coast of Santa Cruz where the airport is located. Enjoy one last look at the turquoise waters before flying back to Quito for your final dinner this evening. (B, L, D)

Day 10 QUITO DEPARTURE DAY

  • Participants will take cabs to UIO International or stay on for extensions.(B)

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What is included in the tour price

  • 9 nights full accommodation in single, double or triple accommodations

  • Private bathroom, clean and comfortable.

  • Meals daily (except for two) as specified in the tour (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

  • Welcome and farewell dinners in Quito

  • Airport transfers to and from accommodations in Galapagos and Quito

  • International transfers

  • Full pre-departure briefings and logistical support in Quito

  • All land and sea transport

  • Mountain bikes

  • Snorkeling equipment

  • Naturalist guides authorized by the national park of Galapagos.

  • Tour leader throughout out the tour

  • Airfare from Quito to the Galapagos and back to Quito

The following is of your own accord

  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee $110 USD, only payable in cash, upon arrival to the islands

  • Alcoholic / Soft drinks /Gratuities

  • 2 evening meals

  • Wetsuit hire if needed

  • Anything not specified in the package

  • Optional (please inquire for diving package)

  • Medical Trip Insurance (we can direct you toward reliable service)

  • Special note Eco Tours International reserves the right to change the itinerary due to weather conditions or Galapagos National Park regulation changes.

Please note Pricing is subject to currency and seasonal fluctuations.

My trip to Ecuador...with Nicole was simply amazing!! Everything we did immersed us in the culture of the area, and its beauty and wonders. I was looking for a very active trip and the activity level did not disappoint either. I loved the horseback riding outside of Quito. It was a wonderful adventure thru sublime forests, volcanic craters, lunch at the top with spectacular views, and even machete-hacking thru a narrow trail. Felt like an Indiana Jones adventure. I also loved the snorkeling that brought out island wonders otherwise invisible. I loved that we did not live on a boat but got to stay on each island and experience the unique culture of each; the people, the food, the scenery, the beauty, the sunsets & sunrises...I would not hesitate to plan another trip with Nicole. Hoping Africa with her is in my near future!
— Leslie DiRe, Galapagos Particpant