Situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the South American continent, these 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique 'sliving museum and showcase of evolution's. On this tour, you will visit some of the main highlights of incredible Ecuador, from Quito to Cotopaxi, Charles Darwin Station to Santa Cruz.
There is never a bad time to visit the Galapagos. The peak season lasts from mid-June through early September and from mid-December through mid-January. Galapagos Islands are right on the equator so air and water temperatures do not vary much.
Species like the Galapagos penguin, flightless cormorant, marine iguana, land iguana, blue footed booby, Galapagos hawk, fur sea lion, California sea lion and others spend the entire year in the Galapagos and do not migrate.
When: All Year
Tour: From 5 days
Hotels and Yachts
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Wednesday:Transfer to Quito airport for your flights to the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival, pay the park entrance fee of USD100. You will then be transferred to the harbour and board Pangas, motorised crafts which will take you to the Explorer. Depart and do a wet landing on the beach at Cerro Brujo to view the various sea-lions and plethora of birds such as the Yellow Warbler, Ground Finch, Plover,Catchers, Lava Heron and the Blue Footed Booby). We will then have a dry landing and disembark at Bartolome Island for an optional 40 minute trek to the summit point. Return to the ship. (BLD)
Thursday: Bartolome Island - Puerto Egas, Santiago Island We will view Bartolome Islandin the morning and then in the afternoon, head towards Puerto Egas, Santiago Island. Here you also find the once inhabited port Puerto Egas and the Sugarloaf Mountain. Settled in the 20's by Norwegians, who attempted to establish fishing and salt factory, the island is currently uninhabited. Several species of land birds, including 10 species of the Darwin Finches as well as the Galapagos Hawk. It is also the best site to watch the Galapagos Fur Seal. (BLD)
Friday: Punta Espinosa - Fernandina - Isabela Island- Punta Vincente RocaFernandina is the westernmost island of the Archipelago. The colossal shield of the still active volcano Fernandina reaches 1,494 m. Punta Espinoza is home to one of the largest communities of Marine Iguanas, as well as Californian Sea Lions and Galapagos Flightless Cormorants. The island is stark and barren but has numerous flightless cormorants, sea lions and marine iguanas. The main attractions of this island are its Lava-Cactuses and the on the surface of the lava, the growing mangroves. In the afternoon, we will head to Punta Vincente Roca at the west coast of Isabela. (BLD)
Saturday: North Seymour Island - Santa CruzNorth Seymour is an 'suplifted's (as opposed to volcanic) island and so is generally flat and strewn with boulders. There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds. It is home to numerous Blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls.
Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos. The bay is also encircled by the dozy and tended town Puerto Ayora. With its about 150 000 inhabitants it is the largest human settlement on the islands and offers some tourist facilities. Santa Cruz is also the only island where six different zones of vegetation can be seen: Coastal, Arid, Transition, Scalesia, Miconia, and Pampa Zones. (BLD)
Sunday: Islas Lobos - Interpretation centreToday we will visit the small island of Lobos, situated outside San Cristobal. It was named after the many sea lions that live there. There are also blue-footed boobies and on the east coast, Leon Dormido (also called Kicker Rock) is located. This is a gigantic rock whose name comes from its similarity to a sleeping lion. In the afternoon, we will visit the Interpretation Centre at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. (BLD)
Monday:Espanola Island - Punta Suarez - Charles Station - Puerto Ayora Espanola Island or 'sHood's is one of the oldest of the islands. It is small and flat with no visible volcanic crater or vent. Because of its great variety of sea birds it is very popular with birdwatchers. Punta Suarez is one of the most outstanding wildlife areas of the archipelago, with a long list of species found along its cliffs and sandy or pebble beaches. In addition to five species of nesting seabirds there are the curious and bold Hood Island mockingbirds, Galapagos doves and Galapagos hawks. Several types of reptiles, including the brilliantly colored marine iguana and the oversized lava lizard, are unique to this island. The highlight is the colonies of Galapagos albatross. Puerto Ayora, with a population of about 10,000 people is the location of the Charles Darwin Research Station, world famous for its tortoise breeding programs. After touring the Station, we will journey by bus into the highlands to Los Gemelos the two deep pit craters situated in the Scalesia forest with lots of interesting bird life. (BLD)
Tuesday: Darwin Bay - Genovesa Island - El BarrancoThis morning we will have a wet landing for an easy stroll observing thousands of bird life, mainly frigate birds, red footed and masked boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. You will have a change to visit the area further on foot. After lunch, w will head to Genovesa, a collapsed volcano which attracts vast numbers of pelagic seabirds that come here to nest and breed: great frigate birds, red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls and storm petrels. (BLD)
Wednesday: Ochoa Beach - San ChristobalToday we will encounter many sea lion colonies and numerous blue-footed boobies. Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the mainland for your return flight to Quito (BLD)
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