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Explorer Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Tours

Approximately 1000 kilometers west of the Ecuadorian mainland coast is the Galapagos archipelago. Over the centuries, changing ocean currents and airstreams have made it difficult for sailors to locate the islands; as a result they have become known as “the enchanted islands”. Due to their remote location, the islands have been able to maintain their unique flora and fauna despite human interference and are today considered a unique paradise on earth where we can relax and share the company of diverse wildlife. In 1835, after visiting four of the 11 islands, Charles Darwin was so profoundly inspired he developed his “Theory of Evolution”.

Over the course of this tour, besides visiting indigenous markets and enormous volcanoes on the mainland, you are going to visit two of the islands, become acquainted with their flora and fauna, and stay overnight in the best local hotels.

Itinerary:

Day 01 Monday: Galapagos - San Cristobal Island
From the national airport in Quito or Guayaquil you fly to the Galapagos island San Cristobal. You will go immediately to the Galapagos immigration area.  Here you will need to present your passport and pay your USD 100,- Galapagos National Park fee. This payment must be made in cash. The National Park Service does not accept Traveller’s Cheques or credit cards. The Park officials will then inspect your carry-on luggage to ensure that you have not inadvertently brought in prohibited plant or animal products (see the Galapagos National Park rules). The formalities over with, your guide will welcome you and accompany you to your hotel, located directly on the romantic port basin of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. In the afternoon you hike through a typical dry forest to frigate bird hill where you can observe frigate birds and pelicans. Along the way you will encounter the famous Darwin finches and lava lizards lazing about in the heat. Later you will have your first opportunity to explore the colourful underwater world of the Galapagos, snorkeling along the shores of the island. Overnight at the Hotel Orca or similar. -/L/-

Day 02 Tuesday: Walk in the highlands and snorkel in the Pacific Ocean
In the morning you drive to the east of the prairie like highlands of San Cristobal to the sweet water lagoon El Junco. Here we can observe frigate birds and Bahama-ducks amongst other species of birds. After a walk around the lagoon you will continue to the Galapaguera, a project to introduce the local endemic Giant Tortoise back into the wild. Here you can observe these giants and get to know the typical flora of the island during your walk through this little reserve. After lunch you will walk from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno through the typical dry forest of the area to the beach “la Loberia” where you can observe sea iguanas and swim in the deep blue Pacific Ocean. In the afternoon we will head back to the hotel. B/L/-

Day 03 Wednesday: Island Santa Cruz – CDS – Academy Bay
In the morning you board one of the small speedboats (lanchas) that make the transfers between the islands of the archipelago and drive to the island Santa Cruz. After a three hour cruise you reach “Puerto Ayora”, a little harbor that is quite popular with sailors as well as with sea lions and pelicans! After walking from the pier along the promenade to your hotel you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. The station is also a tortoise breeding and rearing centre, where tortoises of different subspecies are prepared for reintroduction into their natural habitats. The most popular inhabitant of this island is probably Lonesome George, the only survivor of his specific tortoise species. After lunch you start a half day trip in a small boat through the wide Academy Bay. During the trip you can observe the diversity of the underwater world and with a little bit of luck see some of the bigger inhabitants of the ocean, like marine turtles, white tipped reef sharks or manta rays. You will visit the “Lovers Channel”, the beach “Playa de los Perros” and the bay “Bahia de Franklin”. A little walk leads you to “Las Grietas”, a natural basin between high rocky walls. To round off a packed day of activities, a swim with the sea lions at “la loberia” will almost certainly be the highlight of this excursion. Accommodation at the hotel Silberstein or similar. B/L/-

Day 04 Thursday:  Santa Cruz Island / Highlands
In the morning we will visit the highlands and the double crater Caldera de los Gemelos, which is known for its diversity of around 300 different fern species and the close by “forest” of sunflowers. Exploring the highlands of Santa Cruz we pass through different vegetation zones, from the dry lower region full of cacti to the Scalesia forests in the humid highlands. In the highlands we will investigate one of the labyrinth-like lava tunnels; some of them can be as long as 2km.

Also we will take a walk through the natural habitat of the giant tortoises, seeing these reptiles in their natural habitat, and then visit the Chato lagoon which is frequented by frigate birds and other seabirds, which come here to wash the sea salt from their feathers. For lunch we return to Puerto Ayora and in the afternoon we will hike from the hotel to the long sandy beach Playa Tortuga. Here you have the opportunity to swim and snorkel in the wide protected bay and observe the birds in the surrounding mangroves. We will spend the night again in the Hotel Silberstein or similar.  B/L/-

Day 05 Friday: Santa Cruz / Baltra / Mainland
In the morning you drive across Santa Cruz Island to the north. Here you cross the Itabaca canal in a ferry to Baltra Island. On Baltra you drive to the little airport to fly back to the mainland (Quito or Guayaquil), after a last glance back at the “enchanted islands”, a unique paradise that will surely have enchanted you too. B

B: Breakfast / L: Lunch / D: Dinner

Prices 2017

USD 1690,- per person

Single supplement USD 240.- 

Included
All transfers (bus, boat) from arrival to departure, all activities mentioned in the program, accommodation in the mentioned hotels or hotels of the same category (double room with private bath), all meals mentioned in the program, flight mainland-Galapagos-mainland, bilingual guide (English – Spanish).

Not Included
International flight, beverages, snorkel equipment, single supplement, national park entrance fee Galapagos USD 100,-, international airport charge (USD 32.-/38.-), personal expenses, tips, travel insurance

Note: The itinerary of the Galapagos tour can be changed by the guide or the boat captain due to security reasons as well as by the national park administration due to changing national park rules. Nevertheless the security and the interest of the passengers will always have first priority.

Departures
Monday

Ecuador Galapagos Travels
Ecuador Galapagos Travels
Veintimilla E10-78 and Av. 12 de Octubre
El Giron Building – Tower E – 2nd Floor – Office 104
fax: (593 2) 2224 628
P.O.BOX: 17-01-43
email: info@ecuadorgalapagostravels.ec
www.ecuadorgalapagostravels.ec
Quito - Ecuador

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