JourneyQuest Travel

Galapagos

Weekly Saturday Departures
 
 

 

Ten cabin accommodation with private bath (full charter) on the first class 20-passenger M/Y ERIC, FLAMINGO or LETTY for 7 nights including all meals, beverages, mineral water,  shore excursions and guide services, use of snorkeling equipment, wet suits and sea kayaks. 

Galapagos National Park entrance fee 

Roundtrip airfare on AEROGAL Airlines from Ecuador to Galapagos 

Hotel accommodations for two nights at the Oro Verde Hotel in Guayaquil including taxes, buffet breakfast and welcome beverage.  

Four airport transfers with private vehicle and English speaking guide including baggage handling.   Three hour city tour of Guayaquil.

 

Itinerary

 

SATURDAY:   Upon arrival to Guayaquil, Ecuador, a representative will meet the group and transport them to the Hotel Oro Verde.  Guayaquil is the country's largest city and gateway to the Galapagos Islands.  With its dynamic seaport, is the industrial capital of Ecuador and of the Guayas Province.  Overnight at the Hotel Oro Verde.                              

 SUNDAY:   Buffet breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to the Guayaquil airport for your flight to Galapagos on Aerogal 31 departing GYE at 10:00am arriving to San Cristobal at 10:30am. Upon arrival to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, SAN CRISTOBAL Island, our crew is waiting at the airport to escort you to your anchored yacht.  This afternoon, visit Playa Ochoa, offering a subtle introduction to these extraordinary islands.  As the sun sets, we cruise around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), a vertical tuff cone formation that abruptly juts up almost 500 feet out of the ocean.  On the cliffs, we find blue-footed boobies, masked boobies and magnificent frigate birds.

 

MONDAY:  We spend the entire day on TOWER (Genovesa), one of the most spectacular Islands in Galapagos. After a wet landing on Darwin Bay’s coral beach, wind your way past tide pools where swallow-tailed and lava gulls gather.   Enter a forest of mangroves where colonies of great frigate birds nest. The males inflate their red-throated pouches to attract females that fly overhead.   After swimming or sea kayaking, take a panga ride along the jagged shoreline.  See the beautiful red-billed tropic bird. At Prince Philip’s Steps, find storm petrels and the elusive short-eared owl, and watch the famous red-footed boobies nesting in Palo Santo trees.

 

TUESDAY:    This morning we disembark on North Seymour, a small geological uplift.  After a dry landing, we follow a trail that leads us to sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls and blue-footed boobies.  Visit the largest colony of magnificent frigate birds found in Galapagos.  As we stroll along the beach, watch for sea lions body surfing the northern swells.  This afternoon, we explore Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) on the north end of Santa Cruz.  Follow a footpath to endemic land iguanas.  Once part of the Darwin Station's breeding program, these repatriated iguanas display orange-yellow skin and large spines along their backs. Walk quietly to keep from startling the pink flamingos that feed in the salt-water lagoon. Along the trail, keep your eyes open for Darwin Finches and Yellow Warblers. 

 

WEDNESDAY:   This morning, we visit Tagus Cove, ISABELA.  Six volcanoes flowed together and formed Isabela, the largest Island in Galapagos. Discover a salt-water lagoon, a scenic overlook, and a spectacular view of lava fields, volcanic formations and the ocean.  Note graffiti dating back to the 1800's is written on the rocky cliffs.  Explore Tagus Cove in pangas or sea kayaks and find Galapagos penguins and other seabirds.  After lunch, we cross the Bolivar Canal and disembark at Punta Espinoza, FERNANDINA. Located in the western part of the archipelago, Fernandina is the youngest and most pristine Island found in Galapagos.  Hundreds of marine iguanas, the largest colony in Galapagos, bask in the sun along the rugged shoreline.  Observe sea lion harems with resident bulls carefully guarding their territory.  Flightless Cormorants build their nest on the point and Galapagos Hawks fly overhead.    

 

THURSDAY: This morning, stroll along the shore at Puerto Egas, SANTIAGO (James) looking for octopus and starfish caught in the tide pools.   At low tide, catch a glimpse of marine iguanas as they feed on exposed green algae.  Watch for great blue herons, lava herons, oystercatchers and yellow-crowned night herons. Our walk ends at the grottos, deep pools of clear water where we encounter fur sea lions once on the verge of extinction.   On Bartolome, it seems like we are walking on the moon. This young Island is inhospitable to most plants and animals.  After a dry landing, climb 30 minutes up a steep slope to the summit of a once active volcano. Pause along the way to marvel at lava bombs, spatter cones and cinder cones. Gaze out across the island for a panoramic view of famous "Pinnacle Rock", an eroded tuff cone.  Down below, crystal clear water invites you to snorkel with schools of tropical fish.   Penguins often swim in this area.  On the other side of the Island encounter sea turtles and white-tipped sharks.

 

FRIDAY:  This morning, climb aboard a bus and take an excursion to the highlands of SANTA CRUZ Island.  Watch the scenery change as we wind our way through all seven vegetation zones found in Galapagos. From June to January you can find giant tortoises on a private farm in the highlands. The rest of the year, we visit Los Gemelos “The Twins”, a pair of large pit craters where we find the bright red male vermilion flycatcher.  Afterwards, we head to "the tunnels", the largest lava tubes found in Galapagos.  After lunch, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station.  Scientists from all over the globe work at the station and conduct biological research from anatomy to zoology. Get your picture taken with the giant tortoises. Observe year-old tortoises and learn about the captive-breeding program.  Next, stroll through the town of Puerto Ayora (population: 10,000) –the largest town in the Galapagos.  Buy souvenirs, mail postcards and absorb local charm in the social heart of the Islands.

 

SATURDAY:  This morning, step onto Gardner Bay, ESPANOLA (HOOD).  Walk along seemingly endless stretches of sandy beach where you’ll find colonies of sea lions.  Swim and snorkel with the sea lions and enjoy the colorful diversity of sea life near Gardner Islet. This afternoon, we disembark at Punta Suarez, ESPANOLA, where we witness the highest rate of “endemicism” in the Galapagos. Sea lions noisily green us as we land on their beach.  Curious mockingbirds peck at our shoelaces.  From April to November, waved albatross perform their wild mating rituals.  Colonies of  blue-footed boobies engage in “sky-pointing” while masked boobies busily care for their young.  Stunning swallow-tailed gulls and red-billed tropicbirds take shelter under the cliffs. Other species endemic to Espanola include Darwin’s Finches, Galapagos Doves and Galapagos Hawks.  Observe a marine iguana identified with traces of  red and green colorings. Colorful sally light-foot crabs crawl along the shoreline near to the famous "blow hole". 

 

SUNDAY:  This morning, we drop anchor in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, SAN CRISTOBAL.   We visit the Interpretation Center opened in 1999. Here we gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the Islands. Afterwards, we head straight to the airport for our flight back to the mainland on Aerogal 2k31 departing San Cristobal at 10:40AM and arriving to Guayaquil at 1:10pm.  Lunch is served on the flight. 

 

Afternoon city tour of Guayaquil’s latest attraction, Malecon 2000, is an 80 million dollar riverside complex built along a two-mile stretch of the Guayas River. The waterfront boardwalk features a myriad of restaurants, cafes and shops, and museums with art exhibitions and free weekend jazz and classical music concerts. A visit to Malecon 2000 can be easily combined with a city tour of Guayaquil & Las Penas, a charming colonial section filled with art studios and 400-year old houses.

 

Transfer to the hotel, for an overnight at the Hotel Oro Verde.

 

MONDAY:  After breakfast at the hotel, our guide will meet you at your hotel to transfer you to the Guayaquil airport for return flight home.

 

 

 

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