GALAPAGOS TOUR. GALAPAGOS CRUISE 11 DAYS / 10 NIGHTS / 24 MEALS ** ** Itinerary based on the 7 nights cruise

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GALAPAGOS CRUISE

11 DAYS / 10 NIGHTS / 24 MEALS ** ** Itinerary based on the 7 nights cruise

The Galapagos Islands are renowned for their unique wildlife. You can swim with sea lions, float eye to eye with penguins or stand beside a blue footed booby as is feeds its young. Spread out over 50 000 squares km of the Pacific Ocean, the archipelago comprises 13 main island and 6 smaller ones.

ITINERARY

DAY 1 QUITO

Arrival - transfer to the hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Quito or similar for 2 nights

DAY 2 QUITO

Colonial City Tour & Middle of the World: bustling streets and squares of the largest historical old town in the

GALAPAGOS

TOUR

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Americas, a multi-ethnic, artistic and cultural heritage destination. Visit the “Middle of the world” situated at 0º0’0” latitude. (B)

DAY 3 QUITO · GALAPAGOS ISLAND : BEGINNING OF YOUR CRUISE **

Departure from Quito to Baltra (2 ½ hours flight). Passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.

PM Highlands · Pit Craters (Santa Cruz)

Dry landing. A 45-minute bus ride will take us to the Santa Cruz highlands, located to the northwest of Puerto Ayora, where we will find a natural reserve with giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles are responsible for the island’s name and therefore approaching them in their humid and forested abode is always an inspiring adventure. They can weigh between 250 and 300 kg and can live up to 150-200 years. Additionally, travelers can walk inside surprising lava tubes; we also visit Pit Craters created from the collapse of surface materials into chamber fissures underground. It’s a great place to spot Vermilion Flycatcher as we walk inside an endemic Scalesia forest. (B/L/D)

Difficulty level: easy

Type of terrain: flat & muddy sometimes (depending on season)

Duration: 45 minutes drive / 1h30 walk

Accommodation: Standard Plus Cabin

DAY 4 GALAPAGOS ISLAND AM Egas Port (Santiago)

Wet landing on a beach of black volcanic sand, visited by Darwin in 1835. The first section of the trail is comprised of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half of partially uneven terrain is comprised of volcanic basaltic rock lounging the shoreline.

The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago’s shores is home to a variety of resident and migrant birds, including the bizarre Yellow-crowned Night Heron and astounding array of marine wildlife including lobster, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally Light-foot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks are also a highlight.

Difficulty level: intermediate

Type of terrain: the first part flat and then semi rocky.

Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling

PM Bartolome

Dry or wet landing. We discover a fascinating moonscape* formed by different volcanic parasitic cones —lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones —as we hike to the summit for impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock*. We also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards and blue-footed boobies*.

Beach time is a great opportunity to snorkel and see (perhaps swim with) Galapagos Penguins, sea turtles and White-tipped Reef Sharks among a great variety of colorful fish. For many visitors, this may turn out to be the best of snorkeling experiences*; the water here is generally clear, without too much surf and full of marine life. Due to its geographical location, the lack of vegetation is immediately noticeable. Pioneer plants are observed, so called because they are the first to establish roots on new ground. They include Tiquilia nesiotica (which is

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endemic to the island) and Chamaesyce (known as sand mat or spurge in English), lava cactus, and Scalesia bushes. Behind the beach we have dunes covered by mangroves. (B/L/D)

Difficulty level: intermediate.

Type of terrain: trail made of steps (372 steps)

Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling

DAY 5 GALAPAGOS ISLAND AM Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz)

Dry landing. We walk by a brackish lagoon where feeding flamingoes can be occasionally found. The trail leads across typical dry zone vegetation* up to Dragon Hill, an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas*, offering lovely views of the anchorage and neighboring islands. The forest is home to mockingbirds, Darwin’s finches, Yellow Warblers and Galapagos Doves.

Difficulty level: intermediate

Type of terrain: rocky

Duration: 2 hours walk

PM North Seymour

Dry landing. This is perhaps one of the busiest tourist destinations on the archipelago. Off of Baltra Island (where the airport is located) and not far from Santa Cruz, North Seymour is the most accessible for day trips out of Santa Cruz’s main port, Puerto Ayora.

An approximately two hour walk amidst large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies*, magnificent and great frigatebirds*, and swallow-tailed gulls for an in depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles and as well as sea lions. You will also encounter sea lions, land iguanas, and on a lucky day, you might even come across a Galapagos Snake. (B/L/D)

Difficulty level: intermediate

Type of terrain: rocky

Duration: 2 hours walk, 30 minute snorkeling

DAY 6 GALAPAGOS ISLAND AM Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz)

Wet landing on the north side of Santa Cruz; behind the beach lie two small flamingo ponds with iguanas, coastal birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls, as well as interesting native and endemic vegetation, red and black mangroves, salt bushes, and much more. This beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles* in the Galapagos. A female can lay eggs 3 or 4 times with an average of 70 eggs each, but then spend 3 or 5 years without breeding.

At this paradisiacal site we will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago, once property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. That is why the beach is called “Bachas” because the word “barges” in English was hard to pronounce for the local people.

Difficulty level: easy

Type of terrain: sandy

Duration: 1 hour walk / 1 hour snorkeling/swimming

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PM Black Turtle Cove

On the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, accessible only by sea where four species of mangrove crowd from the shore out into the lagoon, turtle enjoy swimming in the calm waters, peaking their heads above the surface while fish, rays and small sharks circle below. White-tipped reef sharks can be seen beneath the boat, sea birds, including pelicans, herons and egrets, all feed in the cove. This cove has been declared as a “Turtle Sanctuary”. (B/L/D)

Difficulty level: easy

Duration: 1h00

DAY 7 GALAPAGOS ISLAND

AM Sullivan Bay (Santiago)

Wet landing. This visitor site located at the southeastern portion of Santiago Island, and of important geologic interest, features extensive lava flows believed to have been formed during the last quarter of the 19th century.

Difficulty level: difficult, 1.5 km path.

Type of terrain: flat volcanic lava

Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling/swimming

PM Rabida

Wet landing. Dark-red sand covers these unique beaches with incredible landscape; Rabida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting Brown Pelicans are found from July through September and nine species of the famous Darwin’s finches can be seen. We will also take a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active. (B/L/D)

Difficulty level: easy

Type of terrain: sandy

Duration: 1h30 walk / 1 hour snorkeling / 1 hour dinghy ride

DAY 8 GALAPAGOS ISLAND AM Urbina Bay (Isabela)

Wet landing on a volcanic “black” beach. Depending on the season, we may find giant tortoises*, land iguanas* and the unusual Flightless Cormorant. After a short walk inland, snorkeling time is allotted, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plant life that changes depending on the season. We can observe the beautiful colors of

plants that attract different insects, birds and reptiles. We will explore the uplifted coral reef that resulted from 1954 volcanic activity, with a spectacular view of Alcedo Volcano.

Difficulty level: intermediate

Type of terrain: flat

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PM Tagus Cove (Isabela)

Dry landing on Galapagos’ largest island where we will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that form it. The trail leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater Lake and excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. We will return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where we will admire a variety of seabirds*, such as Blue-footed Booby, Brown Noddy, terns, Flightless Cormorant and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins* which are only 35 cm. tall; the only penguin species in the world to extend its range into the northern hemisphere along the equator. They are monogamous and lay their eggs in small cracks of lava, on the lower parts of the island near the shoreline not reached by the ocean waves. The population of penguins on the islands is about 2,000 individuals, most of which live on this western portion of Isabela; others are scattered further south on the island. We will have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water. Graffiti believed to have been left by19th-century pirates is a curious reminder of an intriguing past. (B/L/D)

Difficulty level: intermediate

Type of terrain: steep

Duration: 2 hour walk / 40 minutes dinghy ride / deep water snorkeling 1 hour

DAY 9 GALAPAGOS ISLAND AM Espinosa Point (Fernandina)

Dry landing. Espinosa Point is the only spot that we visit on Fernandina, and from it we can see the island of Isabela across the Bolívar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. The largest, most primitive-looking race of marine iguanas* are found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs; a wonderful opportunity to encounter Flightless Cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos Penguins and the “King” of predators on the Islands, the Galapagos Hawk.

“Pa-hoe-hoe” and “AA” lava formations* cover the majority of the terrain. Vegetation is thus scarce inland, but we encounter Brachycereus cacti and extensive mangrove beds lining the shores.

Difficulty level: intermediate

Type of terrain: rocky

Duration: 2 hours walk / 1hour snorkeling

PM Vicente Roca Point (Isabela)

Great deep-water* snorkeling at one of the richest marine havens on Earth (Bolívar Channel). We take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds*; Nazca and blue-footed boobies, noddies, brown pelicans, penguins, flightless cormorants. The upwelling of coldwater currents in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life. (B/L/D)

Duration: 1 hour snorkeling / 1 hour dinghy ride

DAY 10 GALAPAGOS ISLAND · QUITO OR GUAYAQUIL AM Highlands (Santa Cruz)

Dry landing. A 45-minute bus ride will take us to the Santa Cruz highlands, located to the northwest of Puerto Ayora, where we will find a natural reserve with giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles are responsible for the island’s name and therefore approaching them in their humid and forested abode is always an inspiring adventure. They can weigh between 250 and 300 kg and can live up to 150-200 years.

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Difficulty level: easy

Type of terrain: flat & muddy sometimes (depending on season)

Duration: 45 minutes drive / 1h30 walk

After the visit passengers will be transferred to Baltra airport for return flight to Guayaquil or Quito. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Quito / Oro Verde or similar

DAY 11 QUITO OR GUAYAQUIL

Transfer to the airport. (B)

** This itinerary is given for information purposes only. It may be change depending on your departure date and the lenght of the cruise.

INCLUSIONS

Round trip transfers, domestic flights – Quito – Baltra – Quito · Visits, meals and accommodation as per itinerary · Local English Speaking guide · Fuel surcharge · Migration control card

Not included

International airfare · Galapagos National Park fees $USD100 · Optional excursions Gratuities to guides and hotels.

Price per person ($CAD) Including Including Including

Double occupancy 3 nights 4 nights 7 nights

Land portion cruise cruise cruise

July 1 - December 14, 2016 4499 5499 8139

January 1 - December 14, 2017 4499 5469 8099

Note: seasonal surcharge may apply

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