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GALAPAGOS DISCOVERY

GALAPAGOS DISCOVERY

$2987 per person

Discover the enchanted Galapagos Islands which offer endless opportunities to witness a unique abundance of wildlife in a setting unlike any other on the planet. Due to its isolation, the Galapagos formed a natural sanctuary that preserves species, allowing them to evolve over countless millennia. This is one of the few places on earth that allows such close and intimate contact with the wildlife. The tour also provides many benefits to local communities and is socially and environmentally responsible. Be part of an educational and inspirational journey of a lifetime in one of the most fiercely protected marine wilderness’ in the world!


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4+ Age
8 Days
  • Departure
    Quito / Ecuador
  • Included
    Activities
    Land Transportation
    Meals detailed in the itinerary
  • Not Included
    Domestic flights
    Fees and entrances to parks and museums
    Airport tranfer in & out
    International flight
1
DAY 1: QUITO ARRIVAL DAY
Meet your AJ trip leader and group at 18:00 pm.
Welcome to Quito! The largest, best preserved colonial city of America - declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and is located on the equator in a valley at the foothills of the Pichincha volcano.
Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. ADVENTURE JOURNEYS can help you to organize a day trip (please request in advance). In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel’s lobby for a welcome briefing at 18:00 hours. At this time, we will discuss the details and questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an acclimation and information day.

Accommodation: Swissôtel Quito or similar.

Meals included: none.

2
DAY 2: ARRIVAL IN GALAPAGOS

Today you will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight to Baltra airport in the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival you will be picked up and transferred to Santa Cruz a nearby island, crossing the narrow Itabaca channel by ferry. From here we will continue by car to our first stop in the highlands of Santa Cruz. The highlands are home to the iconic giant Galapagos tortoises. Here you will visit a private ranch where you will enjoy lunch before heading out for a walk-in search of the giant tortoises. During this visit, you will also visit some lava tubes, which are formed when the surface of a lava stream solidifies. After this tour, you will continue by private vehicle to your hotel. Here you will have a meet and greet with your local guide who will explain the following days itinerary to you. Enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure to relax and introduce yourself to this beautiful Island.

Accommodation: La Casa de Judy or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

3
DAY 3: BAY TOUR EXPLORATION - CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION

Today after breakfast you will enjoy a half-day tour of Academy Bay. Be sure to pack everything you need for this trip. Optional snorkel equipment will be provided free of charge to anyone who wishes to use it. During the tour, you will take a boat to Academy Bay where you can swim and snorkel with all kinds of exotic fish and marine life, as well as the famous sea lions; they are very curious animals and like to approach to swim next to you underwater. Here you can also see the sought after blue-footed boobies. Afterwards, climb to a nearby viewpoint, and if you are lucky, you can see white-tipped reef sharks swimming in the ocean below.

In the afternoon we will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn more about many of the endemic species seen in the wild, as well as the ongoing conservation and management efforts on the Galapagos Islands.
Accommodation: La Casa de Judy or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast.

4
DAY 4: SPEED BOAT TO ISABELA ISLAND – BREEDING CENTER + FLAMINGO LAGOON – TINTORERAS ISLET
Today we will take a quick boat to the largest island in the archipelago and where the most of the volcanic activity in the Galapagos is reported. The island was formed by six shield volcanoes, Alcedo, Cerra Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf; five of them are still active which makes the island one of the most volcanically active places on earth.
Upon arrival we will visit the giant tortoise breeding center located and the flamingo lagoon to admire this incredible species in their natural habitat.
In the afternoon we will visit Tintoreras Islet located at a short distance from Puerto Villamil and home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos Penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. One of its beaches, surrounded by mangroves, is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully.

Accommodation: Isamar Hotel or similar

Meals included: Breakfast.

5
DAY 5: HIKE IN SIERRA NEGRA
After driving up from Puerto Villamil to the trail head, we will prepare our backpacks for the hike into a young forest ecosystem, a world of recent geological history. Our destination is the rim of Sierra Negra Crater, an active volcano which last erupted in June 2018. Upon arrival, we take in breathtaking views and explore the circumference of the massive, lava-filled crater, a caldera that is over six miles across at its widest point. If we feel energetic enough, we can continue our hike to Volcan Chico, a secondary crater that has a wild landscape of puffing fumaroles and colorful lava formations; great examples of the dramatic geological events that have formed the Galapagos Islands over millennia.
In the afternoon you will have time to enjoy the crystalline water of Concha Perla and practice some snorkeling to observe marine wildlife.

Accommodation: Isamar Hotel or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

6
DAY 6: SNORKEL AT LAVA TUNNELS
Explore the amazing formations of lava created by the last eruptions of the volcanic island along the seashore. This magical place has historically been filmed by BBC and National Geographic for their documentaries. It is a labyrinth of lava arches comprised of crystal clear water full of sea turtles, eagle rays, sea lions, sharks and more. The turtles navigate their own highway from the mangroves to the open sea through "Los Tuneles". Here, we will have the best snorkeling opportunity with all these beautiful animals, including the curious Galapagos penguins playing around. Before or after the trip, you can enjoy some optional activities such as snorkeling, biking or just relax on the exotic white-sand beaches of Isabela Island. 
Accommodation: Isamar Hotel or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

7
DAY 7: FLIGHT BACK TO QUITO

After our final breakfast on the Galapagos Island and the last photos taken of sea lions, we have a transfer to Baltra's airport in time to catch the flight back to the mainland.

Accommodation: Swissôtel Quito or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast.

8
DAY 8: DEPARTURE

Today our trip will end and you will have your International departures. Take with you your memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador soon to experience more of this enchanted land. We wish you a "Buen viaje"!

Meals included: Breakfast.

WRITE A REVIEW

Accomodation
Destination
Value For Money
Overall
Transport
Meals

What's Included?

  • Transportation: Private and comfortable land transportation; speed boat Santa Cruz – Isabela – Santa Cruz.
  • Accommodation based in double occupancy: 5* Hotel in Quito, 3 star hotels in Galapagos.
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 3 lunch.
  • Activities: Hiking in Santa Cruz highlands, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, trekking to the top of Sierra Negra active volcano, snorkeling or kayaking in Tintoreras, snorkeling in Lava Tunnels.
  • Gear: Life jackets, snorkeling equipment.
  • Trip Leader: Certified AJ expert English-speaking adventure Trip Leader and local guides.

What is not included?

  • International flights.
  • Domestic flights to Galapagos USD $535.
  • Single supplement.
  • Travel insurance (mandatory).
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee USD $100 per person.

  • INGALA Transit Control Card USD 20 per person.

  • Isabela Port Fee USD $10 per person.

  • Meals not described in the itinerary.

  • Tips for guides and drivers.

IMPORTANT DETAILS

ITINERARY DISCLAIMER: It is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described; however, due to our travel style, on occasions it may be necessary or desirable to make small changes. Weather conditions and unpredictable local circumstances may lead us to make alterations to the route and/or travel times. Hotels and flight schedules might change according to availability. Any mention to specific wildlife in the itinerary or trip details is not a guarantee that it will be seen during the trip.

FLIGHT TIME: 2h 45 min each way from Quito to Galapagos. Regular size aircraft. About 140 passengers.

DRIVING TIME

  • 45 minutes Airport transfers in Quito
  • 45 minutes Airport transfers in Galapagos

BOAT TRAVEL TIME

  • 2 hours each way from Santa Cruz to Isabela.
  • 45 minutes each way - Lava Tunnels.

SNORKELING TIME: Canal del amor: 1 hour.

HIKING TIME: Short hikes 1-hour average.

SEASON: All year.

ALTITUDE: From sea level to 600m (1900ft).

WEATHER TEMPERATURES: December to May: 80ºF to 90ºF / 25ºC to 30ºC. June to September: 60ºF to 70ºF / 15ºC to 20ºC. October to December: 70ºF to 80ºF/ 15ºC to 25ºC

WATER TEMPERATURE: The waters of the Galapagos Islands are a unique mixture of warm and cold water, ranging between 65ºF and 85ºF

AVG. TEMP.: Day 15-34ºC / 59-93ºF - Night 12-17ºC / 53-62ºF

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Moderate to easy there are short hikes in El Chato, Academy day tour, Isla Lobos snorkelling is easy.

ACCOMODATION: All prices are based on double-occupancy. If you are traveling solo, you will be matched with another participant of your same sex. If you prefer to have a single room, please contact AJ prior to your departure to arrange your accommodation at an extra cost.

MEALS: Traveling with Adventure Journeys you will have the possibility to experience and taste local food and snacks. Your guide will help you identify typical food and suggest the best places to enjoy it. Some meals are not included in order to give you some flexibility about where, what and with whom to eat. You have the option to share these meals with the group, however there is no obligation to do this. If you have any allergies or food restrictions, please inform AJ prior to your departure. Vegetarians, Vegans and Gluten Free people are very welcome in our trip, our guides are always ready to coordinate with chefs and restaurants for substitute meals for them, as Ecuador is very well known for its great diversity of gastronomy.

YOUR TRIP LEADERS AND GUIDES: All AJ guides and trip leaders are highly experienced, licensed from the Tourism University to operate in Ecuador and certified as Wilderness Adventure First Aid respondents. They all have approved several extra training courses for kayaking, rafting, biking and horse riding, besides this they all are Ecuadorian and have a fantastic personality. We always carry a complete first aid kit in our trips. In some locations and for some activities, local guides join the trip leaders to provide an added service and make sure we practice sustainable tourism involving local indigenous people in our operation.

In the Galapagos Islands, minimum 4 participants for the AJ trip leader service are required.

SUSTAINABLE ECO AND CULTURAL TOURISM: Clients receive interpretation and education about the ecology and conservation of the Andes, Amazon rain forest and Galapagos Islands, and learn about the factors that threaten it. We aim to promote long-term conservation of both local people cultural identity and the environment. We transport out and recycle all non-organic garbage and we prefer to work with local suppliers. Your visit will encourage the local communities to support responsible eco-tourism as a sustainable alternative for their living.

HEALTH INFORMATION: Please inform AJ of any existing medical conditions (i.e. pregnancy, diabetes, etc). Yellow fever, Hepatitis B vaccination and Malaria Medication are recommended when traveling to the tropics. Please ask your doctor for advice.