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GALAPAGOS ESSENTIALS

GALAPAGOS ESSENTIALS

$1999 per person

Experience the Galapagos Islands from the comfort of a land-based expedition! The islands offer endless opportunities to witness a unique abundance of wildlife in a setting unlike any other on the planet. This is one of the few places on earth that allows such close and intimate contact with the wildlife. The Galapagos form a natural sanctuary that preserves species, this allowed them to evolve their unique features for countless millennia. This vacation also provides flexible time to spend on your own and explore the sand beaches, trails in the Galapagos forest, and the lots of 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!

Unique Experiences:

  • Enjoy real time encounter with the most amazing wildlife up your finger tips and discover the power nature with the evolutionary changes of such a unique animals.
  • Snorkel through lava formations with sea turtles, penguins, sea horses, sea lions and sharks at Lava Tunnels.

 

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4+ Age
7 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 18:00pm.  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: ARRIVE IN GALAPAGOS

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to the Island of Baltra in the Galapagos Islands. On 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: Hotel Fiesta or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

3
DAY 3: BAY TOUR EXCURSION

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. Afterwards, take a walk along the Playa de los Perros, where many sea iguanas are found basking in the sun. The enormous cacti, the deep, red color of the rocks and the turquoise, sparkling ocean make for great photo opportunities.

Accommodation: Hotel Fiesta or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

4
DAY 4: CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION
In the morning 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.
In the afternoon, you will travel by speedboat to San Cristobal Island. Once we arrive, we will check in at the hotel.

Accommodation:  Blue Marlin Hotel or similar

Meals included: Breakfast.

5
DAY 5: ISLA LOBOS EXCURSION
Today after breakfast you will be met and transferred to a dock where you will take a quick boat ride to the nearby Isla Lobos. During this boat trip, observe many marine animals before even setting foot on the island. Upon arrival, enjoy a guided tour where you will have the chance to observe frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, manta, sea lions and sometimes sharks that all inhabit the island and it’s surrounding waters. The white coral beaches of San Cristóbal are great to walk around, relax and swim at before you return back to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

Accommodation: Blue Marlin Hotel or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

6
DAY 6: FLIGHT BACK TO QUITO
Enjoy some more free time this morning before transferring to the airport of San Cristóbal. From here, you will take a flight back to Ecuador's mainland. Upon arrival in Quito, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for one more evening at leisure before saying goodbye.

Accommodation: Swissôtel Quito or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast.

7
DAY 7: 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.

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Accomodation
Destination
Value For Money
Overall
Transport
Meals

What's Included?

  • Transportation: Speed boat Santa Cruz – San Cristobal, comfortable land transportation.
  • Accommodation based in double occupancy:  5* hotel in Quito, 3+ star hotels in Galapagos.
  • Meals: 6 breakfasts and 3 lunches.
  • Activities: Hiking in Santa Cruz highlands, Snorkeling, Isla Lobos, Academy Bay day tour.
  • Gear: Snorkeling mask and fins, life vest.
  • Trip Leader: Certified AJ expert English-speaking adventure leader and naturalist local guides in Galapagos National Park.

What is not included?

  • My Own Room supplement: USD $490.
  • Airfare International flights.
  • Airport transfer (international flights).
  • Airfare Quito - Galapagos - Quito round trip - estimated budget USD $535.
  • Travel insurance (mandatory).

  • Meals not described in the itinerary - estimated budget USD $180.

  • INGALA transit card: USD $20 per person, cash only (subject to change).

  • Galapagos National Park fee: USD $100 per person, cash only (subject to change).

  • Wetsuit for rent: USD $10.

  • Tips for guides and drivers - estimated budget USD $120.

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 San Cristobal.
  • 45 minutes each way - Lava Tunnels.
  • 20 minutes each way - Isla Lobos.

SNORKELING TIME: Canal del amor: 1 hour.

HIKING TIME: Short hikes 1-hour average.

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

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.