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GALAPAGOS FAMILY EXPERIENCE: NATURE & WILDLIFE

GALAPAGOS FAMILY EXPERIENCE: NATURE & WILDLIFE

$2973 per person

Experience in company of your family the enchanted Galapagos Islands from the comfort of a land based expedition! The islands offer endless opportunities to explore a unique abundance of life in a setting unlike any other on earth. The Galapagos form a natural sanctuary that preserves species, allowing them to evolve since countless millennia. This is one of the few places on earth that allows such intimate contact with so much wildlife. This holiday also provides flexible time to spend on your own and discover the withe sand beaches, well signed trails in the Galapagos forest, and the lots of wildlife.

This trip also 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 areas 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
8 Days
  • Departure
    Quito / Ecuador
  • Included
    Activities
    Domestic flights
    Land Transportation
    Fees and entrances to parks and museums
  • Not Included
    Meals detailed in the itinerary
    Airport tranfer in & out
    International flight
1
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN QUITO CITY

Welcome to Quito! The biggest, best-preserved colonial city of America was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and the second most important city of the old Inca Empire. 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.

In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel for a welcome briefing and there will be plenty of time to discuss details and answer any questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an informational and acclimation day.
Accommodation: Swissôtel Quito or similar.

Meals included: none.

2
DAY 2: ARRIVAL IN GALAPAGOS

Today we get ready to explore the most amazing archipelago in the Pacific coast and the place where Charles Darwin based its theory of the evolution of species. We will board a morning flight from Quito to the island of Baltra.Once arrived, we head to the town of Puerto Ayora, the biggest town in Galapagos. From here we will take a fast boat to Isabela, the largest island in the archipelago and the place where the most volcanic activity in the Galapagos is reported. The island is formed by six shield volcanoes, Alcedo, Cerra Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf, five of them still active, and therefore the island is one of the most volcanically active places on earth. 

Accommodation: Casita de la Playa or similar

Meals included: Breakfast.

3
DAY 3: HIKE SIERRA NEGRA ACTIVE VOLCANO

After driving up from Puerto Villamil to the trailhead, we will prepare our backpacks and 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 October 2005.  Upon arrival, we take in breathtaking views and explore the circumference of the massive, lava-filled crater, over six miles across at its widest point. 

Enjoy the Afternoon a bit more relax by the beach or take your first snorkeling exploration at Concha Perla bay looking for sea lions, turtles and more sea wildlife. You can also sing in for an optional surfing lesson in your free time
Accommodation: Casita de la Playa or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

4
DAY 4: BREEDING CENTER, FLAMINGO LAGOON & TINTORERAS - ISABELA

Today, we will head out on our mountain bikes to explore the beautiful coastline on an exclusive trail, taking us through an incredible ecosystem with a wide variety of wildlife. We start with a visit to the Wall of Tears, a massive wall built with lava rocks. This site dates back to the '50s, when Isabela was used as a penal colony and prisoners were forced to build the wall to keep them from going mad, because of the isolation they experienced. As we continue our ride along the coast, we will explore pristine, white sand beaches, mangrove forests and lagoons. This area is filled with birdlife, including American oyster catchers, herons, flamingos, finches and many shore birds, as well as the ubiquitous sea lions and marine iguanas

In the afternoon is time to get refresh in the water going on board of our kayaks and 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: Casita de la Playa or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

5
DAY 5: CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION
In the morning, traverse from Isabela to Santa Cruz Island to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. Once we arrive, we will check in at the hotel. We will then 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, we will head to the 'El Chato' reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz, home to the famous Galapagos tortoises. Hiking through El Chato's beautiful landscape with these lumbering giants is an unforgettable experience! We will also see other highland wildlife such as pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers, finches and frigatebirds, which gather to wash the salt off their feathers at a fresh water lake. Afterwards, return to Puerto Ayora to spend the evening in Galapagos' most populous town.
Accommodations: La Casa de Judy or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast.

6
DAY 6: SANTA CRUZ FREE DAY - OPTIONAL DIVING

Today, you can experience the Galapagos at your pace! As an option, you can go on a self-guided exploration walk through a dry forest to Tortuga Bay (about 3 ½ miles long), a beautiful white sand beach and nesting side to thousands of marine turtles. This beautiful place invites for swimming or snorkeling. Alternatively, you can join any of the optional activities (at an extra cost), such as a trip to Floreana Island, Bartolome Island or a scuba-diving day trip, just to mention a few.

Accommodation: La Casa de Judy or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast.

7
DAY 7: FLIGHT BACK TO QUITO

After our final breakfast on the Galapagos Island and the last photos taken of sea lions, we will 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.

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Accomodation
Destination
Value For Money
Overall
Transport
Meals

What's Included?

  • Transportation: Airport transfers (national flights), sea transportation Santa Cruz - Isabela islands round trip, comfortable land transportation.
  • Accommodation based in double occupancy:  5* hotel in Quito, 4+ star hotels in Galapagos.
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts and 2 box lunches.
  • Activities: Biking to Breading centtre and flamingos lagoon, kayak & snorkel in Tintoreras islet, Hike to sierra negra Active volcano, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, hiking in Santa Cruz highlands.
  • Out-door gear: Snorkeling mask and fins, life vest.
  • Trip Leader: Certified AJ expert English-speaking adventure Trip Leader and naturalist local guides in Galapagos National Park.

What is not included?

  • My Own Room supplement: USD $850.
  • International flights.
  • Airfare Quito - Galapagos - Quito round trip.
  • Airport transfer (international flights).
  • Travel insurance (mandatory).

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

  • 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).

  • USD $10 pier-use fee at Puerto Villamil.

  • Wetsuit for rent: USD $10.

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 trasnfers in Galapagos. 45 minutes each way in Sierra Negra.

BOAT TRAVEL TIME

2 hours each way from Isabela to Santa Cruz. 45 minutes each way - Lava Tunnels. 15 minutes each way - Tintoreras.

SEASON: All year.

SNORKELING TIME:

Tintoreras: 1 hour. Lava Tunnels: 2 times of 1 hour each.

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

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.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Moderate to easy there are short hikes in El Chato, North Seymor, breeding center, Charles Darwin station, snorkeling 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.

YOUR TRIP LEADERS AND GUIDES: All AJ guides and trip leaders are highly experienced, licensed to operate in Ecuador and certified as Wilderness Adventure First Aid responders. We always carry a complete first aid kit in our trips. In some location and for some activities, local guides join the trip leaders to provide an added service. In the Galapagos Islands, minimum 4 participants for the AJ trip leader service are required.

SUSTAINABLE ECO AND CULTURAL TOURISM: Clients receive a conservationist interpretation of the ecology of the Andes, Amazon Rainforest and Galapagos Islands with the factors that threaten it. We aim to promote long-term conservation of both Local People cultural identity and their environment. Your visit will encourage them to support responsible ecotourism. We transport out and recycle all non-organic garbage.