Wonders of the Galapagos

Trip Highlights

This incredible nine-day journey features a six-night cruise in the Galápagos Islands, a nature lover’s dream destination and UNESCO World Heritage site, aboard the first-class small ship Santa Cruz II. This exploration vessel is equipped for the complete Galápagos experience, from a fleet of Zodiacs and a glass-bottom boat to certified naturalists and complimentary snorkeling gear. Visit four islands where the unique wildlife accepts up-close human interaction like nowhere else on Earth. In Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage site, enjoy deluxe hotel accommodations. Ecuadorian rainforest eco lodge Pre-Tour Option. Six-night Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley Post-Tour Option.

Dates

June 14 to June 22, 2018

Region

Caribbean, Central & South America

Tour Operator

Gohagan

Physical Activity Level

Active

Duration

8 Days

Price

$ 6,995.00

Type

Land and Cruise Combo

Make a Reservation

Call Alumni Travel at 855.764.0064

Itinerary

June 14 (Thursday) 
Depart USA/ Arrive Guayaquil

Arrive in Guayaquil, once a favored haven for 17th and 18th-century English and Dutch buccaneers, and check into the Hilton Colon Hotel.

June 15 (Friday)
Guayaquil/Fly to Galapagos Islands

Fly to the small Galapagos island of Baltra and embark the Santa Cruz II in time for lunch.  Attend the orientation for explorers of all ages by the ship’s English-speaking Ecuadorian naturalists as you cruise toward Mosquera Islet.  Young Explorers will learn about the exciting week ahead, filled with adventure, activities and the wonders of nature in the Galapagos.  In small groups, make a wet landing by Zodiac and wade to shore along a shallow reef as your naturalist guides take you to the edge of sea lion colonies.  Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception on board the ship this evening.

Please note that the itinerary and cruise pattern are dependent on weather, sea conditions and Galapagos National Park Service regulations.

June 16 (Saturday)
San Cristobal Island

In the midst of an abundant deciduous forest on San Cristobal Island, see endangered giant tortoises up close in their natural habitat during a visit to a conservation and breeding center for these amazing creatures.  Keep an eye out for dozens of bird species and two endemic species, the San Cristobal mockingbird and the lava lizard!

This afternoon, explore Punta Pitt where hundreds of barking sea lions greet you as you make your way to the only sire in all of the Galapagos Islands where all three species of boobies-the blue-footed, red-footed and Nazca boobies-congregate in one place. Look for two species of frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls and storm petrels, and enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the San Cristobal shoreline.

June 17 (Sunday) 
Santa Fe Island/South Plaza Island

Colonies of sea lions, prehistoric-looking endemic land iguanas, pristine white beaches and tree-like prickly pear cacti make Santa Fe Island an essential stop for explorers of all ages!  Enjoy glass-bottom boat rides, snorkeling, kayaking or swimming in the lagoon’s crystal clear waters.

On South Plaza Island, watch for yellow and gray land iguanas that wait patiently for sweet pear fruit to drop from the cactus grove among a landscape of crimson succulents.

Join your naturalist guides for an evening of stargazing (weather permitting) and hear about how explorers once used the night sky to navigate.

June 18 (Monday) 
Santa Cruz Island

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn more about efforts to protect the island’s rare giant tortoises.  Continue to Santa Cruz’s cool, lush highlands for lunch amid mist-covered forests.

This afternoon, choose from a variety of leisure activities for the whole family.  Swim in the clear blue waters of secluded Gaapatero Beach, a nesting area for green turtles and home to lava gulls, pintails, tattlers and whimbrels.  Hike the island’s wilderness trails or walk the sparkling white sandy beaches and look for Galapagos crabs and brown pelicans diving for fish, or explore the lush highlands, home of the giant tortoises.

June 19 (Tuesday)
Espanola Island

Visit Punta Suarez on Espanola Island for a nature walk guided by your expert naturalists.  Observe unique sea bird colonies, including the Galapagos albatross, Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls.  Watch the geyser-like spray of the famous Punta Suarez blowhole, and see the island’s red-and-green marine iguanas up close.

Cruise to Gardner Bay while scanning the skies and shorelines for sightings of endemic mockingbords, yellow warblers and varieties of Darwin’s iconic finches.  In pristine Osborn Islet’s turquoise waters, snorkel, kayak or swim and keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, sea lions, coral hawkfish and other fascinating aquatic wonders.

June 20 (Wednesday) 
Eden Islet/North Seymour Island

Visit Eden Islet off the coast of Santa Cruz Island for more opportunities to look for incredible Galapagos wildlife.  From a Zodiac, watch as blue-footed boobies dive into the lagoon, frigate birds flit about and reef sharks glide smoothly along the ocean floor.

Enjoy a walk through the natural wonders of North Seymour Island, with more chances to observe sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and frigate birds.

Attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception this evening.

June 21 (Thursday)
Baltra Island/Guayaquil/Ecuador

Disembark in Baltra and fly to Guayaquil.  Enjoy a day room in the Hilton Colon Hotel.  Depart late this evening for the U.S., or continue on the Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley Post-Tour Option.

June 22 (Friday) 
Arrival in USA

 

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