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Charles Darwin Path

8 Days / 7 Nights

Package Overview

Experience the Galapagos Islands just like Charles Darwin. You will explore the different islands and unique eco-system each island offers. Even within the same islands you will experience the bio-diversity offered. No other destination will give you the same unique experiences you will find on land and under the sea while visiting the Galapagos.

Agent Commission Starting At: $325.00

Package Pricing

Package starting at: $3250.00 PP * Prices based on double occupancy. Prices per person in USD.

Travel Itinerary

Day 1

TRANSFER IN - INTERPRETATION CENTER - FRIGATE HILL (L)

After arriving at San Cristóbal, we will visit the Interpretation Center, where we will learn more about the origin of the archipelago, its fauna and flora, as well as the history of its first inhabitants. After that, we will hike for about 2 hours until Frigate Hill, where we will enjoy the endemic vegetation and a beautiful view of the island and its surroundings. The main attraction here is the frigate birds. Later we will visit Frigate Bay and do some snorkeling. Return to the hotel. Accommodation at the selected hotel.

Day 2

SATURDAY – ESPAÑOLA ISLAND (B, L)

The GALAPAGOS GOLDEN TRIANGLE is an archipelago that includes three islands, which are: Fernandina, Genovesa and Española Island. This archipelago is located on the extreme southeast of the islands and is considered, along with San Cristobal Island one of the oldest with approximately four million years. The climate is very dry, with only a few inches of rain per year like most of the archipelago. Due to its isolation, Española Island keeps a high percentage of endemic species. Also, its length is about 60 km2 and its highest peak is about 206 meters above sea level. There are two touristic stops in this island which are: Punta Suarez and Gardener Bay. In order to get to Española, you will have to take a boat from San Cristobal, the duration of this trip lasts about 2 hours. On Punta Suarez you can watch live several species of interest such as albatrosses, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, Galápagos hawks, Darwin finches, swallow-tailed gulls, snakes, shorebirds, Galapagos doves, marine iguanas, lava lizards and sea lions. On Española Island there is a volcanic feature called the blow hole, a geyser-like formation made by a tunnel through which the water spouts up to the height of 20 meters or more. The view along the cliffs is also breath taking. Only 30 minutes away by boat from Suarez Point, there is an excellent place for Scuba diving and Snorkeling, with calm and transparent blue waters where the guests will have the opportunity to be face to face with sea lions, rays, white typed sharks and eventually sea turtles and curious marine iguanas. There can be found over 60 different species of fishes with a variety of corals, sponges and sea urchins.

accommodation in the hotel.

Day 3

TRANSFER TO SANTA CRUZ - HIGHLANDS (B, L)

Today we will be transfer to Santa Cruz early in the morning. After our arrival to Puerto Ayora, we will be transfer to the highlands. The visitors will be amazed by the island’s variety of wildlife and geology. The road climbs through the agricultural zone and into the mist-covered forests of the highlands. Santa Cruz possesses all of the various life zones present on the archipelago, with wonderful birding opportunities. Whether it’s the bright red feathers of a Vermilion Flycatcher or one of Darwin’s finches, almost every land bird present on the islands can be found here. Descending, through the agricultural zone into the Transition Zone where the Tortoise Reserve is located, the introduced vegetation of the farmlands is replaced by native vegetation. Continuing with our journey, we will stop at one of the ranches where, we will have the chance to lunch surrounded by the iconic tortoise species, which we will be able to watch it close. After a walk along the trail that surrounded by the Giant Tortoises, we will have the opportunity to visit a tunnel formed by lava after an eruption of the volcano, now extinct. Later on, we will have time to visit Santa Cruz Brewery, entrepreneurship that produces one of the local artisanal draft beers. In here, we will have the opportunity to understand the complex and delicate process that the brewery follows to get tasteful and unique types of beers in the isolated Galapagos Islands. After all, there is time for tasting some of the beers before continuing the journey to Puerto Ayora, where we will have the rest of the day for leisure.

The accommodation will be in the selected hotel.

Day 4

TRANSFER TO FLOREANA ISLAND – LOCAL FARM - HIGHLANDS (B, L, D))

This morning, after breakfast, we will head to Puerto Ayora´s pier where we will take our private speed boat to Floreana Island; this ride will take 2h30 minutes approx. Floreana has, arguably, the most interesting human history of all of the Galapagos Islands. It is the site of the first “post office”, established in 1793 by whalers. Floreana was the first island to be colonized by Ecuadorians in 1832. It was a penal colony that didn’t last long because of the lack of freshwater. A fish canning plant was established there by Norwegian immigrants in 1924; it lasted only a couple of years. A few years later, Friedrich Ritter, a German doctor, arrived with his female companion Dore Strauch, who suffered from multiple sclerosis. As a curiosity, Doctor Ritter removed all of his teeth and used stainless-steel dentures to avoid any dental complications. Together, they set up a very successful garden and lived off the land. A pregnant woman, Margret Wittmer arrived in 1932, with her husband Heinz and her step-son Harry. They built a house and also established an agricultural lifestyle before giving birth to their son Rolf, the first person to be born in Galapagos. Floreana is the most well-known Island, for being the site of several mysterious disappearances in the 1930s—the one receiving the most attention being that of a supposed Austrian baroness, who had arrived shortly after the Wittmers with her two servants (lovers). After her arrival, people started disappearing mysteriously and she later vanished as soon as she arrived. The Ecuadorian government conceded land to build up a 5-star hotel, close to Post office bay, which never happened and appeared to be a complete fraud. Arriving on the island, we will visit a local farm that will allow us to learn more about people’s way of life on Floreana. This island, which exists far from technology and development, has inhabitants which wish to generate production and optimization of their resources to achieve a very interesting lifestyle. During this visit, we will visit a lagoon where it is possible to observe frigates, and will have the opportunity to feed the farm animals and harvest vegetables. We will enjoy a delicious lunch prepared with the foods harvested from the farm. After lunch we will continue with our next visit, Asilo de la Paz, is a 45-minute ride from town. It is primarily a historical site where visitors can view a pirates’ cave and the fresh water spring, which is the main source of water for the population. Also in this place, the Wittmer family set out to live inside the caves while they were constructing their first house made of leather and stone. In these caves “Rolf Wittmer” was born, becoming the first baby ever to be born on Floreana. He lived in the caves with his family for his first year of life. Here our guide will interpret how they used to live, so you can go back in time and picture the idea of how extreme it was to live on this island back in the day. Nearby, you will find a corral with various giant tortoises that were originally owned by residents of Floreana. Along this path, we will also see Giant tortoise’s species from this island that have been recently re-introduced, since they were considered extinct. In the evening, we will have a barbeque, and, with luck, we may be able to taste one of the fruity wine prepared by the local family. Here, we can enjoy the Floreana’s peace and taste the foods harvested by the island's inhabitants. Accommodation in one of the basic hotels built on the island and run by the second generation of a family that arrived after the Ritter family abandoned the island.

accommodation in your selected hotel.

Day 5

SNORKELING “LA LOBERIA” - TRANSFER TO ISABELA ISLAND (B, L)

Today after breakfast, we will begin our excursion to “La Loberia”, a sea Lion breeding area, we will take an short walk along the shore for approximately 30 minutes, after the interpretation and some time to admire the landscape of this visitor’s site, we will start our first marine excursion in the bright turquoise water where you might be able to swim with sea lions, sea turtles, manta rays and a variety of colorful coral fish. We will enjoy a delicious lunch prepared with the foods harvested from the farm. After we will head to take our speedboat to Isabela Island, this ride will take us 2h 30 minutes approx. Arriving to Isabela you will be able to enjoy the Island by your own.

Accommodation in selected hotel. .

Day 6

WEDNESDAY - BREEDING CENTER – FLAMINGO LAGOON – TINTORERAS (B)

After having breakfast, we will have a short ride to the Isabela Breeding Center. Here, we will learn more about the efforts that the Galapagos National Park and the local and international foundations are doing to preserve and promote the reproduction of some of the Giant Tortoises species found in Galapagos. Later on, we will continue through a mangrove path that connects with a series of lagoons where the flamingos rest and feed. This walk is ideal for understanding the Galapagos biodiversity, and how the species have adapted to the harsh conditions that the Enchanted Islands have. Today, lunch will be on our own.

In the afternoon, we will visit Tintoreras Islets located a short distance from Puerto Villamil and home to a great variety of wildlife. The turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by the 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. Once we reach the Isle of Tintoreras, we will get to know a lot of these species. Most of the part of this island is formed by AA lava.

Accommodation in selected hotel

Day 7

SIERRA NEGRA VOLCANO - SANTA CRUZ (B, L)

Today we will visit the iconic Sierra Negra Volcano with the second widest crater of an active volcano (10 km – 6.21 mi approx.); but first, we will be driven along the highland of Isabela up to reach the checking control point. The hike is approximately 2 km (1.24 mi) up to the first lookout point of the volcano, where we will have time to enjoy a snack while we recover the strength and let the amazing view amaze us. Later on, we will return to Puerto Villamil, for having lunch and then board the private speedboat, and continue our journey back to Santa Cruz Island.

Accommodation in selected hotel.

Day 8

CHARLES DARWIN STATION – TRANSFER OUT (B)

After breakfast, we will have a short visit to the Charles Darwin Station. The center is a reservoir of information on habitats and local conservation as well as other fascinating relevant statistics. The most striking attraction of this station is certainly the Tortoise Breeding Center, where it is possible to view tortoises of different shapes and sizes. Additionally, in order to fully take advantage of our visit to the Galapagos Islands, we will be able to visit the station where legendary “Lonesome George” is exhibited as the last of his species. In 2012, after his death, he was shipped to New York to the American Museum of Natural History in order to start an embalming process for his conservation. Lonesome George was exhibited in the museum for one year. Now Lonesome George is back in the Charles Darwin research station, as a "symbol" of conservation. Afterward, transfer to the airport to take your international flight. Important Note: In case the traveler will have the early flight departing from Baltra Airport, it will have to pay a supplement for a private transfer and assistance to the airport, and it implies losing the visit to the Charles Darwin Station.

Additional Package Information

 Package Includes

  • Transfer Airport – Hotel – Airport
  • Accommodation in the selected hotel with breakfast
  • Meals noted (as per the program – depending of the meal it can be at the hotel, onboard your boat or at a local restaurant)
  • Excursions mentioned in the itinerary
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide in all Excursions (English/ Spanish)
  • Private sped boat for the passengers
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Contribution to the local community

 Package Does Not Include

  • Airfare to/from Galapagos
  • Entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park (US$ 100 per person)
  • Galapagos Migration Card (US$ 20 per person)
  • Optional excursions mentioned in the itinerary as a supplement
  • Drinks and meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips (it is not mandatory)
  • Extra expenses

 Package Notes

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Ecuador Package 11 of 16

 
8 Days / 7 Nights Ecuador Vacation Package

General Information

  • Capital: Quito
  • Government: Republic
  • Currency: US dollar (USD)
  • Area: total: 283,560 km2, water: 6,720 km2, land: 276,840 km2
  • Population: 14,573,101 (July 2009 est.)
  • Language: Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
  • Religion: Roman Catholic 95%
  • Electricity: 110-220V/60Hz (USA & European plugs)
  • Calling Code: +593
  • Time Zone: UTC-5

Points of Interest

  • Floreana Island Tortoise Breeding Facility
  • Sierra Negra Volcano
  • Flamingos Lagoon
  • Kicker Rock