A Taste of Galapagos – Nemo II (Itinerary A)
An introduction to the Galapagos by catamaran
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely
Group Size Small Group
The extraordinary archipelago of the Galapagos left a lasting impression on Darwin and is likely to do the same for you. Travel on board the Nemo II, a First Class Motor Sail Catamaran and explore this enchanted world, characterised by stark lava fields, cactus forests, volcanic craters, mangrove lagoons and turquoise waters. Step over snoozing Sea lions, watch the courting rituals of Blue-footed boobies or snorkel with turtles, sharks and rays.
* 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners included
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
- Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
- Compulsory Galapagos taxes USD$120pp, paid locally
- Four nights on-board a First Class Motor Sail Catamaran exploring the Galapagos Islands
- Incredible wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities with near-tame animals
- Snorkel with iridescent fish, playful sea lions and turtles
- Experience the fantastic on-board service with an expert naturalist guide
- Small group – a maximum of 16 clients on board
- Travel by catarmaran and minibus
- Island walks and snorkelling excursions included
- Group normally 4 to 16, plus local leader. Min. age 16 years
- 4 nights on board the Nemo II in en suite, air-conditioned cabins, 1 night comfortable hotel
Start Santa Cruz, Galapagos
Clients should aim to arrive at our start hotel in Santa Cruz this afternoon/evening. Please note that each person must take cash with them to pay for a USD20 transit card (payable on departure from mainland Ecuador) and a USD100 national park entry fee (payable on arrival into the Galapagos). You may want to take a short walk to visit the Charles Darwin Centre this afternoon to learn about the ecology of the islands, their origin and formation, this is optional and can easily be arranged independently.Accommodation: Hotel Dejavu (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
Board Nemo II; visit Bachas Beach.
This morning you will be met at your hotel and transferred to our boat, the Nemo II, which will be anchored a short distance away in Santa Cruz. Once on board we’ll be assigned our cabins, meet the crew and get to know our naturalist guide and fellow travellers over lunch. For the rest of your schedule you will follow cruising itinerary A.Our navigation begins by heading to Bachas beach. The name is “Spanglish” for ’barges’, which were wrecked offshore during World War II. There is a delightful swimming beach here with a lagoon behind, and a longer beach for a stroll and wildlife-watching. The saltwater lagoon often has Great Blue herons and small waders such as Sanderlings. Both beaches are nesting areas for Green sea turtles which leave tracks in the sand, especially from November to February.*Nemo II*
Galapagos Cruise Day 2
After navigating to Santa Fe Island we spend some time in one of the most beautiful coves in all of the Galapagos, with its white sandy beaches and turquiose waters. In the large Sea lion colony bulls vie for the right of beachmaster whilst cows laze in the sun. The loop trail leads us past salt bushes where Galapagos hawks can be seen at close range, alongside the largest land iguanas in the Galapagos.This afternoon we navigate to South Plazas island, where the biggest population of land iguanas in the Galapagos can be found. The iguanas here are yellow-brown and feed on the fruit and pads of the Prickly Pear Cactus. As we walk alongside the sea cliffs, Swallow-tailed gulls, Frigate birds, Audubon shearwaters, Red-Billed tropicbirds, Brown pelicans, Blue-footed and Masked boobies are frequently seen. *Nemo II*
Galapagos Cruise Day 3
A day at San Cristobal Island to discover Cerro Brujo, a striking eroded tuff cone and one of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin. We have a landing to explore the white sand beach where Blue-footed boobies, Brown pelicans, Sea lions and Marine iguanas are all found, before making our way to explore the striking spear of Kicker Rock and the nearby Sea lion colony of Isla Lobos. *Nemo II*
Galapagos Cruise Day 4
Arriving at Espanola Island, we spend the morning at Punta Suarez on the western tip where Sea lions, sea birds and the largest Marine iguanas of the Galapagos are found, along with Masked boobies nesting among the rock formations. A 45 minute boat ride from Punta Suarez takes us to Gardner Bay, a stunning stretch of white-sand beach with excellent possibilties for swimming and snorkelling. Visitors can find migrant, resident and endemic wildlife include brightly coloured Marine iguanas, Espanola lava lizards, Hood mockingbirds, Swallow-tailed gulls, Galapagos hawks and a large colony of Waved albatross.*Nemo II*
Disembark Nemo II, end Baltra Airport.
An early start to discover the highlands of Santa Cruz and its incredible vegetation zones. We visit a private finca called ’Las Primicias’ which offers the best possibility to see Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat. We say farewell to the Galapagos Islands after this morning’s excursion and head to the airport on Baltra. Organise onward connections from Baltra today or you may prefer to stay in the Galapagos a little longer, in which case please speak to us about post-tour accommodation in Santa Cruz.
Catamaran – Nemo II
The Nemo II is a First Class Motor Sail Catamaran with an outside lounge and dining area, an inside lounge/bar area and a spacious sun deck, perfect for relaxing and observing the incredible Galapagos landscape. There are two superior cabins with double beds, two standard cabins with a lower single bed and an upper double bed, and three twin cabins with two single bunkbeds. All cabins have air conditioning and en suite bathrooms – as this is a catamaran, cabin space is limited and some of the cabins are accessed by a small wooden staircase since they are below deck. Beach towels are provided and there are also two sea kayaks on board for passenger use.
Please note that a lot of the travelling between islands is done overnight, so some cabin noise and movement should be expected.
First Class Motor Sail Catamaran
16 passenger capacity with 2 superior cabins, 2 standard cabins and 3 twin cabins.
Crew: 6 + 1 naturalist guide
Beam: 10.39m 2 Engines
Virtual 360 Tour – Nemo II
5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners included.
Meals onboard the Nemo II are included and will be served in a buffet style. There is a wide choice of food available, including vegetarian options.
Alcoholic drinks are available on board (approx. US$4 per beer, US$30 for a bottle of wine, around US$7 for selected cocktails) and the crew request that you do not bring your own alcohol with you. Drinking water, tea and coffee is freely available at no additional charge.
Should you have specific dietary requirements it is essential that you inform us at least 2 weeks prior to your departure.
This trip has been graded 1 (Leisurely) with a Safari Rating of 4.
It is ideal for wildlife enthusiasts, photographers and those with an interest in history or geology. Though you do not need to be particularly fit, you should note that due to the volcanic nature of the Galapagos islands there will be some walking on rough ground and sharp volcanic rocks. The ability to withstand high temperatures and to swim will maximize your enjoyment. Due to local regulations in the Galapagos we have specific time slots for making our landings and site visits. There is usually very little disruption to the schedule, but this can mean little room for deviation in the event of poor weather or other circumstances.
Each day will feature a mixture of walking, snorkelling and exploring the islands by boat. To get closer to the designated landing sites on each of the islands we disembark the Nemo II into small pangas (motorised dinghys). Landings on the islands are divided into two types – wet and dry. For dry landings, the panga will take you right up to a landing stage or rocky outcrop where you can disembark without getting wet. However in some places where there is no landing stage the panga will stop close to a beach and you will be expected to walk through shallow water (generally no more than ankle-deep) to the shore. The leader will always advise conditions prior to leaving the Nemo II and it is possible to skip any particular excursion if you would rather relax on board the boat.
There are plenty of opportunities for snorkelling in the Galapagos and this is one of the best ways to experience the marine life. A mask and snorkel will reveal an exciting underwater world with sea lions, rays, turtles, marine iguanas and a colourful array of fish. On most days of the itinerary there will be either one or two snorkelling sessions.
Snorkelling in the Galapagos does not require any special skills, however, at times you will be snorkelling in open water where there are fairly strong currents. Before going into the water, the guide will evaluate the strength of the currents and the general condition of the sea to make sure they are right for this to be a safe and enjoyable activity. The dinghy will remain very close at all times; if you get tired or feel like coming out of the water you only have to raise your arm and they will come to pick you up so you can rest for a while before going back in or stay in the dinghy until it is time to return to the boat. Snorkelling equipment (snorkel, fins and masks) is provided, however, is advisable to wear a wetsuit which not only protects you from the cold but also makes floating much easier without as much effort.
We offer Galapagos cruises in conjunction with our Ecuadorian partners, and our participants will join an international group, not all of whom have booked through Breakaway. Occasionally some of these may be younger than our minimum age for this trip.
Please note that there is limited mobile reception in the Galapagos (apart from on the inhabited islands) and no wifi on board the Nemo II.