Galapagos Adventure – Nemo II (Itinerary B)
The enchanted world of the Galapagos Islands by catamaran
Reviews 4 Reviews5/5
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. Travell 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.
* All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners included
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
The group flight usually arrives into Quito this evening. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. Free transfers are available for all clients. A local guide will welcome you to Quito and explain the schedule for the next few days.Accommodation: Hotel Vieja Cuba (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
Discover Quito at your leisure.
Today is free to relax, recover from the flight and explore the fascinating city of Quito. Quito is the second highest capital in the world, standing at 2,850m on the western cordillera of the Andes. It is one of the smaller and more attractive of the colonial capitals of South America. Because of the altitude visitors to Quito are advised to take it easy at first.Accommodation: Hotel Vieja Cuba (or similar)*Comfortable Hotel*
Fly to Galapagos; board Nemo II.
This morning we transfer to Quito Airport for our flight to the Galapagos Islands. Be prepared for an early start as this could mean leaving the hotel around 6:00am. A USD20 per person transit card is payable on departure at Quito and a USD100 per person national park entry fee is payable on arrival in the Galapagos. Please have cash on hand to pay for these.On arrival in the Galapagos we are met in the arrivals hall and then 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 Itinerary B. Navigate to North Seymour to discover the 2km trail that crosses the island and around the rocky coast. Along the way the trail passes colonies of Blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds. The Magnificent frigatebird, a large black bird with a long wingspan and a hooked beak, is extremely fast and has excellent vision. Frigatebirds are known for the large red pouch on their necks. During mating season the males throw back their heads, inflate their pouch (sometimes to the size of a football), and shake trying to capture the attention of females. Blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds have an interesting relationship. Sharing the same nesting area on North Seymour, Blue-footed boobies nest on the ground making their nests from the twigs of the Palo Santos trees, while the frigatebirds’ nest just above them in the saltbushes. After dinner we navigate to Santa Cruz.*Nemo II*
Galapagos Cruise Day 2
Today’s excursion allows us 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. Our next visit will be the Charles Darwin Research Centre to begin learning about the ecology of the islands, their origin and formation. You can also see the famous Galapagos giant tortoise hatchery which is based here.*Nemo II*
Galapagos Cruise Day 4
On the west coast of Isabela, directly east of Fernandina, is Tagus Cove, a beautiful and well protected spot sheltered by two volcanic craters. Thanks to its sheltered position this cove has been used as an anchorage for over 300 years. The walking trail ascends through a dry vegetation zone offering spectacular views of Darwin Lake, a saltwater crater lake. At the top of the trail it is possible to observe the different vegetation zones and on a clear day we may even catch a glimpse of Darwin and Wolf volcanoes.After lunch we navigate towards Fernandina Island, the youngest and most active volcano in the Galapagos. The flat lava of Punta Espinosa offers a stark and barren landscape but wildlife thrives here – flightless coromorants build their nests on the point, Sea lions sprawl on the beach or play in the tide pools and large numbers of Marine iguanas dot the sand.*Nemo II*
Galapagos Cruise Day 5
After navigating to Santiago Island, we disembark at Puerto Egas on the dark sand beaches of James Bay. Our visit begins with a walk along the rocky coast to view some of the Galapagos Island’s best tide pools. Sponges, snails, Hermit crabs, barnacles and fish including the endemic four-eyed Blenny can be seen, amongst a variety of shore birds, marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs and Sea lions. This site is named after Hector Egas who attempted to mine salt here, an industry that was abandoned in the 1950’s. Bird lovers will be delighted with the opportunity to catch a glimpse of one of Darwins finches, the endemic Galapagos hawk, or the colourful Vermillion flycatcher. There is a Fur seal grotto here, where Fur seals and Sea lions can be seen swimming in the rocky lava ringed pools.We also visit Espumilla Beach today, one of the most idyllic locations in the Galapagos Islands and an important nesting site for marine turtles. Espumilla beach is also well known for its Palo Santo Forest and some extraordinary lava formations. Caleta Bucanero (Buccaneer Cove) is our final stop. This natural monument of rocks caused by sea erosion was used by pirates to careen their ships and is a place of local legends and stories!*Nemo II*
Galapagos Cruise Day 6
Rabida is a tiny island and one of the most striking of the archipelago. Volcanic activity on this island has produced fantastic vivid colours, with red sand beaches and cliffs as a result of the high percentage of oxidised iron in the lava. A trail from the shore leads to a small salt-water lagoon where Greater flamingos can be seen. Nesting pelicans make use of the cliffs whilst Pintail ducks, Marine iguanas and Sea lions scatter the beach along Sullivan Bay.*Nemo II*
Galapagos Cruise Day 7
Our overnight navigation brings us to Genovesa. The most northerly island in the Galapagos is renowned for the sheer number of birds living on its volcanic cliffs. There are large populations of Red-footed boobies, Storm petrels, frigatebirds, tropicbirds and nocturnal Swallow-tailed gulls here. A challenging walk up a steep cliff and a trail through a Palo Santo forest takes us past the nesting sites for many of these birds. There is also time at Darwin Bay, where we land on a small coral beach near the caldera of a collapsed volcano – an excellent spot for photography of the many birds in this area.*Nemo II*
Fly to Guayaquil; end Guayaquil.
This morning we have a circumnavigation of Daphne Island, an important centre for scientific research. There are very strict limits about the numbers of visitors allowed on Daphne at any one time and as such, we don’t disembark here but will see the volcanic formations and bird life from the boat before returning the short distance to Baltra. We say farewell to the Galapagos Islands after this morning’s excursion and head to the airport on Baltra for our flight to Guayaquil where the holiday ends. At Guayaquil airport it’s possible to connect with international flights this evening from 6pm onwards. Land only clients may prefer to organise post-tour accommodation for the night in Guayaquil and organise their international flights for the following day in case of any delays returning from the Galapagos.