Galapagos Encounter – Archipel I (Itinerary A)
Sail around the Galapagos Islands by Tourist Superior Catamaran
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely
Group Size Small Group
This 8 day south-western tour aboard the catamaran Archipel I gives an extensive overview of the Galapagos Islandsby combining the circumnavigation of the Isabela Island with excursions in the most southern points of the archipelago. It also gives the chance to snorkel with Sea lions in the Loberia and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station in Santa Cruz.
* All breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
* Snorkel equipment (mask, snorkel and fins) available free of charge on
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 Casona de la Ronda (or similar)***
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 Casona de la Ronda (or similar)***
Fly to San Cristobal Airport on the Galapagos & Colorado Hill
*Morning Fly to Galapagos:* Transfer to Quito Airport and fly to San Cristobal Airport n the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival to the Islands, you will pass through the airport inspection point to make sure that no foreign plant or animals are introduced to the island, and to pay the National Park Entrance Fee. Your guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbour where a dinghy will be waiting to take you to the yacht.*Afternoon Colorado Hill*: One thing becomes clear on your visit ot the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding centre on Colorado Hill: it’s hard work to save the last local giants of San Cristobal.*Accommodation:* *Archipel I*
South Plaza & Sante Fe
*Morning South Plaza:* Popular South Plaza is not to be missed! This bizarre ‘Jurassic islet’ is the best place to see the emblematic ‘Galapagos dragons’, which crawl across it. *Afternoon Sante Fe:* Sante Fe is another crown jewel of the Galapagos, where the pale Barrington land iguana and practically every other creature is unique to the archipelago or this island alone. *Accommodation: Archipel I*
*Morning Champion Islet:* Floreana offers some of the most spectacular snorkelling sites, such as Champion Islet. Galapagos Sea lions will be waiting to play with you if you’re lucky. From the dinghy, birdwatchers will have the chance to amplify their growing spot lists with the almost extinct /Charles mockingbird./ *Afternoon Loberia & Asylum of Peace:* The Asylum of Peach hike goes past a mesmerising cave and visits a fascinating freshwater spring. La Loberia beach is an ideal spot to enjoy the ocean, as well as the Sea lions that live there.*Accommodation: Archipel I*
Santa Cruz Island
*Morning Charles Darwin Research Station:* The most memorable part of the Charles Darwin Research Station will probably be the successful breeding centre and its celebrity ‘Lonesome George’.*Afternoon Santa Cruz Highlands:* Santa Cruz offers excellent opportunities for seeing wild Galapagos giant tortoises, roaming through pastures in the agricultural zone and in the transition zone of the adjacent El Chato Tortoise Reserve. *Accommodation: Archipel I*
Tintoreras Islet & Isabela Island
*Morning Tintoreras Islet:* This group of jagged rocky islets just off the coast of Puerot Villamil forms one of the most stereotypical sites of the Galapagos.*Afternoon Tortoise breeding centre & wetlands on Isabela Island:* The wetlands and brackish lagoons of Isabela are among the best places to spot aquatic, wading and shore birds.*Accommodation: Archipel I*
*Morning Moreno Point:* Fresh, promising greens of pioneer vegetation contrasts strongly with the dead, pitch-black lava flow that once reached the ocean at Moreno Point.*Afternoon Elizabeth Bay:* At the remote Elizabeth Bay you will enjoy the best dinghy-ride of the Galapagos, which combines a visit to the Marielas Islets in the mouth of the bay, with the highest mangles in its innermost heart.*Accommodation: Archipel I*
Isabela & Fernandina Islands
*Morning Tagus Cove (Isabela):* Tagus Cove is a historical anchorage at the northern entrance of Bolivar Channel (between Isabela and Fernandina).*Afternoon Espinoza Point (Fernandina):* Westernmost Fernandina harbours one of the world’s most virgin, untouched ecosystems, and is another crown jewel of the Galapagos.*Accommodation: Archipel I*
Disembark Santa Cruz; fly Baltra to Guayaquil and end.
*Morning Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz):* Strolling along its coastline, the blinding white Bachas Beach appears full of natural life. It is one of the most important breeding sites for Pacific Green turtles.*Afternoon transfer out to Baltra Airport:* Assisted by the naturalist guide and some crew members, the dinghy will bring you and your luggage to Baltra, where we will take the airport shuttle. From here we fly to Guayaquil where it’s possible to connect with international flights this evening from 6pm onwards.