The Finch & the Tortoise - Itinerary A Trip Notes
Trip code: GSGVA
Trip valid from: 01/01/2013
Trip valid until: 31/12/2014
Trip length: 7
Trip starts in: Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Trip ends in: Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Maximum group size: maximum 16
The Galapagos: watch your step - iguanas, sea lions and boobies ahead.(Was Galapagos Adventure)
QuitoExplore Quito, the capital of Ecuador and the highest capital city in the world with a judicial building. La Paz, in Bolivia, is the actual highest capital city in the world, but it doesn't have a judicial building. We think someone, somewhere was extremely bored when they gave Quito that title.
BaltraGiant tortoise can grow up to four feet long. Think about that. That's about three and a half feet of tortoise more than you'll ever have seen before. Pay them a visit on Santa Cruz. (B, D)
IsabelaIsabela is a pretty name for an island, which is fitting, because this is a really pretty place. If you think that sounds lame then we can't be friends anymore. Seriously. (B, L, D)
Fernandina, Punta Espinoza & Bahia UrbinaWalk among the lava cactus on Fernandina. It colonises and grows on lava fields, which is pretty intense. Have you ever tried to colonise a lava field? Didn't think so. Respect where respect is due. (B, L, D)
Isla Santiago, Playa Espumilla and Buccaneer CoveBuccaneer Cove is a real-life pirate hangout. Well, it was during the 18th and 19th century at least. They used to anchor in the bay (a good hiding spot) and repair their ships and head ashore to fetch salt, tortoises, fresh water and firewood. Yeah, they used to eat tortoises. (B, L, D)
Daphne - QuitoTake one last opportunity to spot some high-flying bird action on Daphne before partaking in some high-flying bird action yourself and flying back to Quito. (B)
QuitoReturn to Quito, where civilisation awaits. Reflect on the last 10 days of your life, and all the new animal (and human) friends you made along the way. The Galapagos is sure to leave a lasting impression on you, kind of like when you sleep on a pillow crease and wake up with red marks all over your face, but nicer. (B)
Itinerary VariationWhile the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.
About The Imaginative Traveller
Our aim has always been to provide exceptional travel experiences. We believe that adventure travel should be stimulating, and that it should give you an authentic experience of a place. We want our travellers to relish the amazing diversity of countries and cultures the world has to offer. Our focus is on innovation, not imitation.
Obsessed with quality
One of our strengths has been our obsession with quality. We've always believed that our commitment to you doesn't end as soon as you've paid for your holiday. On the contrary, it is just beginning. Whilst most operators simply get a local company to handle the day to day operation of their tours, we do it all ourselves. We have managers for each of our key destinations around the world and all our small groups are escorted by our own leaders. Our local teams include guides, drivers, administration staff and contacts in the local community who help us ensure that our adventures are active and involving.
For comparability, all prices in this dossier are quoted in one currency. We use the US Dollar since that is familiar to most. However, once on tour you will need to pay for all goods and services in the local currency. See your Country Dossier for details of exchange rates.
Camp on the Nile’s banks or jump off your junk into Halong Bay. Chill out on the Mekong or explore Kerala’s hidden channels. The perfect mix of relaxation and exploration, spending time on the water turns a holiday into an adventure, a chance to get closer to locals and see countries in a unique way. And there’s one place if you want to explore you really must go by boat: the Galapagos. Only boats get you to uninhabited islands and the best snorkelling spots; only by boat can you get closer to all the amazing animals of these fabulous islands.
Take your pick: hunt for tigers in northern India, listen to monkey chatter and birdsong in the jungles of Costa Rica and Peru or gawp at the Galapagos’ diversity. And of course, there's the big one: Africa. The names alone evoke images of wildlife: the Serengeti, Masai Mara, Kruger. And the reality’s even better. Africa’s got the lot, so go beyond the Big Five by hiking to close encounters with gorillas in Uganda’s forests, walking with lions at Zimbabwe’s Antelope Park, or canoeing past crocs on the Okavango Delta. From the Cape’s loveable penguins to Egypt’s loping camels, Africa’s animals await.
- Gecko's expert English-speaking naturalist guide on board the Gecko's boat. - Return flights from Quito to the Galapagos Islands. - All meals and accommodation onboard the Gecko's boat. Accommodation in one of just eight well-appointed, air-conditioned, twin share, bunk-bed cabins with private facilities. - Excursions during the voyage.- Visit to the tortoise research and breeding program at the Charles Darwin Research Station. - Transfer to and from Quito airport on Day 2 and Day 6.
International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, entrance fees, US$10 Galapagos transit card, US$100 Galapagos National Park fee, other meals, drinks, optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
Single room supplementMost of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.
On arrival in the islands you must pay US$100 national park fee to enter Galapagos National Park.The itinerary and supplementary information has been compiled with care and provided in good faith. However it may be subject to change, and does not form part of a contract between the client and The Imaginative Traveller.
Responsible Travel - Travellers' Guidelines
At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.
Responsible Travel is twofold. It’s about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.
- It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
- We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
- Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.
Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.
Before you depart try to spend some time familiarising yourself with the destination you will be travelling to – their culture and customs. The country dossiers on our website offer detailed information about all the regions we visit. They also include some useful phrases in the local language for you to use on your trip! A few words of the local language can open up many more opportunities for you to interact with the people you will meet.
Although it is tempting to give out pens, sweets and money to people begging, and particularly tempting to give to children, we feel that this encourages a begging mentality and has a long-term negative impact on communities. If someone begging earns more than someone in the same community who works this can discourage local employment. If children regularly bring home money it may discourage their parents from sending them to school. It is of course your own personal choice but you could consider giving to registered charities or contributing to our Responsible Travel fund instead. Money donated through our fund to our worldwide projects is matched pound for pound by Imaginative Traveller and used to help local grassroots projects.
Always ask permission to photograph local people and respect their decision if they would prefer not to have their picture taken.
Respect local dress codes, especially at religious sites. Our tour leaders are always on hand to give you advice about this.
In many of the countries we visit you might see examples of animal cruelty (for example dancing bears, performing monkeys and snake charmers). Please do not take photographs of this or offer money as it encourages the activity.
Respect the environment you are in. It sounds obvious but do not throw litter, take it with you or use rubbish bins! You may see locals throwing rubbish on the street but do not follow their example!
When shopping in countries where haggling is the norm – enjoy it and only pay what you feel is a fair price for the goods you are purchasing. However, remember that the shopkeeper does have to make a living so do stop once you have reached a price you are happy with. Bargaining should be fun but always remember that a small amount can mean much more to the vendor than to you.
Endeavor to take home souvenirs made locally; the money you spend can be very important to the local communities. However, do use your common sense and don’t buy anything that you think might be made out of endangered animals or plants.
To help keep as much money as possible in the host country - try to eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands.
In hotels do be conscious of how much water you are using. Many of the areas we visit regularly have shortages; try not to have hour long showers! Don’t leave lights, air conditioners or fans on when you leave the room – you wouldn’t at home!
Respect the environment you are in, especially when in national parks or reserves. Pay attention to rules about keeping on paths, keeping a distance from animals and not removing any of the natural habitat.
Relax and immerse yourself in the differences of the culture you are in – you’ll be back home in the familiar soon enough (and wishing you were still on holiday!). These cultural differences are part of what makes your experience special.
If you would like to offset the carbon dioxide that will be produced on your flights you can do this on our website (on our Responsible travel page). We work with climatecare, who will reduce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in another part of the World through their emission reduction projects. These projects are low carbon efficient technologies in developing countries and not only serve to reduce emissions but also help to spread the adoption of low carbon technologies and improve the quality of life for local communities. Details of climatecare’s projects can be found on their website.
If you would like to contribute to our Worldwide projects, helping communities all over the World, you can also do this on our website or with a sales consultant. Please refer to our responsible travel page on the website for details of our current projects. Any donation you make will be matched £ for £ by Imaginative Traveller (up to a maximum of £1000).
Have a great trip!
Please do let us know if you have any comments about responsible travel at firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Imaginative Traveller & Gecko's Adventures This trip is operated by our partner company, Gecko's Adventures. Gecko's is an Australia based company with more than 10 years experience in adventure travel and they share our ethos for offering unique holiday adventures. As this is a code shared departure you can expect there to be both Imaginative Traveller and Gecko's travellers on your trip.
Last updated: 08/02/2013