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Galapagos Wildlife Cruise 2016

From £5279 for 18 days
Trip Overview
For those with a serious wildlife interest, this 14-night cruise allows for a full exploration of the entire archipelago. Aboard the Cachalote we combine the week-long A and B itineraries of the ‘Galapagos Islands’ trip, enabling us to visit both the eastern and western islands. Sailing to the less visited western islands is sure to be a highlight as we spend time at Isabela, the largest and most volcanically active place in the Galapagos, with a rich variety of marine life.
Essential Info
Starts: Quito
Ends: Quito
Ages: Min 16
Theme: Sailing
Trip Code: EWAW
Countries visited: Ecuador, Galapagos Islands
What's Included

Meals

All breakfasts, 14 lunches and 14 dinners included

Transport

Travel by internal flight, motor yacht and minibusExtensive walks in the Galapagos

Accommodation

14 nights on Cachalote in air-conditioned en suite cabins, 3 nights hotel in en suite rooms

Trip Highlights
-Join an extraordinary two-week cruise in the Galapagos Islands
-Stop at landing sites on far-flung islands to discover more of the archipelago
-Enjoy the fantastic on-board service with experienced and engaging naturalist guides
Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Direction
Price GBP
Availability
5th June 2017
22nd June 2017
Quito - Quito
£5,279pp 
G
 
Limited
10th July 2017
27th July 2017
Quito - Quito
£5,279pp 
G
 
Good
2nd October 2017
19th October 2017
Quito - Quito
£5,279pp 
G
 
Good
6th November 2017
23rd November 2017
Quito - Quito
£5,279pp 
G
 
Good
Itinerary & Notes
 
Day 1 - Quito
Those on group flights usually arrive in Quito this evening.
Day 2 - Quito
Today is free to relax, recover from the flights 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, and 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.
Day 3 - Santa Cruz
We return to Quito airport for the flight to the Galapagos and the island of Baltra, which usually flies via Guayaquil. Our luggage will be taken to the boat, whilst we take a short ferry crossing to Santa Cruz Island where we drive to the highlands to look for wild tortoises. We follow this with a visit to the Charles Darwin Centre, where we can learn about the ecology of the islands and visit the centre's turtle hatchery. After this visit, we board the boat at Puerto Ayora, the island's main town. As we are unlikely to have access to our luggage from arrival at Baltra until this evening, please make sure that you bring your camera, sun cream and appropriate clothing: comfortable footwear for some short walks (possibly amongst grass), light clothes, a hat/cap and a light waterproof in case of a shower or mist. Our Galapagos Wildlife Cruise does both of our two seven-night cruising itineraries back-to-back. Whether the cruise does Itinerary A (eastern islands) or B (western islands) first, depends on the departure date of your trip (please ask your sales consultant if unsure). Below we list the schedules for the cruise itineraries A and B for each day.
Day 4 - Santa Fe
Itinerary A: Walk on the tiny Plazas Islands to see a cactus forest, land iguanas and seabirds, then cruise to the white sand beaches of Santa Fe. Itinerary B: A short walk on the tiny island of Chinese Hat before snorkelling with sea lions (and penguins if lucky!); on to the dark red beach of Isla Rabida to walk amongst spatter cones, pelicans, Blue-footed and Nazca boobies.
Day 5 - San Cristobal
Itinerary A: A day at San Cristobal Island: the white sand beach, Blue-footed boobies and old cone of Cerro Brujo, Giant tortoise at Galapaguera and crystal clear waters around the striking spear of Kicker Rock. Itinerary B: We start three days exploring the largest island of Isabela with an optional early morning exploration of the mangroves at Los Tintoreras and walk to the huge 5-mile wide caldera on Sierra Negra volcano. In the afternoon it's possible to visit the Giant tortoise breeding centre on Isabela island.
Day 6 - Espanola
Itinerary A: Swim with sea lions and marine iguanas at Gardener Bay on Espanola (Hood) Island. In the afternoon, walk amongst Nazca and Blue-footed boobies and nesting Waved Albatross (in season) next to pounding surf at Punta Suarez. Itinerary B: Cruising round Isabela's west side, we hope to see whales and dolphins. We land at Punta Moreno's swirling fresh lava flows and also explore the islets of Elizabeth Bay with the largest colony of penguins in the Galapagos.
Day 7 - Floreana
Itinerary A: At Floreana Island snorkel in the spectacular sunken crater of Devil's Crown amongst thousands of fish. We visit the lagoon at Punta Cormorant (often with flamingos) and Post Office Bay, the mailbox used by 18th Century whalers. Itinerary B: In 1954 Urbina Bay was uplifted 4 metres and we walk here amongst exposed coral heads, wandering Giant tortoises and huge land iguanas. This afternoon we visit Tagus Cove and Darwin Lake, directly opposite recently active Fernandina Volcano.
Day 8 - Sullivan Bay
Itinerary A: To Dragon Hill, a nesting site for land iguanas with a large lagoon; dramatic Sullivan Bay with a walk on a huge lava flow only 100 years old before swimming from the white-sand beach in crystal clear waters. Itinerary B: Land at Punta Espinosa on Fernandina in the midst of a huge colony of marine iguanas; the sea life is very rich here and supports a large sea lion and fur seal colony. We then cross the straights and explore the cliffs of Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela.
Day 9 - Genovesa
Itinerary A: Less-visited Genovesa Island (also called Tower) is home to an abundance of Red-footed boobies, fur seals, storm petrels and Short-eared Owls. Here, we look for tropicbirds at Prince Philip Steps before snorkelling, whilst at Darwin Bay, Galapagos mockingbirds can usually be seen. Itinerary B: Excellent birding on Santiago (James) Island at Puerto Egas followed by an afternoon snorkel and a walk amongst incredible volcanic scenery at Bartolome Island - cones, lava tubes and Pinnacle Rock.
Day 10 - North Seymour Island
Today the Cachalote will return to Baltra via Turtle Cove (Itinerary A) or North Seymour Island (Itinerary B), restock and start the second cruise itinerary of your trip. There will be the option to visit the Charles Darwin Centre again and return to the highlands on Santa Cruz, or else you can chose to take free time in Puerto Ayora (the main port of the Galapagos), where there are many shops, cafes and restaurants (your only chance for some shopping before we return to the islands!) Alternatively, you could visit Finch Bay to observe birds in the lagoon or walk 2.5km along a paved trail to Tortuga Bay this afternoon, where it's possible to see marine iguanas, shore birds and sea turtles on this stunning 1km beach.
Day 11 - Isla Rabida
Itinerary A: Walk on the tiny Plazas Islands to see a cactus forest, land iguanas and seabirds, then cruise to the white sand beaches of Santa Fe . Itinerary B: A short walk on the tiny island of Chinese Hat before snorkelling with sea lions (and penguins if lucky!); on to the dark red beach of Isla Rabida to walk amongst spatter cones, pelicans, Blue-footed and Nazca boobies.
Day 12 - Isabela
Itinerary A: A day at San Cristobal Island: the white sand beach, Blue-footed boobies and old cone of Cerro Brujo, Giant tortoise at Galapaguera and crystal clear waters around the striking spear of Kicker Rock. Itinerary B: We start three days exploring the largest island of Isabela with an exploration of the mangroves at Los Tintoreras and walk to the huge 5-mile wide caldera on Sierra Negra Volcano.
Day 13 - Isabela
Itinerary A: Swim with sea lions and marine iguanas at Gardener Bay on Espanola (Hood) Island. In the afternoon, walk amongst Nazca and Blue-footed boobies and nesting Waved Albatross (in season) next to pounding surf at Punta Suarez. Itinerary B: Cruising round Isabela's west side, we hope to see whales and dolphins. We land at Punta Moreno's swirling fresh lava flows and also explore the islets of Elizabeth Bay with the largest colony of penguins in the Galapagos.
Day 14 - Isabela
Itinerary A: At Floreana Island snorkel in the spectacular sunken crater of Devil's Crown amongst thousands of fish. We visit the lagoon at Punta Cormorant (often with flamingos) and Post Office Bay, the mailbox used by 18th Century whalers. Itinerary B: In 1954 Urbina Bay was uplifted 4 metres and we walk here amongst exposed coral heads, wandering Giant tortoises and huge land iguanas. In the afternoon we visit to Tagus Cove and Darwin Lake, directly opposite recently active Fernandina Volcano.
Day 15 - Fernandina
Itinerary A: To Dragon Hill, a nesting site for land iguanas with a large lagoon; dramatic Sullivan Bay with a walk on a huge lava flow only 100 years old before swimming from the white-sand beach in crystal clear waters. Itinerary B: Land at Punta Espinosa on Fernandina in the midst of a huge colony of marine iguanas; the sea life is very rich here and supports a large sea lion and fur seal colony. We then cross the straights and explore the cliffs of Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela.
Day 16 - Bartolome
Itinerary A: Less-visited Genovesa (also called Tower) Island is home to an abundance of Red-footed boobies, fur seals, storm petrels and Short-eared Owls. Here, we look for tropicbirds at Prince Philip Steps before snorkelling, whilst at Darwin Bay, Galapagos mockingbirds can usually be seen. Itinerary B: Excellent birding on Santiago (James) Island at Puerto Egas followed by an afternoon snorkel and a walk amongst incredible volcanic scenery at Bartolome Island - cones, lava tubes and Pinnacle Rock.
Day 17 - Quito
Itinerary A: We explore the mangroves of Turtle Cove at dawn watching marine turtles rising for air; rays and herons fishing from the trees. Itinerary B: An early morning walk on North Seymour amidst Palo Santo trees and colonies of Blue-footed boobies. Both itineraries: After a late breakfast we disembark for the journey back to Baltra to transfer to the airport and the flight back to the mainland. A short stop at Guayaquil is followed by what is often an exciting flight over the volcanoes of the Andes. We shall most likely see glimpses of the two massive volcanoes, Chimborazo and Cotopaxi, which dominate the skyline of this part of Ecuador.
Day 18 - Quito
The trip ends today after breakfast. Those on group flights will transfer to the airport for their return flight to the UK. Land only clients are free to leave at any time today.
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