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Galápagos Islands - Lake Region Audubon Society with Reinier Munguia

   

May 09, 2014 - May 19, 2014

  • Introduction
  • Highlights
  • Itinerary
  • Pricing
  • Contacts
  • Links
  • Register

Join Reinier on this 11-day expedition to experience the enchantment of the Galápagos Islands aboard Nemo II. This itinerary includes a visit to Churute Ecological Reserve on Ecuador’s mainland as well as a 7-night cruise through the fascinating Galápagos archipelago. Following Darwin’s footsteps, visitors can see firsthand why the Galápagos Islands are considered a refuge for some of the most interesting and unique wildlife in the world, including sea lions, marine iguanas, and Blue-footed Boobies.

Please note: Only one space is remaining in a shared room (male).

Discover the magical biodiversity and biogeography of this world-famous archipelago.

Bird and photograph in Churute Ecological Reserve near Guayaquil.

Snorkel with sea lions and other marine life.

Enjoy hiking on the islands and stargazing aboard M/Y Yolita II.

Learn about conservation initiatives and research projects at the Charles Darwin Research Station.

Observe a variety of unique bird species such as Blue-footed Boobies, Frigatebirds, and Swallow-tailed Gulls.

Explore endemic plant life on Floreana Island and leave a postcard at Post Office Bay.

May 09 - Guayaquil

Depart the U.S. and arrive in Guayaquil. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight Hotel Oro Verde

May 10 - Guayaquil

After breakfast depart on your full day adventure to Churute Mangroves Ecological Reserve. On your way you will see banana, cocoa bean, and sugar cane plantations. Upon arrival you will have the choice to visit the interpretation center and dry forest trails where the howler monkeys will welcome you or go to Canclon Lagoon to observe the Horned Screamers. Then board a motorized canoe that will navigate along the mangrove canals. During the navigation you will first observe crab catchers and fishermen. Journey deeper into the canal, where you will be able to watch and photograph different species of birds such as tropical cormorants, kingfishers, Brown Pelicans, and a variety of egrets. The Roseate Spoonbill is the main attraction of the mangroves. Then enjoy lunch at Hacienda Lara. Return to your hotel before dinner. Overnight Hotel Oro Verde (BLD)

May 11 - Galapagos

This morning you’ll be escorted to the airport for your flight to the Galápagos Islands. Once you arrive in Baltra you will be met by your naturalist guide and transferred to the Nemo II. The adventure begins with a visit to North Seymour, a low and flat island located slightly to the north of Baltra, which was formed as a result of the uplift of a submarine lava formation. The whole island is covered with low, bushy vegetation. The largest colony of Magnificent Frigatebirds is found here, as well as Blue-footed Boobies when nesting conditions are right. Overnight Nemo II (BLD)

May 12 - Galápagos

This morning take a field trip to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Santa Cruz is the most important island in the Galápagos in many respects as it is the second largest island, the most populated, and acts as the administrative center for the islands. There you will visit the private finca Las Primicias where you can view giant tortoises in their natural habitat. After lunch, stop at the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about the conservation efforts throughout the islands. The CDRS has a team of over a hundred scientists, educators, and volunteers, whose mission is to conduct scientific research and environmental education for conservation. Visitors are able to observe giant tortoises at all stages of growth, from just a few days to almost 100 years old! Overnight Nemo II (BLD)

May 13 - Galapagos

This morning your tour to Punta Moreno starts with a panga ride along the beautiful rocky shores where Galapagos penguins and shore birds are frequently seen. Punta Moreno consists of coastal lagoons amidst black lava flows where bird life is particularly interesting. It has a panoramic view of three volcanoes, the most active of the Galápagos: Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul on Isabela Island and La Cumbre on Fernandina Island. Mangrove forest, lava formations, coastal and migratory birds, usually flamingos can be seen, along with lava cactus, sea turtles, lagoons, tidal pools, and candelabra cactus. After lunch, you’ll make a wet landing at Urbina Bay, one of the best and the most recent examples of geological uplift in the Galapagos. Depending on the season, giant tortoises, land iguanas, and the unusual Flightless Cormorant may be present. Overnight Nemo II (BLD)

May 14 - Galápagos

This morning take an excursion to Isabela Island’s Tagus Cove, historically used as an anchoring site for pirates and whalers. The trail passes through many different vegetation zones and offers spectacular views of Darwin Lake, a saltwater crater lake. At the top of the trail are views of Darwin Volcano and Wolf Volcano, the highest point of the islands. After lunch continue on to Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island to examine the black lava rock, mangroves, and a variety of wildlife. Herons, Flightless Cormorants, Yellow Warblers, Mangrove Finches, pelicans, frigatebirds, petrels, shearwaters, and a large population of marine iguanas can be found here. Overnight Nemo II (BLD)

May 15 - Galápagos

After breakfast, visit Puerto Egas for an opportunity to observe sponges, snails, hermit crabs, a variety of shore birds, barnacles, the endemic four-eyed blenny, marine iguanas and sea lions. Make a wet landing and walk along a coastal trail to visit an abandoned salt mine. Return to the boat for lunch followed by a panga ride and visit to Playa Espumilla on the northern coast of Santiago Island, a critical nesting site for marine turtles. In the afternoon, explore Buccaneer Cove, an area with steep cliffs and dark beaches that is used as nesting grounds by several species of seabirds. Overnight Nemo II (BLD)

May 16 - Galápagos

This morning your expedition begins at Rábida, considered the geographic center of Galápagos because it has the most diverse volcanic rocks on the islands. Rábida`s volcano-formed beach is dark red and frequented by sea lions. While hiking here you will have the rare opportunity to see pelicans nesting up close and visit one of the best saltwater lagoons for viewing flamingos. Several species of boobies and Darwin`s finches can also be spotted. After your hike you can take a dinghy ride, snorkel or kayak above the reefs.After lunch, make a wet landing at Sullivan Bay, a perfect place to get a feel of the volcanic origin of the islands. This small island is known as a great place to watch seabirds in flight, and walking along the cliff top provides perfect views of Red-billed Tropicbirds, frigatebirds, pelicans, Swallow-tailed Gulls, and others. Overnight Nemo II (BLD)

May 17 - Galápagos

Disembark on Genovesa. The island`s volcanic sea cliffs and salt bush offer a prime habitat for the birds of the Galápagos, making it an excellent bird watching location. Today you`ll go for a panga boat ride and make a dry landing on El Barranco, to walk and observe the interesting lives of the birds here. Enjoy lunch aboard the boat. Later in the afternoon, make a wet landing at Darwin Bay, home to frigatebirds, herons, mockingbirds, boobies, shorebirds, turtles, marine iguanas and more. Eat dinner on the yacht, and then attend an orientation to learn about conservation efforts to protect the islands. Overnight Nemo II (BLD)

May 18 - Guayaquil

This morning visit Daphne Island, located off the coast of Santa Cruz Island. The island is the location of a long-term study of Darwin`s finches. Enjoy this last chance to see the iconic Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies before heading to Baltra Island for disembarkment. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil. Lunch will be served during your flight. Late afternoon arrival at the hotel, where farewell dinner will be served. Overnight Hotel Oro Verde (BLD)

May 19 - Guayaquil

Transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

Pricing

$4,995

Cost includes $800 estimated airfare from Orlando and a tax-deductible donation to Lake Region Audubon. Does not include gratuities.

For more information or to enroll, contact Debbie Sturdivant Jordan at 866-748-6146 or debbie@holbrooktravel.com, or contact Ben