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Galápagos Islands - Nature`s Marvels: A Land Based Program

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Exploring the Galápagos Islands by land can maximize your time on each island, giving you even more opportunities to get up close and personal with the turtles, sea lions, and other wildlife that the Islands have become world-renowned for.

Discover firsthand why this small archipelago is big on biodiversity while snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, biking, and stand-up paddleboarding!

You’ll learn about the natural history of the Islands during visits to Tortugua Bay, El Chato Tortoise Reserve, Tintoreras Islets, the Wall of Tears, the Charles Darwin Research Station, and a host of other unmissable highlights of the Enchanted Islands.

Explore the islands by land.

Discover the incredible biodiversity and biogeography of the Galápagos Islands.

Snorkel with sea lions and other marine wildlife.

Learn about conservation initiatives and tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Center.

Bike ride to the historic Wall of Tears.

Take a guided tour of Ecuador’s capital city, Quito.

Straddle the Equator at the Middle of the World monument.

Optional visits to Otavalo market, Cotopaxi National Park, Antisana Reserve, or Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve.

Day 1 - Quito

Upon arrival in Quito you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Overnight Hotel Quito- standard room

Day 2 - Quito

After breakfast this morning take a city tour of Quito including a visit to the Middle of the World Monument. The city tour may be substituted with a full day excursion to Otavalo market, Cotopaxi National Park, Antisana Reserve, or Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve for an additional cost. Overnight Hotel Quito- standard room (BLD)

Day 3 - Floreana

This morning transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galápagos Islands where you will be met by your local guide. Transfer by speedboat to Floreana-the sixth largest island in the archipelago. It has a colorful history, with varying accounts of how the island was settled and how its first residents (German immigrants) mysteriously disappeared. The only family remaining from the original settlements are the Wittmers who continue to live on the island. After lunch, enjoy a walking excursion to La Loberia to view Galapagos sea lions on the beach and swimming nearby in Loberia Bay. Hike along almost 3000 feet of trail that goes through the Galapagos National Park where you can also see Marine Iguanas and Sea turtles. Dinner at a local restaurant this evening. Overnight Lava Lodge (BLD)

Day 4 - Floreana

After breakfast, hike in the highlands of Floreana to Asilo de La Paz (Peace Haven), where caves used by pirates in the 17th and 18th centuries are located. Hike to the hilltop for views of the island and possibly see the endemic Medium Tree Finch. After lunch at a local restaurant, kayak and SUP (stand up paddleboard) off the white sand beach of Post Office Bay. Overnight Lava Lodge (BLD)

Day 5 - Floreana

Enjoy a morning visit to La Primavera and Las Palmas. Hike from La Primavera and continue down to Las Palmas, where the Island`s first permanent inhabitant, Dr. Ritter, lived and is buried. From Las Palmas, we`ll continue hiking towards the ocean with spectacular views of the Floreana shoreline. In the afternoon, be ready for kayaking and SUP. Perhaps we will view sea lions, green sea turtles, and tropical fish in the bay. Overnight Lava Lodge (BLD)

Day 6 - Floreana-Isabela

Today we`ll head to Isabela Island via speedboat. Upon arrival, check into the hotel and visit the Interpretation Center to learn about the fascinating archipelago, including the natural history of the Islands as well as the impact of humans on the ecosystem. After lunch, visit to Tintoreras and time for snorkeling. The Tintoreras Islets, named for the reef shark, are located across the bay from Puerto Villamil and feature a great variety of wildlife. Snorkel among small outcroppings of volcanic rock in the crystalline, turquoise waters, home to sea lions, marine turtles, Galapagos Penguins, marine iguanas and white-tipped reef sharks. Dinner at hotel. Overnight Albemarle Hotel (BLD)

Day 7 - Isabela

Full day hiking at Sierra Negra. As one of the most impressive examples of a volcano in the archipelago, Sierra Negra Volcano measures over 6 miles across from north to south and more than 5 miles from east to west. We will hike up to the edge of the second largest caldera in the world. Box lunch at site. At the completion of the hike return to the hotel. Overnight Albemarle Hotel (BLD)

Day 8 - Isabela

Morning kayak in the bay followed by lunch at a local restaurant. Bike ride to Wall of Tears-From the wetlands` trails, continue your visit with a stop at the infamous Muro de las Lagrimas, "Wall of Tears". This wall was erected by convicts back in the days when the island housed a penal colony. Numerous prisoners died in the course of building the stone wall, leading many locals to give it the now famous name. According to local lore, it is possible to hear the convicts` cries emanating from the area from time to time. Overnight Albemarle Hotel (BLD)

Day 9 - Isabela-Santa Cruz

Early morning transfer to Puerto Ayora by speedboat. After breakfast, enjoy the breath-taking views of the archipelago at Cerro Mesa and then continue on to Garrapatero Beach. Spend the afternoon snorkeling and enjoying the nice sandy beaches surrounded by mangroves. Overnight Mainao hotel (BLD)

Day 10 - Santa Cruz

In the morning we`ll head to Tortuga Bay, one of the largest and most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos. Enjoy the spectacular white sand beach where you can walk along the shore and swim amongst marine iguanas, sharks and sea turtles. After lunch, transfer to the highlands for tortoise viewing at El Chato. Hike among densely forested areas in the highlands of Santa Cruz in El Chato, a reserve for the giant tortoises. They can often be seen in the ponds cooling themselves. Tree and ground finches, vermilion flycatchers and cattle egrets all inhabit the area of the walking trails. Overnight Mainao hotel (BLD)

Day 11 - Santa Cruz-Quito

After a morning visit to the Charles Darwin Research Center, we transfer to Baltra for our return flight back to mainland Ecuador. Upon arrival in Quito you will be met and transferred to your hotel for overnight. Farewell dinner will be at the hotel. Overnight Hotel Quito (BLD)

Day 12 - Quito

This morning you will be met and transferred to the airport for your flight to the USA. (B)

Pricing

Starting at $3,830 per person.

Based on a group of 14 participants + 2 leaders. Pricing varies for other group sizes.

Cost includes:
+ full-time naturalist guide
+ activities
+ internal airfare
+ Galápagos park fee
+ accommodations
+ meals
+ beverages with meals

Cost does not include international airfare, gratuities, items of a personal nature, or any applicable departure taxes and/or visa fees.

Valid for travel in 2014. Holiday surcharges apply.

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