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Following in Darwin's Footsteps (From San Cristobal)

8 Days FROM AUD 10,299

Overview

Discover the unique and outstanding flora and fauna in one of the most stunning places on Earth, the Galapagos Islands. With this unforgettable journey you will follow in Darwin’s footsteps and discover some of the most beautiful beaches, snorkel and swim in crystal blue waters and spot lots of exotic species on land and in the sea. You will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program as well as the Galapagos National Park Visitor Centre that presents a comprehensive exhibit of the islands’ natural history, human interaction, ecosystems, flora & fauna.

This trip is a must for the nature lover and for those who want to get back to nature for a memorable adventure.

Video

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: GATSFD8

Location: Galapagos

Ship: Grace

CRUISE ITINERARY

Today you fly to Baltra Island in the Galapagos, a flight time of approximately 90 minutes. Upon arrival you board M/Y Grace where you will have lunch and a quick briefing en route to the sites: Whaler Bay, a beautiful green sand cove at the base of Dragon Hill and Eden Islet, home to a great variety of seabirds and marine iguanas and also a great snorkelling site. After these visits you will get ready for a welcome cocktail and briefing before continuing to dinner.

Saturday, Embark & Dragon Hill, Eden Islet

Morning visit to Santa Fe Island, home to one of the most beautiful and sheltered bays of the archipelago and some of the best snorkelling with its crystal clear waters. Certainly one of the best locations to see sea turtles, swim with sea lions and get a glimpse of the Galapagos White-tipped Shark. After a wet landing you will walk up to a nearby cliff to see the land iguanas through an area of Opuntia Cactus. In the afternoon visit South Plaza Island and its land iguanas wandering through bright red carpet weed.

Sunday, Santa Fe Island & South Plaza

Genovesa, otherwise known as Tower Island, or ‘Bird Island’ for good reason. The south-western part of the island is an ocean-filled caldera ringed by the outer edges of a sizeable and mostly submerged volcano. The island sits to the northwest, slightly removed from the Galapagos archipelago.

Monday, Genovesa Island

In the morning visit Fernandina Island, home to the spectacular La Cumbre volcano. Journey to Punta Espinosa, a narrow spit of land, where a number of unique species, such as marine iguanas, sea lions, flightless cormorants, herons, egrets and Galapagos hawks can be seen in close proximity. In the afternoon you visit Urbina Bay where you will make an easy wet landing (a hop into a few inches of water). A highlight of this excursion are the giant land iguanas and giant tortoises, as well as the opportunity to go snorkelling amongst marine creatures, or take a relaxing nap on the sand.

Tuesday, Fernandina Island & Isabela

Morning visit to Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. A wooden stairway rises to the trail entrance and continues around Darwin Lake through a dry vegetation zone and ends in a promontory formed by spatter cones. In the afternoon head north to Punta Vicente Roca. Snorkelling is incredible here and you will have a chance to see colourful fish, sea lions, penguins and sea turtles in the water. This is also a great spot to take an interesting panga ride to spot wildlife along the shores and cliffs.

Wednesday, Isabela Island

Morning visit to Chinese Hat Islet, a fairly recent volcanic cone and so-called for its distinctive shape. On the rocky shoreline of nearby Santiago, Galapagos penguins are often seen. There is a small sea lion cove on the north shore where boats anchor and land at the visitor site. Late morning snorkelling with sea lions and penguins as well as swimming opportunities in the cove. Afternoon visit to Puerto Egas, James Bay, where you land on a black beach with intriguing eroded rock formations. A trail leads to a series of crystal-clear grottos formed of broken lava tubes, which are home to sea lions, fur seals, marine iguanas and tropical fish.

Thursday, Chinese Hat & Puerto Egas

Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and its capital, Puerto Ayora, is the economic centre of the Islands. In the morning you visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program. In the afternoon you visit the Highlands, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Your destination is the Tortoise Reserve where you will have a chance to see these animals in the wild, walk through lava tubes and see the Gemelos, twin collapsed craters.

Friday, Isla Santa Cruz Highlands

Today your Galapagos cruise comes to an end, but before you bid farewell to the M/Y Grace, visit the Galapagos National Park Visitor Centre that presents a comprehensive exhibit of the islands’ natural history, human interaction, ecosystems and flora & fauna. From the Centre, a short trail arrives at Frigate Bird Hill, where both magnificent-frigates and great-frigates can be seen in the same colony. Return to the airport where you began your journey in the Galapagos for the flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland.

Saturday, Interpretation Centre & Disembark
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Pricing & date

Following in Darwin's Footsteps (From San Cristobal) from AUD 10,299
Selected Saturdays.
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Important Information

  • Shipboard accommodation 
    All meals whilst on board including snacks 
    All shore excursions
    Guiding and lectures by Galapagos Naturalist Guide 
    English-speaking Expedition team
    Use of snorkelling equipment and wetsuits
    Soft drinks, juice, coffee and tea throughout the cruise 

    Exclusions

    Return airfares from mainland Ecuador 
    Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (US$100 per person subject to change) 
    Galapagos Transit Control Card (US$20 per person subject to change) 
    Visa Fees (if applicable)
    Travel insurance
    Gratuities for the crew
    Optional activities whilst on board 
    Personal Expenses 
    Bar consumption on board (All-inclusive packages available)

  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Seasons and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.

4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.